# Friday, July 01, 2011

As most of you know I do a lot of speaking in the Middle East. Many people, including my Mother tell me that I should not go to the Middle East since it is “dangerous.” Someone forwarded this to me, it was a session I did in December 2007 for the Cairo, Egypt .NET User Group. I did almost die right before the meeting, but not to terrorists. Winking smile Fast forward to 9:50 for the story. Enjoy!

posted on Friday, July 01, 2011 4:42:44 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Friday, June 04, 2010

While connecting flights in Japan today en route to TechEd, the security wanted to re-run my bag. They kinda freaked out as to what was in it. They took everything out that was electronic and ran it again. The electronics took three bins, here is what it was:

  • Dell laptop
  • Laptop plug
  • Adapter (my plug uses Hong Kong prongs)
  • Cat5 wire
  • USB external hard drive
  • Wireless mouse
  • Kindle
  • Kindle wire
  • Bose noise cancellation headphones
  • Zune
  • Zune wire
  • Canon G10 Camera
  • Camera battery charger
  • Camera wire
  • Android Nexus One Phone
  • Charger

By now the only thing left in the bag was my notebook, business cards, a pen, and my passport. I would have taken a photo but they had my camera!

posted on Friday, June 04, 2010 6:31:17 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Sunday, May 23, 2010

This weekend I was traveling to the World Expo in Shanghai and there is a maglev train connecting the airport to the metro system. The Shanghai Maglev Train was the world’s first commercial maglev train and also is the fastest.

Ok, ok, for those of you non-engineering geeks, a maglev train stands for: magnetic levitation. According to wikipedia:

Maglev, or magnetic levitation, is a system of transportation that suspends, guides and propels vehicles, predominantly trains, using magnetic levitation from a very large number of magnets for lift and propulsion. This method has the potential to be faster, quieter and smoother than wheeled mass transit systems. The power needed for levitation is usually not a particularly large percentage of the overall consumption; most of the power used is needed to overcome air drag, as with any other high speed train.

IMG_1492

We got on the train at the airport and rode and accelerated to 431 kph and then lasted at that speed for about a minute. In total we covered 30km in 8 minutes. This is the fastest train in the world.

 IMG_1488

It was pretty cool, no real track! It was super quiet, the only thing we heard (besides all of the tourists like me taking photos) was the air outside zipping by. No sound of engines or wheels on a track.

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Kathleen was not impressed. She kept saying “dude stop taking photos of the train.”

IMG_1482 

I gave her this to read in Wired about high speed rail in the US. They are coming soon.

posted on Sunday, May 23, 2010 10:19:11 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, May 16, 2010

I’m about to leave for a 12 day road trip that will take me to six different countries on three continents.

My first stop, arranged by Adam Cogan and Telerik, is an Agile Seminar in Sydney, Australia. Should be fun, at least they already know what Rugby is and will get my sports references.  I will also be speaking on Silverlight at the Sydney .NET User Group. I’ll be doing my WCF walk through and then a RIA Services demo, about 2 hours, no slides, only Visual Studio. In addition to my presentation, I will also be demoing the new Telerik Data Services Wizard at the user group and show how to build a data driven Silverlight application in 30 seconds. I will also unveil to the world a brand new feature of Telerik OpenAccess/Data Services Wizard at the user group.

I’ll come back to Hong Kong for a day or so and then for the three day weekend (Buddha’s birthday!) will head up to Shanghai for the World Expo.  I’ll but a Telerik sticker on the door of the Bulgarian pavilion. Just hope that act of guerilla marketing doesn’t lead me to a communist Chinese prison…

The week after, I will head to Sofia and visit the Telerik mother ship for a few days. Then off to Romania to speak at a PMI conference, on yes, Scrum. A quick one day layover in Istanbul to visit the infamous anti-suckieness club President and Vice-President: Malek and Goksin. Not sure if they, now both being Microsoft employees, will make me go see customers or not.

Should be fun, I hope to see you at some of the events!

posted on Sunday, May 16, 2010 4:45:01 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I am back from a 16 day, three country, three conference European tour. It was a lot of fun and the community is alive and well in Europe and I am looking forward to TechEd in Spain.

First stop was in Amsterdam for the SDC, well actually Noordwijkerhout, but that is impossible to pronounce and it is “close to Amsterdam” as is everything is in that tiny country. They let me do the keynote (on Astoria and REST) and also speak on Scrum and SQL. There was an obligatory visit with Miguel “look at me!” Castro and Peter Bahaa to the Red Light District. Yes, there was a lot of stories about sex and drugs, but Carl Franklin randomly showed up at the SDC, so we told all on an upcoming episode of DNR, so catch it there.

I then moved on to Sofia, Bulgaria. The girl came in for the weekend and we did some sightseeing in Sofia and Plovdiv. Polvdiv predates ancient Rome and Istanbul, it is an ancient city with fabulous ruins.

Monday brought DevReach 2008. Once again they let me do the keynote, not sure why. But I decided to have some fun with the audience. I told them that I love Bulgarian women (true) and that I met one the night before at the bar and got her phone number. I then put up a photo of Miss Bulgaria. Then I say that she taught me how to speak Bulgarian. I said that she taught me how to say “Welcome to DevReach!” What I then said was : Аз съм глупав и дебел американец (I am a stupid, fat American.) Brought down the house, kinda forgot what the Keynote was about.

After three more breakout sessions, Tim Huckaby and I spoke to the computer science majors at Sofia University. We had a total hoot and took questions as diverse as “will Apple sue Microsoft over the Surface” and “Why is Microsoft not Open Source” to “What do you think of Android?”

image

After that there was a nice dinner where a lot of booze was drank. Then something crazy happened. Maciej Pilecki walked on hot fire coals. Here are some photos from Steve Smith:

image

This photo is dark but Maciej and I just walked over the coals, but quickly. The performer and us pose for a photo. I think “ok I survived.”

image

But then as you can see he decides to make us walk one last time, very slow. My feet were ok, but they were black for two days.

So first of all, after I did this, everyone said “I saw that on myth busters!” They say: “IT IS EASY, MYTHBUSTERS SAID SO! MIND OVER MATTER!”   I have one thing to say to all of them: DO IT YOURSELF AND GET BACK TO ME.

