Tags: | Categories: Blog Posted by admin on 2/8/2010 4:55 PM | Comments (3)


Feels like there are millions of conference that developers need to go every year. There is the MIX2010 that by the way Shawn Wildermuth will be presenting. If you haven’t been to one of his presentations, you are up for a treat, he is a Silverlight genius yet he can communicate it better than any one I know.

We have the big PDC in LA most of the time to bring developers to show what’s coming out. Those are expensive conference that get you out of the office to meet other developers in the same situation than you, yet, my question, are they really good for your career and knowledge? What do you really learn on those besides what’s coming out and how cool can you make something look with a good presentation?

My modest and personal opinion is those conferences won’t bring you anything you can substantially see, no now nor in the future. There are big shows by companies to serve some marketing schema. Its good for your boss to go, not for the developer. For developers we have the PDC Underground and the code camps. If you are asking yourself if I’m going to the PDC or the MIX, the answer is no, I didn’t go nor I’ll go to the PDC as well as I gave my sit at the MIX to my boss. Sad I’ll be missing the presentation about ASP.NET MVC 2.0 from Phil Haack.

Code camps is everything a developer needs, bring your computer and mingle with the experts presenting, asked them to help you out with your code, open your laptop and see them writing code with you. Let developers present for you and share your knowledge with them. In the same line with code camps, we have also the Summits, where developers also get together. I’m talking about the ESRI Developer Summit as well as the Microsoft MVP Summit.

For those 2, it will be my third year attending both. Both will have developers everywhere learning and sharing information, both will have presentations by developers learning new technologies and as the presentation happens, laptops and netbooks will be open to capture every single bit of code.

If is your first time at the MVP Summit these are a few tips for you that will help you make the best of.

  • Sign up with twitter and enable the geocode section, so you can use it and find people and presentations, the MVP Summit has many things happening at the same time and is important not to miss what you are looking for.
  • Ask your MVP Lead, has all the information and knows every single detail, if you are an ASP.NET MVP you know your lead will go an extra mile to make sure you get the information you need.
  • Find the rock starts, as you walk around the Summit, you’ll see familiar faces from blogs and conference, don’t be shy and introduce yourself, they are there to share as much as you are.
  • Find the underground meet up after the schedule, there are always meet ups for different technologies after the dinners, those are great times when wanting to talk geek.

I’ll be this year blogging almost real time, I’m not expecting to find lots of NDA presentations hopefully. Keep an eye on my twitter or the hashtag #mvp10 at Twitter.

Cheers

Al

Tags: | Categories: Blog Posted by admin on 2/7/2010 4:53 AM | Comments (1)


Many experts came out after the announcement disappointed by the iPad, after the big hype is understandable. Yet why Apple wants to follow a different formula that got them so successful? I went online to find a tool, now with a little browser you can really do lots of work. I used Google Trends to find out what people are looking for and interested. If you look at the graph below, the huge spike is people looking online or posting online information about the iPad. Compared to other devices, no other gadget had that spike until the Apple Tablet came to the announcement and stay up after as well.   

Blue : iPhone

Green BlackBerry

Yellow: Android

Red: iPad

Google Trend

 

For January only view to really see the spike.

 

The huge jump means how many people were looking the the device in January, even after the announcement.

The people has spoken, they are fascinated by the iPad, I’m expecting a huge amount of people lining up on Apple Stores to get those fresh devices of the shelves. Does people searching for that means curiosity? What other device ever had that curiosity on the web?

Cheers

Al

Tags: | Categories: Blog Posted by admin on 2/6/2010 5:14 AM | Comments (1)


The open source Graffiti CMS 1.3 project started a new trunk on the source control to make room to the effort for Graffiti CMS 2.0 development. Telligent’s Graffiti coordinator posted an announcement with ideas for Graffiti 2.0

Main new feature is moving away from the database layer to something more standard, on the post didn’t talk about a mobile theme to compete against other blog engines with those already build in.

The new renewed interest for Graffiti CMS is letting know developers that Telligent didn’t just open sourced that application to stop supporting it, the way Telligent is adding time coordinating the open source solution means that even when they are giving all that to the community, they are also believe that good applications should not die just because didn’t sell as good as they first predicted.

In my modest opinion, I believe that if the open source solution gets more attention and developers to help out on the 2.0 initiative, we could actually come up with a fantastic version to compete with any other CMS out there.

This is a project to keep an eye on it, and I’ll be upgrading my blog http://alpascual.com now running Graffiti CMS 1.3 to 2.0 when released. The important here is the timeline from the announcement to the release. Most people have a very short memory, if the projects gets on its way to migrate it to 2.0 with new shiny features with a simple release cycle, the open source solution has the chance to be counted among the blog engines out there.

