Chris Bowen's Blog

Development Practices, Tools, Technology, and Community

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Special Multi User Group Event with David Chappell


    David Chappell I'm excited to announce that we've organized a special evening event for developers and architects featuring David Chappell.  David (bio below) is an industry veteran, well-respected for his ability to consistently convey technical content and insights in an engaging manner.

    He'll be speaking on "Understanding Software + Services":

    The move to service-orientation is well underway, both inside enterprises and on the Internet. What role does traditional software play in a world of on-line services? In particular, how is Microsoft approaching the combination of software plus services? This presentation provides an overview of this area, giving an introduction to and a perspective on this emerging combination.

    The event is January 31st from 6-8 PM at the 201 Jones Road Microsoft office in Waltham, MA.  This unique event is a combined group effort for the following user groups:

    I hope you're able to take advantage of this rare opportunity!


    P.S.  Here is David's Bio:

    David Chappell is Principal of Chappell & Associates in San Francisco, California. Through his speaking, writing, and consulting, he helps IT professionals around the world understand, use, and make better decisions about enterprise software.

    David has been the keynote speaker for dozens of conferences and events in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Latin America. His popular seminars have been attended by tens of thousands of developers, architects, and decision makers in forty countries. He has also spoken at many universities, including the National University of Singapore, Moscow State University, and Sweden's Uppsala University.

    David's books have been published in ten languages and used regularly in courses at MIT, ETH Zurich, and other educational institutions. He is Series Editor for Addison-Wesley's award-winning Independent Technology Guides, and he's been a columnist for several publications. In his consulting practice, David has helped clients such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft, Stanford University, and Target Corporation adopt new technologies, market new products, train their sales staffs, and create business plans.

    David's comments have appeared in The New York Times,, and many other publications. Earlier in his career, he wrote software for supercomputers, chaired a U.S. national standardization working group, and played keyboards with the Peabody-award-winning Children's Radio Theater. David holds a B.S. in Economics and an M.S. in Computer Science, both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.You can reach him at:

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Upcoming Northeast Developer Events - January/February


    It's time to welcome in the new year by pulling together a summary of the events and meetings for .NET developers coming up in the northeast.

    Know of any other events or user group meetings?  Please let me know!


    January 9, 6:30 - 9 PM
    Fairfield/Westchester SQL Server UG - UConn, Stamford, CT
    "Performance Tuning with SQL Server Profiler 2005" - Joe Lax

    January 15, 1-5 PM
    MSDN Event - Stratford, CT
    IIS 7, ASP.NET Application Services, and Security

    January 29, 7-9 PM
    Connecticut .NET User Group - Microsoft Offices, Farmington, CT
    "Developing Seamless Database Applications with LINQ" - Polina Cherkasova

    February 5, 6-9 PM
    Fairfield/Westchester .NET User Group - UConn, Stamford, CT
    Topics & Speaker TBD

    February 12, 6-8 PM
    South CT .NET SIG - Shelton, CT
    "Building Good UX with .NET " - Ambrose Little


    January 8, 6-8 PM
    Western Mass .NET Users Group - Chicopee, MA
    "What's New in Visual Studio 2008?" - Chris Bowen

    January 9, 6 - 8:30 PM
    Boston .NET User Group - Waltham, MA
    "Resistance is Futile: The Productivity Gains of Moving to LINQ" - Richard Hale Shaw

    January 10, 1-5 PM
    MSDN Event - Boston, MA
    IIS 7, ASP.NET Application Services, and Security

    January 16, 1 - 8:30 PM
    Boston Access Day - Waltham, MA
    Featuring a variety of sessions throughout the day.

    January 16, 6 - 8 PM
    Boston .NET Architecture Study Group - Waltham, MA
    Topic & Speaker TBD

    January 16, 6:30
    Boston Pocket PC - Waltham, MA
    "CES Wrap-Up" - Steve Hughes

    January 17, 1-5 PM
    MSDN Event - Burlington, MA
    IIS 7, ASP.NET Application Services, and Security

    January 17, 5:30 - 7:30 PM
    Team System Public User Group - Waltham, MA
    Topic & Speaker TBD

    January 17, 6:30
    National Information Security Group, New England Chapter - Waltham, MA
    "Deploying Trusted Computing Systems" - Chris Cahalin

