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Completing a Speaking Trifecta

I'm back doing some public speaking.  I'm not sure I like blogging, but I do like giving presentations.  So, I'm gonna present around the State of Wisconsin and Northern Illinois and for that matter, anywhere else close by that will have me.

I've just completed three speaking engagements in the last eight days.

I've had the pleasure to speak in Chicago at the Chicago Suburban SQLConnections group on March 2nd, 2010. (http://sqlconnections.eventbrite.com/) (twitter: http://twitter.com/search?q=%23ChiSQL)

I presented at the Fox Valley .Net User Group's Day of .NET on March 6th, 2010. (http://dayofdotnet.fvnug.org/)

To complete the Trifecta, I just completed a presentation for the Wisconsin .NET User Group on March 9th, 2010. (http://www.wi-ineta.org/)

All three organizations are first rate.  The audience participation for all three presentations was lively.  While I normally wouldn't pick a favorite, the Suburban Chicago group really caught my attention.  I was proud to give their second meeting's presentation (on March 2nd) and already this group is well organized.  There is nothing better than getting a group of DBAs in a room and discussing Business Intelligence.  Kudos to Wendy Pastrick and Kim Young on an outstanding start to a group that is well on their way.  I look forward for an opportunity to present to this group in the future.

The Fox Valley .Net User Group is also a fun group.  They do take care of their speakers.  I also will say that while Northeastern Wisconsin may not seem like a hotbed for Microsoft technologies, this User Group would just outright prove you wrong.  There is some great talent in that crowd and the entire Day of .NET was a fun way to spend a Saturday.  I also have to give a link to Damon Payne (http://www.damonpayne.com/2010/03/02/SpeakingAtFVNUGDayOfNet.aspx).  Damon and I carpooled up to the Appleton, WI area from the Greater Milwaukee area and a ride in his Audi S4 with DotNetRocks podcasts in the background and discussions about Silverlight and .Net 4 and other technologies rounded out the day.  Damon's Silverlight presentation was in track one in the same time slot opposite mine in track two.  He attracted an only slightly larger audience than I had in my presentation.  Guess people blindly follow those MVPs :)

I cannot say enough about my home User Group, the Wisconsin .Net User Group.  I've been affiliated off and on with this group over the last four years and find that group to be fun and enthusiastic about .NET and Microsoft products.

All three groups were generous with their kind comments about my presentation and each audience pointed out at least one flaw that helped me to improve the presentation.

You can find my presentation on Business Intelligence here (http://cs.jjbresearch.org/files/3/default.aspx)


oS welcomes HC020 to the labrary

I've been busy and quiet and not really very public lately.  There is a lot going on at the moment and some of that stuff that I'm doing is just not for public consumption.

Anyways, I just took delivery of a Dell Precision M90.  If you know your toys, this is a pig of a machine.  In proper form, it has received an HC0xx designation on my network and now has a spot on the desk next to the machine where I do my Internet stuff (where I am entering this post).

Since I'm going to San Diego and doing some presentations on F#, I figured that I had better buy a reasonable laptop to take on the road, seeing as the old round of laptops that I own are all old and grey (literally and metaphorically) and very slow relative to today's speeds.  HC020 is an M90 with an Intel Core Duo running at 2GHz with 2GB of RAM (ummmm, 4GB was $2100 more; no thanks) and a 100GB (7200rpm) HD.

Anyways, the real pig of this machine is the video card.  If thou knowest thy NVidia video cards, you know that the two choices on the M90 are the Quadro FX 1500M or 2500M.  Guess which one I chose?  The Quadro FX 2500M appears to be THE fastest video card for portable machines and has the horsepower of the desktop Quadro FX 4500.  The best part about this 512MB video card is that the peak power consumption is 100W.  Yup, when using graphics unplugged, this pig is good for 45 minutes of battery life.  hooo-haaaaa.  With the 17" screen, I'll still have some diagonal envy, when compared with the 19" portables that are now arriving on the scene.  But this will kick the snot out of any SLI or QUAD-SLI portable out there and has more video horsepower than 95% of the desktops out there (including desktop NVidia SLI 6x00 and 7x00 machines; those are still girlie-man machines when compared to HC020).

