Archives / 2008 / April
  • [Cool Tool] FTP Live

    This is not a "must have" but a "good to know", as it can be pretty useful.

    Have you ever been is a situation where you have to upload files to an FTP server but have no access because FTP ports are disable (at work for example) ?

    So you can't use any FTP client, even the one in IE, but if you have internet access (at least port 80:web), then you can use ftplive :

    With this free online service you can do FTP from your browser, without problems of firewall or ports disabled, and nothing to install.

    The only concern is... will you trust a website to get your server/password combination ? you should not.... or at least change your password back home.

  • Windows Live Mesh

    It is finally here!
    Live Mesh has been presented at the Web 2.0 conference.

    Ray Ozzie made several allusions to it in his last keynotes "connected device", "mesh", "web as a hub", "social in the cloud", at MIX he appeared on stage from a little door in the clouds...

    I have the chance to jump into the limited technology preview, I tested it and I must say this is very promising! Another Live Service I was waiting for!!!

    With Live Mesh you can connect/share/sync the datas on your devices from anywhere (desktop, browser, mobile).

    Here you can see your mesh ring: the list of device connected in your mesh (ie: home computer, work computer, laptop, ...).

    On this screen you can add device to your mesh, by installing the Live Mesh software on a device so you can synchronize folders with it and connect to it from anywhere.

    Adding a file to your device, you can choose to sync it in the cloud, and even push it to other devices!

    Mobile and MAC support is coming soon. I think in the future we will see Zune, XBox and Media Center in that list also.

    Here is the Live Desktop, a Vista online experience. From here you can see and access all your devices and manage your files from anywhere via a simple browser. You can share folders with friends and get notifications of associated activities.

    Connected devices, data in the clouds, offline sync, notifications, .... wow!

    But Ray Ozzie said that what we have here is just the beginning... in fact Mesh is a real platform with an open API and a flexible application model. It means that we will probably soon see softwares or websites take advantage of it (picture sharing, backup, publishing, ...).

    Try it:


    For now registration is invite-only so you might be interested by this:

    [edit] For now you can't install the Live Mesh desktop client in a non English-US computer, so if you are concerned you might be interested by this tutorial: How to install Live Mesh client on non-US systems.


  • My talk on RIA and Silverlight

    Recently I did a quick talk in a company to present the Microsoft direction on RIA, that means Silverlight.

    Here are my ppt just in case someone needs to present to a non dev team:
    A light recap of RIA, a quick overview of Silverlight, and how this fits with ASP.NET and AJAX (that was a 20 min talk).

    It is available both in english and french:

    Feel free to take it/modify/reuse as you like!


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  • MVP Summit day 4

    Back to Seattle Convention Center for Ray Ozzie and Steve Ballmer keynotes, then the farewell lunch.

    As usual Steve made a great show, with energy and passion. The one he did at MIX08 was a bit better and funnier but it is always good to see him live on stage!!

    And Steve Ballmer is now one more honorary Canadian! Once again Canadian MVPs stole the show!!
    The Montreal MVP crew...

    Finally Guillaume Belmas is a happy winner! I am happy to give the winning puck to a french MVP, Guillaume is very friendly and deserve his Canadian jersey!

    In exchange he gave me his beret : I'm now a real French/Canadian MVP!!

    This MVP Summit was truly awesome!! Far better than last year to me (very poor technical content in 2007). This year Scott Guthrie and his team showed us some incredible stuff (specially for Silverlight), we got a A LOT MORE information than at MIX08 (so the exact opposite as 2007).

    On top of that the social aspect of this event is unbelievable!!!!


  • MVP Summit day 3

    Second day on Microsoft Campus, as always it is raining... but we are inside for a high level technical content and lots of interactions with the products team, this is definitely a wonderful Summit!

    The hockey pucks make the buzz.... yesterday I gave one to Scott Guthrie, another to Brad Abrams and today my last one to a french MVP: Aurelien.

    But in fact I have one more.... a very special one:

    This is one of the 10 winning pucks.. so grab it and you win... a Canadian hockey jersey!!!

    See you tomorrow...

  • MVP Summit day 2: met The GU!

    Today was a full busy Silverlight day on the Microsoft Campus!

    Unlike last year we got plenty of nice informations, the technical content was amazing and the Silverlight team showed in-depth preview features that are promising! (Sorry everything is under NDA so I can't give any details)

    The evening we had a dinner with MS product team and I had the chance to talk with Scott Guthrie and gave him my VS2008 hockey puck!

  • MVP Summit day 1

    This first day was spent at the Seattle Convention Center:
    Registration / keynote/ open sessions / welcome dinner / party.

    This year Canadian MVPs still have the red jersey, but our lead Sasha had a new great idea: Meet a Canadian MVP, be nice to him and maybe he will give you a hockey puck. There are 4 different logoed pucks.
    Collect all 4 pucks and find our lead: maybe you will get something REALLY cool...

