Chris Bowen's Blog

Development Practices, Tools, Technology, and Community

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  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    The New Hampshire .NET User Group is Back!

    • 1 Comments

    Pat Tormey, who runs the New Hampshire .NET User Group, just sent word that the group has a new site and new plans:

    We're Re-Grouping New Hamphire DotNet User Group at our new site and we could use some advice from you.

    Could you drop in at http://www.nhdn.com and tell us where you'd like to meet, what evening works best for you, and what technology piques your interest these days.

    Then please register at www.nhdn.com for New Hamphire DotNet User Group. And stay tuned for our Grand Launch of VS 2008, SQL 2008 and Windows 2008.

    So check out the group's site and cast your vote to help determine the direction the group will take!

    -Chris

    P.S.  Pat also mentioned that he's created a series of Smart Client videos:

    I've also posted a whole series of SmartClient Videos at http://nhdn.com/DNN/VSVideoTraining/tabid/72/Default.aspx

    These videos were developed for http://windowsclient.net/ and there are dozens more free video training session with both VB and C# source code there.

    And if you want to hear more on this from Pat in person, check out his "WinForms and Smart Client Development" talk at Code Camp!

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Boston XNA July 23rd Meeting on 2D Role Playing Game Development

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    bostonxna 

    The Boston XNA Developers Group is an open user group for anyone interested in learning about game development with the .NET-based XNA framework.  Attendance is open and everyone is welcome, including students and parents with their programming-interested children.

    RPG Starter KitTomorrow night (July 23rd at 6:00 in Waltham), we're kicking off a multiple month look at the 2D Role Playing Game starter kit that's freely available from the XNA Creators Club site.  We'll look at some of the approaches and practices used by the initial version of the game, then walk through adding a few new extensions to the game.

    We'll keep this topic going as all or part of each meeting going forward, encouraging anyone in the group to add new features and to give an informal show-and-tell of the new feature and how it was done.

    Who knows what kind of magic we'll have created after a few months?

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Volunteers Needed for Connecticut .NET UG

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    SB Chatterjee of the Connecticut .NET User Group just sent the following across the wire:

    CTDOTNET is expanding - more events & more attendees need more organization.  Volunteer! 

     

    We need:

    • Treasurer - Keep track of donations & sponsorship payments & costs)
    • Event Management - New speakers, Sponsorships, Event Notifications, etc.
    • Survey Management - Feedback surveys from events.
    • Web-Master/Web-Goddess - Manage our website

    Drop us a line at (ctdotnet @at@ gmail .dot. com) if any of the above interests you.

    A great way to get involved, give back to the developer community, and make some great contacts along the way.  Believe me, I know of what I speak!

     

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    June Boston XNA Meeting Canceled

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    Unfortunately, tonight's (6/23) meeting for the Boston XNA Developers Group will have to be canceled.  A last-minute scheduling problem has come up, so we're going to punt on this month's meeting.

    We'll continue as usual with the July meeting.

    If you're new to the group, the content of these meetings remains very approachable even if you're brand new to XNA and games development, so come on down!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Imagine Cup 2009 US Finals in Boston!

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    ImagineCupBanner

    Students from all over the United States are gathering to compete in the US finals of this year’s Imagine Cup, hoping for a chance to join the best of the best from around the globe in the world finals in Cairo, Egypt.

    ImagineCupHome

    The Imagine Cup is a yearly technology-based problem solving competition bringing students together to face challenges and open new doors.

    Want to see more?  There’s a great video showing the amazing excitement this competition offers.

    Want to see more in person?  The US Finals are happening this weekend, right here in Cambridge, MA, and you can join in the fun by coming to the US Imagine Cup Community Showcase on May 4th.  Here’s how:

    Now in its seventh year, Microsoft Imagine Cup is a global student technology competition that inspires students to use technology to make the world a better place by addressing its toughest challenges as defined by the UN Millennium GoalsMicrosoft is pleased to host the 2009 US Imagine Cup final competitions in Cambridge, MA.  15 student teams will be coming from universities across the county to experience a week in the innovation capital of the world – Cambridge.  While here, students will attend an innovation and entrepreneurship workshops, present their projects to a judging panel of local technology luminaries, and showcase their ideas to the local technology community.