The next night featured the attendee party at the Piano Bar in Sofia, and Carl played and sang “New York State of Mind” for me.

Then it was off to Novi Sad, Serbia for Sinergija 08. I did a few sessions on SQL and Scrum and for the last session of the conference, I was down to drinking beer and brought a case of beer to my session and gave one away to anyone who asked a question. The first question was “Can I have a beer?” Damn Serb outsmarting me.

After the conference I went out drinking with the Sinergija event staff and learned the hard way not to drink with Serbians. Then we drove to Belgrade and I spent the day sightseeing before the long journey home.

image

These three events were a great experience and the Microsoft community in Central and Eastern Europe is alive and well!

posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2008 1:18:03 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Friday, March 28, 2008

This week has been a nice vacation in Thailand in between a week of work in Penang, Malaysia and two weeks starting next week in China for a school trip with my MBA class for our international study program.

Last week in Penang, I meet up with the academic staff at the computer science department at USM (University Sains Malaysia) in Penang. We had a great time talking about how to bridge the gap between the research the students are doing and commercial applications. (I suggested that they work more closely with their alumnus to come back and teach classes on this very topic.) I walked the faculty and students through the technology used at my old company, Corzen-mostly the statistical models (cluster analysis), data mining algorithms, and grid/distributed computing. The student's eyes lit up.

IMG_1020

The whole reason why I was there was due to my friend Jihad Hammad, he invited me. Jihad was born and raised in Palestine and is taking his masters at USM. (This is his first time out of Palestine.) He is the founder of the Palestinian Information Technology Center (PIT), a non-profit to help people in Palestine learn about technology and PalDev, a Microsoft .Net User Group in Palestine-with 100+ active members at each meeting, a user group that sometimes has no place to meet so they meet at a refugee camp.

Jihad and I met online five years ago and collaborated to build the PIT and PalDev; we have been partners and friends for 5 years.I helped get the PIT center funding from various sources in the USA and helped get Microsoft recognition for the center (plus free software) as well as INETA membership for PalDev. While Jihad did all the hard work, I was able to lend him a helping hand over the years by making the right introductions to the right people.

This was the first time we met in person.

This is the power of the web, it brings people together and helps them do wonderful things. Two people who never met before can easily build trust, a friendship, and make a difference by using technology in a war zone to give people hope (and hopefully one day play a very small role in ending the violence.) This would not have been possible 10 or so years ago. That is the power of the WideOpen Web. Anything is possible, even peace in the Middle East via .NET. :)

Ok back to the mixed drinks by the beach...

posted on Friday, March 28, 2008 11:48:00 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, February 22, 2008

It was my birthday on Wednesday and we decided to go to the Pyramids with all of the investors of DashSoft as well as the entire team of local Egyptians. There is nothing like going to the Pyramids with locals. But the adventure started before we even got there.

Riding a taxi in Cairo is always an adventure. The adventure starts before you get into the taxi, when you have to negotiate the fair. Vassil was the butt of our jokes since he paid LE 90 (about $17) to get from the hotel to the office on Monday when we paid about LE 15 ($2.75). Vassil is not the best negotiator but desperately wanted to make amends. We got the inside scoop from the locals that it should cost no more than LE 35 from our hotel to the Pyramids. I warned Vassil that the taxi driver may start at LE 200 and he will have to knock him down. Vassil asked the first taxi for a price and the taxi started at LE 50 and Vassil immediately said 40, not something like 5! Oh well....

As we rode through Cairo, we were due to meet Remon at the Pyramids. He was traveling with the whole team of developers and testers from the office. All of the developers have been to the Pyramids just once in their lives and it was on a school trip. Remon rented a bus, a bus we were not on.

Back in the taxis, Vassil was filming me practicing my Arabic with the drivers of other cars since we were stuck in traffic. After we got to the highway we lost the third taxi in our caravan, holding Richard Campbell and his wife and friend Mike. Our taxi driver phones Richard's taxi and we pull over to the slow lane  of the highway and stop and wait for them. I decide to get out and have some fun. I tell my taxi drivers I want to buy my taxi. They start to compete saying who's taxi is better. The fun got even better when a random third taxi appeared and thought we were broken down (I was taking photos of the taxis) and when I explained to him that I was attempting to buy a taxi, he offered his. I had him down to about $700.  My driver then shooed him away. Finally Richard's taxi drove by and the look on their faces was priceless, I was walking around on the highway taking photos and they did not expect to see me. Oddly enough, Remon's van passed us by and Reem noticed me on the side of the road taking photos and joking with the taxi drivers. So they pulled over and picked us up. We paid our taxi drivers and took their photos and left for the Pyramids.

IMG_0809a

Entering the Pyramids you learn that it costs LE 100 ($20) for a foreigner to enter the Pyramids and LE 4 (< $1) for an Egyptian! I pose for a photo with my Egyptian wife Lamees and try to pass myself off as an Egyptian to no avail. I did show my student photo from my MBA program and pay the LE 50 student rate.

IMG_0817a

We enter the grounds and go inside the Great Pyramid. Unfortunately no cameras are allowed inside and we climb up to the room where the king's body and gold was stored. After climbing up for 15 minutes in the heat and no oxygen, we finally get there. It is an empty room. But a 4,000 year old empty room. Very cool.

We get down and then start having more fun. We take tons of silly photos. The Egyptians were just as excited as us foreigners.

IMG_0834a

Next we move on to the camels. Yes camels. What kind of trip to the Pyramids would be complete without camels?!?! I have been to the Pyramids about 7 or 8 times so I do not ride a camel but take tons of photos.

IMG_0854a

We then move to the Sun-Boat museum where the Pharaoh's boat is stored.  The admission fee is LE 40 and I once again try to pass myself off as Egyptian. The best I can do is say I am the professor of all of the locals with me, Lamees gives the man her Student ID card and we buy 10 local student passes (LE 20) and one foreigner student pass (LE 20) and go inside. One foreigner costs the same as 10 locals! We meet up with Richard who I instruct to call me Professor.

IMG_0892a

Next we drive in the bus to the paranoiac view point of all three main Giza Pyramids. We take a team photo.

