Tablet PC Development in Montreal (and playing hookey at the Fine Arts Museum)

On Monday night, I did a somewhat lengthy overview of developing software for Tablet PCs at GUVSM, one of the .NET groups in Montreal.. As I started the session, I learned that only one person in the room had ever seen a tablet pc, so I decided to spend a little time showing them a bit about the technology, otherwise developing inkable software wouldn’t make too much sense! I did the whole presentation in VS2005, which says a lot about the updated API working pretty well with VS2005. It was also a great exercise for me because I haven’t played with a great variety of functionality in a while and preparing the demos gave me an excuse to refresh my memory.

The meeting was sponsored by MSDN Canada, who covered my travel expenses and enabled me to stay overnight rather than do the 3 hour drive back home so late at night. Thanks to Sasha and Wendy from MSDN Canada and for Guy and Jean-Rene for bringing me up. Naturally, the meeting was followed by a late night dinner of smoked meat. Though we normally go to the all-time classic Ben’s, this time we went to Reuben’s. I always have a blast with these guys: Mario Cardinal, Jean-Rene Roy, Eric Cote and Etienne Tremblay. The biggest lesson of the night was to stay away from Bell as your ISV if you can and to befriend a geek who likes to keep up with the latest toys, so when they shed their antiques (like 2 month old cell phones) you might be first in line!

To top it off, before I drove back home Tuesday morning, I got to go see an exhibit that I have been wanting to get to: Right Under the Sun. Landscape in Provence, from Classicism to Modernism (1750–1920) at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Though attempting to view about 200 works of art in a mere 2 hours was a little quick, it was wonderful to see. Provence has a beautiful combination of landscapes – mountains, canyons, harbors, the sea – and it was a magnet for painters including those that are more commonly known, such as VanGogh, Cezanne, Monet, Georges Braque, Renoir. Some of the landscapes became familiar as many painters had captured them – most memorable were Mt. Saint-Victoire and a canyon whose name I can no longer remember. It was also fascinating to watch the styles evolve. Perhaps I’ll get up there one more time before the show ends in early January to linger a bit longer.

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