Wednesday, November 26, 2008

CSS Color Scheme generator for the color-blind

Recently while building a sample site with Windows Azure, I found myself trying to determine the color scheme for my site. I determined that my lack of color coordination was stopping any real progress, so I went to Color Hunter to develop a color scheme for use on my site.

There are two key features that I found helpful

  1. You can choose from other popular color schemes
  2. You can upload your own picture and Color Hunter will extract the colors from the image and give you the matching colors.

If you have a minute, check it out. It is really cool and helped me sail through my CSS design phase.

Link to Color Hunter

Monday, November 24, 2008

Windows Azure PDC developer videos

I have watched a few of the PDC sessions that were really helpful for me to get started with development of Azure SDK. Here is a quick listing of some of them:

  • Watch Steve Marx write a simple app with Azure.
  • Brad Calder goes a little bit more in-depth with Azure storage.
  • See how NSoftware and FullArmor have utilized the Azure cloud services

Windows Azure Developer Starter Guide

Recently, I started to look into development on the Windows Azure CTP platform with the release of the SDK.  I am going to write a developers guide to getting started with Azure CTP.  Let’s get started!

  • Software Requirements:
  • Once you have all the required software on your machine, you need to install the SDK and the VS plug-in. The plug-in adds a project template to VS so that you can create a project with the appropriate web and worker roles.
  • The SDK installs two main working components: The development storage service and the Azure fabric.  These two components have UI monitoring tools that allow you to view process/tracing information and service statuses.  You can manually start these services by going to your Start menu > Programs > Windows Azure SDK (but for the sake of this tutorial, wait until the next step to start the services).
  • To start up your local Azure fabric and development storage, navigate to and execute the batch file ~/Program Files/Windows Azure SDK/Samples/RunDevStore.cmd . This will build your sample projects, start the Azure fabric and dev storage and create the appropriate storage structure.  You can start one of the apps from the command line by navigating to the root folder of an app (ex. HelloWorld) and executing the runme.cmd file.
  • Lets code (dave code)!  Open Visual Studio (as Administrator) and create a new project:
    • select Cloud Services from the Visual C# project type
    • In the Templates list, select Web Cloud Service. This creates a web role.  This web role handles http requests and serves up ASP. NET pages. If you choose the template that has both web and worker role, you will see the worker role is added.  This worker role acts as a service running locally that can interact with the development storage, role manager, etc.
    • In your project, open up Default.aspx and change some text.  Hit F5 and you will see your changes in the browser.
    • Storage Client Library:  Open up the sample project title Storage Client Library, you will notice that there is a whole library of classes and methods for interacting with the development storage.  If you add this project to your solution you can debug through and see how it works.  You can utilized the exposed classes to write your own Azure apps.  See the SDK sample apps for examples on how to use the Storage Client Library. (This library is based on the ADO.NET data services.  If you have had experience with ADO.NET, you may have dealt with DataServiceContext class.  If you are interested in looking at the plumbing of the Storage Client Library, you will see plenty of ADO.NET classes leveraged.)

I hope this tutorial has been helpful for you.  Please drop me a line if you have any questions about getting started.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ninja Cats

I had to share this commercial featuring ninja cat. Enjoy :-)

Ok-I must give in. Initialize(LOL cats);


Monday, November 3, 2008

Microsoft Certified!

I just recently gained my MCTS Web Apps certification. What does this mean? It means I took two exams focused on using the ।NET Framework 2.0 to develop web applications. Here is my cool new logo: