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Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

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

November, 2007

  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    Silverlight Firestarter event in Redmond, WA - Register NOW!!




    Untitled1 Untitled Silverlight 1.0 Fire Starter

    On November 29, 2007 Microsoft will be hosting Silverlight 1.0 Fire Starter on the Redmond, Washington campus. This daylong event is free to anyone who wants to learn about designing and developing with Microsoft Silverlight 1.0.

    Microsoft Silverlight 1.0 is a cross platform browser plug-in that enables for easy development of media rich web sites.  For more information, visit http://silverlight.net.

    November 29, 2007
    Microsoft Redmond Campus
    1 Microsoft Way
    Redmond, WA
    Building 33, Kodiak Room
    ** Please have a photo ID with you to register onsite and park

    8:00 am
    Event: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
    or by calling 1-877-673-8368 and referencing Event ID 1032359153




    8:00 am – 8:30 am



    8:30 am – 9:00 am

    Introduction to Silverlight

    Mithun Dhar

    9:00 am – 10:00 am

    Getting Started with Silverlight

    Jesse Liberty

    10:00 am – 10:15 am



    10:15 am – 11:15 am

    Microsoft Expression Design Tools

    Arturo Toledo

    11:15 am  – 12:15 pm

    XAML Essentials for Silverlight

    Laurence Moroney

    12:15 pm – 1:00 pm



    1:00 pm  – 2:00 pm

    Developer Tools for Silverlight

    Adam Kinney

    2:00 pm  – 3:00 pm

    Media, Markers and More

    Ernie Booth

    3:00 pm  – 3:15 pm



    3:15 pm  – 4:15 pm

    Popfly and Silverlight – Writing a Silverlight ‘Social’ app

    Popfly Team

    4:15 pm  – 5:00 pm

    What will Silverlight look like in future versions? WPF

    Ernie Booth

    Post Event

    Evening event with XBOX, networking and refreshments


    -Mithun Dhar


  • 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...

    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...

    The Road Not Taken....


    This past weekend when I was getting my eyes checked, all that was going on in my head was Robert Frost's- The Road Not Taken poem. It's such a wonderful poem and one of the few pieces of literature that has a profound effect on my life.

    I distinctly remember my fourth grade class and my English teacher reading this poem and explaining verse by verse. I am surprised we were taught such heavy stuff when we were just kids. But none the less, it always stuck in the back of my head and I've always strived NOT to be just another brick in the wall. And, more often than not, Taken The Road That is Less Traveled...And, that has made all the difference in the world.

    Read on...

    The Road Not Taken

    TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,

    And sorry I could not travel both

    And be one traveler, long I stood

    And looked down one as far as I could

    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

    Then took the other, as just as fair,

    And having perhaps the better claim

    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

    Though as for that, the passing there

    Had worn them really about the same,

    And both that morning equally lay

    In leaves no step had trodden black.

    Oh, I marked the first for another day!

    Yet knowing how way leads on to way

    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh

    Somewhere ages and ages hence:

    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,

    I took the one less traveled by,

    And that has made all the difference.

    -Robert Frost 1875–1963


    -Mithun Dhar

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  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    MSDN Redmond, WA Event update...



    Update @ 10:20 AM: We just received power and we are good to go for the afternoon sessions. Click HERE for the agenda and speaker information.

    Hope to see you this afternoon!



    Thanks for showing up this morning at the MSDN Event. We had a record registration today for our MSDN Event in Redmond, WA! But, unfortunately we had to cancel the morning event due to power outage - Someone decided to ram their car into one of the transformers crippling a couple city blocks without power! Ironically, this was our first set of 'Power Series' events! :)

    Coincidence? You betcha!

    Anyway, we will keep you posted about the afternoon session. Watch this space for updates!


    Q. Will the morning events be rescheduled?

    We don't know at this point wether the morning session will be rescheduled but regardless of the outcome, I'll try and arrange a back up session for Astoria (ADO.Net Web Services) and VS 2008. We already have a full day event planned for Silverlight - More information on the Silverlight Fire Starter event can be found HERE! (There are limited seats so please register ASAP)


    Q. Where can I find resources for today's MSDN Event?

    All the resources including, demo code, Power point slides, web casts etc can be downloaded HERE - Note that some of the resources have not been updated just yet. We typically update all of our resources at the end of each quarter after all our 'Live' events have been completed.

    Q. I would love to see the event rescheduled in Redmond,WA - Where can I voice my Opinion/Suggestions?

    It would definitely help me if you voiced your opinion and let me know if rescheduling/re-hosting this mornings MSDN session would be helpful for you. Please leave a comment on this blog posting.


    We regret any inconvenience it's caused to you!  Sometimes, we just don't have control over the way things pan out....


    Thank you!

    -Mithun Dhar

  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    Oily world...


    I was hanging out with a few friends last evening and they were telling me about the spend thrift nature of the Arab's! I was just amazed to learn that money was so cheaply available in the Arab world! Of course, I knew it was one of the wealthiest countries in the world and they had lavish tastes. But, what made me think was when I learnt that one of the guys (Some Prince...I don't remember his name) was buying the new A380 and converting it into a 'Flying Palace' - I mean WTF!! A F l y i n g   p a l a c e ???

    So at 4:00 AM when everyone had left, the only thing on my mind was, How are these guys getting soo much money, how much oil do they really have? Relatively speaking? After much searching, I came across this picture...I think the rest is self explanatory!

    EA letterhead 1.0

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  • 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

  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    Customize your Zune with a cool laser etched tattoo...


    This is really really cool!

    I think I just know what to gift my friends and family this Holiday season :) Read more about it HERE


    Click for larger version.

    Unique, laser-etched design from noted artist Catalina Estrada on the new red flash-memory Zune. One of many one-of-a-kind creations available for free with Zune purchase at http://www.zuneoriginals.net.


    -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...

    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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