Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Impulse buy of the day...

Saw this on Engadget and couldn't resist...

Gonna have to test it out while backpacking through China next month...

Monday, April 23, 2007

My MIX Schedule

Here are the sessions I plan to check out next week at MIX07 (in addition to the keynote sessions with Ray Ozzie, Robbie Bach, and Scott Guthrie):

Building Rich Web Experiences using Silverlight and JavaScript for Developers
Speaker(s): Joe Stegman - Microsoft

Silverlight is Microsoft’s solution for delivering rich, cross-platform interactive experiences for the Web and beyond. Silverlight enables the creation of rich, visually stunning and interactive content and applications that run on multiple browsers and operating systems. In this session, learn more about the benefits of Silverlight from a developer perspective and get an introduction to building Silverlight applications using JavaScript and Microsoft developer and designer tools.

Yahoo! on Microsoft .NET 3.0 and Microsoft Expression
Speaker(s): Eric Burke - Yahoo!, Josh Jacobson - Yahoo!

Come see and hear about the amazing experiences Yahoo! has built using Microsoft .NET 3.0 and Microsoft Expression.

Using LINQ to Dramatically Improve Data Driven Development in Web Applications
Speaker(s): Anders Hejlsberg - Microsoft

Modern applications operate on data in several different forms: Relational tables, XML documents, and in-memory objects. Each of these domains have profound differences in semantics, data types, and capabilities, and much of the complexity in today's applications is the result of these mismatches. Anders Hejlsberg, Microsoft Technical Fellow and Chief Architect for Microsoft Visual C# and LINQ, will explain how LINQ (Language Integrated Query) unifies these programming models and dramatically improves the experience of creating data intensive Web applications. Anders promises to have few slides and lots of live code demos!

Thinking in CSS: How to Build Great Looking Sites
Speaker(s): Molly Holzschlag - Digital One Corporation

Delve into CSS with Molly Holzschlag, and look at the power CSS offers to Web developers and designers. Hear Molly's secrets about how to build stunning sites quickly and easily.

Designing with AJAX: Yahoo! Pattern Library
Speaker(s): Bill Scott - Yahoo!

With the recent rise in popularity of AJAX, we now have the opportunity to more closely model the real flow of the user. This presents a radical change to the designer paradigm—designers create in "chunks" while users think in "flows". Come explore interaction styles and design principles that can inform future design projects. Come see a set of common design patterns that are currently in vogue and examples that illustrate good design choices and bad design choices.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Social Networking: Enabling the Two-Way Street
Speaker(s): Marc Canter, Aaron Emigh - Six Apart, Dave Morin - Facebook, Mike Walsh - Leverage Software, Evan Williams - Twitter

Web applications with a social context are here to stay. Are underlying Social Networks a business or feature? How can they be used to enhance bi-directional communication? Join a rich discussion on the impact of social applications and how best to use them as part of your business.

Lessons Learned: Designer/Developer Productivity in Windows Presentation Foundation
Speaker(s): Jonathan Russ - IdentityMine, Josh Wagoner - IdentityMine

Join the IdentityMine team for an in-depth discussion around lessons learned on Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) designer/developer workflow and productivity. They look at several real world WPF applications they have built and show you how to help maximize productivity across the entire team from Graphic Designer to Interactive Designer to Developer. Also, get a sneak peek at several of IdentityMine’s forthcoming Blendables™ Brand WPF Control products and take the opportunity to participate in an open Q&A session with the team.

Amazon Web Services: Building a 'Web-Scale Computing' Architecture
Speaker(s): Jeff Barr - Amazon

Building a reliable, flexible architecture that can manage the unpredictable nature of today's internet business is challenging. Jeff Barr, Evangelist for Amazon Web Services, will provide the blueprint for 'Web-Scale Computing' - enabling you to utilize Amazon Web Services to build an elastic architecture that can quickly respond to demand. Barr will demonstrate code samples to show you how to build your application on Amazon Web Services’ simple APIs. Barr will also showcase real companies who have built their web apps on Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2).

Navigating the Programmable Web
Speaker(s): Don Box - Microsoft, Steve Maine - Microsoft

RSS. ATOM. JSON. POX. REST. WS-*. What are all these terms, and how do they impact the daily life of a developer trying to navigate today’s programmable Web? Join us as we explore how to consume and create Web services using a variety of different formats and protocols. Using popular services (Flickr, GData, and Amazon S3) as case studies, we look at what it takes to program against these services using the Microsoft platform today and how that will change in the future.

The Megasite: Infrastructure for Internet Scale
Speaker(s): Jim Benedetto - MySpace, Allen Hurff - MySpace, Aber Whitcomb - MySpace

Come hear MySpace share its experiences using Microsoft technologies to run Web applications for the most visited site on the Web. MySpace discusses its best practices for a massively scalable, federated application environment, and how it matured its deployment processes. An open Q&A session lets you pick the brains of engineers from both MySpace and

I tried to pick as many talks as possible by presenters at other companies since it's easy to get tunnel vision here in Redmond and good to learn about non-Microsoft technologies and experiences from time to time. :-)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Busy Busy

IMAGE_083Hmm.. 2 weeks gone by without a single blog post.. the stack of reading material is piling up, with no end in sight. What else is new. :-)

Life has certainly been busy lately. Mainly working hard at work to get a Beta version of my product out the door and posted on the web for download. Nonetheless, was able to duck out for 32 hours this past week for 'Development at Microsoft' training -- learned all about what Microsoft thinks makes for successful software developers. Definite highlight was meeting developers working on different products all across the company, and having candid no holds barred conversations.

Going to MIX in Vegas next Sunday for a 72 hour conversation. If you're going, ping me, and check out the event page on Facebook so you can be all web 2.0-eey like me.

I recently bought a replacement battery for my IBM Thinkpad T40. Best ~$90 I've spent in awhile. It's nice to have 3-4 hours of solid battery power after living with 30-40 minutes for the longest time. Also slapped a sexy transparent Zune sticker on the top to fit in as a nerdy hipster at the conference next week.

Finally, I'm in the process of getting ready to sell my condo (Winter night-time pics) in Capitol Hill. If you or anyone you know is interested in buying it, let me know. ;-)

Monday, April 02, 2007


I recently bought a plane ticket from Seattle to Hong Kong with a return from Beijing to Seattle. It cost me $770, a discount of 37% off the cheapest online price of $1220 (same flight).

Just goes to show that you will still find cheaper fare classes available at little stores in Chinatown than on the big bad web.