If you decide to help, this are the steps. Download the source code one time or connect to the TFS server / subversion. Whatever you prefer.

Project Name: graffiticms

Subversion URL: https://graffiticms.svn.codeplex.com/svn

TFS Server URL: https://tfs02.codeplex.com

Source control client connection instructions

Read the announcement from Kevin at Telligent and sign up for a task.

Happy coding..

Cheers

Al

Tags: | Categories: Blog Posted by admin on 2/2/2010 10:49 AM | Comments (0)


I got many questions and emails from people about my previous post about problems running windows communication foundation .svc in Windows 7 upgrade

Looks like many systems after you install .NET 3.0 the system does not register the SVC services, I have seen that in Windows XP normally and of course upgraded versions of Windows 7. If you get an error 500 the first thing to do is to enable the service for debug

Enabling debug on the svc Web Service, open the web.config and change the

<serviceDebug includeExceptionDetailInFaults="false" /> to

<serviceDebug includeExceptionDetailInFaults="true" />

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms788993.aspx

If the problem is that IIS does not understand the svc extension, do not add it in the mimetype, follow the steps below:

Registering the SVC service run the ServiceModelReg –i on the C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v3.0\Windows Communication Foundation directory.

The output should be this:

C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v3.0\Windows Communication Foundation>service
modelreg -i
Microsoft(R) Windows Communication Foundation Installation Utility
[Microsoft (R) Windows (R) Communication Foundation, Version 3.0.4506.2152]
Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.

Installing: Machine.config Section Groups and Handlers

Installing: System.Web Build Provider

Installing: System.Web Compilation Assemblies

Installing: HTTP Handlers

Installing: HTTP Modules

Installing: Web Host Script Mappings

C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v3.0\Windows Communication Foundation>

 

Web.Config

<extendedProtectionPolicy policyEnforcement="Never" />

 

Hope this helps

Al

Tags: | Categories: Blog Posted by admin on 2/1/2010 6:39 PM | Comments (0)


Soon the .NET 4 final release will be here with Visual Studio 2010 to be the application you’ll be using 80% of your time at work. The date hasn’t been confirmed by Microsoft. As a developer this is your new homework, learning the new version of .NET if you are a .NET developer is a must, who do you know that got stuck on .NET 1.1?

This one is a major release from Microsoft, not like the .NET 3.0 and 3.5. If we are talking about ASP.NET IIS will be running applications in 2.0 and 4.0 in the same computer. The major new feature in my modest opinion is parallel processing.

In the new list I would like to feature can be found at wikipedia that keeps track of those changes, no point for me to relisted here.

Hopefully this post for the 2 readers I have is a heads up to invest some time to learn this new and very exciting release from Microsoft.

Where to learn?

Best place I found is “as always” Scott’s Guthrie’s blog that spent his time creating videos to explain each feature and how to use it. Please start here, Mr. Guthrie’s blog is always great when new technologies from Microsoft are coming up.

http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2009/08/25/vs-2010-and-net-4-series.aspx

http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2010/01/28/nice-quick-hit-videos-about-asp-net-4-and-vs-2010.aspx

Cheers

Al

Tags: | Categories: Blog Posted by admin on 1/31/2010 1:10 PM | Comments (0)

Apple introduced the iPad back on January 27th as the missing link between the smart phone, or the iPhone as they want to presented, and you laptop or desktop computer, the market need something in between, their answer the iPad. My full  review can be found here.

The price for the iPad is a little to expensive, cheaper than projected, starts at $499 for a simple 16 GB of storage. Yet I do believe that Apple is right, there is room for a device between the full computer and the smartphone, Steve Jobs made it clear that is not the Netbooks. I believe those devices have been really popular and I am sure Mr. Jobs sees them as a threat to his beloved iPad.

This weekend my wife, she is more technical that she thinks, surprised me with one of this Netbooks the Asus  Eee PC 1005, with 250 GB hard disk, 1 GB of RAM, 10 inch screen, just like the iPad and with Window 7 Starter already installed.

My first impression was the weight then I took it out of the box, very light 2 pounds only, perfect to carry on your backpack. Battery life is one of the best features in this device, between 9 to 11 hours, depending on what are you doing with it. I fully charged the device and while I’m typing this I haven’t use even 3% of the battery. Also is good to note the power supply is pretty small, many laptops or netbooks come with this huge power supplies that make carrying the device, not that good if the power supply is heavier than the computer.

The mouse pad has a zoom in, zoom out feature using 2 fingers in some applications; Adobe Reader and Microsoft Word, I tried with Adobe Reader and works just like the iPhone. The computer comes with a webcamera and microphone build on the top of the screen. If I look for a feature that disappoints me a little, I have to say the keyboard. Even being a full keyboard, is pretty small, when you are used to something bigger, I think I’ll get used to soon, also the noise and how it feels when you are typing is very cheap plastic feeling. I should not expect the Commodore 64 keyboard in one of this computers.

