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Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

(I came, I saw, I got stuck!)

November, 2007

  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    'This week in History' as seen in the Microsoft Daily..


    I was browsing through the 'Microsoft daily' and came across this interesting trivia - Can you guess the kid in the picture? :))

    In the world:

    GatesPorzak_twih_215 December 1, 1990 — Workers tunnel through a wall of rock, connecting the two ends of the underwater tunnel linking Calais, France with Folkestone, England known as the Chunnel.

    November 27, 1940 — Lee Yuen Kam is born. Later known as martial arts film star Bruce Lee, he died at the age of 32 of a brain edema.

    At Microsoft:

    November 29, 1979 — Microsoft announces it is expanding its service to the European market with the addition of Vector Microsoft, Haasrode, Belgium. James Porzak will head the new operation, which is a division of Vector International.

    James Porzak is shown here with Bill Gates in the 10800 Northeast 8th office in Bellevue, WA on November 29, 1979. Porzak was one of four partners who founded Vector in 1977.

    -Mithun Dhar

  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    Score a goal or two......while peein'g! Umm...


    I was in Munich right after the Soccer World Cup and every restaurant and bar and public toilet had this awesome pee stalls with a ball and a goal post. Again, not to sound like a sexist but I think this is totally a Guy's thing - We love to have some humor while we pee. Sometimes we like to draw stuff, sometimes we like to aim far, some times we like to pee off from the summit after a long hike! And, this time in Munich, I liked to play ball while I pee'd! The point of this post is to just reminiscence the good times I had in Munich...and I was so excited as soon as I saw this picture! The red ball is suspended from a thread above and you count the number of times the ball is inside the goal post! :) Makes pee'ing a lot more fun and entertaining...at least it did to me!

    Juvenile, I know!


    Boys will be boys!

    -Mithun Dhar

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  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    Webcast: Building Communications into Your Applications



    I will be doing a web cast covering the MS Unified Communications platform SDK's and talking about how you can include communications into your LOB's. Michael Dunn who is a UC MVP will also be co-hosting. Should be a fun session! Come hear us out...

    When: Thursday, Nov 29th between 11:00 and Noon.


    Unified Communications for Developers: Building Communications into Your Applications

    Microsoft Unified Communications (UC) is turning the traditionally hardware-oriented communications world into software. Building the Unified Communications platform, with rich APIs and solid tool support, is a cornerstone of that strategy. In this session, we give an overview of what scenarios the UC platform enables and the APIs and software development kits (SDKs) that Microsoft Unified Communications offers. We demonstrate how to integrate presence, voice over IP (VoIP), video, and messaging into your applications, and also how to build powerful communications applications like IM-based query/response bots, outbound notifications, and speech technology-enabled telephony applications. Communications now can be a first class feature in Windows and Web applications; this is the introductory presentation of how you can leverage that capability as a developer.

    Register Here: http://msevents.microsoft.com/cui/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?EventID=1032357751&EventCategory=4&culture=en-US&CountryCode=US

    -Mithun Dhar

  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    Do no evil! :) @ $666



    Google closed today @ $666.00 :) Is this a sign from up above? ;)

    -Mithun Dhar

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  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    VS Team system User Group meeting on 11/28...


    The Seattle VSTS User Group is meeting on Campus for its second UG meeting. I am pretty stoked as they have a very good speaker – Jeff Levinson, talking at this UG meeting. Here’s a quick agenda for this Wednesday’s meeting:

    Date and Time: 6:30pm - 7:30pm on Wednesday Nov 28, 2007 

    Topic: Visual Studio Team System 2008 Overview

    Location: MS Redmond Campus - Building 118- Room Mt. Si

    Click here for a map of the location.

