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Microsoft MVP: How to become?

27. May 2008 22:13 by scott in   //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

During work the other day, I was talking to my boss about the MSDN license in our little corner of the building and we discussed the prices, rankings and costs. I then remembered that all MVP's get a free full license of MSDN.  Its not that bad, actually its kind of nice.  For helping the community, you get helped out with important software that you can test and play on which hopefully allows you to become MVP again by staying up on the technology. I though am not an MVP and I would like to know how to achieve one.  I imagine if I do a great job at my ASP.NET experience, the MVP will just come to me one day, but it still doesn't hurt to know how to achieve one.

What is an MVP - "Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) are exceptional technical community leaders from around the world who are awarded for voluntarily sharing their high quality, real world expertise in offline and online technical communities. Microsoft MVPs are a highly select group of experts that represents the technical community's best and brightest, and they share a deep commitment to community and a willingness to help others."

How to Become an MVP - There are plenty of posts out there that discuss the ways of becoming an MVP. I though know the secret formula. Just kidding. I will try to compile all the thoughts of MVP's out there on how to become one.

  1. You must be nominated by your peer or by Microsoft. This is the foot in the door approach and it can only start here.
  2. Become an active member in user groups. You can't just contribute here, you actually have to become an active leader in the group it self.
  3. Blogging is close enough to a requirement as ever. It shows that you are interested in Microsoft and want to help others with problems they have.
  4. Writing and publishing books. Its a bit harder than it sounds, because where are you going to get a publishing company to sign you up when you not very well known?
  5. Speaking Events - Code camps and conferences.  I can imagine you can sign up to your local .NET User group and start making events for them.
  6. Recognition as a known expert in your field of study.  This is a must because MVP classifications are split up by field of study.
  7. Have a great attitude in general. Don't be rude, vulgar or disrespectful.
  8. Have Genuine desire for the betterment of society.  I know plenty of programmers that actually complain too much and don't decide to fix something they keep complaining about it. If you find your self complaining, go ahead and try to fix it instead of complaining about it.
  9. In the end, it was said best here or below.

"It stated clearly that I'd been nominated for a Microsoft MVP position - and that I should submit examples of my work, communities I frequent, speaking engagements I would be involved in, and any publications I'd contributed to and I could possibly be a Microsoft MVP for the asp.net / visual discipline."

In the end, I suggest you just help others and if you keep helping and make a difference in the communities you frequent, you will be nominated and then become an MVP.

I wish everyone good luck on this endeavor, for I wish to become an MVP someday, but can wait to be nominated for this prestigious award.

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Who am I?

21. May 2008 22:12 by Scott in   //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

Redlion

My Profile and Accomplishments

By now you might be asking who I am.  You keep reading my posts, but have no idea what I look like or what I do.  I am Scott Pio, I graduated from College at Florida Institute of Technology and currently live with my girlfriend Sara in Palm Bay, FL.  I work for a Government Company that has been in the news a lot as of lately.  I grew up as a kid who took things apart to see how they worked inside.  I just had one small problem, I wasn't able to put them back together and of course disgruntled my parents.

I am an Eagle Scout with the Boyscouts of America where I spent all my free time, along with being Tomoka Chapter Chief for two consecutive years in the Order of the Arrow.

I was expelled out of High school for hacking as a freshman and was forced to stay in High school because of a little A.D.D. I supposedly had.  I was no longer allowed to touch a computer at my High School for the remainder of my high school career. I guess I have turned that all around since I work for the Government.

I joined a Fraternity called Lambda Chi Alpha which I think has shaped a lot of my life up to today and It was one of the best experiences I could have had.  I still participate in it today and love to keep working at it. It has shown me a lot about morals and character.

I work on my own projects and ideas on the side and am always looking for another ASP.NET programmer who is willing to have late nights for no pay in the beginning, but I am willing share with you the profits once the programs are actually up and running.

Why Blog?
I blog because of the ideas I want to keep in my head.  I research something or learn something new and want to document it so I keep it in my memory. If people can learn from something I said, hey why not help them out too.

What is that Red Lion holding a White Rose for?
That picture illustrates "Strength protecting innocence." It is one of those things that has always been close to my heart and I use it on every Blog I post to and all around the Internet. If you see that symbol, it is probably me.

I am pictured below wearing the green shirt sitting with Richard Campbell, Paul Litwin and Carl Franklin.

How can you contact me?
Contact me here or spoiledtechie @ gmail . com

Why SpoiledTechie?
I just think name clicks well for me.  I am also known as CheetahTech for another alias, but it doesn't describe a person very well.  It describes a company more and I wanted more personalization with the name.

P.S. I hand out my resume upon request. 



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Impressive Site for free software

20. May 2008 22:32 by scott in   //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (38)

Today I found a site called www.Filehippo.com.  This site has all freeware on it or at least it seams.  I was impressed when I first found it because it has the top picks/downloads in related fields.  I know it has helped me because I use a lot of these files day in and day out and I now found a place to get all the cool applications.

You can actually see the files that are downloaded the most which means they are highly liked.

Thanks Filehippo

Files I currently use on the top ten list of FileHippo include:

Hamachi - Network admin assistant allows you to set up your own VPN between computers accross the world.

SpyBot Search and Detroy - Spam ware cleaner for your computer.

Songbird - A new music player, but doesn't have the features like winamp does.  Hopefully it catches up soon because I am tired of using the bloated Winamp media player.

Nero - Used for burning all my CD's and DVD's.

Digsby - The underground TOP Secret Messaging client.  It kicks all ass in windows messaging, but is barely known to the outside world.

CuteFTP - My FTP File agent.

WinRAR - My file zipper, I wouldn't leave home without it on my thumb drive because everything now is compressed in some format or another.

.NET Framework 3.5 -  This one is a given for any developer out there and is an essential driver for any windows pc.

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A 24 Core and above Machine where Microsoft and Google Collide

18. May 2008 23:01 by scott in   //  Tags: , , ,   //   Comments (10)

microsoft1978ew7

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to attend DevConnections 2008 in Orlando, FL.  I spoke to a Microsoft Pro by the name of Steven Toub.  He works for Microsoft in the parallel computing labs.  He currently is designing PLINQ which is a parallel operations for LINQ.  He said in the next 9 years, he expects 100 Core machines to be out on the market and Microsoft has vowed NOT to make any software for 32 bit machines anymore from today on. 

It is interesting to see Microsoft take this route and not develop for single cores anymore and I am questing what can that do for their market. I only think make it better.  There are rumors out there that Microsoft doesn't innovate anymore.  I think some of the rumors are true to some markets of software, but in other markets Microsoft leads the pack.  Microsoft does have a problem with its Internet technology and they just released Microsoft Mesh which allows for a computer desktop to be visualized on the Internet Browser.  Pretty impressive stuff which shows that they can innovate in some areas, but very little in others.  I think the main reason Microsoft doesn't innovate as much in Americans eyes nor in the Europeans eyes because they are in disgust of the the giant gorilla in the room and there for less and less Americans go to work for them.  Its all about Yahoo and Google and working for those folks.  Americas top innovators have moved from Microsoft to Google in a big jump that took about 5 years.  They saw that Google actually had money to spend and it is also a great place to work.  I don't know about Microsoft's working conditions, but Google is supposedly the cream of the crop for developers.

google big three

The entire discussion is wether Microsoft can still innovate in the next couple of years.  I for one enjoy Microsoft's products and the PLINQ will be a gem for them that Google doesn't currently have yet.

Can Microsoft keep up with the Innovations?

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Meeting Richard Campbell, Carl Franklin and Paul Litwin: .NET Powerhouses

15. May 2008 22:30 by Scott in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (13)

A couple of weeks ago now, I had the chance to attend DevConnections 2008 in Orlando, FL.  On the third night of the conference, I had the chance to sit down with Carl Franklin, Richard Campbell and Paul Litwin. Richard and Carl are hosts to the one and only DotNetRocks which has over a half a million listeners worldwide on a weekly podcast they do. Paul is the Chairman of many conferences including DevConnections and is a lover of running.

I had a chance to spend around four or five hours with them over the course of a few beers.  I must say I truly enjoyed talking with them and learning about their humble beginnings. I must say the end of the night didn't end up like Rory Blyths night with them, but I can't complain. The Humble beginning of Rory is below.

 

My career got kicked off for the most part when I crashed a party on the roof of a hotel in LA. I was looking for Carl Franklin and Mark Dunn. I was a fan of .Net Rocks, and all I wanted was to tell them. It was important to me. They took the normally stuffy community of business and turned it into something fun. By extension, my own life became more fun, and, for that, I was thankful enough that it was necessary that I tell them in person.

Nobody up there knew who I was, but because of that one meeting, I wound up being interviewed by them, and went on to co-host the show not long after. The visibility provided by the show led to being noticed by Microsoft, and that led to some of the most interesting work I'll have ever done, and it began with a risk.

