November, 2008

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    NYT: The Online Search Party: A Way to Share the Load


    Excerpt from New York Times Article:

    The Online Search Party: A Way to Share the Load

    OPPORTUNITIES for social networking abound on the Internet, but not when it comes to one standard job: using a browser and search engine to comb the Web for information. That task is still typically done solo, because browser displays and search procedures have traditionally been designed for a single user.

    Now tools are being developed by Microsoft and other companies that let people at different computers search as a team, dividing responsibilities and pooling results and recommendations in a shared Web space on the browser display as they plan a family vacation, for instance, or research a medical problem.

    Give it a try from Microsoft SearchTogether (Beta)

    To download the Times Reader, click here.

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  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    The One About Crocodile Wrestling


    bill interview

    We had a busy day on Thursday.

    It’s time for the first round of Parent/Teacher Conferences and we had 3 of them on the same day at different locations!

    As we met with each of Billy’s teachers, they asked us about Billy’s Crocodile Wrestling.


    Seems like our young fellow has been spinning a few yarns!

    He was interviewed for an article in the local school newspaper and he let rip with a couple of doozies!

    The ultimate Rugby player, the future star member of the Wallabies (the Australian Rugby Union): Billy Arrigo has joined The Bear Creek School.

    Arrigo came to Kirkland last year and attended Kirkland Jr. High. He plays with the Axe Men in Marymoor, demonstrating what it means to be a master rugby player by showing amazing skills and impressing his coach, quickly becoming a very trusted member of the team. In his previous school, Knox, back in Sydney, Billy’s team was undefeated for the two years he was in the team.

    Rugby is an odd sport, unpopular in the U.S., something only few countries in the world favor. However, something even more strange and unique to Australia is crocodile wrestling. Arrigo did just that. Back in his home town Sydney, he placed first in the Sydney 18 and under Crocodile Wrestling Tournament.

    Picking up rowing this past summer, he wanted to keep in shape during the rugby off season. Arrigo rows 6 km (3.73 miles) daily. After school, he can be found in the pickup area wearing his Chinook rowing shirt saying, “I better get rowing now!”

    LOL!  Nice one Bill. You’ve been found out!

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    XLV for me!


    Image:45rpm.jpgI’m celebrating another birthday today.

    It happens every year, around this time.

    I’ve been overwhelmed by all the best wishes from my friends via email, twitter, facebook – however folks can get in touch, they have. Makes me feel all warm inside. Thank you to all who left me a note – I will get back to each and everyone of you!

    So, some trivia about my age:  3x3x5, XLV, half way to a right angle, the atomic number of rhodium, not to mention a triangular number, a hexagonal and 16-gonal number, a Kaprekar number, a Harshad number and a Størmer number.

    I also happen to share a birthday with Ted Stevens, Brenda Vaccaro, Linda Evans, Graham Parker, Kevin Nealon, Oscar Nunez, Elizabeth Perkins, Kim Wilde, Owen Wilson, and Merrick Watts just to name a few.

    What else happened on this day? : WikipediaNYTimes - BBC

    Anyways, time for "Brimful of Asha" by Cornershop

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  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    Sobees – so WPFee!


    At the PDC, I met up with Vincent Rithner, who is the man behind Sobees. I wrote a post about bTwitter, which was another neat WPF app from the team. Now the full platform is done!

    So what is Sobees?

    It’s a social desktop aggregator. sobees organizes and integrates Web applications and services onto the desktop and offers an easy user experience to you and your social network.

    With sobees, you can easily share photos, news and videos with your friends, you keep track of your friends, follow the Elections or any other topic which interests you, search web and more

    It has just been recently released in beta and has had some good coverage

    I’ve just gotten around to installing it, and I will give it a test run this weekend


    First impression is that it is a slick WPF app.

    Behind the scenes, it is 100% WPF 3.5 sp1, the server DB is SQL2008 and they are using LinqToEnties for both SQLCe and SQL2008 to manage the data, and they using FileStreaming of SQL2008 to manage the update of both platform and modules. I hope we will find out more behind the scenes info from the Sobees Blog

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  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    I <3 MIX09


     MIX09_BlogBling_InterfaceCreativity_CR4 MIX09_BlogBling_InterfaceInspiration_CR4 MIX09_BlogBling_InterfaceWeb_CR4 MDE-035_BlogBling_QuoteWebNeeds_IR5a MIX09_BlogBling_Player2_CR4  MIX09_BlogBling_LevelUp_CR4 MIX09_BlogBling_VegasCoords3_CR4 MIX09_BlogBling_VegasCoords1_CR4 MIX09_BlogBling_VegasCoords2_CR4

    As soon as the PDC ended, the team has begun work on MIX09.

