Posts Tagged ‘technology’

On May 29th, the first YazGelistir Summit will take place in the Microsoft Istanbul office. The sessions announced for the Summit range from New Features of Visual Studio 2010 to ASP.NET MVC 2.0, from Silverlight RIA user statistics to WCF RIA Services and much more. The presenters are Microsoft Regional Directors, Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVP) from Turkey and Yazgelistir editors.

Yazgelistir is an online platform for Turkish speaking developers using Microsoft technologies. Their keyword is “sharing”; sharing information through articles, events, reader contribution, forums etc. At the Yazgelistir Summit, I hope to get a chance to get together with developers from the Silverlight community in Istanbul. I am also planning an interview with Daron Yondem, who is a Microsoft Regional Director, a Silverlight MVP and INETA Turkey Lead.

I will be at the event as a SilverlightShow and CompletIT representative. As a reminder, during MIX10 I contributed to SilverlightShow content with live reports from sessions/keynotes/social events and interviews. So we decided to take this fun collaboration a step further! CompletIT is a Silverlight focused web consulting, development and training company in Bulgaria and maintains the SilverlightShow portal, which supports Silverlight events, contests and knowledge sharing. They have recently relaunched its website completely implemented in Silverlight, you can read about the challenges of rebuilding the website or check out a Channel 9 video by Pete Brown, as Emil Stoychev, founder of SilverlightShow, showcases the new website. At the moment, SilverlightShow is planning to introduce changes to its content organization, section layout etc; so feel free to provide feedback! Good suggestions will be awarded with a SilverlightShow T-Shirt and you will also get a chance to beta test new features!

Istanbul is fabulous in the beginning of summer (just look at the picture on the left) and there is a very dynamic developer community. If you should happen to be in Istanbul on the event date, let’s just say you were coincidentally cruising through the Mediterranean or you were on an Oriental Expedition, let’s meet up there!

(Turkish Tips of the Day: yaz = write, gelistir/geliştir = develop; Yazılım Geliştirme = Software Development)

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The last stop of  .NET Rocks! Visual Studio 2010 Road Trip was in Atlanta on May 7th – and now the roadtrip is officially over. The roadtrip took Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell, from DotNetRocks, all over the place; from Mountain View (CA) to Atlanta (GA). I got a chance to attend the Redlands event on April 22th, but did not have time to share a blog post until today.

The Redlands event took place at Esri with many attendees ranging from the Inland Empire and LA area, despite the unusual rainy SoCal weather! During the event Richard Campbell demoed interesting Web load testing capabilities of Visual Studio and Carl Franklin talked about Silverlight 4’s new features  and multimedia. They also demonstrated the BING Silverlight 4 application, put together by the Microsoft Bing team, which tracked the DotNetMobile throughout the roadtrip in real-time.  You should definitely check out the app features, which include Twitter and Flickr integration and lots more.

Their rockstar guest was Scott Stanfield, the founder and CEO of Vertigo Software, Inc., an award-winning design and development firm that uses the latest Microsoft technologies to redefine the user experience for the Web, mobile and multi-touch environments. Vertigo’s most recent projects include the Silverlight HD video player for NBC Sport’s Sunday Night Football Extra, Silverlight HD video player for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, HD Silverlight live streaming player for the Presidential Inaguration of Barack Obama in 2009 and the Hard Rock Memorobilia Silverlight Deep Zoom application. Scott Stanfield shared the story of how he started out his career, his company Vertigo and also his historical perspective around Visual Studio .NET. You can listen to the .NetRocks show #546 here.

You can check out the rest of my photos from the event on flickr.

A few personal notes on “Tech Celebrities”

When a friend asked us about the event and the event hosts, we tried to outline the .NetRocks podcast as a weekly talk show about Microsoft .NET technologies and Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell as some kind of “tech celebrities”. Our friend seemed pretty surprised… Actually, a while ago, I would have probably have had the same reaction. I would have stated in astonishment – “Celebrity geek? Wait a minute  – there must be a mistake”. Well; I am happy that I had to change my mind after regularly attending tech events and user groups here in SoCal as well as MIX09 and MIX10!

On the same day of the Redlands event, Vertigo announced that their work on Sunday Night Football Extra for NBC Sports has been nominated for an Emmy.

