What’s In My Bag
Laptop Battery

Image by Qbic

MS PDC 2005, day 2
Laptop Battery

Image by gadgetdude
I am writing this post offline through out the day as thoughts come to me and will post it at the end of the day.

-

I fell asleep during the morning keynote speech as I wasn’t interested in the graphics-design applications and the Sharepoint server. I took off early.

-

I am still vexed when I see guys playing with their deeply discounted iMate JASJARs. And they are everywhere!

-

One word to describe Microsoft’s LINQ project: dang!!

I would say that so far it’s the single most impressive piece of technology I have seen at PDC. Imagine using the same query language to manipulate objects, databases, and XML documents, all with C#/VB language benefits like strong type checking.

Dang!

-

I passed by a guy that looked like one of the regular badminton players at the gym. He didn’t recognize me, probably because as I was wearing a cap.

I was wearing a cap becomes I wanted to win a free iMate JASJAR. "They" are giving away 5 units per day to random people wearing those Windows Mobile caps. I don’t think I have a chance as I see a lot of people with these caps. I am lucky, but I am not THAT lucky.

-

I didn’t mention this yesterday, but the HTC Wizard and Universal (under the iMate JASJAR name) were on display at the Microsoft Windows Mobile booth. I got to play with the JASJAR and its Windows Mobile 5 OS. The Wizard was not functional, but I got to see its size in person.

-

I also saw IBM’s (or Levono?) new X41 tablet PC. Looks solid, befitting of IBM’s reputation.

-

Attended a session on WinFS. The concept of having a DB as natives file system is great for both users and developers, especially with the upcoming LINQ in C# 3.0.

There will also be native support for 2-way data synchronization. It looks much better than the current RDA (can’t remembered what it stands for), which lacks proper conflict resolution.

And we wouldn’t need a local store such as SQL Server Express 2005 and SQL Server Mobile 2005.

-

GUI layout is separated from logic in Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). I say it’s about time. No more changing code to alter the layout. Now all that’s required is to edit the XAML file. XAML is just a XML file that describes the UI.

I want to find out more about WPF later.

-

Where have I been for the last 4 years? Oh, I remember, I was in legacy C++ land! All these new technology is making me drool. They are like gadgets to me.

-

Everyone (well, almost everyone) has a laptop except me – WiFi is free at PDC. I did bring my laptop for this trip, but I left it at the hotel room since its battered battery would only sustain the notebook for a few minutes before grinding to a abrupt halt.

Maybe that’s how the otherwise guys managed to buy the JASJAR before the keynote speech was over yesterday.

My PDA will have to suffice for now. GPRS is great! And T-Mobile reception is excellent, surprise surprise, in this downtown area.

-

Frankly I wasn’t very enthusiastic about Microsoft’s Atlas technology before attending the overvíew session. I was definitely intrigued afterwards.

Atlas is a set of APIs to let web developers easily add rich content to their web apps. Think AJAX.

Atla is similar to Microsoft’s thick client technology in that they both have data binding and UI controls on the client. This allows web client to do data caching and minimize server requests.

The wiring between browser and server uses Microsoft’s new JSON (?) format, which MS claims that is more efficient.

All the above means that Atlas is reliant on ASP.Net and IIS. Sure, this is the Microsoft way, but I do see the benefits.

Atlas client code is cross-browser compatible, at least on IE, FireFox, and Safari. It better be. I am curious to know how it falls back on earlier browsers.

Atlas also has a set of Behavior classes that provide fancy web client UI features such as drag-and-drop. User state can even be remembered at server through the profile manager. The demo showed how 3 panels’ locations, changed earlier by user through drag-and-drop, were restored after a browser refresh.

Atlas will be available as public-beta next year. As a demo Microsoft will have a wiki site coded using Atlas. Take it from me, the AJAXed wiki site is pretty impressive.

Kate’s Cottage (1/2)
Laptop Battery

Image by the Magnificent Octopus
Our digs for the most of the time we spent on Canna. A traditional Scottish 2-room "but ‘n’ ben" with an outhouse toilet. The solar panels charged a car battery that allowed for electric light and an electric shower. There was a socket in the outhouse that we ran an extension cable into the house from so we could watch DVD movies on the laptop when we were trapped inside by the inevitable storms and gales. Notice how the tree outside points in the direction of the prevailing wind. Common in these parts.


120%+ SUPER BATTERY LIFE! Learn about Laptop Battery Life at LaptopBatteryLife.com