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Chaz Blogs It's all about the eXperience! Microsoft Anything Microsoft.
The End of a Decade's Work
Well I guess I should be satisfied that I sustained a company for 10 years. But it is a bit anti-climactic. I've screwed up a lot, learned a lot and accomplished a lot since 1998. I like to think of it as a long MBA program based in real world experience. I wouldn't trade anything for the experiences I have gained over the past 10 years. Nothing is more "real world" than being your own boss and running your own company. Nothing is more real world than not getting paid by a client for more than 90 ......

Posted On Saturday, July 5, 2008 9:43 PM

I can see the light -- Silverlight 2.0
Silverlight 2.Oh My God! Shawn Burke posted about his endeavors with Silverlight 2.0 and he says one very important thing... "I'm having fun!" Man that is what it should be about. Programming should be fun and not a hassle. I am expecting some instant gratification from Silverlight 2.0. Shawn also points to Scott Gu's blog. If you aren't watching that blog like a hawk already you really need to subscribe. Not to be overly dramatic, but coming from a thick client background, Silverlight 2.0 is going ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 26, 2008 3:31 PM

Do you WCF/WPF/WF/Silverlight?
Okay so we've had an onslaught of new things hit in the Microsoft stack lately. I am curious how many folks are using WCF, WPF, WF (workflow), Silverlight, LINQ, etc. And for what types of problems you are trying to solve. It would also be nice to know if you are using the P&P Guidance Packages and Ent Libs. Oh and which Visual Studio version are you mainly working with these days? If you are not using this stuff yet why? Did you pitch it to your boss and they said no for some reason? Did they ......

Posted On Thursday, January 24, 2008 10:16 AM

Microsoft Sync
If you've watched any TV lately you will notice an odd pairing of product brands. Intermingled in car ads recently has been the mention of Microsoft Sync. I thought hmm... that might be a pretty cool feature. When looked into Sync a little closer I had the feeling, I've seen this trick before. Like, connect your cell phone to your car via Blue Tooth to make calls etc. But there is more. Like the ability to read and send text messages verbally. Coincidently I saw on Fox News last night how kids are ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 23, 2008 10:20 AM

FireStarter NYC
I will be presenting on the interaction of ASP.Net, ASP.Net AJAX, and Silverlight 1.0 this Saturday at Microsoft in NYC. I'll also be showing off a small bit of Expression Blend 2 December Preview. It is amazing how easy it is to pull all of these technologies together. Some of what I will be showing this Satruday is just a bridge until Silverlight 2.0 is released. But it is all relatively simple and once you've done the work once it is very re-usable. Hope I'll be seeing you there. --chaz ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 23, 2008 9:20 AM

Philly Code Camp Registration Open
Registration for the Philly Code Camp on January 12th is now open. I will be presenting "Entry Level Event Models". It is a part of my "Entry Level" series that will attempt to get "the willing" up to speed on fundamental architectural, design and development practices. I'm psyched to kick off 2008 with a code camp presentation. This should be a good one, so go register now! --chaz ......

Posted On Tuesday, December 18, 2007 6:16 PM

Dear ALT.Net Attendees:
This is an open letter to the attendees of the upcoming ALT.Net gathering in Austin TX. Dear Friends, Sadly I will not be able to join you at ALT.Net due to some poor planning on my part. I regret missing out on the opportunity to surround myself with some of the brightest minds in our industry. If I were to attend ALT.Net though, my goal would have been to represent the "marginal developer". The developer who gets it, but doesn't practice it in the work place due to circumstances beyond his/her ......

Posted On Tuesday, October 2, 2007 10:12 AM

WPF Starter

A great post from Karsten Januszewski should help you get started with WPF.  I like this not only because Karsten points to great resources, but because it is oganized into a nice 5 day self paced course.  Really cool!

--chaz

Posted On Tuesday, April 24, 2007 10:26 AM

User Interface Smackdown 2007
As I had mentioned in my review of the NJUX meeting the User Experience movement seems to still be in its infancy stages. So I am psyched to see things like Josh Holmes' blog about the User Interface Smackdown 2007. These are exactly the types of meetings and conversations that need to happen to bring more momentum and attention to the User Experience. It was also great to see that the attendees were cross vendor (Microsoft & Adobe). This is a reaffirmation for the NJUX that we need to be cross ......

