# Friday, June 29, 2012

If you like Windows 8, coding or UX and want to either show off what you created or learn new tricks then be sure to come to the Microsoft Windows 8 Summer App-a-thons in the coming months. There’s going to be one in Blankenberge and one in Antwerp (where I’m also going to). The concept is easy: come over, bring your laptop and friends and have fun while being creative. Oh yeah, there will also be prizes.

For registration for one or both the events (at day and/or at night) simply go to:



Place to be:

Casino Blankenberge

Zeedijk 150
Blankenberge 8370

Register here.

Share your cool idea so others might join as well on Trello.



Place to be:

To be confirmed

To be confirmed
Antwerp Belgium

Register here.

Of course Trello is available for this event as well.


Of course the community, besides Microsoft employees, will also be there so if you have questions or want to say hi, simply come over and talk.

Grz, Kris.

Friday, June 29, 2012 7:22:56 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 

As many of you out there I wasn’t able to attend Tech Ed North America 2012 either so I couldn’t go to all the cool sessions showing off about the newly released features of Windows Azure. Luckily for you and me Channel 9 has put all the recordings available for watching and/or downloading: http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/NorthAmerica/2012?sort=status&direction=asc&t%5B0%5D=windows%2Bazure#tab_sortBy_status.

Here’s everything directly:

Grz, Kris.

Friday, June 29, 2012 6:28:26 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, June 22, 2012

It’s becoming a bit of a tradition in Belgium. No I’m not talking about the great beer or the weather this time but about Community day, again like last years a fest for community minded people like myself.

The sessions

One of the important parts to gather a lot of people together is content and this year again there were lots of sessions to choose from. I took the following:

  1. Brewing beer with Windows Azure (Maarten Balliauw – Panagiotis Kefalidis):

    A very nice session by 2 of my buddies and AZUG comrades. The first part was about a new hobby they’ve mastered: brewing beer. Then the session took a small turn and showed the new site running on Windows Azure Web Sites, integrating temperature probes via Service Bus and making use of ACS. A very interesting concept of what can be done with Azure and all the new stuff that shipped only a couple of weeks ago.
  2. Creating rich, responsive display and editor user interfaces with KnockoutJS (Tom Van Gaever):

    KnockoutJS is that one very interesting MVVM javascript based framework. Both Tom and me were amazed to see that practically no one in the audience had tried, used or heard about it. It’s awesome! The session was taking a slowly paced introduction with small samples and building it up nicely for people who’ve never saw it.
  3. CQRS, only a buzzword or a suitable architecture for your problem domain? (Tim Mahy):

    For me this was the best session of the day. It was well put up and brought a nice story and in the end showed why certain decisions in one of their projects was chosen, which the difficulties were and how they got around them. Very well brought session.
  4. Github for .NET developers (Bart Wullems – Kristof Mattei):

    Most people make use of SVN or TFS but the new kid on the block is Git which increasing popularity. Both my Ordina colleagues brought an introduction session about Git via the command line, then going over making a repository on Github. After showing everything with the command line tools just to get people to know where it all started with the new handy tool I like myself, Github for Windows, was made use off to show that most common Git tasks can now also be done with a graphical tool.
  5. Little productivity tools every professional developer should know about (Dennis Doomen):

    A lot of this session was about OneNote. A cool tool from the Microsoft stables that I also like to make use off for personal reminders or quick jot downs. Dennis showed how they make use of it in an agile team, which conventions they make use off and how they share/work in such a way. Interesting approach. I didn’t see all of this session though as it was getting so extremely hot in the room that I wanted to go for some fresh air.
  6. NodeJS and Azure – what you need to know (Rob Ashton):

    NodeJS is one of those technologies which are either already popular or becoming popular fast depending on the area in the world. Of course it’s also a first class citizen in Windows Azure and this session was all about it. A very short but interesting and entertaining session.

The community

Aaaah, the community. The bunch of people who’re interested in learning more and keep up the motto: “Sharing is caring”. We love it! This year again there were a lot of people talking about technology, sharing ideas, talking about tech stuff, the new Microsoft Surface, Windows Phone 8, Windows Azure, … The community is strong in Belgium and it shows.

Also a bunch of MVPs and MEET members were present, even some from Holland and it was as usual a nice gather up and in the evening several of us had a very well tasting (geek)dinner in the restaurant of the cinema complex where the entire Community day was held.

The sponsors

Being a board member of AZUG myself I know all too well how important sponsors are for such events. This year there were again a lot of great sponsors and unlike other technical events there was a good interaction between the people before and after the stands. Most likely because no active recruitment was allowed and that gives more confidence of not getting harassed with uninteresting talks.

