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    Microsoft WebCamps are back–Register now!



    WebCamp: MVC & jQuery – Redmond and Silicon Valley

    Interested in learning how new innovations in Microsoft's Web Platform and developer tools like ASP.NET 4 and Visual Studio 2010 can make you a more productive web developer? If you're currently working with PHP, Ruby, ASP or older versions of ASP.NET and want to hear how you can create amazing websites more easily, then register for a Web Camp near you today!

    Web Camps are completely free of charge.  Microsoft's Web Camps are events that allow you to learn and build websites using ASP.NET MVC, jQuery, OData, Visual Studio 2010 and more.  This event is a unique opportunity, partnering classroom learning and hands-on-labs, and leveraging experts to help you build new and exciting websites. You can work on suggested labs or you can develop your own killer application.  No matter what your expertise in web development, these Web Camps are the perfect opportunity to get hands-on experience and 'unleash your coding genius'. 

    The MVC3 and jQuery WebCamp is a whole day hands-on camp.  A sample of topics will be covered in the Web Camp:

    · · ASP.NET MVC3 Fundamentals

    · · ASP.NET MVC3 Data Access and Modeling

    · · ASP.NET MVC3 HTML Helpers and Validation

    · · jQuery Fundamentals

    · · jQuery and new Plugins

    · · jQuery, Ajax and MVC

    Register Now

    Register for the location near you. Register now, as space is limited.

    February 26, 2011

    Sillicon Valley

    Building: SVC – 1
    1065 La Avenida St.
    Mountain View CA, 94043

    March 25, 2011


    Building: Commons/Mixer MPR

    15010 NE 36th St
    Redmond, WA 98052

    If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

    -Mithun Dhar

  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    Get Certified–Microsoft Certifications now 20% cheaper…



    Microsoft Certification Packs Extends Deadline

    Microsoft Learning has decided to extend the deadline on the Microsoft Certification Packs. Now customers who buy a pack and take their first exam before June 30, 2011 will have until December 31, 2011 to take the rest of the exams in the pack. This will provide a longer window for customers to prepare and take their exams to achieve their certification. Microsoft Certification Packs provide aggressive discounts when customer buy more than one exam. Plus, Microsoft Certification Packs provide FREE retake exams if you fail on your first attempts. 


    Customers have several choices that map nicely to Certification Paths, or just help validate knowledge:

    Pack Size



    2 Exams


    Included with each exam

    3 Exams


    Included with each exam

    4 Exams


    Included with each exam

    5 Exams


    Included with each exam

    1 Exam

    Regular Price

    15% Additional Cost

    Visit: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/career/en/us/career-offer.aspx#certification


    -Mithun Dhar

  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    Congratulations & Welcome to the Microsoft MVP Program 2011…


    The heart and soul of the Microsoft Developer Community is the MVP and RD Engines. Every year on January 1st, a brand new set of MVP awards are awarded to a very esteemed bunch of well deserving, inspiring, community people. These folks are the leaders who help and make a significant difference in the Microsoft/ technical community. These announcements are made quarterly and each year more than 4,000 MVPs are honored.

    MVP Candidates are nominated by Microsoft, other Community leaders or in some cases – themselves. After the nomination process, they are evaluated by Microsoft for their technical acumen, community participation and leadership, community contribution (thus far), and their ability to scale both in-person and via social media channels.  Visit our nomination page to nominate yourself or someone you know to be considered for an MVP Award.

    # of MVPs; >4000

    # of Countries: >100

    # of Languages: >40

    # of Technologies: >90

    # total questions answered in 2010: >10,000,000 (>10 Million)

    I am really excited to announce the two new Technical Expertise we added this year. We added the SQL Azure and Office 365 (BPOS) to the program. We are now covering more than 90 different Microsoft Technologies. Both of these additions showcase our commitment to the future of our platform in the Cloud. Both SQL Azure and Office 365 nicely fit into the Cloud Platform (Windows Azure) and honor Cloud Development leaders. So, please welcome the 8 new candidates into the Microsoft MVP Program.

    Looking forward to working with all of you this year!

