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Any opinions expressed here are my own and not necessarily those of my employer (I'm self-employed).

Dec 31, 2010

Free Azure for MSDN subscribers

Well, som terms apply:

Windows Azure Platform Benefits for MSDN Subscribers

And also a notice of warning:

You'll need your credit card to sign up. If you use more than the amount of services included with your MSDN subscription, we'll bill your card for these overages.

I'll probably take my chances on testing the cloud next year, despite the credit card warning...

All Windows Azure offers can be found here.

A month or two ago I investigated the possibilities for testing out Azure, but I somehow managed to not stumble upon the MSDN subscription option. Either this is a new offering, or my Google skillz were seriously off at the time.

A while ago one of my colleagues tried an Azure subscription, but he quickly realized that the prizing followed the idea of a hotel room. He was charged for the room per its availability, not for its actual use. Not very developer friendly.

For Azure to become a smashing success, it's important that developers get a chance to play with the technology — without committing to a significant bill. I really hope that this Azure subscription is a permanent offering, and that there are controls in place to protect developers from getting burnt on their credit card bills.

I'll start tinkering in the cloud next year — pretty soon that is!

Happy new year! :)

Dec 18, 2010

Digging into WIF, or not.

A couple of weeks ago I attended a great talk by Dominick Baier on WIF (Windows Identity Foundation) at an NNUG meeting. I've been contemplating for some time to dig into WIF and learn first hand how just how beneficial the framework is. Mr. Baier's excellent presentation was the final push I needed to start investigating. But behold, WIF is nowhere to be found on my computer (XP, with VS2010). Intense googling revealed that the WIF SDK cannot be installed on Windows XP. From the download page at the Microsoft Download Center:

Supported Operating Systems: Windows 7;Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2;Windows Server 2008 R2;Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2;Windows Vista

Too bad. No WIF for me. Time to upgrade from XP I guess.

Dec 6, 2010

Please replace the floppy disk

I was typing away in a word document opened directly from my home directory over VPN. Then I got an amazingly cool error message! Apparently I was thrown "offline" for a minute:


"Please restore the network connection or replace the floppy disk and retry."

Nuff said.

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