Ok, so I did end up parking at Crown Casino car park. And guess what? It was a 30 minute walk in the “elements” (rain/strong winds) of Melbourne.
Nah, it wasn’t too bad, would have been better if I had actually changed shoes (change to my runners, as was initially planned) rather than wearing the leather shoes that I wear to work.
But anyway, back on topic. It was a different experience to say the least. First off, attended the “Introducing Windows XP SP2” presented by Danny Becks. Must admit, there were some things which were talked about I already saw at the March Security Summit, though there were definitely some new information picked up.
What was interesting to me was the new enhancements to Internet Explorer. Why? Well, let’s get down to the fact that I’m an ASP.NET Web Developer. It’s what I do for a living I suppose.
It’s like showing a brand new rocket propelled pen to an author. He’ll marvel over it. Perhaps a few “ohhhhhhhh, lookie that!”, and “wow! I like that!”. And probably some, “how does that work?” and “why does it do that?”. Hehe.
What else interested me? Taking on a different perspective, the perspective of the “home user” would be the whole “Windows Security Center”. I like the tight integration of the Antivirus products inside the Security Center. What I would also like to see is tighter integration with third party Firewalls being given some support too.
I mean, look, ok, so boot time security is only enabled if you have the Windows Firewall (formerly known as “Internet Connection Firewall [ICF]). Yes, this boot time firewall is something interesting. I remember years back during highschool, they had VET antivirus (yes, ancient software). As Windows was loading up, you start to see the green’ish background of Windows, and then out of nowhere pops up the VET AV logo. I wish it was just in the background, not loading up nice and big! (Note, back then the common resolution was… 640×480 and to a lesser extent 800×600).
And now, we get back onto the topic of this post. Ha! I love going off topic, don’t you?
Ok, well that’s basically what the first session I attended was about. Just an introduction to XP SP2.
The developer sessions started after that finished, well had a short break, and Bill Chesnut arrived during that break.
I think the User Groups had the best stand available, because while all the MS partners each had a desk, we had a coffee table, and some sofas. Hehe, nice and comfortable!
Anyway, it’s the next part of the night that surprised me. It was the MSDN Developers Twilight Conference! At first it was like, wow, is that where we’re having the dev conference?
Heh, anyway allow me to describe it in more detail. It was setup so that there was a buffet (yes, food) on the far corners of the room (ok, exaggerating a bit, not that far).
As I was saying, there were tables, yes round tables with glasses, water jug in the middle, a bowl of mints. Ah, nice.
So, is this the new developer? Gone are the days of Coke in one hand, Pizza in the other? Replaced by all you can eat buffets and some alcoholic drinks and other beverages.
Maybe, or maybe not. We still get the coke/pizza combo at usergroup meetings.
Anyway, not complaining, it was quite nice.
I sat with some of the AusDev guys, and Nigel Watson joined us at the table. Though, as always, Nigel seemed really really busy, tapping away on the O2 XDA II. Oh wait, it said I-Mate on it. So it’s the I-Mate Pocket PC from Carrier Devices, a rebranded version of the same device. It’s quite a nice device, been thinking about getting either that one, or the O2 XPhone (aka I-Mate SmartPhone 2). Not sure which one I want yet. They are both quite nice devices.
I think I like the XDA II over the XPhone, but the XPhone is cheaper, and I am looking for a replacement for my crusty and trusty Nokia 5110. (I can bounce it on concrete and it still works! Note, that is not recommended normal operating procedure for the device).
I think what the device is rather lacking in, is support for WiFi of some sort. It would fit in nicely in my grand plan for my home network. For those who don’t know, I’ve setup a wireless network at home (though no wireless devices at current) through the recent purchase of the Netgear Wireless Router (WGT624) which is supposedly capable of operating at 108mbps (double that of standard 802.11g which is 54mbps). It’s also referred to as ‘Super G’ technology, as it is essentially two 802.11g combined to push out that type of speed (though they tested it and came out with about 45mbps speed, as opposed to the supposed speed of regular 802.11g which is about 22-24mbps depending on what sites you read).
Ok, back to the conference, the first of the two presenters for the developer twilight sessions was Adrew Coates. Andrew talked about some of the features of the XP SP2 and how it affected developers. Andrew showed a demonstration of a (VB) .NET application that interacted with the new Windows Firewall, which seemed quite handy.
This means that if you have an application that needs to enable various ports you can do that automatically. Although it is restricted to administrators only, I honestly think there is a good and bad aspect to it.
Most “home” users who run Windows are running as an Administrator. Well, at least from my experience helping friends and others, it seems that way.
And the final session of the day? ASP.NET 2.0!!! Yes, one of the things i’m looking forward to using in the near future. Demonstration/presentation by Dave Glover.
The whole “Master Page” concept, looks eerily similar to the “Templates” feature of Dreamweaver. Well, I think so anyway.
You can define things such as content areas, and layout areas. Layout areas, you can’t touch in derived pages, whereas content areas is where you can place content.
This has it’s benefits, it means that you can have a consistent site layout, minus the building of the page when change occurs.
Perhaps a website designer for example, can readily build the website layout, pass it over to the programmers to add the code. Then passes onto content writers/clients to fill out the content.
I’m still using the March build (of VS.NET 2005), though haven’t really played around with it, until recently. Tried converting over a project I am currently working on, but had issues with the IIS 6 MMC panel keeping on crashing whenever I try to select properties from the menu. I want to try the May build, but don’t have any means of obtaining it. Oh, and apparently this March build loves crashing on me!
One interesting thing about the upcoming release of VS.NET 2005, is the support of partial classes. Honestly, haven’t really heard too much talk about it compared to say, generics support.
And I think this post is long enough, so i’ll just stop it for now, and post another post some other time. 🙂