Chris Bowen's Blog

Development Practices, Tools, Technology, and Community

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    VB Day on May 27th (Waltham, MA)


    There are still a few more seats available for the VB.NET Day event coming up on May 27th in Waltham, MA, from 9:00 to 3:30.  Following on the success of his C# Day series (both in person and in Second Life), Michael de la Maza is offering a VB-focused version of this day-long, participatory learning experience. 

    The description from Michael's site:

    Join us for a relaxed, no cost introduction to VB.NET programming. By engaging in participatory activities, you will learn some of the most common and powerful features of the VB.NET language. This day is not lecture-based. There will be fewer than 60 minutes of lecture material -- almost all of the time will be spent on participant-guided activities. Everyone who attends will learn what interests them at their own pace in a relaxed, tension-free environment with an experienced VB.NET developer and trainer available to answer questions.

    RSVPs are required and details are here.


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Special geekSpeak on Developing Silverlight Games on May 27th


    AndyBeaulieu The Northeast’s very own Andy Beaulieu (Silverlight guru, MVP, CNY .NET UG Lead, etc.) is connecting with Jim O’Neil and Glen Gordon to share details about developing games with Silverlight!

    GeekSpeakThis episode in the MSDN geekSpeak series is May, 27th (tomorrow) from 3:00-4:00 PM EST, and features an open “radio show” style, where you can ask whatever’s questions are on your mind.

    Register for the webcast here

    I’ve discussed Silverlight and game development with Andy before and had the pleasure of catching some of his presentations on the subject and can say he truly knows his stuff.  This promises to be a worthwhile and interesting webcast!


    BossLaunch P.S.  If you’re looking for a little stress relief, definitely check out Andy’s latest Silverlight game, called “Boss Launch”, that he recently unveiled!

    Just one of the many Silverlight games that Andy has written and made available for you to try.

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    DeepZoomPix Technology Demo


    DeepZoomPixLogo Released today, DeepZoomPix is an application that showcases a number of different technologies, including Windows Azure, Silverlight, Deep Zoom, and Expression.


    It demonstrates using Deep Zoom to process images, Windows Azure to store and distribute the images via cloud services, and Silverlight to explore content.  From the FAQ:

    What is DeepZoomPix?

    DeepZoomPix (DZP) is a web site that enables users to explore and share photos in a new and interactive way. DZP has three design goals for end-users:

    1. Make possible a “tactile” way of exploring and interacting with photographic images on the web.
    2. Enable a seamless experience for navigating large numbers of images regardless of Internet connection quality.
    3. Empower users to dynamically zoom in on photos without having to navigate to higher resolution versions.

    Make sure you read the details.  Of particular interest – it’s just a demo, it’s going away on December 31st (along with your creations), and stuff you add is public so be safe.

    It’s easy to use - I created a couple of albums very quickly - letting you upload pictures to albums (from local files, Facebook, Flickr, or an RSS/ATOM feed) and tag the content, then use the browser to scan through and DeepZoom in and out around your collection.

    Here’s a simple album I whipped up using low-res pictures from my mobile phone camera of our recent March Northeast MSDN Roadshow:

    Roadshow Album

    I’m sure you can create a better album using better pictures, head here to try it out.

    Interested in creating your own version of DeepZoomPix?  Turns out there’s a developer story here as well, so check out the DeepZoomPix Developer Resources page for a video and technology details.


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    New Expression Web Community-Based Wiki


    An MVP based here in the northeast, Kathleen Anderson has announced on her blog that there is a new Expression Web Wiki.  It features resources for learning and working with Expression Web, links to related blogs and sites, and more.


    As with other Wikis, it's open for editing by the community and I'm sure will become an even more valuable resource over time.

    Nice job, Kathleen!


    P.S.  If you're interested in keeping updated on Expression-related news, you can subscribe to the Expression Newsletter.

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Free SQL Server 2008 Event in Boston on November 12th


    SQL Server 2008Looking for the latest on SQL Server 2008?  Join Adam Machanic for a free event on November 12th in Boston where he'll spend the morning (8-12) sharing many details of SQL Server 2008:

    Learn more about SQL Server 2008 and the new enhanced capabilities of the product.  We’ll be exploring security and database management, how to best manage your data, and what’s new in business intelligence with SQL Server 2008.  Don’t miss this half day event that will give you a better understanding of what SQL 2008 has to offer and how you can best put it to use at your company.

    Adam is a recognized leader in the SQL Server community, helping with user groups, speaking at conferences, and running an informative blog.  This looks to be a worthwhile event!

