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Most recent posts from .net DElirium, G. Andrew Duthie's blog.

Nostalgic for 80's-style video gaming?

Well here's your chance to relive it, courtesy of the Source Fource! They've released a video game modeled on the classic space shooters of the 80's. Even better, for you bit-twiddlers out there, the source code is available, so you can try your hand at modifying the game to create your own custom version. You can also check out the webcast that started it all.
[Fri, 17 Feb 2006 15:40:00 GMT]

Win a Trip to Vegas or a remixed XBOX 360!

Want a chance at a free trip to the MIX 06 conference in Las Vegas next month and a cool custom XBOX 360? Then you ought to try your hand at "remixing" the MIX 06 website. Here's how it works. You download the CSS for the MIX site here, create your own inspired design based on the building blocks therein, and then submit it using the submission engine. The top 3 designs will get free admission to MIX 06, airfare, and lodging at the Venetian, plus a custom-designed XBOX 360. Pretty sweet.

Take a look at some of the designs that have already been submitted. Good stuff. I wish I had an eye for design, like these folks. If you're like me, don't fret...there's another contest over at http://microsoftgadgets.com/ that's geared more towards developer geeks.

[Fri, 17 Feb 2006 15:09:00 GMT]
Creating Add-ins for Visual Studio 2005 using C#

Ever wanted to create an add-in for Visual Studio? Well, this KB article walks you through the process of creating a simple add-in that inserts the current date and time at the insertion point in the editor. You can expand on this to create your own custom add-ins that do even cooler stuff, like insert "Hello, World!" (ok, I'm kidding about the Hello, World part. I'm sure you can come up with something MUCH cooler than that).
[Thu, 02 Feb 2006 16:10:00 GMT]

ASP.NET 2.0 Provider Toolkit

Since I'm planning to talk about the Provider Model in ASP.NET 2.0 at several user groups this month (including Richmond .net tonight, Maryland ColdFusion User Group on the 14th, Capital Area .net UG on the 28th, and BaltoMSDN on March 15th), I wanted to remind folks about the ASP.NET 2.0 Provider Toolkit. It has documentation and downloadable samples that will help you create your own custom providers. Very cool.

Also very cool is the fact that Stefan Schackow, one of the many big-brains on the ASP.NET team, has released a new book on Security, Membership, and Role Management in ASP.NET 2.0. Stefan helped me out quite a bit when I was trying to dig into making the Active Directory membership provider work in beta 2 (when it still wasn't documented) so I know from first-hand experience that he really knows his stuff.

[Thu, 02 Feb 2006 15:16:00 GMT]
Richmond .net February Meeting

Speaking of user group meetings, I'm doing one...tonight! That's right, you can see ME...live and in person, talking about the Provider Model in ASP.NET 2.0! Please contain your excitement. :-)

Actually, providers are indeed a pretty important part of what makes ASP.NET 2.0 rock. It's because of providers that you can, at a moment's notice, swap out the back-end data store for features like Membership, Profile, etc., and substitute one of the other out-of-the-box providers, or a custom provider you create or obtain from a third-party. This means you can take full advantage of the productivity of fantastic new controls like the login control, while not being tied to a specific back-end storage system.

Anyway, I'll be speaking at the Richmond .net User Group meeting in Glen Allen, VA. The meeting starts at 6:30pm sharp, and if you're late I'll eat your pizza!

Meeting details and directions can be found here. See you tonight!

[Thu, 02 Feb 2006 14:35:00 GMT]
CMAP February Meeting

Wow. Hard to believe it's February already. This comes from my friends at the Central Maryland Association of .net Professionals:

Central Maryland Association of .net Professionals 

Tuesday, February 7th - 6:30 PM

CMAP Main Meeting

UMBC Technology Center
1450 South Rolling Road
Halethorpe, MD 21227 

Main Topic

The CMAP Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Launch Event

.NET 2.0 with Smart Client Application Development & Deployment
by Michael Cramer

Don’t be earthbound by yesterday’s development tools and come on board for the CMAP Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 launch. Go where no developer has gone before and span the vastness of time with rapid application development and ClickOnce deployment. Michael Cramer, of The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and a founding CMAP member, will take us on a journey through the power of Windows-based development with the flexibility of Web-based deployment. So, join us for a rich end-user experience and perhaps take your return voyage home with one of the outstanding prizes of a full version of Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005. 

Membership Support

Your ongoing support enables the CMAP executive board to continue to improve the quality of programming we offer the community. You can continue to help CMAP by attending the next meeting and bringing your friend and/or colleague for an evening of networking, refreshments and learning. Send your comments to suggestions@cmap-online.org. Directions to the UMBC Technology Center are below. 

Perry Goldenberg
CMAP Marketing Director 

Sponsored by Apex Systems, Inc.

Apex Systems, Inc is a leading provider of technology staffing solutions to various clients across the country. We provide short-term, long-term, and temp-to-perm staffing solutions for companies in need of Information Technology, Telecommunications, and Engineering professionals.

