Madiba Day Clean Up

On Sunday a bunch of us got together to celebrate Madiba Day at Zoo Lake as part of the 67 Minutes for Mandela campaign:

Mr Mandela has spent 67 years making the world a better place. We’re asking you for 67 minutes." Nelson Mandela turns 91 on 18 July, and the call has gone out for people everywhere to celebrate his birthday – and the global launch of Mandela Day – by acting on the idea that each person has the power to change the world.

The plan, inspired by David Alves, was to spend 67 minutes cleaning up around the lake and giving back. This isn’t the first time Dave has arranged such a venture and I seriously doubt it will be the last either. Next time I’m going to surely rope in a whole bunch of my friends as I’m sure a lot of them will want to give back.


Photo of Zoo LakeFor me this was actually the first time I’ve actually walked around Zoo Lake – yes yes shocking I know! It truly is a beautiful open space even during the middle of winter. There is an abundance of life ranging from duck through to lots of bird life. I was quite surprised to see so many families out spending the day in the sun and I’m definitely sure I’ll be returning for a picnic and to walk around.


IMG_3865Thanks to the Megan and the dancers from The Duncan Studio of Celtic Dancing who wore the Guerrillas Gone Green jumpsuits proudly and collected oodles of trash. They were literally diving into the bushes to find and remove the trash.

Later we were joined by a family that expressed interest in what we were doing and even brought a refuse trailer along to assist with the refuse removal. Great one guys!

Here are a few photos from the day. Be sure to check out the complete album of photos over here.

IMG_3815IMG_3885

Photos from the Johannesburg 27dinner

On Wednesday night a bunch of geeks, nerds and wannabe geeks packed into the upstairs section of Primi Piatti in The Design Quarter Fourways for the final 27dinner of 2009. This time there were no formal talks just lots of socialising and some really awesome grub.

It also proved an excellent opportunity for me to test out my new 50mm f/1.4 prime lens without blinding people with a flash. Unfortunately though I didn’t check my auto-focus setting and as a result quite a few of my shots are a tad blurry. But that’s what being an hobbyist photographer is all about, learning.

@mikestopforth Mike can haz pizza

@SnowgooseSAHeidi is huge on Twitter…

@vincenthofmannVincent is the the man

@donpackett & @CraigrodneyNormally there is only on person, but Don and Craig both have cheesy grins

 

You can find the rest of the photo album over here. I welcome your comments.

Scott Hanselman to visit South Africa

Scott Hanselman Scott Hanselman is a well known blogger and owns the podcast Hanselminutes. He works for Microsoft as a DevDiv Community Liaison and he has offered to spend some of his vacation time with the SA Developer .NET community.

He will be in Johannesburg on the evening of Monday the 8th of December at the Microsoft offices and in Cape Town midday on the 17th of December. The topic of the events was open to community vote and ASP.NET MVC was the winner, although Silverlight managed to sneak in during the final few hours of the poll.

 

Add the Johannesburg talk to your calendar   8th December 2008 @ 18h30 – Johannesburg – Please RSVP online over here.

 

Add the Cape Town talk to your calendar   17th December 2008 @ 13h00 – Cape Town

 

See you there!

Silverlight 2 with Brad Abrams

Brad Abrams Yes you heard it here first! Brad Abrams, the man, the legend, is coming to South Africa and is taking time out of his busy schedule for SA Developer .NET events in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Before you ask how I can speak so highly of the man, take a look at his bio and you’ll realise that he isn’t some newbie developer at Microsoft Corp, he is one of the geeks that make us geeks happy with new technology:

Brad Abrams was a founding member of both the Common Language Runtime, and .NET Framework teams at Microsoft Corporation where he is currently the Group Program Manager for the UI Framework and Services team which is responsible for delivering the developer platform that spans both clients and web based applications as well as the common services that are available to all applications. Specific technologies owned by this team include ASP.NET, parts of Silverlight, and Windows Forms.

Brad has been designing parts of the .NET Framework since 1998 when he started his framework design career building the BCL (Base Class Library). Brad was also the lead editor on the Common Language Specification (CLS), the .NET Framework Design Guidelines and the libraries in the ECMA\ISO CLI Standard.

Brad co-authored Programming in the .NET Environment, and was editor on .NET Framework Standard Library Annotated Reference Vol1 and Vol2 and the Framework Design Guidelines.

Brad graduated from North Carolina State University in 1997 with a BS in Computer Science. Find recent musings from Brad on his blog at: http://blogs.msdn.com/BradA/

So take a moment and register for an event:

So what are you waiting for? Remember, the events are FREE to attend so tell your friends about it, register and we’ll see you there.

[tags]SA Developer .NET,Brad Abrams,event,Silverlight,Silverlight 2[/tags]

Devs4Devs

Microsoft is hosting a Saturday morning event for speakers in the Gauteng region to come and show what they are passionate about. Currently there are 5 out of 10 speaker slots filled, so why not put your name down and present something you’re passionate about for a mere 20 minute slot.

