ITARC 2010

May 23, 2010 at 7:34 PMalex

IT Architect Regional Conference in Minneapolis on November 6-7, 2010 is the one not that far from Chicago, IL to attend. Should be interesting for an Architect to get a sense of the heartbeat of the latest innovations in distributed architectures.

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Windows Azure Guidance

May 21, 2010 at 9:56 AMalex

My posts lately are rather short, but I want to keep 'em informative and would like to move closer to the technology track that I'm working on. Here is the Windows Azure Guidance document, which represents the holystic view on the Microsoft Cloud's vision and the architecture decisions behind the cloud-based applications -

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Hotmail goes social, interesting

May 19, 2010 at 10:51 PMalex

Without further adeu, Hotmail goes into social world of networking, keeping up with our contacts and sharing information. More on Windows Live site here. Interesting trend which shows that nowadays the systems are more like hybrid connected and information organizing systems.

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Azure Performance and Best Practices

May 19, 2010 at 8:52 AMalex

If you're developing for Microsoft Cloud Services, this might be of interest for the evaluation of the performance and Best Practices concerning running applications in the Cloud:

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PhD positions are available

April 22, 2010 at 4:39 PMalex

If you're interested in a scientific project related to the modern computational problems, check out the open PhD positions available at Microsoft at

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Scrolly UI reinvented by Microsoft and its influence on the market

February 16, 2010 at 5:02 AMalex

As you've might heard, Microsoft announced its latest generation of mobile operating systems, called Windows Phone 7 Series. One cool thing is that it was something unexpected as where Microsoft would go with its developments, how much iPhone would influence on their UI, whether it would reminicent the Zune Phone idea to some extend. The importance of that annoouncement could not be underscored as it clearly indicates the trends of nowadays interfaces.

Most importantly, systems are moving away from unauthentic 3d interfences whereever possible to the specific areas such as games, TV, AR, i.e. places where it naturally blends with the actual reality and humans expect those interactions natually to be supported by the computers. One can observe that by looking at latest web site designs, e-devices (kindle etc.), mp3-players. Moreover, people would like to offload the thinking about the process and rather concentrate on what is in their current focus and context, therefore, UI is presenting a very few choices to a user at a time in bold annotated graphics, which is clearly seen on iPhone and Zune. People then naturally interact within a context of a device through tough-based interface with system reacting to a user activity immediately through animation and other visual effects. Note that no complex visuals are required at this point as humans are accustomed to a very simple response, usually just affirmative reaction, or, a simple denial of an operation. Furthermore, response on a user action is as simple as visual or audio activity executed by the system. A person is interested in a very few contexts at a time, such as phone communication, social communication (facebook, communities), audio (music, podcasts, lectures), visual (movies, clips), planning (calendar, notes). Microsoft came up with the list of those contexts, which are available in the main menu. Very clever idea is to get rid of task bar at all as it is becoming an obsolete concept nowadays. Widget architecture is a very straight-forward way to extend the device's functionality, because it would give very rich functionality to developers hands and at the same time allows to isolate system's core modules for platform stability.

All at all, the direction where the system interaction with human is moving is clearly set by two major players on the market, namely, iPhone and Microsoft, and with the hardware manufactures's support, the future of the mobile devices looks very promising.

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Cumulative List of Application Development Guidance Documents

December 16, 2009 at 1:56 PMalex

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.Net 4.0 Downloadable Reference Source

December 11, 2009 at 5:03 PMalex

Source code for different components can be downloaded and used for in-depth debugging for .Net Framework components for Visual Studio 2010:

1. Download source code from Reference Source Code Center.

2. Install Reference Source WCF MSI in your local machine say under: 'C:\ReferenceSource'.

3. Launch Visual Studio 2008/2010.

4. From the Tools menu, choose Options.

5. In the Options dialog box, open the Debugging node and select General

6. Uncheck "Enable Just My Code (Managed only)"

  • Check "Enable source server support"
  • Uncheck "Require source files to exactly match the original version" 

7. Select Symbols under Debugging.

8. In the Symbol File Locations box, validate the location where the installed symbol files (.pdb) are present. If not, then add originally downloaded symbols location: C:\ReferenceSource\Symbols

9. Build you app, set breakpoints and F5 to debug.

 PS. I've updated this post for Microsoft .Net 4.0 and Visual Studio 2010.

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Visual Studio 2010 Team System Roadshow

December 11, 2009 at 9:47 AMalex

Featured Products/Topics: Visual Studio 2010, Visual Studio Team System

Recommended Audiences: IT Managers, IT Professionals, CIO, CTO, IT Directors, Solution Architects, Software Developers, Technical Decision Makers, Developers

When: December 16th
Where: Microsoft Downers Grove
3025 Highland Parkway
Downers Grove, IL

Sponsor: Microsoft
Make sure to RSVP.

Ram Cherala is the Principal Program Manager in the Visual Studio Test Tools Business, which is part of the Developer Division at Microsoft. Ram is very passionate about building a well-integrated set of tools and technologies that enable developers build, test and ship quality software.

What: See the awesome new testing features of Visual Studio 2010
• 6:30PM - Food and Beverages. Bring your nagging coding issues and design challenges for open discussion
• 7:00PM - Visual Studio 2010 - Microsoft

Ram's blog is here.

PS. The registration link was updated.

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The weather service on CodePlex

December 4, 2009 at 11:11 AMalex

A while ago, I played with the service which provides weather forecasts and designed a solution to convert the web-page content into a simple text message that is delivered to a mobile phone at scheduled time. Since people seems to be interested in this project, I've uploaded it to CodePlex and here it is: Gismeteo Weather Service The implementation of weather service delivery to your mobile phone using SMS based on data provider Gismeteo ( The service is offering scheduled delivery of the data according to the user's settings, and is running as a windows service. Use at your own risk and at your own expense as I'm not responsible for text messages fees that may apply while you're testing this service. Neither any guarantees regarding the functionality, completeness, blah-blah, see Ms-PL.

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