Guy Barrette, Microsoft, Regional Director, Montreal, Canada, Visual Studio, .NET Expertise Guy Barrette

Guy Barrette

Microsoft Regional Director, Montreal, Canada
Outlook hangs caused by recent PayPal messages

For so strange reasons, Outlook has been hanging trying to open emails from PayPal recently. 

Well, looks like an invalid picture reference in the message.  A full explanation and a workaround can be found on the HowTo-Outlook Website.

Posted: Oct 17 2011, 07:24 AM by guybarrette
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Book Review: Microsoft Windows Azure Development Cookbook

Microsoft Windows Azure Development Cookbook is a book targeted at developers with at least some basic experience of Windows Azure. You won’t find long chapters explaining how the Cloud works so this should not be your first Azure book. Instead you’ll find 80 recipes covering a wide range of Azure technologies like: table storage, blobs, queues, roles, diagnostics and the management API, SQL Azure and the Azure AppFabric.

Each recipe starts with a goal, a description of the goal and how to reach that goal. If any preparation needs to be done, the author lists it a Getting Ready section. Then, an How to do it… section goes into detail explaining how to reach the goal with code. Lastly, each recipe ends with an How it works… section where the author explains how the code seen in the previous section works.

Sure you can find most of these recipes online by using your favourite search engine but what I like about this book is that each recipe has clear and detailed explanations. Basically, it adds meat into the bone and you end up getting a better understanding of the Azure API.

If you’re new to Azure, you should try to get a basic understanding of the platform before opening this book but once you get the basics, Microsoft Windows Azure Development Cookbook is a must to get you up to speed with the Azure platform. Highly recommended.

More info:


Posted: Oct 02 2011, 04:56 PM by guybarrette
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Montreal event: Back from //Build/

Curious about last week’s announcements at the Microsoft //Build/ conference? Want to learn more about Windows 8, WinRT and Metro?  Want to see Windows 8 running on the Samsung tablet?  Tonight (Monday Sept 19, 2011), the Montreal .NET Community is having a “Back from //Build/” event with Laurent Duveau, Mario Cardinal and me.

More info and registration here

Posted: Sep 19 2011, 07:35 AM by guybarrette
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Windows Azure Toolkit for Android

Wade Wegner announced yesterday the availability of the Windows Azure Toolkit for Android.  This is on top of the toolkits for Windows Phone and iOS.

Head to Wade’s blog for more info.

Posted: Sep 01 2011, 07:40 AM by guybarrette
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Montreal Event: Samedi .NET Azure

The Montreal .NET Community next “.NET Saturday” will be on Azure and the Cloud and will take place on Saturday Oct 15th 2011 from 9AM to 4:30PM.  Both Canadian Azure MVPs will be present (me and Cory Fowler) for a full day of hands-on demonstrations.

For more info and to register:


Posted: Aug 30 2011, 09:55 PM by guybarrette
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TechDays Canada 2011–Registration Open

Registration is now open for TechDays Canada 2011.

Posted: Aug 30 2011, 07:30 AM by guybarrette
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The unofficial BUILD precon

If you planned your Build trip so that you can attend the Monday pre-cons, well you know now that they have been cancelled.  I guess that MS feared that they would steal thunder from their keynotes.  Anyway, your previous option was to go to Disneyland.  Now you have a second option: “Creating User Experiences: An Interactive Workshop for Developers”, a workshop by Billy Hollis.

More info:

Posted: Aug 30 2011, 07:27 AM by guybarrette
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TechDays 2011 Session Submissions Now Open!

New for TechDays 2011, a wider “Call for Speakers”.  If you’re interested in speaking, Damir posted all the info on the MSDN Canada Dev connection blog.

Posted: Aug 19 2011, 08:49 AM by guybarrette
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Quest for a better Wi-Fi backyard coverage

I recently purchased a new antenna for my router trying to get a better Wi-Fi signal when in my backyard.  It worked but still, I wanted an even better signal so I started to investigate other hardware options:

  • External antenna
  • Wi-Fi repeater
  • PowerLine devices

External antennas require that you connect them to the router so you need to find a way to get that cable out of the house.  This is a more permanent setup and to my surprise, the cables are very expensive and this adds to the overall cost of this solution.  Oh, and drilling a hole in the outside wall had a WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) of 0.

Wi-Fi repeaters can extend the coverage by grabbing the Wi-Fi signal and repeating it.  Sounds interesting but the downside is that you need to place the device in the coverage of your main signal so it can get a good signal to repeat.  This would mean placing it inside the house so no real improvement for me.  Also, reading customers comments online, looks like there are many issues with this kind of device.

I then looked at PowerLine devices.  These devices use your home electrical wiring to create a network and turn every power outlet into a possible network connection.  Yeah sure, I was very sceptic even after reading great customer comments online.  Never the less, I decided to give it a shot, prepared to run back to the store to return the units.  To achieve my goal, I needed 2 units: one that would be hard-wired to my router and a second unit that would output Wi-Fi signal right in my backyard.  I bought a D-Link DHP-306AV and placed it beside my router and I also bought a DHP-W306AV that I plugged outside.

At first, I couldn’t get the inside device to see the outside one.  I tried the outside device in different electrical plugs and nothing worked except when I plugged it in the same power bar as the inside device.  Reading the manual, D-Link suggest plugging the devices directly in the wall so I thought that the problem might be my power bar because it’s a very good one with some kind of electrical noise filtering.  So I plugged both devices in standard power bars and victory, both devices could see each other.

When I’m outside, all I have to do is plug the Wi-Fi device in the outside wall, select the network and enjoy great Wi-Fi signal streaming music using AirPlay and iTunes and reading on my iPad.  Highly recommended!

09-08-2011 7-45-35 AM

Posted: Aug 09 2011, 09:10 AM by guybarrette
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Build is sold out!

03-08-2011 7-13-49 AM

The Microsoft Build conference is now sold out!  If you can’t attend, don’t despair.  Looks like the keynotes will be streamed live and all the sessions will be available 48 hours after the conference for free online viewing.  Yep, free.

Posted: Aug 03 2011, 07:25 AM by guybarrette
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