March, 2010

"Welcome

  • Microsoft Press

    Your feedback about our Developer Training Kits told us to do this

    • 4 Comments
    Hi all, Kimberly here. The Microsoft Press team met this month to dig into the feedback you gave us about .NET Framework Training Kits. (My thanks to everyone who completed the survey!) Three themes emerged from our analysis. I want to tell you what they are and how we plan to address them in the Training Kits that cover the .NET Framework 4 exams. Technical accuracy   By far, your biggest concern is errors. Even minor technical errors make you nervous about the overall accuracy of the book, and when you are studying for an exam, nervous is not good . As a standard practice, we hire technical experts to review every chapter, every block of code, and every practice test question in the book. In response to your concerns, our editors are updating our technical review guidelines to make...
  • Microsoft Press

    New book: Microsoft Visual C# 2010 Step by Step

    • 29 Comments
    John Sharp’s new book, Microsoft Visual C# 2010 Step by Step , is now available! You can order it here or here , as well as many other places. Here are a couple of excerpts from the book. Enjoy! Introduction (excerpt) Microsoft Visual C# is a powerful but simple language aimed primarily at developers creating applications by using the Microsoft .NET Framework. It inherits many of the best features of C++ and Microsoft Visual Basic, but few of the inconsistencies and anachronisms, resulting in a cleaner and more logical language. C# 1.0 made its public debut in 2001. The advent of C# 2.0 with Visual Studio 2005 saw several important new features added to the language, including Generics, Iterators, and anonymous methods. C# 3.0 which was released with Visual Studio 2008, added extension...
  • Microsoft Press

    RTM’d today: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Administrator’s Pocket Consultant, Second Edition

    • 2 Comments
    We’re happy to announce that Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Administrator's Pocket Consultant, Second Edition , by William Stanek, has shipped to the printer. The book’s ISBN is 9780735627383, the book includes 17 chapters and 736 pages, and it will be available after April 21. The book’s first edition has been updated for the R2 of SQL Server 2008. Below is more info about the book. Check back later for excerpts from the book’s chapters. Introduction Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Administrator’s Pocket Consultant, Second Edition, is designed to be a concise and compulsively usable resource for SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 Release 2 (R2) administrators. It covers everything you need to know to perform the core administrative tasks for SQL Server and is the readable resource guide that you’ll...
  • Microsoft Press

    Carl Chatfield: Look is not feel

    • 0 Comments
    Years ago attended some training in information design from Jared Spool of the firm User Interface Engineering . One thing that Jared said that really stuck with me was this: in the software design community we use the phrase "look and feel" a lot, and usually we spit it out as a single word, lookandfeel . But it's useful to parse the phrase. A software UI like an operating system or application has certain attributes that we can call "look" attributes, and other attributes that we can call "feel" attributes." Look is: • The "first impression" visual appeal (for example, "Oh I recognize that this table in Project reminds me of Excel"). • The ability to transfer knowledge from experience with a different UI (like the fill handle for using...
  • Microsoft Press

    Free ebook: Moving to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 (DRAFT Preview)

    • 13 Comments
    NEW: The complete and final version of this ebook is now available here . We’re pleased to announce another free offering (following Charles Petzold’s Programming Windows Phone 7 Series (DRAFT Preview) , which we released on March 15): Moving to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 (DRAFT Preview) . This DRAFT Preview contains three chapters from what will be a ten-chapter ebook when it’s released this summer. The three chapters make up Part II, “Moving from Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 to Visual Studio 2010.” You can download the DRAFT Preview of this ebook in XPS or PDF format here . Here’s some of the Introduction (<snip> marks a deletion, to shorten this post), which explains the book’s approach: Introduction Every time we get...
  • Microsoft Press

    New book: MCITP Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-685): Windows 7 Enterprise Desktop Support Technician Training Kit

    • 0 Comments
    Great news! The MCITP Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-685): Windows 7 Enterprise Desktop Support Technician Training Kit , by Tony Northrup and J.C. Makin, is in print! This book is exactly what you need to help prepare for certification exam 70-685. Tony and J.C. give you plenty of lessons and exercises and the CD contains several practice tests too. You'll find all the standard Training Kit benefits: comprehensive coverage of all 70-685 exam objectives, 200+ practice test and lesson review questions, real-world scenarios, case study examples, troubleshooting labs, fully searchable eBook of the book’s contents, and a 15 percent exam-discount voucher from Microsoft. Here's an excerpt from the book's introduction: Introduction This training kit is designed for IT support personnel...
  • Microsoft Press

    Share your favorite formulas, functions, tips, and tricks in Excel or Access

    • 0 Comments
    Last week I wrote a post about how I love books and recently used our e-reference library to find the CONCATENATE function in Excel. This week, though, I want to confess that I’ve learned most of my favorite tips and tricks in Excel and Access from friends and fellow co-workers. It’s amazing how few of the features and functions we all use in these programs. Whenever I hear about someone using a function or formula I’ve never used, I can’t wait to learn it. I’ll share a couple of my newly learned tricks with you here. I invite you to write comments to this post and tell us how you use a particular function. If you can, show us an example. CLEAN This function made me finally appreciate VLOOKUP. Almost everyone I know who works in spreadsheets uses VLOOKUP frequently. I’ve never liked it, though...
  • Microsoft Press

    Full TOC for “Windows 7: The Best of the Official Magazine”

    • 0 Comments
    Here’s the Table of Contents for the new book we highlighted in our previous post:  
  • Microsoft Press

