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  • Microsoft Press

    Automating Microsoft PowerPoint

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    Using Windows PowerShell to automate Microsoft PowerPoint may at first seem like a strange combination. For one thing, the people who are most skilled at using Windows PowerShell are not the ones you think of as being heavy PowerPoint users. But PowerPoint is often used by ITPros because we are frequently called upon to make presentations. These presentations may be for training purposes, or reports to management, or a presentation to a client. Because Microsoft PowerPoint is so easy to use, with all of its built-in wizards and templates, you may wonder what advantages automation brings to the table. Indeed, until this past week I had done little with the Microsoft PowerPoint automation model—for the exact reasons mentioned above. It seemed to take too much time, and there were not that...
  • Microsoft Press

    Superquick poll: What do you use when preparing for a Microsoft certification?

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    When preparing for a Microsoft certification , do you take a class? Read a Training Kit ( such as this one )? Do both? Tell us via Twitter (@MicrosoftPress) or by commenting on this post. Thank you!
  • Microsoft Press

    New book: Microsoft ASP.NET 4 Step by Step

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    George Shepherd’s Microsoft ASP.NET 4 Step by Step is now available! The book contains 26 chapters across 640 pages. This post will give you a taste of the book. The book’s chapter-level Table of Contents and Introduction can be found here . Here’s the taste—enjoy: Chapter 21 ASP.NET and WPF Content After completing this chapter, you will be able to Understand the benefits of Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) over traditional Windows user interfaces. Create an XAML-based browser application (XBAP) site. Add WPF-based content to an ASP.NET site. The last 20 chapters demonstrate how ASP.NET makes Web development approachable by pushing most HTML rendering to the ASP.NET Control class and its descendents. In addition, the ASP.NET pipeline hides many of the details of a Web request so that...
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    Carl Chatfield: Which Bookend Are You?

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    I don't mention my day job at Microsoft much in this blog, but recently I found myself involved with some new project initiation work and simultaneously with the tail end of a new product launch.* I felt a bit like my favorite bookends: one pushing hard to get a project underway, the other pushing equally hard to get a project concluded more or less as planned. Here are the bookends in action, doing their job: If you are a project manager, do you spend more time and effort at the beginning or end of your projects? So Many Choices! The project initiation guy on the left, who I'll call LB, has a special focus: moving an idea from concept to the start of execution. Let's assume that LB is in an organization where the initiation of new projects is done by those with organizational authority to...
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    Honor your geeky mom on Mother's Day & save

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    Just a quick post to let you know that you can get 40% off Microsoft Press books & 50% off Microsoft Press ebooks by using code MUMMS in our O’Reilly store. Here’s the complete list of our titles: http://oreilly.com/store/publisher/microsoftcomplete.html Luv ya, Mom!
  • Microsoft Press

    Sample chapters: CLR via C#, by Jeffrey Richter

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    Greetings, everybody. Two chapters from Jeffrey’s recent book, CLR via C# , Third Edition (ISBN: 9780735627048; Microsoft Press, 2010) are available here . You’ll find Chapter 4, “Type Fundamentals,” and Chapter 16, “Arrays,” as well as the book’s complete TOC. Here is Chapter 4’s coverage: In this chapter: All Types Are Derived from System.Object 91 Casting Between Types 93 Namespaces and Assemblies 97 How Things Relate at Runtime 102 And here is Chapter 16’s coverage: In this chapter: Initializing Array Elements 388 Casting Arrays 390 All Arrays Are Implicitly Derived from System.Array 392 All Arrays Implicitly Implement IEnumerable , ICollection , and IList 393 Passing and Returning Arrays 394 Creating Non-Zero–Lower...
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    Excerpt from upcoming title: Microsoft Access 2010 Plain & Simple

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    Today we’d like to share an excerpt from one of our upcoming books: Microsoft Access 2010 Plain & Simple , by Curtis Frye. We’ll publish this book in Summer 2010. You can learn more about the book here: http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780735627307/ . In this excerpt, Curt describes an easy way to create reports in Access 2010. Enjoy: Reports give you the ability to present your table and query data in an accessible format. In some ways, reports and forms are very similar—both types of database objects let you display your table records and query results at one record per page, in a series of columns or rows, or in a custom layout you create in Design view. The difference between forms and reports is that in addition to presenting your table and query data, reports let you summarize your data...
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    Why read when you can just watch the movie?