The night started with me talking to my Girlfriend and then letting her know I had Richard in my sights and must have a sit down good night with them. So I asked my Girlfriend if I could let her go and she graciously agreed.

So, I started with getting a beer at the bar and then contemplated how to walk over to them. After about of minute of contemplating, I decided just go for it and with the kind of crazy enthusiastic person I am.  I grabbed a stool and pulled it over and told them hello.  They of course came right back and were extremely polite and outgoing just like me.  I was like this is perfect. We covered many topics including Google, Microsoft, the fact that they do little coding anymore and they have actually turned down sponsorship for their podcast.  Impressive, I thought.  I asked them to do a show on ColdFusion V.S. ASP.NET, told them I want their jobs and if they would ever higher me, I would work like a beast.  To no avail, they didn't need any personal assistants. 

Carl and a old school host of the show named Mark Dunn came in a bit later and had the chance to talk with them too.  Of Carl and Richard, you can definitely tell Richard takes his job a lot more serious and Carl is all about having fun in life.  It makes for a good duo and team. 

I spoke to Richard about my job and how un-innovative it is.  I get bored at it and sometimes can't help my self, but to wish for a better job.  I would imagine other jobs are the same way which is understandable.  I do get great benefits and the ability to have an open schedule which is one of the best perks. A big perk that I am proud of is I get 9/10 requirements on my Bill of Rights all except for the comfortable chair. :(

I have included pictures of them below that we took at the end of the night. The guys were just an over all humble people.  I enjoyed the company and would hope that we get another chance at this.

P.S. I will be speaking about our conversation with Google and Microsoft in the coming posts. so stay tuned.

Thanks Guys for one of those nights.

kick it on DotNetKicks.com
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3 WYSIWYG Editors for Webmasters in ASP.NET and why I chose FreeTextBox

14. May 2008 00:26 by scott in   //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (47)

I have built a few sites that required the user to have control over the dynamic data of the site like Indiatlanticfire.com which the editor is used for every page of their site.  It updates all content of the site that they desire to enter in.  Over my search for the best editor I went through a variety of editors finally coming out with the Editor of FreeTextBox, but I would like to show you all the editors that I went through.  This is for me to, so I can remember where I found the editors and what one I used.  By the way, I wanted editors that were .NET compatible, so that was a big qualifier for which one I chose.

1. FreeTextBox - This was the editor I used for the final site of IndialanticFire.com.  I liked it the best because of the easy install and modification of objects on the editor it self.

Demo Here

ftbfrontpage

2. FCKEditor - Small and light editor, but I needed more functionality.

Demo Here

demo_screenshot

3. Spaw Editor - I didn't get a true chance to check this thing out, but it looked good and was built on .NET! It looked to be the editor of choice, but I had already had experience with FreeTextBox, so that's why I didn't choose this editor.

Demo Here

spaw_big

I hope you enjoyed my pick.

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Google listened to me and put something on their front page!

13. May 2008 20:42 by scott in   //  Tags: , , ,   //   Comments (9)

A few days ago, I saw a blog post from the official Google blog that spoke about donating to victims of Myanmar victims.  They opened up a Google Checkout to take donations from people to help the victims of the Cyclone that hit Myanmar (Over 40,000 missing and 22,000 dead).  I then decided to write them a little love note and tell them that this is awesome to post on their blog.  Except for the fact it only reaches 499k Readers (current subscription) who RSS it.  I wrote them a little note that said good job, but how about taking one step further?  I asked them to post a link on their front page to actually get the mass amount of people who actually visit Google on a daily basis.  I was completely surprised and IMPRESSED that when I checked back a few days later, they had the link up on the front page and THEY OFFERED TO MATCH IT up to $1,000,000.00.  Boy was I impressed when I saw that.  I then ask my self sometimes as a self prescribed Fanboy of Microsoft and Google, why doesn't Microsoft do something like this?  Are they just in it to make money?  I do know one thing, I will continue to LOVE Google for their charities they give to. Thank you guys for making me a devoted follower!

 

image 

Respectfully, Scott Pio.

Thanks again Google for making a difference in the world. Now only if you would cycle through those bottom links to include other charities for the good and ALSO started to put it on IGOOGLE for those people that never see it.

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HEY YOU! Got Computers that are ALWAYS ON? And almost never doing anything?

12. May 2008 21:07 by scott in   //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (11)

SetiBoinc2

Hey guys, listen up and let me tell you how your wasted CPU time and the cost of the Internet could help save lives! Drop that task your doing now and listen up.