I'm going to be presenting on F# with my cornerstone presentation being Interactive Visualization with F#.  This requires some horsepower and so, I guess I'll find out if HC020 is up to the task.  If it is not, HC020 will be relegated to some silly background task to live out its days toiling over some quant analytics before being sent off to the glue factory.  I'm installing VS2005 and F# now.

As if the labrary didn't need a little more heating . . .


F# Road Trips: Next stop - San Diego

Ok, so I've started this hubFS thing. It has been a bit of work, but I had fun getting it moving.  The best part now is that I've had a chance to have conversations with a number of people with F# interests from all over the planet.  These are the people that I hope will eventually use their collective passions in F# to make The Hub a great place for F# work.

In the meantime, I've been bitten by the speaking bug and have been giving a few presentations recently.  I recently spoke at the WI .NET User Group, Fox Valley .NET User Group and the Rockford .NET User Group.  I'm hoping to speak at the Chippewa Valley .NET User Group in the coming months.  As an aside, it would seem that every valley in Wisconsin has started a .NET User Group.

But the reason that I'm writing this post is because the prefix "F# Road Trips" will hopefully become a new series on this blog (I'm writing this both on The Hub and on my jjbresearch blogs).  My goal is to go on the road approximately once every month or so and give F# presentations at various code camps and other venues.  I'm currently working through a few different presentations, some of which are already complete:

  1. F#: An Introduction Under an Application of Quantitative Finance
  2. An Introduction to F#
  3. F# and BizTalk 2006: Leveraging functional/imperative/OO programming in the rules engine
  4. F# Functional Programming: Lambdas, closures and other constructs
  5. Interactive Visualization with F#
  6. F# and SQLCLR - Breaking domain encapsulation and placing business logic in SQLCLR with F#
Swarer (XPSD member and self-proclaimed "Ex-ubernerd, recently got himself a life.") and I talk regularly and he mentioned a few weeks ago that the Rock and Roll Code Camp (RRCC) was to take place in San Diego on June 24-25, 2006.  I think his exact words were:  "Dude.  You gotta like, come out and like do this like code camp.  It'll be uummmmm gnarly and stuff and like you can like tell everyone about that F# thing and whoa, we can like totally party and skip out of all of the other sessions especially those agile sessions on TDD and unit testing and stuff." (I cut and pasted that from an MSN IM session).  I also know that after speaking with him, his tagline is not quite correct; he's still doesn't have a life, but he's borrowing someone else's for a little while.

I'm there.  I'm speaking.  I'm doing that F# thing.  I'll be doing the #2, #3, #4 and #5 presentations.from the above list for RRCC.  I'll submit for #6 to RRCC if I can complete my work on it in time to get on the schedule.  If you are going to RRCC, DO NOT MISS #5 - Interactive Visualization with F#.

If you are having a code camp and want to hear about F#, give me a comment here or send me an email.  I'm going to try to do one code camp per month or so, starting in August.  Keep in mind, that the real reason for doing this is to find out where the best .NET parties take place.

Note:  I'm doing an impression of Godzilla and NOT evangelizing F# in this picture.

Deeper in Dot Net 2006 - Follow up

Ok.  I admit it.  I'm totally late to the party with this post.  But I wanted to delay writing this post on the "old blog" in favor of writing it here.

Anyways, I'm a member of the WI .NET User Group Executive Committee (and I'm not even an executive; go figure).  The annual event for our group is Deeper in Dot Net (DiDN) and 2006 is the first year that I attended.  This is also the first year that DiDN was under the direction of Scott Isaacs after Brian Tinkler's acceptance of a position at MSFT had caused Brian to give up the President and chief organizer position.

