• frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    Blog Platform Upgraded


    Over the weekend we had an update to the blog platform used by all MSDN and Technet blogs.  

    If you want to read a bit about some of the platform improvements Sean Jenkin’s blog is a good place to start.

    If you notice any problems or want to comment on the new platform, comments welcome!

    Now back to your regularly scheduled programming...

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    Only 19


    1991 was a big year for me.

    I got married.

    I bought a house.

    My first child was born


    I joined Microsoft on May 20, 1991

    Today marks my 19th year anniversary at Microsoft.

    19 reminds me of "Only Nineteen", which a song by Aussie folk group Redgum. Not that I am comparing my job to military combat, but read into it what you want ;)  The song has a "Frankie" in the lyrics, which connected me to it.

    Today I continue the Microsoft tradition which dictates that I bring in a pound of M&Ms for each year that I’ve been an employee.


    As I have done for the past few years (18, 17, 16. 15, 14, 13), time to reflect a bit on my time at Microsoft. Yes, I still *love* the job.

    The resume hasn’t changed that much over the year, apart from a title adjustment


    May 1991 Sep 1993 Microsoft Canberra, working as a Systems Engineer
    Sep 1993 Aug 1994 Microsoft Corp, @ Executive Briefing Center
    Aug 1994 Oct 1995 Microsoft Corp, in the Advanced Technology Group, working on Interactive TV
    Nov 1995 May 1997 Microsoft Australia, MSN Technical Director
    Jun 1997 Jun 1999 ninemsn CTO
    Jun 1999 May 2001 Microsoft Region, Digital Media dude
    May 2001 Aug 2007 Microsoft Australia, Developer & Platform Evangelism (DPE)
    Aug 2007 Current Microsoft Corp, Director – DPE Field Community & Readiness


    I've been caught up in the day to day of my job recently and my blog has been gathering some dust recently - it's even prompted some emails from folks checking in on me. I'm ok. I'm doing fine. I haven't kicked a mine like Frankie did "the day that mankind kicked the moon".

    Ok, time to share those M&Ms

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  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    Virtual Ark struggling to find a good developer


    clip_image002[4]I got an email recently from Emma Pudney, EVP Product Strategy of a new startup called Virtual Ark.

    I’ve known Emma for ages, going back to the early days of ninemsn and the team from Hostworks in Adelaide.

    So, when Emma asks for help, I’m going to try and assist.

    This is the job description


    If you have a passion for cloud computing and having fun at work with a highly qualified technical team, we’d like to talk to you. We are building a team of the earliest innovators in Cloud computing in Australia. We're looking for an experienced, clever and enthusiastic Developer. Reporting to the Head of Product Strategy this role will initially be a 3 month contract term but has the potential to become full time and a founding member of a new start up’s technical team! The role location is flexible however if we need to choose between equally qualified candidates our preference will be given to Australian Adelaide or Sydney residents.

    Your main responsibility will be developing a web application that runs on the cloud and interfaces with many back end systems via different APIs. The architecture needs to be flexible (to accommodate future integrations), resilient (this will be core to our business) and scalable (we plan to grow). We'd like the frontend to look good, but we can always pretty that up later!

    We are looking for the following skills and experience:


    • Experience with one of the major programming languages (e.g. PHP or .NET)
    • Experience in integrating applications using APIs
    • Familiarity with XML, SOAP/WSDL, REST etc
    • Experience with integrating with a database back-end (e.g. MySQL, PostgreSQL, MSSQL)
    • Understanding of W3C standards and how they apply to web development
    • Understanding of cloud infrastructure and platform services (e.g. EC2, Azure)


    • Excellent time management skills
    • Ability to work to deadlines
    • Ability to work with broad direction
    • 3+ years experience integrating management tools such as monitoring, reporting and service management platforms
    • Strong documentation standards


    • Ability to create a quality functional specification from business and technical requirements
    • Experience with cloud infrastructure or platform services (e.g., EC2, Azure)

    Experience using or scripting on instances on public cloud infrastructure such as EC2, GoGrid, RackSpace etc. or developing applications on Azure / GoogleApps is highly desirable but not required. As part of this new start-up technical team you will develop the most innovative modern cloud computing skills in this fast emerging area.

    Interested? Leave me a comment or send an email to frankarr @ microsoft.com and I will get you in touch with Emma and the team

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    From Treo to Leo – My New Gadget, the HTC HD2


    I’ve been a happy Palm Treo Pro user since Oct 2008, and it’s been the best phone I’ve had for ages. I had paired it up with SPB Mobile Shell and found it quite a handy and enjoyable combination.

    But, the 320x320 screen was a bit weird.

    So, in my quest for the ultimate Windows Mobile Phone, I got myself an unlocked HTC HD2 (codename Leo).

    I’m a fan of the unlocked phone – let’s me be in control, rather than the carrier. It’s a weird model they have here in the US with carriers lock-in. All my phones have been unlocked (ShadowHTC TyTN II, Palm Treo 750, Imate K-Jam)

    There are a few online retailers who have the unlocked phone, such as Expansys and Integrontech but the big news for those in the US is that T-Mobile will be offering the HD2 sometime in 2010. Since I am on T-Mobile, I felt quite quite smug about my decision.

    For my friends downunder, Telstra will be offering the phone, and to celebrate the local folks are giving away five HTC HD2 Windows phones. You gotta be in in to win it, eh?

    So, I’ve had the phone a few days and I really really really like it. Especially the 480 X 800 WVGA screen. mmmmmm.


    The 1GHz Snapdragon™ processor isn’t too shabby either.

    This is a killer phone!

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  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    Merry Christmas Y’all


    It’s that time of year

    Emma came to visit me one day at work at left a happy holiday message on my white board – thanks Emma!


    From my family to yours ….

    Redmond Town_20091211_000263 

    Happy Holidays and Happy New Year 2010!

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  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    3 by 3 from me


    In keeping with my 3 year twitter-versary, here’s 3 twitter clients for 3 different platforms

    WPF Sobees Lite Seesmic for Windows Mahtweets
    Silverlight Sobees Web Gadfly Twittzure
    Windows Mobile Twikini Pocketwit Motweets


    If you want to find more twitter apps – head over to http://oneforty.com/

  • frankarr - an aussie microsoft blogger

    Behold the Physical Manifestation of the Azure Cloud


    In my current job, I don’t get out much.

    What I mean is that I have an internal focused role, so I don’t get out to meet with customers & partners, attend events, speak to press etc.

    So when I was at the PDC last month, Lynn Langit asked me to be a guest commentator for TechZulu, I couldn’t resist the chance to get involved.

    The result was this little video of the ‘physical cloud’ from PDC - Physically Diving Into The Azure Cloud – hosted by me!

    No plans to give up my day job!

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