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    I finished reading the Three Musketeers this weekend—actually I started it on Saturday morning, and I completed it Sunday evening. I read a modern unabridged translation, and it went by really quickly. There have been many movies based upon the Three Musketeers, and so I thought I would order one and compare it with the book. Of course, how can they possibly make a movie about at 650 page book and stay within any kind of realistic time line? I am afraid I will be disappointed when the movie arrives. A few months ago, I read the Fountainhead, and then watched the movie … I was really disappointed. The funny thing is that when I first saw the movie, many years ago, I thought it was a great movie. However, with the book fresh on my mind, I saw that they shifted the entire focus of the book as...
  • Microsoft Press

    Author news: Interview with the author of Windows 7 Step by Step

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    Here’s a quick post pointing you to an interview with Joan Lambert (formerly Preppernau), one of the authors of Windows 7 Step by Step . The interview is here . It starts like this: When did you first decide you would make a career of writing and helping others with software? I’ve been contracting for Microsoft on and off since I was 17, and have always had a passion for technology. When I returned to the United States in 1997 after living for six years in New Zealand and working in non-technical fields, I joined my father’s company, which eventually became OTSI. I participated in the development of training materials for the original Microsoft Mastering Series, and was assigned to a product support position in which I ended up writing Help files, frequently teaching myself new technologies...
  • Microsoft Press

    Ed Wilson: 2010 Scripting Games Kick-Off

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    Like a football team that sweats all summer preparing for opening day, so the Scripting Guys organize the 2010 Scripting Games . Just as a football team is more than just players on the field, so too the Scripting Guys involved nearly 100 people in bringing together the event. I wrote the events, but the commentaries on the games (solutions to the puzzles and the description of the solution) were written by people from the Microsoft Product Groups, Microsoft Premier Field Engineers and the scripting community such as Microsoft MVP’s, and others who are moderators for the Official Scripting Guys forum. Craig edited, and staged the events on the Hey Scripting Guy blog, but it is the judges who will actually grade the events. Our judges come from the Scripting Community (as well as a couple of...
  • Microsoft Press

    Starting soon: Mark Russinovich virtual roundtable

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    Join Microsoft Technical Fellow, Mark Russinovich , in 30 minutes as he leads a discussion around the process of planning, testing, assessing and rolling out Windows 7 in an enterprise organization: Springboard Series Virtual Roundtable The Last Mile: Pilot and Deploy Windows 7 Mark will be joined by a panel of IT professionals who are currently in the piloting and deployment process, along with Microsoft subject matter experts who can speak in depth about the technologies. The event will be broadcast live over the web at 9:00 am PDT, and will be available for on-demand viewing following the broadcast. The discussion will be open and candid, with the panel sharing insights, dispelling myths and getting down to the real story around technical adoption of Windows technologies. Specific...
  • Microsoft Press

    Excerpt from upcoming title: Microsoft Project 2010 Inside Out

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    Today we’d like to share an excerpt from one of our upcoming books: Microsoft Project 2010 Inside Out , by Teresa Stover. We’ll publish this book in Summer 2010. You can learn more about the book here: http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780735626874/ . In this excerpt, author Teresa Stover shares her insights about setting up resources in a project. Enjoy: Resources carry out the work of your project or model the expenditure of costs or consumption of materials. However, with your tasks defined and scheduled, why is it necessary to actually specify resources in your project plan? You could just print the schedule and tell people which tasks they’re responsible for: Here are your due dates; now go make them happen. This approach might seem like a simple way of managing a project, but if you do it this...
  • Microsoft Press