    January 22 - 1-5 PM
    MSDN Event - Westborough, MA
    IIS 7, ASP.NET Application Services, and Security

    January 22, 6:00 - 7:30 PM
    New England SharePoint User Group - Waltham, MA
    "Speeding Up SharePoint Performance Across the WAN" - Liz Peirce

    January 23, 6:30 PM
    New England SQL Server User Group - Waltham, MA
    "Grouping Sets in SQL Server 2008" - Itzik Ben-Gan

    January 31, 6-8 PM
    Multi User Group Special Event - Waltham, MA
    David Chappell on "Understanding Software + Services"


    January 8 - 1-5 PM
    MSDN Event - Falmouth, ME
    IIS 7, ASP.NET Application Services, and Security

    January 17, 5:30 PM
    Maine Bytes User Group - Portland, ME
    "SQL Server Integration Services", Dan Sullivan

    January 22, 6-8 PM
    Bangor Area .Net Developers (BAND) - Bangor, ME
    "Summary of Bob & Chris December Roadshow" - Jeff Hall

    February 29, 3:30 - 6 PM
    Maine Developer Network - Waterville, ME
    Topic TBD - Russ Nemhauser

    New Hampshire

    February 5 - 1-5 PM
    MSDN Event - Nashua, NH
    IIS 7, ASP.NET Application Services, and Security

    February 6, 7:00 PM
    New Hampshire SQL Users Group - Nashua, NH
    Topic TBA

    New York (Upstate)

    January 9, 6:00 PM
    Central New York .NET Developer Group - East Syracuse, NY
    NHibernate - Rik Bardrof

    January 23, 6:00 - 8:30 PM
    VDUNY - Visual Developers of Upstate NY - Rochester, NY
    Topic & Speaker TBD

    January 29, 1-5 PM
    MSDN Event - Syracuse, NY
    IIS 7, ASP.NET Application Services, and Security

    January 31 - 1-5 PM
    MSDN Event - Amherst, NY
    IIS 7, ASP.NET Application Services, and Security

    February 7, 5:30 (Food) / 6:00 (Presentation)
    NJ & Upstate NY Microsoft Developer Group - Rochester, NY (Broadcast from NJ)
    "New C# Language Features in Visual Studio 2008", Sujit D'Mello

    February 12, 6:30 PM
    Tech Valley .NET Users Group - Latham, NY
    Topic & Speaker TBD

    Rhode Island

    January 9, 6:00 - 9:00 PM
    Southern New England SQL Server User Group, Warwick, RI
    "Automating Trace & PerfMon" - Andrew Kelley

    February 6, 7:30 - 9 PM
    Rhode Island .NET User Group - Bristol, RI
    Topic & Speaker TBD

    February 13, 6:00 - 9:00 PM
    Southern New England SQL Server User Group, Warwick, RI
    "SCOM 2007" - Thomas LaRock

    February 28, 1-5 PM
    MSDN Event - Providence, RI
    IIS 7, ASP.NET Application Services, and Security


    January 9, 6-8 PM
    Vermont SQL Server User Group - Burlington, VT
    "SQL Server 2005 Worst Practices" - Roman Rehak

    January 14, 6:00 - 8:30
    Vermont .NET User Group - Burlington, VT
    "ASP.NET Performance & Optimization" - Jeff McWherter

    February 26, 1-5 PM
    MSDN Event - Burlington, VT
    IIS 7, ASP.NET Application Services, and Security


    [Update 1/8 - Added Multi-Group Special Event with David Chappell]
    [Update 1/10 - Added Bangor Area .Net Developers]
    [Update 1/14 - Updated CTDOTNET meeting (details and date to 1/29)]

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Speaking on VS2008 with Western MA .NET - 1/8/08


    For those of you in the Springfield, MA area tonight (Jan 8th), I'll be visiting with the Western Mass .NET Users Group to speak on "What's New in Visual Studio 2008?".

    Now that Visual Studio 2008 is released and available, it's important to understand the new available features and adoption strategies.  This demo-heavy session will cover many topics, including new features for Windows application developers: Client Application Services, WPF integration, WinForm/WPF interop, and Office development.  New features for web developers: new ASP.NET controls, integrated AJAX, CSS tools, nested master pages, JavaScript IntelliSense and debugging. Plus new features for everyone: unit testing, debugging to .NET Framework code, multi-targeting, and improvements for WCF & WF.