    Register here


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Waltham Geek Gathering on Monday (12/15)


    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.


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

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Briefing in Waltham for Microsoft ProDev Partners


    There will be a half-day partner briefing event at the Microsoft Waltham office on April 14th for Microsoft Partners with a competency in building custom development solutions, or those with an interest in expanding their practice in that direction.

    The Field Evangelism Group will share with you the inner workings of their organization, the initiatives and big bets they are making this year - business and technology - and how they align with the greater worldwide Microsoft and Partner ecosystem.  


    • 8:30am - 9:00am: Registration and Breakfast
    • 9:00am - 9:15am: Welcome and Introductions
    • 9:15am - 10:00am: General Session: Navigating MSDN Field Evangelism Organization & Understanding Our Mission
    • 10:00am - 10:30am: Business Session: Big Bets for Success-Part 1: Application Lifecycle Management (ALM)
    • 10:30am - 10:45am: Break
    • 10:45am - 11:15am: Business Session: Big Bets for Success- Part 2: Software Plus Services (S+S)
    • 11:15am - 11:45am: Business Session: Big Bets for Success- Part 3: Web 2.0
    • 11:45am - 1:00pm: Networking Lunch


    Not in the New England area?  This briefing is being held at other locations in the eastern U.S. as well.


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    John Papa Speaking with Tech Valley and New Hampshire User Groups This Week


    John PapaJohn Papa (MSDN columnist, MVP, and INETA speaker) will be visiting the Northeast area and speaking on Silverlight with the Tech Valley .NET and New Hampshire .NET user groups:

    Session Description:

    Silverlight enables developers to use their .NET and XAML skills to develop Rich Internet Applications and to build data driven Silverlight applications that communicate with multi-tier architectures.

    This session will show how to build Silverlight 2 applications that communicate with and consume REST services and use LINQ to XML to manage XML content, show the various data binding techniques, and show how to use WCF to talk to various middle tier services including custom entity models and the Entity Framework.

    Two good opportunities to catch a great speaker!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Three Events in Upstate New York This Week (5/13 - 5/15)


    I'm getting ready to head out for a multi-event tour of upstate New York this week: 



    Tuesday, May 13th - 6:30 - 9:00
    Tech Valley .NET User Group - Albany, NY
    I'll be presenting on "Next-Generation UX Development with Silverlight and WPF"



    Wednesday, May 14th - 6:00 - 8:30
    Western NY .NET User Group - Buffalo, NY
    I'll be presenting on "LINQ and .NET 3.5 Language Enhancements"



    Thursday, May 15th (all day event)
    Heroes Happen Here Launch Event - Rochester, NY
    My session is on "Web Development with Visual Studio 2008".  I'll be joined by my Northeast Roadshow buddies, Bob Familiar and Jim O'Neil, who are also delivering sessions.


    That's plenty of driving, but it should be a lot of fun.  Hope those of you in the area can make an event or two!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Southern Connecticut Code Camp - Call for Speakers Open


    Great news for the northeast .NET community - We will soon have a new Code Camp option in southern Connecticut!  The Fairfield/Westchester .NET User Group is organizing a Code Camp for November 10th at UConn in Stamford, CT.

    Registration isn't open just yet, but sessions and speakers are actively being sought.

    Been thinking about giving presenting a try?  Code Camps are an excellent way to "break into" the speaking habit.  The atmosphere of a Code Camp is supportive and relaxed - perfect for first-time speakers (and veterans, too!)

    For more information, head to and volunteer!


    Technorati tags: ,
  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    First Buffalo Code Camp



    UPDATE (11/14):  The 11/22 date was problematic, so the organizers are now seeking a new date for Code Camp.  I'll blog/update when the new date is set.

    Buffalo, New York is getting in on Code Camp fever!  The Western NY .NET Users Group is hosting the first Buffalo Code Camp on Saturday, November 22nd (being rescheduled).

    Camp will be held from 8AM-5PM at the University of Buffalo, North Campus in Amherst.  [One click directions]

    Current details are on the WNY .NET User Group site.

    Code Camps

    So, what is a Code Camp?  The idea is explained in the Code Camp Manifesto, but essentially, they are events by the developer community, for the developer community.  Your fellow developers volunteer their time to speak on a variety of topics, and most of all, the events are always free.

    The organizers have been putting a lot of planning and hard work into this Camp, so I'm sure it will be something special!


    Registration is now open (again, it's free), and the group expects an overall attendance of 150-200 developers, so sign up today for a great chance to network and learn.

