Azure, Cloud, Design, Development, Events, Oklahoma, TechFest, Tulsa, user group, Windows 8

Tulsa TechFest 2012

Tulsa TechFest is the premier technical conference in eastern Oklahoma, boasting “the broadest topics in the United States, maybe the world”. Sporting a healthy 18 separate tracks across multiple disciplines including  architecture, software and web development, databases, project management, security, social media, mobile, enterpreneurs, managers, BI & reporting, mentoring and even  a special Windows 8 Track, Tulsa TechFest is one of the largest events of its kind.

It’s primary focus is to provide training/teaching sessions that are immediately beneficial to the broadest range of IT professionals in their day-to-day jobs. They accomplish this with over 40 national/international speakers covering this wide range of topics over 90 to 120 75 minute sessions.

As with all conferences of this type, there is a cost associated with attending.  This year, in keeping with the traditions of the previous 4 years, attendance at the Tulsa TechFest will require you to pay your choice of $2, to be donated to the John 3:16 Mission, or 2 cans of food, to be donated to the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. Last year, the event collected 469 pounds of food, and our target this year is to DOUBLE that amount, so please bring whatever you can to support these worthwhile charities.

This is the one that started it all, folks – since their first event, many other communities have been following our example by hosting their own TechFest events including VancouverTechFest, HoustonTechFest, DallasTechFest, AlbertaTechFest, IndyTechFest, and NWA TechFest.

I myself will be featured in the Cloud track talking about Windows Azure, including deep dive sessions on Windows Azure Caching, Access Control Service, Service Bus and Windows Azure Mobile Services.

This is one event you *won’t* want to miss – so sign up today at!

Design, Development, Product Announcements, Web, Windows, Windows 8

GameSalad Embraces Windows 8

I know this has been in the oven for some time now, but I just got the email confirmation this morning that GameSalad – creators of the popular “no coding required” game development environment – now support publishing to the Windows Store!  I’ve used the GameSalad environment a bit, and although I’m a far cry from ready to publish a game, will say that it is crazy easy to build games with this platform.  All the stuff I was always concerned about keeping up with on an XNA-based game simply goes away as you dive into the GameSalad Creator product.

Game development is basically a set of drag-and-drop operations that you perform against a set of objects in your environment. You drag in images, videos, sounds and other assets and wire them up to “actors” that do activities within your game. You can use a simple rules engine to assign different behaviors to the actors and make them perform in your game in any way you can imagine.

And, as they say – that’s not all!

In addition to being able to publish your game to the Windows Store, GameSalad also allows you to publish to iOS (iPhone an iPad), Android and HTML5 as well – making your single investment in game development pay off with 5 separate targets! Awesome!

Download your copy of GameSalad Creator today and get busy building some amazing games!

Dallas, Design, Development, Texas, user group, Web

UI for Geeks at Dallas ASP.NET

On Tuesday, April 24 from 6:00pm-9:00pm at the Microsoft office in Dallas, the Dallas ASP.NET User Group is hosting Dr. Tobias Komischke and Jason Beres from Infragistics for a session on User-Centered Data Visualization (a.k.a. UI for Geeks).

Topic: User-Centered Data Visualization (a.k.a. UI for Geeks)

In this code-focused talk, you will learn how to create high performance, expressive data visualizations that run on the browser, as desktop apps, and on devices like iPads, Windows 8 tablets and Android tablets. At the end of this talk, you will understand the techniques, tools and technologies you’ll need to implement effective visual experiences.

Speaker Bios

  • Dr. Tobias Komischke is the Director of User Experience at Infragistics and is responsible for the UX design consulting business.
  • Jason Beres is the VP of Product Management, Community, and Evangelism for Infragistics.


You can register via EventBrite at, or send email to

As a special incentive to attend, this month the User Group will be giving away one whole MSDN Subscription. Each member who brings a guest will receive one extra door prize ticket per guest, which will increase your chance of winning!

Design, Development, Expression, Featured, Product Announcements, Students, WP7

Windows Phone ‘Mango’ OS beta available today!

Big announcement from the Windows Phone team – they’ve released the Windows Phone Mango OS beta along with the Windows Phone Developer Tools Beta 2 this morning.

The best part? If you have a developer unlocked Windows Phone device (that means that you’ve gone through the Marketplace registration and can currently deploy development apps to your device) you can upgrade to the Mango OS beta! The Mango OS brings a LOT of new features that I’ve really come to enjoy in the short time I’ve had to try it out.  Unified inbox, threaded messages, Windows Live Messenger support, Double-sided Tiles, contact groups and more! 