    The meeting will be at 6:00 in a special location - the MassMutual Conference Center in Chicopee, MA.  Details are on the group's site.


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    New MSDN and TechNet Series in the Northeast


    The next series of MSDN and TechNet events is coming in January and February, and there are ten events planned for the northeast.  Each day is split with TechNet in the morning (8-12) and MSDN in the afternoon (1-5).


    MSDN:  "Explore IIS7, ASP.NET and Tackle Web Security"

    Check out the latest coding solutions with like-minded developers at MSDN Events. Witness the evolution of IIS and see why IIS7 is our most extensible, manageable and secure Web platform on record. You'll learn how to extend application services - including membership, role management and navigation - from ASP.NET and how to consume them from a wide variety of clients. As a special bonus, we're also tackling the biggest security risks and clueing you in to the top counter measures available for Websites and Web applications of all kinds. Don't miss these free, live sessions that are really on your wavelength.

    Falmouth, ME
    Tuesday, January 8 - 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
    Register (MSDN)

    Boston, MA
    Thursday, January 10 - 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
    Register (MSDN)


    Stratford, CT
    Tuesday, January 15 - 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
    Register (MSDN)


    Burlington, MA
    Thursday, January 17 - 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
    Register (MSDN)

    Westborough, MA
    Tuesday, January 22 - 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
    Register (MSDN)

    Syracuse, NY
    Tuesday, January 29 - 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
    Register (MSDN)

    Amherst, NY
    Thursday, January 31 - 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
    Register (MSDN)

    Nashua, NH
    Tuesday, February 5 - 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
    Register (MSDN)


    Burlington, VT
    Tuesday, February 26 - 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
    Register (MSDN)


    Providence, RI
    Thursday, February 28 - 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
    Register (MSDN)


    TechNet:  "Secure Your Critical Data"

    Step up and save the day with hot new solutions from TechNet Events. Make sure your company's private information is fully secured - even if it falls into the wrong hands - with Windows BitLocker disk encryption technology in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. You'll also learn how the new Network Policy Server Role in Windows Server 2008 enables powerful functionality in the form of Network Access Protection. Now you control who can access your network - whether wireless or wired. Sign up now for these free, live sessions in your local area.

    Falmouth, ME
    Tuesday, January 8 - 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM
    Register (TechNet)

    Boston, MA
    Thursday, January 10 - 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM
    Register (TechNet) 

    Stratford, CT
    Tuesday, January 15 - 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM
    Register (TechNet)

    Burlington, MA
    Thursday, January 17 - 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM
    Register (TechNet)

    Westborough, MA
    Tuesday, January 22 - 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM
    Register (TechNet)

    Syracuse, NY
    Tuesday, January 29 - 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM
    Register (TechNet)

    Amherst, NY
    Thursday, January 31 - 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM
    Register (TechNet)

    Nashua, NH
    Tuesday, February 5 - 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM
    Register (TechNet)


    Burlington, VT
    Tuesday, February 26 - 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM
    Register (TechNet)


    Providence, RI
    Thursday, February 28 - 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM
    Register (TechNet)



  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Congratulations to SB Chatterjee!


    SBCSome great news to welcome in the new year!  Long-time community leader SB Chatterjee has just been awarded Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) for Groove

    For years, SB has been doing great work both in Connecticut with the CT .NET User Group and online with his support of Office Groove via discussion groups and more.

    Check out his MVP profile page and keep an eye on his blog for his own announcement.

    Well-deserved congratulations to you, SB!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    World of Warcraft Meets Visual Studio 2008


    AoSWow In an bit of good timing for some holiday season downtime, Dan Fernandez has announced the first release of AddOn Studio for World of Warcraft on CodePlex.

    World of Wacraft supports user-generated utilities and interfaces, called AddOns.  Now we can use Visual Studio to help create our own:

    AddOn Studio for World of Warcraft is an open-source development tool aimed to bring the Visual Studio experience to building World of Warcraft addons. This is the first release of the project and we have lots more ideas around how we can better improve addon development in the future.

    VS_shell_logo AddOn Studio is a good example of what can be done with the Visual Studio 2008 Shell to create customized editing environments based on Visual Studio.  It offers the VS2008 design surface and has editor and IntelliSense support for both LUA and FrameXML, used by World of Warcraft add ons.

    Full Shell for describing it parts Check out Dan's post for more details and a link to an interesting demo video.  I also recommend running through the helpful tutorial that's included with the install.