    Speaker: Jeff Levinson (from NW Cadence)

    Click here to register for the event

    Database Professionals allows you to write repeatable unit tests for your database with help from the data generator. In this meeting I will show you how to write unit tests and use data generation to ensure a consistent database experience free from bugs! We will also look at how you can use data generation independently of unit testing to help generate generic data instead of using sensitive production data! This will include a look at some of the new features of the DB Pro Power Tools. We’ll finish off the night with a look at customizing the unit testing conditions and building your own data generator!

    If you haven’t already registered, do so by clicking HERE! And while you are there, please do fill up the brief survey that will help fine tune the User Group to serve the community better! Survey! (It shouldn’t take you more than 1½ minutes)

    See you all on Wednesday!

    -Mithun Dhar

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  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    Seasonal Vice!


    Different people have different vices and my 'current' vice is the new Tag Heuer Link Calibre S wrist watch! It all started about a month ago when I landed at the McCarran International airport in Las Vegas. Amongst other gorgeous 'stuff' the new Tag Heuer Calibre S caught my eye! I was mesmerized from the get go! Since my 5th grade, I have a weakness for watches! There's something about having a nice watch rest on your wrist. It's this nice feeling of umm...content? Perhaps!  I usually prefer automatic watches but do make exceptions once in a while. Anyway, I've been doing some serious research to find a good price on this watch. So far, the best price I can get is at Dubai - @ the WafiCity mall - @ Ahmed Siddiqi & Sons and the second best is at a store in Sydney, Australia.

    I have to cure my sleepless nights - and the cure my friend, is to feed the frenzy! I really hope have to win the lotto this Christmas!


    It's sad that the things I love the most are just that - 'things'! I can swear I wasn't like this before :|

    -Mithun Dhar

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  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    Latte love!!!


    If you love coffee and adore your cuppa joe like me, you'd know that a real cup of latte is not real unless it's served in a REAL cup (Porcelain) and has some latte art on it. Needless to say, Microfoam coffee is quintessential!

    If you are in Seattle, WA hit me up and we can sure talk more about this awesome drink! Here are my favorite coffee houses in Seattle:

