Windows Server 2008

By James at April 01, 2008 14:58
Filed Under: The CodeTrip

My homies on the Code Trip, just posted this. And, I was drinking milk at the time.

 

J

Code Trip - Second day

By James at April 01, 2008 12:08
Filed Under: Life in General, The CodeTrip

It's Friday...I think. For some strange reason, after another night of coding and chatting with Woody, I decided to watch "No Country for Old Men". Umm... that was a mistake. The movie was good, but getting to sleep at 4:00 AM wasn't. Oh well. Once again, shower and shave in the hotel, then it's back to the bus for some more twister and guy talk. Actually more coding and coding.

Woody and Jason are working on getting the bus cam app ready. Sterling, our driver, is doing maintenance on the bus. Erin has left for the airport and I didn't get a chance to say goodbye. C' est la vie, there will be other times to see her. We finally start heading up to Red Bull about 3. A slight problem though, the official invitation says 7:00, the Code Trip web site says 6:00. Uh oh.

Traffic is bad and we're hardly moving. But Sterling has this amazing ability to bend time and space and we pull up to Red Bull at 5:30. Just freaking amazing.

We pull into the Red Bull parking lot, and I say to myself, "self...there's not enough spaces for all the people, with all this grass." The parking lot has geometric designs made from parkable grass. Nice.

Walking into the building is one of the most amazing things. If looking at the building from the top, picture two long, skinny buildings, with 30 feet between them. Now, in this space is a wood floor, which is bisected by a glass wall. Looking closer at the glass wall it is actually a roll up door. Beyond the glass wall/door, is a 20 foot high skateboard ramp. A freaking skateboard ramp in the office. But wait, it gets better. It's not just a ramp, it's actually a wave, with two crests and two valleys. The end of this rampwavybreakyourneckonit thingy ends up in the movie theatre where they have meetings. Absolutely amazing!

I spend some time helping to setup, and guarding the swag. Like anyone would want Internet Explorer T-shirts :). But some of the employees start chatting with me, so I pass shirts out. You would've thought they were made of spun gold.

Music is on, party is starting. A bunch of my friends start showing up. I get this great picture of Woody, Jason, David, and me, and have my first Red Bull and Vodka. Holy Crap, what a drink. I'm feeling like really great and it's time for the presentation. David has "thrown" together an app in about 20 minutes to show the power of SQL Server Data Services. Then Woody presents the iZoofari app from Interknowlogy. JD Lewin, the new roadie, asks if the app will show visitors the exit routes for when the tigers escape. It's time for the raffle and I think we need some excitement, so I go on down, start grabbing T-shirts and hurling them into the audience. Yeah baby!

Carmina is on her way, lots of people are excited to meet her, but an accident on the I-10 has slowed things down. She doesn't get there till about 9:15-ish. As she walks in, she's the Belle of the Ball. She was nervous to meet these people, but you wouldn't have known it by how she just plays the room. Both Geoff and Woody give her hugs and everyone is genuinely happy to meet her. I love this woman.

Party starts winding down. I quit drinking Red Bull and Vodka about 90 minutes before and just kept slamming Red Bull straight. Carmina has been "enjoying herself" and is having quite the good time. She asks Jason if he's single and wants to meet her sister. Sister couldn't do any much better than Jason...that's all I have to say. We make our good-byes and head to the bus to get my bag. Her and Woody talk, smile and hug some more. Then the most amazing thing happens.

David is getting ready to leave in his taxi. Now remember, we've only known each other for 24 hours. He asks if I'm OK to drive because if not, he'll get us a cab. I say, "do you know how far away we live?" His response, "I don't fucking care. You're too important to take a chance on." He then goes on to tell me that "anything I ever need, just ask." Wow..what a guy!

We head out, Carmina needs to pee so we stop in at a Denny's and grab some grub. We get home about 1:15 AM. I send David an email that we arrived safely, then head to bed.

