in my last blog entry, i should have mentioned that those links to the videos of the Japanese bi-pedal robots were forwarded to me by my pal, Randy Brown, program manager for Microsoft FoxPro. props also due to our mutual friend, Alan Griver, who spotted the post.

additionally, i forgot to mention that while i was checking out David Cump's blog, i noticed that he had write-ups about the DevDays 2004 event that he attended in Belgium.

seems their event hardly bears much resemblance to the ones that we are uniformly running across the U.S. here... they ran two full days, featured entirely different topics like Avalon, had an IT Pro track, and even flew in David Chappell (a master of communications with lots of tremendous insights if you ever get a chance to hear him speak or read his blog) to preview the road to Longhorn...

speaking of DevDays 2004, i'll be presenting a couple of modules at the one at the Los Angeles Convention Center on March 15 and helping out at the one on March 2 at the San Diego Convention Center too. if you're going to be at either of these, please stop by and say hello.

this week, i hit the road to Bakersfield and Santa Maria with my last two stops presenting the current cycle of the MSDN Events seminar series featuring ASP .NET content (the TimeTracker Starter Kit application and programming authentication and authorization into Web applications). blog entries may be delayed over the next several days.

starting in March, we move onto the topic of security for the entire afternoon and then through May and June, we will be trying out a new event format. this is the first draft of the topic abstracts which will be used for the event invitations:

Leveraging Application Blocks in your Application Development

Application blocks are reusable code components from Microsoft for common programming tasks that encapsulate best practices and real-world requirements. We will examine three of these: the Exception Management Application Block that logs exception information to the Windows Event Log; the Configuration Management Application Block that manages configuration data and the Updater Application Blocks that implements a pull-model self-updating capability.


Rapid Application Development features coming in Visual Studio .NET “Whidbey”

“Whidbey” is the provisional name for the next major version of Visual Studio .NET and rapid application development is one of its main areas of improvements. In this session, we will look at improvements to the Whidbey IDE (integrated development environment), the new code snippet (IntelliTask) feature, namespace shortcuts, and language enhancements.


XML, XQuery and CLR Integration coming in SQL Server “Yukon

The next major version of Microsoft SQL Server, codenamed “Yukon”, will extend its XML capabilities with a native, full-fledged XML data type, support for the XML Query (XQuery) and XML Schema Definition (XSD) language standards, and the graphical XQuery Designer tool. Additionally, we’ll demonstrate how Yukon’s ability to host the .NET Framework common language runtime (CLR) will enable stored procedures, triggers and user-defined functions (UDFs) to be written in Visual Basic .NET and C#, and then run in its memory managed, type-safe and secure execution environment.


Introduction to SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services

The recently released SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services provides a powerful and versatile new interactive reporting tool for current licensees of SQL Server 2000. In this session, you’ll see how the Reporting Services integrates with Visual Studio .NET to create and customize reports, and lastly, manage and schedule delivery of updated reports in the Report Manager.

the marketing company that we outsource to assist us ended up incorporating these without a single edit or correction (and even used the tagline of Faster, Smarter, Better that i selected)! this bodes well for the accuracy of the descriptions of what we will be covering in our events - a major milestone...

currently on the turntable: Bernard Szajner/Brute Reason. last time i was at Amoeba (if you are heavily into recorded music or ever worked in the business, you simply must make the pilgrammage to the Hollywood shrine), i saw this recording and it's predecessor, Some Deaths Take Forever, had been re-released finally on CD format. there was a note attached to the front cover about how some current young electronic music darlings (likely toddlers when these first came out) had listed this French synthetic in their all time Top 10 listing. this intrigued me (not enough to spring for the CDs immediately but at least to give them a spin). Some Deaths struck me as harsh and strident - for good reason, it's a conceptual work about prisoners awaiting execution and dedicated to Amnesty International. this is a noble cause but i immediately recognized why it never made its way onto my list of party favorites. Brute Reason is a real treat though, anchored around the songs co-written and sung by Howard Devoto (did you catch the cameo role he had in Twenty-four Hour Party People?). alternately angular, pulsating, haunting and dramatically forceful, it's a skilful amalgam of electronics, a traditional rock lineup of guitar/bass/drums and typical Devoto lines like “daydreaming with a vengeance supreme“. doesn't make my all time Top 10 ever but i may have to pick this up on CD next time i'm at Amoeba...