IMG_0896a

The locals want to ride horses down to the Sphinx. Most of us get on a horse but some are afraid or want to ride a camel. Some are just plain old boring and take the bus down. (Richard and his crew.) The camel/horse guy double crosses Michael (the local who negotiated the deal) and we are taken down to the Sphinx and then back to where we started. So we take the bus down to the Sphinx to meet Richard and crew.

IMG_0932a

By now we have been at the Pyramids for about 5 hours and are hungry for lunch. There is a Pizza Hut right across from the Sphinx. I say "let go in there!" and our only dissenter is Remi who says "I can get Pizza Hut in the Netherlands but not Falafel." The locals really want American fast food, who can blame them! I tell Remi that I can get falafel in New York, but not Pizza Hut. (True) So we split up and get some Pizza Hut. The view of the Sphinx inside of Pizza Hut is awe inspiring and my photos are better then outside due to the height of the second floor.

IMG_0943a

After hanging out and shooting the breeze we take the bus back to the hotel, which contains the largest shopping mall in the Middle East and shop. I decide to hang out in Starbucks and wait for the girls.

We then depart for the Nile where Remon has arranged a boat ride, dinner, and birthday cake as well as Arabic music and dancing. It is a full moon and we cruse along the Nile for a few hours, eating, dancing and having a blast. Several happy birthday chants were sung in both English and Arabic. 

We head back to the hotel, have a drink and pass out. It sure has been an interesting 36 years so far.

PS: flickr photos are here.

posted on Friday, February 22, 2008 10:21:09 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
# Friday, June 22, 2007

The 2007 version of the Pakistan Developers Conference was great. I had an amazing time in both Lahore and Karachi.

In Lahore I presented:

TSQL Tips and Tricks. Code and Slides here.

Database Design Patterns. Code and Slides here. (I also presented this in Karachi and TechEd Orlando so you can download too.)

Agile Development: Introduction to Scrum. Slides here. (Karachi too.)

In Karachi there was also:

WCF Overview. Code and Slides here.

Building a Scalable Environment for ASP. NET. Slides here. (Don’t forget n+1!!!)

Thanks for all of the memories, especially doing the Punjabi dancing at the end of the sessions in Karachi!!!

Say cheese:

 

posted on Friday, June 22, 2007 1:44:56 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, October 29, 2006

Check us out in Bulgaria on .NET Rocks.

Check out Martin's great blog post here.

posted on Sunday, October 29, 2006 8:54:40 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Bulgaria has great food, beautiful women, and great rakia. Learn more from Carl.

posted on Tuesday, October 10, 2006 9:31:18 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Malek and Richard started a rumor that girls in the Middle East like me.

Maybe this is a case of believing your own hype, but I think I have something here with Turkish rock stars. First there was Candan Erçetin. I met her in Istanbul last April. She liked me. Then the infamous incident of the beautiful young rock star (Sebnem Ferah) last December in Istanbul. (I won't say anymore to protect both the guilty and innocent.) Now Hepsi. They have made a song where they shout TEMPO TEMPO FORTE FORTE FORTE!

Maybe I should move. :)

You can watch the video of the song here:

posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2006 1:18:07 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, June 30, 2006

The 2006 Pakistan Developers Conference is a smashing success! Today is Day 3, boy have they worked me hard, 3 sessions each day. The code downloads for my sessions will be available in about a week, the presentations are here for XML Part I, XML Part II (XQuery), SQL Everywhere, ASP .NET Design Patterns and Writing Secure ASP.NET Code (All user input is evil!).

I love Pakistan, I hope to be back next year. Tonight Richard and I do the closing keynote, we will be showing 3-D rendering and collaborating with WinFX (.NET 3.0), Vista, Office 2007 and Sharepoint Services 2007.

 

 

posted on Friday, June 30, 2006 1:53:43 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Whenever the Dutch put on a conference, things get a little crazy. Luckily you can listen in on some of the fun on .NET Rocks as well as Mondays.

My red light district story is 21 minutes in to the .NET Rocks, just don't tell my mom....

posted on Tuesday, May 23, 2006 8:19:56 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, April 10, 2006

Today I saw one of the most amazing things in my life. So subtle yet so powerful. While on my way to speaking at the Gdansk .NET Users Group we passed the docks. The place where communism died.

 

Not everyday you can walk past something so historical and so important in the history of the world. What is funny is that my friend Michal Chaniewski just said very casually as we passed: “Oh here are the docks. You know we had strikes here in 1980 led by Lech Wałęsa.” I said “they were not just strikes man.” I studied the Solidarity movement in Poland very closely in university and Michal was being very modest. He said, “I guess. What happened here did change Europe.” I replied: “What happened here changed the entire world.” We went on to talk about Lech Wałęsa and communism and then of course .NET.

 

Just across the street we went to the offices of Computer Services Support, an old communist era building to have the first ever user group meeting of the Gdansk .NET Users Group. I was honored to be the first speaker. While talking about the Model-View-Controller design pattern, I was amazed that I was standing just meters away from a place that changed the world. You can see the docks from the classroom.

posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 6:04:05 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, March 31, 2006

I was in western China visiting Buddhist caves when Katrina hit and missed most since I did not have access to TV and news. When I got to Shanghai a few days later I was horrified. When I finally got home a few weeks later, I donated money to the cause. I supported the president when he said we will rebuild no matter how much it costs. I have to admit, around the beginning of this year I had started to forget about it. The news stopped talking about it. Then recently there was a “Katrina 6 months later story” on the news here. I felt very guilt. So I decided to visit New Orleans and see what I can do.

 

This past weekend I visited New Orleans. I stayed with a very good friend who just got back recently. Lucky for him, his home, near the French Quarter, is on a hill and sustained no damage. Quite amazing, his little area was relatively ok. Some roof damage and down trees, but all is ok.

 

Then we went for a drive. It was night and day. Only about a mile away the roads started to break down into potholed paths and the destruction was all over the place. The place is still a complete mess, 6 months later. Entire neighborhoods are wiped out. I felt like I was on a “Day After Nuclear War” Hollywood set. House after house on street after street, neighborhood after neighborhood was wiped out.

 

We drove down streets near the water (lower 9th ward) and it is worse then the worst street I ever drove down in sub-Saharan Africa after a bad rain storm. Garbage everywhere, homes gutted, crushed and destroyed. The compete absence of life except for grass.

