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Well, I'm learning that most MS employees don't attend most of the sessions because it is a chance to network and hunt down those people you've been emailing the previous few months!

At any rate, the day continued with a meeting with the folks of Pearson Technology Group -- you may know them better as Addison-Wesley and SAMS Publishing.  I had a great lunch meeting with them and will be coming out with something pretty cool (I hope) for the community in the very near future.

The rest of the day was spent with our “influential” community -- those individuals in the community who represent Regional Directors, MVPs, and key community leaders in our representative areas.  Most of these individuals helped out in one way or another with a new venture from Microsoft, Codezone.  Tuesday was our “launch” party of the site (it actually launched Monday) and we got a chance to thank those who helped participate in the beta testing and feedback sessions for the site.  Codezone is basically a technology aggregation portal -- gathering rated content from other developers and communities.  Check it out and send feedback. http://www.codezone.com.  Today I'm helping “man the booth“ for Codezone with some other colleagues.

A few of us then went to a Brasilian restaurant for the night -- if you haven't been to one, you should go (unless you are a vegetarian).  Green=meat; Red=stop feeding me.  Again, if you haven't been, go and you'll understand.  It was a lot of fun and the food was awesome. 

Off to Day 3.

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The day started out with more wireless woes at CommNet – the coverage here is terrible.  It’s an easy target for complaints and I’m lucky I brought my Verizon aircard (which is still terrible), but you would just expect that resolution on the internet access to be solved ASAP and all attention to be on it whenever there is an issue.

We started with the keynote with Paul Flessner.  He's the corporate VP of server products and had a lot to say about SQL Server 2005.  Finally in the messaging he showed some competitive benchmarking against Oracle.  It isn't often any exec points out the negatives in competetive products.  Paul pointed out the security issues that SQL has had in the past (and apologized again for Slammer) and showed charts of the number of security patches related to SQL for 2002-current (1 for 2004, 0 for this year).  He overlayed that with the security patches for Oracle (74 for 2004, 2 this year).  It wasn't necessarily a jab (well, okay it was), but more a reality check that it isn't easy to build global, enterprise software.  Oracle faces the same challenges that Microsoft does...it's just for some reason nobody airs their dirty laundry as much -- point being we all have it!

The first BattleBot built on .NET Compact Framework 2.0 was shown (uses a PocketPC as it's control system on the unit).  It came out to help do a demo on SQL failover -- by smashing a network switch with the hammer/razor blade arm it had.  Before that it helped with the first RFID raffle.  Each attendee has an RFID tag as part of our name badge -- they demo'd an app showing the use of that -- it was pretty cool.  The RFID “tag” is really a label -- looks like a standard Avery label...with a built-in RFID antenna.

I picked up a copy of the Visual Studio Team System book (beta edition) and have been perusing it -- Richard Hundhausen, et. al. did a great job!

Well, off to lunch...more later.

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okay, well, not yet, but paul flessner announced today at TechEd that Visual Studio 2005 (along with SQL Server 2005 and BizTalk 2006) will launch the week of November 7.


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writing vs2005 code and using the snippet library?

get snippy.

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if you haven't been watching the certification radar lately, you didn't notice that ms now will have a “Microsoft Certified Architect” distinction to the mix.

big change here, however, is it won't follow the typical certification route (i.e., test only).  read more about the Certified Architect to determine if you are interested and how to prepare yourself!