    For questions or feedback, please email (via this blog) or tweet me at: @mithund

    -Mithun Dhar

  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    SharePoint 2010 FireStarter Event | Jan 27th 2011 | Redmond, WA & Streamed live Online…


    Happy New Year folks!

    This new year marks another fresh FireStarter series. On January 27th, Microsoft is hosting the SharePoint 2010 FireStarter event in Redmond, WA. The entire event will be Streamed Live online. Be sure to Register to attend in-person or watch the action unfold Live online!

    We have a fantastic Line up of speakers, including all the SharePoint Rockstars like Paul Stubbs, Steve Fox, etc. This event is day long with lunch and a few other breaks sponsored by Microsoft. The entire event is FREE! All the sessions will be recorded and made available to you online afte rhte evnet. Take a peek at the agenda…


    Time  (PST)



    8:00 am - 8:30 am



    8:30 am - 9:00 am

    Introduction to the day

    Mithun Dhar

    9:00 am - 10:00 am


    Eric Swift

    10:00 am - 10:15 am



    10:15 am - 11:15 am

    SharePoint 2010 Developer Overview

    Mithun Dhar

    11:15 am - 12:15 pm

    SharePoint 2010 Developer Tools

    Mike Morton

    12:15 pm - 1:00 pm



    1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

    SharePoint Development in the Cloud with SharePoint Online

    Chris Mayo

    2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

    Integrating SharePoint with Office

    Donovan Follette

    3:00 pm - 3:15 pm



    3:15 pm - 4:15 pm

    Integrating SharePoint with Azure

    Steve Fox

    4:15 pm - 5:00 pm

    Integrating SharePoint with Silverlight

    Paul Stubbs


    Registration (Click below):




    Thursday, January 27th 2011
    8:30 AM – 5:00 PM PST



    Microsoft Conference Center
    16070 NE 36th Way
    Building 33
    Redmond, WA 98052


    Mithun Dhar – Leave a comment on my blog or tweet me at @mithund

    We look forward to seeing you at the event! Let me know if you have any questions…

    -Mithun Dhar

  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    Redmond Startup Weekend…be sure to be there!




    Microsoft BizSpark



    If you are looking for a co-founder, new hire or have an idea you are kicking around, check out Startup Weekend. It's being hosted at Microsoft in Redmond on December 10th-12th in Redmond.  This Startup Weekend is a Mobile and Gaming themed event, so if you have an idea brewing for a mobile app, new game or both, this is a great time to pitch it. 

    There are great prizes for teams including $15,000 in prototyping help from Microsoft.
    We have seen several Startup Weekend teams go on to get funding, including FoodSpotting, MemoLane, Score.ly, and Seattle’s own Giant Thinkwell, so think big! 

    Friends of Microsoft get a discount, just use the code "microsoft". Hope to see you in Redmond!


    I wanted to invite you to the next Startup Weekend in Redmond, December 10th-12th.  It's a great place to connect with developers, designers and marketers who want to work on cool projects or applications.
    Redmond Startup Weekend is a Mobile and Gaming themed event so if you have an idea brewing for a mobile app, new game or both, this is a great time to pitch it and find some people who would love to work on it with you.  You can find out more about the event at http://redmond.startupweekend.org and if you use the code "microsoft" you get a discount.

    Note that there will be about 3 Windows Phone 7’s that we will be raffling off at this event! We will also bring a few Codes that will waive your fees for Marketplace. Amongst other stuff, we’ll have tee shirts, posters and a whole lot of developer love from Microsoft.

    Tune in this Friday at the Startup weekend….


    See you there!

    -Mithun Dhar

  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    AT&T vs T-Mobile Speed test (iPhone vs HTC HD7)


    I JUST visited the T-Mobile store at Microsoft Commons and saw the new HTC-HD7 and the Dell Venue Pro devices. I have to say, it blows anything I have seen or owned so far!

