Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

It's all about community!

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Online chat: Upgrading COM Applications to .NET with Visual C++ 2005 (5am-6am Sep 3 AEST)


    There are some great webcasts coming out of the US, albeit at not great times. This one follows on very nicely from our July MSDN Update.

    Are there webcast topics you'd like to see delivered by local presenters at ANZ friendly times? We have world-class developers and presenters among the .NET community here in the region and we're planning to leverage them this financial year. Chuck's already lining up plans for a couple of great topics, but we're after more suggestions for topics, presenters and so on. Let us know!

    Many applications consume and expose COM interfaces as their object models today. And .NET has tools such as tlbimp, tlbexp and COM Interop support for RCWs and CCWs to help integrate managed code with COM objects. In addition, there are also a number of options in C++ unavailable to other languages such as C# or VB. Some mechanisms are simpler to code, while others provide deeper control over aspects such as data and interface marshaling, custom interface support and performance tuning. What are these options and when do I use them? What conveniences does Visual C++ provide to "go deep" but retain the simplicity of a tool like tlbimp? What goes on under the hood that I need to be aware of when I provide my own interface wrapping, and why might I do this? How is the COM apartment model honored when I recompile as managed code? What AppDomain and threading issues should I be aware of and how do I avoid any pitfalls? What is the fine-print surrounding areas like using interface sinks, object lifetime control, and COM capabilities in mixed or pure images? If you expose or consume COM interfaces in your C/C++ applications today and need to know your options moving forward in .NET then this chat is for you.

    September 2, 2004
    12:00 - 1:00 P.M. Pacific time
    3:00 - 4:00 P.M. Eastern time
    19:00 - 20:00 GMT

    Chat time for cities world-wide:

    To add this chat to you calendar:

    For more info on MSDN chats, including other upcoming developer chats, chat archives, and other info see
  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Route64 Comes To Sydney


    Well, I've finally got around to blogging about the Route64 event that happened here in Sydney on July 8. We had about 85 keen developers come to the Microsoft offices in Sydney to hear Volker Will and James Smith give a great introduction to our approach to 64-bit. The day started with an overview of the Windows 64-bit roadmap and a review of the architecture of porting applications to 64-bit. This was followed by a brief introduction to SQL Server 64-bit.

    During the lunch break, the delegates mingled in the partner exhibition area and chatted with representatives from HP, Intel, AMD and MSDN. Each of the partners had technical staff on hand to answer some of the curly questions delegates had about their hardware, as well as marketing folk to answer availability and roadmap questions. The hit give-away had to be the great Hoodies from HP (a hooded fleece jacket).

    After lunch, we had the meat of the developer information, with presentations on developing 64-bit applications in C/C++ and then using .NET managed code.

    All of the presentations are available at, including the slides themselves, sample code used and videos of the sessions in streaming or download format.

    If you've got questions about 64-bit development on the Microsoft platform , please let me know.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    QMSDNUG August Meeting Notice


    Greg Low Sends me the following great news:

    Hi Folks,

    Our meeting this month will be Tuesday, the 17th August.

    Thanks to Joseph Cooney for his assistance with the session in July. This month we have another real treat. Dave Apelt is back in town and will


    Rapid N-Tier development in .Net

    N-Tier architecture is considered the premier design in creating scalable applications. Despite n-tier's benefits many .Net based software engineering projects fall short full n-tier architecture due to an array of issues.

    David Apelt recently had an opportunity to research these issues and a solution developed that allows .Net developers to rapidly create and maintain n-Tier applications.

    The presentation will be of most interest to people involved in the development of new .Net applications irrespective of their platform. It will cover a broad range of topics and will be of interest to the beginner as well as experienced developers.


    David Apelt provides software engineering solutions to small and medium sized enterprises around Australia. He writes several shareware applications that can be seen on his web site at A precursor to 'Line Speed Meter' was developed for a QMSDNUG presentation three years ago.

    I got to see Dave's ideas on the first version of this and I'm certain it will provide an interesting topic for the meeting and will raise a lot of discussion.

    As usual, an early RSVP will help with planning pizzas, etc. Please RSVP by email to

    Be there: 5:45pm for 6:00pm start Tuesday, 17th August 2004

    Finish: around 7:30pm

    Location: Microsoft Brisbane Office, Level 9, Waterfront Place, 1 Eagle St, Brisbane.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Tech•Ed Channel9 Video


    Probably the most fun I had at Tech•Ed was shooting and editing footage for Channel9. Michael Kleef and I went around with a DV camera and basically shoved it into people's faces, talking to them about Tech•Ed, what they thought about the conference, and so on. Each night I streamed the footage down to my laptop over Firewire and edited it using Windows Movie Maker -- a very neat bit of software. I then uploaded the result to the corporate network the next day for the Channel9 crew to review and post on the site.

    The results will be up on Channel9 some time pretty soon. When they're there I'll put a note up here, along with the details of a little exercise you might find rewarding.

    Stay Tuned!

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Dinners at Tech•Ed


    SplaTT, Frank and Mark all started a rumour that there would be a Geek Dinner on the Wednesday night. It turns out that the chosen venue was closed (perhaps someone warned them). We moved up the mall to an Irish Pub and proceeded to consume Geek Guiness. I chatted with Phil Beadle (who is, along with Scott McCulloch, one of the core DotNet Nuke team) from Byte and a bunch of other people. Great fun.