Something to note, this device comes with a manufacture application to provide you with online storage, I won’t be disabling that at all. Looks like you can share that storage with other computers, I wonder if I can set it up as my backup destination.

In a few words, this is the device to do the normal things of every days tasks. Still going to install Visual Studio 2010 on it.

Related read about the iPad

http://alpascual.com/blog/where-will-ipad-fit-in-2010/

Cheers

Al



Tags: | Categories: Blog Posted by admin on 1/27/2010 6:03 PM | Comments (1)

hardware-01-20100127[1]

Today Apple and Steve Jobs released the over hyped device, they name the iPad. Another tablet with a 10 inch screen an a OS with the iPhone UI.

If you do a search in Twitter for the iPad you’ll find how popular it got and the huge hype Apple build around this device. There are mix feelings, the people that are disappointed that have been waiting for so long to promises of a device beyond any expectation and the realistic people that see the place of this device in their world.

Where is the market for an oversize iPhone? Apple has proof before they are the best tech sales company out there, they really good at make you believe you want what they are selling and you’ll pay the price they are asking. This device is just another tablet with the UI of the iPhone, so why do you need the iPad?

Before tablets haven’t been very successful in the past. Why is Apple believing they are going to be successful with another tablet in this market? Well the iPhone proofed as well that they can create the perfect phone, I think that tablets never been that interesting to people as hasn’t been a good tablet out there until this one. Let’s look it technically in how Apple is targeting this device.

Why uses care?

  1. They included the same UI than the iPhone, they didn’t gamble to create something new, many people love the iPhone UI and they believe they already trained their users.
  2. They targeting the people that complained about the iPhone being to difficult to type, with they external keyboard and the build in keyboard that you can use all your fingers, this is going to be the Netbook killer.
  3. They are targeting the eReaders market, maybe the battery and the lack of INK will be harder to convince users to purchase books on the iPad.
  4. A perfect device for the family house, for the chef at dinner time to read the recipe, the kids to type their homework for the parents to read, the perfect newspaper reader for early mornings without having to go to the front porch to pick up the wet paper.
  5. They targeting the business traveler that don’t mind to carry another 1.5 pounds on the laptop bag to read the news, write emails and watch the movie in the airplane.
  6. They will also target the new applications that will take advantage of that screen and developers will start writing applications at the second Apple releases their SDK
  7. The geek that will just buy anything shiny and pretty.

Some specs for you, the screen is 9.7 inches LCD with a resolution of 1024x768, the iPad is only 0.5 inches thin, sweet isn’t it? and weights 1.5 pounds or 1.6 for the one with the 3G chip. Their processor is the Apple A4, not Intel??? There is not USB for an external keyboard, so you’ll have to purchase the one they created for the iPad. However includes a microphone (hello Google Voice?) A compass, bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Of course the 3G chip for the best device.

When can I get one?

The iPad will come out in March for the Wi-Fi version, and April for the 3G version.

Price?

  16 GB 32 GB 64GB
WI-FI $499 $599 $699
WIFI-3G $629 $729 $829

How much per month if I buy the 3G?

You’ll have to pay $14.99 per month for the 3G service up to 250 MB of data per month that will go really fast ;-( or $29.99 for unlimited data.

All and all, even if the device didn’t come with the features that have been rumored for months, like the gestures or the front and back camera, the new never seen before UI and the wow never seen before surprise. Everything they presented was expected, including the price. They spent so long marketing AT&T as the worse service in the US that was easy for Apple to negotiate a great price for users. Well, you so that coming when they changed their song the last days about AT&T. So here you have it, the device that you were waiting for. Were you a little disappointed? I’m sure you were, still I know you’ll be in line in March to get one. I’ll see you at that line.

Cheers

Al

Tags: | Categories: Blog Posted by admin on 1/26/2010 11:54 AM | Comments (0)


Getting more and more people asking about communication between Silverlight and ASP.NET UIs, when you have different controls created in ASP.NET and you don’t want to redo them in Silverlight, yet you are using a Silverlight control on your ASPX page, how do they communicate between those 2 tiers?

Given that Silverlight is client side, you’ll have to use JavaScript in ASP.NET to accomplish just that. Being able to avoid postbacks and communicate calling each others javascript application for the UI. If you want to call any server side code, you can just use WCF RIA Services or a simple webservice.

The steps to do the communication are in Silverlight you need to register the class to expose it to JavaScript.

public partial class MainPage : UserControl
   {
       public MainPage()
       {
           InitializeComponent();

           // Register Silverlight to be exposed in JavaScript
           HtmlPage.RegisterScriptableObject("ScriptablePageObject", this);
       }

 

Any method that can be called needs to add the ScriptableMember attribute.

