TechEd 2012–Day 0

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Island Beach Resort, view from streetA few weeks late, but I've finally got around to writing about this year's Microsoft TechEd conference held in September. Tuesday morning, Narelle and I flew up to Brisbane then caught the train down to the Gold Coast.

This year I'd booked accommodation at Island Beach Resort, quite close to the convention centre. It might have 'Resort' in the name, but it's really just some nice apartments.

After checking in, I headed down to the convention centre for registration and then the Technical Learning Guide orientation meeting. Unfortunately this was at the same time as the the first "kick off" session. The meeting was useful as there was a different company organising the hands-on labs this year.

The keynote welcome included some interesting Kinect-inspired performance art, and then a talk (and videos) from Jason Silva. Jason was a very intense presenter – much the same as in his videos. I did like his positive attitude towards the future. His talk was very fast-paced and full-on, such that I think I'm still chewing over the things he said (even a week later).

I happened to see him again as one of the guests on ABC-TV's QandA program about a week after TechEd. To my surprise he said almost exactly the same things, word for word. Not quite as impressed after that.

Heading to TechEd Australia 2012

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

I'm looking forward to heading off to Microsoft's TechEd 2012 conference on the Gold Coast in a couple of weeks. This year I'll be joined by colleagues Ben and Imran, who will both be first-time attendees.

It promises to be a particularly good year for getting up to speed on new products, with Visual Studio 2012, Windows 8 and Server 2012 hot off the press, and Windows Phone 8 just around the corner.

I'm again working for part of the conference as a Technical Learning Guide assisting in the hands-on labs. I've also been selected to lead an instructor-led lab on "Designing Windows 8 HTML apps in Blend" (Session 'DEV ILL100'), and an exam cram session on 70-599 "Pro: Designing and Developing Windows Phone 7 Applications".

It will also be great to have Narelle along, who be enjoying a few days holiday while I'm busy learning, instructing and cramming.

MatrixGroup is hiring

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Are you a good great .NET software developer who'd like to work for a company providing solutions to the commodity handling industry (eg. grain and mineral ores)?

You might want to apply for this position with MatrixGroup, and have the pleasure of working with a bunch of enthusiastic, smart people… and yes I work there too Smile

Windows 8 Mail and Exchange using a self-signed certificate

Friday, 17 August 2012

The following steps allowed me to get the Windows 8 Mail app to talk to an Exchange server which uses a self-signed certificate:

  1. Open up Internet Explorer in 'Administrator' mode
    1. Go to the Windows 8 desktop
    2. Right-click on the Internet Explorer icon
    3. Highlight 'Internet Explorer'
    4. press Shift-Ctrl-Enter to launch IE in 'Administrator' (elevated permission) mode
  2. Browse to the Exchange server's Outlook Web Access page – eg. https://yourexchangeserver.com/owa
  3. Ignore any warning about certificates – click on 'Continue to this website'
  4. Click on the red certificate warning in the address bar
    certificate error
  5. Click on 'View certificates'
    Untrusted certificate
  6. Click on 'Install certificate' button
  7. The 'Certificate Import Wizard' appears
  8. Leave 'Store Location' as current user
  9. Select 'Place all certificates in the following store', and click on the 'Browse' button to select 'Trusted Root Certification Authorities'
    Certificate import wizard
  10. Complete wizard
  11. Click on 'Yes' to install certificate
  12. Close IE and reopen (in non-admin mode) to confirm when browsing to the OWA URL that you no longer are warned about an invalid certificate

You should now be able to use the 'Add an account' to add your Exchange account.

My next Windows Phone(s)

Friday, 3 August 2012

It's been an interesting journey since I purchased my first Windows Phone. The Samsung Omnia 7 had a brilliant screen and was a joy to use. It would occasionally spontaneously restart, but I put that down to firmware/OS bugs that would be fixed in subsequent updates. Many updates later however, the problem actually got worse rather than better.

While it was away on the last of a number of visits to the service centre, I purchased a second hand (but excellent condition) HTC Mozart. A very capable phone, it was a good replacement.

Samsung finally agreed to a replacement (only after I filmed my handset rebooting – somehow they'd never managed to reproduce the problem themselves) – but by this time the Omnia 7 was no longer in stock, so I was given an Omnia W instead.

The Omnia W didn't seem quite as 'solid' as the 7 – probably the plastic case vs the 7's metal, but it worked well (and didn't spontaneously reboot like it's predecessor).

Nokia Lumia 800

I would have stuck with the Omnia W but for the fact that I was one of the winners of a new Nokia Lumia 800 for entering my Asthma First Aid app in the Windows Phone Apps Download Challenge.

The Mozart and Omnia W have now found new homes with friends and family, and I'm enjoying my nice blue Lumia.