Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

About me (Hans Verbeeck). About my work (Partner Evangelist for Microsoft Belgium). Think big, start smal
Der deutsche Education Blog

February, 2006

  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    XBox Live (tag Hans VB)


    Now I know. Xbox Live gaming is seriously addictive. I've always been a fan of racing games and it happened before that a game would start consuming more time than it probably should have. But at least before I got Project Gotham Racing 3 with Live racing, the games had an end.
    I usually played the game so I would first finish all races first in easy and then would re-race all of the tracks in medium and finally hard mode. That was phase one. I would then switch from automatic to manual shifting and kept playing until I would be able to win every race in hard mode. So yes, I spent my fair share of hours gaming.
    But now there's Live. Say goodbye to wife, children and friends because this game never ends. There will always be someone who is faster (at the moment I should say 79.845 people faster). What a wonderful nightmare! Why would anyone build something so devilishly delicious! PG3 racing is hard but it is so rewarding if you find yourself getting more skilled and able to kick some serious burn some serious rubber on the track.
    Live is just awesome the way it is and compare that to the money you pay in the Arcade halls (in Belgium we used to call them Lunaparks :-) ) and you know it's dirt cheap. I mean if you got money to spend on gaming, then this is a cheap way to get
    What I've learned so far is that it's much harder to race real opponents than it is to race the computer. People are much much meaner and will 360° you car just like that. Some people play nice but most like to keep it 'nice and dirty'. Racing real people really tests your cool. I therefore suggest starting with automatic shift. The track and the opponents are enough to worry about.
    Another thing I learned is that you really need the right car for the job. Just look at the cars the others are using and go for that one. It's a bit of a pitty the game does seem to favor Ferraris in most categories. I wonder whether Ferraris are the better cars in real too.
    You can find on XBOX Live by my gamertag HansVB but I won't be there much this week and I believe it's a good thing I travel a lot for work. This way I'm forced to detox once in while.

  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    TechEd Europe: Developers 2006 - Building the tracks


    Deciding  which tracks we have is non-trivial but really important. Our  first goal isn't to please Microsoft product groups or marketing folks, we want to have tracks that make sense to the attendee.


    But what is that? Really, I'm asking! Do we create tracks aligned with the way see the Microsoft Platform? Or do we take a more product centric approach? As usually, there's good and bad about both of the approaches.


    Taking the platform route

    When creating tracks that follow the platform route, we come up with something like displayed in the image below. This is not final or complete but gives you a good idea.


     Although this option is quite nice to display, there are some difficult choices to make. For instance, IIS, do we put in the Server track or the ASP.NET track? My guess is that most developers will look for these sessions in the ASP.NET track. Then the Office System with Sharepoint Server, Excel Server and Forms Server, do we put this in the Office track or the Server track. Biztalk could go in the Connected Systems track and you potentially end up with only WSS and Infocard in the Server track.
    Also, do 'smart client' or 'Connected Systems' have any meaning at all to the developer? Let me know.


    The Products route

    This way we get a create tracks based on products. Isn't that the way most developers think? I need to build this solution and I need products x,y and z for that.


    These would be possible tracks:

    • Office System
    • Tools & Languages
    • Architecture & Connected Systems & PAG & Security (we need a name here)
    • SQL Server
    • Web
    • User Experience
    • Servers
    • Business Applications

    Still this is not complete because we might need a seperate track for building windows clients. We could also group all client dev stuff having one client developer track containing: ASP.NET, Atlas, WinForms, Avalon.


    As you can see. A LOT of ways to slice and dice the content. I'll have the track owners debate this but thought also putting this online in case any attendees out there would like to express their preference too. Please share your thoughts and help us build an event that's structured the way you think.

  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    Haunted by XBox

    Surely enough when I got into the Microsoft Technology Center in Vedbaek (Denmark), first thing I saw was an XBox 360. PG3 DVD in the system, using a projector as a screen. I have a feeling it's going to me or the XBox...
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