A Blog by Scott Isaacs

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Deeper in .NET 2008 Registration Open!

I’m very happy to announce that registration for Deeper in .NET 2008 is now open.  You can visit the site now to get the latest info and register to attend.

Lots of the info is still in the works, but there is definitely some good info out there now.  In addition to all of the info about our sponsors (we have six so far!) we’ve announced three of the speakers that will be coming to Milwaukee on April 5 for Deeper in .NET 2008 (DiDN).

We’re very happy to have Jason Beres from Infragistics returning to Milwaukee.  Jason has been at all but one of our Deeper in .NET conferences and has spoken for us more than just about any other single speaker (that’s one of those unverified statistics, but it seems to be about right).

Also, joining us this year courtesy of INETA is Mark Miller from Developer Express.  I’ve never experienced the pleasure of seeing Mark present myself, but everyone I speak to tells me that I’ve been missing out.  His presentation is sure to keep you entertained and informed.

Our third speaker for Deeper in .NET 2008 is Richard Campbell.  You may know of Richard from his company Strangeloop Networks, or perhaps you’ve heard him as co-host on .NET Rocks!  I spoke with Richard on the phone the other day and he sounds just as excited about coming to Milwaukee as we are to have him.

More speakers, the schedule, and the details of the different sessions will be posted in the upcoming weeks, so please keep checking back on the site for the latest info.  I’ll also try to post updates on my site as more details are finalized.

I mentioned earlier that we have six sponsors signed up so far.  We’re very thankful to New Resources Consulting (Platinum), Edgenet (Platinum), Centare Group (Gold), Stratagem (Gold), Compuware (Gold), and Exacta Corporation (Silver) for getting involved and supporting the group.  Without them there wouldn’t be a conference this year.

We still need more sponsors, though, to make DiDN a huge success, so if your company is interested, please have them contact me and visit our sponsors page for more info.

So sign up today and start telling everyone you know about Deeper in .NET.  If you blog, blog about it and trackback here or send me a link.  Tell your co-workers, family and neighbors.  I’m very excited about DiDN and it’s coming up soon on April 5 (just over 7 weeks away)!

Mock Objects Tonight at WI .NET UG

Tonight is meeting night for the WI .NET Users GroupDerik Whittaker is making the trek up from the Chicagoland area to talk to us about mock objects.  After opening registration only a couple days ago, we already have 60 people signed up, so if you’re interested in coming, please register soon.

Tonight we have the pleasure of having a new sponsor for tonight’s meeting as well.  Manpower Professional is putting us up at Libiamo’s Italian Restaurant downtown Milwaukee.  Parking will be available in the Manpower parking structure next door to Libiamo’s.

I hope to see everyone there.

Holiday Party Canceled (For Now)

The WI .NET Users Group Holiday Party I mentioned before has been canceled due to weather.  As soon as it is re-scheduled, we will let everyone know.  I apologize for any inconvenience.

Toys For Tots Donations

I forgot to mention it in my most recent newsletter to the WI .NET Users Group, so I wanted to post it here.

If you’re coming to the Holiday Party next week, please consider bringing a toy to be donated to Toys For Tots.  As mentioned in a previously referenced post by Dave Bost:

In the spirit of the holiday, we will be collecting toys for Toys for Tots. Bring a toy and have a chance at winning an outstanding prize (TBD). Please make sure that all toy donations are new, unwrapped toys. This allows the Toys for Tots program staff to determine that the gift is safe for distribution and to identify the appropriate age and gender for each gift.

I think this is a great opportunity for us to provide something for a child who would otherwise not receive anything for Christmas.  It’s not a requirement at all, and there is no obligation, but the opportunity to give will be there for you if you choose.


More About The WI .NET UG Holiday Party

So the WI .NET Users Group’s Holiday Party is coming up soon.  Today I was able to increase the registration capacity because Dave Bost from Microsoft was able to come through for us and got us a few dozen more Visual Studio 2008 licenses than previously expected.