So, now we are not just limited to the possibility of becoming tech celebrities in the tech world, we might even get official recognition from the Art scene and dream of giving the first “geek” Oscar acceptance speech?! Well, there is still lots of time until the 2011 Oscars; Hollywood here we come!

This all just sounds too dreamy; but isn’t imagination the first sparkle for any success? Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. (Henry David Thoreau).

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The Windows Phone 7 Series is based off a new design language/system, code-named Metro. The Metro design concept provides guidelines and interaction methods for developers/designers to create a consistent and dynamic UX for the Windows Phone 7 (WP7). This is a wonderful opportunity especially for developers to gain a deeper understanding of design fundamentals and adopt a functional design style they can incorporate into Wp7 applications. You may get a glimpse of the Metro design features in action on the Zune UI.

As the name “Metro” suggests, the design language is inspired by the visual language of airport and metro system signage. Consequently, the UI of any mobile app on the Windows Phone is envisioned to be clean, modern and user-centric, to make use of good legible typography and bold colors. Each UI directive to the user should be clear and interaction should be straightforward. I would simply sum up this idea as: interaction with the mobile device should turn from being complex to a simple user reflex. No need to mention, the WP7 design concept includes one mantra we all know by heart: “Content is king“. The UI of your Windows Phone app should delight the user through content instead of decoration, so basically your content should be the UI.

At MIX10 I got a chance to check out the WP7 Metro design book first-hand thanks to David Kelley. Here is also a very nice walk-through of the Windows Phone 7 Series book, put together by Long Zheng (from istartedsomething):

Vodpod videos no longer available.

If you want to find out about the many cool details of the WP7 design language, the best source is definitely the MIX10 “Windows Phone UI and Design Language” session by Chad RobertsMichal Smuga and Albert Shum.

After watching the session recording, if you should be in search for further info:

Recently I have also discovered the following video featuring Albert Shum, Director of Mobile Experience Design for WP7, who gives a perfect overview of the design inspiration for WP7:

In the 2.part of this series, I am going to share my personal impressions on Metro and focus on its typeface-centric design features.

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While reading Laurence Moroney’s blog entry about MIX09, I discovered “Eclipse Tools for Microsoft Silverlight” (Eclipse4SL). I have to admit, I wasn’t aware that there was an ongoing project for cooperating Silverlight technology into Eclipse. I think that’s really exciting news!




I have been working in .NET projects, however most of our web development in my former full-time job and my freelance assignments in 2008 were mainly in Java and Eclipse was our principal IDE. My Silverlight experiments from last year solely were due to my personal curiosity. Now getting the chance to integrate hip Silverlight features to my long-time IDE buddy Eclipse is definitely an amazing opportunity. Especially if you are not taking any sides! There are just to many developers, who will talk the “other” IDE/programming language down whatever that might be. I believe that being open to different possibilities just creates a totally new mindset and collaborative experimentation may lead to much more creativity in technology.


Eclipse4SL is still a work in progress; however I decided to give it a try. I upgraded Eclipse to version 3.4 to install Eclipse4SL. The installation is quite straightforward just as any Software Update, you would do from Eclipse. I tried to create a Silverlight Web Project, add a Canvas and Textblock and run the project. Everything worked just fine. There is a palette with controls, containers and shapes. You can drag and drop these items to your UserControl elements, get Code completion help in Source view, add attributes to controls just through a mouse-click. What you can’t do is to tweak the design in design view; everything is done through code or through property settings. At least that’s what I have found out so far! But that is just the same in Visual Studio. When you play around with a Silverlight project in Expression Blend, once you move to Visual studio for the actual coding, you can’t do any design changes without some code. Needless to say that IntelliSense features are much more extensive in Visual Studio.

Advanced Media features and Interoperability are listed in Eclipse4SL’s road-map as Spring 2009 milestones. I’ll be waiting/watching with attention!

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Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the information flow on the Internet?


Do you think that it’s hard to scan through all the data and filter out meaningful content?


Do you ever so often discover another social media tool you were not aware of, while you are already a member of more than a dozen services?


For me, it’s as if I’m lost between links and redirected pages; posts, tweets and emails from time to time… At some moments I even don’t remember how I landed on a link/page; I don’t recall where it all began… The online world creates a Webosphere (if there’s a blogosphere there can be Webosphere as well), where I am “always” connected online, but in fact disconnected from the outer-space. It all just starts to sound like a science-fiction movie I guess… Simply what I’m trying to say is; the Web is not an imaginary world – it creates trillions of inputs and has zillions of ways to keep you busy.