    New book: Windows 7: The Best of the Official Magazine

    • 0 Comments
    We’re happy to announce that Windows 7: The Best of the Official Magazine is now available. Today we offer an excerpt from the book. First, here’s a quick a description of it: Explore the practical, fun, and creative things you can do right now with Windows 7—with expert guidance from the editors of the only officially endorsed magazine for Windows 7. This guide comes packed with smart-and-simple tips-and vibrantly illustrated how-to's-on everything from navigating the Windows interface to taking advantage of new operating system features to fun projects for home, school, and work. Topics include boosting your productivity with Windows Live and Windows Internet Explorer 8, thwarting hackers, organizing your photo and music collections, making movies, streaming to an Xbox 360, controlling your...
  • Microsoft Press

    I. M. Wright: “I’m deeply committed”

    • 0 Comments
    “It’s mid-year career discussion time at Microsoft®. I could rant about the HR tools we use, but that’s like complaining about prostate exams—too inflated a target. Instead, what gushes out at me at this time of year are BOGUS commitments. You’ve heard of SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-based, and Time-specific). BOGUS commitments are Bloated, Outdated, Generic, Unrepresentative, and Self-centered. What really kills me are BOGUS commitments posing as SMART ones. They sound specific and measurable. The results seem achievable in the specific time period provided. And yet, these so-called SMART commitments are totally BOGUS. As a manager, BOGUS commitments are particularly gut wrenching to evaluate—“Yes, you are ‘On Track’ for 11 of your 12 commitments. Unfortunately, your...
  • Microsoft Press

    Windows Internals is eleven for eleven

    • 3 Comments
    Last time we checked , in October, Windows Internals, Fifth Edition (Microsoft Press, 2009), by Mark Russinovich and David Solomon with Alex Ionescu, had received eight for eight 5-star reviews at Amazon. Now the book is up to eleven 5-star reviews out of eleven total reviews . To see why the book is on this streak, take a look at a sample chapter. Chapter 5, “Processes, Threads, and Jobs,” is available (116 gloriously detailed pages) here . This sample chapter also includes the book’s complete Table of Contents. Here’s an excerpt from one of the recent reviews, by Richard Sveyda: There is an awful lot of meat in this book. Some topics you'll want to skip, some you'll want to memorize: but it will put you at the front of the pack, because so much of what you learn is vital to being the best...
  • Microsoft Press

    Gerry O’Brien: Register for Visual Studio 2010 beta exams

    • 0 Comments
    Gerry, in charge of Microsoft Learning’s certifications for developers, has a great post on his blog about how you can take part in one or more beta exams for Visual Studio 2010 and the Microsoft .NET Framework 4. Take a look .
  • Microsoft Press

    Call for book proposals on topics for developers

    • 1 Comments
    Hello, everyone. Kimberly Kim here, and I’m back with another call to action for passionate developer types. There are a few topics that keep coming up during our planning discussions for developer books. As you might expect, WCF, Data Services, and ASP.NET are on that list. But, increasingly, so are DLR and PHP. If you have a great idea for an original book about these topics or would like to contribute to one of our established series, we want to hear from you! Check out our book proposal guidelines here: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/training/format-books.aspx#tab3 . Then, send us your name, your resume, and a brief description of your book in an e-mail message to 4bkideas@microsoft.com . Looking forward to reading you!
  • Microsoft Press

    Author news: An interview with Jeffrey Richter

    • 1 Comments
    Search our blog and you’ll find lots of information about Jeffrey Richter’s new book, CLR via C#, Third Edition . You’ll find lots of excerpts from the book here too. Today we’d like to point you to an two-part interview with Jeffrey, who is in London for the DevWeek 2010 conference . Here’s part 1 of the interview: http://blogs.msdn.com/devpara/archive/2010/03/16/jeffrey-richter-at-devweek-2010-part-1.aspx . And here’s part 2: http://blogs.msdn.com/devpara/archive/2010/03/16/jeffrey-richter-at-devweek-2010-part-2.aspx . Enjoy!
  • Microsoft Press

    How one Luddite learned to appreciate digital text

    • 0 Comments
    I love print books. I like the way they feel and I like how I can picture pages in my head after I’ve read them. I like sticking post-it notes on pages that might be important to me again. I already stare at a screen all day reading email. Why would I want to read books on a screen – no matter if the screen is my monitor or an electronic reader? Yet, over the last few months, I’ve found ways to use PDFs and online libraries that make me rethink digital books – especially technical books like the ones we publish at Microsoft Press. I’m lucky enough to have a bookcase full of our books in my office. Sometimes I’ll take one home to learn something new, like SharePoint. However, if I have a specific question and don’t know which book can solve it best, I rely on searching through our entire...
  • Microsoft Press

    Carl Chatfield: Top 10 Problems, #1: Forget that the schedule is not the project

    • 0 Comments
    Carl here. ProjHugger is for Microsoft Office Project newbies, enthusiasts, and zealots. I publish new posts every Monday morning, but you can add comments any time. This week’s ProjHugger post continues the “Top 10 problems new (and not so new) Project users have, and what you can do to ease the pain” series, which started like this: #10 , #9 , #8 , #7 , #6 , #5 , #4 , #3 , and #2 . Problem #1: Forget that the schedule is not the project You're a project manager who's invested thousands of hours building and maintaining a complex project plan. Sometimes the smartest thing to do is to just throw away the plan. On a Journey of a Thousand Steps, the First Step is the Most Dangerous It's a peculiar truth that at the time you're building a plan for an upcoming project, you can say with 100% certainty...
  • Microsoft Press

    Take a look at the Windows Phone 7 Series “Metro” book

    • 0 Comments
    This beautiful book describing and illustrating the thinking behind the “Metro” UI was handed out at MIX10 . You can see the entire book here . And here’s a profile of Albert Shum , “one of the key thinkers behind the new Windows Phone 7 Series design.”
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