    First impressions:

    WOW! The HTC HD7 is slick but the screen quality on the Dell Venue Pro is a tad bit better. While the HD7 is really slim and sexy it feels a little delicate compared to the more rugged Dell Venue Pro. Neither of them feel as flimsy as the iPhone 4. The touch is super responsive on both the phones and the onscreen keyboard is mega AWESOME! It blows away the iPhone keyboard in terms of recognition and accuracy. I tried it both portrait and landscape modes and it’s great – really awesome! 16 GB internal memory is sufficient with Zune pass, you get a built in mobile song library. The Zune and Xbox integration features are my favorite by far. I also installed a few applications and the experience is fantastic! If you are like me and use One note for everything, this phone is a no brainer. The Office integration makes it worthwhile. I didn’t get a chance to test out the battery life on either phones but considering they have been around since  9:00 AM and people are constantly playing around with it…they still had a tad bit more than 1/2 battery/power left over. The HTC HD7 also comes with a kickstand in the back for you to enjoy reading/watching a movie (from your Netflix app). And, did I tell you the camera on both the phones are SWEET! 5MP with flash…and a dedicated button to take pics, so I don’t miss a moment when I am trying to unlock, click the camera button and wait for it to load. And, if you are a keyboard kinda guy – the Dell Venue Pro sports a slide out QWERTY Keyboard with real buttons. But trust me on the Onscreen Keyboard being SUPER AWESOME!

    Here’s the kicker: When I tried downloading and installing the Yelp! application, I couldn’t believe how fast it was. That got me thinking about the speed. So I did a quick speed test on the AT&T iPhone and T-Mobile HTC-HD7 – It woke me up with a Jolt! The T-mobile network in and around Seattle is SUPER FAST! I mean, it blows the AT&T speed by leaps and bounds. Here are two screen shots to prove it…


    iPhone 3GS.


    HTC-HD7 (Please note that it uses the same site designed for iPhone speed testing to test and measure the speeds)

    Here’s what I did: From an iPhone, open a browser and go to: http://i.dslr.net/iphone_speedtest.html – Select 3G and wait for the test to complete.

    The results are staggeringly different. The iPhone that I used had a speed of 142 KBPS while the new T-Mobile HTC-HD7 offered, 2204 KBPS – THAT IS 2MB/S – FANTASTIC!

    I am sure this test would give your different results depending on where you are. I also heard that the T-Mobile networks in Seattle just moved to Fiber Optics in the backend. But if you are in a major city, I don’t see it being as bad as AT&T. I was on T-Mobile before and had a pretty good coverage. I can’t say the same for AT&T…there are spots on 520, Capitol Hill where I know the call will get dropped for sure. (I can repro Smile)…

    That’s all I needed to convince me to move from AT&T to T-Mobile. If you need more reasons, here are a few:

    • Monthly bill is cheaper than AT&T (Both individual and family plans)
    • Better Coverage (I can vouch for that…)
    • Sexier phone – Really! Go check one out before you say anything…(The HTC-HD7 stole my heart)
    • Faster – I mean, way faster coverage. Look at the speeds – 142KBPS or 2204 KBPS – psshhht, that’s a no brainer. And, you can test it for yourself!
    • You can hold the phone anyway you want!

    Some of the things that I am not so happy with:

    • There are not as many apps - yet! The iPhone (iTunes) and the Android store blows away the Windows Phone 7 numbers. But given the developer ecosystem for .NET – I am confident that this number will grow fast, very fast!
    • There are some critical app’s that I rely on that are currently missing but for most part, I am covered.
    • I’ve never used ‘Face Time’ but I have friends who swear by it! I don’t see that coming to WP7 right away but I am sure it’s going to come in the next version or perhaps even sooner.


    So what are you waiting for? Go to a store near you and check one out! I am sure you will be as impressed as I am. I am ordering a Windows Phone 7 HTC-HD7 device…I think I’m in love, again!

    Tweet me your thoughts, @mithund

    -Mithun Dhar

  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    Changing your Default Search Engine in Firefox…


    I was setting up my laptop and as part of that, I installed Firefox and noticed there was no ‘Easy’ way to change the default search engine from ‘google’ to bing! Of course!

    So here’s all the hoops I had to jump through. There are two ways to ‘Search’ in Firefox.