Today it was announced that the mere average video game player could win the Nobel Peace Prize. Http://fold.it has come out with a video game to have you help fold Protein to save cure/forms of Humans Diseases and stop the spread of Cancer. This means that scientists have actually made it fun to cure diseases and they want your help in this endeavor.  They created a video game that allows the human being to take part in folding protein. What is it you say?

Folding Protein - After clicking the link, you received a lot of scientific talk, but I am here to tell you that folding protein could ultimately help and lead the way to cure major Human Diseases.

I am not lying to you, and you could be a part of this. If you decide to play the game, or even go one step further with handing over your idle time of the CPU.  The project is called @Home.  The Various projects that can be worked on are:

  1. Seti@Home - By Far the second largest project of the @Home Projects and is the search for Extra Terrestrial Life. This project examines radio signals to view planetary systems that need to be reviewed.  It also has a really cool screen saver when it runs.
  2. ClimatePrediction.net - This is the current largest distribution of the worlds computers that are involved in this project, which helps forecast the climate change of the 21st century.
  3. Rosetta@Home - Is a need to help determine three dimensional shapes which start the folding protein process. It takes CPU cycles that would be other wise not used and turns those into something that can cure diseases and help cure cancer.

The above is only a small list of of the things that could be done to help save lives or find alien species.  I am apart of Seti@home and Rosetta@Home, because those are the two projects I can personalize with and the faster we find alien species, the faster we can grasp new technologies! haha. I hope you do truly take the time to look at these because I know I have now devoted three of my PC's cycles to it and will be turning the forth one on very soon!

P.S. If your looking for a group to join when you actually decide to do this project, I can be found on the .NET group of each of these projects.  Join in and help save a life.  It doesn't take much and its very little to ask from a computer that is always on anyway.

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The Actual Cost of Texting, Short Codes and a 7314% Mark-up

7. May 2008 17:25 by Scott in   //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)

Avoid-texting-while-driving

Two weeks ago, I went to Dev Connections in Orlando for Microsoft.  It was a blast and I must say if you ever get a chance to go, then do it!  One of the nights there, AT&T had a Developer party where they wanted developers to start developing on their network, because they can see a lot of income come from it.  I agree now knowing the total cost of Text messaging.

At this party, AT&T gave out free Tilts which is currently the best mobile phone on the market if you ask me owning one my self.  They also gave out free large HD LCD screen monitors for a group of six. Oh and lets not forget about the free food of course.

Sending a text message to another person can only take 160 characters of text. For the phone companies, it is not compressed data. It is 160 characters only.  Why such a weird number you ask? Well let me tell you. When phones are on and waiting for a phone call or any type of data retrieval, they are ALWAYS connected to the cell phone tower.  The phones and cell phone towers exchange little packets worth of information back and forth so when ever a call comes it, they can find you straight away.  Cool huh?  That is the way they designed it when they did.  Can anyone guess how big the packets are that are sent between cell and tower?  If you guess 160 characters, you are right.  So to recap, a task that already needs to be completed by cell phone companies, they make back by charging an astronomical of money to the consumer.

If you look at the per Text message cost, lets take Verizon Wireless which charges 0.15 for every text message that gets sent. The figure is small enough, but when you think of it on a kilobyte level it cost the cell phone companies 0.015 cents and it costs us $1.09 per text message Kilobyte.  The markup for costs is 7314%. If you think of it like this, they markup the cost by 7314% when it reaches you, the consumer.  If it were me, I would think of it as pretty arrogant of them to do this.  I am on a plan and only get charged $5.00 per month for 1000 text messages. If I were to use their rate at which it costs them I should be able to send over 33000 text messages a month!

2nd Part:

Short Codes, you know the ones that when you send a text message to shows like American Idol which can cost the developer anywhere from $15,000-$30,000 a year for their company. That's right, the current costs are estimated at $5,000 a month to hold a dedicated number and a REQUIRED $1,000 a month for a testing number.  So when AT&T threw this developer party, I decided to go up there and ask them.  But sadly to say they were only third party contractors.  So as a Developer you can spend around $20,000.00, and then the cell phone companies charge the consumer another astronomical markup. If your still reading this, can you please leave a comment if you have ever seen a higher markup on a particular item.

These kinds of costs need to be regulated.  The companies are charging an extreme amount of money for very little and we are buying it up.  Someday's, I wish I could just start a company that would be able to compete with companies like these.  I do know that I think I will probably invest some stock into AT&T seeing that they bring a pretty good rate of return.

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