    I haven't played World of Warcraft since about Tech*Ed 07, when my "friends" Patrick Hynds and Duane Laflotte evilly tempted me back in, but something like this (and seeing what new AddOns the community can produce) might pull me in yet again.

    Well, if only for a month...


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    The December Roadshow Concludes



    Bob and I have put the wraps on the December Roadshow, having spent the last two weeks traveling many miles (over 1,400 total) to bring a technical bounty to five northeastern cities. 

    We'd like to extend a large "Thank You!" to everyone who attended and made this in many ways our best series to date!

    Update - Read Bob's Roadshow summary, too!

    I was also pleased with the Visual Studio 2008 InstallFests.  They worked well attached to the Roadshow series as ways to cap of a day of learning with some fun and networking.  Many thanks to Bob for stepping up to help, though he did take undue advantage of hapless noobs in Halo 3.  ;)

    I'll post a separate follow-up for the InstallFests soon.

    Presentations and Content Available

    We're leveraging SkyDrive to store our slides and code from the sessions.  Bob and I have posted our content to our respective SkyDrives:

    Chris' Content:
    "Visual Studio 2008" and "The Strongest LINQ"

    Bob's Content:
    "Multi-Tenant Data Architecture" and "Expression Studio"

    BTW, it's easy to get your own SkyDrive with free online space to store your files privately and/or share them with others (named or anonymous.)

    Rochester, NY - 12/4

    Rochester, NYFor our first stop, we packed tons of stuff and drove our huge black "government-issue" Suburban through the white-out conditions in the Utica area to make it to Rochester.  Our Rochesterian (I'm making up words now) attendees were seemingly unfazed by all the snow, and drifted in for the show.

    As with Burlington and Hartford, we had a new venue in Rochester - the RIT campus itself!  Thanks to the very helpful Cheryl McLean, everything went smoothly (though Bob and I had to ask a few students where to go.)

    Burlington, VT - 12/6

    From Rochester, we traveled to less-snowy Burlington, VT (never thought I'd say that.)  Our new venue, Vermont Technical College in Williston, was also great.  Special thanks to Julie Lerman for introducing us and to Mike Soulia at VTC who took things from there.

    Conveniently just down the street from Starbucks (whom we surprised with our morning "5 boxes of coffee" order), we'll be back!

    Hartford, CT - 12/10

    Hartford, CT The following Monday saw ice in Massachusetts, but Bob and myself in Hartford, Connecticut.  We had strong attendance at UConn's Hartford-based Financial Accelerator facility. 

    An interesting L-shaped space, overlooking a simulated trading floor (you can see the top of it in the picture at left,) we had a great show with an engaged audience asking insightful questions and ducking errant orange ball throws in exchange.

    Portland, ME - 12/11

    On Tuesday we returned to our trusty location at techMAINE (formerly MESDA) in Westbrook.  As always, the room was packed with an attentive crowd, more than happy to help exhaust our supply of orange balls. 

    Great questions and a good day!

    Waltham, MA - 12/13

    A good (3/4) day of content followed by a not-so-good drive home.

    Though we worked through lunch and had planned a 3:00 finish, we still had to cut the day one session short since the snow arrived earlier than originally expected by the weather folks.

    THANK YOU to everyone who braved the weather to join us. 

    Bob and I especially hope that those of you who chose to stay through the last session arrived home safely and with as little hassle as possible.  If you had a long drive home, I'll commiserate with you.  Things got so bad on Route 20 that I ended up waiting it out halfway home and finally drove in late that night.

    Bob plans to record his session on Expression Studio that we had to cut and will post that when it's ready.

    I don't have the numbers handy, but I was definitely impressed by how many people came out for the show, knowing snow would join us at day's end.  Again, thanks for coming.

    Homework (for Me, not You)

    I have some questions that I collected from the Roadshow and will post answers as a FAQ later on.  If you have any other questions from the sessions, please feel free to ask!

    The Next Time...

    Look for us to return in March with a brand new name and a few format changes too (but don't worry, our senses of humor will remain intact (well, we think that's a good thing.))

    Enjoy the holidays and have a great new year!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Got Tech Posters?


    Have a blank wall (and access to your company's color printer)? 

    There are plenty of technology posters and charts for developers available on MSDN.  I didn't realize just how many until I searched for "poster" on MSDN downloads.