    1. Via the Search bar on the right hand screen. This is fairly easy to change…


    Step 1: Click on the arrow next to the Search Engine Icon in the Search box. Then select, Manage Search Engines…


    Step 2: Click the Manage Search Engines and Select ‘Bing’ – Move it to the ‘Top Most’ position by clicking ‘Move up’


    Note: In some cases, when Bing is not listed, you have to click on ‘Get More Search Engines’ and then chose Bing to be added to this list. (Painful!)

    Step 3: Hit OK and close the dialog box. Now you have Bing as your default ‘Search Engine’ in the Search box.

    Now here’s the problem, you would think by doing this – you have fixed the default ‘Search Engine’ everywhere in Firefox. But, no! When you type in two words in the location bar, you still get ‘Google’ results.

    And to change this, there’s no easy way to do it except to get into the config files and edit it.

    Scenario: Type “Mithun Dhar” in the location/address bar – it brings up a google search results page. Now, I want this to bring up Bing search results page.

    Step 1: Open Firefox and type ‘about:config’ in the address bar…it should look something like this,


    Step 2: You will get a warning from Firefox that this might Void Warranty! (Yes, as ridiculous as that sounds!) – click OK! Or rather, Click, I’ll be careful, I Promise!


    Step 3: In the Filter Section, type: ‘Keyword.url’ and you’ll see the key that needs to be changed…


    By default, you have the following: http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q=

    Double click to edit this string. Now there’s one small change that needs to be done to this string…

    Change ‘google’ in this string to your favorite search engine – in my case, I changed it to bing. Your key should now look like this:


    and that’s it! Your address bar now searches bing by default!

    I wonder where the EU is now!

    Hope this helps!

    -Mithun Dhar

  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    SharePoint 2010–Everything you need to know…


    SharePoint is the fastest Billion dollar business for Microsoft! And, it’s gotten there because it is one of the best things since sliced bread! Enterprises love SharePoint and the simplicity it offers to its employees. SharePoint helps employees, Collaborate, find (Search) and work smart!

    I am starting a series on SharePoint 2010. This series will help you understand SharePoint from a Developer perspective. I’ll start from the basics, How to Install SharePoint and set up your Dev environment to writing SharePoint app’s for Windows Phone and everything in between. As always, if you have any questions or if you need more information about anything in particular – let me know! You can tweet me at – @mithund or email me at mithund at Microsoft com.

    This blog post will begin by helping you understand how to ‘Setup your SharePoint Dev Environment’ on a Windows 7 box.

    One of the biggest advantages of SharePoint 2010 is the ability to run on Windows 7 machine. Albeit, this runs only on a Windows 7 64 bit machine. I successfully installed SharePoint server on this box within an hour or so. My original machine started off with a base Windows 7 (For Enterprise SKU) 64 bit and I had installed Visual Studio 2010 with all the pre-req’s.  The VS 2010 SKU I’ve got installed is the ‘Ultimate’ one. My Hardware is a Lenvo Laptop with 8 GB RAM and Intel Core 2 processor. As mentioned earlier it’s a 64 bit machine, As a side note, I’ve tried this on a 6 GB machine and I can tell you that the additional 2 GB makes a huge difference.

    Before you start you must install the WCF Hotfix for Microsoft Windows. The hotfix is available for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7. In addition, you must also install the ADO.NET Data Services Update for .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 to enable REST-based data services. This update is available for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7.

    Now that your basic setup is complete, let’s install the prerequisites for SharePoint 2010 – Note that for Windows 7 (Or Windows Vista) you cannot use the PreRequisiteInstall.exe tool that’s included in the setup library. This works only on a Windows Server 2008 R2 OS. Because the default installation works only for WS 2008, you must edit one of the configuration files and install the Pre-Requisites manually. Note that you need to be logged on as the administrator to perform these installations.

    Also, these steps assume that you received the SharePoint 2010 distribution as a single compressed executable file named SharePointFoundation.exe for SharePoint Foundation 2010 and setup.exe for SharePoint Server 2010.