Likely one of the most appreciated sponsor initiatives was the Combell ice cream stand.


This was a great day and well spent time to interact, learn, meet people, laugh, enjoy ice cream, … Up to the next one!

Grz, Kris.

Friday, June 22, 2012 9:05:44 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, June 08, 2012

Yesterday evening, after giving a course about HTML 5 myself at Ordina, I drove to Microsoft Belgium to watch the announcements about Windows Azure. Scott Guthrie did a cool recap of all the new features and demoed these in all clarity. There’s a great load of new stuff shipping into Azure. Most notably the new IaaS and Windows Azure Web Sites. Besides that it became clear that the old Silverlight portal, which was pretty slow, has been put into the background and replaced by a great fresh and modern looking HTML 5 portal. Kudos to the design team behind it!

If you want to view the screencast again of what’s been announced be sure to check it out here: http://www.meetwindowsazure.com/Conversations#ScottGuthrieMeet.

There was a really nice atmosphere at Microsoft Belgium as you can see:


The new Portal:


Grz, Kris.

Friday, June 08, 2012 7:52:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, May 31, 2012

I just noticed that the Developer Tools blog got an update and now try to get things more closely together from one starting screen on. If you want to read more about it all I suggest you take a look at the announcement made by Lisa Feigenbaum.



Another cool news is that the Dark Theme for the upcoming Visual Studio 11 will look like the following when it’s going to be released:




I think that’s awesome. Now the next thing on my wish list is that Microsoft Research Labs finally starts making those red lightsabers Smile.

And while we wait for all the great stuff coming we can still listen to some nice music:

Grz, Kris.

Thursday, May 31, 2012 9:31:44 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, May 28, 2012

Do you like to know what’s going on at Microsoft concerning Windows Azure? Even better, would you like to see Scott Guthrie presenting and breathing Windows Azure? If so then be sure to go sit in your comfy chair on June 7th and tune in for the streaming event or be there yourself in San Fransisco at Meet Windows Azure.


If you want to be involved the do the following:

So see you online for the event on the 7th! My Twitter handle is @KvdM

MEET Windows Azure Blog Relay:

Call to action: Link to this blog post on your blog and I will update this post to link to you!

Grz, Kris.

Monday, May 28, 2012 2:59:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, May 27, 2012

Since 2006 my blog was running on the servers of webhost4life and for years I’ve been a happy camper over there. During the last year I started noticing and hearing from friends and visitors that there were errors being spawned which were related due to some application pool being too busy or perhaps some other process that took everything down. It only took a short notification to the helpful support team to get it back on track.

However, since 2006 we haven’t been standing still and .NET also advanced. I’ve become more interested in newer CMS systems like Orchard and as such wanted to upgrade my dasBlog driven blog to that. The only thing that prevented me was that .NET 4.0 was not installed on the server and apparently there was no planning to upgrade to that specific framework version.

So, I decided to look around a bit and heard some good comments about Orcsweb. I decided to move there, and currently it’s still my dasBlog running the show, and have been a happy camper over here now since a couple of days. Support is good and the servers seem fast so far. I do hope to upgrade to Orchard soon so stay tuned. Why Orchard? Well I like the system, the speed of which things are progressing for the platform and I know some of the core developers as I had the chance to talk with them at the latest MVP summit.

Grz, Kris.

Sunday, May 27, 2012 9:44:41 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Seems it paid off to let Phil Haack move to GitHub. I just noticed that there’s a version 1.0 for download of GitHub for Windows. I quickly installed it and opened up the ASP.NET web stack:



I like the way it looks, somewhat like Metro(twit).

Grz, Kris.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 12:56:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Today I got the news that I became a Windows Azure Insider. For me that was great news as now I can collaborate with Microsoft and other Insiders about my findings when experimenting and working with the Windows Azure platform. As I’m now, besides being an ASP.NET MVP / ASP Insider, also close to the Windows Azure teams at Microsoft I’m able to get more information/feedback up close and personal. I’m convinced this will help me to help out the community and clients I work for.

Windows Azure

Grz, Kris.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 11:14:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, May 09, 2012

It’s becoming one of those yearly traditions in Belgium: rainy weather, great beers, … and since the last years also the yearly Community Day. This year there will be 40 sessions in total with 6 tracks! I’ll be there as well and hope to see a lot of community people. Azug, the user group of which I’m a board member will also be doing several sessions.



Grz, Kris.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012 7:49:47 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |