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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here. May 2008 Entries
Look out Orlando... TechEd 2008 is just around the corner.
One of these days I'll make it to a TechEd that's NOT in Orlando, but for now I'm just happy to announce that yes, The Great One, will in fact be at Tech Ed 2008 Developers in Orlando, FL. :) I'll be hitting the BillG keynote, some sessions (mostly the Developer Tools & Languages track), checking out the booths, talking VB.NET to anyone who wants to do so, and of course hitting the awesome TechEd MVP party at the House of Blues. (Unfortunately, The Great One will not be attending Party With Palermo ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 27, 2008 1:39 PM

Magenic Technology Summit - June 20, 2008
The Magenic Technology Council (MTC) is proud to present the first annual Technology Summit in Chicago on June 20, 2008. This two-track, 1 day summit is packed with great sessions and TWO keynotes from Rocky Lhotka (Magenic, creator of CSLA) and Jay Schmelzer (Microsoft, Visual Studio Group PM.) In the Developer track, members of the MTC will present on Writing Better Code, the ASP.NET MVC framework, LINQ indexing techniques, WPF and Silverlight in UX design. The Server track offers sessions on SharePoint ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 27, 2008 1:26 PM

new XNA announcements
Along with a new look and feel, the site has some pretty big announcements: The GDC 2008 presentations are now available. Additional information has been posted about The Democratization of Game Distribution (AKA YouTube for Games.) The Role-Playing Game starter kit has been released (which I am VERY excited about.) I spent a couple hours on this last night. Also, there's a new video on Game Development for the Zune available over at Channel 9 ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 21, 2008 2:45 PM

Give me a break. Wii Fit is a game, nothing more.
Sorry, but I'm calling bullshit on this one. The parents aren't right. Nintendo isn't responsible. It's a GAME. Say it with me... IT'S A GAME. One more time, in case it didn't sink in: IT'S A GAME. It might be a great idea, it might even help kids get in better shape, but at the end of the day, it's just A GAME, produced by a company that MAKES GAMES. If you want serious health and fitness evaluation software, don't buy it from the people who brought you SUPER MARIO. Duh people... take some responsibility ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 21, 2008 2:34 PM

what are the good PSP games?
So I'm getting a PSP here soon, from a good buddy who doesn't want his anymore.

Those of you that have PSPs... what are the good RPGs? 

Posted On Monday, May 19, 2008 9:16 PM

My Summer Schedule
My Summer Schedule (for those of you that like to know such things) Events in GREEN are ones I'm working at. Events in BLUE are ones I'm speaking at. Events in YELLOW are ones I'm leading. JUNE June 3-6 - Orlando, FL - Tech Ed Developers - Ask the MVPs June 10 - Bloomington, IL - BDNUG (XNA Talk) June 14 - Minneapolis, MN - Twin Cities Sharepoint Camp June 18-22 - Chicago, IL - Magenic Technology Summit JULY July 2 - Iowa City, IA - Iowa User Group (XNA Talk) July 8 - Minneapolis, MN - Twin Cities ......

Posted On Monday, May 19, 2008 4:46 PM

Where's My Money??
You may have heard, some folks are wondering why they haven't received a stimulus check like everyone else. You may have even heard ME bitching about it, or maybe you're one of the ones affected. Here's what I got in my inbox today: Dear Valued Customer, We want to provide you with the most up–to–date information about the tax rebate to which you may be entitled. Recently, you may have received a letter from the IRS advising you when to expect your Economic Stimulus Payment (rebate). That IRS letter ......

Posted On Friday, May 16, 2008 2:48 PM

New INETA Director of User Group Recruitment
Not too long after the INETA Board elections (mentioned here) I was approached and offered a different role within INETA. Specifically, the role of Director of User Group Recruitment. The mission of this role is to identify and recruit non-traditional (i.e. specific technology focus, such as: XNA, Silverlight, BI, Sharepoint, etc) and newly formed traditional (.NET) user groups into INETA. After some discussion and consideration, I accepted the position and immediately began assembling a team to ......

