Sunday, August 1, 2010

Geek Post Monthly Newsletter Volume 2 Issue 7

Geek Post

Volume 2 Issue 7

July 2010

Hippolite Musings

Tena Koutou Katoa,

In July, I:

  • Added the new GST rate (effective 1-Oct) to a major pricing database;
  • Farewelled a long-term contractor;
  • Took back ownership of all his project work;
  • Progressed a major data conversion project;
  • Secured major funding for my team (sufficient for a new full-time equivalent) through negotiating a Maintenance Support Work Packet internally with other Telecom business units;
  • Attended the Internet Industry Awards 2010 at Parliament;


Community Development

Grenada Village Online

  • The Association has been involved in a legal dispute over the proposed use of newly cleared land in our area.  This is heading to a show-down.  A public meeting will be called soon.  I can’t say too much more than that. 
  • Stay tuned.  Keep an eye on late-breaking news on the website link above.  It should all come out by next month.

Align Church Online

  • I’m stuck on adding functionality which will enable me to display photos (not hard) and insert photos (not hard) and add photos to an existing record (finding it difficult to do this in a GridView).
  • I’ve also been asked to remove functionality for “security” reasons.  Bah humbug.
  • I also don’t listen to the users (my wife) carefully enough (apparently) and misdiagnosed a function and have to re-do it.  Grrrr
<asp:BoundField HeaderText="Name" DataField="Name" />
<asp:BoundField HeaderText="Birthday" DataField="BirthDate" DataFormatString="{0:d}" />
<asp:BoundField HeaderText="Mobile" DataField="Mobile" />
<asp:BoundField HeaderText="Comments" DataField="Comments" />
<asp:TemplateField HeaderText="Photo">
<asp:Image ID="PhotoImage" runat="server" ImageUrl='<%# Bind("imgFile") %>' Width="100" />
<asp:FileUpload ID="fileUpload1" runat="server" />

Wellington Home Education Network

  • I’m manually editing PHP in Visual Studio without the use of a PHP editor. 

  • Managed to reduce the size of the email which is sent from the Application Form, by eliminating the fields that aren’t actually used.

  • Managed to find the magic Headers which turn a Plain Text email into HTML.

  • Instead of tabs between field name and value, now I’m outputting a table.  Much tidier.

                        function FindVal($fieldName, $varName)
$varValue = $_POST[$varName];
return "<tr><td>$fieldName</td><td>$varValue</td></tr>\n";
return "";
return "";

                        $from            = $HTTP_POST_VARS['EmailAddress'];
$headers = 'MIME-Version: 1.0' . "\r\n";
$headers .= 'Content-type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1' . "\r\n";
$headers .= "From: $from"."\r\n";

Wellington SQL Server Users Group

  • We had Chandima Kulathilake from Knowledge Cue Ltd come and tell us about SharePoint 2010 Databases – What are they and why are they required?

Wellington Dot Net Users Group

  • Bevan Arps from Reserve Bank came and told us about Build Automation with NAnt.

  • Kirk Jackson (Xero) and Graeme Neilson (Aura Software Security) came and told us Tales from the Crypt0

  • Bohdan Szymanik from KiwiBank came and told us about F# in Action

Developer News


This may be of use.  Martin particularly likes the window connection colouring, search in grid results and generate insert statements.

Study News

Not much has changed from last month.

Still working my way through MCTS Exam 70-503 – Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 – Windows Communication Foundation.

Up to chapter 8.

Very slow going.  Lab examples suck.  Even with a Virtual Machine with exactly the right environment, the labs fail.  Security is soooo hard to get right.

Telecom News

As alluded to in my opening paragraph, the financial year ended in June, and a new one commenced.  A round of budgetary begging occurred.  I contributed.  My team won some well-earned dosh.

This probably means I’ll be doing more support work (officially) and less new developments, which is probably for the best in the current environment.  Nobody knows about Physical Separation, so investment in new development work (especially across business units) will have to slow down.

This is all speculation, but hopefully interesting speculation.

Microsoft News

A summary of significant Microsoft chatter:

  • Not going to Tech-Ed next month (sniff).  Not my turn.

  • Reading about the Model-View-ViewModel (MSDN Magazine, March 2009 & July 2010).  I need to be doing this stuff, in order to separate code from implementation and improve testing.

  • Not coding F#, but still straddling C# and VB.NET.

  • I was an Imagine Cup mentor last year, but as all the meetings were held in Auckland, there didn’t seem a point to re-sign up for it this year.

  • Windows 7 Dev?  Not on my radar.

  • IE9?  Telecom only just upgraded to IE7!

Situations Vacant

Analyst Developer .NET

Make it happen

Work with industry leading technology, tools, and methodologies and let your talents shine.  Join a productive team that provides both development and support for some of Telecom's core applications.  You'll own enhancements to the functionality of the existing application, plus have the benefit of experienced developers to mentor your progression through your career milestones!

