August 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Testing the Windows8 WordPress app “Reblog” feature

Silicon Spatula

For years, Microsoft was regarded as the elephant in the computer room.  It was big, it was boring, and it was impossible to go one conversation without begrudgingly mentioning the computer behemoth.  But now, with the meteoric rise of Apple, things look a little different – and possibly more favorable, for the world’s largest software company and its decisive push into hardware.
For nearly ten years, Apple has had a lock on hardware, creating gorgeous aluminum-and-round-edged devices that impressed techies and average users alike. Apple excelled at crafting dependable software that worked with – and only with – their devices.  And in quick succession, Cupertino pushed out the iPod, iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad – each one not so much inventing a field as re-imagining it, tying it into Apple’s expanding, if heavily curated, ecosystem of music, TV, movies and apps.

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Categories: Uncategorized

New split focus for User Group – and Azure

May 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Short and Sweet!

Azure is huge, and growing day by day. I’ve been wanting to bring more Azure content into the user group, and I’m happy to announce that as of now, we have a plan. Even months in 2011 will continue to focus on .Net and more specifically content. Odd months will be controlled, hosted, and booked by our newest up and coming community leader, Chris Coneybeer. Chris brings years of experience in .NET, community, and general volunteer tech events. He’s vey active in the local give camp, laid-off camp, code camp, (and I’m sure more) and is an all around nice guy.

This is a HUGE win for the user group. With Chris focusing on on half the year, I’m free to focus on less meetings, but bring in better content. This is a great winning combination.

Thank you Chris, and a very warm welcome, we look forward to what you can bring to the user group.

If you get a chance – blow him up on twitter @coneybeer!

Categories: Meetings Tags: ,

Open Invitation to Web Technologists

April 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Hello Friends and Foe,

My name is Scott Cate, and I have lived in Arizona nearly my entire life. I graduated from Chandler High in 1991, and since then have been in technology. Early in my career I found that working with others is better than working alone. Two heads are better than one kind of thing. I generally think everyone agrees with that philosophy. What about 30 heads are better than 2? What if some of those 30 heads disagree with you? How do you respond? The immature will get aggressive and defend their idea without listening to opposition, while the mature strive to get the core dispute out on the table, and openly debate pros and cons.

Ultimately your debate should not be about proving your way, It should be about finding the right (or better) way. And that can only be done with intelligent conversation. If you have 30 intelligent people in a room, you’ll always end up with a much better result than if you answered your own questions in a box. This is what’s so great about Gangplank. The technical conversation is always about the end result, it may not be how you actually get there.

Where am I headed?

I would like to invite all local web technologists to see what Microsoft has to offer on their web stack. I’m holding an event on April 22, 2011 at the Chandler Center of the Arts. We have Scott Guthrie speaking, who is the gentleman at Microsoft who invented, and has lead that team over the years, managing many web products along the way. We also have Mark Russinovich who will be spending time on the Microsoft Cloud Offering, named Azure.

I’m specifically calling the Anti-Microsoft community. Many of you have very valid points, and can cite a hundred things you hate about Microsoft. Some of you are the opposite, and only look at Microsoft. (I’m getting better, but I’m guilty of being in this camp). Like Ford v. Chevy, some of you don’t like Microsoft because your friends don’t like Microsoft. Just hearing the name Microsoft makes some developers stop listening. Why not spend the day, and just see what it is. I’m ABSOLUTELY NOT trying to convert you, that would be stupid. I’m just offering a friendly invitation for you to see what’s on the other side. You may like some of it, or hate it all, but you’ll be more informed with what’s current, rather than running on legacy hate.

April 22, 2011 is Good Friday, so you probably already have the day off. Please consider joining us for the day, with free parking, free wi-fi, and a free catered lunch from Murphy’s Law.

Please consider registering for the event here.

Thank you.



P.S. This is me, Scott Cate, and I’m a real person. I do not work for Microsoft, and this is not a Microsoft organized event. Sure it’s Microsoft tech focused, but what I mean is, this isn’t an event that Microsoft put together, and then said – “Hey Scott … can you help us promote …”. This is an annual event that I have been running for since 2003, growing bigger and better each year. I have a deep relationship inside Microsoft and I’m personally invested in the Microsoft Web Stack. Hopefully you don’t judge me, because you’re way might be better than my way.

Categories: Website

What is Azure–Quick intro

January 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Hopefully you know, Feb 5th, 2011, @AZGroups, @Gangplank, @awilsong, @coneybeer, and @scottcate are hosting an #Azure Bootcamp. The basic idea is 4 hours of training + labs, and four hours of time to build and create an azure app from the attendees.

You can read more, and register here for the Feb 5, 2011 Event.

Andrew posted a nice comment, with a basic into to What is Azure, and I wanted to cross post it here. Thanks Andrew.


date    Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 10:39 AM
subject    Re: [AZGroups] Azure Bootcamp in Chandler Feb 5th

To answer Brandon’s question– Azure is a blueish color…[?]

