# Monday, August 3, 2015
Monday, August 3, 2015 4:06:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Sunday, August 2, 2015

8/2
Today I am grateful for a party at Velichka​'s last night to celebrate her 15 years in the US.

8/1
Today I am grateful for a sunny day, some shade, and a tall glass of water.

7/31
Today I am grateful that my team is sponsoring more community events than when I first joined.

7/30
Today I am grateful for a chance to work with high school students yesterday in south Chicago.

7/29
Today I am grateful to Layla and Elizabeth, who inspired me to begin each day thinking of what I'm grateful for.

7/28
Today I am grateful for an afternoon with my son yesterday

7/27
Today I am grateful for all the people who came to my garage sale this weekend.

7/26
Today I am grateful for a surprise visit last night from John and Kim.

7/25
Today I am grateful for a late-night swim yesterday.

7/24
Today I am grateful to be back in Michigan for a few days.

7/23
Today I am grateful that I am 40 lbs. lighter than I was at this time last year.

7/22
Today I am grateful for a year in my Old Town apartment - a year that went by much faster than I expected.

7/21
Today I am grateful for member access to 1871;

7/20
Today I am grateful for dinner with Oksana last night to celebrate her new job.

7/19
Today I am grateful for all the videos I produced yesterday.

7/18
Today I am grateful I've been able to schedule my long-neglected medical & dental appointments this month.

7/17
Today I am grateful for:

  1. All those who came to my office hours the past 2 days.
  2. Two user groups back-to-back on the same floor last night.

7/16
Today I am grateful for:

  • An invitation to appear on the Azure Podcast yesterday;
  • An invitation to teach at Xamarin University yesterday.

7/15
Today I am grateful to Tim, who rearranged his schedule to pick me up from the doctor office yesterday.

7/14
Today I am a grateful for a free Matthew Sweet concert in Millennium Park last night.

7/13
Today I am grateful for a few days at home.

7/12
Today I am grateful to the organizers and attendees of #codestock2015 for making this an excellent conference and a great overall experience

7/11
Today I am grateful for dinner last night with Jennifer and Paul.

7/9
Today I am grateful for my second trip ever to Appleton, WI - the hometown of my maternal grandmother.

7/8
Today I am grateful I'm on a team that collaborates so well and so willingly.

7/7
Today I am grateful I finished all my demos yesterday for my new presentation.

7/6
Today I am grateful for a Japanese Hibachi dinner last night - tasty and entertaining.

Sunday, August 2, 2015 1:36:14 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Friday, July 31, 2015

Recently, Brian Lewis and I teamed up to record a session working through a set of labs teaching how to automate Microsoft Azure IAAS with PowerShell.

The first 3 videos covered labs 1 and 2.

We have now released 2 new videos that cover Lab 3. This lab synchronizes an Azure Active Directory with an on-premises Active Directory.

Click the links below to view these videos.

Part 4

Part 5

Friday, July 31, 2015 12:04:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Thursday, July 30, 2015

In this video, you will see how to use the portal to quickly create a table linked to an Azure Mobile Service and a Windows Universal App client that connects to that mobile service.

G-Cast 2

Thursday, July 30, 2015 12:10:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)

A couple weeks ago, I was in Knoxville, TN talking with Microsoft Senior Program Manager Jeff Fritz. He agreed to record an interview with me about the awesome new features of this upcoming framework. My plan was to release it as an episode of Technology and Friends. Unfortunately, technical issues left me with excellent audio but no useable video.

Jeff did a great job and the topic is very interesting. So, given the release of Visual Studio 2015 last week and Windows 10 today, I decided to make the audio interview available here.

Enjoy: Jeff Fritz talks about ASP.NET 5

IMG_2542-X2[1]

Thursday, July 30, 2015 1:39:45 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, July 27, 2015
Monday, July 27, 2015 4:01:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Milky Way galaxy of Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep is divided into 4 major concentric sections, known as "Zones of Thought": 

The Unthinking Depths at the center of the galaxy, in which little or no intelligent life has evolved;

The Slow Zone, where the Earth exists. Intelligent life has evolved here but there is no true artificial intelligence and faster-than-light travel is not possible in this zone;

The Beyond, where intelligent species have mastered faster-than-light travel and and advanced civilizations have arisen;

The Transcend, the home of mysterious races of hyper-intelligent beings.

