MMS 2009: Round Two.

April 28th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

I had the great opportunity to attend the Microsoft Management Summit this year. Unlike last year, this year I’m staying at the Venetian, rather than the MGM.

My experience with this kind of event comes with much hesitance for me. I’m uncomfortable in an environment with a throng of people. Here’s a crazy fact about me: I learned the word “throng” from when I read Scarlet Letter. Many people in this case is about 2,500 people at booths and wandering around trying to sell stuff and ask for advice. It’s a sales thing, but the reason I’m going is for the sessions and to challenge my fears. I’m here to soak in all the information about new features as well as upcoming features for System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) and put myself in front of potential clients or just casual inquirers about our product line.

[Saturday]
I woke up in a mad dash to finish up washing clothes and packing. My flight was at 2:35 PM and I’m running around like crazy to get my things ready. After my last round of dried clothes are laid out on my bed, I make sure I have everything again and just in time to leave the house to head to the airport. I hate being a procrastinator.

Any way, I land, grab a little snack and met up with Kevin to wander around the strip. We picked up some drinks and checked out the Mirage’s new Volcano show. It’s freaking awesome. After little debating, we went to Wolfgang Puck. Everything was just freaking awesome.

Wolfgang Puck. Crab Cakes. Popcorn Shrimp.

[Sunday]

Work day. Enough said. The server room was in the bowels of the Venetian. After finding the command center, we went through a backdoor, downstairs to an elevator. After hopping off, we walked down through what looked like a service hallway. There was a door that required a key and that’s where we were, Floor .5. The Server room. Well after setting up our products to monitor the show’s network, I was eager to find a television to watch the Rockets play. We went to the AquaKnox and I sat myself directly in view of the game, awesome. it was the 4th quarter and all of the sudden everyone is standing up…NO!!! Well, good thing we just walked next door to some restaurant. We made a pitstop at the circle bar which is our typical meeting spot. Lavo was our last it stop for the night and for good reason. Waking up at 8:30 AM was not exciting. Thanks Coffee and Advil. Thanks a million. Yes, we were at half a floor.

[Monday]

I felt really queasy all day, but manageable. Before the Expo opened, we went to Grand Lux Cafe for small bite to eat. I had a small salad and maybe three spoonfuls of soup. Food wasn’t making me happy. The Expo was great, but like I said before this was something completely out of my comfort zone. Talking to wanderers who wanted to know general knowledge was nice, but the most fun was talking to the guys who wanted to know more about the product I actually develop. After the Expo closed, we went off to grab dinner at Pinot Brasserie. I was ready to pass out from hunger. By all means, I took care of the hunger. Surf n Turf!

[Tuesday]
The best session today was “Common Mistakes When Using Operations Manager and How To Avoid Them.” The speaker, Cameron Fuller from Catapult Systems, was very engaging: kudos to him. Tonight was a chill night with the Rockets. Too bad we lost, but its a home game coming up Thursday!

[Wednesday]
Sessions were good, but it seems like some speakers shouldn’t be speakers. I know I’d be horrible at it, so I know I’d never do it. Speakers need to learn to vocalize, hell it’s the most important thing to keep your audience awake. Good material can be presented in a monotone voice and makes it completely a bore. I also found it a little interesting that the speakers who loved to take in questions mid-sentence and interact with the audience to be the most effective. Other speakers who wanted to keep Q&A at the end seemed to be really focused, maybe a little too focused about what they were presenting rather than how the audience was taking it in. Any way, dinner with the company at David Burke was awesome. Thanks, Secure Vantage for taking care of us!

I finally hit the slots, up $30. Thanks to Wheel of Fortune and some random penny slots game I found interesting.

[Thursday]
NEVER have a cappuccino after dinner, EVER. I barely slept and was up at 4:00 AM for no reason. I tried going back to bed, but no success until around 6:00 AM. Today’s session was “Lousy Network Performance: Top 10 reasons the Network is Slow” by Laura Chappell. I’m definitely going to check out the tool she showed off, Wireshark. I’m also going to try it out on our network to see how we perform.

GO ROCKETS! Man, 12 years is a long time…

[Friday]

Last day and flight is at 6:25 PM. There are no shows during the day, so all we did was gamble and watch some sports. I was really glad to finally get out of there before I lost any more money. Bye Vegas.

Automating x86 and x64 Builds.

April 6th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Before attending the ALT.NET Houston Open Spaces Conference, I really didn’t know what to expect besides learning something. What did I want to learn? I had absolutely no idea. I just heard read good things about this event from many others at the Austin and Seattle ones. The sessions I went to were totally great and best of all, I bumped into a few familiar faces I totally didn’t expect to ever see again, hehe.

Now that I have been refreshed with a completely new eagerness to get caught up with the latest and greatest, I’m hoping to be able to contribute at the next ALT.NET conference. Ben, chop-chop, get on it! =)

Here is my main take away from the conference that I just finished.

Starting Point (x86 only): NAnt that kicks off MSBuild, runs tests, and copies to a package folder.

The problem I was running into is that I didn’t fully understand Visual Studio 2008’s Configuration Manager and how to integrate/mimic it with NAnt. I had to set the target platforms x86/x64 and it automatically configured the output paths:

[folder] – [configuration]|[platform]

  • bin/Debug – Debug|Any CPU
  • bin/Release – Release|Any CPU
  • bin/x86/Debug – Debug|x86
  • bin/x86/Release – Release|x86
  • bin/x64/Debug – Debug|x64
  • bin/x64/Release – Release|x64

Remember, these are defaults after you add solution configurations and solution platform. When you build, set the proper targets, F5 and you’re done. As for NAnt, I also had to target the proper configuration/platform:

/p:Configuration=${project.config} /p:Platform=${project.platform}

The tricky part here for me was to get NAnt to find the x64 Framework by parsing out the x86 path and do a string replace. Unfortunately, I’m using 0.85 and it seems to have a bug when trying to pass in a variable as the input string. Currently, I have to specify the directory, UGLY.

<property name=”msbuild-x86″ value=”${framework::get-framework-directory(framework::get-target-framework())}\msbuild.exe” />

<property name=”msbuild-x64″ value=”C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v3.5\msbuild.exe” />

After reorganizing a few targets and adding more to specify x86 and x64 builds, it worked perfectly. The last step I did was to ensure the builds were targeting separate platform output folders.

Now, my next step is to automate the WiX build…

Where am I?

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