 

I can’t even start to describe the destruction. And this is 6+ months later, cleanup has already started. We drove down some streets and got out and walked around. Every single home was destroyed. You heard echoes! In a crowded city street, so quiet, echoes. In areas where the homes were not completely underwater, they were under between 3 and 6 feet of water, so all was lost.

 

Every single home in New Orleans was searched house to house by the authorities. They spray painted on each house an X that indicated in each quadrant of the X some search information. On the top was the date it was searched and on the left side the agency who searched (National Guard, etc) and on the bottom the number of dead found. (Thankfully there were “only” about 1000 deaths in Katrina. Compared to the Tsunami or the Pakistan Earthquake this is very little.)  Dead dogs and cats found were also indicated. It was a sad and gruesome thing to see.

 

Only 200,000 people are back so far. Businesses that want to reopen can’t since they can’t find workers-there is no place to live. My friend is a chef (a famous one actually!) and we visited a restaurant where he knows the owner. He told us that they had an ad in the paper for over a month to find the workers and only now are starting to hire some people, but at most they will be at 50% power. The waitress told us about the rents getting jacked up since there is now a limited amount of living space.

 

Having lived through 9/11 and its aftermath on my city, I really have started to live my life differently and look at the world differently.  Residents of New Orleans will most certainly do the same. Being a New Yorker I feel that the rest of the world and the country has forgotten the pain that we went through, just 4.5 years ago. I fear the same is happening to New Orleans.

posted on Friday, March 31, 2006 11:55:15 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, February 08, 2006

That is all I have to say, besides a very very late night celebrating with the locals over the win in the Africa Cup semis.

posted on Wednesday, February 08, 2006 2:07:03 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Saturday, February 04, 2006

I have to hand it to Microsoft. Just when I get pissed off at them for Office Service Pack 2 (don’t ask) they remind me why I am in their camp.

 

I am in Cairo, Egypt at the moment with the anti-suck gang (the four founders are all here: me, Goksin, Malek, and Clemens) preparing for the 2006 Middle East Developers Conference. What is amazing is that we have 5,000 developers turn out for this event.

 

Why I give Microsoft so much kudos for putting on this event is that the developing world needs to build a rock solid technology based economy and Microsoft is right there leading the way. The charge for this conference is very low (about $8.75 USD) and the entire amount of money collected won’t even cover Clemens’ mini-bar bill. Microsoft has made such a commitment to the developing world, it is quite impressive.

 

I’ll be giving 4 talks:

 

XML in SQL Server 2005: The XML Data Type

Ranking and Windowing Functions in SQL Server 2005

Building Enterprise Applications with SQL Server Mobile 2005

Writing Secure ASP .NET Code

 

posted on Saturday, February 04, 2006 11:05:02 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [3] Trackback
# Sunday, October 09, 2005

I know that all my firends in Pakistan read my blog, and let me say my heart goes out to you. You and your country really touched me on my most recent visit.

While most of my firends are safe in Karachi, I had to search for Saqib Ilyas in Lahore, much closer to the epicenter. Thankfully he is ok.

My buddy Fahad Majeed reports about the earthquake here.

You can donate here.

posted on Sunday, October 09, 2005 10:38:32 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Wednesday, September 28, 2005
That was my time for a mile in the race this weekend down 5th Avenue. In some respects a mile that fast was harder than the marathon. Headed out to Redmond, Washington to visit the boys at Microsoft at the MVP Summit. Should have some good stories to tell in the old blog while I am out there.
posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 4:30:10 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Back from China and ready to start the fall marathon season in New York along with the usual list of conferences, MVP Summits and the like.

 

A very quick synopsis on China, well it was pretty cool. Got to experience communism first hand (and made me not take for granted the freedoms I have as an American) and see some amazing historical, religious and cultural areas. I met so many everyday Chinese people, very excited to practice their English talking with me for hours and exchanging views and ideas.

 

While I went to several places in China (Beijing, Datong, Dunhuang, Xi’am, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macau), I have to say two places really stuck out for me.

 

 

First is the Great Wall. It lives up to its reputation. It is steep, vast and goes on and on and on. I kept climbing on up, seeing in the distance a watchtower and figured to myself “well this watchtower should be the last one, I can then view over the other side of the mountain.” Then when I got there, there were just more and more and more. A truly amazing experience.

 

Second is the Yungang Caves, just outside of Datong in the Shanxi Province. These caves were carved out of a mountain by Buddhists 1500 years ago (yes 1500) and are a very special place-it was a bit of a pilgrimage for me. Started in 450 AD, Yungang is a relic of the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534). It is a combination of Chinese and  Indian Gandhara Buddhist art. Chinese are not like the Buddhists in other parts of SouthEast Asia that are Theravada, the Chinese are Mahayana.

 

Anyway, I saw a ton of other great stuff, but don’t want to bore you all with the details. Time to get back to the Model View Controller Design pattern…..

posted on Wednesday, September 07, 2005 9:01:09 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
# Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Today we woke up and visited Mao’s Tomb. A brutal reminder that while economically free China is still a one party state without any elected government.

 

Climber the Great Wall, visited the Forbidden City and Summer Palace (which rocks), of course a visit to a Buddhist Lama temple rounded out some time in Beijing.

 

Now I am in Datong, where no English is spoken at all. Visiting some old Buddhist Caves and Monasteries tomorrow before off to Xiam to see the warriors.

(This does not suck)

posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 9:52:46 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
# Tuesday, June 21, 2005

last week I visited the unique Chawkandi Tombs outside of Karachi. The tombs are from the 15th to 18th century and very elaborate. The photos do not do they justice, they span for over 3 km. Here are the photos:

These are what most look like:

Here is one shaped like a mosque:

posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 12:56:17 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
# Tuesday, May 31, 2005

 

So last night during the geek night session at the SDC, the Dutch, inspired by Richard Campbell called me on my SMO Backup and Restore GUI that had a progress meter. They thought I was hacking it, not that I was actually providing a true representation of the progress made by the status of the backup. Here is the progress meter in action, as the database backup makes progress we update the progress meter:

 

 

 

To do a backup programmatically you can to use SMO (see yesterday). Begin by setting the variables to get started.

