The Christmas break was great for me, great to spend quality time with family and friends. However, I made a conscious decision to stay “disconnected” and see how I could enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas. I wasn’t sure what I really meant by disconnected when I started but I did want some time to relax and spend quality time with people I love and like . It quickly became clear that I had to narrow down the definition as technology touches so many parts of our lives now that you cannot simply turn it off. Or can you? I failed.
By narrowing down I decided not to do any work stuff but I even failed at that as its so easy to stay up to date with my new Windows Phone 7 device. What it did man though was that when I got back into the office I knew I had no immediate fires to fight or problems to deal with so that made me feel better.
Apart from realising I had set myself an nigh on impossible task I then go to thinking about how we help students use technology in your lives and work and whilst we do a lot there is probably still more we could do.
I started to draft a list including DreamSpark, MSDNAA, Facebook, Twitter etc and I realised there is so much stuff that it must be difficult at times to find out what is available to help you.
So 2 things. Firstly, is there a major challenge you face as a student that technology could help with and secondly we will collate a list of ALL the stuff available for you from Microsoft as a student and publicise it – this may take a while….
I hope you had a good break and good luck with your exams and if there was one piece of technology that was invaluable to you over Christmas – what was it ? Mine was my Windows Phone 7 (obviously).
Session links now available!
We held a TechDays online conference, Build an App for That, last Thursday where attendees, including students, enjoyed demo-rich sessions designed to help with building applications for the browser, Windows 7, and Windows Phone 7. We now have all the recordings of the sessions available on the agenda links below (we are still waiting for two recording to be put live). If you did attend we’d love to hear your feedback so we can make it even better next time. Please take a couple of minutes to fill in our feedback form
At the same time the Academic Team ran an online session for Microsoft Student Partners (MSPs). The UK MSPs were a really active bunch tweeting a lot on the #uktechdays tag and being really positive and constructive where criticism was required! There may be an MSP at your University. Don’t forget, you can get hold of a lot of the technology from DreamSpark or perhaps check out if your department has signed an MSDN AA agreement.
Applications with Windows and HTML
Applications in Silverlight Introduction
Applications in Silverlight in-depth
15.00 – 15.45
Keynote – Microsoft & The Client Landscape, Mark Quirk
15.45 – 16.30
The Bluffer’s Guide to Expression Blend, Jon Harris
10 minute break
16.40 – 17.25
Modern Windows Applications
Silverlight Platform Overview
WCF RIA Services
User Interfaces with Touch
Silverlight for Windows Phone 7 Overview
Architectural Patterns with MVVM and RIA Services
18.20 – 19.05
Using HTML5 and CSS3 Today
Silverlight for LOB Apps
Creating Silverlight Apps with PRISM
19.05 – 19.50
Internet Explorer 9
Silverlight and Multi-Tier Apps
Premium Media Experiences with Silverlight
The developer Team here selected the following as their picks– do you agree? Let us know what you liked most by posting a comment below.
1. Expression Blend training
2. SketchFlow video
3. Great blog about software design and user experience
4. A fun way to learn about building Silverlight applications with Expression
5. Multi-touch input in Silverlight
6. Building modern Windows applications and more information on WPF (Mike T's content)
We held a really interesting Live Meeting last night with 24 UK Microsoft Student Partners (MSPs). As ever we ran out of time as it never seems to be a problem to get interaction going but we did try something different. We all watched the Live Stream from CodeMash - you can watch it here but skip the first 59 minutes as we appear to have recorded the holding slide . (We will fix that but wanted to let you know about it ASAP). This was the launch of Web Matrix and it’s now available for download so you can get started building web sites straight away!
What became clear on the call is we need top offer some simpler messages about what the product does so here goes….Web Matrix is a brand new web development tool aimed at beginners though Web experts to enable you to get going quickly. Depending on your level of expertise you can start by using built-in web templates, open source web applications or you can start writing code yourself. Is that simple and clear enough?
The MSPs were quite excited about the product (and some even started installing while we were on the Live Meeting). Have a look and let us know what you think. If you need more information to help you get going then Rafal Kwiek (our student intern) wrote 6 tutorials on his blog about the product.
When you build and publish a site using Web Matrix we’d love to hear about it. Have a good weekend.