.NET 3.0 and Vista at VTdotNET last night

VTdotNET had our Vista launch event at last night’s meeting and we had a blast. There were about 35 people there (which is a crowd for us!). TEKSystems brought us piles and piles of fabulous pizza and two VTdotNET members, Mike Soulia and Rob Rohr gave great presentation.

Mike, who owns two of our favorite local stores in Burlington (Kiss the Cook and Apple Mountain where he has built their POS system) covered WorkFlow, WCF and WPF. Mike teaches software classes at Vermont Tech as well. WF is a hard thing for many developers to grasp at first, especially when it isn’t solving a big problem that they have been struggling with. There are many who see it and say “oh, what I’ve always needed!” and others who just don’t get it. I was in the latter camp at first and could tell there were plenty feeling that way last night. One thing I like to share with folks like me is that the fact that people who I have a lot of respect for, such as Kathleen Dollard, are VERY VERY excited about WF. She is doing a full day session on it at DevConnections. I figure if Kathleen things it’s huge, then it’s huge and that I need to pay attention to it.

Mike built a basic hello world server and a client  to call it with WCF so people could just see the working parts, get the most basic concepts and see that it works. After this he demo’s Expression Web and showed an awesome iPod-like interface that when he hovered the mouse over the center circle (moving it around the circle), the volume went up and down, just like on an iPod. Very cool stuff.

Next up was Rob, who makes the University of Vermont School of Business Administration tick. Before he got started, I made him show Flip3D on his computer. There are plenty that hadn’t seen it yet, so there was a fun reaction! Rob covered Vista security and then gave us a great presentation on CardSpaces, which I think nobody in the group has seen before. There’s an article on CardSpaces in MSDN Magazine this month (April and it’s not online yet, but I have it in my hands!) by Michele Leroux Bustamante.

After the meeting, we raffled off the swag that Microsoft sent as part of this launch event. The highlight was five Vista Business licenses,then there were things like pens, zipper pulls and mouse pads – silly stuff. I was really pleased that a woman who lives in Souther Vermont (over 2 1/2 hours away) and has never been to a meeting before was one of the Vista winners.

Thanks to Mike and Rob for all of the work they did preparing these sessions. And thanks to Elizabeth Rudolph at TEKSystems for not only sponsoring the pizza & soda, but picking it up, bringing it to the meeting and setting it all up.

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