Posted On Thursday, April 5, 2007 10:01 AM

MBS Solutions and Partner Opportunities
If you haven't heard, Microsoft is wrapping a good number of its business solutions into a new branding bundle called Dynamics. The bundle made up of new and existing products will be wrapped closely around the Microsoft Office suite. As a part of this solution base Microsoft will introduction the Office Small Business Accounting 2006 (SBA). On Satya Nadella's (Microsoft VP) blog there is a statement that really bothers me though. “We also provided details on the hooks of we provide for writing ......

Posted On Tuesday, September 27, 2005 7:08 PM

NJUX Re-cap
The NJUX meeting was a great event. Thanks to everyone who turned out! A big lesson learned is that South Orange may not be the most ideal location to get to. We'll need to figure out a new location when the time is right. There was some really meaningful dialog about just what a "User Experience" group should focus on. The consensus seemed to be that User Experience (especially in the Enterprise) is still in its infancy. So that will bring some challenges to the group. Some of the ideas that came ......

Posted On Monday, March 26, 2007 11:01 AM

NJUX Meeting TONIGHT!

Posted On Thursday, March 22, 2007 9:31 AM

NJUX Meeting 3-22-2007

Just a reminder that the kick off NJUX meeting will be tomorrow at the GasLight Brewery on South Orange Avenue in South Orange New Jersey.  I hope to see you there!!!!

--Chaz

Posted On Wednesday, March 21, 2007 1:33 PM

It is all about the SWAG!
Peter Laudati asks a very interesting question... Why do you or don't you attend a user group? It's all about the SWAG! You know the goodies they give out at user group meetings... software, tee-shirts, and pizza... Actually this is a really great question to ponder as I am trying to start a new user group (NJUX) myself. Why... why go through the trouble of setting up a meeting place, scheduling speakers and coordinating with other user groups. Well as Paul Kimmel so eloquently states a lot of it ......

Posted On Thursday, March 15, 2007 11:08 AM

NJUX Meeting
HEY JERSEY (especially New York City commuters)! I've talked and talked about it. Well here it is and it will be in an unlikely location! WHAT: New Jersey User eXperience Group kick off meeting WHERE: GasLight Brewery, 15 S Orange Avenue South Orange, NJ 07079 WHEN: Thursday March 22nd @ 6:30 PM WHY: This will be the organizing meeting for NJUX. We will determine our mission statement & goals and set up a regular meeting schedule, determine speakers(topics) and final location city/town. I picked ......

Posted On Monday, March 12, 2007 12:13 PM

NJUX - New Jersey User eXperience Group
NJUX - New Jersey User eXperience NJUX will focus on UI based topics from design to architecture to tools and trends. Inspired by WPF, Vista, CAB, Mobile devices and the like this topic is just perfect for a North/Central New Jersey user group. We will be testing the waters soon with an organizational meeting. This group will differ from other New Jersey groups because we will focus specifically on the aspects of making the user experience better. There will be a good balance between proper visual ......

Posted On Monday, March 5, 2007 6:22 AM

Thank you Windows XP!
Okay, so I just went through some hell that really made me realize how much I take the advances of Windows XP for granted. I have an older computer in my office which is equiped with an ATI 7500 All-In-Wonder TV/video card. I have beat this computer to the ground and the last time I rebuilt it, I didn't bother with the bells and whistles... until yesterday. I decided I wanted to set up the TV on this computer again. Trick is that the computer is so old that some of the hardware (integrated sound ......

Posted On Sunday, September 25, 2005 5:14 PM

Ballmer Unbound
“It was ambitious beyond the state of the art. We won't do that again. We'll be ambitious within the state of the art.” ...MS CEO Ballmer on Windows, Vista's scale back and delay: Newsweek September 26th, 2005 pg. E6. WHAT? I thought it was up to Microsoft to define the “State of the art” and for the rest of us to follow like a bunch of Lemings. Mr. Ballmer's statement baffles me, but it may very well define the difference between Google and MS. --chaz ......