    1. Bahaus Books and Coffee - Downtown Seattle/Capitol Hill @ Melrose and Pine - This is where I spend most of evenings from 11:00 PM till close (1:00 AM)
    2. Top Pot Doughnuts - There are 3 locations in Seattle and I usually frequent the Capitol Hill location at Mercer and Summit - This is usually my Sunday evening retreat! Or when I have to do some mundane boring stuff (I mask the boredom with 'people watching')
    3. Victrola Coffee Inc - I used to go to this place very often but I haven't been there in the past couple months! I usually go there when I get back home before 8:00 PM from work. It's because this place closes at 11:00 PM :( - I am usually up working till the wee hours. Just don't ask me to wake up before 9:00 AM! Victrola is great and I love their Russian cookies. It's on 15th & Thomas (between Thomas and Republican on 15th). They also opened a new one (well, about 2 years now...) on Pike St.
    4. Vivace Coffee and Roasters - This is awesome and very famous in Seattle. They have 3 locations too...with a swanky new one just opposite to REI in downtown Seattle (Yale Ave). However, I prefer the grungy, laid back one in Capitol Hill - It's on Denny and Broadway. Free wifi, nice tables, airy, lots of light (when we have light in Seattle) so this is our fav hangout place on holidays, we usually play chess or cards or just huddle around our laptops and play 'Text Twist'. And, almost 3 times in a week when I am on my routine walk, I first pick a coffee at the Vivace store on Broadway (Opp to Broadway grill).
    5. Online Coffee Company - If I am on my 12:00 AM walk's then this is my first stop, I first pick my coffee here and punch my card and then finish my ritual 3.4 mile walk! :) I love their coffee too...and If I have an early morning flight, I usually get a cuppa joe from this place and drink it the next morning (which is usually in about 4 hours!) - My Online coffee sore is on Olive and Harvard Ave.
    6. Cafe Vita - I really have no idea why I stopped going here. It's almost a year...they have really good mocha's and the seating upstairs is always lots of fun! They usually supply their coffee and beans to some of the uppity restaurants in Seattle. I love their 'Sugar tubes'
    7. Uptown Espresso - I used to frequent this place a lot while I had a good friend living near the Space Needle! It's an awesome place to go hangout and just catch up with friends. And/or talk about 'world politics' :) I used to frequent the one in Belltown (4th and Wall)
    8. Cafe Ladro - I go here only when it's a first date and if the girl's little snooty! lol! :) None the less their coffee is pretty good. I usually go to the one in Captiol Hill or Lower Queen Anne
    9. Zoka Coffee Roasters - I love this place! Loved to hang out here, unfortunately I've stopped going here - Because it just brings back some memories that I am trying to forget! It's amazing how you associate all these places, even chairs and tables that you used to sit and hangout etc...But they have great coffee and great ambience - My two favorite locations are: Zoka Green Lake and Zoka University (Near the U-Village mall near UW). All I had there was good times with a friend who was closest to me! It's sad that I have to use the past tense now...
    10. Kahili coffee - This was my favorite after work coffee hang out! And, it was also on my most favorite street in and around Seattle - Kirkland downtown (Lake Washington Blvd) I am not a big fan of sweet stuff but their fruit tarts are yummy! :) (Haven't been here either for a long time - usually I had my good friend come over to my office and we'd hang out at my office till I completed my work and then drive over...just good times!)
    11.  Zeitgeist - If you are in the downtown area/Pioneer square area you definitely want to check out this cafe. Not very top on my list but still..it's a good place to go when in downtown :)
    12. Starbucks - Of course! All said and done, Starbucks tops my list not because of their coffee but because of the experience. Every cup of coffee comes free with a great experience. There are times when I am on the road non stop...and at these times when I go to a Starbucks store it's almost like being back home! The same chairs, the same tables, the same colors, and the same cup of coffee! I usually spend hours at Starbucks - lunch, coffee, and a pack of dark chocolate covered espresso nuts. :) And, my most favorite Starbucks is the 2nd Starbucks in the whole wide world - Starbucks at the University Village Mall in Seattle, WA. This place is just laden with great memories with people that matter most to my life. And, more of these will be made here in the future!


    Well, you can't throw a stick in Seattle without hitting a coffee shop or a man wearing crocs. :) If you are in the neck of my woods don't forget to enjoy a good cup of coffee! I have made up my mind that next year, I am spending quality money and getting a nice espresso machine :) (The one that I want right now costs me $900!!! Ouch!!!) In the meantime, I'll practice on improving my Latte Art talent...



    A very emotional,

    -Mithun Dhar

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  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    RTM of Microsoft Math Add-in for Microsoft Office Word 2007


    If you are a math lover nerd like me, you'll go out and drink to this announcement from Microsoft!

    The Microsoft Math Add-in for Word 2007 has shipped and is live and available for download.  Congratulations to the team for shipping this early and fine example of Office integration!

    The add-in enhances Word 2007 with computational and graphing capabilities.  With the add-in, you can:

    • Plot a function, equation, or inequality
    • Solve an equation or inequality
    • Calculate a numerical result
    • Simplify an algebraic expression

    You can download the add-in from the Microsoft.com download center:


    To use the add-in, open Word 2007, type Alt-= to create a RichEdit math object, type an equation or expression, and right-click on the equation to see options for solving and graphing within Word.

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  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    Visual Studio 2008 & .NET Framework 3.5 RTM...(Resources and links to download!!)


    Amidst other news today, Microsoft announced the Release to Manufacture (RTM) of its Developer tools suite - Visual Studio 2008! People everywhere rejoiced and celebrated this announcement! :)

    OK, I'll stop being high with joy...but, as most of you already know, we announced earlier this morning, Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 have been released!

