Archive for July, 2007

TFS: TFS Now

Posted on July 31, 2007. Filed under: TFS |

This has got to be one of the most exciting new services this year: Readify has announced their new hosted TFS service: TFS Now. Mitch Denny has the lowdown.

Hosted Team Foundation Server for $995 per month for 5 users.

(Via Paul Stovell)

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SHAREPOINT: Beginner’s guide

Posted on July 31, 2007. Filed under: SharePoint |

A few Fox people have asked me lately about SharePoint, and how to get started with it. This might seem strange given how much push it is getting from Microsoft, but perhaps this is another case of having tooooo much information to sift through. Sometimes it can be too overwhelming.

(Note: I am not a SharePoint expert – this is early days for me too)

Anyway, here’s a few resources to get started:

Links

Mindset

There’s two things I’ve realised about SharePoint that developers need to understand:

  1. We need to get our heads around configuration
  2. We need to understand the significance of workflow

As developers we generally like to avoid all the setup stuff (eg take SQL Server), and instead concentrate on the programming (eg database design and writing stored procedures). With SharePoint we can’t do this – we need to understand all the setup and configuration stuff as well as the programming. A large part of SharePoint solutions is in the initial config, and we can’t just palm it off onto the IT Pros.

With regard to workflow, we need to grasp that the future of enterprise development revolves around workflow. This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise (eg the .Net framework has a big focus on it) but it is easy to ignore (especially if you are from a database background).

Books

There’s millions of books available of course, but here’s two I’m reading:

VPC

This is excellent. It takes you step-by-step through how to build a Virtual PC of Windows 2003 Server with MOSS 2007 fully installed.

How to create a MOSS 2007 VPC

Note: this requires you to have access to licenses for Windows 2003 Server, SQL Server 2005, SharePoint Designer, and MOSS (Microsoft Office SharePoint Server) 2007. For MSDN subscribers and MVPs this won’t be a problem, but for others this could be tricky. You may need to use a range of trial software. There may even be fully configured trial VPCs available too (but that kinda defeats the purpose of going through all the config).

Personal note 1: It took me approx 2 weeks to complete, as I was installing a little bit each night and playing with a few things along the way (colleagues at work have set it up in a day though). Once complete, it is a full VPC (at roughly 10GB) that you can backup easily.

Personal note 2: In light of my recent notebook reinstalls, I have come to fully appreciate the beauty of VPCs!

Blogs

There’s also millions of SharePoint blogs around. Here’s two local guys that I read:

SharePoint Tips (Ishai Sagi)

Guru Web (Ivan Wilson)

Other

Sydney also has a SharePoint User Group, but I haven’t attended it (but feel it worth mentioning since I know the company who organize it). The meeting coming up in August looks very good.

Darren Neimke’s book (ASP.Net web parts in Action) always gets great reviews, and is sitting on one of our desks at work, but so far I haven’t read it. The reason for mentioning it is because many ASP.Net developers don’t realize they are 90% of the way to being SharePoint developers – much of the coding behind SharePoint sites is all ASP.Net. And yet, I hear many ASP.Net developers tell me they don’t know the first thing about SharePoint. With the state of the SharePoint market at the moment (it’s hot, hot, hot in Australia) there’s plenty of opportunities for those quick enough to re-package themselves.

Andrew Coates points to the 2007 Microsoft Office Virtual Labs, some of which cover SharePoint.

Of interest

Microsoft is in the process of moving their entire US web site to be SharePoint 2007 based, but as of July 2007 my understanding is that this is not yet completed – please let me know if it has been completed.

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MIS: MIS Magazine web site

Posted on July 31, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

I like reading MIS magazine every month as it keeps me informed on what is happening in the corporate technology sector of Australia.

They’ve just recently made it available online, and I was staggered to see that you can get all the content from the current version for free (past versions require a subscription).

MIS Cover Image

This article may be of interest to people in the job market at present.

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SMB Focus: SMB IT Reseller conference

Posted on July 31, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Just thought I’d give this a plug because I like the concept behind it.

Wayne Small, a SBS MVP, who runs the Sydney SBS UG (that’s Small Business Server) is running a conference – SMB Focus – in late November (23 & 24) for small to medium business IT resellers.

Wayne, who I’ve been chatting with lately (he was kind enough to lend me his video camera so I could record a UG meeting) has been running his own business for a decade or so now and understands many of the pressures and stresses that are involved.

