13 Mar

Vista AHOY!!

I was not very enthusiastic about installing or promoting Vista as such. Probably because I was extremely comfortable with XP and that I also didn’t have a legal copy of Vista to install. Now that I got this big parcel from Microsoft and opening it was a big ceremony at home. It was the Community Launch Kit which I had registered for some time ago. It had tons of stuff – 10*Dual Layer DVDs with Developer /IT Pro Session contents, on Launch DVD, 5 Copies of Vista Business(Full Version) and Office 2007 (Trial) plus posters, key chains, magnet stickers, Office 2007 pens, communicator status cube, Microsoft certifications vouchers etc. But of course, the most important thing among all these was V***a!!
And I sat down. I had a whole weekend to waste on this!! Upgrade to Vista! But on the safer side, decided to do a dual boot and slowly phase out XP if everything goes well.
And it was seamless. Well, almost. The network card didn’t get detected. Also had problems with AVG Free version, my TV Tuner card but these sorted out with some tweaking. But my scanner is still dead on Vista. But what really made me jump with joy was that every feature that Vista Business had to offer was enabled on my system without any qualms of hardware limitations. Of course, what good is 1.25GB RAM if not for Vista?
So I began installing stuff, found some incompatibility issues, explored some great features etc. Office 2007 also is real cool but I was using it on XP, so I will not describe its greatness here. I suppose enough has been said about both pieces of code!! 

04 Mar


Ajay doing his magic

I have already passed out from RNSIT and am no longer a manager of my college .NET Club. So why do I have to involve myself into these things anymore? I may not have a simple answer to it, but I had to drive this event anyhow through the present manager of RNSITDOTNET Sattvik.Planning started almost 2 months prior and ground work was established 2 weeks prior to the event scheduled on Saturday, 3rd March, 2007. The downside for the event was that the college management did not agree under any cost to have the event during college hours because “precious” class hours would be missed. So we had no option but to request for college busses to stay back and that interested students attend. This the college agreed and also sent out notifications to each class about the event. Both Sattvik and me were skeptical about the number of people who would turn up. We were so desperate that we counted the volunteers and it totaled 16 people. So we thought having an audience of 15-20 is pretty OK.But rather to our amusement, 15 minutes before the event start time, there were 60-70 people sitting in the hall!! I quickly jumped in and started playing a few Vista and Imagine Cup videos that I downloaded from the Internet while the chief guests arrived. Soon enough the guests came in and the audience too had grown to be over 100 heads.The guests were:

Ajay Thomas Abraham, ADE, Microsoft
Prof. M R Holla, Director, RNSIT
Dr. H N Shiv Shankar, Principal, RNSIT
Pooran Praasad, Microsoft MVP, CEO, Zealous Solutions

Chief Guests at the launch

Chief Guests at the launch


Then we suddenly realised that the lady compere had disappeared. So I stepped in to introduce the guests, explain the agenda and engage in some TWT. Then things went on smoothly and my Principal and the Director gave a pep talk and shared their amazement at the number of people that have come in.

Ajay took the stage and delivered his session on Development Opportunities on Vista while explaining in detail the various new features in the greatest ever OS by Microsoft. (Isn’t that quite obvious???) There were some interesting snaps taken during the session and the best one has to be this, with Ajay brewing his magic on innocent minds. Ajay got some debatable questions shot at him as well as questions regarding community concerns. But being an ADE, I am sure he is well versed on how to defend such queries more than Dravid’s capability to defend bouncers. In fact, he got so interactive with the crowd that his session slated for 45 mins extended to 1hour 30 minutes. Pooran’s session should also have been over by then. But this is natural in any event.

Then Pooran took the stage and he had downsized his PPT since the majority of the audience was new to .NET. He was speaking on Office and Vista Better together. Pooran is a master of his topic. If one wakes him up during his sleep and asks to explain the topic, he would be able to take a 3 hour session without a break. The major takeaways from his session were the screen shots of the cool UI of some of the apps built on WPF and Office 2007. But he also made some valuable points at the end of the session regarding community resources and his eagerness on sharing information in such sessions in the future as well. He also gave pointers to MSDN AA and MVP resources.

Then it was time for the quiz. RNSIT boasts of lots of things – its management, its principal/director, faculty, the basketball team and many more. The quiz club of RNSIT, titled Trivial Pursuit is one that cannot be missed on the same list. They were the ones conducting this quiz and did a very commendable job. A copy of Vista RC1 was up for grabs. So were copies of Visual Studio 2005, Express CDS, Imagine Cup 2007 T-shirts, key chains, caps etc, all thanks to Ajay. The first round was a set of 13 questions which all could answer in a sheet and submit. Then the valuation proceeded and a set of 5 final teams were selected. Then it was 15 questions and it was one helluva round. The teams spit fire and clashed horns against each other. Ultimately it was over and the finish was a close one. The honours were done by Ajay. A quick round of thanks and it was over. A great day and a great event.

Looking forward to more such events. I just cant stop being part of them.