February, 2009

  • DaveDev

    Are you a .NET Developer looking for some “How Do I” videos on Cloud Computing?


    Cloud Computing has been generating a lot of interest as of late.  In this economy we are all looking at ways to reduce costs and increase performance.  But how do I get started as a .NET Developer on Windows Azure?  Check out the new “How Do I” videos around Windows Azure, Live Servers, and .NET Services that were just released on MSDN

    These types of videos will walk you through step by step on how to get started, code snippets, and how to perform some of the more common tasks all before having to download the bits.  Here is a break down:

    Windows Azure

    Get Started Developing on Windows Azure?

    If you’re a developer and you’re new to Windows Azure, start here! You’ll see what you need to download and install, and how to create a simple “Hello World” Windows Azure application.

    Deploy a Windows Azure Application

    You’ll see what it takes to move your application into the cloud – you’ll see how to request and register a token, how to upload your Windows Azure application and how to move it between staging and production in the cloud.

    Store Blobs in Windows Azure Storage?

    Learn how to leverage Windows Azure storage to store data as blobs. You’ll learn about blob storage, containers and the API that makes it easy to manage everything from managed code.

    Leverage Queues in Windows Azure?

    Learn how to use queues to facilitate communication between Web and Worker roles in Windows Azure.

    Debugging Tips for Windows Azure Applications

    The Windows Azure SDK includes a development fabric that provides a "cloud on your desktop." In this screencast, learn how to debug your Windows Azure applications in this environment.


    Live Services

    Get Started with the Live Framework?

    If you are looking to get started developing with the Live Framework, this is the place to start! In this screencast you'll learn how to get a Live Services token and what you need to download in order to start writing Live Framework applications.

    Use the Microsoft Live Framework Resource Browser?

    The Live Framework Resource Model is a simple, straightforward information model based on entities, collections and relationships. In this brief screencast you'll learn how to navigate the relationships between entities by using the Live Framework Resource Browser, which is a tool that ships with the Live Framework SDK.


    .NET Services

    Get Started with .NET Services?

    .NET Services are a set of highly scalable building blocks for programming in the cloud. In this brief screencast, you'll learn about the registration process, the SDK and the built-in samples - everything you need to know in order to get started.

    Harness the Microsoft .NET Service Bus?

    The .NET Service Bus makes it easy to access your Web services no matter where they are. In this brief screencast, you'll see how to take a basic Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) service and expose it to the Internet with the .NET Service Bus.

    Don’t forget too you can subscribe to the RSS Feed here to be notified when new videos are released.

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  • DaveDev

    Are you stuck behind a Firewall with no access to Twitter? Here’s the juicy bits in case you missed it!


    I still think I have one of the coolest jobs at Microsoft.  Not only do I get to speak my mind online, conferences, workshops and usergroups but I also get to go into actual customer accounts.  Which brings me to Twitter.  I know it sounds crazy to a lot of my Facebook, Twitter, and FriendFeed buds but many organizations still block sites like Twitter and Facebook.  Yup, completely blocked!  No to mention access to IM clients like the new Live Messenger.


    As someone who spent the last five years in a corporate environment “lockdown” before coming to Microsoft I can relate.  We all know that most of the really good information today comes from your fellow devs online via blogs, forums, twitter and sites like Channel9

       DaveDev-Facebook  DaveDev-TwiiterFeed DaveDev-XboxLive

    These technologies also interoperate allowing you to host feeds of your activities in one place.  My blog for example has my latest X-Box Live happenings, Facebook, Twitter and my Facebook status gets updated from my Twitter feeds.  Twitter has become THE place to post great links (most likely due to the 140 char limit) and I’m not just talking about humorous pop culture references.  Real juicy technical bits!  I recently was at an internal “Developer Day” at a large financial institution (the name would be very familiar to you if I mentioned it).  Out of 120+ people in the room only 5 were on twitter.   That is only 4%!  The other 96% of those guys aren’t seeing any of the links I’m posting.  They can’t even go look at the html page of my feed because the Twitter.com domain name is blocked!

    Realizing this I’ve decided to repost my technical links up on my blog.  I’ve left out my tweets about non-technical stuff or what’s going on in my personal life.  If you still want those bits you can find them up on Twitter.  But for everyone who has missed out here are some of the recent technical tweets going back to December that I think you’ll enjoy.  An “RT” means re-tweet and is a link someone else posted that I thought was important enough to share.  You can follow those people too by going to twitter.com and then their @name, for example twitter.com/mix09.

    Here is the list…

    Mike Swanson has updated the Adobe Illustrator to XAML Plug-In. Check it out! http://bit.ly/u2qe

    RT @MIX09: RT @ch9: Scott Guthrie On Silverlight, MIX09, Keynotes, Developers and Designers http://tinyurl.com/czx82s

    RT @Veronica: Apple vs. Palm: the in-depth analysis http://bit.ly/ypEc

    RT @shanselman: *Wow*,REALLY nice WPF ClickOnce Twitter Client via @blackgold9 http://snurl.com/chirp (.net 3.5 sp1 use http://bit.ly/QxNi8)

    RT @adkinn: 6 Things I Bet You Didn't Know About Data Binding in WPF from Nate Zaugg http://ff.im/-Ig00

    Microsoft Surface - Retail Banking Demo http://bit.ly/tc38. See it in person too at the NYC Enterprise DevCon http://bit.ly/Zufu

    Good article on current perceptions of Microsoft and how the company is changing that - http://bit.ly/82Zn

    Anyone else notice that Photosynth is running as a Silverlight control now? Both at CNN Site http://twurl.nl/kn5753 and on Photosynth Site.