    Speaking Slots Available

    Interested in helping out by giving a session?  There are still openings available, so check the WNY .NET User Group site for details on volunteering.

    I'll be heading out there to be one of the speakers, and I hope to see you there!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Second Fairfield/Westchester Code Camp This Saturday (11/8)


    Fairfield / Westchester .NET User GroupA reminder that the Fairfield/Westchester .NET User Group will be hosting their Second Code Camp this Saturday, November 8th at the University of Connecticut campus in Stamford, CT:

    Over 150 people have registered as of today! We have 4 tracks with 6 sessions for a total of 24 presentations plus a lunch time chat with Richard Hale Shaw. Some of the best regional and local developers will be speaking on some excellent topics including the latest announcements from the Professional Developers Conference such as Cloud Services and Live Framework as well as LINQ, Entity Framework, Silverlight 2.0, WCF, MVC and more. The final schedule is attached.

    We have a number of prizes from Red Gate, Telerik, Infragistics, Jet Brains, Microsoft and more including a Zune and an Xbox

    If you have not already registered then register now.


    We will have doughnuts and coffee in the morning and pizza for lunch.

    Seating is limited and our focus is technology. No Recruiters, please.

    Definitely worth checking out if you're in the area!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Northeast XNA Game Developer Featured on CNN



    [Thanks to Lindsay for the heads-up!]

    Currently featured as the lead Tech story is an article featuring the Northeast's own James Silva and the story of his creation of a game called "Dishwasher: Dead Samurai" using XNA (coming later this year to Xbox Live Arcade.) 

    Way to go, James!

    Hailing from Utica, NY, James has received some recognition before this.  His game tied for first place in last year's "Dream. Build. Play." competition and he demoed it on stage at 2007's GameFest in Seattle.

    If you're interested the larger story, James has an article, "How I Became A Game Designer" (and part two) over on bit-tech.

    Now, let's see if we can get him to visit the Boston XNA Developers Group in the coming months.  It's only a few hours east on route 90, James.  :)


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Reminder - Fairfield/Westchester Code Camp Tomorrow (Nov. 10)


    For those of you in the southern Connecticut area, just a reminder that tomorrow (November 10th) is the first Fairfield/Westchester Code Camp.  There is a great lineup of speakers and sessions.

    I was just at the UConn Stamford facility this week (speaking with the Fairfield/Westchester .NET UG) and can say it's a great place for a code camp.  Breakout rooms, convenient parking, and of course a Starbucks nearby.

    Registration is still open, so consider dropping by for some good content, sharing, and networking.


    Technorati tags: , ,
  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    First Western NY Pro. Assoc. for SQL Server (PASS) Meeting on Sept. 11


    PASS Are you working with SQL Server in the western upstate NY?  I'm happy to pass (no pun intended) along word that the first meeting of the Western NY PASS (Professional Association for SQL Server) will be on September 11th in Buffalo, with a focus on disaster recovery techniques:

    We would like to invite you the 1st WNY Professional Association for SQL Server (WNY PASS) meeting!


    Please RSVP by replying to [events at wnypass dot org]  with your name, so we have an accurate count for food.


    Topics:  Disaster Recovery

    Speaker:  Jamie Smith
    Date:   9/11/2008
    Time:  6:00pm – 8:30pm

    Location:  KnowledgeAir (726 Exchange St, Suite 628 in the Larkin building).
    Food: Pizza and Pop (Courtesy of

    6:00 PM - 6:30 PM :: Food and Networking
    6:30 PM - 6:45 PM :: Announcements and Introductions
    6:45 PM - 7:30 PM :: Presentation Part I
    7:30 PM - 7:45 PM :: Food and Networking
    7:45 PM - 8:30 PM :: Presentation Part II (if needed) then giveaways

    Giveaways:  There will be more than what is listed below.

    Red Gate - 6 T-Shirts

    Culminis – Assorted Swag

    It's great to see the rapidly-growing tech community in Buffalo!  I hope you'll be able to show your support and attend.


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Northeast Roadshow Concludes This Week


    Northeast Roadshow logo

    This week we have the final two stops for our fifth Northeast Roadshow.

    June 10 - Rochester, NY
    Rochester Institute of Technology
    Building 70, Room 1400
    1 Lomb Memorial Dr., Rochester, NY

    Rochester is the essence of Roadshow - piling in the car and driving a combined 11 hours in two days, fueled by music, coffee, and snack food.  Add to that the great audience we always get, and it's all worthwhile!

