# Saturday, May 05, 2012

The details of my session at TechEd in Orlando are posted here

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, May 05, 2012 11:16:45 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, October 18, 2011
There is still time to sign up for the upcoming Boston Code Camp!

Go to here for details.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011 9:51:40 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1]  | 
# Sunday, November 22, 2009
I just got back from the Microsoft PDC in LA and have been thinking about what I saw there.

It turns out that I have come to a couple of conclusions that I will surely post more about in the future, but for now here is the overview.

First there were several Windows Azure announcements that have swayed me from skeptic to seeing a real chance for Azure to be a contender. Chief among my concerns was the fact that I just didn't see companies doing a big rewrite just to leverage a cloud solution. Now it is much easier to port an existing application to Azure and there is the option to customize the hosted image. I also saw a demo that no one else seems to have noticed (or I was imaging things). I could have sworn I saw a demo where SQL data hosted behind the company firewall was opened up for consumption by an Azure hosted application. I plan to watch that keynote again to make sure I know what I am talking about so consider this a disclaimer.

Second, I am now confident that Microsoft will not abandon either WPF nor SilverLight developers since there were already announcements to make both able to run with the same assemblies. A small step, but when coupled with the fact that VS2010 is built with WPF I think the two technologies are both valid for development (I was worried about the future of WPF until recently).

There was of course more, but those will have to wait for other posts.

Sunday, November 22, 2009 8:36:45 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [44]  | 
# Friday, November 13, 2009
I am packing tonight to head to the PDC in Los Angeles and wanted to tell anyone else who will be attending that I am hosting a Birds of a Feather session at lunchtime on Thursday on security hype.

The thesis is that we are seeing a steady stream of over hyped security "issues" that tend to remind me more and more of the ads for the evening news that say things like "Your water could be killing your children, details at 11". We plan to discuss how this trend is hurting actual preparedness for the real threats.

Hope to see some of you there.

Friday, November 13, 2009 10:51:22 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [32]  | 
# Thursday, November 05, 2009
I am getting ready to go to the PDC this year and I got to thinking that devs need to dig in now more than ever to stay up to date on the latest and greatest tools available to get their jobs done.

I spent this last week teaching a class on SQL Server 2008 at Blended Solutions in Manchester, New Hampshire and I found myself telling many old school stories about how back in SQL 4.2 we had to do pretty much everything ourselves and how Replication made its debut in SQL 7.0, but alot of people didn't discover it until SQL 2000.

It got me thinking that while you hear it alot you have to keep learning and work pretty hard to stay up to date, which brings me back to PDC. I know it is really hard to get away these days, but Microsoft has been really good about putting content online so watch the web and pay attention. Even dropping out for a few months can really hurt your abilities to get caught back up.

Thursday, November 05, 2009 10:51:16 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [33]  | 
# Monday, March 10, 2008
I have finally confirmed the final dates for the Egypt Developers Conference which is held every year in Cairo. This year it is in Mid April and again I will be speaking. I really look forward to this event and for a short time I was afraid that the dates would move to a week where I couldn't attend, but I now know that this is not the case. This week I have to solidify which sessions I will present and am thinking about doing a session on commercial software development (as opposed to business software development) on the new Software Architects track. Last year I made the mistake of re-presenting session from previous years at the request of some very well intentioned people who were running the show, but I will not make that same mistake again. See you in Cairo!
Monday, March 10, 2008 8:40:53 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [3]  | 
# Friday, October 20, 2006

Code Camp 6 is tomorrow at the MS office in Waltham and this is the first one since the original world premier Code Camp that I am going to miss.

With Thom Robbins moving on to Redmond and the rush of business that everyone seems to be seeing, this 6th edition didn't come together nearly as early as previous editions.

I apologize for not making it, but since it is slimmed down to a single day this time and I specifically have a conflict tomorrow, I won't be there.

I expect we will do a better job for Code Camp 7 and provide much more advanced warning and I will do my best to defend the date ;)

Friday, October 20, 2006 2:25:37 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [25]  | 
# Monday, July 24, 2006

Microsoft has released a 12 step plan to help its image and communicate their intent to prevent the kinds of lawsuits like the one going on with the EU.

While I think the plan will work on a number of levels, I am disappointed that it had to happen this way.  I am not of the belief that Microsoft has never acted in the name of profit or that sometimes there have been less than the fairest of practices employed, but is this any different than any other company?  I would prefer that the oil and gas companies were held to such high standards or even just the cable companies.