Posted On Sunday, September 25, 2005 10:15 AM

NYC Code Camp in T - 3, 2, 1....
Code Camp NYC II – 3/3 Code Camps are "grass roots" mini application platform developer conferences, free of charge to attendees and open to presenters of all stripes and experience. Get ready for another Code Camp NYC, to be held at Microsoft's offices in Midtown Manhattan (1290 Avenue of the Americas between 51st/52nd Streets) on Saturday, March 3rd, 2007 from 9am - 6pm. This is an all-day event with refreshments served, including a developer's "power lunch" (pizza and soda). This event is being ......

Posted On Thursday, March 1, 2007 1:13 PM

NYC Code Camp II Announced

As per Peter Laudati... NYC Code Camp II has been announced for March 3, 2007.  Get the word out and think about presenting.

For the Communit, By the Community!

--chaz

Posted On Friday, February 2, 2007 1:40 PM

Microsoft Expressions NYC Launch
From the minute I walked in the door, I could tell this was no developer tool launch. Or at least that is what Microsoft wanted us to think. The MS Expressions Launch in NYC was like no other that I had been to. There was Feng Shui, ambient music, artsy furniture, studio lighting at the top of 7 World Trade in a giant 52 floor studio. Actually some debated if it was just a completely unfinished floor or if it was suppose to be an art studio. Well no matter the atmosphere when it came to the business ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 30, 2007 11:06 PM

Congratulations Robert May! You opened a can of worms...
It is interesting in the blog-o-sphere, when somebody speaks their mind and shares their true feelings about something how it can generate such buz. I think that is when you know something is really important. Robert May hit one of those topics this week with his post Response to Vista? That's it? I haven't seen blog banter like this since the good old VB vs. C#, Oracle vs. SQL Server, IE vs. Firefox wars... Robert got himself stuck between 2 zealots... Mr. Windows.... how dare you insult the greatest ......

Posted On Saturday, January 27, 2007 7:46 AM

Expressions Blend Beta 1
So I'm a Win Form designer.... or at least I thought I was. I finally had an opportunity to "play" with Expressions Blend Beta 1 today. WOW! I have to say this is very very cool. Don't mistake this tool for anything less than an industry power house User Experience creation tool. In fact I am in favor of changing the term UI to UE as it is more than an interface it is truly an Experience! I was actually giddy when I figured out how to make animation and opacity work. I was just fooling around with ......

Posted On Friday, January 12, 2007 3:49 PM

How Do You Tech Out?
I've been sitting on this post for a long time... I just read a post by Chris Williams about a technical interview he conducted today. It is very funny and it has inspired me to write this. Now I have been on both sides of the fence in a technical interview as both the interviewer and the interviewed. I really hate this process from all sides. Obviously as an employer you need to figure out what somebody knows and if they are qualified for your job. As a candidate you want to put your best foot forward. ......

Posted On Monday, December 18, 2006 10:11 PM

devCouncil NJ & NJ UI Designer & Developer Group
Thanks to Peter Laudati for a great event! The devCouncil NJ on Thursday in the Iselin office was awesome. I got my first look at WPF and Expressions. Very very cool stuff. And very timely for my hopes to start a UI developer group. In fact, I met a designer at the devCouncil and I realized after talking with him that the name of the group NJ UI Developer's Group my be exclusionary. So I think (if it gets off the ground) we should call it the NJ UI Designer and Developer Group or NJ UI D&D Group ......

Posted On Sunday, December 10, 2006 7:49 PM

NJ UI Developer User Group (Survey)
Well it seems like it has been an eternity that I have been talking about starting a user group. So here we go, I'm going for it. It seems that before I secure a location, I need to know about how many people will join the group. So I propose a location in Berkeley Heights NJ. It is convenient for me so that is where I picked. ;) Actually I had considered Summit or Bedminster. I think the location I had lined up in Bedminster is too small and Summit has been impossible to secure a location. But I ......

Posted On Wednesday, November 29, 2006 8:00 PM

"And this time we didn't forget the Gravy!"
Have you ever seen the now banned Bugs Bunny cartoon featuring a meat hungry dog? If not; the gist of the story line is that a starving dog hatches a plan to get food by running a scam to respond to all of the lost and found ads for a lost cat. The first phase of his plan is to have the cat (an abused captive of the dog) swipe food from the house of the owner it has been returned to. Each time the cat delivers the food, the dog says in disgust "what?! no Gravy?" After a while of this he hatches an ......