 

Server svr = new Server();//assuming local server

Backup bkp = new Backup();

 

Cursor = Cursors.WaitCursor;

 

Then you have to set the device to backup to and what database to backup. Notice in the comments the code to the progress meter

 

try

{

      string strFileName = txtFileName.Text.ToString();

      string strDatabaseName = txtDatabase.Text.ToString();

                       

      bkp.Action = BackupActionType.Database;

      bkp.Database = strDatabaseName;

 

      //set the device: File, Tape, etc

      bkp.Devices.AddDevice(strFileName, DeviceType.File);

      //set this when you want to do Incremental

      bkp.Incremental = chkIncremental.Checked;

 

      //progress meter stuff

      progressBar1.Value = 0;

      progressBar1.Maximum = 100;

progressBar1.Value = 10;

 

      //this gives us the % complete by handling the event

      //provided by SMO on the percent complete, we will

      //update the progress meter in the event handler

                       

      //set the progress meter to 10% by default

bkp.PercentCompleteNotification = 10;

//call to the event handler to incriment the progress meter

bkp.PercentComplete += new PercentCompleteEventHandler(ProgressEventHandler);

     

//this does the backup

      bkp.SqlBackup(svr);

      //alert the user when it is all done

      MessageBox.Show("Database Backed Up To: " + strFileName, "SMO Demos");

 

                       

                       

      }

catch (SmoException exSMO)

      {

      MessageBox.Show(exSMO.ToString());

 

      }

catch (Exception ex)

      {

      MessageBox.Show(ex.ToString());

      }

 

finally

      {

      Cursor = Cursors.Default;

      progressBar1.Value = 0;

      }

 

 

Here is the ProgressEventHandler, notice that I made it generic enough that I can call it from both the backup and restore methods!

 

public void ProgressEventHandler(object sender, PercentCompleteEventArgs e)

      {

            //increase the progress bar up by the percent

            progressBar1.Value = e.Percent;

      }

 

posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2005 6:28:53 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Monday, May 30, 2005

The Software Developers Conference in the Netherlands has begun. Today I show how to prevent SQL Injection Attacks in ASP .NET as well as other cool tricks. Lots of RDs here and lots of happy attendees. As usual at SDC I will show something very new and cool. I will show off some of the new SQL Server Management Objects (SMO) in the keynote tonight. Ill give you a preview here.

The SMO object model is a logical continuation of the work done in SQL-DMO. SMO is feature-compatible with SQL-DMO, containing many of the same objects. . To achieve maximum data definition language (DDL) and administrative coverage for SQL Server 2005, SMO adds more than 150 new classes. The primary advantages of SMO are in its performance and scalability. SMO has a cached object model, which allows you to change several properties of an object before effecting the changes to SQL Server. As a result, SMO makes fewer round trips to the server, and makes its objects more flexible. SMO also has optimized instantiation, meaning that you can partially or fully instantiate objects. You can load many objects quickly by not instantiating all the properties of the objects. To get started you have to set a reference to it and pull in the namespace:

using Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo;

Now I will show you how to programitically do a database restore. You start with getting the SMO objects: Server and Restore.

Server svr = new Server();

Restore res = new Restore();

Now take a look at how easy you can do a restore, just a few lines of code:

res.Database = “AdventureWorks“;

res.Action = RestoreActionType.Database;

res.Devices.AddDevice(“c:\mybackup.bak“, DeviceType.File);

res.ReplaceDatabase = true;

res.SqlRestore(svr);

There is a lot more that you can do with SMO, but this shows you how easy it is to manage your server from code. A very cool thing to do it put some of the server monitor stuff into an ASP .NET page for viewing your server stats from a remote location.

More on SMO to come...

 

posted on Monday, May 30, 2005 7:32:15 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, May 28, 2005

That is the title of Richard and my Monday night keynote at the Software Developers Confrence in the Netherlands. Well I think it is now: “Estaban, splain dis Jukon to me!“ where we talk all about SQL Server 2005 in bad Spanish accents. To tell you the truth we have no idea what we are going to talk about, we do know that it will  be fun, contain beer and technical content. Confrences in the Netherlands rock.

Off to the Red Lights...

posted on Saturday, May 28, 2005 7:33:16 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Wednesday, April 20, 2005

 

The 2005 North Africa Developers Conference in Algiers, Algeria is over. Boy was it a smashing success. Over 2,200 developers attended and more had to be turned away due to space restrictions. I pushed hard for Microsoft to go into Algiers to make a statement, so I am glad it worked.

 

I had standing room only in all of my 4 sessions. I met several students, professionals and even lots of open source folks who wanted to see what Microsoft was all about.

 

While my French has improved since the first NDC, my sessions were still interpreted and all went well. I was the ONLY speaker from the United States, I hope I made a good impression (early feedback says so and I did have standing room only in my talks!)

 

After the conference we went to the roof of the convention center overlooking Algiers and the beautiful Mediterranean for a reception with government officials and the attendees. I used my limited French to talk with the mayor of Algiers about the tall building in New York and my running and biking in Central Park.

 

There were several RD there including the very reclusive Frecnh RDs, but some tequila got Pierre (aka ALL CAPS) Couzy to open up some more. We had a blast. All the RDs there were:

 

Me :)

Clemens

Malek

Goksin

Sylvain Duford

Pierre Couzy (ALL CAPS)

Yann Faure

Eric Groise

 

Off to Istanbul next.

posted on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 11:57:23 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
# Friday, April 15, 2005

Back from India, boy was it hot. Sanjay (RD Bombay) and I had a blast. Off to speak at the North Africa Developers Conference in Algeria this weekend. Seven RDs (including the ones who speak French ) will be there in full force. I plan on making Clemens see the light while I am there. I am doing these 4 sessions:

Writing Secure Code for ASP .NET

Data Controls and Advanced Cache Techniques with ASP .NET

Ranking and Windowing Functions in SQL Server 2005

Using XQuery to Query and Manipulate Data in SQL Server 2005

And: The New York Mets and the New York Yankees have the exact same record. I am enjoying it while it lasts. It seems that the Mets are 1-5 when I am in the country and 3-0 when I am not.

posted on Friday, April 15, 2005 10:47:43 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, January 06, 2005

Since I speak at the SDC in the Netherlands so much (every year since 1997 I think?) I decided to open a cafe in the Netherlands. Here is my buddy Remi Caron after he discovered my cafe.

