Reinvention v3

My blog has been dormant for a very long time. After leaving my last role a couple of years ago I decided it was time to take some much needed rest, relaxation and re-invigoration time. As I’m getting to the end of this time off and getting re-focused, it seems like a great time to re-invent my online presence for the 4th time. While I’ve been mildly blogging since 2007, I feel like it’s time to start putting pen to paper across a lot of topics. I’ve been gradually writing longer and more thoughtful content but have quickly come to the conclusion that posting to Social Media like Facebook and Twitter, where there are too many people acting a fool, was not going to be the best option for me.

After researching BlogML to WordPress options, I spent the day manually migrating posts and files from my very old site to WordPress and at midnight tonight I’ll point DNS to this new location.

And now, it’s time for me to say what I want to say on my own web-site. If you’re here and reading this, I appreciate you. If you want to discuss anything on here, please do! But remember, I’m about adult interaction and I’m not going to put up with anyone acting a fool on here, except for maybe me.

Cheers to you!

Lab 2 – Introduction to using a breadboard

To start with lab 2 goes through an explanation of the breadboard, resistors and LED’s. We then are asked to go and collect the components we learned about as you can see below. A 1k ohm resistor, an LED and our power supply and breadboard.
Once we have the components it’s time to wire them together. Let’s light up the LED. Or in my case I decided to try a few different LED’s with different resistors to see the brightness difference.
Once I got that different resistors working, I then decided to go through the parts inventory and implement the circuit using a variable resistor or potentiometer.

Here is a video of the potentiometer changing the brightness of the LED.

Finally, here is a picture of both the original wiring of the resistor and the POT wiring running off the same power supply.
Lab 2 complete.

Lab 1 – Intro to Soldering and Building Power Supply

This is the first post for my Mt. Sac class Electronics 10 Mechatronics. In this lab we got to play a bit with some of the basics of electronics.

The lab is divided into two sections, learning how to solder (which I’ve done a lot of in the past, even though you can’t tell from the quality I exhibit below), and then applying that soldering technique to building the power supply I will use for the remainder of the class.

We started with a blank donated circuit board.
The task in this part of the lab was for us to solder on some components being careful to watch our technique around good solder joints and making sure that the components were soldered flush. There wasn’t any flux available for the lab and it really would have helped. I don’t know if it was the solder or the board or the mis-match between the two but many of us struggled a bit with getting the solder and the board up to temperature so that the solder would fill correctly. After a few tries and a lot of extra heat, this is the result.
I don’t know that I’m super proud of my technique on these, but I verified the joints were solid so they would work in the end.

Note: I did clip the end when I was finished, and Joe used my board on the display at the front of the class.

Once I got a little refresher practice soldering, the last part of the lab was for me to cut the wires on a 5v 1amp DC power supply and solder solid core wires to the end for use with a breadboard. I started with one of the class provided power supplies.
I then stripped the ends on the power supply and tested them using the multimeter to ensure I was going to connect the red wire to positive and the black to negative. Once I was sure about the wires, I wrapped the stranded wire around the solid core.
After heating the wires from below I applied solder. Once both wires were soldered I put some heat shrink tubing around the wires and heated them with the heat gun.
This was my end result.
Lab 1 complete!

New Job, A year of hard work, welcome Orange Studios US

I left Microsoft a little over a year ago for an opportunity to lead an awesome consulting company as the COO of Exsilio Solutions.  The last year has been an awesome whirlwind filled with rapid growth and some opportunities to get better. One of the opportunities to get better presented itself very early on in this journey. Since the beginning I’ve been very quiet about the opportunity, now it’s time for the grand opening of our awesome new co-working space, Orange Studios US in Redmond, WA this Friday 1/30/2015 from 4pm to 6pm!

It’s been over a year of incredibly hard work. Started as just an idea and a defunct envelope manufacturing building. We gutted the building down to the support beams and built up from scratch what we passionately believe is one of the most awesome co-working / shared spaces in the Pacific Northwest. This space is purpose built for innovation. Complete with 24/7 card key access, gym, shower, kitchen with soda fountain, event space, pet friendly, free parking, shared printers, community 3d printer, meeting and conference rooms, offices, cubes and hot desks. Starting in February we’ll be running community education events with attorneys, accountants, marketing, creative and technology specialists.

For my colleagues in the Seattle area, please come by anytime to check out the space. I will be in town Wednesday through Saturday this week and will of course be there to give you a tour at the grand opening. If I’m not there, our Space Manager will take good care of you.

You can learn more at:

The web site:





(Originally Posted on blog and manually migrated to WordPress on 10/20/2017 for Historical reasons)

Microsoft is showcasing Windows Store Apps built by the community…

Microsoft has started showcasing applications built by the community on some very influential blogs as well as other Microsoft owned properties.  Take a look at some of the applications that Microsoft is showcasing right now below. If you have built and application please contact your local evangelist about opportunities for showcasing your great work.  If you haven’t built an application yet, now would be a great time to get started.  Click HERE to start building application for FREE right now.