    RT @Pete_Brown: my article on styling the charts in the Silverlight toolkit came out today: http://tinyurl.com/92n8om Nice job Pete!

    Linux/Moonlight and PPC Mac SL 1.0 now working for Obama Inauguration Silverlight stream! Nice work guys! http://tinyurl.com/789asq

    Wow - amazing must watch video of inspiration http://tinyurl.com/5qfrpl. Found via the NYC planecrash rescuers site - janiskrums.com

    64 and 32 bit versions of WIndows7 beta are up on MSDN Subscribers page now! Go grab it. http://msdn.microsoft.com

    Zune team isolated 30gig lockup probs. Had to do with 2006 models clock w/ leap year. Will fix automatic 1/1/09. http://tinyurl.com/873k8z

    Honoring its cross platform commitment the LiveLabs team just released Seadragon Mobile for iPhone http://tinyurl.com/5tn6qm . Works great!

    All MDC attendees are going to get BETA1 of WIndows7! Win7 has been my primary o/s since M3 build. Check it out: http://msdndevcon.com.

    Good site with all sorts of LINQ examples: http://tinyurl.com/62j6sb. If you're like me this will help your SQL brain think LINQ.

    Great Wired article about the new Microsoft under Ozzie's direction. http://tinyurl.com/5zhz7q

    If you do have access to Twitter at work but haven’t joined up yet here are my thoughts on why I think you should.  Don’t forget to follow me with your favorite Twitter client too.  If you run into any snags getting started feel free to leave me feedback on via this blog and I’ll walk you through.  Hope to see you all online!

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  • DaveDev

    Art, Design and Code – How did I get here?


    I seem to have Expression Studio opened these days more than any other programm  How good a website “acts”, “looks” and “feels” is what I remember.  So how did I get here? 

    Looking back I always was attracted to more form than function.  Most of my grade school days were spent doodling into my sketchpads (yes I’d take one around school with me) or spending countless hours staring into the latest artwork of Larry Elmore on my new Dragon magazine or Dragonlance book cover. 

    Elmore1   Elmore2

    Those days soon began to fill up with countless hours in front of the computer with my Commodore 64 and later Amiga 500.  But even then I would be lost in imagination as I brought my thoughts to life across the canvas of Deluxe Paint.

    DeluxePaint  Amiga500

    I guess it was school that chose that direction for me.  Computers were programming and art meant having to use clay or charcoal rubbings.  Combine the two?  Are you crazy young man!  If you wanted to work with you computers as your career then you must learn to be an engineer?  In fact on the urging of my guidance counselor I enrolled as a Computer Engineer and set about a path into the realm of Physics, Calculus and Discrete Analysis. 

    By the time I figured out how boring that stuff was to me I had already begun my career as a Web Developer.  The year was 1992 and the web was new.  Netscape Mozilla fit on a single 3.5” floppy disk Flashing construction signs could be found on almost every page you would load up.  I connected to the internet over my blazing fast Supra 14400 modem (so much faster than my old C64 300 baud) via a unix command prompt, loaded up WinSock in Windows 3.11 and then the world was mine!

    Before I knew it I was out starting my career as a Desktop Technician with a freshly minted diploma and MCSE in NT 4.0.  “Internet Speed” began to occur and technology moved faster than ever.  It seemed like almost every week something new was coming – HTML 2.0, HTML .2 and then HTML 4.0.  Microsoft ASP, Visual InterDev and Dreamweaver.  A new field began to emerge – that of the “Web Programmer” and I road alongside it.  Switching careers entirely from IT Infrastructure and Support to a “Developer”.  I learned the ins and outs of what it meant to be a Microsoft Programmer back then on the web - COM+, MTS, Commerce Server, “The Pipeline”, Sql Server 6.5.  But I started to realize something – as fast as I made the code, as fast as much data the database churned up it was what the actual website itself “looked” like that people remembered.  That story largely remained the same as I moved along the next few years.  Watching the the dotcom bubble burst. moving into the coporate world, creating “architectures” and “frameworks” that were used by developers globally in those companies.  But the stuff I was most proud of?  That stuff still sat in my sketchbook.  It sat on the desktop backgrounds of my machines and in the short stories I would write.

    But then something happened.  Just the same way that a “web developer” was born out of the beginnings of a server-client coder so thus became a Rich Internet Application (RIA) developer.  Suddenly worlds of form and function were colliding.  I could actually draw my interfaces instead of coding them.  The tools had caught up too – no longer did I have to spend countless hours debugging script (sorry JavaScript and XMSLT fans I’ve been there it just wasn’t for me).  I know there are other folks out there that have followed this path.  Started out as devs and then got the design bug.  You’re not alone – and there are tons of resources out there today. 

    Even if you still love the function over the form a little design knowledge never hurts when it comes to developing compelling experiences.  So I started with the basics…


    And then moved up to some design patterns…


    The time might just be right to dust off that old sketchbook.  You never know what creativity will come out until you light that first spark.


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