016 – NRW07 – Daniel Fisher on Community In Germany

Craig interviews Daniel for this podcast [Photo courtesy of Thomas Freudenberg]

In this show, I talk with Daniel Fisher, one of Germany’s key community people. Daniel was a key organiser of the NRW06 and NRW07 conferences. This podcast was recorded at a speaker dinner held the night before the event, a few beers had been consumed. Daniel and I talk about the NRW07 event itself, the sessions, the IT Pro and Developer mix, the mix of .NET and the non-.NET sessions including Ruby and Mono.

We wrapped this podcast up a little bit sharp as the main course arrived! Please bear in mind that Daniel has done us the courtesy of speaking English for this podcast, I know I am very grateful that he did this for us.

Download the podcast here.

I have a podcast feed available too, you can subscribe to it here – and it works with Apple’s iTunes!

This podcast:

Related Posts
016 – NRW07 – Daniel Fisher on Community In Germany
020 – NRW07 – Vinzenz Feenstra – Grisoft – AVG
021 – NRW07 – Stephan Oetzel – On Community In Germany
022 – NRW07 – Frank Solinske – Windows Home Server
023 – NRW07 – Michael Willers – On security and rootkits
024 – NRW07 – Mischa Huschen – Dynamic loading of code, plug-ins/add-ins

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Bob Swart – Database and Web Development Essentials

On Monday November 26th and 27th, Bob Swart will be here in the UK to teach two courses as part of the Developer’s Group.

Database Development Essentials on Monday November 26th
The agenda is here: http://www.richplum.co.uk/meetings/20071126.pdf

Web Development Essentials on Tuesday November 27th
The agenda is here: http://www.richplum.co.uk/meetings/20071127.pdf

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Ray Konopka – Effective User Interface Design & Effective Programming in Delphi

On Monday October 22nd and 23rd, Ray Konopka will be here in the UK to teach two courses as part of the Developer’s Group.

Effective User Interface Design on Monday October 22nd
The agenda is here: http://www.richplum.co.uk/meetings/20071022.pdf

Effective Programming in Delphi on Tuesday October 23rd
The agenda is here: http://www.richplum.co.uk/meetings/20071023.pdf

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

UK Community Event – SQLBits – Sat 6th October 2007

Saturday October 6th sees the first SQL Community conference: SQLBitshttp://www.SQLBits.com

20 sessions in 4 tracks (Business Intelligence, DBA, Development and Katmai) on a Saturday in Reading at a cost of £0.

Registration is now open, places are going fast, we have room for just 350 attendees.

Voting – you choose the sessions
You need to register on the www.sqlbits.com site and then select the 10 sessions (http://www.sqlbits.com/information/PublicSessions.aspx) you would most like to see. We will use this voting to help decide which sessions are to be run. We have over 36 sessions crossing the full SQL Server spectrum and only 20 slots.

Once you have selected and saved your selection you will be given the conference registration URL.

To register for SQLBits, please go visit this site:

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,

Windows Vista SP1 – you have no excuses: what are you waiting for?

I am pleased to see information about Windows Vista Service Pack 1 start to appear.

This is good news because I know a lot of system builders, friends and colleagues have been holding off migrating to Windows Vista for many reasons, only one of which I will discuss here.

It’s fairly common knowledge the first release of most software causes the most headaches and as such many users wait for the second release or the first service pack. Such an approach may well be applicable in certain industries e.g. airlines, financials, etc. However, it appears that this approach has made its way into the general market-space too – many home users have avoided first releases from major software vendors leaving the initial uptake to the so-called early adopters. Whilst there are some scenarios where I agree with this, in my opinion Windows Vista wasn’t one of them. But it’s sad to say, I was somewhat outspoken on this point. This was despite switching the desktop over to Vista in January (after spending November and December working with Vista and XP side-by-side); the laptop followed in May.

I haven’t endured any show-stoppers, the only problems that I’ve seen were fairly painless to fix. Indeed, I am happy say that I have and am enjoying the Windows Vista experience. As a developer, I treat my installations fairly hard, so it’s not that I’ve been word processing for the last six months. I’ve got two pretty heavy installations, plenty of software installed, the usual array of devices and networking requirements, etc. Yes, there have been a few odd moments, particularly in the security arena, but nothing that the built-in help couldn’t solve. Personally, the extra security is a good thing: now is the time for enforcing security from the operating system up, not leaving as a voluntary thing that end users have to deal with.