    You know, March isn’t that far away! Time for me to find a job on the crew again! and I need to decide which piece of bling do i put on my blog

    The Web Belongs to You. <3 Your Web at MIX09.

    Explore the future of the Web with fellow developers and designers at MIX09, March 18 - 20, 2009 at The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.

    Now in its fourth year, MIX is a unique technology conference that connects web professionals with industry thought leaders to explore the future of the Web together. It’s true – your Web needs you, and MIX is where you’ll get access to the tools, knowledge, and vision to create the next generation of UX, applications, and web design.

    What’s New for MIX09?

    · Learn from and connect with more external speakers than ever before. View latest speaker list. More speakers and sessions to be announced in December.

    · Register for pre-event workshops designed to provide in-depth focus on practical skills and topics for both developer and designer professionals.

    · MIX09 sessions will focus on key topics for web professionals ranging from user experience design methodologies and standards-based web development techniques to creating rich internet and client applications. More sessions and speakers to be announced in December.

    · Compete in the inaugural MIX10K or Restyle challenges and win a trip to MIX09 on us! For the first time in MIX history, the community will help select winners. Contest details to be announced in November.

    · Learn about the future of Microsoft’s web platform and tools, including Silverlight™, Internet Explorer®, Expression®, ASP.NET and others.

    Space is even more limited this year at MIX, so register early to secure your spot. You’ll receive $200 off the conference price when you register by January 15.

    MIX09 Dates and Location

    March 18 - 20, 2009
    Pre-Event Workshops: March 17

    The Venetian Hotel (, Las Vegas, NV


    Join/Follow the conversation at Facebook Twitter Flickr

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  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    What's My Windows 7 User Agent?


    I made the leap to the "PDC release" of Windows 7 on one of my machines.

    Relatively painless install.

    I was curious about the User Agent, so I went to and found out

    Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; Trident/4.0; SLCC2; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; Media Center PC 6.0; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET CLR 3.0.30729; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; InfoPath.2; MS-RTC LM 8)

    What a monster!

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  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    BizSpark : Sparks New Businesses


    Another big day of announcements.

    Today, BizSpark has been announced. This a global program designed to help accelerate the success of early stage software Startups. BizSpark is the result of seven years spent getting feedbacks from ISVs, startups and competitive ISVs.

    Join BizSpark

    By joining BizSpark, Startups get:

    • Software:  fast and easy access to Microsoft’s current full-featured development tools, platform technologies, and unlimited production licenses of server products for immediate use in developing and bringing to market innovative and interoperable solutions with no upfront costs and minimal requirements. Startups will also get access to the community technology preview (CTP) of the Microsoft Azure Services Platform.
    • Support:  professional technical support from Microsoft (MSDN) and community support from BizSpark Network Partners around the world who provide a wide range of support resources for software startups.  Network Partners are incubators, investors, advisors, government agencies and hosters who are vested in software-fueled innovation and entrepreneurship.
    • Visibility:  a dedicated online startup directory, BizSparkDB, on the Microsoft  Startup Zone website ( which will highlight promising companies from around the world, including the “BizSpark Startup of the Day”. Through their relationship with Microsoft and BizSpark Network Partners, startups will achieve global visibility to an audience of potential investors, clients and partners.

    This program lasts 3 years. There are no upfront costs. No Commitments. Startups just have to pay 100$ at graduation.

    Startups get access to BizSpark either through a Network Partner (e.g. TiE, NVCA, select Venture Capitalists, and over 300+ entrepreneurial-focused organizations with a strong track record to helping young and promising technology companies success  or through Microsoft BizSpark Program Leads (called “BizSpark Champs”). Startups can find both at

    Program Details:

    Eligibility: BizSpark is available to startups that fit the following criteria.

    • A private company building a software-based product or service
    • In business for less than 3 years
    • Less than USD $1M in revenue (2-4 local variants exist)
    • Participation lasts up to three years


    • BizSpark is immediately available worldwide in most countries
    • 82 countries have a BizSpark Program Lead (“BizSpark Champs”) to provide support  has all the detailed program information

    On a personal note, I have play a small part in working on this and I am a very fortunate to be “BizSpark Champ”. Drop me a comment if you would like to get connected.

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