The intelligence that exists in these zones is not a coincidence - something about the physical properties of the zones prevent species and societies from evolving beyond a given allowable intelligence and technology.

In the novel, a group of humans have migrated from the Slow Zone to the Beyond-Transcend border, where they discover and accidentally awaken a dormant entity in the Beyond. The entity - known as the Blight - travels into the Beyond, destroying entire solar systems and threatens to destroy all life in the galaxy. Most of the story follows various inhabitants of the galaxy as they try to defend themselves and their worlds from the oncoming Blight.

The two factions have each adopted a human child - siblings whose parents were killed when they got in the way of a Tine battle.

I liked the universe that Vinge creates. He never explains why each zone restricts technology, but the fact that it does explains why species and societies evolve as they do within each zone.

I like the creatures with which he populates his universe, especially the Tines - a sentient, but primitive race that resemble long-necked dogs and group together in small packs that share a single consciousness; and the Skroderiders - a plantlike species that are able to travel thanks to a special cart built for them millennia ago by an unknown benefactor.

And I liked the contrast between the civil war waging on the Tines' world to gain mastery over a small bit of land and the oncoming Blight, which destroyed everything in its path and headed toward that same world.

But I found it difficult to sympathize or identify with Vinge's characters or their trials as much as I wanted to.  Reading the story, I learned of death and love and trust and betrayal and they passed over me without moving me.

A Fire Upon the Deep was good for my head but it left my heart wanting more.

Saturday, July 25, 2015 12:16:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Friday, July 24, 2015

This video describes the basics of Azure Mobile Services and walks you through creating a new Mobile Service with a JavaScript backend.

G-Cast 1

Azure Mobile Services, Part 1 – Creating a Mobile Service

Azure | GCast | Mobility | Video
Friday, July 24, 2015 11:37:00 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)

Every once in a while, I record a screencast and I post it on this blog.

You can find links here to a series of screencasts I did on Visual Studio Coded UI Tests.

It has been a long time since I did so because screencasts tend to be a lot of work when done correctly.

But now I’m motivated to start doing these regularly. I plan to keep them short – anywhere from 5-30 minutes and to keep each video focused on a single topic. My goal is to release a new video every Friday – in the same way that I release a new Technology and Friends episode every Monday.

As in the past, I’m branding these as “G-Cast” – an abbreviation of Giard’s Screencasts and I’m rebooting the franchise to start at Episode 1. I even have a fun intro sequence that will appear at the beginning of each video.

The first G-Cast will debut tomorrow and will be part of a series showing how to use Azure Mobile Services.

Stay tuned and let me know what you think of this project.

GCast | Video
Friday, July 24, 2015 2:25:33 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Tuesday, July 21, 2015

TechnologyAndFriends[1] 

Channel9Logo

Technology and Friends began in Sandusky, OH in January 2009. I brought my video camera to Codemash and walked into the speaker room asking people if they wanted to talk on-camera about their favourite technology.

I had an idea that I wanted to publish these interviews on-line but I did not know what form that would take. Eventually, this idea evolved into Technology and Friends and I've been regularly publishing this show for over 6 and a half years. It's rare that a Monday passes without the release of a new episode.

375 episodes later, we are moving. From technologyandfriends.com to Channel 9

This change offers several advantages:

Users can now subscribe to the show

This has been the single biggest request I've received. And it’s built into Channel 9.

Users can download each episode in the resolution of their choosing.

Channel 9 encodes all videos in High, Medium, and Low Quality.  If bandwidth or disc space is tight, you can choose the lower quality. For better viewing, choose the high quality. For lower bandwidth or limited disc space, choose the smaller files.

Users can download the audio

This was another common request from fans of the show. It's now possible to grab just the audio to listen while you're driving, exercising or working around the house.

Reduced cost

I've been paying for this show out of my own pocket and the online fees alone come to almost a thousand dollars a year.

Wider exposure

Channel 9 reaches a very broad audience and this show will be indexed along with their other content, making it easier to find for a number of people.

So far, I have migrated the last 6 months of shows. In the coming weeks, I plan to move more of the older shows to the new site. I hope you enjoy the experience. Let me know your thoughts.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 3:58:14 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)