 

posted on Thursday, January 06, 2005 5:40:09 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [15] Trackback
# Wednesday, October 06, 2004

The trek starts tomorrow!

posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 11:43:09 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [20] Trackback
# Monday, August 30, 2004

There was a party for the Regional Directors and the Microsoft Developer Evangelists on Friday night and let me say that it was epic.

 

It was on a boat. This was no ordinary boat. After they fed us and opened the bar, a DJ and go-go dancers started to rev us. Clemens and I pulled up chairs and pretty much held court.

 

Then they announced there would be a belly dancer. They started to play Turkish music. Then building on the RD belly dancing traditions (me in Cairo and Clemens in Casablanca), Goksin Bakir decided to get up and dance. He was GOOD. Unfortunately they asked him to stop and the real belly dancer got up and started.

 

While that was all fun and games (and Clemens and I still holding court, but now about 8 or 9 beers later), the DJ decided to play some awesome Punjabi remixes and that got fellow RD Sanjay Shetty and I on the dance floor pretty hard core. (It has been almost a year since I learned to dance to Punjabi music in India.) We danced our brains out. SQL Hera also got down with Goksin, Michelle and I.

 

Richard Campbell did his weekly Toy Boy bit for .NET Rocks via Cell Phone on the boat as we passed Bill Gates house. I was too drunk and drooling over the belly dancer to participate.

 

Hours later (and buckets of sweat later too), the boat docked (and I headed to the airport for a redeye back to New York.)

 

See the team at TechEd in Kula Lumpur in a few weeks!

posted on Monday, August 30, 2004 1:44:37 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [20] Trackback
# Saturday, August 14, 2004

A year ago today was the blackout. Like most New Yorkers I can’t believe it was an entire year ago. For me personally the blackout was a turning point, a chain of events were set off for a truly amazing, unexpected and strange year that took me to Mt. Everest, Mt. McKinley (Denali) , Mt. Rainer, India, Egypt, Morocco, Malaysia rainforests, the bars of Bangkok, Hawaii, London, Paris, Amsterdam and so much more.

 

Looking back on a year you think about what matters most, what you learned, mistakes you made, etc. I learned a very important thing last year on Mt. Everest. Inner peace. After more than a month away from home, (a week in Malaysia and 4 weeks in Nepal), I had achieved inner peace in that bar in Lulka. It may have had something to do with the dirt cheap happy hour drinks, the bartender playing No Woman No Cry four times in a row for me, but it was more than that. I had time to reflect on life, the universe and everything. I found that nothing is more sacred than finding inner peace. You just can’t get it working 9-5 in a cube and worrying about picking up your dry cleaning and rushing to the downtown 6 train. Around Christmas time last year I contemplated moving to Lulka and buying that bar and making a living there. (Don’t underestimate my desire to get back there, one day this blog may be hosted in Nepal.)

 

Short of moving to Lulka or Goa, India, once a year I plan to find that inner peace somewhere, it doesn’t necessary have to be on a mountain, but that is a good place to start.

 

So this next year brings some crazy things. I get ready to travel back to Tech*ED Malaysia in KL with stops in Hong Kong, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Then off to Kilimanjaro in October and Antarctica in February. Somewhere, whether it is the Killing Fields of Phnom Penh or the highest point in Africa, I will find that inner peace somewhere. I just hope that all of you can try to do the same at your time and location. Don’t lose the desire to keep looking for it.

posted on Saturday, August 14, 2004 1:42:26 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [15] Trackback
# Thursday, August 05, 2004

Flew into Grand Haven, MI to stay at Andy Catlin's tri-camp. A weekend of bike, run and swim. Also the tri of drink, fall down and get arrested. With a crowd of Tom, Adam, Linda, Katleen, John, Andy and myself could you ask for anything less?

posted on Thursday, August 05, 2004 1:59:37 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [17] Trackback
# Friday, May 07, 2004

I am leaving tomorrow for the Netherlands to speak at the Software Developers Conference in Arnhem, the Netherlands. What was once CTTM is now SDC, so I have been doing this conference every year since 1998. my sessions are:

 

-          Exploring the XML Features of SQL Server “Yukon

-          ASP .NET Scalability- Caching Techniques

 

Also I rejoin my pal and now fellow RD Richard Campbell on stage for a Joint session:

-          From Interoperability to Migration: SQL Server and Linux Databases Working Together

 

Besides Richard and I other RDs will be there, Clemens, Michelle, Gert, Paul Sheriff, and Ken Getz.

 

Look forward to seeing you there!

 

 

posted on Friday, May 07, 2004 12:44:26 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [5] Trackback
# Wednesday, April 28, 2004

See you in Karachi June 15-17!

posted on Wednesday, April 28, 2004 4:36:24 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [16] Trackback
# Monday, April 26, 2004

So it is official. I am going to be climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania this October.

Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain (well technically it is a volcano) in Africa.

 

Crazy enough to join me are two fellow RDs, Paul Sheriff and Richard Campbell. At 19,340 feet, this will edge out my time on Everest as the highest altitude I have been to. We are going to take the Western Breach route, sleep the last night at 18,000 feet and summit on the “real” side. When we come down, we will do a 5 day safari so expect lots of photos.

 

 

posted on Monday, April 26, 2004 3:31:43 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [11] Trackback
# Friday, April 16, 2004

Day 3 of Africa Developers Conference started with a bit of a painc. My session on TSQL was scheduled to start at 9am, but the translators did not show up. Three years ago I was in Morocco on vacation I learned a few terms in Arabic and “No Problem” or MaCain Mushleel so I said “No Translator, McCain Mushkeel”. That got a laugh. Eventually my translator showed up and the technical content was presented. After that was the closing keynote, we had almost 1,500 developers at the event, and Microsoft extimates that there are 5,000 developers, so there was a great reach at this event.