    The US Imagine Cup team invites you to join us for the

    US Imagine Cup Community Showcase
    May 4, 2009 at 6:00 PM
    One Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 02142 – 1st Floor
    Light refreshments will be served!
    Driving Directions

    The Community Showcase welcomes members of the Boston community to come into New England Research and Development and to spend an evening interacting with students, and witness firsthand the passion for technology and inspiration for solving tough problems that the students exhibit.

     

    This event is the highlight of the student experience of the Imagine Cup, come and see what the future of technology holds!

    ImagineCupLogoFor a glimpse into the impact this has had on students, take a look at Journeys and Success Stories, showing just a few the many teams (and dreams) involved in the competition.

    See you there!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Greater Buffalo IT/Dev Day – July 21

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    As Northeast Roadshow attendees know, our usual stop in western NY is Rochester (in fact we just returned from a great event there on Friday!)  It’s always good to see the people who make the trip from Buffalo to attend, so I’m glad to say we have an event where Buffalo is the center of attention!

    BuffaloITDevMSDN and TechNet, in partnership with the Western NY .NET Users Group, are running a free Greater Buffalo IT/Dev Day on July 21st at Daemen College in Amherst, NY.

    Shamelessly copied from Jim’s post:

    This IT/Dev Day comprises separate TechNet Unleashed and MSDN Unleashed events, with morning TechNet sessions focused on the IT Professional audience, and afternoon MSDN sessions geared toward the .NET developer audience.  Attendees at either event (or both events!) are welcome to stay - or come early as the case may be - for a light lunch courtesy of our sponsor, PSI Professional Support Inc.

    In addition to the great content outlined below, all attendees will receive a copy of the Windows 7 Release Candidate media!!

    Greater Buffalo IT/Dev Day
    Tuesday, July 21, 2009

    107 Schenck Hall
    Daemen College
    4380 Main Street
    Amherst, NY 14226

    TechNet

            

    MSDN

    8:30am - 12pm
    Lunch 12pm - 1pm

    Register Here

     

    1pm - 4:30pm
    Lunch 12pm - 1pm

    Register Here

     

    Moving to the Modern OS Roadmap

    In this welcome session, we will discuss some of the key challenges IT professionals face in today’s economy.  We’ll talk about scenarios with Windows 2000 and Windows XP and the importance of moving to a modern OS.  In addition, we will cover Windows Vista and improvements that have been made with SP2 as well as review guidance concerning Windows Vista deployments.

     

     

    Developing Cloud Applications with Windows Azure

    Cloud computing is one of more recent buzzwords in software development, and Microsoft has thrown its hat in the ring with Windows Azure and the Azure Services Platform.  You’ll discover what makes Microsoft’s unique Software + Services approach tick through discussions and demonstrations of key components like Azure storage, the .NET Service Bus, Live Services, and SQL Data Services.

     

    Windows Security and Application/Driver Compatibility

    This session discusses security, data protection with the new “Bitlocker-To-Go”, rich support tools like Reliability Monitor, Resource Monitor, Windows Recovery Environment, and the new System Restore and Problem Steps Recorder. We will also cover application control using group policy and implement simple rule structures that include working with an application to Allow, Exception or Deny the installation. We’ll also discuss Group Policy Preferences and how users can change their own policy settings.

     

    Developing Rich Internet Applications with Silverlight

    Silverlight is the technology of choice for building applications with rich features and broad reach.  Using Silverlight 2 today, we’ll show you what you can accomplish with .NET and XAML to deliver a great user experience.  Then, we’ll up the ante with a preview of Silverlight 3 including out-of-browser support and productivity and performance enhancements.  We’ll also take a look at some of the great features in Expression Blend 3, sure to please your designer side.

     

    Windows 7 Release Candidate

    The way Microsoft develops Windows has changed. We’ll discuss the changes we have made in Windows Vista that affect Windows 7, such as hardware, and new features that work with Windows Server 2008 R2 like DirectAccess™, which provides seamless remote access to corporate network resources. We also will cover BranchCache ™, which caches content downloaded from file and web servers; users in the branch can quickly open files stored in the cache, which frees up network bandwidth for other uses.