The Twelve Tenets to Promote Competition are outlined on the MS site and should make anyone who has dealt with Microsoft in the past feel a bit better.  The reason for this is that in all my dealings with Microsoft the staff there have been zealots about dogma.  If it is a defined part of the company culture (as these tenets are sure to be) then it is embraced pretty thoroughly.

I have no doubt that this will help Microsoft by actually influencing the internal culture and that it will help competition.  I just wish the pressure it took to make a single software company do this were either applied to the industry instead or better yet to an industry that actually needs it.

Monday, July 24, 2006 8:50:31 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [27]  | 
# Monday, June 12, 2006

Tonight at TechEd in Boston there is the Panel discussion.  This is an event by pretty much all the user groups in the area and I will be one of the panelists. 

The room (251 at the Convention Center, not the Hynes) is open at 6:00 PM with the meeting starting at 6:50 PM.  The room should be packed based on current registrations so get in early if you want to go.

Details are here.

Monday, June 12, 2006 9:23:17 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [21]  | 
# Monday, May 08, 2006

At Code Camp 5 in Waltham this past Sunday I was delivering my session entitled "All you need to know about Membership", when I learned that I didn't know everything I need to know about membership.

Someone asked if the scripts were available that aspnet_regsql.exe uses to create the membership table.  My answer was that I hadn't seen them so I assumed they were baked into the exe.  WRONG!  Our good buddy and fellow Code Camp presenter, Dan Krhla, pointed out that in the same directory that you find the aspnet_regsql.exe (namely C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727) you also find the scripts that the tool users including InstallMembership.sql.  There are a bunch of them and you have to install them in order (installcommon.sql first, etc.).  They offer some good insights and I have already spent a bit of time on them myself.

Thanks again Dan and I am happy that the question came up so I could learn something too.  This is why I really love the Code Camp.

Monday, May 08, 2006 8:06:51 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [24]  | 
# Monday, March 27, 2006

As promised, but fashionably late as always, here are the slides from this Saturday's Mini Code Camp Security Edition.

I want to thank everyone that attended and the feedback has been great (no death treats so far)!

Membership.ppt (752 KB)
Security Best Practices.ppt (579 KB)

Check Duane's blog at www.cyberspacesamurai.com for his slides.

See you at the next Code Camp!

Thanks
Patrick

Monday, March 27, 2006 2:58:01 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [38]  | 
# Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Duane and I are doing a mini (one day) Code Camp in Waltham in late March focused on security.

We already have a pretty good list signed up so if you really want to come, register today.

We are running it on Saturday, March 25th starting first thing in the morning.  See you there.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006 10:59:07 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [30]  | 
# Wednesday, December 21, 2005
My old friend and mentor, Bruce Backa is finally blogging and this is a MUST SEE!  If you want to learn lessons of business and technology the hard way then by all means ignore this, otherwise put this on your RSS reader and don't miss a post.  I work with Bruce and I still plan to read his posts religiously.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005 10:20:31 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [37]  | 
# Saturday, December 17, 2005
Microsoft held the Boston Launch event at the new Convention Center on Thursday and by all accounts it was very successful.  Duane Laflotte and I delivered the Web Development session to a pretty packed room.  Overall the event surpassed the 3,000 mark and everyone I talked to seemed very pleased with the information provided in both the data and development tracks.

I wish I had posted before the event, but travel and things being so busy at CriticalSites have put me behind lately.  I plan to be more proactive going forward.
Saturday, December 17, 2005 11:11:58 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [25]  | 
# Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Thom Robbins of MS is introducing a really cool competition called the "Launch 2005 Screencast Contest".  The concept is that you get a free 30 day copy of Camtasia and record one or more demos with audio.  The entries will be screened and the winners in the major launch cities will win some useful stuff.

Thom breaks it all down on his blog here.

I did one of these during the break at the last Code Camp and it was actually pretty cool.  My demo is up on Channel 9 and I am definitely going to be doing some more (though if I know Thom, I am not allowed in the contest).

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 2:03:02 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [39]  | 
# Thursday, September 22, 2005

New England is where the whole Code Camp phenomenon began and than God that I am not doing 12 sessions in 2 days the way I did for the first one!

But I am doing 3 sessions this weekend at the 4th Code Camp themed "Developers Gone Wild".

Thom Robbins has the details posted as well as a link to register here.

It should be great!  While I will only be there on Saturday due to a conflict on Sunday, I am very glad to be going. 

