I haven’t mentioned this recently, there is a NoDeNUG meeting tonight.  As one of the founders, I’m supposed to help promote the group but for some reason I forgot to mention this meeting on my blog.  What makes that even stranger is that I am the presenter tonight!  So if you are in the area, come out tonight to learn about Creating Custom Server Controls.  It’s free, and we’ll have pizza.

If you want to know more about these meetings, don’t rely on my blogging them.  Go to NoDeNUG.org and sign up.  There’s no obligation of any kind and you’ll get our monthly meeting reminders via email.

Some time ago my wife and I found out that our baby, due in Feb, will be a boy!  It’s really sinking in that this baby is coming.  As weird as that sounds, my friends with kids say they felt the same way.  I guess it is harder for men, since we aren’t actually pregnant.  Now the responsibility of being a parent is starting to kick in. 

As if it isn’t bad enough that this poor guy is going to inherit my genes, I now face my first real situation to screw this kid up – picking a name for him.  This is a tough choice for many reasons but my wife and I are discussing a few options.  We’ve chosen to keep the name a secret.  That’s partly because the surprise will be fun, and partly because it shields us from a lot of criticism and suggestions.  If we tell people we’re gonna call him "X" people will tell us what they think, good or bad.  But if wait and announce it after he is born, people can’t really criticize us, it is too late!

My second dilemma is pretty serious too.  As I write this post, I am watching the NY Giants game.  Yes, I am a fan of the NY Giants, living in the Philadelphia suburbs.  I grew up in central NJ and have always been a big Giants fan.  My wife and her family are, of course, Eagles fans.  So this is a big situation.  Which team in this classic NFL rivalry will my child support?  Well, I am sorry to do this to him, but I plan to encourage him to back the Giants.  I’ll try not to share my "anti-Eagles" attitude with him.  So when the Eagles are playing, I’ll encourage him to cheer them on (I don’t want him to get picked on too much!) but when they are playing NY, I hope he’ll side with his old dad and cheer on the Giants.  Of course, he’ll eventually make his own decisions so who knows what will happen.


Tonight’s meeting was sponsored by RDA Corporation.  They provided our dinner (pizza) as well as a $50 Gift Card to Circuit City as a give away!  Making it’s first appearance at a Philly.Net meeting was our new coffee maker!  We bought it for Code Camp but now we’ll have coffee for our regular meetings.  Enjoy it!  Thanks to Rob for running tonight’s meeting.  Bill was out at Microsoft in Redmond (supposedly he’s working) so Rob stepped up to run the show and make announcements.

Our next meeting is November 20th.  We are bringing back the “15 minutes of Fame” format that we used last November.  That means we’ll have about 9 presenters, each doing a brief 15 minute presentation.  Last year this worked out really well and we got a great response.  If you are interested, please contact Bill or myself. 

UPDATE:  Both of the presenters are from RDA Corporation.  Check out their Technology Corner for information on these presentations and more.  Or click directly to Building an Extranet with Forms-Based Authentication using WSS 3.0/MOSS 2007 or Visual Studio 2005 Tips and Treats

Presenter:  Deepak Gupta, RDA Corporation
Topic:  Building an Extranet with Forms-Based Authentication using WSS 3.0/MOSS 2007

Sorry, I can’t summarize this session.  I was busy with Philly.Net business and I missed the whole thing.  It’s too bad because I was told that Deepak really knows his stuff on Sharepoint!

Presenter:  Steve Andrews, RDA Corporation
Topic:  Visual Studio 2005 Tips and Treats

Steve started by promising that these tips would be posted here on his blog.  It’s a good thing too because he jumped right in with a ton of tips and I can’t remember them all.  He started by showed how to customize VS menus and toolbars with a variety of features that aren’t there by default.  Then he showed all kinds of shortcuts and settings that I plan on using tomorrow at work.  I’ve been using Visual Studio since 2002 and I didn’t know many of these little tidbits.  The crowd contributed a few tips too and I’m certain that everyone learned something tonight.  As a bonus, Steve did a quick demo of Lutz Roeder’s awesome Reflector tool.

We wrapped up with prizes from RDA, O’Reilly, Wrox, Sams, and SourceGear!

Last night I presented at the Lehigh Valley .Net User Group.  We had a small turnout but it was a good, interactive group.  I’m definitely looking forward to going back there to present again, if they’ll have me!  One thing I found out – it is not as far as I thought.  It took about an hour to get there.  That is a little far to drive for a user group meeting but if there is a topic that you really want to learn, it would be worth it.  I’d advise the Lehigh members and the Philly.Net members to keep an eye on each other’s schedules.  Of course, for a full day event like a Code Camp, it is definitely worth the drive to come from Lehigh down to Malvern (where Philly.Net hosts Code Camp).

Anyway, in case you forgot, here is where you can get the source code for the presentation.  Even though I used VS2008 for the demo, the zip file contains a VS2005 solution.

Also, here is where you can get some more explanation on the CreateChildControls() vs Render() situation discussed last night.

Once again, thanks to the guys who came out last night.  Hope to see you again soon.

Today I am in Boston at the ReMix07 conference.  A team of us from Philly.Net came up together in Bill’s van.  It was a pretty comfortable ride and things went pretty well.  Although there was one point where Mark M directed us into a wrong turn in North Jersey.  We ended up in a field where Tony Soprano buries his bodies.  Anyway, we made it to Boston in the end.

This morning started with a keynote by Brad Abrams, Group Program Manager for the .Net Framework.  He showed off some cool examples of Silverlight.  One example I liked was a streaming video application for HSN.  You can watch (I don’t usually watch HSN, seriously) the HSN live in the browser.  The cool part is that the video stream is data encoded, so if you click on a "purchase" button within the Silverlight media player it let’s you purchase the item that happens to be showing in the video at that moment.  It’s a cool idea.  We saw some other samples too.  Tafiti is a cool Silverlight based search engine.  It has some interesting features and is worth checking out.  Also, check out http://silverlight.live.com/ for a free place to host your Silverlight projects.

The Keynote included a really cool demo.  It was very simple but it got the point across.  Brad created a little Silverlight 1.1 application with some animated XAML that has a click event.  The event is handled by .Net code running in the browser (yes, client side).  He of course created this with VS2008 running in Windows.  But then he FTP’d it up to a Linux server.  And then he pulled it down into a browser running on a Mac.  Yes, it seems that this stuff really runs on various platforms in various browsers.  Lastly, he used the Visual Studio debugger to attach to the Mac’s browser and stepped into the code running client side on the Mac!  How cool is that?

Today I sat in on presentations by Rocky Lhotka, Jeff Prosise, and Fritz Onion.  Not bad for one day.  Jeff’s talk on Silverlight 1.1 was great and had much more detail then the keynote’s Silverlight 1.1 samples.  Silverlight on the client runs 300-400 times faster then Javascript!  The Core CLR that will run on in the browser has a lot of functionality including LINQ, RegEx, Reflection, Generics and Threading!  Some stuff was stripped out to make the download small enough, including COM Interop, Remoting, Binary Serialization.  Most of that is stuff that shouldn’t be running in the browser anyway.  Jeff talked about the Transparent Model for security, all code is "sandboxed" to run safely. 

A few other things to mention:

1.  All of the presentations I saw today used C# as the .Net language!  Eat that VB.Net guys!  C# rules.

2.  Lindsay is awesome.  I promised I’d say that.

3.  I don’t have the photos yet but at dinner last night Mark M got into an argument with the waitress.  She the proceeded to scold him and force him to put on a dress, become a waitress, and take the order from the next table!  It was classic.