Posted On Friday, May 9, 2008 1:12 AM

Announcing the User group Support Services pilot
In an effort to better support User Groups worldwide, Microsoft is rolling out UGSS User Group Support Services. We at INETA have been, and will continue to be, working closely with this team to better serve the user group community… Consistency and scale in the services we provide to User Group Communities has been a challenge and a source of consternation for all of us over the past years. Microsoft is pleased to announce that as of last month’s User Group Leadership Summit and based on global ......

Posted On Thursday, May 8, 2008 11:41 PM

Blog post: Download: Why are you still here reading this?? Go. Download. Now ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 7, 2008 2:33 PM

BlogusMaximus.NET is alive. ALIIIIIVE!!
As I've previously mentioned, domain squatters are a bunch of "thievin' bastards" and I refuse to pay 10 times the original price to get back. So I decided to register BlogusMaximus.NET (which really makes more sense anyway, with me being a .NET kinda guy and all...) So, as of now, thanks to Jeff's addition of domain hosting/rerouting/configuring thingy to GeeksWithBlogs, BlogusMaximus.NET integrates nicely. (As opposed to just a redirect which is what I had before...) So thanks ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 7, 2008 11:31 AM

Zune 2.5 firmware update seems to be ok
So far, the overwhelming majority of Zuners I heard from have NOT experienced any brickage when applying the update, so it looks like the folks I did hear about were the exception, not the rule.  I haven't done mine yet, but lots of folks have with good results.   Carry on.

Posted On Wednesday, May 7, 2008 11:26 AM

Zune 2.5 firmware update MAY brick your device
As many of you probably already know, the new Zune software (and firmware) update is now available. I'm not posting a link at this time because over the last few hours I have seen several twitters indicating that the update is bricking Zune80s. I do not know if it is having a similar effect on Zune30s but I am currently advising folks to NOT perform the update for a few days, just to be on the safe side. I realize this is not happening to everyone, but it's better to be safe than sorry. (Honestly, ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 6, 2008 3:25 PM

Popfly Game Creator
Did anyone NOT see this coming? Noteworthy quotes: You can start with a known collection of game templates that are already built in and customize and share them, or start with a fresh idea and a clean canvas and build your own game. Casual games created using the Game Creator will have all the same attributes that Mashups and webpages built with Popfly have – they can be rated, shared and embedded as Windows Vista sidebar ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 6, 2008 2:27 PM

turning paper into gold.
As a followup to my prior post about my lucky score at Borders, I figured I would share the results. (Not the money, just the results, thank you.) Two of the boxes went a little higher, one box went a little lower, but the average sale price was around 1000% of what I paid. Not too shabby. The S&H cost will make up for the Ebay fees, so I'd say it's pretty accurate to call this a success. (Yes, I've been back several times since, but no luck... I'll just have to keep an eye out for the next thing ......

Posted On Monday, May 5, 2008 1:13 PM

Rockin the Iowa Code Camp
Iowa Code Camp was a lot of fun.  Looking forward to the next one.

Posted On Monday, May 5, 2008 11:36 AM

Iowa Code Camp - closing
Iowa Code Camp was pretty terrific. Everything went without a hitch, all the sessions went well and a lot of folks went away with some good stuff. My XNA session went well and got some really good questions. The room was mostly full and there were even a few Magenic folks in there. After the Code Camp, we walked over to the dinner, which was nice. Excellent turnout for dinner and many MANY drinks were purchased and consumed. Played some pool and socialized for a few hours before the crowd starting ......