See you there;)

Thursday, September 22, 2005 11:18:28 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [37]  | 
# Friday, September 16, 2005

As I got caught up on the activities here at the PDC in Los Angeles, I fell off the wagon of posting about what has gone on.  Overall it was a good event, but there weren't a ton of surprises.  As I write this I am listening to Michael Howard explain the updated threat modeling thinking that sounds quite good.  The push in threat modeling is to make it accessible to developers who aren't security gurus.  This is a good goal because I can count on one hand the number of clients that I have visited that actually do real threat modeling.  As the tools do more and more for us, this is the high value, non automatable activities that we need to see more in the enterprise.

This shows that MS is making a push on all fronts.  There isn't any complacency that I can find, though occasionally there is some confusion.

I have heard over and over again from people that you just can't keep your hands in everything anymore.  The number of products coming out based on the announcements here this week alone bring this point home.  Lets hope that it doesn't go so far that we ever get to the point where someone narrows their focus so much that they decide to become experts specializing in the File Menu of Word (and all 3487 entries and shortcuts in that menu)...

Friday, September 16, 2005 12:13:49 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [33]  | 
# Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I am writing this from Bill Gates' keynote at PDC in Los Angeles.  User experience is definitely the message of the day.  Windows Vista is a clear indication of the MS belief that if you build a better interface then they will come (or stay as the case may be).

Atlas, which will allow MS technology developers to build XMLHttp based, google map like, experiences is a prime example that this is the battlefield of this round.  There was a bit of a history lesson that was likely very unneeded given the crowd, but then WinFX (highlighting Avalon), Windows Vista and the supporting technologies were covered.

Windows Vista is supposed to, "Bring clarity to your world". The Vista demo was cool, it is hard to call it anything else.  If you like the UI in Windows XP then you might have a hard time being lured to Vista, but if you have ever envied the Mac interface then you will have to dig a bit to find enough justification to jump.  Control and security are the other motivator.  Phishing attacks have been increasing dramatically and IE 7 goes a long way to allowing you to be much more confident that you aren't being victimized.  The dynamic protection service will let you opt in to view a known phishing site so that you are never really prevented from hanging yourself.  I think this is a good example of MS keeping pace with the hackers, the problem for many people is that they may not want to move, but security will force the upgrade ultimately.

Office 12 was announced and will be released at the same time as Windows Vista.  The biggest changes are to the user interface (basically reinvented) and the intrinsic XML file format. 

More later...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 12:29:02 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [23]  | 
# Friday, September 09, 2005
I am off to Microsoft's Professional Developer's Conference (PDC) this weekend.  I expect that I will see many of the people who read this at the event in Los Angeles.  While there I will be involved in quite a few activities including speaking at the So Cal .Net User Group's PDC Underground event.  If you are there and looking for me, I will be hanging out (and handling the scheduling) for the PDC TV Booth much of the time.  This is a booth that lets attendees have up to 3 minutes to say whatever they want on a topic of their choice and have it broadcast throughout the conference center.  Wish me luck!
Friday, September 09, 2005 4:26:53 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [22]  | 
# Wednesday, August 24, 2005
In New England we are holding our fourth Code Camp in late September (24th and 25th) in the Waltham, MA offices of Microsoft.  This is where it all began and the fourth will likely be bigger than those before it.

I wanted to not only remind people of the date, but also tell about a special meeting that will help us deliver better and better community content by fostering the develop of our technical speakers.  The local (and newly formed) MCT User Goup is focusing their meetings on helping sharpen technical presentation skills and their September 1st meeting (6:00 PM I think in the Waltham MS Office) is dedicated to what can only be called a Code Camp speaker casting call.  We are hoping to educated and recruit the next generation of Code Camp presenters and establish a best practice of actually caring about the quality of local technical presentations.

Hope to see you there if you are interested in being a technical presenter, are already a technical presenter or just like / are good at heckling technical presenters!
Wednesday, August 24, 2005 3:30:47 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [48]  | 
# Wednesday, June 15, 2005

For those of you that haven't heard, I am participating in yet another Ebay auction to raise money for Tsunami relief.  I know the media has moved on, but many people are still in trouble and need help.  If you want to be a puppeteer for an hour with me or some of the biggest speakers at TechEd US this year then click here and place a bid.

I know you typically expect this blog to be strictly security, but I will always make room here for events and efforts like this.

Thanks

Wednesday, June 15, 2005 10:00:02 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [21]  | 
# Tuesday, May 31, 2005

For those of you going to TechEd this year, I hope we see you at the RD GrokTalks.  I would define them here, but Scott Hanselman has already put it so well than I imagine I am best off linking to his post here.

Let me know what you think of the idea.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005 12:27:28 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [27]  | 
# Monday, March 14, 2005

As we start to ramp up for TechEd US things are already getting weird.  I shouldn't be surprised, but two guys that I know well and expect most of the people who read this also know of created a video redolent with inside jokesScott Hanselman and Rory Blythe star in this very short video that parodies a semi famous encounter in which our favorite germophobe (Rory) met Don Box in the bathroom at a past TechEd.

