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SLO .NET User Group is BizSpark’s Local Network Partner, helping startup companies get access to Premium Microsoft Development tools

March 31, 2009 Leave a comment

What is BizSpark, you ask?

BizSpark is an exciting new program from Microsoft that allows eligible startup companies access to the top of the line Microsoft development tools and platforms. And the SLO .NET User Group is proud to be the local network partner, in charge of approving local startup companies for the program.

So if you’re a startup company, and you meet the following criteria:

– Actively engaged in development of a software-based product or service that will form a core piece of its current or intended business,

– Privately held,

– In business for less than 3 years,

– Less than US $1 million in annual revenue,

– Headquarted in San Luis Obispo County or the Santa Maria area, and

– Willing to join and participate in the SLO .NET User Group

Feel free to contact the User Group at info@slodotnet.org and get approved. For more information you can check out http://www.slodotnet.org/bizspark.aspx.

Rob

Categories: .NET User Group

Best of the PDC Comes to SLO

March 13, 2009 Leave a comment

Hello everyone!

It’s not every day that we can get speakers from outside the area to come and grace us with a visit. Every once and a while we get an INETA speaker to come to the .NET User Group meeting, and then we get a pretty good mix when the Central Coast Code Camp is in session.

However, on March 12th, Developer Evangelists Daniel Egan and Bruno Terkaly of Microsoft came to San Luis Obispo to give a three-plus hour presentation on some of the new developments in the Microsoft world. The event, SLO MSDN Unleashed: Best of the PDC (Professional Developers Conference), was held at the Embassy Suites. Over 60 people attended, a great turnout for the event, and the presentations were great as well. I saw a lot of people I usually only see at Code Camp.

Daniel started out by talking about some of the dynamic language features coming in C# 4.0. For those of you that don’t know, C# is (in my opinion) the language of choice when developing applications on the Microsoft platform. He then followed up with some impressive enhancements in the Ajax world, including some sweet new extenders for the Ajax Control Toolkit. Personally I think the ToolKit has come a long way.

After a short break, Bruno took over to cover Windows Azure, the new Microsoft Cloud Computing system that rivals similar offerings from Google and Amazon. The discussion was thorough and at times contentious. I personally feel like there are a few too many assumptions in terms of data scalability, and it will be interesting to see how and what feature sets are provided on the new relational database platform. Until 2 days ago, Azure was only going to support simple table structures. Speaking as someone who has managed to scale up a fairly large data structure without sacrificing relational integrity, I have to hope that they will not shortchange the SQL Server featureset in the cloud.

In addition, there was some talk about companies being able to host the Cloud locally on their local servers for a while to try it out, or program against, or even in theory to pull their applications back out of the Cloud should they need to for budgetary or proprietary reasons. I think this is very important myself.

I would like to thank Daniel, Bruno, and .NET User Group member Steve Evans for putting this event on. We’re hoping to try and do something like this maybe every 6 months or so as a public event that goes beyond the scope of the .NET User Group and involves everyone. This kind of thing is great for San Luis Obispo and the technology community.

Thanks to all who attended!

 

Rob

Categories: .NET User Group

User Groups Attract Visitors…and how technology saved my shoulder…

April 4, 2008 Leave a comment

So in past blogs I’ve mentioned the possibilities of creating your own special interest groups, or user groups.  I’ve done so with the San Luis Obispo .NET User Group.    One of the byproducts of that is an ability to use your group’s contacts for a chance to do some good for the community.   I had this opportunity recently when the Code Trip, Microsoft’s bus trip featuring its new technologies, tried to come to town.  When a visit to CalPoly fell through due to scheduling issues, Woody Pewitt from Microsoft contacted me seeking help with a place to park the bus.   I put him in touch with Randy Scovial and Cuesta College, and the Code Trip stopped in for a successful visit this past Monday, with two sessions for students and a general session that night that attracted over 40 local technology professionals.  You can read more about the trip, including its visit to SLO, at its website.

The Code Trip

 

The picture of the bus is from outside the Moscone Center in San Francisco, where I went this week for VSLive, a technology conference.   I caught up with the Code Trippers there, and they interviewed me along with a bunch of other technology people, asking if they knew about the Code Trip.

They also asked me about my ultra mobile PC, my new toy that I got for just this reason.  I spend a bit of time at conferences, and I am sick to death of carrying around the 40 lb deadweight that is my Laptop and its accompanying bag.  So I picked up one of these:

An Ultra Mobile PC.   It is hand held, has a 7″ screen, runs Windows XP Tablet, and has built in wireless capabilities.   And most importantly, it weights only a couple of lbs.  It was heaven!   I picked up some accessories so that when I had table space I could set it up almost like a regular PC:

 

including a folding keyboard like you would use for a PDA.   But it works perfectly fine on its own, with a stylus for its touchpad and a fairly easy to use thumb keyboard split on either side of the unit.   I got a lot of inquiries about this neat little toy.  I even held a meeting in my car, over the phone, using this on my Verizon Broadband connection!

If you do a lot of traveling this is the toy for you.

Robert Hope, founder

San Luis Obispo .NET User Group