Scott Hanselman

Zen and the Art of Presenting in Malaysia

August 29, '03 Comments [1] Posted in ASP.NET | TechEd | Speaking | Tools
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It's almost over.  We're having a great time at TechEd Malaysia.  

We've spend a great deal of time with a great many friends, some new, and some old.  I've put up a small photo montage of Malaysian Faces.

The Zen of .NET presentation went fabulously.  I started out on stage in the Lotus Position and everyone seemed to find it quite funny. As promised, here's a list of the tools I used and some of the code zipped up.  Haven't seen the scores yet, but I think the general feeling is one of positivity.

I hope that more people start using tips like "devenv /fs 14" (devenv /fs 8 to revert) and the Zoomin magnifier.  I have also decided I'm going to write a new presentation Magnifier Tool in .NET that includes some features I'd like, like auto-positioning.  More on this later.

Zen of .NET Tools

When we get back to the states I'll write up some thoughts on culture and doing business "elsewhere."

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Malaysia - Days 2 and 3 and 4 wrapping up

August 28, '03 Comments [1] Posted in ASP.NET | Speaking | Web Services
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Yesterday was an exhausting day.  I had back-to-back-to-back sessions.  Tim Huckaby and I did a Web Services Chalk Talk and had a blast.  Tim and I have very different philosophies but when we work together we compliment each other very well.  We had to do a little (a lot) of "teeth-pulling" to get folks to open up, but humor always works - and you know Tim is funny.  Then I presented Internationalizing ASP.NET for the first time to a non-native-English speaking crowd. ;)  I showed an ASP.NET eBanking site that (along with the help of many friends) I localized to English, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and Bahasa Malaysia.  After this session I directed a Hands on Lab (HOL) on Internationalizing ASP.NET.  It was my first experience with Microsoft (Connectix) Virtual Server (Virtual PC).  (Seems like a pale VMWare-lite to me.  As a VMWare user for the last several years [since Version 1] I don't see why people are making such a big deal about Microsoft's acquisition of VirtualPC; It's hardly as cool as VMWare 4.0.)

Mo visited the Batu Caves with Kevita.  They walked up 272 steps to the Temple Cave, a Hindu religious site. 

"The best known of these caves is the Temple Cave, a large cavern with a vaulted ceiling about 100 metres above the floor. To reach it one has to climb 272 steps, a feat performed by many Hindus on the way to the caves to offer prayers to their revered deities. Every year, on Thaipusam, as many as 800,000 devotees and other visitors may throng the caves. As a form of penance or sacrifice, many of them carry kavadis. These are large, brightly decorated frameworks, usually combined with various metal hooks and skewers which are used to pierce the skin, cheeks and tongue."

We're doing lots of shopping, but not lots of buying.  Some kinds of electronics are cheaper here - you can buy an optical mouse for about $2 to $5 US Dollars.  But if you want a deal on a digital camera you'll actually pay slightly more here.  I paid $400 US for my Casio but here the best deal I could find was RM1688 (US$444).  I did get a fantastic idea on a local phone (handphone).  I paid RM200 (~US$50) for a new Siemens phone, a local number and enough minutes and SMS credit to last the week.  Plus, I'll sell the phone back to the guy for RM100 before we leave. 

This evening we were given a tour of the Microsoft Malaysia office on the 29th and 30th floor of the Petronas Towers.  They have a FANTASTIC office.  My ears popped on the way up. 

Tommorow I'll give kind of an experimental session on "The Zen of .NET" for the first time.  I'm still formulating my thoughts about what I want to say.   A lot of people don't quite understand where .NET fits into the world.  They try to fit it into little catch phrases like "It's Microsoft's Java" or "It's just another VM" or "It's the new Platform."  I want to explain a lot of the concepts I talk about in The Myth of .NET Purity. People forget that Windows is the platform (today) and that the .NET Framework levels the playing field.  I think I'll spend a lot of time at the command-line and in ILDasm and Reflector.  We'll see how it goes!