    Here's a list of the more recent ones:



  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    WPF-Based Yahoo Messenger for Vista Available


    vistapreview As a pretty cool example of the effects that are possible with Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Yahoo has just announced the availability of the preview release of Yahoo Messenger for Vista.

    Download it from:

    vista As of today, they've announced support for 64-bit Vista as well.


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  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Save the Dates - Northeast 2008 Launch Events Announced


    logo2_VSWe've just announced the schedule for the 2008 Launch Events across the country, following the kickoff event in Los Angeles on February 27th!  

    These events are a great way to learn about what's new with three major products, Visual Studio 2008, Windows Server 2008, and SQL Server 2008.  You'll have a chance to attend sessions, speak with experts, and test drive the software.

     logo2_WSHere are the in-person events for the northeast:

    • April 15  March 11:  Manchester, NH
    • March 18:  Boston, MA
    • April 17:  Hartford, CT
    • March 20  May 13:  Albany, NY
    • May 15:  Rochester, NY

    logo2_SQLRegistration will be available soon is now available for most events.  Details are on the Heroes Happen Here site.


    [Update 1/11 - Noted registration is open and corrected changed dates (thanks John Ross!)]

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Waltham InstallFest Registration Open


    The gates are open for you to register for the December 12th combined Boston .NET User Group holiday social and Visual Studio 2008 InstallFest in Waltham, MA!

    Just head over to the Boston .NET User Group site for more information!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Visual Studio 2008 InstallFests in the Northeast!


    VS08-pro_h_rgb_thumb Visual Studio 2008 has now been released to manufacturing, and as a "thank you" to the community, we're collaborating with area user groups to host a series of Visual Studio InstallFests. 

    I'm happy to announce that we'll have four InstallFests in the Northeast over the coming two weeks!

    • 12/4 - Rochester, NY
    • 12/6 - Burlington, VT
    • 12/10 - Hartford, CT
    • 12/12 - Waltham, MA

    Partnering with area user groups, we're offering attendees a chance to install the release version Visual Studio 2008, enjoy some food, conversation, and gaming!  Since the packaged product hasn't been released yet, here's what will happen:

    • Bring your laptops (or heck, a desktop!) and your festive selves
    • Grab a DVD with the Visual Studio 2008 Pro Trial Edition bits
    • Install and be happy
    • Play some Halo 3 or Guitar Hero, munch on some food, chat with people
    • Go home and enjoy VS2008
    • ...wait...
    • When the packaged product ships, you'll get a copy of Visual Studio 2008 Professional in the mail!  (Which will *not* require a reinstall of the trial version.)

    zune-8gb-thumb As an added incentive to get VS2008 installed that evening, we're giving away T-shirts and raffling off a new 8GB Zune among the people who get VS2008 on their machines!

    "Free Sounds Good!  So, Where?  When?  How Do I Sign Up?"

    You may notice that the events are generally on our MSDN Roadshow days (except for Waltham, where the Roadshow will be the following day.)  That's of course no coincidence, we'd like to take advantage of our passing through various areas in the northeast to run these special events. 

    Each event has its own timing, registration, and logistics, detailed below.

    As you can guess, we have limited quantities of giveaways (and "free" always draws a crowd) so we can't guarantee everyone will walk away with something.


    Rochester, NY
    December 4th, 4:30 to 6:30 PM
    RIT, Building 70, Room 1400,
    20 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY
    In partnership with Visual Developers of Upstate New York (VDUNY)
    and the NJ/NY Microsoft Developers Group

    Right after the Roadshow ends, we'll jump into the InstallFest, staying in the same room on the RIT campus we're using for the Roadshow.  The event will run from about 4:30 to 6:30 (at which time we encourage you to head downtown and check out Digital Rochester's Festivus!)

    Priority for giveaways will be given to everyone who attends (not just registers for) the Rochester Roadshow event.  Remaining materials are available, while they last, to any walk-ins.

    Burlington (Williston), VT
    December 6th, 4:15 to 6:00 PM
    Vermont Technical College, 201 Lawrence Place, Room 401, Williston, VT
    In partnership with the Vermont .NET User Group

    Like Rochester, we're running this InstallFest in the same room as the Roadshow event that day.  Stay with us from 4:15 until 6:00 and enjoy some food, camaraderie, and gaming.