In particular this part of the conference caught my eye:

Another key area that many SMB IT resellers often overlook is the proper work/life balance. Many of us are working extended hours and don’t pay enough attention to the lifestyle, the fun and enjoyment of what we’re working so hard to achieve. We’ll be including a number of aspects of lifestyle training in this event to ensure we can get a good balance across the board.

I think this is a great initiative – how often do you hear developer/IT Pro/technology conferences discuss these aspects? But it is very important.

Early bird registration closes at the end of August.

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LIVE WRITER: Using Windows Live Writer again

Posted on July 31, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

I’ve used Windows Live Writer in the past, and it has been a little flaky. I’m happy to say that their latest beta (its been out for a few months now) is a lot better. Much faster, and is working well handling images (something I had trouble with in the past version).

Note: If installing on Vista you’ll most likely have to Run as Administrator to install. By this I mean you need to right click on the Installer and click ‘Run as Administrator’. This is a little weird because all my other applications have simply used a UAC popup to gain necessary permissions when installing.

If you don’t Run as Administrator, the installer will run, prompt via UAC, ask you to agree to T&Cs, ask if you want MSN as your search page, start installing but then hang.

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SBTUG: Report on last meeting – Online marketing and MOSS & BI

Posted on July 31, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

A great meeting with Fred Schebesta and Grant Paisley presenting up a storm last Wed 25 July 2007.

Fred powered through an excellent overview of internet marketing, search engine optimization and web site tracking. A big thank you to Fred for coming along, and big congratulations to him on his engagement a few days after the meeting – enjoy your holiday Fred.

Grant talked us though the new SharePoint BI tools, including PerformancePoint (slated for release this November). The power in these tools is amazing. Also shown were some of the plugins for Excel.

Check out these links for more details:

Blue Sky Thinking

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PERSONAL: Back, yet again… again

Posted on July 31, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

I won’t bore you with all the details, but suffice to say this is the third time (in about as many months) that I’ve had to completely reinstall my machine.

Everything is fine until one morning I will start my notebook and it just won’t boot. Our techies have looked at it, and it comes down to a corrupted boot sector thingy (whatever).

No tools are able to fix, dual boots can’t be enabled, even booting off CDs won’t work. I won’t go on with all the details, but after the first time (on XP) we replaced the drive, after the second time (on Vista Business) we made backups of everything, and now after the third time (again on Vista but this time Ultimate) we have now got a really slick reinstall process πŸ™‚ It ends up requiring a complete reformat of the drive. I’m assuming it will happen again… at some point.

Luckily I haven’t lost anything of value any of the times (at least I have a thorough backup strategy in place), but it is a hassle of course.

After all that, I’m just glad to be back up and running again. But perhaps it’s time to go notebook shopping…

Β 

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GOOGLE: Being sued by Australia

Posted on July 12, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

LOL!

(from TechCrunch, this little gem)

Good luck Australia (and specifically the ACCC).

Can you believe it? In a country where our internet coverage and performance is so woeful, we spend time and money chasing Google over their use of sponsored links. Hilarious, if it weren’t so tragic.

The comments in the posts are interesting – my favourite: Only the lawyers will win out of this one.

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AUTISM: In my Language

Posted on July 11, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Michele alerted me to this wonderful video that ‘explains’ how communicative autistic people really are.

It is more than us ‘normal’ people being arrogant. It is more than just being judgemental. It is really about missing out on understanding a whole other, beautiful side of humanity.

Prepare to be humbled.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=JnylM1hI2jc

Aside: I’m told that Second Life (the online game) has provided amazing communities and opportunities for those with autism.

[In case you are wondering about the non-communicative references in the video – it is because autistic people (and Aspberger’s and others) are scientifically described as being ‘non-communicative’. How ironic.]

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SBTUG: SEO, SEM, Internet Marketing, BI, MOSS 2007

Posted on July 11, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

This month (25 July) is going to be an awesome meeting at the Sydney Business & Technology User Group with two exciting sessions.

First off, I am very thrilled to have Fred Schebesta – internet marketing guru, and 2006 Australian Direct Marketer of the Year Award winner – presenting on SEO, SEM, internet marketing and branding and whole bunch of other goodness to do with promoting your web site. This is going to be an incredible session. Come along and be blown away by how much you don’t know (there’s more to internet marketing than having a few Google Adwords you know…).

