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Looking Forward to 2008

Pete Brown - 24 December 2007

I hope you all have (or had) a Merry Christmas!

I just finished up helping Santa put some presents under the tree for our boy (he'll be two in February). Now I'm down here removing all the old alphas and betas and installing the latest VS and Expression tools, as well as the latest Silverlight bits. A full uninstall of VS2008 Beta 2 followed by a full install of VS2008 can keep you busy for a while :)

I have some great Silverlight stuff coming up for you in 2008. Besides the 2.0 tutorials and applications you can expect to see from me after Beta 1, I'll also have a Silverlight For Business Applications webcast through Microsoft on February 20th at 2:00pm eastern time, and a couple DC-area events in January. I'll post links to everything once I get them. We'll also have a Silverlight partner landing page at www.appliedis.com which I'll announce once it is up. I'm really excited about Silverlight as a business application platform, and I hope you are too.

I'm really looking forward to MIX08 this year. It looks like a couple of us from AIS will be attending. If you're going to be there, drop me a note.

In the mean time, I'm on vacation through the 7th, and I'm looking forward to getting some more woodworking done. I finished building a bunch of boxes for my wife, parents, and sisters earlier this week - using maple, birch, walnut, lyptus, and even a little bloodwood - so now I can get back to working on the kitchen cabinets while I'm off. Below are a few photos of the boxes I gave my family as gifts (the black felt strips in the photos are to keep the boxes from sticking shut until the shellac has cured for a few days). The sides took five separate machining operations not including jointing, planing, sanding or routing for the domino loose tenons. I cut the curve on the lids free-hand on my bandsaw (the lids are 10" wide, so it helps to have a bandsaw with 13" resaw capacity like my MM16) , then routed the front lip, the inside back and front coves and then used a wide router bit to hog out the rest of the wood in between. Each box is held together with four 5x30mm dominos and a 1/4" baltic birch plywood bottom glued into grooves on all four sides.

After putting those together, I can say that boxes are more difficult and more exacting than any of the cabinets I built for our kitchen. Being off by 1/32" on a kitchen cabinet is hardly noticeable. On a box, it's a whole 'nother story :) Those boxes too me much longer to finish up. I did final assembly and finishing on them the night before we drove up to Connecticut to see my family.

[ As an aside, driving from Maryland to northeast Connecticut with a child approaching 2, who never ever naps/sleeps in the car, is quite an event. I recommend everyone try it at least once :P ]

Thanks to Dani Diaz, I got an 8gb Zune 2 which I absolutely love (and the WPF client applications is cool too), but I'll need to get some mp3 hearing protectors for my shop work. It'll be nice to finally be able to listen to music even when the machines are running. Thanks again to Dani for hooking me up with an early Christmas present! 

Enjoy your holidays and I'll see you back in January. Here's to a fun and RIA-filled 2008!

posted by Pete Brown on Monday, December 24, 2007
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