USPS Service Leaves Much To Be Desired

I am expecting a package from the USPS and have been since Thursday. The package was too large for my mailbox, so I received a re-delivery notice. On Thursday night, I signed it and placed it in my mailbox. It was picked up on Friday and the package wasn’t on the truck for redelivery. Thinking that maybe they didn’t bring the package out for redelivery on Friday just because, I waited for Saturday. Sure it was pouring rain all day, but I never received my package on Saturday either. Today I called the post office. They told me that they didn’t have the package there and it was likely at the regional post office for delivery. I called there and they took down my tracking number but said it was impossible for them to track the package on their computer system. I can’t believe the USPS doesn’t have a software package to allow better tracking. They have to rely on the people that work there. I was told that the gentleman that worked the weekend shift wouldn’t be in until late morning and when he came in, they’d ask him if he knew where it was. They finally took my phone number and said they’d call back.

Dear Postmaster,

I’m still waiting for my call back about my package that was shipped 2-3 day priority last Monday and still has yet to arrive. I’ve followed your pen and paper protocol with the re-delivery notice on Thursday and have yet to hear about my package. Please advise.

– Jason, one grumpy USPS customer

Not at the PDC? Participate Virtually Here!

So I’m not going to be at the Microsoft PDC this year primarily because of all the work I have to catch up on. However, I can participate virtually at If you’re going to be at the PDC, be sure to blog about it and tweet your URL to @NotAtPDC. Also, there will be other virtual presentations and such that will be done throughout the week. I’m likely going to do a talk tomorrow sometime. We’re still ironing out the details.

MSDN Freedom Roadshow in Scranton, PA on November 14th, 2008

Microsoft and .NET Valley would like to invite you to come to the MSDN Freedom Roadshow in Scranton, Pennsylvania on November 14th, 2008. The event will be held at Scranton University in Room 405 of the DeNaples Student Center and will begin at 9am. A schedule of events can be found below.

To register for the event, you can use the link on the hompage of or go direct to the MSDN registration page here.

Event Schedule

8:30 to 9:00 – Breakfast and Registration

9:00 to 10:30 – Windows Presentation Foundation Demystified

Today’s applications need to do more than simply work.  They need to draw in the user, and provide a differentiated experience. This means moving beyond battleship gray forms, boxy UIs, and providing a positive user experience.  Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) provides powerful capabilities to develop a compelling user interface, the kind that makes an application stand out.  In this session, we’ll examine the core concepts of WPF such as layout panels, data binding, styles and control templates, and we’ll use them to develop an application UI from the ground up.

10:30 to 12:00 – Implementing RESTful services with WCF 3.5

This session will focus on the new capabilities in WCF 3.5 for implementing REST architectures. We’ll examine the new webHttpBinding and see how to build services as resource endpoints, as well as how to map HTTP verbs onto WCF services. We’ll also see how to specify the format of data exchanged with the service and consume these services is Microsoft technologies like ASP.NET AJAX and Microsoft Silverlight.

12:00 to 1:00 – Lunch

1:00 to 2:30 – Exploring the ADO.NET Entity Framework

Abstraction in software development can improve flexibility, independence, and the ability to compose higher-level concepts.  The ADO.NET Entity Framework, now shipping as part of Visual Studio 2008 & .NET 3.5 Service Pack 1, helps you create models of your data that enable a familiar object-oriented programming experience. Entities map flexibly to data sources while providing insulation from schema changes at the same time. LINQ makes an appearance as well, using the familiar syntax we’ve seen with LINQ to Objects, SQL, and XML to query entities.

2:30 to 3:15 – A Developer’s Guide to Internet Explorer 8

The next version of Internet Explorer 8 is now in beta.  This session will examine all the new consumer features, but also cover additional points that are specific to you as a developer.  We’ll see how accelerators and web slices can be a differentiator for your company, see the new wave of compatibility features and options, and unearth the tools available for developers designed to aid in the confusion that is web development.

3:15 to 4:00 – UI, UX, U Confused?

One thing not missing from Microsoft’s development offerings is a choice of options. In this session, we’ll compare and contrast the various .NET technologies available for building client experiences (Windows Forms, WPF, XBAP, ASP.NET, Silverlight, and Windows Mobile) to give you some insight in to making the best choices for reaching your applications’ target audience.

4:00 – Wrap Up and Raffle

MVC: From Start to Blog

I gave a talk this past weekend at the Philly.NET Code Camp 2008.3. I’ve uploaded my slide deck, project, and a few additional files (used in the demo) in case anyone would like to review again. I was also able to find another way to fake HttpContext. Check out Stephen Walther’s blog post about faking the controller context. He also has a blog post about unit testing the views without a web server.

I hope all that attended enjoyed my talk and I look forward to seeing you all again!

Silverlight 2 is here

Scott Guthrie announced yesterday that Silverlight 2 has been released. Rather than reposting everything he stated, you can read his original post here. Here are a few links to note:

Hope this helps to get you started using Silverlight 2.

Finally, I always wondered what their reach was with Silverlight. According to their press release, 1 out of every 4 already has Silverlight installed: