Here are some of my notes/findings from what is going on at PDC 10, Redmond:

 

  1. Microsoft is betting big time on Windows Phone 7, Azure and Internet Explorer 9 (more focus on HTML 5)
  2. Microsoft code-name “Dallas” now officially called as DataMarket (an apt name!)
  3. Microsoft is working with its partners (Accenture & SAS) to give analytical capabilities as a service using SQL Azure
  4. Reporting Services (SQL Server Reporting Services) is now available on Azure using SQL Azure
  5. A new role added (previously we had Web and Worker roles): VM Role
    1. Allows you to upload a SQL Server 2008 R2 64-bit VHD file and use it for your applications
    2. VHD can be configured however you want and upload it
  6. New guest OS: Windows Server 2008 R2 (previously it was only WS 2008) – all 64-bit. No 32-bit business on Windows Azure
  7. New VM size: X-Small
    1. Single 1.0GHz Processor, 5Mbps network bandwidth and 768MB Memory
    2. Targeted for small applications with low processing and I/O
    3. Also meant for Azure development, prototyping, etc.
    4. Network throttled
    5. Cost – 2 cents/compute hour
  8. More admin features/access (including Remote Desktop) to your VM instances
  9. Team Foundation Server 2010 on the Cloud now!
  10. Full IIS support on Windows Azure!
  11. The next version of C# and Visual Basic .NET will have language level support for asynchronous programming (expect new keywords)
  12. Azure Connect for connecting Azure apps with on-premise applications
    1. Share data between Azure and on-premise apps

 

Good for now!

I am a huge fan of AutoPager add-on of Firefox. It saves a lot of time when browsing paginated websites (such as search engines, online forums, etc.) by automatically pre-loading the next page so that you never have to click Next to view the next page. In short, when you hit a website on Firefox, this add-on checks if that website is auto page-able by checking its repository of sites and if it is fit, you are asked whether you want the AutoPager to kick in. Once it is in action, all you have to do is just keep scrolling down (or up) infinitely without looking bothering about the Next (or Previous) link. Of course, the add-on will insert a sort of page-breaker between pages, just to get a “page” feeler.

The story doesn’t end there! AutoPager has configurations (a.k.a. rules) for hundreds and hundreds of websites to enable auto-paging! Fans around the world have submitted rules for many popular page-able websites to the repository (the add-on imports them automatically for you) for your paging pleasure!!

What if AutoPager doesn’t recognize your favorite website? Not a problem, using its Site Wizard you pick the anchor link (or button) that triggers next page and save it. AutoPager takes care of the rest.

Of late, I was looking for a Chrome browser extension doing the same job and found that the same add-on author has developed what I was looking for. Looks like I terribly overlooked it.

I love JetBrains for their awesome product – ReSharper. I have been using it for quite some time now (thanks to my customer who graciously agreed to buy more licenses of ReSharper) and like it more and more! It is the most comprehensive Visual Studio productivity add-in I’ve ever seen for C# and Visual Basic .NET developers. Code refactoring, code analysis, useful VS code templates and the list goes on (see full feature list here)! Been excited using it at work for long time, I wanted to buy a personal copy for my home box about couple of weeks ago and went to the product licensing page. I was pleasantly surprised by note on that page telling JetBrains is offering single user licenses for ReSharper & dotTrace (a $398.00 value) free for active MVPs!! I got my licenses for both last week – another reason to love JetBrains and ReSharper!!! So, if you are an active MVP, proceed to this page and do the formality!

THANK YOU JETBRAINS for your hearty offer!!!!!!