    Priority for giveaways will be given to everyone who attends (not just registers for) the Burlington Roadshow event.  Remaining materials are available, while they last, to any walk-ins.

    Hartford (Farmington), CT
    December 10th, 6:00 to 8:00 PM
    Microsoft, 74 Batterson Park Road, Farmington, CT
    In partnership with the Connecticut .NET User Group

    Though there's a Roadshow event that day at UConn in Hartford, we're holding the InstallFest down the road at the Farmington Microsoft office.

    You must register by sending a note to [CTDOTNET [at] gmail [dot] com].  Remaining materials will be available while they last to people who have not RSVPed.

    Waltham, MA
    December 12th, 5:30 - 8:00 PM
    Microsoft, 201 Jones Road, 6th Floor, Waltham, MA
    In partnership with the Boston .NET User Group

    The InstallFest is being held as the traditional holiday pot luck social event for the Boston .NET User Group. 

    So, remember to bring food or drink to share with others!

    Registration is required and will be available soon is available now via the Boston .NET User Group web site

    The event is now on waitlist registration.  You can still register, but copies of VS2008 will be made available to waitlisted people at 7:00 if some of the first 150 people are no-shows.

    "I Have a Question..."

    No problem, ask away (in the comments or directly to me,) but first check out my Texas-based colleague Chris Koenig's great summary of the events for that area.  Many of the same details apply to our events.

    See you at the Roadshows and InstallFests!



  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    GameDev Day '07 Agenda and Additions


    GameDev Day '07 is this Saturday at Harvard and I'm very pleased with how well the agenda has come together.  We have an incredibly strong group of presenters from the gaming industry with interesting sessions throughout the day.

    emersonmap First, a change in logistics.  We are now in Emerson Hall (room 105), which is right next door to our original Sever Hall.

    Second LifeIn exciting news, we're going to be joined by Kent Quirk and John Lester from Linden Lab (makers of Second Life) to speak about virtual worlds and technology!

    Add to Kent and John our lineup of Dan Scherlis, Mark Mullin, Michael Cummings, Darius Kazemi and Derek Horton, and it's going to be a great day!

    Full details are here:

    There's a cool flyer that Edwin put together as well.

    Session agenda:

    XNA_310:15 - Welcome and Announcements (Edwin Guarin and Chris Bowen)
    10:25 - Introduction to XNA (Edwin and Chris)
    10:50 - Creating Your First XNA Game (Michael Cummings)
    12:00 - Pizza & Open Gaming
    12:50 - Creating Games - What *Really* Goes on Under the Covers (Mark Mullin and Dan Scherlis)
    2:00 - Blurring the Boundaries: CSI, Second Life and You (Kent Quirk and John Lester, Linden Lab)
    3:00 - Gaming Industry Q&A Panel (Dan Scherlis, Mark Mullin, Michael Cummings, Kent Quirk, Darius Kazemi).

    See you on Saturday!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    New Deitel Resource Centers: ASP.NET 3.5, LINQ, Popfly, WPF, and SharePoint


    Deitel recently released more topics of interest to .NET developers in their excellent Resource Center series

    Created to help you find articles, tutorials, blogs, downloads, FAQs, and more, here are the new centers:

    I find these valuable since they're not simply lists of links.  Most resources have brief descriptions of each item written by someone who has taken the time to review the resource. 

    Worth a look!


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  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Waltham Roadshow Registration Limit Increased


    A note for those of you who recently tried to register for the December 13th Bob & Chris' MSDN Roadshow in Waltham, only to find it had (quickly!) sold out.  We've just increased the capacity (we've got all three MPR's), so please try to register again.

    See you for the Roadshow!


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  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    C# Day Goes Virtual on December 8th in Second Life


    Why should we keep all the fun for ourselves here in New England?  Michael de la Maza is taking his successful C# Day series to the virtual world of Second Life!

    I've blogged about Microsoft and Second Life before, but now we'll have one of our own northeast volunteers running an event in association with the Second Life .NET Users Group on Visual Studio Island.