Work with customised technologies, in a dynamic and collaborative team environment, where your actions have a direct impact on what happens in the wider business.  Support and enhance the application as you troubleshoot, overcome incidents and diagnose issues.  Get involved in projects as you take a concept from brief to reality, actioning enhancements.  

You've gained credible commercial .NET development and coding experience in a large scale environment.  You're hungry to continue learning and build on your qualifications.  Technically savvy with HTML, SQL and Sharepoint, you're known for commitment as you take ownership of the issue until it's been efficiently resolved while keeping all who are impacted up to date. 

In this Wellington based role you'll join our Application Delivery team who work with both an operational and project focus to produce accurate and efficient code.  We design, develop and implement quality business solutions to support Telecom's strategic business objectives

Want to work where it all happens?  Apply today.


Senior Technology Consultant

You're the expert

It's a great feeling to be valued for your expert knowledge and advice. Customers and colleagues alike look to you to show them the way. Join our Consulting and Design team and get the recognition you deserve.  

Your customers look to you to match high quality technical knowledge to their business drivers to create valuable technology solutions.  Be the most trusted of advisors as you consult on the issues that matter to them. Work at a variety of levels, from presenting whitepapers to the nitty gritty of technical designing.

Significant experience in an ICT vendor environment is a given. Your knowledge of Microsoft networking, virtualization, thin client and storage technologies and ideally Citrix is robust.  Equally important as your superior technical design and delivery skills, is your ability to relate technical solutions to business outcomes. You have excellent communication and written skills plus a strong customer focus. Your experience with infrastructure strategic planning and technical evaluation is impressive.

Providing a breadth of services unparalleled in the New Zealand market, Gen-i is NZ's ICT market leader.  This Wellington-based role sits within our high-performing Consulting and Design team.  We help organisations generate greater value from their IT spend by offering innovative solutions for the issues important to them.

Be valued for your expertise.  Apply today.

Training News

A summary of Signification Microsoft Learning Chatter

  • July is an exciting month where Microsoft Learning just announced the brand new MTA Certification for academic students, New OneNote Trainer Packs that enable MCTs to prepare for courses and to take and share notes AND we are getting ready to launch a completely revised Courseware Library.

  • Microsoft is pleased to announce the launch of Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) 2010.

    Review the planned MOS 2010 exams and get ready to certify for MOS 2010.

  • Keep your technical skills up to date with help from the latest training opportunity for SharePoint 2010. In this new training course on Channel 9, you’ll explore design considerations to keep in mind as you start creating SharePoint solutions targeting SharePoint 2010. Additional videos, labs, and code available to help you learn more about SharePoint testing, deployment, and security.


A summary of Significant Dot Net User Group Chatter

  • Developer NetBook (6 replies)

  • .NET Express Edition & Commercial Software (10 replies)

  • Integrated EFTPOS (5 replies)


A summary of  Significant SQL Server User Group Chatter

  • DB Compare Tool (10 replies)

  • DB Script Extract Tool(13 replies)

  • MSSQL and Schemas (6 replies)

Events Schedule

In this section, I highlight dates, times and venues of events either I am presenting at, or of interest to Geeks.  I’m available for bookings.

Date Event Venue Speaker
11-Aug-10 Windows Phone 7 Wellington .NET, Xero Kevin Daly
25-Aug-10 Advanced Azure Techniques Wellington .NET, Xero Dave Fellows
29-Aug-10 Code Camp (TBA) SkyCity Convention Centre, Auckland Lots
30-Aug-10 to 01-Sep-10 Microsoft TechEd 2010 SkyCity Convention Centre, Auckland Lots
8-11 Nov 2010 PASS Summit 2010 Seattle, Washington, USA Lots
April 2011 ALM Conference Wellington Various



Put about 100 bricks in some particular order in a closed room with an open window. Then send 2-3 candidates into the room and close it from outside.

Leave them alone and come back after 6 hours, and then analyze the situation:

  1. If they are counting and recounting the number of bricks - PUT THEM IN ACCOUNTS.

  2. If they have messed up the whole place with the bricks - PUT THEM IN ENGINEERING.

  3. If they are arranging the bricks in some other order - PUT THEM IN PLANNING.

  4. If they are throwing the bricks at each other - PUT THEM IN OPERATIONS.

  5. If they are sleeping - PUT THEM IN SECURITY.

  6. If they have broken the bricks into pieces - PUT THEM IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY.

  7. If they are sitting idle - PUT THEM IN THE HUMAN RESOURCE DEPARTMENT.

  8. If they have thrown the bricks out of the window - PUT THEM IN THE MATERIALS DEPARTMENT.

  9. If they have already left for the day - PUT THEM IN MARKETING.

  10. If they are talking to each other and not a single brick has moved - PUT THEM IN TOP MANAGEMENT !!!!