[ScriptableMember]
       public void JSButtonClick(string sText)
       {
           MyText.Text = sText;
       }

Now in JavaScript you can call the method JSButtonClick:

function callSilverlight() {           

        var text1 = document.getElementById("TextBox1");
        document.getElementById('Xaml1').Content.ScriptablePageObject.JSButtonClick(text1.value);
    }

<input ID="Button1" type="button" OnClick="javascript:callSilverlight()" value="Send text to Silverlight" />

The way around, calling JavaScript from inside Silverlight just using the Invoke method found at HtmlPage.Window. First parameter will be the method.

private void Button_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
        {
            HtmlPage.Window.Invoke("myJSFunction", MyTextBox.Text);
        }

In JavaScript the method will look like this:

function myJSFunction(mytext) {
            var text1 = document.getElementById("TextBox1");
            text1.value = mytext;
        }

 

For a easier way to read the code I use CodePaste.Net where you’ll find the full code:

Full code for the Default.aspx code found here

Full code for the XAML code found here

Full code for the XAML.cs found here

 

Hope this helps

Cheers

Al

Tags: | Categories: Blog Posted by admin on 1/23/2010 10:59 AM | Comments (0)

January 2010 Great Blog Links

Maybe we are starting moving away from reading the blogs we are subscribed and more waiting for people to use twitter to link their new posts. I found myself spending less time in Google Reader and just catching up or using Bing to search what I need technology wise. The answers to your programming questions can always be found in a developer’s blogs, just let SOE index those for you ;-)
I believe now blogs are longer tweets, or I just might used Twitter too long. I like that in Twitter I can engage into a conversations, where blogs are a little more static. I hope that eventually blogs will open threads beyond comments and be able to move closer to the Social Media. Many bloggers use twitter to alert users about their new blogs. I do believe there is a market for a hybrid of blogs and twitter out there, maybe twitter without the 140 character limitation? That will be interesting or scary.
Blogs are still the most useful took to a developer, some articles found are genius where the blogger really did a fantastic job and I would like to share with you those that I enjoy lately, hopefully you will to.
How many PCs in the world have the .NET Framework installed http://www.hanselman.com/blog/HowManyPCsInTheWorldHaveTheNETFrameworkInstalled.aspx by Scott Hanselman
Accessing OpenStreetMap data within ArcGIS to support the Haiti Earthquake Response  http://blogs.esri.com/Dev/blogs/publicsafety/archive/2010/01/20/Accessing-OpenStreetMap-data-within-ArcGIS-to-support-the-Haiti-Earthquake-Response.aspx by Jeff Beranyi
Enjoy!
Cheers
Al
Tags: | Categories: Blog Posted by admin on 1/18/2010 4:52 AM | Comments (5)

Nobody likes to call any company customer services, we all know many companies provide you with delays and useless people to avoid you calling for any non important reason. Email support are replied with an automated email to their support FAQ or a phone number. In a few words, customer services are a weekly pain for the consumer.

Looks like we moving away from calling customer service and waiting on the message: “your call is important to us” or “all our customer service representatives are busy, yet we will answer as soon as we can”. Many users are looking for customer services in Twitter. Let’s be realistic, how many users have time to wait for 20 minutes on the phone to get a person that eventually will transfer you to somebody that might be able to help.

For the past 3 months my AT&T iPhone voicemail hasn’t been working, last time I called about this problem, nobody was able to help and it took me at least 30 minutes on the phone and rebooting iPhone or looking at useless settings. I rather go to the dentist than wasting my time again. Instead wouldn’t be easier to just tweet your problem and wait for “the right customer service” to contact you?

So I did just that, companies are listening more and more, we have seen good customers services from people at twitter. Companies should listen instead of keeping a phone line for you to call them. The days of waiting on the phone should be, at this time, a bad dream from the past.

If people are looking for business reasons to make twitter useful, I believe this one is without any doubt a great reason for Twitter to exist. Is the perfect platform for that, public messages that companies should reply and keep customers happy. At Twitter customer services cannot hide useless “representatives”, transfer you somewhere else or tell you that will be done and is not. They are in a public forum, where other consumers are listening as well for those resolutions.

Well the tweet to AT&T is there for them to listen, has worked with other companies, I’ll keep this post comments open and update it as more information comes until the resolution or complete failure.

Well the thread starts here. Let’s see if it goes really far.

Update: AT&T never contacted me about my problems with the voicemail on the iPhone, I contacted them this weekend to fix the issue. Of course took 2 different people to find the correct person to help me. International SMS messages still not working, another chance for AT&T to contact me on twitter.

Cheers

Al

Follow me at twitter here.