See you next year in Algeria!

posted on Friday, April 16, 2004 8:34:28 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [19] Trackback
# Thursday, April 15, 2004

Day 2 of the 2004 North Africa Developers Conference

Ask the experts was quite an experience. Ingo and I staffed the Distributed Applications booth, but also took on Mobility and SQL Server/Data Access. We had quite a long conversation with the Federal Reserve bank of Mocorro about a check clearing HA SQL Server applicaiton. Log Shipping and triggers were the hot topics as well as seperate files for index, data and logs.

Also Goskin, Ingo and I visited the Hassan II Mosque and it was awesome. It is the third largest Mozque in the world, behind Mecca and Medina and the largest closed Mosque in the world. It can accomidate over 75,000 worshipers. It had a retracting roof and amazing turkish baths in the basement.

After the Mosque visit and some McDonalds, we hit the shops in the medina. It was loads of fun trying to get the best price for our items. I think the photo below shows the solution to my latest hair problem (Kathleen won't let me cut it.)

 

posted on Thursday, April 15, 2004 3:54:49 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [17] Trackback
# Wednesday, April 14, 2004

In Cairo, I danced with a Belly Dancer so Clemens had to one up me here in Casablanca. :)

posted on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 10:35:55 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [18] Trackback

Day 1 of the 2004 North Africa Developers Conference got off to a rough start, but it still doesn’t suck, even without hummus and lots of second hand smoke. (Nor did last year.) I had the first session after the keynote (on ASP. NET Mobile Controls) and the keynote was 30 minutes over. (The Keynote was all in French, but it was pretty cool, showed Whidbey Smart Device Extensions and new Language Features to name a few.) When I got to my room the A/V was not working. But I started as soon as I could. But there was no translator!!! After about 15 minutes they passed out the translation headphones and life was good.

I spoke about the Mobile Web Controls for the first session and many people really got into it and laughed at my translated jokes. I showed the adaptive rendering for different devices, so I showed each example in HTML (both IE and Netscape) and OpenWave and Nokia browsers as well as the pocket pc mobile IE. The audience mocked my lousy French. At least I did type in "Bonjour Monde" instead of "Hello World."

 

After lunch by the pool, did my second session “SQL Server Notification Services” and after that spoke at length with the Casablanca Stock Exchange IT guy about using SSNF over their customer home grown solution.

 

Now I am at Casa de Malek doing the email thing and blogging. Goskin, Ingo and I will go to the Hassan II Mosque tomorrow, the second largest mosque in the world (behind Mecca) and the largest closed religious building in the world.

 

Of course I am here with the other Regional Directors, we had a dinner last night:

 

posted on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 3:55:23 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [9] Trackback
# Saturday, April 10, 2004

One of the coolest places I have even been to, Aguas Calientes at the foot of Machu Piccu , was hit by a big mudslide. The rail link was covered and hundreds of tourists are stranded and 11 people died.

This is sad since it is the only town around. It is a 5 day trek to Cusco over a 13,000 pass. I'll be thinking about eveyone down there this weekend.

posted on Saturday, April 10, 2004 3:38:51 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [17] Trackback
# Friday, March 26, 2004

Got up early this morning and did an 8 mile run over the Golden Gate bridge and back to the center of town with tri pal Andy Catlin. Put me in a good mood to see the VSLive keynote on Yukon Business Intelligence by Microsoft PM Bill Baker. Besides enhancements to Reporting Services and DTS (DTS will be renamed), Yukon will help bring BI to the masses with UDM:

 

There will be “Visual Studio Controls for Reporting Services“ in Visual Studio 2005 where you can embed reports into ASP pages and Windows Forms much easier. There is navigation, ad hoc query and other cool controls to play with.

 

DTS is completely rewritten. Total event driven and based on the CLR.

 

The Unified Dimension Model is new and great. The UDM basically combines OLAP and the relational worlds into one programming model that will truly bring OLAP to you and me.  

 

Can't wait. :)

 

I give three talks today: SQL Server Notification Services, XQuery in Yukon and ADO.NET Best Practices. I am a busy kid today.

 

Trivia: Yukon is named after the national park in Alaska, not the Canadian province (or territory, who can keep track!). J

posted on Friday, March 26, 2004 1:55:42 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [12] Trackback
# Monday, March 22, 2004

Oh boy this is going to be awesome. The 2004 North Africa Developer conference is only about 3 weeks away and I can't wait. The NDC will feature the future Microsoft technologies : Longhorn, Whidbey and Yukon, alongside standard.Net development topics. I will be presenting on Mobility (ASP .NET Mobile Web Forms/Controls), Yukon TSQL Enhancements, and SQL Server 2000 Notification Services. 

The NDC in Tunis was my favorite event last year.

My second time to Casablanca, Morocco and I plan to party hard with my fellow  Regional Directors:

Malek will take me to get a rug and I plan on drinking lots of mint tea.

posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 3:36:47 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [7] Trackback
# Friday, March 19, 2004

Silly me did not know that there was a dasBlog 1.5 up at the gotdotnet workspace. All systems go.

I got my final Tech*Ed Assignment today. I am doing a session with fellow RD Richard Campbell, this should be huge:

From Interoperability to Migration: SQL Server and Linux Databases Working Together
 
"They" say it can be done, now see it in action! This session demonstrates how SQL Server can acts as the gateway to interoperability with Linux databases such as DB2  and Oracle! You'll see a fully functioning Linux-based web application using Red Hat Linux, Apache, PHP and Oracle sharing data with an identically implemented ASP.NET application using SQL Server. This session shows not only how to interoperate, but to use these interoperate capabilities to facilitate a seamless migration from the Linux based system to SQL Server and Windows . This is how migration was meant to be!

posted on Friday, March 19, 2004 1:15:40 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [15] Trackback
# Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Nobody likes terrorists, something that I was unfortunately reminded of during my time here in Europe. Basically violence is not the answer to getting your cause heard.

 

I made the same claim against Environmental Terrorism. Most people would consider themselves an “environmentalist” (as I do) but prefer to protect the environment by recycling and giving money to organizations like the World Wildlife Fund. I do hate when Greenpeace or some other more radical group blows up a McDonalds or performs some other act of Environmental Terrorism.

 

Last month Microsoft was the victim of Corporate Terrorism plain and simple. Its source code was leaked in the Internet. I have no proof, but I bet it was done by people trying to prove a point that Open Source is “better” than closed source. These are nothing more than Corporate Terrorists, trying to hold a company hostage or bring it down.