Now that we have a reasonably clear time-line for the release for Windows Vista SP1 and with the continued high density beta testing offered by many thousand very early adopters, TechNet and MSDN subscribers and Microsoft MVPs, you can be sure that Windows Vista SP1 will be very well tested. It’s worth noting that the initial beta testers will be limited to a small group, as detailled in the paper above.

If you have been putting off migrating to Windows Vista, waiting for the second release or service pack, now is the time to migrate. Don’t wait until 2008, put yourself ahead of the learning curve: migrate now, with the knowledge that the current release of Windows Vista and its interim updates (via Windows Update) is a remarkably stable, usable and productive environment – I’m not alone in this thought either. And things will only get better in 2008…

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

UK Event – MIX07 – less than 50 places left!

About Mix:UK 07
Mix:UK 07 is the premier event for web designers and web developers to:

  • Get creative inspiration from design and development gurus, web agencies and innovators
  • Discover how technologies like Silverlight, Expression and Live Services are already being used to create a new generation of rich media experiences and RIAs (Rich Interactive Applications)
  • Connect with others in the industry who, like yourself, have a passion for innovation and creativity and have built personal and business success on that passion.

    Further to my earlier post, time is running out if you want to attend! As of yesterday there were less than 50 places left!

    More information can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/uk/mix07/

    Mix07 UK blog

    Mix07 Backnetwork

    Technorati Tags: , , ,

    015 – MVP Summit 2007 – Seven Parties and….The one with the “Exclusive Book Signing”

    Richard Costall, Craig Murphy, Alun Rogers, Dave McMahon

    What happens when four Microsoft MVPs find themselves sitting at a round table, in a pub, in Seattle, with beer? Well, you get a comedy moment with some choice use of language – you have been warned! It’s pretty tame really, but there are a couple of words that you wouldn’t expect to hear! There are also a couple of “you had to be there moments”, the odd strange pronunciation, etc.

    NxtGenUG chaps, Dave, Rich, Alun and myself found ourselves in our hotel bar, sitting at a round table. I switched on the camera’s voice recording feature, we got some beers and we wax lyrical about the day we just had.

    Three Purposeful Chaps

    In this show, Alun reminds us of the best way of getting swag: “see guys carrying boxes of swag, confirm it’s swag, ask for some”. Use the phrase: “what’s in the box” if you have to. Schwagistis. Schwagtastic. A lot of that swag has been distributed at various user group events, including FEST07 (where I was given some swag…the same swag that we’d blagged in Seattle two months earlier!) Huge thanks to these guys, the UK user groups really appreciated your kind offer of swag. Alun and Craig: swag champions!

    Quotes, listen carefully!
    “Who’s got a long horn then?”

    “I’m going for a wee”, “I’m going for a 360”

    The Colour-Picker Didn’t Please Everybody

    Our Stripper Names
    Dave = Rex Westickle
    Rich = Rocky Stonerider
    Alun = Dirk Fastcruise
    Craig = Adam Dangleboss

    Download the podcast here.

    I have a podcast feed available too, you can subscribe to it here – and it works with Apple’s iTunes!

    This podcast:

    Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    At airports, there are two kind of people…

    Spending time at Dussledorf airport reminded that there are two kinds of people at airports, excluding the staff. Any airport, not just Dussledorf. Indeed, some train stations exhibit the same problems…

    There are those people who are going places, they walk with a purpose. Then there are those people who don’t really understand what their purpose is, they just lurk about in small groups. These small groups are geographically dispersed in such a manner that it makes it rather difficult to walk from point A to point B (as a purposeful walker). They just stand there, hanging about, looking around, looking for screens to give them a clue about where they should stand next. To these people, anybody who is walking with a purpose is as good as invisible – they do not see us coming and make no effort to rearrange themselves such that there is a “fast track” through their self-arranged minefield. It just gets worse when they rotate through 45-90 degrees…their luggage carefully re-positions itself to inflict pain on the purposeful walker with creation of a most inconvenient trip hazard.

    Technorati Tags: ,

    NRW07 – Community Event in Wuppertal, Germany


    The chaps over in Wuppertal, Germany have pulled off another successful conference: NRW07. Like last year’s NRW06, this event was held in a venue that is used to seeing heavy metal and rock act performing – a far cry from the 22 speakers and 100 attendees craving for an IT community event! Also like last year, the weather was great. In the UK, we have pretty much missed the best of the summer weather, it was nice to have three days of sunshine, even if I was indoors for a lot of the time.


