January 2009 - Posts

Windows

I installed Windows 7 beta (build 7000) and I have to say this new version of Windows is lighter than Vista, which is very good news, I was waiting for that and I think most people do, tired of Vista poor performance and anemic file copy.

After startup W7 takes less than 400MB of memory! I have been told Windows 7 should run just fine on a system with 1GB of RAM (good for netbooks!!)

I also noticed boot time is a lot quicker and battery life is improved on my laptop.

The new taskbar is weird at first. The Quick launch toolbar has gone (Boh!) and the “show desktop” button is at the extreme right side… (remember this is beta and subject to change). I like the “2 clicks” shut down experience instead of 3 with Vista. You can customize this in the properties of the taskbar.

No more gadget bar on the desktop… not a bad idea! You can still have gadget on your desktop with right-click “gadgets”.

For sure I’ll show more on Windows 7 later…

If you want to try it for free go and download it there:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/beta-download.aspx

After that do a Windows Update or install the patch to fix the problem with MP3:
https://connect.microsoft.com/windows7/Downloads/DownloadDetails.aspx?DownloadID=15614

Also Windows 7 comes with IE8 so this is your chance to test this new version of the browser.

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MIX09 is less than 2 months away, some sessions are listed on the website.

http://2009.visitmix.com/Agenda/Sessions.aspx

Looking forward to hear about Silverlight 3, Expression Blend and Live Services: 

What's New in Microsoft Silverlight 3
Hear about some of the new experience-oriented Silverlight 3 features, and see how to build applications for Silverlight 3 using Microsoft Expression Blend and Microsoft Visual Studio.

Visual Design with Microsoft Expression Blend
Come learn how to use the XAML graphics features of Expression Blend to create impactful visual content. See how amazing, functional user interfaces can be created without code using a range of powerful features in Expression Blend.

Live Framework and Mesh Services: Live Services for Developers
Learn about the Live Framework including new and future services (such as Mesh Services), protocols, APIs, and tools which enable your Web, service, or client applications to access, store, and synchronize user data with Live Services, obtain audience analytics data, and more.

High-Speed RIA Development with the Microsoft Silverlight Toolkit
Come learn how the Silverlight Toolkit can help jumpstart development of stunning Web experiences, and learn how to use new input, layout, container and data controls to create more manageable, more immersive user experiences.

Go Deep with Microsoft Silverlight Controls
Learn how to encapsulate structure, animation, and logic inside custom controls that handle theming, layout, validation, and data binding. Using Microsoft Visual Studio and Microsoft Expression Blend, explore advanced design, coding, debugging, and testing techniques for building components that work interchangeably in Silverlight and Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF).

Building Data-Driven Scalable AJAX Web Pages
Learn how to enable rich communication patterns between your AJAX Web pages and Web server using existing and new features in Windows Communication Foundation.

I think more sessions should appear later…

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Back from vacation I’ve just received an email to say I earn my Microsoft Certified Professional Developer: ASP.NET Developer 3.5 certification (70-564), which I took in beta back in November 08. As an MCT that gives me the opportunity to teach more Microsoft courses (MOC).

Interested in beta exams ?
Read this: www.microsoft.com/learning/mcpexams/status/beta.mspx
Pros: it is free
Cons: No material or preparation content available…

So after 70-536 and 70-562 this ends my .NET 3.5 certification path.

I think next one will be WCF.

Note: Please do not contact me for 70-564 preparation material or link request as I went there with no preparation (beta).

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Our Silverlight DeepZoom Wishes Card is featured in the official Silverlight Showcase, how cool is that!

http://silverlight.net/Showcase/ (Geography filter: Canada)

Silverlight wishes card

We sent it to our clients/partners/friends for the New Year 2009.

We first built it with Deep Zoom Composer, then added some animation in Expression Blend, and finally the “Silverlight not installed” custom experience in Visual Studio 2008.
I may talk about the “making of” later on this blog.

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DevTeach has a private rebate code that will give you 50% off the regular price of DevTeach/SQLTeach conference in Vancouver (June 8-12, 2009). You will not find this code on the DevTeach or SQLTeach website. Plus, this code can only be used 30 times and expires on February 10th.  So if you decide yourself quickly you can get a very good deal!!

Rebate Code: DEVT50OFFVAN

> www.devteach.com

Hurry up… less than 10 pass remaining.

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ZoomIt is a must have free tool for speakers and presenters!

Introduction

“ZoomIt is screen zoom and annotation tool for technical presentations that include application demonstrations. ZoomIt runs unobtrusively in the tray and activates with customizable hotkeys to zoom in on an area of the screen, move around while zoomed, and draw on the zoomed image.” (from the author’s website)

What’s new ?

“This major update to ZoomIt, the Sysinternals screen magnification and annotation utility, adds a LiveZoom mode on Windows Vista and higher, allows you to change the typing and break timer font, adds the ability to copy the magnified screen to the clipboard with Ctrl+C, and introduces a new configuration interface.” (from the author’s website)

Download it for free

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-ca/bb897434.aspx

[via Eric Moreau]

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This year at RunAtServer Consulting we made our wishes card with Silverlight and DeepZoom!

Click the following link to explore our Silverlight Wishes card:
www.runatserver.com/wishes.aspx

french version here.

RunAtServer Consulting Silverlight Wishes card

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I thought it was just a problem with my Zune, I was wrong.

It appears that all Zune 30 froze while moving from 2008 to 2009!

Fortunately the problem is not critical and there is now an official fix.
http://www.zune.net/en-us/support/zune30.htm
Too bad if you planned to enjoy your New Year’s Eve Party with your Zune ;-(

I would love to know what that bug was…

[Update] The bug was due to 2008 being a leap year...

[via Guy Barrette]

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MVP

The very first email of the year is still a wonderful one as I got awarded Most Valuable Professional (MVP) by Microsoft. This is the 3rd year in a row so I am pretty honored and excited about that. I have been involved in so many community events this year, with great opportunities to speak at EnergizeIT, TechDays, DevTeach, and W3 Québec as well as take part in worldwide conference like TechEd America, MIX Las Vegas and the famous MVP Summit in Redmond! Lately I also wrote an article for MSDN.

Expect more Silverlight content here as this has become my main focus. 2009 is the year where Silverlight 3 will see the light (he he he), the first version I saw seems promising, so I hope to do as many new Silverlight presentation as the past year, and speak at Microsoft events about this exciting technology. Hopefully I will be at MIX09 in Las Vegas to learn all about the latest stuff. I will also continue teaching the French version of the Silverlight Tour in Canada and Europe and I like it! I don’t forget the Montreal .NET Community which will host a CodeCamp and many more cool activities!

Happy New Year!

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