North East Bytes - Microsoft Technology Usergroup in the North East of England

ByteCast 1: Lets start something

So a little while back (towards the end of May) we (Andy, Jon & Ben) recorded about an hours worth of audio on varying topics. Topics covered include:

  • Google I/O conference
  • Dell Streak
  • New Hotmail
  • Office Live preview
  • Silverlight 4 tools
  • J Allard & R Bach moving on from Microsoft
  • new Spotify accounts

Also after last NEBytes event myself (Ben) and Jon went and recorded an “E3 special” that goes through some of the hardware and game announcements from this years E3 gaming conference. This one is only about 30 minutes long!

The idea is to record and release an episode on a fortnightly basis where possible. Currently the format is still not finalised but have a listen & tell us what you do and don’t like so we can make changes! At the moment there isn’t a dedicated RSS feed or iTunes link etc.. but this is something we hope to get out there soon, just let us know you like it first :)

So where can you download these wonderful examples of audio perfection(?) right here(!):

ByteCast 1: Lets start something

53 minutes, 18.9 mb

ByteCast 2: E3 special

31 minutes, 23.7 mb


Again, if you've listened then please, please leave us a comment underneath :)

May Event: A Developer’s Guide to Velocity aka AppFabric and Making Powerful Use of PowerShell 2.0

On Wednesday 19th May we have another two great speakers lined up for our May event.  We have Phil Pursglove visiting to give us A Developer’s Guide to Velocity aka AppFabric and we have our very own Jonathan Noble showing us how to make Powerful Use of PowerShell 2.0

For full details check out the Events Page or go straight to Eventbrite and register now!

Register for NEBytes May 2010 - The Need for Speed: A Developer's Guide to Velocity aka AppFabric And Making Powerful Use of PowerShell 2.0 Easily in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom  on Eventbrite

Three Great Events in The North East in April!!


As part of the Microsoft Tech Days UK 2010, a week of free events for Developers and IT Professionals, there are three great events of note running in the North East.  The Sharepoint User Group are hosting a great night at the Cinema in Stockton, and then NEBytes are pleased to welcome Jesse Liberty for a special evening of Silverlight in addition to the Monthly meeting covering Office 2010 and Preventing SQL Injection Attacks.  Best of all- all three events are FREE!!!!

Monday 13th April 2010 – SUGUK – Sharepoint 2010 and Free Screening of Clash Of the Titans at Stockton-on-Tees Showcase Cinema

sugukMicrosoft and Combined Knowledge have funded a great evening to celebrate the launch of Microsoft Office Sharepoint 2010.  Join the Sharepoint User Group at the Showcase Cinema in Stockton-on-Tees to see a short presentation on the new features in Office and Sharepoint 2010, followed by an Open Mic “Ask the Experts” session on general SharePoint topics such as business adoption, Sharepoint designer, VS 2010 and Office focussed development in general, before settling down with Popcorn to watch a free screening of the new blockbuster – Clash Of The Titans!

For more information and to register -

Friday 16th April 2010 – NEBytes – Jesse Liberty – Silverlight Geek – Newcastle-upon-Tyne

nebytes-logo-final On Friday 16th April 2010, We are pleased to welcome Jesse Liberty, the self styled Silverlight Geek and a Senior Program Manager in the Silverlight Development Team at Microsoft, to Newcastle as he makes his way round the UK as part of his UK Tour .  Jesse will be delivering the following session:

Building A Highly Extensible, Decoupled Silverlight Open Source Application with MEF and RIA Services using Lean, Test Driven Development, An International Team of Volunteer Programmers,  and lots of Advil.