    Full details are at, and the event runs from 9:00 - 4:00 (SLT = Second Life Time = Pacific Standard Time = PST) on the lower level of Visual Studio Island.  Here's the agenda:

    9:00am - 9:30am - Ice breakers
    9:30am - 10:00am - C# Language Discovery
    10:00am - 11:00am - C# Language Cocktail Party
    11:00am - 11:30am - Knowledge organization and self-reflection
    11:30am - 12:00pm - Starting a new project in Visual Studio/C# Express
    12:00pm - 1:00pm - Lunch
    1:00pm - 1:45pm - C# Program Discovery
    1:45pm - 2:45pm - C# Program Cocktail Party
    2:45pm - 3:15pm - Knowledge organization and self-reflection
    3:15pm - 4:00pm - InnerWorkings

    The great part is you don't have to travel to participate in this C# Day.  Just install the software (check the event site for details) and log in.  Nobody has to know you're in your PJs.

    You can get to Visual Studio Island by searching for "Visual Studio Island" in-world.

    If the virtual world isn't to your liking, Michael will be running the next "real world" C# Day in January of February.  Keep your eye on this blog or the C# Day site for details.

    See you in Second Life!


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  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Visual Studio 2008 and Training Kit Released!


    Visual Studio 2008 & .NET 3.5

    We've just announced the RTM (release to manufacturing) of Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5!  MSDN subscribers can download the English versions now, plus there are trial editions and the Express editions available as well.

    Where to get it?  Visit the Visual Studio Developer Center.

    It's going to be a big blogging day.  Check out some detail posts:

    Visual Studio 2008 Training Kit

    We've also released a fantastic resource (that was formerly only available within Microsoft) for developers to learn about Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5.  Download the Visual Studio 2008 Training Kit, which contains many presentations, hands-on labs, and demos covering a variety of topics (including LINQ, C# 3.0, VB 9, and much more.)

    Videos from the presentations are also working their way onto Channel 9.  David Aiken has a helpful post with more details.

    Learn More at the Roadshow!

    If you live the in the northeastern U.S., you can also learn about Visual Studio 2008, LINQ, and more by coming to one of our Roadshow events in December.


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  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    GameDev Day '07 Boston - XNA, Gaming, and Game Development


    XNA Like games?  Wonder how they're made?  Want to know how to make them yourself?

    Emerson Hall, HarvardCome to GameDev Day '07, a free event being hosted at Harvard University on December 1st, sponsored by Microsoft in association with the Harvard Interactive Media Group (HIMG).

    The Details

    What:  GameDev Day '07 Boston
    Who:  ANYONE - students, professionals, enthusiasts - interested in learning about how games are made and the gaming industry
    When:  Saturday, December 1st, 10 AM - 4 PM
    Where:  Harvard University [directions],
    Emerson Hall [map], Room 105 (Note that we moved from Sever Hall)
    Cost:  Free
    Registration:  None, but if you're on Facebook, add yourself to the event's page!

    Game Development Sessions

    • Presentations on game development topics
    • Second Life Learn about virtual worlds like Second Life (from the company that created it!) and their effect on the real world
    • Learn to create games for the XBOX 360 and PCs with (the free) XNA Game Studio Express 

    Gaming Industry Experts

    • halo3Open Q&A Panel
    • Advice on getting to game development
    • Careers in the Boston area

    Open Gaming

    • Play Halo 3 and Guitar Hero on XBOX Elites

    Pizza and Giveaways

    • Halo 3
    • Project Gotham Racing 4
    • Gears of War
    • Flight Simulator X Deluxe [PC]

    The Agenda

    10:15 - Welcome and Announcements (Edwin Guarin and Chris Bowen)
    10:25 - Introduction to XNA (Edwin and Chris)
    10:50 - Creating Your First XNA Game (Michael Cummings)
    12:00 - Pizza & Gaming
    12:50 - Creating Games - What *Really* Goes on Under the Covers (Mark Mullin and Dan Scherlis)
    2:00 - Blurring the Boundaries: CSI, Second Life and You (Kent Quirk and John Lester, Linden Lab)
    3:00 - Gaming Industry Q&A Panel (Dan Scherlis, Mark Mullin, Michael Cummings, Kent Quirk, Darius Kazemi)

    We're going to have a great time!  See you there!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Bob and Chris' MSDN Roadshow - December Edition



    It's that time again!  Bob and I will be heading back out in December for our fourth Roadshow series, bringing another batch of technical goodness to cities across the northeast (hopefully in time to beat the snow!)

    If you haven't been to one of our events before, the B&C Roadshow is all about high signal and low noise technical content, and, so we're told, our world-class senses of humor.  Relax and spend the day with us as we dive into a variety of development and architecture topics.