There’s also some goodness for students too – do you have a Dreamspark account? Do you have an idea for next big Windows Phone application? If so, submit your ideas to the Windows Phone team for a chance to win a Mango phone! Here’s how you do it:

  1. Make sure you’re registered for DreamSpark
  2. Download and install Expression Studio Ultimate and the new Mango Windows Phone Developer Tools (available free as a member of DreamSpark!)
  3. Get the free Sketchflow Template for Windows Phone and create a Sketchflow mock-up of your app
  4. Post the Sketchflow mock-up somewhere online and tweet out the link using the hash tag #WPAppItUp
  5. The WP team will review all prototypes and will contact the developers who submit the best ones and send them a special Mango developer device

Your next steps should be to download the latest tools, start exploring them, their features, and upgrade your phone to the new Windows Phone Mango beta OS. As an added bonus, just like Beta 1, Beta 2 supports framework multi-targeting, which allows you to keep on building great Windows Phone 7 applications today while giving you the ability to explore new features in Windows Phone Mango  and the WPSDK 7.1.

Also, for more information, be sure to check out Brandon Watson's post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog:

Design, Expression, Featured, Product Announcements, WP7

SketchFlow Templates for WP7

The SketchFlow Template for Windows Phone 7 adds a new SketchFlow template for Expression Blend* users that makes creating a prototype of a Windows Phone app quick and easy.

* Please note: To use the SketchFlow Template for Windows Phone 7 you need to be using Blend 4 with SketchFlow enabled (this is the version of Blend that comes with both Expression Studio 4 Ultimate and Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate) you also need to have the Mango developer tools for Windows Phone installed.


2011-06-09 09h43_52_thumb2011-06-09 09h47_52_thumb2011-06-09 09h47_25_thumb

Awesome stuff!

Design, Development, Events, MIX, Open Source, Silverlight, Videos, Web, WP7

Getting ready for MIX11

Mix0321_220_ch9[1]The cool dudes and dudettes at Channel9 have started a series of videos leading us up to MIX 11. Each video is only about 10 minutes long, and they’ve got some interesting sounding topics. AS of this post, here are the titles with links to the sessions

Click on these links to see the individual shows, or you can subscribe to their channel to stay up-to-date.

SO – visit the Channel9 site and watch these videos, get all pumped up for MIX11, and visit and get your registration complete!  I’ll see you there Smile

Cloud, Design, Development, Events, MIX, Silverlight, Web, WP7

MIX11 BootCamps


This year at MIX11 the team is hosting a series of BootCamp events to help jumpstart and supercharge your development skillz. For a mere $350, you can get in-depth knowledge about some of the latest technologies from some of the smartest folks on the planet.  Here’s the schedule for Monday, April 11:

  • HTML5/CSS3 Boot Camp – Stephanie Sullivan (W3Conversions)
  • Design, Content, Code: Start-to-finish – Roman Blagovirnyy , Tony Walt, Chad Bakeman, Anthony Franco, and Cindy Vanover (Effective UI)
  • Silverlight 5 Boot Camp – John Papa (Microsoft), Mike Taulty (Microsoft)
  • Cloud Boot Camp – To Be Announced
  • jQuery Boot Camp – Joe Marini (Microsoft)
  • HTML5 Canvas Mastery – Lanny McNie (Microsoft), Shawn Blais (Microsoft)
  • Windows Phone 7 Boot Camp – Grant Hinkson (Microsoft), Adam Kinney (Pixel Lab)
  • Silverlight for SharePoint Boot Camp – Paul Stubbs (Microsoft)

For more information about the BootCamps, or anything else about MIX11, visit the website at

I’m still not sure if I’m going to be able to make it to MIX this year, but if I do, I’ll definitely be attending the sessions. Of particular interest to me are the HTML5/CSS2 and Silverlight 5 sessions…

Design, Development, WP7

Windows Phone 7 Application Checklist

Alfred Astort over at the Windows Phone 7 blog have just published a really nice list of the top 10 things you should think about before submitting your application to the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace.  Here’s the list:

  1. Start tiles and splash screens are your first impression… Make them great.
  2. Make sure your buttons are visible even when the keyboard is displayed.
  3. Build your application to respect theme and accent color changes.
  4. Make sure your finger can hit its target and the text is readable.
  5. Right layout alignment and information hierarchy are key.
  6. Place your buttons well… Flying buttons, home buttons, and back buttons… Oh my!
  7. Give feedback on touch and progress within your UI.
  8. Embedding web content should be done with extreme caution.
  9. Make your life easy.  Use our common controls, and use them right!
  10. Understanding Pivots and Panoramic views. 

To get the details, you need to see their blog at  These 10 items will be covered in a series of posts, starting with the first item – Start tiles and splash screens.

Go subscribe today so that you can keep up with this very important series!