Posted On Monday, November 20, 2006 1:57 PM

NJ Code Camp

I'll be presenting at the New Jersey Code Camp on October 15th.  I will be presenting on “Data Binding to Custom Classes” and “Defining a Domain”.  I'll post up some more details soon.  I'm putting the finishing touches on it now.

--chaz

Posted On Friday, September 16, 2005 7:27 AM

C# Form Inheritance
I'm sure this info is available in a million places... if you search for the right thing. As most of you know I am traditionally a VB/VB.Net developer who has transitioned to the bilingual world. There are still some odd bits and pieces that trip me up from time to time. Today was one of those times. I was trying to create a "base form" in C# in which all other forms could inherit from. To do this I created a BaseForm abstract class in my UI project with two abstract methods. I then created my first ......

Posted On Monday, October 23, 2006 11:56 PM

Client Facing - Internet Facing Sharepoint Portal
Okay kids, I need some confirmation that I can use SharePoint 2003 as a client facing, intenet facing web portal. I want to serve up an ASP.Net app through the portal or at the very least use custom Web Parts. If you have an architectural diagram, a flow or any visual materail detailing your solution, please share! Please don't tell me about Sharepoint 2007... I am already very aware of its superiority to 2003. I'm also aware of its current BETA status... a big negative. --chaz ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 13, 2006 8:25 PM

VS 2005 IEWebControls
Man, ask me what I love to do most and I'd have to say programming. It's still a blast to bang it out. Well I've been knee deep in the weeds lately and am getting my fill. Thus all these little posts! So here is a fun one for me. I upgraded a VS 2003 .Net 1.1 web app to VS 2005 .Net 2.0. I was NOT the original developer on this app, but it is mine now. One of the little treasures I have to contend with is the IE WebControls. Did I ever mention that I hate .htc files? This is my first conversion so ......

Posted On Friday, September 1, 2006 12:22 PM

VB.Net Must Read!

Don just posted A MUST READ for all Entry Level Enterprise Developers using VB.NET!

--chaz

Posted On Wednesday, August 30, 2006 12:09 PM

Cannot Open User Default Database (error 4064)
Wow weeee... did I ever just make a blunder! I wanted to do some performance tuning on a SQL Express DB. So I detached the DB from SQL Express and Attached it to SQL Server. I did my tuning (created a bunch of recomended indexes) and was about to reverse the process. When I went to re-attach the DB to SQL Express boom... “Cannot Open User Default Database (error 4606). DOH! My bad. I didn't know the sa password and both my one sql server authentication account and my windows integrated authentication ......

Posted On Friday, August 25, 2006 9:55 AM

Bad Tutorials
As many of us do from time to time, Mike Nicholes had a rant on his blog. Most rants are just useless noise that makes the author feel better. But in Mike's case, he really hit the nail on the head! Nothing is truer than Mike's statement; “I don't like the hours I used to waste spewing out Typed Datasets and binding them to Web Forms and then thinking that I was doing Enterprise development because Microsoft documentation had tutorials online that used the word "Enterprise". “ Hey all ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 23, 2006 9:43 PM

Windows Live Messenger Installation Error 1601, 1603 & 1635
So I learned this morning that I could add my Yahoo IM “buddies” to my Windows Live Messenger! Cool. I simply signed up, logged off and back on as told and was prompted to download the latest version of Windows Live Messenger. During the upgrade though I got a 1603 message. I couldn't successfully reinstall the Messenger after the rollback though. As always I hit the boards and found a bunch of people had the same problem. One post here pointed to the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility. This tool ......

Posted On Thursday, July 20, 2006 4:33 AM

N3UG - Presentation

I'll be presenting my “Down With Datasets!” presentation at the Northern New Jersey .Net User's Group (N3UG) tomorrow at 6:30 PM at Set Focus in Parsippany.  Come on by and heckle me!