 

I do not condemn the Open Source movement (doing so would force me to condemn many people important to me, including my roommate) just like I don’t condemn all Environmentalists when there is environmental terrorism (and I am not going to touch the hot potato of Islamic terrorism in this entry, stay tuned for my thoughts on Madrid in a later piece). But this clearly is a gross violation of IP and just plain old wrong. Whoever did this can you look at yourself in the mirror anymore? Who do you see back?

 

(This report was done via the free Internet in Paris, yes the Internet should be free everywhere!)

posted on Tuesday, March 16, 2004 10:44:58 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Monday, March 15, 2004

Well, Duh.

 

eWeek ran an article on Friday saying how users are willing to wait for Yukon and Whidbey. Well duh.

 

I blogged on this last week and someone disagreed with me, but I stick by my original statements. Think of it this way, Whidbey is due in early 2005 (1st half so let’s estimate April/May). Visual Studio 2003 shipped in April 2003, that is ONLY 2 YEARS between cycles. Part of me wants them to push it back again. I think it is a good thing that product cycles are getting longer. Software is more complex and needs the time for feedback and QA.

 

I showed off Whitehorse today in the Netherlands at CTTP. Whitehorse’s European debut. Developers were super excited but did not care that it was a year away, they wanted it done right. I had to demo Whitehorse today from an AVI I took of the screen shots on my computer back at the office, I could not get the Virtual Image to install without issue on my laptop, more a problem with my laptop than the image. (I hate DELL). So the Dutch were treated to the same demos I did at DevDays just without any bugs, errors, crashes, etc!

 

So my blog is apparently very well read in the Netherlands, it was quoted in a Dutch paper last week.

 

There was a moment of science today at noon all across Europe for the victims of the Madrid bombings on Thursday.

posted on Monday, March 15, 2004 9:20:06 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, March 14, 2004

WiFi rocks. The Internet should be free everywhere. (Actually I think that they want to charge me but have a poor firewall.)

I demo Whitehorse at CTTP in the Netherlands tomorrow.

posted on Sunday, March 14, 2004 5:00:37 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Friday, February 06, 2004

You Have Photos

 

Last year I took about 4 gigs of photos around the world. I choose to post a select few and have put them on line yesterday (Finally!)

 

A few trips have already been up, you can get all the photos here.

 

The trip to Tunisia for the NDC 2003 in June was a lot of fun.  Beach, conference, Carthage, Tunis and lots of smoking J.

 

The next week I was speaking at TechED in Barcelona.

 

In August I scaled Mt. Rainer with Kevin and Joel.

 

In last August I spoke at TechEdD in Kuala Lumpur, before heading to Mt. Everest and India.

 

This year I promise to get my photos online faster.  Last week I spoke at the MDC in Egypt. Some photos are here.

posted on Friday, February 06, 2004 2:11:20 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [14] Trackback
# Monday, August 25, 2003

Today Scott Case, fellow RD Tim Huckaby, and I went to Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Centre in central Malaysia. This facility, run by the Malaysian Government, takes elephants that are endangered and relocates them to the protected natural rainforest where they roam just about free. The centre also looks after orphan elephants. We got to spend the day with some of the relocated elephants that have not entered the general population yet. I am talking up close in nature with some serious elephants-at times it was quite intimidating like when we had to run out of their way! That said this was one of the most amazing things that I have ever done in my life.

 

First we got to hang out with an orphan baby female elephant. She was very tame and really enjoyed having us pet her and play with her. She especially liked when we would put our hands in her mouth. At 20 months old she was already over 1,000 pounds!

 

Then we went into the preserve and hung out with five adults and a child elephant. This was a totally wild experience. After that we got the chance to bathe and hand feed the elephants. After washing and feeding them, they treated us to rides, on land in the river. While in the river the elephants liked to throw us overboard, we were told it was a sign of affection by our guide Razali-who was a very cool dude.

 

When we were all done, we visited another preserve and saw a nearly extinct bear (who loved me) and some deer and other cool animals. This was quite a unique experience.

 

What a great day to spend my off day at TechEd. Well it is back to work tomorrow, five sessions in 3 days!!

 

posted on Monday, August 25, 2003 2:25:43 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [10] Trackback
# Wednesday, June 25, 2003

A good start to this trip with an uneventful trans-Atlantic flight. Even bumped into fellow NY RD Andrew Brust and his lovely wife Lauren in the Rome airport. Worked on converting my Using SQL Server CE & SDE to build Enterprise Solutions code from VB .NET to C# on the plane down to Tunis. After clearing customs, Malek picked Goksin, Selcuk and I up and drove us on down to the Hotel where Clemens was already waiting for us. What was great was that there were North African Developers Conference  posters and signs all over the airport and highway! Tunisia really rolled out the red carpet.

 

Reunited from the Wallflowers in Dallas, Clemens, Goksin, Malek and I turned around and headed straight for the beach at Hammamet. Much to the delight of the German speakers in the group, Clemens and I (barely), we were at a resort that catered to Germans. We spend several hours on the beach smoking Goksin's Turkish cigars, drinking beer and talking about why .NET Remoting may or may not suck, DCOM, the bowls of COM+, Regular Expressions and gulp politics. Clemens and I had a disagreement over the difference between an 'Ocean' and  a 'Sea' (eventually we got distracted by some girls topless sunbathing.) I got a great swim workout in, about 20-25minutes in open water. Triathlon training won't suffer (well the several beers I drank after my workout may have hurt a little.)

 

So, when you code, remember a bug is always your fault. This code in SQL Server CE may look harmless, but if you are pointing to the wrong database (ha!) it won't do a damn thing!

 

SqlCeConnection cn = new SqlCeConnection("data source=\\my documents\\bya.sdf");

SqlCeDataReader dr;

cn.Open();

SqlCeCommand cmd = new SqlCeCommand(strSQL, cn);

 

So off to the speakers dinner at a nice place overlooking the Med. Tomorrow are two sessions:

11:00-12:00: Using SQL Server CE & SDE to build enterprise solutions

4:00-5:00: Using Regular Expressions in Windows Forms & ASP.NET (Code and Slide Download)

posted on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 2:48:51 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1131] Trackback