ShareGate and Snowzilla…

For anyone curious, yes, Northern Virginia got a decent amount of snow (it’s still snowing outside) as a part of what the Capital Weather Gang from the Washington Post refers to as “Snowzilla.”

So on my seventh time going and digging snow out, I noticed my Columbia insulated hat was still sopping wet, so what is there to do but go to my reliable backup and make use of the ShareGate branded winter hat that is just darn simple to use…   

Nevertheless, this snow too shall pass. Fortunately FiOS is still up and kicking, Bunkertuneage is rocking and Azure connectivity is still online. 

Take care, be safe and keep on rocking!

Welcome to Carousel…

Hey thanks DropBox… just what I was… hoping… for.

If you’re a DropBox user and you have your mobile device setup to automatically push photos up to the “Camera Uploads” directory within your DropBox then you might notice the next time that you go there that you’re being flipped over to Carousel.

I didn’t receive any warning, but I did notice in the modal popup that I could change it back to the normal photos view that I’ve become accustomed to over the past few years since it became available – either immediately or through the settings.

And no, there’s nothing over at the Dropbox Blog at the moment about Carousel. We’ll see if a blog post comes out.

Within minutes of going to the website though, I did find it interesting that I received an email to let me know that I’d been upgraded to Carousel. Interesting change management strategy…

And if you happen to wander over to your friendly neighborhood Dropbox, you’ll notice that the Photos item is no longer there but just Carousel.

Nevertheless, we’ll see how this goes and see if it gets changed back to good ole Photos in the near future.

Running the Northern Virginia Mobile C# Developers Group with Ed Snider…

About a year ago, my friend Ed Snider and I started up the Northern Virginia Mobile C# Developer User Group. Mind you that this is not Ed Snider of the hockey world but a much cooler and tech friendly Ed Snider.

Ed takes lead of the group most meetings as he’s the top notch developer and I’m just the snarky architect and IT Pro that learns more from the presenters than probably anyone else in the room đŸ™‚

Ed runs the meetings and has found quite a few awesome speakers over the past year. You’ve done a terrific job with the getting the group up and off the ground!!!

The group’s focus is namely on using C# for cross platform development – namely using Xamarin, but open to native app development across platforms using Mono or other technologies as well.

I’d like to publicly announce and congratulate Ed on becoming a Xamarin MVP as announced today on their blog http://blog.xamarin.com/xamarin-mvps-expand-with-more-awesome/.

Congratulations Ed!

Ed can be follow on Twitter under the name @edsnider

Ed’s blog can be followed over at http://www.edsnider.net

If you’re ever out in the DC area and interested in learning more about Xamarin or learning about C# Mobile Dev, come on out and join us – more information is available at http://www.novamobiledev.org

Now Offering… BaaS

Starting today, I’m announcing a new service offering…

Bacon as a Service, or BaaS for short.

You will only pay for the Bacon that you consume. If you require different flavours of Bacon based on your requirements, we can provide you with that Bacon at tiered pricing.

If you consume significant amounts of Bacon. We will lower the price as you consume more during that time period, making use of economies of scale.

If you prefer to bring your own Bacon, we allow that as well, providing griddle space and power to cook your Bacon. Because you’re bringing your own Bacon, the cost is less, but there’s still a cost associated with it as you’re using our infrastructure.

We look forward to serving you the finest Bacon. Please provide comments as you see fit below.

Come to the dark side…

It’s been a fairly light week after all the news pouring out from the Consumer Electronics Show, but a few highlights of interest.

  • It would seem that Andrew Connell has finally come back to the dark side with the procurement of a MacBook Pro. Funny enough that he’s got a similar logo on his MBP as Scott Hoag. As for me I’ve been sporting a Lego on my MBP for a couple of years now.

Speaking of off-topic, there’s been the drive as of recent for Microsoft to be recognized as more of a devices company than a platform company. In as much, we’ve seen Office 365 begin to bridge that gap, offering Office Web Apps that for the most part provide similar experiences across devices and browsers. Granted, not all browsers are created equal (IE6, you’ll always have a special place in my heart…). Nevertheless, I came across Addictive Tips blog postings on the “Best of Addons for 2013.” Specifically for FireFox and Chrome. So eat your heart out and check these out when you’ve got a few spare cycles:

With all of the security concerns as of recent note such as the Starbucks App being found to store passwords in clear text, it’s interesting to see that Google is adding the ability to send e-mail messages to individuals that you happen to be connected with through Google+. Note that there are ways to get out of this engagement by simply going in and changing your settings. More on how to do this is available here:

http://www.addictivetips.com/web/how-to-opt-out-of-gmails-new-email-via-google-plus-option/

And speaking of Google, don’t forget that the same technology baked into the Galaxy Nexus 5 where you simply say, “Okay Google” and a search page pops open ready to listen to your every beck and command – it’s also available for your Chrome web browser as an extension that can be added from the Google Chrome Store here:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-voice-search-hotwo/bepbmhgboaologfdajaanbcjmnhjmhfn?hl=en-US

If you’re me and you’re still looking to finish out your MCSE SharePoint certification and just have to knock out the 70-417 MCSA upgrade exam, it couldn’t hurt to check out some of the materials that the Microsoft Virtual Academy is offering up on the Windows Server platform. More details are available here – and best of all, the training is free.

http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/product-training/windows-server

The Microsoft Office 365 team has updated the services that were added to Office 365 today for the December 2013 update on their Service Update Wiki. More details on this are available here – http://community.office365.com/en-us/wikis/office_365_service_updates/974.aspx#dec2013. Nothing overly significant, just three modifications.

On January 15, the Apps for Office and SharePoint blog posted an article on “Publishing apps for Office and SharePoint to Windows Azure Websites.” Definitely a handy article and walk through when you’re looking to create provider-hosted apps. Kudos to the Office Developer Team.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/officeapps/archive/2014/01/15/publishing-apps-for-office-and-sharepoint-to-windows-azure-websites.aspx

Last but not least, the Simpsons will be available throug the FX app as its sister station FXX has the exclusive on-demand rights for the show. The details are thin at the moment but it looks like a cable subscription will be required. More on this is available from the Unofficial Apple Weblog post here:

http://www.tuaw.com/2014/01/16/dedicated-app-will-stream-every-episode-of-the-simpsons-and-mor/

DirectAccess Test Lab Guide Released…

Looking to test out Direct Access and see how it can be used within your organization but don’t feel like setting up the entire infrastructure? Head on over to the Microsoft download center and pick up a copy of the test lab guide to build out a machine using Windows Server 2012. More deets here:

Download Test Lab Guide: Demonstrate DirectAccess Single Server Setup with Mixed IPv4 and IPv6 in Windows Server 2012 from Official Microsoft Download Center

If you’ve not used Direct Access, you’re missing out. With Windows Server 2012 you don’t even need a hard token client certificate but instead can use a hardware certificate which is pretty rockin’ awesome. Only thing to be mindful of, your Windows users need to be domain joined to take advantage of this – but it’s worth it đŸ™‚