(Originally Posted on blog and manually migrated to WordPress on 10/20/2017 for Historical reasons)

Super Smart Microsoft Technologists in the Western US

While this may not be one of the deepest posts you’ve ever seen, it could be one of the most useful.  My team consists of some of the smartest most Microsoft tech savvy people you could ever meet AND they want to meet with you!  They have blogs, they tweet and they hold office hours that you can schedule with them.  If you’re in the western USA they probably are in an office close to you OR visit your city at least a couple times a year.  If you ever have any questions about the Microsoft platform for developers or infrastructure, reach out to your local evangelist and they will point you in the right direction.

Find them here:


(Originally Posted on blog and manually migrated to WordPress on 10/20/2017 for Historical reasons)

Lots of new technologies, no time to test? Do a virtual lab…

Microsoft Virtual Labs for both Developers and IT Pros have been around for a very long time, they are a hidden gem to ramping up on new technologies.   With Windows 8, Windows Phone, Azure, Windows Server 2012 and all of the other new technologies hitting the market this year, who has the time to setup, configure and test it all.  That’s where virtual labs come in, you log in, follow the instructions and learn the new technology.  No fuss, no muss, just get in there and explore.  To find the virtual labs specifically designed for developers you go here:

We can’t leave the infrastructure behind and the virtual labs team definitely hasn’t.  With labs targeted at Windows Server, System Center, Exchange Server, SQL Server, Forefront Security, Microsoft Lync server and others, there are lots of vlabs available to learn the infrastructure side of the technology.  You can find the IT vlabs here:

In addition to the vlabs, for Windows 8 and Windows Phone specifically we have setup a site that helps you walk through getting up to speed with development that should fit your already busy schedule.  Once you get setup on the Genapps site, you get a roadmap for learning that will get you up to speed in 30 days, access to help and overall some great learning content.

Finally, If you have made the jump to WIndows8 and want to see some sample code, here are some of the samples that have been built for WIndows 8:

If something is missing or you would like to see some additional content (documentation, samples, videos, etc…) please just leave me a comment.


(Originally Posted on blog and manually migrated to WordPress on 10/20/2017 for Historical reasons)

Cool document on porting your web site to Windows8 Metro Style

Take a look at this great little document on migrating your web-site to Windows8 Metro style.  The document shows a cool side by side of a web site and what it should look like and how it would work with Windows Metro Style.

Design case study: Website to Metro style app

Let me know what you think of this document and when you’ll be ready to develop your own Metro Style app.


(Originally Posted on blog and manually migrated to WordPress on 10/20/2017 for Historical reasons)

FREE Windows Server 8 Beta Download and System Center 2012

There is a lot of buzz around the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and the new Metro style application environment.  The other aspect of the next release of Windows is the server component that also has new capabilities.  There are a host of new  IIS enhancements that make it easier to manage your web applications.  Also, Hyper-V now has an extensible switch that is ripe for developers who want to create add-ons.  If you haven’ t had a chance to explore the next release of Windows Server, please take a moment to download and install the FREE Windows Server 2012 Beta now.  If you would prefer to have a preinstalled VHD, you can also download that from the download site.  My team mate, Harold Wong recently wrote a blog post with steps needed to take that VHD and configure your system to boot from it without having to install or repartition your hard drive giving you a no touch way to check it out.

Check out PC Magazines article on 10 Killer new features of Windows Server 8.

Most developers are probably aware of Windows Azure and the benefits offered by a Platform as a Service public cloud offering.  As environments mature, more and more organizations are exploring hybrid cloud solutions.  There are definite benefits that a private cloud offers that may not be available in a public cloud offering.  Would you like to use a self-service portal to request a fully configured development environment that can be deployed quickly without any intervention from you?  Would you like to have insight into how your application is running during QA with direct integration with Visual Studio?  This is absolutely possible with System Center 2012!  I would encourage you to work with your IT folks to explore the Microsoft Private Cloud offering and how it can also be used to seamlessly manage an Azure environment using App Controller in addition to the afore mentioned items.  Download the evaluation bits for System Center 2012 today.


(Originally Posted on blog and manually migrated to WordPress on 10/20/2017 for Historical reasons)

Great resources for getting started with Windows 8 Application Development

One of my colleagues Jeremy Foster created a blog post with some GREAT resources like Metro Tiles, Visual Studio Add-In, and Art Tools.  Check it out if you are trying to ramp up on Windows 8 Development.


(Originally Posted on blog and manually migrated to WordPress on 10/20/2017 for Historical reasons)