A lot has been going on for me the past week.
July 12th was my wedding anniversary; Kristin & I have been married 3 years! But, we were dating for 3 years before we got married so we’ve really been together for 6 years now.
This week I spent a lot of time on the Versioning stuff for Orcas/Longhorn. There have been many meetings. We’re trying to polish things up, add some features, come up with good solid guidance for developers inside and outside of Microsoft and simplify the story and positioning of what we’re doing. We also spent a lot of time talking about how existing EXE and DLLs will map into the new world. I can’t say too much about what we’re doing yet and it is all subject to change. In fact, things are very different now then they were a month ago. But, as things settle down, I’ll blog about this more.
On July 14th, Tim Ewald, Jason Clark & his wife, Kristin and I all had dinner. We were supposed to go out on our boat but the baby sitter forgot about us and didn’t show up. So, we ordered pizza instead and just chatted. Later we sat out on the deck and watched the sunset. We talked about the state of Microsoft and the industry. We also talked a lot about being new parents and how different all our lives are now. Aidan, my son, is now almost 15 months old and Gus, Tim’s son is about 2 months old. Jason & Annette don’t have any children yet but were still interested in the conversation.
On July 15, I had more Versioning meetings to continue the talks we had earlier in the week. In addition, Jason & I have really been throwing ourselves into Microsoft’s Web Services Enhancements. We’ve been reading a lot of docs, decompiling code, writing a bunch of apps ourselves, producing an outline for our WSE course, writing demos, etc. I have been spending a lot of time on this the past few weeks now. I’m really impressed with WSE and I like their model: they are a relatively small, agile team at MS that produces new versions quickly meeting real customer needs. They do not try to maintain backwards compatibility with previous versions of their own stuff and they don’t have to because their stuff can run side-by-side. They are almost ready to release a service pack for WSE2 and WSE2 just shipped a couple of months ago.
On July 16, Jason and I worked all day together on the WSE course. It is really coming along nicely and we have a lot of fun working together. I think it will be an awesome course with a lot of really valuable information. We’re both excited. At the end of the day, we went and saw the Fahrenheit 9/11 movie – very disturbing. Oh yea, Jason also gave me a demo of Virtual PC 2004 – what a cool product! As I write this, I’m installing another Windows XP partition on my desktop computer as a virtual PC. I mostly run Whidbey beta 1 today on my machines but WSE2 requires Everett so I decided to create a virtual PC with Windows XP and Everett installed on it so that I can do the WSE2 work on my notebook computer when I travel. I’m creating the virtual PC on my desktop machine and then I’ll just copy the virtual PC to the notebook and I’m ready to go!
This weekend (July 17 & 18), I’m reviewing Jeff Prosise’s ASP.NET 2.0 labs. I’ve already done the 1st one but he’s given me 6 others already so I gotta get my butt in gear on this. I’m hoping to finish all the one’s he’s given me by the end of the weekend. He’s done a phenomenal job and I’m learning a lot about ASP.NET 2 in the process. I also haven’t done that much database work in the past few years and his labs are forcing me to get into that more too since ASP.NET and web sites in general interface a lot with databases.
Next week, I’m attending a Tablet PC devlab at Microsoft. There are about 13 attendees and the Tablet PC team gave us all Toshiba M200 tablet computers for coming. I picked mine up last week and I love it. I travel a lot and when I do, I like a small & light machine. The M200 is a bit big for my taste so I use an Acer TravelMate C110. But the C110 doesn’t have as much power as I’d like; I’d prefer a faster processor and a better video card so that I can play Unreal Tournament 2004 or Doom 3 (coming out in early August – I’m very excited). So, when I travel for several days, I plan to stick with the C110 but when I travel for short times or when not taking a plane, I plan to use the M200. We’ll see, who knows, maybe I’ll like the M200 so much that I’ll make it my only traveling machine soon.
Anyway, I’m really looking forward to the Tablet PC Devlab. They have some “celebrities” coming like Charles Petzold and Wintellect’s John Robbins is coming out here too for it. I have had a Tablet PC since about 6 months before they officially came out. I’ve tried various demo units and prototype machines. It’s not that I use the tablet functionality all the time but I really like when I use it. I frequently read documents by turning the machine into a slate and rotating the screen. I also sign all documents sent to me using the tablet and then e-mailing the document back – no more paper! I used to print documents, sign them, and either fax them back or scan them and e-mail them back and the tablet makes all these steps obsolete.
Well, my Virtual PC installation is almost done and I want to get back to Prosise’s ASP labs so I’ll sign off for now. I’ll blog more next week as the Tablet PC devlab goes on.