This talk will use the Silverlight HyperVideo Platform open-source project on CodePlex as a case study in building highly extensible Silverlight applications. Among the topics we will focus on are:

  • New features in Silverlight 4 and how they made life easier
  • The Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF) added to Silverlight 4
  • WCF RIA Services for connection to a back-end db
  • Handling inter-module communication when the requirements are that modules cannot assume which other modules will be created, there can be no dependencies on order-of creation and unanticipated modules must be able to communicate with existing modules.
  • Using Markers, Injected Markers and polling to trigger events while viewing a video.
  • A Quick introduction to Lean, TDD and Kanban.

NEBytes are also looking at putting on a Geek Dinner afterwards, so if you’d be interested in attending let us know when you register for the NEBytes – Jesse Liberty – Silverlight Geek Event

Wednesday 21st April 2010 – NEBytes -  “Office 2010” and “Preventing SQL Injection Attacks” – Newcastle-upon-Tyne

nebytes-logo-finalOn Wednesday 21st April 2010 NEBytes will be holding their regular monthly event and will be covering the topics of Office 2010 and Preventing SQL Injection Attacks.  We are pleased to welcome Colin Mackay to cover Preventing SQL Injection attacks and we are very pleased to have NEByte’s very own Jonathan Noble and Ben Lee covering Office 2010 at the event:

Office 2010 - Ben Lee and Jonathan Noble

This summer Microsoft will release Office 2010. While this is more of an evolution from Office 2007 rather than the revolutionary jump from Office 2003 into the world of the Ribbon UI, there are still a number of new features in the desktop applications that make this release interesting. In addition, 2010 sees Office head into the cloud with the all-new Office Web Apps. In this session, NEBytes' own Ben Lee (@Bibbleq) and Jonathan Noble (@jonoble) will highlight their favourite new features across the whole suite and also demonstrate how to manage, secure and deploy Office 2010 to the desktop, including delivery using App-V.

SQL Injection Attacks and Tips on How To Prevent Them - Colin Angus Mackay

In light of some recent events, such as the man who was convicted of stealing 130 million credit card details through a SQL Injection attack, it is imperative that developers understand what a SQL Injection Attack is, how they are carried out, and most importantly, how to defend your code against attack.

In this talk Colin Mackay will demonstrate a SQL Injection Attack on an application in a controlled environment*. He’ll show you where the vulnerable code lies and what you can do to harden it.

Although this talk uses C# as the application language and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 as the database engine many of the concepts and prevention mechanisms will apply to any application that accesses a database through SQL.

* Demonstrating an attack on a system without the owner’s consent is a breach of the 1990 Misuse of Computers Act, hence the controlled environment.

Colin Angus Mackay is a Software Developer living in Glasgow. He has been programming since the age of 9 starting with a Sinclair ZX Spectrum. He became a professional software developer in 1994, using a Smalltalk based language called Magik. In 1996 he started using C++ commercially and in 2002 migrated to the emerging language of C#.

Colin has received a number of awards including Code Project MVP (for 5 years) and Microsoft MVP (for 3 years). He is a member of the British Computer Society and a Member of the Institution of Analysts and Programmers. He is currently the chairman of Scottish Developers and has organised the last two Developer Day Scotland conferences (with a third in the works).

You can find out more on his blog at:

Go to the NEBytes April Event Registration Page and sign up now!

An April Special Event

We were going to formally announce this at the event tonight (spaces are still available so if you want to attend head to the registration form) but as Jesse blogged about it on Monday he’s beat us to it.

We have the pleasure of welcoming Jesse Liberty for a special event in April (in addition to the normal event on the 21st).  Jesse is the self styled Silverlight Geek and a Senior Program Manager in the Silverlight Development Team at Microsoft.  It promises to be an interesting and rewarding session.

As part of a UK tour Jesse will be with us on Friday 16th April.  With it being a Friday we’ll be starting the session a little earlier than normal to allow us to have a Geek Dinner afterwards.

Full session details can be found on Jesse’s site and there are three that we can pick from.  Rather than us picking one we’re going to leave the choice of session up to you.

Full details of the event and the registration page will be posted early next week.  To get a taste for what Jesse is about there’s an online event this evening from LIDNUG and it should be available for download after the event.