What do you think – is there a way to digest ALL the information that is made available out there?


I enjoy all conveniences of technology. I definitely love the feeling of “being connected”. As I am far away from friends+family here, I need to be connected… I check out Social Networking sites daily, use Twitter, listen to music on Pandora, search for any question (and I have many questions!) on the Internet (OK- mostly just Google), share pictures on Flickr, scan through blogs on Google Reader, read info on Wikipedia, watch videos/movies online, shop online, read Turkish newspapers online, send many many many emails, find great tutorials on Silverlight.net, watch trainings on Lynda.com …. and it goes on and on and on. But still; I have this restless feeling of “There is so much more to read, listen, watch and learn“.


Just as I said – occasionally I feel lost in the vast ocean of information. There’s always bits and pieces you missed; cause the online medium and social collaboration available today – produces so much more than we can easily process. Or is it just me?


I came across a video called Did you know 3.0, which is based on the “Shift Happens/Did you know” presentation series by Karl Fisch  and Scott McLeod. One tiny detail in the 3.0 version, led to my thoughts about the data indigestion problem(!). It says “It is estimated that a week’s worth of the New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century.” I didn’t check any numbers or statistics shared in the video; however it’s an interesting piece to watch.


Some related links to the video:

SlideShare: http://www.slideshare.net/jbrenman/shift-happens-33834

Shift Happens: http://shifthappens.wikispaces.com/


Having easy and extensive access to information is crucial today. We have numerous options for accessing/selecting information. Yet people with limited resources in the past made incredible findings.


Reflecting on the lines of code I wrote, the SQL’s I executed, the reports I generated, the bugs I fixed, the relevant/irrelevant meetings I attended, the hundreds of tests I have taken in school, the formulas I memorized, the essays I wrote, the homeworks I completed, the books I read, the movies I watched, the songs I have listened to, the number of tweets, blogs I can reach…


With all the data available to me:

What did I discover or invent?

What extraordinary finding did I make?

Did I at least find out how to invent myself?


There so much more data everyday; which makes me feel as if  I know less than yesterday.


I wonder if not being able to efficiently filter out so much information makes us lose focus… If it makes us a little more confused.


I’m just full of weird thoughts today.


Writing them down has unintentionally created an excellent example of the information overload I am talking about…

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On August 16th it will be one year since I’m in California. I thought I should celebrate it accordingly and tried to come up with a brilliant idea to reflect the adventures of one year! To be honest, my creativity was a bit slow motion, so I decided to make use of the CASE methodology I came across on Tim Heuer’s site. CASE = Copy – Always – Steal – Everything;)

Recently I read a lot of about Deep Zoom Composer and saw some fun examples using Andrea Mosaic. Instantly I decided to create my own sample. Click on the image to see what I have created! 

There’s a detailed outline on how to work with Andrea Mosaic and Deep Zoom Composer on Donavon West’s blog based on his incredible Deep Zoom Obama sample. Therefore I will simply just list my own development steps:

  1. Collect lots of images I took over the last year and resize them all to 500 pixel width; to work with a smaller filesize.
  2. Create a collection in Andrea Mosaic (cool tool!)
  3. Select a picture that will be converted into a mosaic made up of all my pictures in the collection
  4. Import pictures to DeepZoom Composer and work on the composition
  5. Export composition as a Silverlight Project with the help of Deep Zoom Composer
  6. Upload Project to Silverlight Streaming
  7. Test(!) and then embed in Blog, web page etc.

As I’m pretty busy getting ready for Irvine Digigirlz Camp this week, I didn’t do any adjustments to the output XAML or any fancy additions in Expression Blend. Even the HTML page I created is as simple as it could be…

I absolutely enjoyed every minute being in San Francisco, that’s why I chose an image of the Victorian Houses at Alamo Square as my mosaic picture. The original image includes many colors, which made it easier to integrate image tiles of different base colors into the mosaic. That’s just a detail I discovered after some trial+error.

The collection includes pictures from various places in California plus Las Vegas, even though that’s not in California. Yet it was a part of this year’s adventures! There are also some tracks leading to a potential foodie; but how would I know? 🙂

I’m just there at the upper floor with my rental piano or do I gaze out of the window on second floor?

HEY; do you see me there?!?

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