Meeting Space Sponsored by AVIcode

Directions to CMAP Main Meeting at UMBC Technology Center:

From Baltimore - Take I-95 South (follow Washington signs.) Pass Beltway (I-695) exit. Next exit (47B) will be I-195. Take exit and bear right (North towards Catonsville. DO NOT GO SOUTH ON I-195 TOWARDS BWI AIRPORT). Continue with directions 'Once on I-195 N' below.

From Washington - Take I-95 North (toward Baltimore). Pass Harbor Tunnel (I-895) exit. Next exit (47B) will be I-195. Take exit and bear left, under I-95, North towards Catonsville. DO NOT GO SOUTH ON I-195 TOWARDS BWI AIRPORT. Continue with directions 'Once on I-195 N' below.

Once on I-195 N
Continue on I-195 North. Stay in the middle lane and go PAST the UMBC exit on the right until you come to the stop sign at Rt.166 (Rolling Road). Turn left onto Rolling Road (Rt.166)(South towards Arbutus). Go 1/2 mile to sign for 'Rolling Road' (There is also a sign to 'Gun Road.' If you start to go over a bridge, you've gone too far.) Turn right. Road immediately forks, left-hand fork is the road leading to the UMBC TechCenter. Proceed another 1/2 mile to the parking lot. Meeting room is on the left once in the front door.

click here for an msn map


[Thu, 02 Feb 2006 14:25:00 GMT]

I noticed the other day, that I had several comments folks had left queued up waiting to be published (comments are moderated, so they don't appear immediately). I'm occasionally not as good as I'd like to be about approving comments promptly. So if you make a comment on the blog, and don't see it appearing, please feel free to ping me via the contact page, and I'll make sure to get it approved promptly.

The good news is that the new version of Community Server lists the number of comments awaiting approval on the main admin page, so it should be easier to keep track of this now that we've switched.

[Mon, 30 Jan 2006 21:44:00 GMT]
NoVaSQL January Meeting

I'm a little late in posting the following from my friends at NoVaSQL...the meeting is tonight, so don't miss it. See you there!

The Northern Virginia SQL Server Users Group (www.novasql.com) is announcing its first session for 2006 to benefit IT Professionals (DBAs, Developers, Admins, etc.) in the Northern Virginia, Washington DC and Maryland areas interested in SQL Server.  This session will be focused on Design Reports in Microsoft Office and Deliver Using SQL Server Reporting Services.

  • Title – Design Reports in Microsoft Office and Deliver Using SQL Server Reporting Services
  • Speaker – SoftArtisans
  • Date and Time – Monday, January 23, 2006 @ 7:00 PM
  • Location – AT&T Government Solutions Building @ 1900 Gallows Road Vienna, VA  22182.  
  • Directions – http://www.novasql.com/directions.htm
  • Meeting RSVP – http://www.novasql.com/meetingrsvp.asp
  • NOVA SQL Founding Sponsors
  • NOVA SQL’s Monthly Sponsor – SoftArtisans
    SoftArtisans (www.SoftArtisans.com) offers products that address mission-critical needs in the areas of file transferring and reporting.  Utilized by 8 of the Fortune 10, SoftArtisans OfficeWriter enables the generation of reports directly from Microsoft Excel and Word using Reporting Services or ASP.NET.  Headquartered in Watertown, MA, SoftArtisans has been named repetitively as one of North America’s 500 fastest-growing technology companies.
  • Monthly Give-A-Way – Many goodies!
  • New Attendee Starbucks Gift Card – Bring someone new to a NOVA SQL meeting to qualify for a $5.00 Starbucks gift card - while supplies last.  Many thanks to our monthly sponsor for the gift cards!
  • Year End Blow Out – Attend all of the NOVA SQL meetings to qualify for many year end prizes.  Some sponsors are offering big ticket items.  Come to all of the meetings to qualify!
  • Please support our sponsors - http://www.novasql.com/sponsors.htm
  • NOVA SQL News - http://www.novasql.com/News.htm
  • NOVA SQL Jobs - http://www.novasql.com/Jobs.htm

Don’t miss Monday’s meeting with great information, answers from Microsoft, pizza’s, soda, prizes and more!  Future meetings will cover core SQL Server topics for administrators and developers such as performance tuning, disaster recovery, development, SQL Server 2005, etc.  Please come join us for information packed sessions and spread the word!

Thank you,

Jeremy Kadlec and Brian Moran

[Mon, 23 Jan 2006 19:31:00 GMT]
Two very useful posts by Scott Guthrie

I should say two particularly useful posts from Scott. If you're a web developer and you're not following his blog regularly, you're missing out. These have been out for a bit, but I think they're definitely worth highlighting for anyone who might have missed them.

The first deals with how IIS maps sites, virtual directories, and applications to the underlying file system, and how ASP.NET interacts with IIS, particularly around applications. It also discusses the way that the project system in Visual Studio 2005 works with nested applications, and how that affects building, deploying, and versioning your applications.

The second post discusses file management in web projects in Visual Studio 2005. In particular, Scott discusses several scenarios, including managing large numbers of image files, dealing with temporary files your application may generate, and dealing with files that are part of your project, but shouldn't be deployed.