    1. Begin by copying the SharePointFoundation.exe (or Setup.exe) installation file to a folder on the computer. I copied in the following path:


    2. Extract the Installation files from the CMD prompt window,

    For SharePoint Foundation 2010:

    C:\SharePointFiles\SharePoint /extract:C:\SharePointFiles

    For SharePoint Server 2010:

    C:\SharePointFiles\OfficeServer /extract:C:\SharePointFiles

    3. Open the Configuration file in Notepad – Config.xml is located in C:\SharePointFiles\Files\Setup\config.xml

    Add this line inside the <configuration> tag:

    <Setting Id="AllowWindowsClientInstall" Value="True"/>
    4. Save & Close the Config file. 
    5. The completed Config File should now look like this:
      <Package Id="sts">
        <Setting Id="SETUPTYPE" Value="CLEAN_INSTALL" />
      <DATADIR Value="%CommonProgramFiles%\Microsoft Shared\Web Server
       Extensions\14\Data" />
      <Logging Type="verbose" Path="%temp%" Template="Microsoft Windows
       SharePoint Services 4.0 Setup *.log" />
      <PIDKEY Value="PIDKey Value" />
      <Setting Id="UsingUIInstallMode" Value="1" />
      <Setting Id="SETUP_REBOOT" Value="Never" />
      <Setting Id="AllowWindowsClientInstall" Value="True"/>
    Please note that this Config file will be longer for SharePoint Server 2010 
    (The above file is for SharePoint Foundation 2010). 
    But that said, you should use the same setting for the AllowClientInstall attribute.
    Note that all of this is case-sensitive. If there’s an error you will get a Setup Error message when you try to run the 
    Setup Script. 

    6. Now install the following Pre-Requisites:

    • Microsoft FilterPack 2.0. At a command prompt, type the following:

    • c:\SharePointFiles\PrerequisiteInstallerFiles\FilterPack\FilterPack.msi






    6. Make sure the following features are enabled and your Windows Features should look like this:


    This is the Second part…


    And if you are like me, you can enable all of these features from the Command Prompt – (Please note that there are line breaks in the script below)

    start /w pkgmgr /iu:IIS-WebServerRole;IIS-WebServer;IIS-CommonHttpFeatures;

    Verify that the required Windows Features are enabled. The command in the previous step enables all of the required features in the Internet Information Services section of the Windows Features dialog box (which you can access through the Programs section in Control Panel). Use the above figures to check that you have enabled all of the required Windows Features. If any features are missing in your operating system, return to the Internet Information Services section of the Windows Features dialog box and enable them.

    Finally, install SharePoint – Open the Command prompt and type the following - C:\SharePointFiles\Setup.exe

    Accept the terms and conditions and you will be bought to this splash screen


    Please note that since this is a Developer environment that we are setting up, I chose to install using the Standalone option. If any errors occur, you can debug using the information in the log file. To find the log file type the following in the command prompt window,

    cd %temp%
    dir /od *.log

    Now your SharePoint site is being configured -


    After this, you are presented with the new sharePoint site.


    And Voila, you now have a SharePoint developer environment installed on your local Windows 7 –64 bit machine.

    I’ll follow up with a blog post on customizing your new SharePoint site….

    If you have any questions, let me know – mithund at microsoft dot ‘you know what’

    -Mithun Dhar

  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    SharePoint 2010 Easy Setup Script…



    Problem: Installing SharePoint Or Setting up a Dev Environment for writing SharePoint applications. (Install SharePoint directly onto your machine running Windows 7 64bit). The downside to installing it on your Windows 7 box is that it requires a steep learning curve to understand how to setup and install all of the bits and pieces to have a full SharePoint developer environment. This is where the Easy Setup Script comes in. The goal of the Easy Setup Script is to reduce the learning curve and time for a casual developer to get started.

