Sunday, April 29, 2007

[WinDays 2007] What's in a conference bag?

I've really seen a quite few conferences so far - from small INETA events at local pubs to large-scale Microsoft conference like the PDC in Los Angeles.

But every year I visit the Microsoft WinDays conference [1] in Croatia I'm really impressed.

Why I am impressed, you ask?


  • ... because of the fact that a country with ~ 4.5 million residents organizes a 5-day Microsoft conference with 8 (and at some points 10 parallel tracks) and attracts more attendees than we usually have here in Germany (and the conference is mostly held in Croatian).

  • ... it's held in Opatija [2] where other people (mostly older people, to be honest) go on vacation. Maybe that's the reason why WinDays attracts many international, well-known and top-ranked speakers like Rafal Lukawiecki [3], Damir Tomicic [4] and my Thinktecture fellow Christian Weyer [5].

  • ... WinDays is probably the only Microsoft conference world wide which offers two warm meals every day to its attendees. First around 1 pm, and later at 7 pm.

  • ... that there is a official Microsoft Party every day, accompanied by one or two sponsor parties (you would have loved the HP girls) and the famous Heming Way [6] pub down in the harbor right next to the see where you could find mostly all technicians and Microsoft officials until late in the night (and greet them at the conference at 8 am next morning).

  • ... or was it "just" the conference bag? Indeed, the topic of conference bags doesn't sound too exciting. It has developed to a common for conferences to hand them out, so today a conference without it is unimaginable, but the contents is mostly very boring. Well, not at WinDays!

The conference bag

Yes, that's not the "usual conference crap", but an original, high-quality Samsonite laptop bag! The past two years I had one (got at WinDays 2005 obviously) and I'm very happy with it since it's very robust.

Contents of this year's conference bag

Some highlights (besides the amount of party invitations) include:

  • Webcam & Headset
  • 4 port USB hub with cup warmer
  • sun cream (very important since the venue, Opatija, is located directly at the Adriatic see and we had sunny 24 °C)
  • Survival Kit (containing coffee and juice)
  • ... and more.

The speaker's gift

And the speakers got a handy USB Powered Vacuum cleaner:

The conference shirt

The shirt showing this year's WinDays motive (it's the 7th WinDays).


Summing it up, WinDays 2007 continues the tradition and will certainly remain exceptional: this conference is really different!

Thanks to Luka Abrus [7] & the rest of the WinDays team for organizing it and making it that different.








Sunday, April 22, 2007

FW: Outlook 2007 Update Available

Forwarded this great news from the Official SBS Blog:

[Today's post comes to us courtesy of Mark Stanfill]

There is a new patch available for Outlook 2007 that fixes performance issues with large PSTs/OSTs.  We highly recommend applying this patch on all systems with Outlook 2007 installed.  If you are preparing a new installation, this patch should be applied in addition to the steps outlined in;EN-US;926505 .

Direct Download:

KB article:

Monday, April 16, 2007

Don't like the vshost.exe? You can turn it off!

Dominick [1] pointed me a great tip today how to turn of the hosting process (vshost.exe) [2]. This might be interesting for those of you who are debugging applications on Windows Vista with UAC manifests, which sometimes has strange side effects.



Wednesday, April 4, 2007

You are looking for a not-too-expensive code-signing certificate?

I was looking for one recently and I found this:

"Comodo ( - a great, cheaper alternative that has its root issuer already installed as a trusted root certification authority)."


Of course, Code Signing certificates are available from several other vendors as well.

Microsoft maintains of trusted third-party commercial certificate authorities at:

Happy signing!


Sunday, February 18, 2007

WPF/XAML in Action: Showcases

The powerful combination of WPF and XAML is finally showing up as real and quite useful applications. See a few examples I've found so far:

Know more impressing real-life-examples of WPF/XAML usage? Drop me a line.

Have fun exploring!