    Over 325 DRM-free Microsoft Press ebooks now available

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    In February we were happy to say “Over 200 DRM-free Microsoft Press ebooks now available.” In the past couple of months, we have continued to convert more backlist titles and all frontlist titles. We’re routinely publishing new frontlist titles into the major digital channels ( oreilly.com , Safari, iTunes, and Android), as well as a number of other smaller e-outlets (including Bookshare.org), within about a week of the files being sent to the printer. There are currently about 325 Microsoft Press e-titles available, and that number is growing every week! Take a look. And here are more details: iPhone -- Grab the EPUB and read it in the Stanza App or the mobile version of Bookworm. Android -- Read the .apk or .EPUB on your favorite reader. Kindle -- Get the Mobipocket file and load it onto...
  • Microsoft Press

    Carl Chatfield: Task types: What's the deal?

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    Carl Chatfield here, taking a break from working on Microsoft Project 2010 Step by Step . One feature that even experienced Project users sometimes have trouble with is task types. There are only three task types, but their impact on task scheduling is not always easy to predict. This week I look at task types: fixed duration, fixed units, and fixed work, and how they affect the scheduling of tasks. Tell Me About Your Childhood To understand why the task types feature exists at all, you first need to know about the scheduling formula. The scheduling formula is, quite simply, the simple little math formula that makes Project an active scheduling engine and not just a spreadsheet plus Gantt Chart drawing tool. As you may recall from previous blog posts, the scheduling formula is: ...
  • Microsoft Press

    Win a 15-minute phone conversation with Distinguished Engineer Jeffrey Snover!

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    We’d like to remind you about the Scripting Guys’ 2010 Scripting Games, which begin today! Here are some helpful links: Advanced Event 1--Updating and Creating Registry Keys Beginner Event 1--Updating and Creating Registry Keys 2010 Scripting Games: All Links on One Page (including rules, forum, Twitter, FaceBook, etc.) The Amazing Sponsors of the 2010 Scripting Games Take a look at the prizes: WINNER SELECTION AND PRIZES At the close of the Entry Period, we will randomly select three Grand Prize Winners as well as Daily Prize Winners to receive prizes as described below. Two (2) full conference passes to Tech·Ed 2010 North America ($2,195 value per conference pass); all other associated expenses such as travel and lodging are not included. One (1) 15-minute phone conversation with Distinguished...
  • Microsoft Press

    RTM’d today: Programming Microsoft ASP.NET MVC

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    We’re very pleased to announce that Dino Esposito’s latest book, Programming Microsoft ASP.NET MVC , has shipped to the printer! Covering ASP.NET MVC 2 and Visual Studio 2010, Dino’s book will help you understand how and when to use this programming model as an alternative to Web Forms—to gain full control of HTML, simplify testing and extensibility, and design better Web sites and experiences. As always, Esposito provides the detailed, insightful guidance and illustrative code samples you need to get productive quickly. Dino’s book will be available via online retailers around May 15. In the meantime, here’s more information about the book, including Dino’s personal road of discovery regarding MVC:   Contents at a Glance Part I   The Programming Paradigm 1   Goals...
  • Microsoft Press

    One week from today: Mark Russinovich virtual roundtable

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    Here’s another reminder about an upcoming event featuring Mark Russinovich, one of the authors of Windows Internals, Fifth Edition (Microsoft Press, 2009). Here’s its description: Springboard Series Virtual Roundtable The Last Mile: Pilot and Deploy Windows 7 Join Microsoft Technical Fellow, Mark Russinovich, on April 29 as he leads a discussion around the process of planning, testing, assessing and rolling out Windows 7 in an enterprise organization. Mark will be joined by a panel of IT professionals who are currently in the piloting and deployment process, along with Microsoft subject matter experts who can speak in depth about the technologies. The event will be broadcast live over the web at 9:00 am PDT, and will be available for on-demand viewing following the broadcast. The discussion...
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