Join us for a jam-packed morning of developer technical sessions.  We’ve invited community developer presenters to come present on their favourite topics.  It’s going to be to the point, concise, each presentation limited to 20 minutes.  It will be a great learning experience for all of us!

Some of the topics we’ll have presentations on, include “Introduction to Microsoft Sync Framework”, “Liberating Synchronous Processes from the Tyranny of Timeouts”, “WPF Data Binding Explained!” and more.  View an updated list of presenters and topics – http://dotnet.org.za/eben/archive/2008/05/19/devs4devs-saturday-7-june-2008.aspx.

Space is going to be limited so make sure you book your seat early to avoid disappointment.

[tags]Microsoft,event,community[/tags]

Grand Theft Auto launch follow-up

I know, its been over a week now and I still haven’t posted the pictures on the web from the launch event. My bad!

The event was very well attended, unlike some previous attempts. MooDy and the team at ZAPS with the help I believe from Megarom had done an awesome job in setting up some consoles outside the store for people to play GTA IV. I heard something about some guys having played almost the whole day – talk about liking the game. I don’t think I could play for a full day standing in front of one of the kiosks machines, its just too uncomfortable.

Just after midnight the queue was out the door and around the corner already. People really seemed to want to get hold of their copies of GTA IV.

Well here are a few choice picks:

 The AnimeWorX guys getting into the swing. Proud new GTA IV owner. He hobbled in for a copy.

You can find the rest of them over here.

Grand Theft Auto IV launch events

Grand Theft Auto IV For those in and around Johannesburg there are going to be some launch parties happening for one of the most anticipated sequels in the gaming industry. Yes I can only be talking about Grand Theft Auto IV. According to my sources the local distributor, Megarom, will be teaming up with local game store ZAPS at The Brightwater Commons. All are welcome to attend the launch event and I understand that Xbox 360 owners are invited to bring their consoles for some LAN action hosted by The Xbox Lounge.

From what I’ve read the event will be running from 18h00 until just after midnight when the game officially launches to the public. So don’t miss out, get your butt down to ZAPS and pick up your copy while you are at it for just R640 (Xbox 360) or R677 (PS3).

I first tried out Grand Theft Auto on the original Xbox console and I must say I wasn’t too excited about the genre in general. But I believe GTA IV is a break from the old formula with online multiplayer and some cool new concepts.

Grand Theft Auto fans can now get another glimpse of “Grand Theft Auto IV” before it hits shelves on April 29. The fourth official trailer, titled “Good Lord, What are You Doing?” AKA “Everyone’s a Rat,” is now available on Xbox.com.

Developed by Rockstar Games, “Grand Theft Auto IV” is a powerful crime epic set in modern-day Liberty City, a world with an unparalleled combination of scale, depth and detail.

For the first time ever, “Grand Theft Auto IV” will also include online multiplayer, enabling gamers to play with their friends.  Plus, only Xbox 360 players will have access to exclusive “Grand Theft Auto IV” content coming this fall.

I believe both AnimeWorX and  BT Games will also be hosting a midnight launch for gamers to be able to fetch their pre-orders at midnight.

[tags]GTA IV,Xbox 360,PS3,launch,South Africa,game[/tags]

Event – Building Custom LINQ Operators

There is nothing like starting the SA Developer new year off with a bang, this time its a talk on building custom LINQ operators using C# 3.0.

The LINQ features of C# 3.0 allow specialized constructs to be integrated into the structure of the language, such as the ability to run complex SQL queries against the database without “leaving” the C#. This ability is implemented using custom query operators that effectively alter the language to better suit a specific domain. This talk will investigate how the mechanism works, and how it can be leveraged to set up other domain specific language constructs within the C# language.

Make sure you pencil the 9th of January 2008 at 18h30 into your calendar and RSVP online here. There is no excuse not to attend, its a free event sponsored by LGIT Smart Solutions.

LGIT is also running a paid for 3 day workshop covering the Development Enhancements in Visual Studio 2008  (outline) on both the 14th of January and the 11th of February 2008. Contact LGIT Smart Solutions by e-mail (bookings@lgit.co.za) for more information.

[tags]SA Developer .NET,event,LINQ[/tags]

I’m here, really I am

Sad face smiley Its been a while since I made a post here and its all a result of not having an ADSL line at home. Why? Well I moved house at the beginning of December and got the phone line installed as soon as possible. Unfortunately our dear incumbent operator Telkom has decided that ADSL will not be possible on my new line even although the exchange is ADSL enabled and I live less than 500m from the DSLAM. Apparently there is some infrastructure issue which prevents them enabling the ADSL service.

What saddens me even more is that I’ve been on the Neotel consumer test trial waiting list since April this year. I’ve followed up with them but it appears they just don’t want my constructive feedback.

[tags]ADSL,Telkom,Neotel[/tags]