By the way, if you’re attending the party to install Visual Studio, Dave has a great post that includes some steps you should take to prepare for the installation.  He also talks about a number of contests surrounding the party.  There is even a contest you can enter even if you can’t make it to the party.

One of the contests is a Demo Contest.  We are looking for a number of people who are willing and able to do a short demo (around 5-15 minutes, depending on participation).  If you’ve been using VS08 or .NET 3.5 and would like to talk about one of your favorite features, please contact me and let me know.  As long as the schedule permits, we’ll allow people to "sign up" to give a quick demo right there at the party, but we’d like to get as many interested people as possible to sign up in advance.

Even though we have again reached our limit for Visual Studio licenses, there is another link to register on our site.  We’d still like to have everyone at the party for the food and fun, so sign up using this alternate link.  Also, by signing up you’ll be added to the waiting list in case anyone the already registered is unable to make it for some reason.

I hope to see everyone there.

Holiday Party 2007 — Already Sold Out

I recently posted about a Holiday Party that Microsoft is sponsoring for the WI .NET Users Group.  Well, unfortunately, a mere 3.5 hours after making the announcement, the event has filled up.  The Chicago .NET Users Group is also having a similar event, and theirs "sold out" in 2 hours.

Microsoft had a particular number of licenses available for us at this event, and we have already reached the limit.  My contact there is working to see if there is anything that can be done to add more, but he’s not sure yet what will be available.

If anything else comes up and more space is made available I will definitely make an update.  I apologize for those of you that wanted to register but were not able to get signed up in time.  This booked up much faster than anticipated.

Please check back regularly in case more seats are added.  I will send a newsletter update as well if that happens.

Deeper in .NET 2008 – Planning

So, if you’re a .NET developer in southeast Wisconsin, or if you’ve read my blog for a while, you may know that I am the president of the WI .NET Users Group (UG).  You may also remember that in spring 2006 we had a day-long conference called Deeper in .NET 2006.  It was a great event, with several hundred attendees and five nationally recognized speakers.  Best of all, since the UG is sponsor supported, Deeper in .NET was completely free for all attendees.

Well, after a hiatus in 2007, we are currently planning Deeper in .NET 2008 right now.  While no plans have yet been finalized and everything in this blog post is tentative, I wanted to share some of what we have in mind to get community feedback.

Currently, we are planning to have DiDN08 on April 5, 2008.  The format will be similar to previous years, and we will have 5-6 sessions over the course of the day.  As usual, we will be trying to attract the top speaking talent we can find to present of the topics that are the most interesting in the Microsoft development world.

Although we are already in contact with a few potential speakers, I’d like to give everybody this opportunity give their ideas for both speakers and topics.  Have a burning desire to hear your favorite speaker or author right here in your own backyard?  Let me know.  Really want to find out more about Microsoft’s latest and greatest product that will meet the impossibly difficult business need you are facing at work?  Leave a comment.  Have any other ideas about the conference, or about the UG in general?  My ears are open.  While I can’t promise miracles, I will promise that we will review every suggestion and try to make this conference what our members want it to be.

Also, if you’re a past or present sponsor of the UG and are interested in finding out how you can get involved with this thriving community, let me know.  I will be sending out some e-mails over the coming weeks to those that have sponsored or expressed interest in the last couple years, so be sure to watch your inbox.

As time gets closer, more and more info will be available on the UG site.  In the meantime, I’ll be sure to post anything here on my blog tagged with DiDN.  If you’re a blogger, by all means, blog about it, and trackback to this post, and/or tag it DiDN.  And if you blog, be sure to check out our Evangelist program.

WI .NET Users Group Holiday Party

Ho ho ho!  Merry Christmas!Ho, ho, ho!  I’ve got an early Christmas gift for those of you who are .NET developers near the Milwaukee area.