A bit of advice. If you're gonna drink Red Bull, it's best to do so before noon. :)

Thoughts and observations on this trip in a day or two.

J

Update - My new friends at TechZulu did this video featuring my other new friend David on SSDS. You can see what the Red Bull offices look like, and David's presentation on SSDS

http://www.viddler.com/explore/techzulu/videos/7/

Now playing in my head Coolio/Rhino Hi-Five: Coolio - EP - Rhino Hi-Five: Coolio - EP - Fantastic Voyage

Code Trip - First full day

By James at March 31, 2008 15:59
Filed Under: Life in General, The CodeTrip

Well after an evening of coding and Bushmill's with Woody, going to bed (the rack) at 3:00 AM, and sleeping in a coffin, it's time for the first full day of my Code Trip adventure. The Code Trip riders always get a hotel room wherever they stop, so there are shower and ahem, toilet facilities. I need my coffee, so while Woody is making use of the shower, off I go to find a cup and call mi bella esposa.

All cleaned up and ready to go. But wait. Cal State Fullerton isn't that far away, and Woody has called ahead about parking - there is none - so, we cram into Erin's rental Hyundai to head up the freeway. Arriving at CSUF, we do see that parking is a problem. We find an empty spot, but no parking pass machine. Oh well, we're on a time crunch and an expense account, so what the heck. CSUF is a huge freaking campus. We walk. And walk. And walk. Then walk some more. It's ASB election time, with plenty of booths. Lots of the campaign signs look like they're running for president of the United States, a far cry from when I tried running for Treasurer of my junior high school with construction paper and crayons.

What's that delicious smell? Someone's serving hot dogs! And not Oscar Mayer's but big, juicy kosher dogs! Oh My! Jason starts drooling and buys a round for everyone.

Here is where I meet my next best friend David Robinson. David is the Senior Program Manager for SQL Server Data Services. He's a really neat guy who, quite liberally intermingles "f-this" and "f-that" into his vernacular. But the guy is smart as a whip, absolutely loves his job, and is one of those people, where 30 seconds after you meet them, you feel a strong and lasting bond.

I also get to meet Sam Stokes, Woody and Jason's counterpart in the academic field. Sam is the Academic Evangelist for Southern California and has setup XNA Day here at CSUF. The meeting starts off with a student Jason (sorry man, but I don't know your last name) who shows off several of the games the students have developed with XNA Studio. This is amazing what can be done with XNA and I can't wait to get Willie (my son) involved.

Jason takes over, and goes into much deeper detail about the history of game development, all the hard work involved, and how XNA makes it so much easier now. With that, he starts showing off some of the physics code he developed for XNA called "Imagination". Amazing, amazing stuff.

David starts his presentation on what SQL Server Data Services is all about. This is going to be so cool, access to SQL Data via "the cloud", with no interruptions and an extremely affordable cost of entry. Just think, pay for the bandwidth on pennies on the dollar, without the headaches of running a server room. Bitchen.

Presentations are done and it's time to head to USC for the afternoon session. I get to ride with Sam, who turns out to be an ok guy and starts asking me if I would be interested in working with/for Microsoft.

Time to pack up and head over to USC for another presentation, this time to a group of CS students, set up again by Sam. This is a much larger crowd, but they sure are different in attitude from the user groups I'm used to. Could it be the sign that said "free pizza and win an XBox"? Jason starts in with his presentation from last night, but quickly decides to switch tracks based on the groups reactions. Nice save Jason. Woody shows of the web camera app he built to take images of the bus from a variety of "strategically placed" web cameras located on the bus. Guess I'll need to keep that in mind for the next few days.

Sam keeps the group enthused by raffling off a few items during the breaks, interesting how he keeps mentioning the XBox. David starts off with his SSDS presentation, but since we're running out of time, he's gotta go fast. I mean really fast, like f-bomb fast. I think the group likes his style. As he's finishing up, he puts in a plug that his team is hiring, and afterwards I see he's getting mobbed by potential applicants and several students who want more information on the SSDS technology.