    Wednesday night, before the Tech•Ed party, a heap of us went to dinner with Microsoft Senior VP, Eric Rudder. We found ourselves at a local Pizza establishment and geeks of all descriptions bent Eric's ear about topics near and dear to their hearts. Craig Bailey even managed to convince Eric to give OzFox 2004 a plug.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    MSDN Connection Lounge at Tech•Ed


    The card swipers are finally in production and I had an opportunity to use my MSDN Connection membership card in earnest. Caroline did a great job running the lounge (including getting it moved from the COLD tent where there was no connnectivity inside to the warm and wirelessly accessible exhibition hall). The lounge had an XBox and couches and was a great place to hang out and chat with members of the community.


  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Visual FoxPro 9.0 Beta Component Refresh available


    Ken Levy, the VFP Product Manager, notes in his blog that there is a Visual FoxPro 9.0 Beta Component Refresh available. To quote Ken:

    The Visual FoxPro 9.0 Beta Components Refresh download contains a refresh of various components and source code libraries delivered with the public Visual FoxPro 9.0 beta. It addresses issues in these components, adds refinements, and introduces some Visual FoxPro Foundation Class (FFC) classes not previously available. Updates include components and source code for some reporting system components, BROWSER.APP, BUILDER.APP, and ANCHOREDITOR.APP included in XSOURCE update. To apply the new Anchor property builder, simply run once the files have been installed and it will register itself in FoxCode.dbf so that the new Anchor editor will be active when you are selected on the Anchor property in the Property Sheet

    If you haven't had a play with the VFP 9.0 beta, it's well worth a look.

    While we're on the subject of VFP 9.0, Craig Bailey got Eric Rudder to plug VFP in general and OzFox in particular while we were at dinner during Tech•Ed in Canberra last week. Check it out!

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    ADNUG VS2005 Install-Fest this Wednesday


    Just a reminder; This just in from Peter Griffith:

    ADELAIDE DOT NET USERS GROUP.                
    The next meeting of ADNUG will be held on WEDNESDAY 11th August at 6pm
     SA Innovation Centre  Level 2,  Santos House, King William Street, Adelaide  
    Visitors welcome. See below for Programme.   
    ADNUG web site       notice of meetings  
    The doors outside the lifts for 2nd floor are locked at 7pm.
    Access through lane from King William Street, or lane from Topham St Mall
    If you arrive after 7pm ring  0408 832891 or 0403 432393 and we will come down to the After Hours exit in Currie St and let you in.
    Door Prize tonight
    Tonight is Whidbey-Fest
    As outlined in previous emails, there will be DVDs/CDs provided with Virtual PC, Whidbey beta 1 and Express products.
    We will be supplying a Virtual PC for you to install, if you don't already have it, a DVD which has a zipped file of Whidney beta 1 already installed under XP Pro (120 day version). This can be then copied directly to the VPC partition on your laptop/PC and when unzipped is about 4Gb. There will also be CDs containing Express items also pre-installed under XP Pro (120 day version) which can be copied directly to your VPC partition. 
    In order to have enough preinstalled CDs prepared for you so that you can simply copy the zipped file into a Virtual PC partition, we ask that you let us know (just email a reply) stating your requirement.
    If you bring a laptop/PC, suggest you bring a power board


     6.00 pm questions and answers. Bring along your .Net  problems and we will try to answer.
    6.15 pm Darren Neimke, James Roe-Smith, Sorin Buzila
    Dan and I will be helping Darren, James and Sorin co-ordinate the distribution of CDs intially installing Virtual PC, then copying the files from the DVDs/CDs to your laptops, unzipping and commissioning the various Whidbey components.  At various breaks in the evening, Darren, Sorin and James will discuss various new features of Whidbey.

    Tonight we are getting Pizza in ($5).  Hang about, have something to eat and drink and help to solve the programming problems of the world.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Behind the Scenes at Tech•Ed in Canberra

    As Frank mentioned here. Michael and I will be making a video for Channel9 at Tech•Ed this year. I'm in the pre-production phase today, going through some ideas for a very corny opening. If you're going to be at Tech•Ed then keep an eye out for us -- we'll have a Video Camera at the ready and very possibly be wearing a Channel9 T-shirt. If you're not going to be there, watch this space for an announcement of the video's availability.
  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    SDNUG Meeting - Thursday 12 Aug 2004 *One week later due to TechEd*


    Developing for devices with the Visual Studio .NET 2003 and the .NET Compact Framework by Microsoft's Jonathan Wells

    The .NET Compact Framework is a small footprint, binary compatible version of the .NET Framework, designed for small mobile devices. The .NET Compact Framework enables devices to interoperate easily with Web services, using the development productivity of Visual Studio .NET. This session will provide an overview on the architecture and design of the .NET Compact Framework, as well as more details on its functionality and usage. Learn how your skills in building Visual Studio .NET applications can now be applied to programming smart devices.

    Location: AMP Capital Investors, Ground Floor, 50 Bridge Street (The AMP Building), Sydney.

    Timing: Thursday 12 Aug 2004, 6.00 pm - 8.00 pm.

    Pizzas and drinks provided. The pizza will be there at 6, so be early to avoid missing out..

    To allow us to provide the correct amount of food and drink, please click through to if you plan to attend. No personal information is recorded by the page - it is used only to estimate the total attendance.

    Nick Wienholt and Dan Green
    Sydney Deep .NET Administrators.

    Keep up to date with SDNUG happenings and download the slides and code from past months @

    Keep up with SDNUG using RSS

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