    My current knowledge of the German language is limited to the very basics! I even bought a Fast Talk German book (more of a booklet actually) just so I could acquaint myself with some of the more popular phrases, including travel signs and basic restaurant menus. I didn’t “get by”, or even come close, but was lucky enough to share my time with attendees and speakers who were happy to chat using English. I really must try and make the time to progress to basic conversational.


    I sat in on Thomas Freudenberg’s session about Community Server 2007. Thomas is in favour of social networking and makes use of Facebook and Twitter.

    Lunch was sponsored by Subway. There seemed to plenty “Subs” about, enough for three each.

    After lunch, I set myself up at the back of the room that I was going to be presenting in. I sat through Roland Weigelt and Jens Schaller talking about Visual Studio anpassen und erweiter.  This session ran over in the break and as such caused my session to start a little later than I had hoped. Unfortunately I was unable to recover the time from the delayed start, I had to overrun myself – thus I was “involved” in one of the cardinal sins of presenting: delaying attendees from getting their free beer.  Fortunately, there was plenty of beer so the damage was nowhere near as bad as it could have been. In case you are wondering, the other such sin is overrunning in the session before lunch whereby you are keeping attendees from getting their food.

    After my session, I sat in on Patrick Lauer’s session about Python (under Gentoo Linux). It was interesting and offered a unique approach to presentation delivery: lots and lots of very small demonstrations with audience discussion directing the course of the coding. Patrick was kind enough to share some tips with me.  One of the tips was to use Twitter as part of the build process – the team then follow the Twitter feed as a means of monitoring the build. I though this was a rather neat and innovative solution.

    I was lucky enough to grab podcasts with Mischa Huschen, Thomas Freudenberg, Frank Solinske, Michael Willers, Vinzenz Feenstra, Daniel Fisher and Stephan Oetzel.  Most of the podcasts where recorded outside. Unlike the DDD5 podcasts where the rain could be heard in the background, Wuppertal enjoyed glorious sunshine. I’ll be producing the podcasts over the course of week, expect to see them appear real soon now!

    There was a prize giving session that took place in a 30-minute slot after the final session of the day.   Over the course of the day attendees put their business cards into a pot. If the business card was lucky enough to be selected at random, that person won a prize. A number of books, a few products and a router were given away! Bribing the attendees with the promise of a swag bag in return for a completed evaluation form worked well!  Swag consisted of a lanyard, a mug and a T-shirt.

    Quote of the day. Speakers were issued with a rather nice button down collar event shirt. It had the conference logo on the collar and the HP logo on the sleeve. I was busy practicing my session when somebody asked if I worked for HP…and then went on to ask why this was an HP event and I was working on a Dell laptop!

    A Few Speaker Blogs
    Lars Keller
    Thomas Freudenberg
    Mischa Huschen
    Karim El Jed
    Frank Solinski
    Marcel Gnoth
    Daniel Fisher
    Stephan Oetzel
    Michael Willers
    Andreas Hoffmann

    I have missed a few, please feel free to let me know and I’ll add them!

    An aside
    Things are so different in Europe. Travel for a start is much more efficient – trains do what they are meant to do – they just run, on time. But, having become used to the smoking ban in the UK, I must admit that I found it a “blast from the past” being amongst smokers – remember, in Scotland we had the ban in place before England, hence it being a blast from the past. Note to self: when sitting in the departure lounge at Dusseldorf airport, sit in the non-smoking section – two guys have just lit up….I am sitting just a few feet away from an open counter with food. C’est la vie I guess.

    Related Posts
    Oliver Sturm’s write up
    My slides: Automating the Build Process Using FinalBuilder
    Running NUnit Tests Using FinalBuilder
    Thomas Freudenberg’s write-up of the event
    Daniel’s write up

    Post-event gaming
    Video: NRW07 – let the games begin!

    Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Paul Walsh on The Power of Twitter

    Paul Walsh writes a good piece about how Twitter is helping him with his “here and now” communications.

    If you haven’t discovered Twitter, or you believe that it’s a waste of time, Paul’s post should go some way to helping you understand why it has considerable power. Elsewhere, I note that Twitter offers awesome community spirit.

    At my recent conference appearance in Germany, a few folks were talking about Twitter, micro-blogging, etc. even to the point, like me, of giving out Twitter URLs as well as e-mail addresses. Follow me if you so wish.

    Technorati Tags: , ,