Paul Litwin's Blog

Ramblings of an ASP.NET, SQL Server, SQL Server Reporting Services, and related technologies junkie.

  • Getting & Staying Current with Visual Studio 2010 for Web Developers

    I don't know about you, but I find it kind of crazy at times figuring out if I have the latest of everything there is for the Visual Studio 2010 developer from Microsoft. (This does not include any third-party components, just recommended updates from Microsoft.) And the be honest, the and sites are not that helpful in figuring this out.

  • Open Spaces Returns to DevConnections in Orlando, March 29

    Now, in its 14th year, DevConnections has grown from a small conference originally focusing on Microsoft Office to a blockbuster family of co-located conferences focused primarily on Microsoft Technologies. One of the great things about DevConnections is the breadth of technologies the conference covers. For example, at the upcoming event in Orlando (March 27-30), for a single registration fee, attendees can choose to attend sessions on ASP.NET, Visual Studio .NET, WPF, WCF, Silverlight, SharePoint, and SQL Server. That doesn't even count the more IT-focused Windows and Exchange sessions. Sessions are presented by seasoned professional presenters, both from Microsoft and third-party gurus who are experts at using these technologies.

  • A Few Lessons Learned While Attempting to Publish iPhone 4 Video to DVD

    Lesson #1 - Don't Record Video in Portrait Mode
    When recording video on the iPhone (and I'm guessing on any phone or small form-factor video camera for that matter), use landscape mode (with the big side going left to right). Now I usually shoot photos in portrait mode and it's real easy to flip the orientation of a photo by right-clicking on the photo in Windows Explorer and choosing Rotate Clockwise. Well with videos--guess what--this isn't so easy. Plus if you plan on watching the video on a television, portrait videos will look lousy, even after flipping it.

    Lesson #2 -- How to Flip a Video
    So if you happen to record a video the wrong way (see lesson #1), you will need to flip it unless you want to rotate your head sideways while watching it. Now you'd think this was pretty simple, but it's not. I guess the video editor needs to literally flip every frame of the video and then you need to re-save the flipped video.I tried flipping the video using 4 different pieces of software:

  • Open Spaces at DevConnections Las Vegas on Nov 3rd at 7:30 PM

    I love speaking at conferences, in general, and DevConnections, in particular. I also love listening to presentations at user groups, code camps, and other conferences. This standard "highly structured" format with an expert speaker in the front of the room sharing his or her expertise and/or experience on a subject is invaluable and very often a great way to learn a topic. As a conference chair for over ten years, I also know thatconferences can only afford to bring in so many people to speak at a show. For example, DevConnections will spend several thousand dollars for each speaker at the upcoming conference in Las Vegas. DevConnectiosn pays for speaker hotel and travel expenses, speaker party, speaker shirts, speaker honorarium, and all the AV needs for the room. Plus, there is a lot of work behind the scenes creating the call for abstracts, sorting though speakers, and making the final decisions on who will speak. But even if you ignore the cost, there's only so many speaking slots we can have running at any one time during a show. Furthermore, since conferences require advanced planning and marketing, we have to nail down the topics pretty early--usually about 5-6 months prior to the show (with the exception of the talks by Microsoft which are finalized much later).

  • Call for Abstracts Now Open for Spring Microsoft ASP.NET Connections (Closes Oct 29)

    We are putting out a call for abstracts to present at the Spring 2011 Microsoft ASP.NET Connections conference in Orlando, March 27-30, 2011. The due date for submissions is Friday, Oct 29, 2010.

    For submitting sessions, please use this URL:

    Please keep the abstracts under 200 words each and in one paragraph. No bulleted items and line breaks, and please use a spell-checker. Do not email abstracts, you need to use the web-based tool to submit them.

    Please submit at least 3 abstracts, but it would help your chances of being selected if you submitted 5 or more abstracts. Also, you are encouraged to suggest all-day pre or post conference workshops as well.

    We need to finalize the conference content and the tracks layout in just a few short weeks, so we need your abstracts by Oct 29th. No exceptions will be granted on late submissions!

    Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):
    * ASP.NET Webforms
    * Dynamic Data
    * Data access in ASP.NET
    * Orchard
    * Web Matrix
    * Anything else related to ASP.NET

    For Spring 2011, there is a seperate Silverlight conference where you can submit abstracts for Silverlight development.

    In fact, you can use the same URL to submit sessions to Microsoft ASP.NET Connections, Silverlight Connections, Visual Studio Connections, or SQL Server Connections. The URL again is:

    Please realize that while we want a lot of the new and the cool, it's also okay to propose sessions on the more mundane "real world" stuff as it pertains to ASP.NET.

    What you will get if selected: * $500 per regular conference talk.
    * Compensation for full-day workshops ranges from $500 for 1-20 attendees to $2500 for 200+ attendees.
    * Coach airfare and hotel stay paid by the conference.
    * Free admission to all of the co-located conferences
    * Speaker party
    * The adoration of attendees
    * etc.

    Your continued suport of Microsoft ASP.NET Connections and the other DevConnections conferences is appreciated. Good luck and thank you,

    Paul Litwin
    Microsoft ASP.NET Conference Chair