    Guy Barrette and Etienne Tremblay

    Mitch Garvis, Guy and Eric Moreau

    Jean-Luc David is among us, cool!

    A part of Team Canada!

    The other side...

    We ended that day drinking beers with french MVPs... very nice!

    Tomorrow the serious part begin: we go to Microsoft Campus for technical sessions.

  • Heroes happen {here} 2008 Launch event in Montreal

    Earlier this week I participate in the Ask The Expert booth with other Montreal MVPs at the Heroes happen here Microsoft show.

    I was a bit ill but that was pretty fun and I got lots of questions on:

    • Visual Studio 2008
    • Expression
    • Silverlight
    • LINQ
    • AJAX

    And I learnt about the poor support of classic ASP in VS2008 and Expression...

    Montreal's crew:

    Bertrand, me, Etienne Tremblay and Mario Cardinal

    Thanks to Guy Barrette and Jean-Luc David for the pictures. 

  • [Cool Tool] Meta Tag Analyzer

    Meta Tag Analyzer is a free online tool by SubmitExpress that analyze your web site and tells you how good/relevant your title and description are in relation to your content and chosen keywords.

    Try Meta Tag Analyzer:


    - Display tips on how to improve your Meta Tags
    - Check the keywords used on the page and find the keyword density
    - Check web server operating system where site is hosted
    - Check website load time
    - Check website file size
    - Check URLs and links found on the page

    This is my first post on a topic I've been doing for years, developing a high level of expertise: Search engine optimization (SEO). I hope to write more on this!


  • Save A Developer. Upgrade Your Browser.

    A new campaign has raised on the web to invite IE6 users to upgrade to a high level browser (IE7, Firefox, Opera or Safari) in order to make everyone happier (users + developers).

    "Our current campaign focuses on assisting users in upgrading their Internet Explorer 6 web browser. This campaign will result in former IE 6 users having a more enjoyable experience on the web while (hopefully) creating a less stressful and complicated environment for web developers by hastening the retirement of an outdated browser."

  • Testing web apps on IE6, IE7 and IE8

    As web developers we have to test our websites on IE6, then IE7, and now IE8.

    You can find tips and tricks to install several versions of IE on the same machine, but it may be easier and cleaner to use VPC instead.

    Microsoft provides a link to download several VPC hard disk images containing pre-activated Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista with IE6 or IE7 or IE8.
    The current VPCs will expire on July 3, 2008.

    Of course you'll need to install Virtual PC (free):

  • April fools quick recap

    I am a huge fan of Google's april fools!
    because Google takes April 1 very seriously, and they turn it into an art!

    Google Calendar and the free Wake Up Kit!

    The "wake up" notification uses several progressively more annoying alerts to wake you up. First it will send an SMS message to your phone. If that fails, more coercive means will be used. The kit includes an industrial-sized bucket and is designed to be connected to your water main for automatic filling. In addition, a bed-flipping device is included for forceful removal from your sleeping quarters.

    Google Calendar "I'm feeling lucky"

    The "I'm Feeling Lucky" button create a random event related to celebrities.

    Virgin + Google = Virgle

    Virgin/Google collaboration to go on Mars...

    Google GMail Custom Time "Send email to the past"

    Just click "Set custom time" from the Compose view. Any email you send to the past appears in the proper chronological order in your recipient's inbox. You can opt for it to show up read or unread by selecting the appropriate option.

    Speaking about GMail the product was launched in april 1, 2004 and 4 years later it is still in beta... can you believe it ?????!!!!!

    Google Search
    gDay "search content on the internet before it is created."

    Google spiders crawl publicly available web information and our index of historic, cached web content. Using a mashup of numerous factors such as recurrence plots, fuzzy measure analysis, online betting odds and the weather forecast from the iGoogle weather gadget, we can create a sophisticated model of what the internet will look like 24 hours from now.

    Steps to searches the web as it will look tomorrow:

    And last, one more .NET related:

    New version of SilverLatte and Espresso Blend available for download

    More locally:

    Our Regional Director Guy Barrette made a super sophisticated one:
    Team Suite Vnext will be FREE (but ad supported)

    But the best came later this day, when Mario Cardinal gently announced he was renewed as an MVP... for Business Intelligence... and everybody believed!
    Well done Mario, you win this year!
    He WAS renewed, but for Team System of course!!

  • WebSlice Viewer Vista Gadget

    Put IE8 WebSlices on your Vista SideBar or desktop ? * not an april's fool *

    Yes you can, as IE8 WebSlices are based on Windows RSS Platform.

    Sean Lyndersay has released a very early version (alpha 0.3) of his WebSlice Viewer Gadget:

    Here is a WebSlice on my desktop:

    The gadget settings allows you to choose an existing WebSlice and configure the refresh rate and size :


    Yes... I'm looking for a Boogaboo Frog stroller or Bebecar Raider AT+, anyone help ??