If you want to better understand how IIS, ASP.NET, and Visual Studio 2005 work together, these two posts are a great place to start!

[Mon, 23 Jan 2006 13:52:00 GMT]
Team Foundation Server Release Candidate coming soon!

From Jeff Beehler's blog:

Sorry for being so quiet recently…we’ve been busy wrapping up our next pre-release of Team Foundation Server.  This means we’ve been fixing tons of bugs (including many reported from you through the forums and Product Feedback center) as well as improving our installation experience especially around SharePoint configuration, running thousands of automated and manual tests, improving our behavior in short- and long-haul stress scenarios, and putting the final touches on the Beta3 refresh upgrade utilities.  While all this was going on, we also updated our dogfood server twice and it now has over 550 active users pounding on it daily.  Needless to say we’ve been a bit busy.  :->

Anyway, we’re planning on releasing our TFS Release Candidate in early February (and I mean very early February as long as everything goes as planned).  While there will be a few known issues in this release that we still intend to fix, it’ll be very close to the final version.  As a result, we need your help in validating that we haven’t missed any big issues before we release the golden bits.  As I’ve previously explained, we’re only fixing the most critical of issues to help prevent regressions and your feedback is very important in helping us make these decisions. 

As with Beta3 refresh, this Release Candidate will be a ‘go-live’ release.  By this we mean that we’ll provide the tools you need to upgrade your data from Beta3 Refresh and we’ll support migrating your data from the RC to final release of TFS.  Please, please, please plan on upgrading to this release.  We need your feedback to help us make sure we’re ready to release the final bits and your real world, production usage is the best way for us to gauge this readiness.  We are still committed to releasing the final build of TFS in the first quarter of 2006. 

As we get closer to the RC date, I’ll provide updates to make sure you have the latest status on availability.  If all goes well, you can be working on this upgrade while watching one of the two TFS NFL teams (Seattle Seahawks or the Carolina Panthers) play in the Super Bowl.  Okay, maybe you’re not that dedicated…how about during the pregame show? :->

Thanks again to our many early adopters and the feedback you’ve provided us.  I think you’ll be quite happy with the installation, stability and performance improvements we’ve made in this upcoming release.  With your help, it’s really coming together.   


Woohoo, indeed! Though I hate to break it to Jeff that while the Seahawks made it to the Super Bowl, Big Ben, the Bus, and the Steelers are going to win Super Bowl XL. Between an offense that positively crushed the Denver defense yesterday, to a defense led by the simply amazing Troy Polamalu, the Steelers on fire. Company loyalty says to root for the Seahawks. But my wife grew up near Pittsburgh, so you can guess which way I'm leaning. :-)

(apologies to all the non-football fans out there...we now return you to your regularly scheduled geekfest <g>).

[Mon, 23 Jan 2006 13:37:00 GMT]
It's Here! Enterprise Library for .net 2.0

Get it here.

If you're not familiar with Enterprise Library, here's a description:

The patterns & practices Enterprise Library is a library of application blocks designed to assist developers with common enterprise development challenges. Application blocks are a type of guidance, provided as source code that can be used "as is," extended, or modified by developers to use on enterprise development projects. This release of Enterprise Library provides similar functionality to the previous releases for the .NET Framework 1.1; however, Enterprise Library has been redesigned to use the new capabilities of the .NET Framework 2.0.


[Fri, 20 Jan 2006 22:04:00 GMT]
Want to use Team Foundation Server in a cross-platform environment?

Then you might want to check out the upcoming webcast on the Teamprise plug-in for Eclipse. It's this Monday, January 23rd at noon pacific time.


[Fri, 20 Jan 2006 19:48:00 GMT]
Pittsburgh Code Camp Scheduled for April 8th

The folks organizing the Pittsburgh Code Camp (aka Western PA Code Camp) have settled on a date, and it's April 8th. They're still working on updating the web site, but in the meantime, you can register here. There's a good group working on this, so I'm sure it'll be a fun event!
[Fri, 20 Jan 2006 18:58:00 GMT]

New User Group: MICSUG

There's a new user group in the area, targeting integration and connected systems technologies. It's called the Microsoft Integration and Connected Systems User Group (MICSUG), and their website is at http://groups.msn.com/micsug.

The group will focus on BizTalk Server, Windows Communication Foundation, Windows Workflow Foundation and related technologies. The first meeting will be held at Microsoft's Reston,VA office, and will feature Brian Noyes on Connecting Smart Client Applications with Windows Communication Foundation.

[Thu, 19 Jan 2006 20:09:00 GMT]
REMINDER: BaltoMSDN January Meeting

Just a quick reminder that my good friend Geoff Snowman will be at the BaltoMSDN user group tonight expounding on the wonders of BizTalk Server 2006. Those who've seen him know that Geoff's a terrific speaker, so don't miss it!

The meeting starts at 6:30pm at System Source in Hunt Valley, MD.

[Wed, 18 Jan 2006 19:05:00 GMT]