    While the cities remain the same as last time, we've changed three of the venues (Rochester, Burlington, and Hartford,) so please note the locations carefully!

    IntroducingMicrosoftSilverlight_Continuing our proud tradition of bribing, er, rewarding our audiences with giveaways, we plan to give everyone who submits an evaluation a free copy of "Introducing Microsoft Silverlight 1.0" by Laurence Moroney.  (I'll say "plan" until I physically see them in my garage.)

    Each event is begins with registration at 8:30 and content from 9:00 to 4:00 (lunch included.)  Here's our schedule, with registration links:

    Register soon since some locations have "sold out" in the past.

    Here's the agenda for each event:

    8:30-9:00 AM - Registration

    9:00-10:25 AM - Visual Studio 2008: The Accelerated AP/Honors Class

    Visual Studio 2008 is here, there's a lot to talk about, and we're not afraid to tackle it all at once! We'll assume you know Visual Studio and just want to hear about the deltas, so no lectures here. You'll see demos aplenty, including new features for web developers: new ASP.NET controls, integrated AJAX, CSS tools, nested master pages, JavaScript IntelliSense and debugging. New features for Windows developers: Client Application Services, WPF integration, WinForm/WPF interop, and Office development. Plus new features for everyone: unit testing, debugging to .NET Framework code, multi-targeting, and improvements for WCF & WF. We're covering a lot of ground, class, so pull out those Trapper Keepers and take good notes.

    10:25-10:35 AM - Take a break and head to your lockers before the next period

    10:35 AM -12:00 PM - The Multi-Tenant Data Architecture

    In this session, we'll investigate the foundation for highly scalable Software as a Service (SaaS) based solutions, the Multi-Tenant Data Architecture. This approach to data architecture deals with the continuum between isolated data and shared data. We will also identify three distinct approaches for creating data architectures that fall at different places along this continuum. Next, we'll explore some of the technical and business factors to consider when deciding which approach to use. Finally, we'll look at design patterns for ensuring security, creating an extensible data model, and scaling the data infrastructure. Normally we come up with some clever attempt at humor in these descriptions but let's face it.Multi-Tenant Data Architecture is not a laughing matter. This is a very serious topic that deserves the utmost respect and decorum... stop giggling. I mean it!

    12:00-12:45 PM - Lunch. Your data architecture scales, how about your appetite?

    12:45-2:10 PM - "You Are the Strongest LINQ!": Effective Language Integrated Query

    LINQ (Language Integrated Query) is a unified approach for querying data using coding syntax that remains consistent regardless of the data source. It WILL change the way you work as a developer and architect and this session will help you on your way to using it effectively. To understand how LINQ works, we'll first navigate the new features of C# 3.0 and VB 9.0 that enable LINQ functionality. Then, we'll dive into .NET 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008 to explore the various realms of LINQ: Datasets, XML, Database/SQL, in-memory objects, and more. By the end of this session, you'll have a solid understanding of how LINQ works and what it can do for your applications. If development were a game show, and clearly some days it can feel like one, understanding LINQ will help to keep you from being voted off early.

    2:10-2:20 PM - Relax and chat with your fellow winners

    2:20-3:45 PM - Expression Studio for the Designer-Wannabe

    Are you a closet designer? Do you wish you could grow a decent goatee and look good in turtlenecks? Well that may never happen but you can become proficient with Expression Studio and get invited to the beautiful people parties. Expression Studio is made up of 5 products that together provide a PC based toolset for designers that allow them to work in lock step with developers who are using Visual Studio. In this session, we will get an understanding of the purpose of each of the 5 products: Expression Web, Expression Blend, Expression Design, Expression Media and Expression Encoder. Then we will dive deeper into Expression Web (CSS) and Expression Blend (WPF/Silverlight) demonstrating the design and application of CSS and XAML.

    3:45-4:00 PM - Wrap-up. Have designs on our giveaways? Just express yourself with an evaluation!

    Register today and we'll see you on the road!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    C# Day in Waltham Tomorrow! (November 13)


    csharpday1A reminder that Michael de la Maza is running his well-received C# Day event at the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA tomorrow from 8:30-4:00.

    There's still room available if you're interested (but RSVPs are required,) so head to for more information and to sign up!

    It's a great way to learn C# in a relaxed environment (and the price of "free" is great!)


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