Time for the XBox raffle. And it couldn't have gone to a more perfect winner. A short, dumpy, pimple faced geek. The look on his face when he won....I love it!

Next stop, .NET geek dinner, run by a really great guy, Geoff Emery. We meet up at Havana Mania a great little Cuban Restaurant. A few Mojitos, and some Cuban Roast Pork, and it's the end of a great first day.

Tomorrow is coding, geeking, then Red Bull Party.

I'm so effing happy. I'm having the time of my life.

J

Code Trip - First Evening

By James at March 27, 2008 05:54
Filed Under: Life in General, Microsoft, The CodeTrip

Damn train. We're stopped for a while, 'cause they can't get the doors closed. Woody picks me up in Tustin and away we go.

The MSFT Offices in Irvine are cool, I always love hanging around at that place. Woody introduces me to Erin Jacobs, and get reintroduced to Jason Mauer.  Spend some time helping to setup. 6:00 PM and people start to arrive, grab their food and mingle.

First presentation is on iZoofari, the Silverlight 2 based mapping application which Interknowolgy did for the San Diego Zoo. This is a an awesome demonstration of the power of Silverlight 2 and Blend.

It's getting a bit hot in the room, and the 100+ people, with the food warmers is making it worse. Time for a break to let the room cool down. I'm having a blast! lots of my friends are here; Jennifer Louie, Alvin Xu, Art Villa, James Lin, Mike Vincent, Daniel Egan, Stephen Rose, Rick Korbeck....

Next up is Jason Mauer's presentation on how TheCodeTrip web site works. There are a ton of moving parts behind the site, and Jason has some great code and techniques for mashing up all the GPS, Twitter, Silverlight, etc. It all runs on Windows Workflow, and his presentation is the one which finally cements in my head on how it works. Jason is an *outstanding* presenter.

Last is Woody's presentation on IE8 beta 1. As usual, Woody takes an awkward topic (IE, beta software, etc.) and makes it fun and entertaining. Great job Woody!

Clean up the meeting room then head out to a  local restaurant to meet up with some people and have a few drinks. It's a great time, but the karaoke by the drunk ones, make my ears bleed. It must be the waitresses first night as well.... oh well. Drinks with friends and new acquaintances, what could be better?

Woody and I head back to the bus. It's so effing cool. After chatting, checking email, etc., it's 2:30 am...crikey. Time for sleep.

Tomorrow is XNA Day at Cal State Fullerton, then SQL Data Services at USC. Yahoo.

James

Oh my, is that me?

By James at March 14, 2008 10:04
Filed Under: Microsoft, MIX 08, The CodeTrip

What is this? I knew Woody was video taping when the CodeTrip bus was getting ready to leave. You have to check it out: http://thecodetrip.com/1/first-24-hours. Scrub to about 1:20 in and see the geek. The guy in the red shirt is my best friend, Rich Manley.

 

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About the author

James James is a five time and current Microsoft MVP in Client App Development, a Telerik Insider, a past Director on the INETA North America Board, a husband and dad, and has been developing software since the early days of Laser Discs and HyperCard stacks. As the Founder and President of the Inland Empire .NET User's Group, he has fondly watched it grow from a twice-a-month, early Saturday morning group of five in 2003, to a robust and rambunctious gathering of all types and sizes of .NET developers.

James loves to dig deep into the latest cutting edge technologies - sometimes with spectacular disasters - and spread the word about the latest and greatest bits, getting people excited about developing web sites and applications on the .NET platform, and using the best tools for the job. He tries to blog as often as he can, but usually gets distracted by EF, LINQ, MVC, ASP, SQL, XML, and most other types of acronyms. To keep calm James plays a mean Djembe and tries to practice his violin. You can follow him on twitter at @latringo.

And as usual, the comments, suggestions, writings and rants are my own, and really shouldn't reflect the opinions of my employer. That is, unless it really does.

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