DiDN was outstanding in every respect.  We had five great speakers:  Michele Leroux Bustamante, Scott Hanselman, Julie Lerman, Bill Hatfield and Jason Beres.  The show was free and we had about 600 people packed into the Milwaukee Downtown Hyatt for the event.

Of course, there were plenty of parties and dinners and other get togethers that were part of the event as well.

Anyways, the highlight of this event for me was the chance to talk with the speakers in person.  In particular, I had a chance to talk at length with Julie Lerman (DiDN Links 1 2 3; no, not all drinks in Milwaukee have a sausage in them).  I also had a chance to meet Korby Parnell (DiDN link) who came into town on his way to VSLive! up in Toronto.  Additionally, unbeknownst to me at the time, but a member of the North America INETA board was also in attendance, having driven up from St. Louis.  Scott Spradlin, whom I had not met before, was there and as I had said, I was completely clueless that he was an INETA guy.  He just walked around as a regular attendee and took in the show.  I think it is really great that this event had been noticed by a number of people and that there was genuine interest from both Microsoft and INETA.

I also met a few other out-of-towners.  Doug Rhoten (blogless; get one soon) of the Chippewa Valley .NET User Group, David Palfery (another blogless guy; I'm working on him to get one) of the Fox Valley .NET User Group, Avonelle Lovhaug (DiDN links 1 2 3 4 5 6; ok, six posts; did you have a good time or what?) and Val The C# Gal (DiDN link) were also there.

I personally want to thank the WI .NET User Group, my fellow Executive Committee members and Scott Isaacs (and his wife Kelly) for the work that was done to make this event what it was.


Article Link - F# on a Virtual Super Computer

Chad Albrecht, President of Enerlinx, member of the WI .NET User Group executive committee and all around good-guy, just had an article published in The Dot Net Developer's Journal.

F#, a .NET research language from Microsoft Research, has been slowly gaining acceptance in scientific, math and other high-performance computing areas.  So to see Chad write an article on using F# on a grid platform was really great.  I have to tell you that I had a chance to talk with Chad as he went through the process of first building the application and then writing the article.  His work is first-rate in every respect.

Way to go.


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The Hub goes live

I have been so busy, I haven't had a chance to announce one of the initiatives that I have been working so hard to complete.  So here it is . . .

hubFS - THE place for F#

This is my first effort at an organized community site with focus on F#.  Please visit the site to find articles, blogs, forums, code, galleries, etc.

I could not do this alone.  I had the help of many people to put this site together.  I can't do the list justice, but those that have helped know that I respect their works and talents and most of all, their efforts to get this place going.

Over the recent days, while this blog was under construction (and I missed this milestone), many of my friends and and hubFS contributors made certain that this would get the exposure that it needed.  I'll list as many here as I can.  Send me a comment if I missed you (as it was unintentional):

There is a great core group of contributors that have started to produce F# works.  I hope that as time goes by, we are able to invite more contributors and build a base of competence in F#.

Please also note, that this is "THE place for F#".  I make that statement as a simple gesture with the definite article "THE" in all caps.  Dr. Syme and the F# team run the F# mail list server (along with Don's blog); Robert Pickering runs the F# Wiki and hosts a set of fantastic F# tutorials.  There are numerous other blogs that have assorted F# works.  To be clear, I want The Hub to be THE place to gather, but know that only a concerted effort with others can bring about our common goals.  I truly appreciate the works of these others and want to be clear that as F# matures in language, usage and acceptance, the collective works at Microsoft Research, on Robert's site and at The Hub and elsewhere will all work together to make F# more accessible and hopefully provide clear information for those that want to improve their F# skill set.

I invite you to stop by The Hub and get informed on F#.  Let me and others know what we do well and what needs improvement.


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I've been gone toooooooooooooo long.

For those that know me as a maniac madman, you can find my new thoughts here.

My old blog will be shut down in due time, but I'll be getting things going here.

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