    Visual Studio 2008 provides over 200 new features, including…

      • Productivity: Improved language and data features that help developers gain greater productivity in creating modern software
      • Collaboration: Expanded and improved offerings for software development teams, including tools for database professionals and greater collaboration between development organizations and graphic designers
      • Platforms: Tools that speed creation of software and services on the latest platforms, including the Web, Windows Vista, Office 2007, and Windows Server 2008

    The .NET Framework 3.5, based on proven technology, adds new features in several major technology areas including:

    · Deep integration of Language Integrated Query (LINQ) and data awareness throughout the runtime, compiler, and class libraries. This new feature will let code written in LINQ-enabled languages to filter, enumerate, and create projections of several types of collections using the same syntax.

    · Integrated support for Web 2.0 AJAX style applications and services in ASP.NET and Windows Communication Foundation. Providing customers with direct support of REST/POX and JSON support within in their ASP.NET applications.

    · New workflow-enabled services technology provides customers with improved and long-running services by adding new Windows Workflow Foundation and Windows Communication Foundation tools to simplify building workflow-enabled services.

    · Additions to the base class library (BCL) to address some of the most common customer needs, including integration with Event Tracking for Windows and new add in hosting model for extensibility.

    Here's more to help you get started:

    Visual Studio 2008 Trial Downloads:


    Visual Studio 2008 Training Kit – Now Available!

    I am pleased to announce that the Visual Studio 2008 Training Kit has been updated for the RTM and has been released on the Microsoft.com Download Center for anyone to download and use. 


    The Visual Studio 2008 Training Kit contains a full 5-days of technical content including 20 hands-on labs, 28 presentations, and 20 scripted demos.   The technologies covered in the kit include:  LINQ, C# 3.0, VB 9, WCF, WF, WPF, Windows CardSpace, Silverlight, ASP.NET Ajax, .NET Compact Framework 3.5, VSTO 3.0, Visual Studio Team System, and Team Foundation Server. 

    Download Now:

    You can download the entire training kit from the download center here:  http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7602397.  The kit is just over 120MB compressed.   After downloading the kit, simply run the installation program to extract the contents to your local machine.  Once the installation process is complete, you will see an HTML page that allows you to navigate through the contents of the kit. 

    New Visual Studio 2008 Virtual Lab

    One of the hands-on labs from the Visual Studio 2008 Training Kit is now online and available as an MSDN Virtual Lab.   The “Building Web Applications with Visual Studio 2008” lab is available on MSDN Virtual Labs here.  Developers can now get started with VS 2008 in a minute and explore the new CSS and web designer support without having to install Visual Studio 2008 or the complete training kit. 

    Visual Studio 2008 Training Workshop Recordings

    In September, we recorded the sessions from a full 5-day Visual Studio 2008 Training Workshop.  These sessions were delivered by several of the Technical Evangelists on the Visual Studio Rhythm team and Program Managers from the product group. Today, we have released the recordings from Day #1 of the workshop on Channel9.   Day #1 includes the following topics:

    We will be releasing the remaining recordings from the training workshop over the next four weeks. 

    Let's get down and dirty with code!!!

    -Mithun Dhar

     .Net 3.5, .Net framework
  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    21, Rigged and more...


    I am so stoked! I couldn't have woken up to a better phone call...I got a call from a friend and she told me about the movie 21 and sure enough, there was a trailer and tons of good stuff on the Internet! :)

    21, is a bio pic about a bunch of MIT students who took Las Vegas for a ride! They formed a team and were primarily card counting! They played high stakes and lived the high life! It's based on one of the best books I've ever read - 'Bringing down the house' by Ben Mezrich! I absolutely love his other book too, 'Ugly Americans' - This book is about the crash and collapse of the Barons bank, the Japanese Markets and how a few young Ivy league students raided the Nikkei, Tokyo Stock Exchange. Super thrilling and entertaining! A sure page turner.

    And, I am real happy because I JUST learnt that he has another new book- Rigged! A similar story about a kid who changed the world of Oil! I think I have finalized the books for my long flight to India in 15 days... :)


    Here's the trailer of the movie, 21...

    -Mithun Dhar

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