Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

It's all about community!

November, 2008

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    New Melbourne User Group - Silverlight Designer and Developer Network


    Got this note from Jordan Knight today. Looks like a great new group staring up with some smart people in Melbourne.

    The Silverlight Designer and Developer Network Starts Next Week!

    Launching next week, the SDDN, which is part of Victoria .NET,  is a new special interest group completely and absolutely for Silverlight and surrounding tools and technologies.

    As the name suggests SDDN is for developers and designers alike! Content will range from the most basic of Silverlight concepts to advanced topics like designer/developer workflow.

    When and Where?

    The group’s first meeting is on Thursday November 27 at 5:30 PM for a 6:00 PM start.
    The venue is Microsoft Theatre, Level 5, 4 Freshwater Place, Southbank.
    Attendance is FREE. But please RSVP to if you plan to attend.

    We have some great speakers lined up for you: Shane Morris from Microsoft and Jonas Follesø from Capgemini. These guys have tons of experience in Silverlight and have presented many times on the subject, including fantastic talks at TechEd.

    Who will this group interest?

    The focus of the group is not just on developers. Traditionally developers have had great community support, whereas designers not so much… now that Silverlight 2 is out we plan to change this.

    Silverlight is as interesting for developers as it is for designers. Due in part to Silverlight’s excellent separation of design and development concerns we have new problems to solve around finding the best ways to work together.

    To this end the SDDN will facilitate an ongoing discussion and promote the development of ideas and best practices for anyone who works with Silverlight.

    To register interest head over to Registering your interest helps us organise the meetings!

    The Site

    A big part of the group is the site (, which will include all sorts of goodies once we launch it later in the year, including blog syndication and more importantly all the presentations will be available for download! Stay tuned for more updates at a later stage.

    (And.. please note that the current site is just a temporary site!)

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Finding the Windows dpi setting in .NET


    I had a note from Stephen Lead (of Ignite Spatial fame) asking how to determine the dpi setting a user has selected in Windows. He pointed me to the only MSDN article he could find on the subject, ironically explaining how to do it in Visual FoxPro. I didn’t know off the top of my head, generally you don’t have to worry about this in .NET because the framework is DPI aware and automatically scales your controls (you can control this with the ContainerControl.AutoScaleMode property). Stephen was setting the form’s height and width explicitly in code and wanted to be able to figure out what those values would be.

    After some searching, I found out how to do this. All objects that inherit from System.Windows.Forms.Control inherit the CreateGraphics method which returns a System.Drawing.Graphics object for the control. The Graphics object has DpiX and DpiY properties which give respectively the resolution of the screen in dots per inch horizontally and vertically.

    This means, for example, that you can grab the resolution in the form load (VB):

    Private Sub Form1_Load(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles MyBase.Load
       Using myGraphics As Graphics = Me.CreateGraphics()
          MessageBox.Show(String.Format("Resolution X: {0} dpi, Resolution Y: {1} dpi", myGraphics.DpiX, myGraphics.DpiY), _
                          "Windows Resolution")
       End Using
    End Sub

    or in C#

    private void Form1_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
        using (Graphics myGraphics = this.CreateGraphics())
            MessageBox.Show(String.Format("Resolution X: {0} dpi, Resolution Y: {1} dpi", myGraphics.DpiX, myGraphics.DpiY),
                            "Windows Resolution");

    Either way, on my system this results in


    Note that this works in the .NET Compact Framework as well.

    Updated to include disposal of Graphics Object

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Dave Does Data (or, "Maybe Pigs do Fly")


    SQL guru David Lean has joined the blogosphere and, of course, he’s started with some hardcore SQL Spatial information.

    Check out these great posts:



  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    My Spatial Data presentation at Ignite Spatial


    As I said in my MSDN Flash editorial, I had a great time presenting at Ignite Spatial last Wednesday – the atmosphere was great and the format was a lot of fun. I’ve popped the deck up on my skydrive and would love some feedback if you were there. Is this a format we should be adopting for at least some of the presentations we do at Microsoft?

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Events & more Events – a retrospective


    Fin asked me to write this week’s MSDN Flash editorial, so I did. In case you missed it, here it is. By the way, if you don’t subscribe to the flash, you should :). Sign up today!

    It's been a real time for me with events. First the PDC in Los Angeles with over 6,000 developers (in case you missed it, all the sessions were recorded and are available for streaming or download). At PDC we announced Windows Azure, Visual Studio 2010, demoed Windows 7 and generally made a big splash with our vision of Software + Services.

    Steve Ballmer

    Hot on the heels of that event we had Liberation Day here in Sydney with over 1,000 on-site and ten times as many watching Steve Ballmer, Gianpaolo Carraro and Tim Sneath online. That content is still available on the Power to Developers web site.

    Two weekends ago local community hero, Deepak Kapoor ran a full-day training session on LINQ to SQL at the MS offices with great hands-on experience for the attendees.

    Last Wednesday I presented at Stephen Lead's Ignite Spatial, with over 100 people squeezing into a function room in a city pub to see 10 presentations in an hour. 20 slides per presenter, 15 seconds per auto-advanced slide.

    Finally, just this last weekend, Graham Seach organised the Office DevCon.

    Of course, it doesn't stop there. We've got the Innovate On roadshow coming to a city near you, the Office and Sharepoint Forum in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth and many others. This is a great time to be a developer. As I said, while I was ripping my shirt off at Liberation Day, I'm really pleased to be able to say "I'm a PC".

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    TechEd Attendance Competition Winner


    As part of the lead-up to this year’s TechEd in Sydney, I offered a prize to the person who could come the closest to guessing the final attendance number (without going over). I had a larger number of entries than I expected and the guesses ranged from 2612 at the low end up to 3273.

    I know it’s been a while, but I’m now in a position to announce the winner. The final number was 2782, and the closest guess below that was 2777 from Justin King. So Justin, let’s catch up at next week’s Sydney .NET User Group and we can discuss your prize.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Visual Studio 2010 Info from the Horse’s Mouth – 14 Nov in Sydney and Online


    Matt Nunn, Group Product Manager for Visual Studio Team System will present "The Road to Visual Studio 2010", a presentation (and live demo) aimed at technical decision makers. Matt will provide a first look at the next version of Microsoft’s development tool platform – Visual Studio 2010.

    Visual Studio 2010 further enhances today's capabilities to democratise application development and incorporate all members of the development organisation. It further reduces barriers between team members and provides increased levels of visibility to enable delivery on time and on target.

    At this event you will learn how Microsoft’s development tool platform vision complements the Microsoft application platform today and tomorrow, thus securing your current technology investments.



    Friday 14 November 2008 (Sydney time)

    09:00 am "The Road to Visual Studio 2010"

    10:30 am Q&A

    11:00 am Close


    Onsite (registration required)

    Microsoft, 1 Epping rd, North Ryde, 2113, Theatre 1


    Live Meeting:

    with alternative audio at +61 1800 202 713, Participant Code: 8893367

    Matt's Bio

    Matt Nunn is a Group Product Manager for Visual Studio Team System and has been with Microsoft for just over 6 years. He currently runs the team responsible for all outbound product management for Visual Studio Team System working with customers, partners and the field. Previously Matt ran product management for the VSTS Database Edition and has worked in both the SQL Server and Microsoft Office Teams within Microsoft. Matt has over 15 years experience in the IT industry working as a developer, DBA, technical project manager and consultant for numerous Microsoft partners as well as many positions within Microsoft.

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