    Solution: We are addressing this problem by providing you a SharePoint 2010 Easy Setup Scrip that automates this process. *ta da* :)

    How: In order to make this easy Our Resident SharePoint experts have created a series of PowerShell Scripts that automate the entire process. Of course, these scripts are highly configurable and can be tweaked to make it more customized. But right out of the bat,

    - They will download and install all of the Required Software (Including Pre-Req’s)

    - Install and download all of the SharePoint Pre-Req’s

    -Install other software such as Visual Studio and Office

    -Of course, this script will also install and configure SharePoint 2010

    -and finally, it will provision a site for you to work with.

    Please note that this script will download evaluation copies of the products it installs (or use fully licensed product bits you supply), install them either locally or in a user supplied Windows 7 VHD & set that VHD up for duel boot using the Windows 7 VHD native boot feature.

    In case you are wondering about what specific software will be installed, here’s a list:

    • SharePoint Server 2010 + pre-requisites (Standalone)
      • Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate Edition
      • Silverlight 4 Tools for Visual Studio
      • Expression Studio 4 Ultimate
      • Open XML SDK
      • Visual Studio SDK
      • Visual Studio SharePoint Power Tools
      • Office 2010 Professional Plus
      • SharePoint Designer 2010
      • Visio 2010

      Also to help you visualize what’s happening, here’s the Easy Setup Script Process Flow…


      Click to view full size

      To begin Download the Script 

      As soon as you download and install you will be presented with this screen…


      If this is not an option, do try out the Information Worker VHD – This has everything Setup and Configured but of course to use this VHD you will need a machine capable of running Hyper-V and it should have at least 8 GB RAM.

      Alternatively, you can remote desktop into a hosted instance of SharePoint. But this is not the most desired solution for developers…

      Here’s a really useful presentation to understand what’s going on…you get this from the script.

      Fore more updates, follow Chris Johnson’s and Paul Stubb’s blogs on MSDN. They are our resident experts and SharePoint evangelists.

      And as always, if you have specific questions – feel free to email me. I modified the Config file and installed SharePoint 2010 using the Easy Setup Script.

      -Mithun Dhar

    • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

      Silverlight FireStarter | December 2nd 2010 | Redmond & Online (Streamed Live!) | Register NOW!



      You know the drill! The hottest event of the year is happening on December 2nd in Redmond, WA. If you are in and around Seattle or if you want to make a trip down and meet the Seattle Register NOW! Seating is very limited and if the past events are any indication – this will get Sold Out! (That’s ironic, considering that this event is free!)

      This day long, free event is a high profile, all Microsoft event. Come listen to the experts as they teach you and talk about Silverlight. Silverlight is becoming the platform of choice for developers and designers alike. With Windows Phone 7 just released, this platform is all set to take your coding skills to the next level and help you write WP7 apps. Of course, we have baked a lot of that into the agenda.

      Register NOW! December 2, 2010 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm pacific time — It's completely free! 

      image image

      Here’s how the day looks:

      FireStarter Live Agenda:

      Time Presenter Session Details
      8:00 am Scott Guthrie  Scott Guthrie Silverlight FireStarter Keynote
      9:00 am

      Jesse Liberty  Jesse Liberty Masterful Data Strategies with Silverlight and WP7
      10:00 am alt 15 minute break
      10:15 am

      Pete Brown  Pete Brown Roll Out Your Business Apps Today with RIA Services
      11:15 am John Papa  John Papa MVVM: Why and How? Tips and Patterns using MVVM and Service Patterns
      12:15 pm alt Lunch break
      1:00 pm alt Silverlight Today and Tomorrow (Special Guest Panel)
      1:30 pm Tim Heuer  Tim Heuer Building Real World Silverlight Apps
      2:30 pm alt 15 minute break
      2:45 pm Scott Guthrie   Mike Cook &
        Jossef Goldberg
      Tune Your Application: Profiling and Performance Tips
      3:45 pm Jaime Rodriguez  Jaime Rodriguez Killer Performance Tips for Silverlight Windows Phone 7
      5:00 pm alt After Party!

      Sessions are subject to change.

      Get Social: We are using the #slfs10 hash tag. Follow the conversation on Twitter…

      More information: http://www.silverlight.net/news/events/firestarter/

      Got Questions: Ask, slfs@microsoft.com

      See you at the event!

      -Mithun Dhar

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