Enjoy the video, and if you don't get it then you need to start going to TechEd!

Monday, March 14, 2005 11:36:25 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1]  | 
# Friday, January 21, 2005

My good buddy, Stephen Forte, had a zany and brilliant idea (we are used to both from him, just not at the same time)!

The concept is that about 20 of us that do the book and speaker thing have offered up consulting time to be auctioned off on eBay with all proceeds going to Tsunami Relief.  I loved the idea and hope it works out to be a big success.

Rather than duplicate Stephen's fine post I will just provide a link.  Help support it if you can or just spread the word.  Good cause!

Friday, January 21, 2005 10:58:49 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [26]  | 
# Tuesday, January 11, 2005

MSDN puts on local events and it is that time again.  I just checked out the registration site and have decided to go to the Bedford, NH event this Thursday.  I have the added advantage that Joe Stagner runs these events in my area, but I know that other sections of the country also have stars like Russ Fustino involved so you should definitely check it out.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005 10:36:51 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [13]  | 
# Thursday, November 18, 2004
On December 7th the C Sharp Group of Greater Boston will host a potluck dinner with two focused discussion groups at the Waltham, MA Microsoft Office.
 
Robert Hurlbut will lead the discussion on development strategies during the first hour. This topic includes test driven development, developing as non admin, use of virtual machines, etc. Robert is an excellent speaker and very knowledgable about this and related topics!
 
Then during dinner, Nabil Benchkroun will lead a discussion on ASP.NET tips tricks and traps. Nabil is a regular attendee and contributor to our group and has considerable real world experience with ASP.NET.
 
Both will be more discussions than presentations so bring your questions, or your answers, and share with us all. If you want to eat then please bring as much food as you want to eat yourself, and a food item for each dessert, or else it will be our holiday dessert event. Diversity in food will be considered a plus!
 
Make sure you get there if you can!
Thursday, November 18, 2004 3:04:40 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [31]  | 
# Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Carl Franklin and the New England office of Microsoft are putting on another edition of the Code Camp event.  This time it is a mini-Code Camp with Carl doing the one man band thing all about VB.Net.

If you can make it to the MS Waltham office on January 23rd then you should.  Registration is already online here.

Carl is one of my favorite speakers.  If you haven't seen him before then don't miss this, if you have then I don't have to encourage you!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004 2:51:23 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [21]  | 
# Friday, September 03, 2004

As promised I am posting all the demos from TechEd Hong Kong last week. 

DEV370: Developing Applications Under Windows XP Service Pack 2  

  DEV370 XPSP2.zip (369.75 KB) 

  Special thanks to Jon Box and Dan Fox of Quilogy for developing and presenting this session for TechEd US. This is the only one of the sessions I presented in Hong Kong that I actually got a chance to attend.

DEV413: Server Control Tips & Tricks

  DEV413 Blackbelt_Controls_Demos.zip (719.44 KB)

  Session originally done by Rob Howard of Telligent Systems at TechEd US

DEV414: Black-belt ASP.NET - Tips And Tricks For Your ASP.NET Applications

  DEV414 Blackbelt_AspNet_Demos.zip (228.42 KB)

  Session originally done by Rob Howard of Telligent Systems at TechEd US

DEV462: Windows Forms - Tips And Tricks To Improve Your Performance

   DEV462 PerfTalk Demos.zip (216.04 KB)

  Session originally done by Mike Henderlight of Microsoft at TechEd US

DEV463: Windows Forms: Controls Tips And Tricks

  DEV463.WinFormsTips.zip (700.28 KB)

  Session originally done by Ken Getz of MCW Technologies TechEd US

Thanks to everyone who attended the sessions.  Thanks again to the original TechEd presenters of these sessions for their help since it is always a challenge to do well presenting content developed by others that matches their particular style and strength.

I would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to see any of these people present to take the opportunity as you will learn alot and come away enlightened and entertained.

Friday, September 03, 2004 11:00:04 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [28]  | 
# Wednesday, June 30, 2004

The Downtown Boston .Net User group is having it's first meeting tomorrow night.  In a coordinated effort with the Boston .Net User group that regularly meets outside Boston in the Microsoft Office in Waltham, MA, Sam Gentile is hosting a downtown version for those that find it hard to escape the traffic.

Tomorrow night Sam is starting things off with his CLR Internals session which from all reports is a must attend!

Full details are best found here.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 30, 2004 2:45:20 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [26]  | 
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