And then, if that weren’t enough, we are lucky to have Grant Paisley – MOSS guru and SQL Server MVP – talking about Business Intelligence and how specifically Microsoft is enabling this via SharePoint. He then looks at Data mining with the new Excel 2007 add-in.

Not to be missed.

See you on Wed 25 July at 6:30pm!

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CAMERA: Michael Kordahi needs a new one

Posted on July 11, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Michael, I hope your new camera is under warranty, because there is something seriously wrong with the shots it is taking – although a few like this one of Andrew Coates are OK though πŸ™‚

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SPEECH: Bill Gates at Harvard

Posted on July 10, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

I know this is getting a lot of links, but I really, really like it.

http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2007/06.14/99-gates.html

One of the most inspiring speeches I’ve heard (read) in a long time.

Please read it.

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USER GROUPS: Sydney User Groups

Posted on July 5, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

[UPDATE 1] Here’s the list of ineta User Groups (which can be filtered for Australia)

[UPDATE 2] Here’s the Readify list of Australian User Groups

I’ve been looking for a simple list of all the Sydney user groups (Microsoft based ones that is) and have found it difficult to come by.

As a starting point I visited the Microsoft site (here) but found it non-user friendly and out of date. If anyone knows of a better list, please let me know.

Someone suggested we should start a Google Calendar of them all, but I am a little wary of starting that in case it gets forgotten about (and becomes yet another out of date list). But I’m open to it.

So, I’ve started my own list below. I’ve ordered them in date order. Some of the details are missing, I’ll fill these in as I ascertain them. Please drop me a comment here if any of the details are incorrect.

Sydney Windows Mobile User Group

When: 1st Tuesday of every month

Time: 6:30pm

Where: Microsoft North Ryde, 1 Epping Road, North Ryde

Web: http://swmug.org/cs/default.aspx

Contact:

Sydney SQL Server User Group

When: 1st Tuesday of every month

Time: 5:30pm

Where: Level 1, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney (Mechanics School of Arts)

Web: http://www.sqlserver.org.au/

Contact: Grant Paisley

Newcastle Coders Group

When: 1st Wednesday of each month

Time: 6pm

Where: 9 Denison Street Newcastle West 2302

Web: http://www.ncg.asn.au/

Contact:

Sydney Deep .Net User Group

When: 1st Thursday of every month

Time: 6pm

Where: AMP Capital Investors, Ground Floor, 50 Bridge Street, Sydney

Web: http://www.sdnug.org/

Contact: Nick Wienholt and Dan Green

Sydney SBS User Group

When: 2nd Tuesday of each month

Time: 6pm

Where: Microsoft North Ryde, 1 Epping Road North Ryde

Web: http://www.sbsgroups.com.au/Sydney/default.aspx

Contact: Wayne Small

Sydney Windows Infrastructure Group

When: 2nd Wednesday of every month

Time: 6pm

Where: Healy Room, Ground Floor, 50 Bridge Street, Sydney

Web: http://swiug.org.au/

Contact:

Wollongong .Net User Group

When: 2nd Wednesday of each month

Time: 6:30pm

Where: CSC Wollongong campus, Lot 1 Coniston Technology Park, Edney Lane Mt St Thomas NSW 2500

Web: 9 Denison Street
Newcastle West 2302 http://www.wdnug.org/

Contact: Kirk Barrett

Sydney SharePoint User Group

When: 3rd Tuesday of every month from 6pm

Time: 6pm

Where: Uniqueworld offices – Level 14, 24 Campbell Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Web: http://sps.uniqueworld.net/Sydney/default.aspx

Contact: Ivan Wilson

Sydney .Net User Group

When: 3rd Wednesday of every month

Time: 5:45pm

Where: Microsoft North Ryde, 1 Epping Road, North Ryde

Web: http://www.ssw.com.au/ssw/netug/

Contact: Adam Cogan

Sydney BizTalk User Group

When: Last Wednesday of every month

Time: 6:30pm

Where: various, but usually Microsoft North Ryde, 1 Epping Road, North Ryde

Web: http://sydbiz.org/default.aspx

Contact: Mick Badran

Sydney Business & Technology User Group

When: Last Wednesday of each month

Time: 6:30pm

Where: Microsoft North Ryde, 1 Epping Road North Ryde

Web: www.sbtug.com

Contact: Craig Bailey

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