Azure is Microsoft’s cloud offering. It’s different than many other cloud
services, in that it has primarily focused itself around Platform as a
Service (PaaS) instead of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). This has some
pretty cool implications for people who develop in .NET– because the
barrier to entry is not much more than a "right-click & deploy" setting.

There are, of course, many other exciting features available that you can
leverage via Azure as well. Non-Relational data storage, Roles, hybrid
hosting, CDN, and a Caching Framework being some of the primary ones.
Relational data is also available in the cloud via SQL Azure. There is
even a marketplace for sharing/selling components built.

I do not say this lightly, but it’s my belief that this offering is going to
be critical for .NET developers to understand over the next few years.
Microsoft has made a huge investment in Azure and already has much of it’s
flagship software being offered on it.

Finally– one of the big misconceptions about Azure is that it only supports
.NET based languages. While it’s true that is a primary focus– one of the
single largest sites on Azure right now is a Java application. Language
Interop was an intentional focus of the platform from the beginning. Azure
currently has great tooling support for PHP & Java, and because much of the
offerings are RESTful, it can be further leveraged by other languages well.

We are intending through this event to cover many of the topics above– some
at a high-level and some bootstrapped to get you running with it. If any of
it sounds interesting, PLEASE RSVP so we can get an accurate head count.

Categories: Meetings Tags:

Azure Boot Camp – Feb 5th 2011

January 15, 2011 1 comment

A few months ago, in conjunction with Microsoft and Gangplank, I ran a Windows Phone 7 Bootcamp. This turned out to be a great event, with great outcome. After the event, looking at the success – I realized that the formula for this event was phenomenal and very simple.

Teach and Do.

That’s it – that’s what it all boils down to.

So we’re going to copy that same formula for an Azure boot camp, on Saturday, Feb 5th, 2011, starting at 8am.

We’ll spend the first half of the day Teaching, and we’ll spend the second half of the day doing. Four sessions that will introduce you to Azure in the morning, and then four hours in the afternoon where attendees will be challenged to create something new, that runs on Azure.

This is a FREE EVENT – Event the Azure team has given us a coupon that people can use to create 30 day free trial accounts.

LOCATION: Gangplank in Chandler (Maps Link)
260 S Arizona Ave
Chandler, AZ 85225


REGISTRATION: Simply email Scott and RSVP.

Here is a Pseudo Schedule that will outline the day

  • Registration
  • Coffee Welcome / Meet your neighbor / machine Prep
  • Intro
  • Azure Storage / Table / Blob / Queue
  • Deployment Strategies
  • Other Azure Features / Possibilities (Optional???)
  • Build Your Own Azure App
  • Prizes
Categories: Meetings

Windows Phone 7 – Unleashed Event Sat. Sept. 11

September 6, 2010 Leave a comment

AmEx Gift Cards - Come and get 'em

We only have 20 seats left for this event.

What is the event?

  • It’s 12 hours, 8am to 8pm
  • Lunch and dinner will be provided.
  • Hard core code all day
  • Learn. Code. Learn. code.
  • Bring your own laptop
  • Windows Phone 7 Training Event.

What’s in it for me?

  • Free Training.
  • $800.00 Amex Gift Cards

What? $800 in AmEx Gift Cards? Yes. The first half of the day is “Get to know Windows Phone 7” with instructor lead training + labs. The second half of the day is “Build you own application”. Teams will break up, and spend the last half of the day, building whatever application they want. At the end of the day, We’ll vote on the apps, and the top 3 teams will win Gift Cards.

  • $500 for First
  • $200 for Second
  • $100 for Third.

So it’s a day of free training – Plus you could win $500.

We also have a bunch of other goodies to give out!

REPEAT: As of this posting, there are only 20 seats left, and registration is required.

Click here to register NOW!

This special event, is being held @GangPlank in downtown Chandler.

260 S. Arizona Ave
Chandler, AZ 85225

Google Maps Link

Categories: Meetings

Back on Track in 2010

December 31, 2009 3 comments

2009 had some great meetings, events, user groups, and conferences. But we kind of ended on a dud, with me traveling so much, I was unable to put together the November and December user group meetings.


But … 2010 is almost here, and we’re back in full swing for our 2010 event schedule.

I have some great user group meetings planned, as well as several great large scale events for the year.

We’ll be getting started in January with Joel Neubeck, talking about some Silverlight 4.0 features. Specifically the support for Camera and Audio (Mic??) support, and Commanding. I’m not sure if Joel is going to run these all together, or have a part1 and part 2 talk.

So let’s get 2010 started right, with a nice showing for Joel at the January meeting.

I’ll also be speaking in January for the user group meeting, on the Version 4 topic.

Happy Holidays everyone on closing out 2009, and we all hope to see you supporting your local community (and AZGroups🙂 in 2010

Categories: Meetings