HACKTECH Prep Session

If you will be attending HACKTECH this weekend, there are some special challenges and prizes for developers who develop for Windows 8, Windows Phone, and Windows Azure.  We’ll have a couple of prep sessions

1) Monday, January 20th from 8pm to 9pm: http://aka.ms/htms1
2) Tuesday, January 21st from 3pm to 4pm: http://aka.ms/htms2

You can grab a copy of my slides here.

You can watch a video recording of the session here, or below:


Prepare for the hackathon: Windows8AppFactor.com/Prepare

Some training resources:

Windows Developer Center (dev.windows.com)

Windows Phone Developer Center (dev.windowsphone.com)

Windows Azure (windowsazure.com)

DreamSpark (dreamspark.com)

BizSpark (bizspark.com)

Microsoft Developer Network (msdn.com)

Kyatric’s Bomberman-Inspired Construct 2 Game Tutorial

I just ran across a great tutorial from Kyatric with step by step video’s for creating a Bomberman inspired game in construct 2.  He does an excellent job of explaining the process. 


Check it out at http://gamedevelopment.tutsplus.com/series/construct-2-bombing-chap–gamedev-12711

“Developing Windows Azure and Web Services Jump Start” Demo Files

Hi all, I’ll update this post with more details later, but if you are attending the “Developing Windows Azure and Web Services Jump Start” session with Bruno Terkaly and myself, you can grab a copy of my demo files here:

Grab the demo File from GitHub: http://aka.ms/MvaWsAndAzZip 

Again, I’ll update this post later with the final info after the session!


Debugging Self Hosted WCF Services requires Admin Permissions

If you are trying to create a Self-Hosted WCF Service, the host process needs permissions to reserve the base URI used by the service.  If it doesn’t, you’ll get an “AddressAccessDeniedException”. 


The fix?  Simple, run Visual Studio as an Administrator.  Hold down the “Shift” key and Right-Click on the Visual Studio icon.  Select “Run as administrator” (if your account is a local admin) or “Run as different user” and enter the credentials for an administrative account:


Or, from the Windows 8 Start Screen, right click on the icon, or Live Tile and select “Run as administrator”:


Windows Azure and SQL Server – Better Together

At SQL Saturday #249, my “Windows Azure and SQL Server – Better Together” was well received.  I actually uploaded my deck into SQL Saturday’s site, but you can get it here as well:

Windows Azure and SQL Server - Better Together

This really ended up just being a great open discussion.  I let the audience drive it for the most part.  But we hit topics like:

  • SQL Database
  • Virtual Machines with SQL Server installed
  • Virtual Networks
  • Storage
  • HDInsight (Azure’s Hadoop offering)
  • etc. 

Thanks to everybody who attended!  I had a great time. 

So, here’s another nerdy thing about me.  I am kinda weird about needing to have nicely resizable vector images in PowerPoint.  Not a fan of using bitmaps if I can avoid it.  As a result, I have over the past months ended up making vector versions of all the Windows Azure service icons.  If you grab my deck, you can steal my vectors out of there!  Yeah…., I know…., I need counseling. 

HACKTIVE Hackathon Review & My 3rd Place PhatActive Submission

I spent last weekend (09/21/2013-09/22/2013) at Active.com’s HACKTIVE hackathon. I had an awesome time, met ton’s of great people, and actually placed 3rd in the “developer” category with my “PhatActive” submission. WooHoo!  A big thank you to Active.com, Mashery, Yahoo, Aetna, CoMerge and all the other sponsors for putting on a great event!  As an evangelist, I am involved with a lot of hackathons, etc.  It was so much fun to go as a participant!  And these guys put on an awesome event!

The People and the Place

There was a great turn out for the event.   There were a total of 15 apps presented (three in each of the “categories”, see below).  However, MOST teams had at least two people on them, and some had as many as five.  The room was pretty packed when it came time to present.

The event was held at CoMerge in San Diego.  This is a fantastic facility.  Thank you so much to Robert for the space!


Cheston Coantoi, owner of Driveframe LLC, and a seasoned hackathon particiapte was their to help teams focus on the challenge and build compelling presentations.  There were also a number of folks from Active.com as well as Neil Mansilla from Mashery, Jesse Givens from Aetna, Tom Clancy from TAO Venture Capital Partners, and Rik Suhonen from Yahoo.  Lots of support. 

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10 Easy Steps to Azure Web Site Custom Domains

If you want to add a custom domain name to an Azure Web Site, you are just a few steps away.  This quick tutorial will show you how to configure both your DNS zone, as well as your Azure Web Site. I did make a few assumptions though…


  1. You have already registered your custom domain with a registrar, and have a DNS provider.  I usually use GoDaddy for this, but there are numerous other choices. Use whichever one you prefer.
  2. Since I usually use GoDaddy as my DNS provider, I will show the steps specific to their tools.  However, you should be able to complete the exact same steps with your own DNS provider’s administration pages
  3. I assume you already have a valid Windows Azure account, and a web site configured.
  4. All of my domain name references assume a “.com” top level domain.  You can use any top level domain name you wish though (“.net”, “.org”, “.us”, etc.)

Ok. let ‘s get started:

Read the rest of this entry »

Business Intelligence Landscape Presentation

I’ll be delivering a “Business Intelligence Landscape” session tonight at the UCSD Extension Continuing Education & Career Showcase.  In talk I’ll go over what people mean when they say “Business Intelligence”, as well as some of the core concepts and common solutions.  We’ll talk about stuff like Extract, Transform and Load (ETL), Data Warehouses, Star Schema, Cubes, Aggregates, MDX, KPIs Reporting Tools, and Data Mining.  But if that weren’t enough we’ll see how the cloud and big data are changing the BI landscape as well.

Feel free to grab a copy of my slides:

Business intelligence landcape


“Internet of Everything” Keynote for CIECA

Thanks to the Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA) for inviting me to present the keynote presentation at their annual conference yesterday here in San Diego. When I talked with CIECA Executive Director Fred Iantorno about the keynote, he told me that some previous keynotes had showed some of what was new and cool.  As I thought about that, it led me to think about a number of the new devices that are available now, or on the horizon and how they play a part in the current “Internet of Things” (IoT). So.  After quite a bit of research around IoT, and it’s evolution into the “Internet of Everything” (IoE), I arrived at my final presentation.  Here it is in all it’s glory.  Feel free to grab a copy of the slides (40MB).

Watch the video on YouTube or grab a copy of the slides (40MB)

In addition, I referred to a TON of stats, products, etc..  I have included an Excel document in the .zip file that has all of the links I used. 


How to Jump Start a Dead Dagu i-Racer from SparkFun


I got this cool little Dagu I-Racer from SparkFun a few months back (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11162).  I had a ton of fun playing with it, including using a Windows Phone app created by Jeff Albrecht to drive it (http://www.rodaw.com/dagu-i-racer-windows-phone-8-2/).

Anyhow, I put it away and it sat in the box for a couple of months.  When I took it back out, it wouldn’t recharge.  I contacted SparkFun Tech Support (techsupport@sparkfun.com) and they told me to try and "jump start" it by applying 5v to the battery terminals (by passing the charging circuit).  Once you have the lights blinking you can then plug in the regular charger and get it charging again. I’ve done this successfully a few times now (more than I’d like), but it works!