     

    Developing applications with Windows Mobile

    With worldwide mobile phone shipments predicted to grow at a 31% rate in 2009, there’s no time like the present to bring your applications to Windows Mobile.  In this session we’ll discuss the components of the Windows Mobile Platform, notably the Compact Framework and SDK, and use familiar tools and constructs in Visual Studio to build and deploy a mobile application from the ground up.  There’s also a look forward to some of the great features coming in Windows Mobile 6.5.

    A very special thanks to the event sponsors below for making it possible to bring this event to the Buffalo area!

     PSI

     redgate

    wrox 

     telerik

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    PDC 2009 Registration Now Open

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    PDC09 A quick post to let you know that registration has just opened for the 2009 PDC (Professional Developer Conference) November 17-19 in Los Angeles.

    http://microsoftpdc.com

    You get $500 off if you register by Sept. 15th.

    There’s a lot to talk about at this PDC, and I hope to be able to attend as well!

    -Chris

    P.S.  You can also follow PDC updates on Twitter @PDC09.

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Speaking on Enterprise Library at Beantown .NET UG on 10/4

    • 3 Comments

    I'll be in Boston tomorrow night (10/4), giving a talk about the Patterns & Practices group and Enterprise Library for the Beantown .NET User Group.  If you're in the Boston area and are interested in learning about how Enterprise Library can help with your development efforts, drop by for a listen!

    The meeting runs from 6-8:00 PM.

    More details and directions are at http://www.beantowndotnet.org

    See you there!

    -Chris

    Technorati tags: , , ,
  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Waltham Geek Gathering on Monday (12/15)

    • 1 Comments

    PIC-0031 We'll be descending upon Watch City Brewing in Waltham, MA on Monday (after running the 200+ reg. Northeast Roadshow developer event).  Just an informal chance to gather to chat with fellow developers and enjoy a brew.

    • When?  Monday, 12/15, starting around 4:30 until 6:30+
    • Where?  Watch City Brewing, 256 Moody Street, Waltham, MA [1-click directions]
    • Who?  Tech folks of all types are welcome.  Feel free to drop by, exchange thoughts, grab a beer, and network.

    We'll probably end up at the high tables in the back on the left-hand side when you come in.  Look for geeks, that'll be us.

    -Chris

    P.S.  Here's their current tap list.

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    BarCampManchester 4 on September 26

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    BarCampManchester For tech folks in and near New Hampshire, this weekend’s BarCampManchester 4 will be a great opportunity to learn, share, and network.

    BarCamp will be Saturday, September 26th from 9:30 – 4:30 at UNH Manchester and registration is free.

    Like other BarCamps, it will be an “unconference”, with an attendee- participant-driven experience that encourages everyone to share insights and interests.  (See also “Rules” of BarCamp, and tips on what to expect.)

    See you there!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Boston XNA Developers Group Meeting Wednesday 2/27

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    bostonxna A reminder that the first meeting of the shiny new Boston XNA Developers Group (http://bostonxna.org) will be this Wednesday, February 27th, from 6-8 PM at the Microsoft offices at 201 Jones Road (6th Floor) in Waltham, MA.

    The group is open to everyone and no background in game development is required - just a passion for games and coding.

    The first meeting will center on a broad introduction to game development with XNA for Windows and Xbox 360.  We'll also have plenty of hot-off-the-press XNA news to discuss, straight from the Game Developers Conference.

    I look forward to seeing you there!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    New Hampshire .NET UG Returns on May 15th!

    • 1 Comments

    MCj01896110000[1]As I mentioned in an earlier post, Pat Tormey has been hard at work revitalizing the New Hampshire .NET User Group.  I'm happy to pass along word that the group has great new meeting location at Daniel Webster College in Nashua, NH and will be having it's first meeting on May 15th!

    The meeting will feature an "Overview of the AJAX Control Toolkit", given by Phil Denoncourt:

    AJAX is an way to make websites more interactive and  responsive. It's powerful and easy to use.  The AJAX control toolkit is a set of controls that use AJAX and wrap common UI scenarios.  Cascading dropdowns, Auto completing textboxes, in-page popups, hovering menus and dynamically populated textboxes are some of the controls we'll go over.
     
