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14 March 2007 in Events & Microsoft & Mindscape | Comments (0)

Today we knocked out the Microsoft 2007 Technical Briefing in Wellington. I had a great time, was good to see some familiar faces in my home city. For those reading who attended, just a reminder that code samples and BackgroundMotion will be made available shortly after the Christchurch event. We’ll also be making some further content available as well.

I really appreciated getting feedback from people at the event, it’s great to see people having the courage to approach and just unload what they thought about what I spoke about or to share a story. The visibility isn’t very good from the stage so I don’t often know who actually attended afterwards.

So next week is Christchurch, it’s going to be a blast. It will be the third time we’ve delivered the content so hopefully we’ll have ironed out all the kinks based on earlier feedback. I’m looking forward to it :) See you there!

- JD

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 266 user reviews.

14 March 2007 in Microsoft & Windows | Comments (1)

Just a heads up to anyone who’s loving Windows Dreamscene (like, err, me) you’ll be excited to know that Microsoft has released some updated content. Some very cool videos:

  • Waterfall (my favourite)
  • Rainfall
  • Wildflowers
  • Flames (fake)

Just do a windows update and you’ll see the additional content pack. Great :)

- JD

Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 232 user reviews.

8 March 2007 in .Net & Code & Events & Microsoft & Mindscape | Comments (0)

BackgroundMotion Logo

BackgroundMotion is the website that Mindscape has developed and been showing off in the recent (and future) Microsoft 2007 Technical Briefings. Some people have been asking where they can see this site at the moment so I thought I would clarify that the site is not currently live. It will be available in the near future and I’ll announce that here when it does go live.

Further to this, we are looking to deliver the source code for the website so that everyone can learn about aspects of the system. Following from this there are plans to release video content showing why some design decisions were made and how we implemented them. Should be a great resource for learning from.

It’s been a great opportunity to be creating an awesome system that will be used by real people as well as creating surrounding documentation and content that enables people to learn more about how to do things.

- JD

Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 210 user reviews.

8 March 2007 in Business | Comments (1)

YouTXT - Text information services

I’m pleased to announce that a new service that I’ve been working on has gone live! YouTXT is a business that brings TXT marketing to smaller organisations.

Some of the benefits to businesses:

  • Free to setup, no ongoing costs for the business
  • Easy to use site for managing TXT codes
  • Detailed reports on campagin effectiveness
  • Our success depends on your marketing success, we’re motivated to help you succeed!

If you are offering a service and would find benefit by allowing potential customers to TXT for more information then this would be a fantastic service for you. YouTXT is a small business that’s looking to help small businesses succeed by enabling this type of service to businesses that don’t have multi-national sized budgets for marketing. We really look forward to seeing how you guys use this service and I’m really excited about the prospects for some new features we’ve got planned.

More detail about how the service operates can be found on the site. If you would like to discuss with us about how this service could be adapted to your organisation please feel free to contact me.

Check it out here:

- JD

Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 239 user reviews.

8 March 2007 in Events & Microsoft & Mindscape | Comments (8)

My Auckland presentations for the Microsoft 2007 Technical Briefing are over and I’m back in Wellington. Overall I thought the event was a resounding success, there were heaps of people buzzing about the new technologies and opportunities available. It was great meeting people that I only really see online as well as meeting some new people there as well.

I’ll be posting the slides, links and extra information for people to download shortly. I’ve decided to delay it slightly so I don’t ruin the surprises for Wellington & Christchurch attendees. Several of the topics covered, especially standards related, can be found in prior blog posts so if you’re interested have a search around :)

If you’d like me to notify you when I do post something (and you haven’t subscribed to my RSS feed) then send me an email at jd [at]  Incidentally we got our initial cut of the Mindscape website up while at the event (big ups to Andrew, the third person in our trio).

Thanks to everyone who attended, it was the largest audience I’ve spoken to so I was rather nervous but thankfully nobody threw fruit :)

Good times,

- JD

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 215 user reviews.

5 March 2007 in Events & Microsoft & Mindscape | Comments (2)

Tomorrow I’ll be going to Auckland to deliver a couple of presentations on Wednesday at the Microsoft 2007 Technical Briefing. Next week is Wellington and the week after is Christchurch, it’s going to be good times :)

I’m delivering sessions about developing standards compliant websites as well as a joint session with Jeremy about extending the reach of your applications. Feel free to come and say hi if you see me about, I like meeting folks who read my blog.

I’ll queue up a few more posts while away…

- JD

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 181 user reviews.

2 March 2007 in Business & Mindscape | Comments (5)

One of the things that we’ve been thinking about a lot with the creation of Mindscape is how we can create an environment that is condusive to great software development.


One of the cool things in my opinion is our sound system. We have a stereo system that is driven from a server running WinAmp so we always have some quiet tunes playing in the background. Sounds simple enough right? To add our own flavour of geek to this setup, JB has used WCF and hooked into the WinAmp API to allow control of the music from each of the development machines at Mindscape.

What is really cool about this is that it enables everyone to have a say about the music that’s playing – song, volume etc. This works well when somebody gets a phone call, anyone can reduce the volume without leaving their desk.

The source code is of course available in our company repository so anybody can make changes to the functionality if they want. JB delivered a command line version of the system, Andrew is developing a WinForms version and I’m creating an ASP.NET(with AJAX Extensions) version for fun.

That’s just one of many things we’ve done, there is plenty more to do though. In terms of creating a fantastic working environment, what would you have?

- JD

Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 based on 180 user reviews.