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Mayasia - Day #1 wrapping up.

August 25, '03 Comments [0] Posted in ASP.NET | Internationalization | TechEd | Speaking | Web Services
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Finished my Web Services Enhancements talk today, and I think it went OK.  We'll see tommorow when the speaker scores are announced. 

Tomorrow is a big day with a Web Services Chalk Talk, a session on Internationalization (I18n) and ASP.NET, then a Tutorial/Lab on I18n and ASP.NET.   

They've really done an amazing job here.  Last year there were 1080 attendees, this year over 1500.  Last year there were ~40 speakers, this year over 60.  The organizers are to be commended for putting TechEd Malaysia on the map.  Everything here is first class.  The whole region is here - I've talked to attendees from Thailand, Australia, Indonesia, etc.  It's great to see the excitement around .NET and Web Services.  I hope I'm adding a little to the pool of knowledge here.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Malaysia - Day -1 wrapping up

August 24, '03 Comments [1] Posted in ASP.NET | TechEd | Speaking | Web Services
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Mo's asleep and Day (-1) is ending.  TechEd Malaysia starts tommorow, and I've got a talk on WSE - Web Services Enhancements at 4:30pm and God willing it won't suck. 

Speaking to a non-U.S. crowd is an art, and it's not easy.  If you present to a crowd that is part Muslim, part Hindu, part Christian, part Buddist, part Chinese, part Indian, part Bumiputra, part Tamil-speaking, part Bahasa Malaysia-speaking, and part Mandarian-speaking (not to mention other languages) like they are all from Ohio, you are bound to miss the mark.  I want to present a face of respect to everyone in this very diverse country and it takes research to understand where folks are coming from.  Mo and I have been spending the last few days totally with local friends, exploring the non-tourist places, eating at street vendors and learning as much Mandarin and Bahasa Malaysia as possible.  It might sound silly to do this in order to better present sessions on ASP.NET and Web Services, but I believe it's the right thing to do and I can't imagine not putting this kind of effort into it.  Maybe I'm naive, perhaps ignorant, or just an idealist.  Diversity is glorious and to be respected, but I must aim to understand (truly grok) first.  I believe to successfully teach someone of a specific culture (be that culture of Malaysia or of Brooklyn) one must be a student of that culture.

There are some 'ugly Americans' in KL (you can hear them in the cafes, they're hard to miss) and I've wished I had this T-shirt a few times. 

Lots of interesting stuff today.  We ate breakfast overlooking the tallest buildings in the world, the Petronas Towers.  Went out to the rural areas and visited a Chinese village, went to a Taoist Temple, and Mo ate Durian (the King of Fruits).  We also went up to the "First World Hotel" at the top of the world in the Genting Highlands. 

I added a new photo slide show at http://www.hanselman.com/MalaysiaDay3.  I tell ya, the Casio Exilim EX-Z3 is schweet.

Tommorow I'll blog about more details of the conference and the technical things and cultural snafus that arise.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Malaysia - Day -2 wrapping up

August 23, '03 Comments [2] Posted in DasBlog | TechEd | Speaking
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TechEd Malaysia...T minus 2 days.  Had a lovely day today.  Saw my buddy, the Aussie, Adam Cogan.  Chatted with Stephen Forte on MSN, but haven't seen him yet.  Can't get my IPsec VPN to work behind whatever firewall they are running here, but not to worry, I'll figure something out. ;) 

Spent the day with a local friend seeing all the things you wouldn't normally see as Joe Tourist, which was very cool.  I'm posting pictures up at http://www.hanselman.com/malaysia as they come.

Please, do note the copy of Windows 2005-ish, aka Longhorn that was on the shelfs for 15RM which is like US$3.90, and the Windows 2003 Enterprise Edition heavily discounted from it's US price of $4000 to only 5RM or $1.31.  I saw this kind of piracy last year, and even though it's been clamped down on in the last few months, it's still ridiculously blatent.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.