    No AJAX experience is required.

    There will also be a session on "What's new and important in VS 2008" given by none other than Pat himself:

    First Look at the Table Adapter Manager and possibly a little WPF with MS Expression Blend

    The NHDN site has the details and a mailing list for group updates.

    Should be a great meeting!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    XamlFest Boston: Come As You Are, Leave Xamlized

    • 1 Comments

    WPF Are you excited about the WPF but concerned about the learning curve?  Have you seen Silverlight but don’t know where to get started?  Or are you curious about how tools like Visual Studio and Expression Blend help designers and developers work together to deliver great user experiences? If so, join us at XamlFest!

    XamlFest is a two day interactive event where you’ll learn about the platforms the tools and processes used to deliver differentiated user experiences. It’s a chance for you to mingle with UX minded Microsoft folks as well as industry leading design integrators.  It’s also an opportunity to pick up a free copy of Visual Studio 2008 and Expression Studio 2 for you attendance.

    Each XamlFest day will start with interactive sessions by Microsoft and our design partners, followed by a free lunch and a chance to network, have some fun and win prizes. Each afternoon will be geared toward assisted development with instructor-led walkthroughs, or, better yet, come with your own project in mind and we’ll help kick start your very own proof of concept!

    PLEASE NOTE:  Each attendee will need a laptop to take part in the assisted development sessions.

    Dates

    Thursday & Friday December 11th and 12th.

    Venue

    Microsoft Technology Center

    890 Winter Street Suite 100

    Waltham, MA 02451

    [Directions]

    Agenda

    Date Time Topic
    Thursday, 12/11 9:00 AM Introduction to WPF, Xaml, Expression Blend
      10:30 AM Break
      10:45 AM Building Visually Rich Applications: The role of the Integrator in building designable applications
      12:00 PM Lunch, Mingle, Prizes
      1:00 PM Instructor-led WPF walkthrough and assisted development
      3:00 PM Assisted Development
      5:00 PM End of Day 1
    Friday, 12/12 9:00 AM Introduction to Silverlight, Data Binding, LINQ
      10:30 AM Break
      10:45 AM

    Platform Centric Design Best Practices: Creating WPF and Silverlight XAML for Web and Local Client Solutions

      12:00 Lunch, Mingle, Prizes
      1:00 Instructor-led Silverlight walkthrough and assisted development
      3:00 Assisted development
      5:00 XamlFest Ends

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q. What if I don’t have Visual Studio?

    A. No problem, every attendee leaves with Visual Studio 2008 Pro!

    Q. What if I don’t have Expression Blend?

    A. Again, no problem! Everyone leaves with Expression Studio 2.

    Q. What if I don’t have an idea for a starter project?

    A. We’d like you to leave with something personal, but if nothing comes to mind that’s OK too. It’s the main reason we’re planning a few guided sessions where you can fallow along with us. These sessions should take no more than two hours, so if something sparks your interest you’ll still have time left for assisted development.

    Q. What if I don’t have a laptop?

    A. You can still participate in the training in the mornings and lunch, but assisted development in the afternoon is a harder problem to solve. We have no problem with people pairing up, so you might want to check with friends or co-workers to see if they’re interested.

    Q. Can I just come for the training and skip assisted development?

    A. XamlFest is about empowering designers and developers to deliver great user experiences and we believe a key component is hands-on assisted development. If you are unable to participate in the afternoon sessions please wait until the day before the event to register. This will give others the opportunity to sign up first, and if there’s still space available you’re welcome to join us.

    XamlFest -- Come as you are, leave Xamlized.

    Registration

    Space is extremely limited, so we ask that you please register only if you fully expect to be able to attend.  Register by contacting xamlfest-boston@live.com.

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Today's Maine Developer Network WCF Presentation Postponed

    • 2 Comments

    What's with this white stuff outside my window in April?  Well, apparently there's much more of it up in Maine, so we're going to postpone my WCF presentation for the Maine Developer Network today.

    The new date will be exactly one week out, same place, same time - Thursday, April 12th from 1:30 to 3:30 at the Deering Building (on Route 9 / Hospital Street) in Augusta, ME.

    Check out the Maine Developer Network newsletter for directions.

    See you then!

    -Chris

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