Posted On Sunday, May 4, 2008 1:45 AM

housing costs, inflation and how things are.
While at the Iowa Code Camp, a few of us were talking over lunch about the cost of living in various parts of the country. Greenville, SC was really cheap, Charleston, SC wasn't (at all.) Minneapolis has some areas that are more than others, and where we are is a little pricey (although not the priciest.) This got me thinking about how much houses cost, etc... and it occurred to me that my parents bought 13 acres of land AND built their house (back in the day, when I was a kid) for less than what ......

Posted On Saturday, May 3, 2008 1:42 PM

Iowa Code Camp - opening
Jason and I got here fairly early. Checked in, got speaker badges. Snagged some breakfast... and hung out for the opening comments.  This is the first Iowa Code Camp and everyone seems really excited.

A few logistical difficulties involving wireless access, but otherwise everything is running smooth.

Posted On Saturday, May 3, 2008 9:50 AM

Sonic, how I've missed you...

I haven't seen a Sonic in nearly 8 months. So, imagine my delight upon pulling into Iowa City and seeing a Sonic near my hotel.  I'm sitting here now, enjoying a Cherry-Grape Slush and Tater Tots... oh and basking in the glow of my 1000th post on

Sorry D'Arcy... you never had a prayer.  ;)

Posted On Friday, May 2, 2008 11:17 PM

The drive down...
It took about 5 hours to get here (Iowa City) from Minneapolis, not counting a Pizza Hut stop around the halfway mark. I didn't see much corn (wrong time of year) but I did see plenty of corn fields and windmills... lots and lots of windmills. The weather sucked for a bit... really heavy rain and almost no visibility for part of it, but we eventually punched through it and got here. Checked into the hotel... hmm, not so great. It's kind of a dive and the security lock is busted off my door. That's ......

Posted On Friday, May 2, 2008 10:59 PM

Iowa Code Camp - TOMORROW!
Today, in a few hours, a bunch of Magenic folks are piling into a couple of cars and driving down to Iowa City for the first Iowa Code Camp. Jason Bock is speaking on "Writing Better Code" and I am covering "What's this XNA Thing I Keep Hearing About?"

Tonight is also the opening night for Iron Man, which I hope to catch after the Code Camp tomorrow, with a bunch of my fellow geeks.

Posted On Friday, May 2, 2008 11:36 AM

Magenic Technology Summit
Coming Friday, June 20th in Downers Grove, IL The Magenic Technology Summit is a full day of Magenic-provided training. We have lined up an impressive array of speakers and topics in two tracks, .NET development and Microsoft servers. And we have lined up two keynotes. Our first keynote speaker is Jay Schmelzer, who is the Group Program Manager for RAD tools. This basically means he runs the teams for all the Visual Studio designers and related RAD tools. He’s an excellent speaker and should provide ......

Posted On Friday, May 2, 2008 9:31 AM

Zune, errr... Soon to be released...

Check out this video on Channel 9 that talks about the soon-to-be-released CTP for XNA games on the Zune.

Posted On Thursday, May 1, 2008 3:40 PM

20 Year High School reunion
I remember, when I was a child, my mom got an invitation to her 20 Year High School Reunion. I also remember thinking, "wow she must be really old if it's been 20 years since she graduated high school." Funny thing, I don't remember if she actually went or not. We were living in Buchanan, VA, and her reunion was in Pineville, LA. She went to visit her family nearly every summer though, so she probably did go. I don't remember her talking about it all that much after the invitation, so who knows. ......

Posted On Thursday, May 1, 2008 3:37 PM

Things I miss about the South
Well, I managed to survive the winter with all my fingers and toes* intact. As I look back over the last 9 months I've been in Minnesota, I realize there are a few things I miss: Chick-Fil-A Sonic Hardees Reality Check Games (sigh, due to gross mismanagement by the new owner, this one no longers exists) Dragon*Con (although we have a fair number of Cons up here.) My two teenage daughters (they'll be here for the summer... Yay!) 4 Seasons (not the hotel, or the restaurant, but 4 ACTUAL seasons.) mountains ......

Posted On Thursday, May 1, 2008 2:55 PM

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