Women in IT Community Contributor of the Year


Last year over 80 attendees rolled up their sleeves at Tech Ed and got hard to work playing with Lego at the Lego Serious Play Women Build Event. We challenged each attendee to suggest ideas on ways to contribute to their local community to help encourage and support women working in IT.

Catherine has been hard at work organising this year’s event and since then has heard many a great story of the contributions both male and female attendees have made back in their local communities as a result of last year’s event. Microsoft want to recognise the people who have achieved great things in their local community in the last year and thank each of them for their efforts!

So, how did you do?

Tell us your story or the story of someone you know. Share the challenges and successes experienced. Go in the running to receive recognition from peers, win some cool prizes from our sponsors and possibly be awarded the inaugural 2010 Women in IT Community Contributor of the Year Award!

Nominate yourself or someone you know here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WIT2010

Tech Ed Australia 2010 WIT event

mary At this year’s event, similarly to last year, you will once again have the opportunity get to meet and greet other people who believe in growing and supporting diversity in the ICT field as well as discussing new ways that you could help foster your local communities in the year ahead.

Where: Tech Ed Australia on the Gold Coast, Foyer E

When: 12:45pm – 1:45pm in Foyer E on Wednesday the 25th of August 2010

What:  The event is will give you the chance to hear from our keynote speaker Mary Henderson, CEO & Founder of Geek IT Group, Victorian President of AMIA (Australian Multimedia Industry Association) and Victorian AIIA (Australian Information Industry Association) board member. Mary is renowned for her communication skills, infectious energy and vast knowledge of global online trends and will be sure to provide entertaining insight on the changes we need to be aware of…

How: Register by adding this session in your schedule builder.

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Free: MSDN Ultimate – Who is worthy?


As part of the launch of Visual Studio 2010, Microsoft has provided a number of seeding cards to selected MVPs around the world to drive the adoption of the tools and platform. We were lucky enough to receive 3 Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN subscription cards to distribute to the community.

For his effort on the Deep Earth open source community project, we have given David Theissen (aka DotNetNoobie) one of the subscriptions.

So we’re on the lookout for any Aussie developers out there who you think deserve the other two.  Leave your comments or email us your suggestions for someone you think is worthy and why.


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We’re presenting at Tech Ed Australia 2010


This year we’re back presenting at Tech Ed Australia on the Gold Coast. It should be massive this year as the event is already sold out!

If you want to see our session our abstract is below. If you want to catch up and say hi drop us a line or find us on your favourite social media platform.

WEB303 – Showcase your ideas on Bing Maps

Wednesday 25 August 15:30 – 16:45

The exciting addition to Bing.com is the new Bing Map Apps. Showcase your ideas and reach even more people by developing a dynamic solution to be featured on the Bing Maps site. Come join John and Bronwen to learn how to develop your application for this new SDK and start building yours today.

Laptop feels like new with a Crucial Force SSD

Today my Solid State Drive arrived so I rebuilt my main development laptop, the difference is amazing.


The drive I’ve chosen after some research was Crucial’s newest 240GB SandForce drive, rated at 285MB/s read and 275MB/s write. My real world results were significantly less but a serious improvement over my previous 500GB 7200rpm drive.


So on the flat out sequential reads and writes it is well over twice as fast, while on the hard crunching 4K random blocks the conventional drive looked like taking 30min to complete the test (so I cancelled) while the new SSD did it in 30 seconds. I didn’t have the patience to run all the tests on the old drive.

On the Windows Experience Index side of things my DELL XPS 16 got a good boost with the new drive getting a 7.6 rating, as it was the thing holding my system back before I now get an overall score of 6.3, not too bad for a 1 year old laptop prior to mobile i7 cpus (I’m running a Core2 9550 with 4GB DDR2 RAM).



Installation of Windows7 Ultimate x64 was a breeze, I spent most of the day installing the core software I use:

  • Windows 7 Ultimate x64
  • Windows Live Essentials Beta
    • Messenger
    • Photo Gallery
    • Writer
    • Movie Maker
  • Microsoft Security Essentials
  • SQL 2008 R2
  • Visual Studio 2010
  • Office 2010 Ultimate
    • Word
    • Powerpoint
    • Excel
    • Outlook
    • OneNote
  • Resharper 5
  • Photoshop CS5
  • Expression Studio 4 Ultimate
    • Blend with Sketchflow
    • Design
    • Encoder with Screen Capture
  • Microsoft Image Composite Editor
  • Photosynth
  • Fiddler
  • Firefox 3.6
  • Outlook Hotmail Connector 14
  • Tortoise HG
  • Silverlight 4 tools
  • MapCruncher
  • DeepZoom Composer

The drive formatted as 223GB, with all of this installed I still have a healthy 176GB. Strangely Windows7 hadn’t disabled scheduled defragmentation, a must for SSDs, and I also took the advice on the net to disable superfetch and not use readyboost.

The computer hums along, startup and shutdown is blistering quick. Photoshop take 2s to fully open, Visual Studio is 3.5s. I look forward to putting the machine through its paces this week with a mixture of tasks including the usual coding, building solutions through to Bing Maps tile production.

If you’re looking at giving your development machine a boost do consider a SSD upgrade, I doubt I’ll ever look back from here.

*update* I also found the command to double check that Trim is enabled (default), run this command from an Admin command prompt, should get 0:

fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify

*update 2* Although the real world performance was great I was a little concerned the drive wasn’t setup properly since the benchmark wasn’t hitting the spec of the drive. However I found that benchmark scores low, compared to other drives in the same test these are awesome results. ATTO provide a benchmark that can really push the drive to the limit, here we hit a max of 281/268 Smile


New Symbology for Bing Maps Road Style

Today Bing Maps updated their base Road style tiles, the results are amazing.





The new map symbology is significantly cleaner, easier to read and more appropriate for us to rendering data over the top.

We often ran into issues where the vibrate orange roads were to dominant and if, for example, we wanted to draw the user’s attention to the route of a vehicle we had to make they visualisation louder. With the new style we can be more subtle, we can use colours that compliment the users site.

Overall Bing has made a significant investment in adding some high quality to design to all of its assets. I’m very proud that the Bing Maps team have been able to take on a significant challenge like this and deliver.

View the new style yourself and see if your location is easier to find, clearer and works better for your application:


What do you think of the new style? You can reach me on http://twitter.com/soulsolutions

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