    We're at the same auditorium as our December Roadshow, I believe it's called the Tom Golisano building.  Some people were concerned that there is construction planned for that building, but it won't affect us since it happens later in June.

    June 12 - Farmington, CT
    74 Batterson Park Rd.
    Farmington, CT

    Our final stop will be at the Microsoft office in Farmington.  Of course, since this is our last stop, you'll benefit from our "agile, iterative tuning" of content over all of our previous stops.  Not only will our content be even more polished (hard to believe, we know), but we'll have a better chance of knowing why our demos go awry!  <Appreciative Golf Clap/> 


    "Will There Be Room?"

    Yes, we're "sold out" at these events, but we'll probably have a higher than usual no-show rate due to the nice weather.  So, whether you're waitlisted or a walk-in, if you're willing to take a (hopefully small) chance of being turned away, come on down!  If we have a seat, it's yours!


    See you on the road!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Announcing SharePoint Saturday Boston – March 14th


    SharePoint Saturday BostonPart of a successful series of community-driven SharePoint events, SharePoint Saturday Boston will be held on March 14th, bringing area SharePoint professionals together to learn, share experiences, and network. 

    It’s an all day event, for the low price of FREE.

    From the SharePoint Saturday site:

    Join SharePoint architects, developers, and other professionals that work with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 for ‘SharePoint Saturday’, on Saturday, March 14th, 2009 at the Microsoft Office on Jones Road in Waltham, MA.  SharePoint Saturday will be an educational, informative & lively day filled with sessions from respected SharePoint professionals & MVPs, covering a wide variety of SharePoint-orientated topics.  SharePoint Saturday is FREE, open to the public and is your local chance to immerse yourself in SharePoint!

    Registration is opening soon now open at:


    Call for Speakers

    There are already some great speakers lined up, but the Call for Speakers is open, and it’s your chance to give back to the SharePoint community by sharing your knowledge with others.

    The tentative list of volunteer speakers includes:

    • Talbott Crowell
    • Mike Dwyer
    • Aaron Cutlip
    • Michael Cummings
    • Ian Dicker
    • Supriyo “SB” Chatterjee

    Have interesting ideas to share?  Please add your name to the list!

    Sponsors Needed

    This event relies on area companies to step up as sponsors to keep it free for attendees.  It’s a great way to get your company and brand in front of an extremely targeted audience of people interested in SharePoint services and products. 

    See the Sponsor page for details and please consider helping with food and other expenses.

    The Organizers

    Finally, many thanks to Talbott Crowell and Michael Lotter for putting together what should be a great learning and networking opportunity!


  • 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

    Congratulations to John Ross and Ron Thibeau, Community Super Heroes


    This Thursday, at the TechNet / MSDN event held in Boston, John Ross and Ron Thibeau were recognized for their outstanding support of both the IT pro and developer communities in the northeast with the first Community Super Hero Award.

    Ron Thibeau (left) and John RossHats off to my colleague Dan Stolts, (please see Dan's post on the award and presentation) who did the heavy lifting on this one.  He recognized that John and Ron were due recognition, arranged the gifts, and produced framed certificates signed by Dan, Blain Barton, Jim O'Neil, and myself.  [See the picture - Ron on the left, John on right.]

    Having known John and Ron for several years before I joined Microsoft, I have seen that they epitomize the volunteer ideal.  They are always ready to lend a hand and do so without having expectations in return. 

    From running the very helpful Boston User Groups site (which has a great calendar of upcoming events!), helping with countless user group meetings, coming in on weekends to help set up wiring for C# Days, to being a constant source of help for Code Camps, they deserve to be recognized and thanked.

    So, thank you to John and Ron!  It's people like you that make our technology community one of the best anywhere!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Speaking: RI on 4/1, Syracuse on 4/2, Code Camp on 4/5


    A quick note to post my speaking schedule for this week:

    • Tonight (4/1), I'll be at the Rhode Island .NET User Group in Bristol, RI, speaking with them about the web developer story with Visual Studio 2008. 
    • Tomorrow (4/2), I'll be with the Central NY .NET User Group in East Syracuse, NY, speaking about creating games for Windows and the Xbox 360 with XNA
      • BTW, on my way there, I'll be stopping by Morrisville State College, to speak with the student ACM chapter on best practices for security.
    • Saturday (4/5), I'll be giving roughly the same introductory XNA talk for Code Camp 9 in Waltham, MA.  (Which is almost "sold out" at 500 registrants!)

    Hope to see you at one of these events!


Page 22 of 23 (458 items) «1920212223