Microsoft and the WI .NET Users Group are teaming up to throw a little holiday party this year.  Many of the details are still in the works, but plan on having a lot of fun.  We’re trying to arrange some extra prizes and perhaps some better food than we have at our normal meetings — not that there’s anything wrong with pizza, though.  We’re also checking the possibility of having an XBox setup for some gaming that night.

Also, and this is pretty exciting, in addition to the fun and food, bring your computer and you will have a chance to install the RTM bits of Visual Studio 2008.

Yes, Microsoft will be providing licensed versions of Visual Studio 2008 for those who bring their computers and install right then and there.  Once they’ve installed VS2008, we will take their contact info and Microsoft will ship them a licensed version in the coming weeks.

The date has been set for December 11, and we will probably be meeting at the Waukesha Microsoft office.  Please register now if you plan to attend.  Microsoft would like to get a good head count to make sure we are prepared with everything. 

So, tell all your friends, your co-workers, your boss, your family members, your neighbors and the waiter at your favorite lunch establishment about it.  And blog about it.  You can link back here or to the "official page" at http://www.wi-ineta.org/holiday.  Who knows, maybe we’ll have another Evangelist blogging contest?

Keep watching my blog and the event page for updates as more info is available.

Happy Birthday To .NET

Today is .NET’s fifth birthday.  Five years ago today, on February 13, 2002, Microsoft launched Visual Studio .NET and the .NET Framework.  I was at the launch event at Navy Pier in Chicago with my buddies Steve Ballmer and Don Box, and what seemed like 50 million other developers.

What many people may not know is that was also the birth of the WI .NET Users Group.  I first became familiar with the group about a month or so later, and then I attended our first meeting in May 2002, with Doug Seven presenting.

Well, tonight, on the fifth birthday of all this goodness, the WI .NET Users Group is meetingLarry Clarkin will be presenting ASP.NET AJAX, but before that, we’ll have just a little celebration.  With our pizza, provided by Northwods Software, we’ll have some birthday cake, as well as a small “prize” for everyone (courtesy of Dave Bost at Microsoft).

Come and celebrate with us tonight.  As always, the meetings are free, but registration is encouraged so we make sure to have enough food.  Find out more about the WI .NET Users Group and this meeting at www.wi-ineta.org.

Upcoming Users Group Meetings

We have two great meetings on the schedule for the WI .NET Users Group.

The first is tonight, June 13: Regular Expressions with Dave Wanta.

In this presentation, Dave Wanta will present an introduction to Regular Expressions, commonly known as Regexes. This presentation will cover the basic Regex operators, metacharacters, and pattern matching. From there, we will move into advanced groupings, replacing, and logic branching. Come prepared to learn, as most of this presentation is performed writing Regexes, rather than simply talking about them.

About Dave
Dave Wanta is the founder of www.123aspx.com, the first and largest ASP.NET directory site, and www.kbAlertz.com, the only site available to update you about Microsoft’s latest KB Articles. A veteran speaker and instructor, Dave has also co-authored The ASP.NET Bible for Hungry Minds. Topic Areas are: ASP.NET, ASP.NET Caching, ADO.NET, Patterns, TCP\IP and Network Connections in .NET.

Register online here.

The next one is Tuesday, July 11: An Introduction to Grid Computing with Chad Albrecht.

Have a power hungry application on a machine that just can’t handle it? Don’t buy a faster machine, steal the cycles you need! In his presentation, Chad Albrecht will discuss the basics of grid computing using .NET technologies. Grid computing provides an interesting means of distributing applications across any number of machines. Learn the fundamentals of grid computing, data grids, basic SQL Server scaling out and a few other tricks. Those in attendance will be able to use their laptops as active grid nodes, so make sure to bring it along!

About Chad
Chad Albrecht is an engineer with 15 years experience developing connected applications. His domain knowledge includes business analysis, communication systems, embedded design, database architecture and mobile computing in the Microsoft and Linux environments. Chad has worked as an independent consultant for much of his career and services clients in the Milwaukee and Chicago markets.

Register online here.

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