NxtGenUG’s FEST07

I managed to gatecrash NxtGenUG‘s FEST07 developer-oriented conference today. It was a single day event held at Microsoft’s Thames Valley Park campus. Despite my best efforts, I arrived just in time for the first full session of the day (I managed to miss the such things as the Registration, Welcome and Notices, Community and Keynote, bit of a shame really, but when you’re relying on trains and free buses getting you from Edinburgh to Crewe to Reading to TVP, some loss has to be expected).

Anyway, it was a super event, well-organised, good speakers, good food and a good mix of information-hungry attendees. For me, it was nice to be at TVP and to be able to sit back, relax and enjoy the conference – usually I’m on the other side of the organising fence and find myself checking agendas, chasing speakers, etc.

First up on the agenda was Rafal Lukawiecki – he’s some guy: top TechEd speaker, need I say more? He kicked off with a session about Vista Security, covering the following major topics: Foundational Protection, Networking, User Account Control (UAC), Authentication & Authorization, BitLocker and Data Protection. As you might expect, UAC was the audience’s primary pain-point: Rafal did a quick poll to see just which flavour of the UAC prompt the audience were enduring – you see, there are actually two prompts that you might receive depending upon who you are logged in as. Most of the audience log in as administrators, so they received the Consent Prompting (default for administrators) prompt. Only a handful of attendees logged in as standard users thus receiving the Credentials Prompting (default for standard users) dialog. Interesting, Rafal was pro-UAC, citing that we should strive to make our applications better citizens such that the UAC prompts only ever appear if they really need to. Further reading can be found here.

Microsoft DPEs Daniel “The Greek One” Moth and Mike Taulty took the stage for the next session, originally planned to be about Orcas, but now a dive into the world of C# and LINQ. Now, usually these two guys are part of MSDN events, roadshows, etc. rarely do we see them “out in community” without them staying roughly within the corporate lines laid down by Microsoft. Today, any corporate ties they had were gone, they were, if you could use the comparison, what happens to DPEs when they go bad! As a double act, they rocked: the comedy was flowing.

After lunch (pizzas and coke) Rafal was back for a session about Software Development Paradigms. This session was well-delivered and provided considerable food for thought. Interestingly, Rafal closed the session with the statement that the programming paradigm is likely to return to the lambda-calculus domain and that we should be learning Prolog and LISP once again!

Oliver Sturm moved in to talk about Dynamic Languages. Attendee feedback from this session was rather good, with many stating that “this Ruby thing, it never goes away, it just keeps bouncing back”.

Finally, Lorna Brown gave a 45-minute session about what’s going on at Microsoft Research. I’m always impressed with what I see coming out of MSR – today, we saw gesture controlled devices tied into a text messaging service. Whilst Microsoft won’t appreciate the comparison, what MSR have effectively done is put the Wii-style controller into a mobile device, such that you can use gestures instead of words…very useful if you want to ask if somebody wants to go for beer, make a pouring gesture and a sound of a beer being poured can be heard at the recipient’s end.

FEST07 – meet the sponsors:

Download the FEST07 slides’n’code from here. And, until the midnight on the 4th of June, provide your feedback here – attendees only please!

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Typing: Elevated to an art form

A few days ago, my colleague Jim was lamenting about the noisy typing he had to endure whilst travelling on a train from Edinburgh to Aberdeen.

Today, I was forced to endure a similar noisy typist. It seems that some business travellers are practicing some serious finger ballet, making their fingers almost dance over the keyboard…but instead of their fingertips gently touching each key, they’re coming down with thud, only to bounce right back up again for the next qwerty waltz. In fact, Jim advises me that this kind of typing, when applied to the piano, is often referred to as a Bobby Crush moment

So, dear reader, if you are one of these noisy typists, I have been empowered by the general train-travelling public to order you to Cease And Desist! You know it makes sense.

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WordPress 2.2 is available

WordPress 2.2 is now available – download it from here.

It’s worth noting that my original theme, Tiga06 1.0.2, failed to render my sidebar items correctly. For that reason I’ve switched to a different theme. I’ll investigate the reasons why Tiga06 failed when time permits – it’s a nice theme and one that I would like to continue using if at all possible.

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Moving SQL Server 2005 Express databases to SQL Server 2000

23/06/2010 UPDATE
The database publishing wizard is integrated within Visual Studio 2008/2010.

Further information can be found here.

As you might well imagine, the on disk structure for SQL Server 2005 differs from that of SQL Server 2000.

Indeed, restoring a SQL Server 2005 [Express] database backup for use with SQL Server 2000 isn’t really the done thing, as this post confirms.

After a little head-scratching with the SQL Server 2005 Express data export and scripting options, I deemed it necessary to create a SQL script that was not only capable of creating the database structure, but was also able to create all the INSERT statements necessary to recreate the data too. And it had to create SQL suitable for SQL Server 2000’s dialect…

Further head-scratching led me to the Microsoft SQL Server Database Publishing Wizard. It does exactly what I needed and allowed me to move a SQL Server 2005 database back down to SQL Server 2000, as these screenshots confirm:

So, in a nutshell, here’s what I did:

  1. Ran the Database Publishing Wizard against my SQL Server 2005 Express database.
  2. Created a SQL Server 2000-compliant SQL script that contained all the SQL statements required to create the database. The SQL script also created all the INSERT statements required to populate the tables in the database.
  3. Created a new blank database in SQL Server 2000.
  4. Ran the SQL script from step 2 against the SQL Server 2000 database – using the Query Analyser.

Of course, there’s often more than one way to skin a cat, your mileage may vary.

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Missing – Madeleine McCann – £2.5m reward

Madeleine McCann

Madeleine McCann missing in Portugal. Have you seen her?
Please contact: +351 289 884 500, + 351 282 405 400, +351 218 641 000

Madeleine McCann desapareceu em Portugal. Tem informações sobre o seu paradeiro?
Por favor contacte: 289 884 500, 282 405 400, 218 641 000, 112

In the UK, call Crimestoppers free on 0800 555 111. Alternatively, the international telephone number for Crimestoppers in the UK is +44 1883 731 336.

Notice the distinctive right eye:

Add this post to your web-site, get the HTML over here.

Further information and an option to donate can be found here.

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FEST07 – 23rd May 2007, Reading, UK

FEST07 (http://www.nxtgenug.net/fest07), the one-day Developer event organised by those NxtGen Boyz: Rich, Dave and John, is just around the corner.

It’s on May 23rd at Microsoft UK in Reading and the headline speaker is the outstanding Rafal Lukawiecki who has topped the polls at TechEd for the last 7 years. He’s speaking twice and will be talking about Vista Security and Future Trends in Software Architecture. The other speakers are look pretty good too, with Oliver Sturm, Mike Taulty and Daniel Moth being joined by Lorna Brown of Microsoft Research which should be a really interesting session. The Boyz are also going to do one of their ‘gameshows’ as a finale in which I understand large amounts of ‘swag’ will be handed out.

If you are a member of NxtGenUG its a free event. If you’re not a member its a measly £59.99 for a day of information, fun, food and of course ‘swag’. It’s not a Microsoft funded event, and the guys have to cover some costs of speakers and incidentals. To register just go the NxtGenUG site http://nxtgenug.net/fest07, its all pretty simple. Any probs drop them a line at enquiries@nxtgenug.net

This looks like it’s going to be special and different event, best get along …

Oh there is also a Geek Dinner the night before http://www.zimakki.com/wiki/Fest07GeekDinner.ashx is Zi Makki’s Wiki, and you can go to this even if your’e not attending the event itself.

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