February Event: Dynamic Consumption in C# and Direct Access

Following our successful launch event, we’re hoping to keep up the momentum by diving a bit deeper into a couple of subjects on Wednesday 17th February. Oliver Sturm and Dr Dan Oliver have both been here before to speak at VBUG Newcastle and we’re glad to have them back to present at the 2nd NEBytes meeting. We’re also glad to welcome Conrad Sidey who is teaming up with Dan to cover Direct Access after Oliver has shared some new dynamic features of C# 4.0.

See all the details on the Events page or just head over to Eventbrite and register now.

Incidentally, if you were at the launch with your camera, or feel like bringing one along to future events, you can add your photos to the NEBytes Flickr Group.

Thoughts from the Launch

With the February 2010 event announced last week it’s about time that I write up the review of the Launch event.  At the moment the details for the February event are only on the events page as until we have the review of the last event we can’t advertise the next event on the home page.

Having over 80 attendees at the first event was fantastic and not something that I think any of us at NEBytes expected.  Speaking to some of the DDD organisers last week they were very impressed with the attendance.  The more people who attend the better, as we can start to think about bigger events – which can only be good for the North East Dev and ITPro communities.

One of the complaints we had for the event was that it was a little long.  Three speakers is not the usual format that we’re aiming for (two speakers is the plan) so this won’t be a problem going forward.  Except for next month – three speakers but two sessions!

Steve Smith had the honour of being the first speaker at a NEBytes event (well second if   Jon counts with the introduction).  He did get a “I’ve spoken at NEBytes” sticker but it wasn’t a gold one highlighting that he was the first speaker.  An enlightening talk covering “Highlights and Features of SharePoint 2010” launched the NEBytes era quite nicely.

Certainly the highlight of the evening for me, as a developer, was the “Silverlight – 2 Years, 4 Versions, Where Are We?” by Mike Taulty from Microsoft UK.  A brief run through the history of Silverlight was followed by a run through of the features added in Silverlight 4.  I’ve seen Mike speak a few times and it’s good to see – he’s very passionate about what he does and his talks are something that I always look forward to.  Due to only having an hour to cover an awful lot of material it did in a few places feel a little rushed.  Whilst there isn’t a specific slide deck for Mike’s talk if you look at the Silverlight in 77 Slides post on his site you’ll get the full 77 set of slides that were cut down for the session up here.

A late arrival changed the running order at the last minute (I think he just wanted to be last!) and the final speaker of the evening was James O’Neill talking about Hyper-V.    It was probably the four laptops that he was carrying about weighing him down.  An entertaining talk – even for the non-ITPro crowd – was only hampered by some of the laptops he was using not working as they should (the presenters curse strikes again!).  Some of the things that you can now do with virtualisation on Windows Server is really cool  and it certainly got me thinking a how all of what is being done in that space is leading the way with Windows Azure.  Just don’t ask James about VMware.  Just don’t!

I thought it was a good event and it was great to see you all.  With the, mostly positive, feedback we’ve received (don’t worry it will be an online form shortly) we’re got a great feeling on where NEBytes can go.

We (well not Andy and Jon as they’re at the MVP Summit in Seattle) hope to see as many of you as possible at the event in February.  A different building, a bigger room (it was a little cramped last time) and two excellent talks should make for a good time.

Waitlist in place for Launch Event!

We are extremely pleased with the numbers signing up to our Launch Event on Wednesday 20th January.  We have been overwhelmed with the numbers registering.  We have filled the venue – 98 seats! and have had to implement a Waitlist.

If you are interested in attending the session please sign up to the waitlist, we are looking to see if we can fit a few more people into the session. 

If you are registered and have a ticket for the launch event but know you can’t make it, please let us know as soon as possible so we can release your ticket for someone on the waitlist.

We’re really looking forward to the event on Wednesday and look forward to seeing you all there.