--chaz

Posted On Monday, July 10, 2006 1:38 PM

NJ Code Camp II... Success!
Well as I've come to expect after a Code Camp I am recharged and psyched about programming again. Like NJ Code Camp I, I met a lot of great people and made some new friends. I have to say that I'm a bit shocked that there was more controversy in my “Down with Datasets!” session than my session on “Living in an Out-Sourced World”. I appreciate the honest and open dialog in both sessions. I received some great challenges to my stance on using custom objects over datasets. I ......

Posted On Sunday, June 4, 2006 6:23 PM

Trouble Registering for NJ Code Camp II
If you have trouble registering on line for NJ Code Camp II because of your “Live ID” there is a way around it. When you click on the Register link if you recieve an error message that there was trouble with your Live ID, simply choose to log on with a different e-mail account. When prompted, go ahead and use the same e-mail account again anyway and you should get through. According to the message on the right side of the page Microsoft is aware of the problem and it is not specific to ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 24, 2006 5:47 AM

Calling all Jersey Geeks
Help! I so desperately want to present at NJ Code Camp II on June 3rd. But what? I am kicking around a couple of ideas and want to know what would get you to my session? Here are some ideas I've been kicking around... 1. One or more Application Blocks in the Enterprise Library - Code demo Just a display of how to incorporate these in your code.2. Fun with Serialization - Code demo Show multiple ways to serialize and deserialize your objects to/from disk on a fat client.3-A. Down with Datasets! - ......

Posted On Monday, May 8, 2006 7:56 PM

Why pay for MS hotfixes?
Okay, I don't want this to be an MS bashing session. But I ran into a problem where I believe a hotfix will resolve a problem I am having in a .Net 1.1 application. The problem is around a bug in certain kinds of serialization/deserialization in the .Net 1.1 framework SP1. The MS Knowledge Base article says there is a hotfix, but I have to go through support to obtain it. If MS knows there is a bug in the .Net framework and has a hotfix, then why do I have to pay $99 for e-mail support to obtain ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 3, 2006 12:48 PM

AssemblyInfo WARNING
Note: This article relates to VS2003. I have not tried this in VS2005 yet. I came across a little funny behavior today in my application. I use the CommonAppDataPath to access persisted data files. As such, a change in version number is a bit sticky as the version number is included in the CommonAppDataPath. So for instance I have the following path where my data is stored: C:\Documents and Settings\Chaz\Local Settings\Application Data\CompanyName\ProgramNam... The entry in the AssemblyInfo ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 10, 2006 8:35 PM

Announcing the first NJ SQL Server User Group Meeting

The first NJ SQL Server User Group meeting will be held on Jan. 17th in Parsippany NJ!  Click the link for more info.

DON'T MISS IT!!!!!

--chaz

Posted On Monday, January 2, 2006 6:21 AM

What is the future of VB.Net
Eric Johnson picked up on a very interesting thing when he blogged about the Visual Basic Coding Conventions posted on MSDN. It would appear there are differences in Visual Basic and C#. Who knew??? I mean beyond the usual semicolon thing of course. And the Visual Basic Coding Conventions document tells us to embrace these differences. Such as using the Visual Basic Name space and instantiating objects with Dim x as New ... Eric points out that the other .Net languages (C#) do it differently. You ......

Posted On Thursday, December 22, 2005 9:56 PM

North NJ .Net User Group Meeting (N3UG) Tonight
Don't foget the N3UG meeting tonight at SetFocus in Parisppany. Peter Laudetti is the new Developer Evangelist for Microsoft's .NET Team. He does an excellent presentation on Enterprise Libraries and will be our presenter tomorrow night. Given it is the holiday season, there will be pizza preceeding the meeting (starting around 5:30) and a casual gathering at the Chevy's around the corner following the meeting.... --chaz ......

Posted On Tuesday, December 13, 2005 6:33 AM

Blog with Microsoft Speech
I have been toying with this idea for a while and I think it is a fitting response to Robert Scoble's “A new kind of conversation is needed With Microsoft” What I would like to see in a Microsoft blogging solution is the integration of Microsoft Speech technology. It is a twist on podcasting. It is the best of all worlds and it does a little something for the Accessibility community too. The idea occurred to me while I was driving (waisting) 2 hours to a client. I could have been writing ......

Posted On Sunday, July 3, 2005 12:28 AM

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