November, 2007

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    The One About the Outback Steakhouse

    • 8 Comments

    I've been meaning to post this story for a while.

    image

    There is a restaurant chain here called the Outback Steakhouse

    Outback Steakhouse is an Australian steakhouse restaurant. Although beef and steak items make up a good portion of the menu, the concept offers a variety of chicken, ribs, seafood, and pasta dishes. The Company’s strategy is to differentiate its restaurants by emphasizing consistently high-quality food and service, generous portions at moderate prices and a casual atmosphere suggestive of the Australian Outback.

    An Australian steakhouse? Like Vlado's in Melbourne? Like The Charcoal in Canberra?

    The kids were intrigued, so I took my 2 big boys there one evening.

    We went to the one near our house and the first thing we noticed when we walked in the door was the music - Country, but not Australian country music. There was no James Blundell, Adam Brand, Troy Cassar-Daley, Kasey Chambers, Smoky Dawson, Slim Dusty, Jimmy Little, Gina Jeffries, Lee Kernaghan, Chad Morgan, Reg Lindsay, Keith Urban, or John Williamson just to name a few.

    The place was decked out in 'Australian' memorabilia - including Sidney Nolan's Ned Kelly

    nedkelly

    We looked at the menu and were amused by the dishes, as well as the Aussie Autumn special. At least they didn't call it the Fall (oh wait, they did).

    image

    The waitress took our order

    While we waited, I took photos of the coasters

    bad splr - outback steakhouse I'm so hungry I could eat a cow - outback steakhouse No worries - outback steakhouse

    The food came and it was far from memorable. I don't remember what we had but suffice to say it wasn't that great.

    It is far from an Australian Steakhouse, and I should know. I've been to a few :)

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    Election Day 2008 : A Cool Silverlight App

    • 2 Comments

    Today is Election Day.

    It's not the BIG presendential election day - that's next year.

    As an Australian, the US election model is quite strange. All I know about the process is what I learnt from TV like The West Wing and Commander in Chief, as well as a bunch of movies like Primary Colors, The American President, Being There, Wag the Dog, Head of State, Dave, and Man of the Year.

    So, I was delighted to stumble upon a fun Election 2008 app by Novera which uses Silverlight 1.0, AJAX, ASP.NET, and Virtual Earth. It provides biographies, images, links, and feeds for presidential candidates.

    image

    It's hard to believe we are nearing yet another presidential election. Love them or hate them, candidates are throwing their hat into the ring in their pursuit of presidential bliss. The race for the presidency is big news in the states and keeps the media and the masses occupied, but there is also big news in the developer world that we occupy. That news is the release of Microsoft's new web technology, Silverlight. While there is a lot of chatter and anticipation about Silverlight 1.1, we couldn't wait to kick the tires and see what we could accomplish with Silverlight 1.0.

    The Election 2008 demo application is the result of having a lot of fun with this new technology. The best part about Silverlight is that it fits so well with other technologies such as ASP.NET, Microsoft AJAX, and Virtual Earth. Along the way we even discovered a love for JavaScript! The real beauty of Silverlight is that it provides an easy platform for developing new and interesting UI 'gadgets', and allows you to redefine how users interact with your application. It will be a lot of fun to see what kind of apps are created in the years to come.

    This application provides biographies, images, links, feeds, and various data for the candidates. You can get an introduction to who's who and navigate their info quickly. A good portion of the data is obtained dynamically, and only data which could not be gathered dynamically is static. We will update the static data from time to time, but don't expect it to always be accurate! This is, of course, merely a demo application, created to see what we could accomplish with Silverlight. Did I mention we're not endorsing any particular candidate? Seriously, this is just for fun

    image 

    image

    Nice one.

    There is a Federal election happening in Australia soon - I wonder if there are similar apps out there for Australians?

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  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    All work and no fun makes for a dull team, so let's have some fun!

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    I have participated in two team events so far since I have been here.

    The first one was a few weeks back when we went off for an afternoon of Geoteaming run by a Seattle company called PlayTime.

    geoteaming is Corporate Team Building that infuses team and leadership skills through technology
    and adventure, based on the highly successful sport of geocaching.com! geoteaming is the
    EXCLUSIVE Corporate Team Building Provider of geocaching.com with over 200 events successfully
    completed. Come team with the first and the best for your next event!

    We drove around Woodinville Wine Country, on a rainy Wednesday afternoon, with a GPS, a PocketPC, a few maps and a mystery to solve. 

    We took some silly photos along the way and even had time to get a coffee

    071024MS 045071024MS 046 071024MS 055  071024MS 049 071024MS 052  071024MS 059

    Now our team didn't win the overall challenge - but we go to know each other a little better and isn't that the objective of the activity?

    071024MS 060

    The second "fun event" was just this week when we went to K1 Speed for some indoor karting action.

    K1 Speed is a revolution in indoor karting, with its award winning centers, European style racing, emission free electric karts and professionally designed all asphalt race tracks. As soon as you walk in the difference is apparent, with up to 80,000 sqft of race track, 10,000 sqft lobby over looking the tracks, Live Scoring system, Corporate meeting rooms, the Pit Cafe and games area.

    The karts are the best available in the world, with 20HP they reach speeds of 40mph, much faster than gas karts and without the smog. They are fully computerized for the best in safety, with remote controls operated by the pit crew to reduce speeds or even put to a stop if necessary.

    The track was laid out something like this

    I wore my helmet like a good boy and managed to get into the kart safely

    speedy Speedy rulez

    So, how did I do?

    Microsoft.2 11-5-07

    Yup - that's me on the podium and this is my medal

    005

    The cool thing about K1 Speed, is you can access your scores online, so here's my race history (my handle was speedy)

    image

    Not too shabby. I should have won, but.......

    Anyways, back to work.

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  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    HTC TyTN II + Cool Software = GPS Fun

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    I've been having fun with my new phone and it's inbuilt GPS.

    I've been running a piece of software which makes me part of a GPS location based interactive community.

    Here are my tracks from today, a typical Saturday in the Pacific Northwest.

    image

    Just the thing for all those Frank Arrigo Stalkers out there smile_regular

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  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    Lynn Langit and Asli Bilgin : Evangelistas

    • 5 Comments

    Watch Lynn Langit and Asli Bilgin answer the question “What the heck is an Evangelist really?"

    Asli and Lynn on Channel9

    Becoming an Evangelist – Get the inside scoop from not one but two U.S. Developer Evangelists!

    If you listen closely you may hear a mention of "you know who" too.

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  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    The Surface team is blogging

    • 1 Comments

    Good to see the Surface team start blogging - Surface Computing has arrived and so has our blog

    Microsoft Surface

    Now hurry up and ship something so I can put it in my new house

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