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Kevin Hoffman

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So after the long and torturous wait, you're now in the SQL Azure CTP and you are ready to get the ball rolling with your fabulous, shiny new cloud-based SQL database server. Now what? Well, the first thing you're going to need to do is create a database. To do that, you'll go to sql.azure.com and follow the directions to sign in - if you haven't already supplied the invite key you'll need to supply it after you sign in the first time. Select your project and click on it. At this point you'll see a pretty sparse management screen with two tabs: databases and firewall settings. On the database tab, create a new database (its up to you whether you create a 1GB or a 10GB max database). After you've created it, you'll be able to click the Connection Strings button to get an ADO.NET connection string for the database as well as an ODBC connection string. That's great, bu... (more)

Can You Afford the iPhone Bill for International Data Roaming?

Kevin Hoffman's Blog I was reading this article this morning, and it states that a family received a bill for nearly $4800 for their 3 iPhones. While it's certainly a tragedy that this family got billed for $4800 worth of charges, the fact that the article makes completely false claims about the operation of the iPhone takes away some of the sting of the bill and the credibility of the article writer. Firstly, the person who got the bill says: "They have periodic updates on their data files, and they translate into megabucks," Levy said. "This is akin to your bank having automatic ... (more)

Why Build Applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch?

So Steve Jobs has finally announced the availability of the iPhone SDK. It will be available sometime in February of 2008. First, before I go on, I want to counter a lot of the press and blog comments stating that the release of the SDK is a reversal or some kind of about face. If anybody had done their homework, they would know that Steve Jobs himself stated that he wanted to create an environment that supported native 3rd party app development, but that they didn't have it "right" just yet, and that he wanted people to be patient. Obviously, he didn't remember that patience is ... (more)

Volta is to AJAX What Tums is to My Stomach

Kevin Hoffman's Blog This is a deliberately oversimplified example. I typically hate oversimplified examples, but I think most people reading this blog will be able to extrapolate the useful bits from this sample out into practical uses. Also, Volta is still a CTP and subject to radical change in the future, so I'm not so worried about conforming to best practices yet, since there are none :) In a typical AJAX application, your goal is often to have the user click something. In response, JavaScript goes out and (through the magic of XML HTTP Requests) obtains data and potentiall... (more)

DreamSpark Is Very, Very, Very Un-Microsoft-Like!

The DreamSpark program is one of the newest initiatives to come out of Redmond that are very, very un-Microsoft-like. I'll talk about another later in this post. It appears as though University and high school students will, at some point (I don't know the hardcore details) be able to receive free copies of Visual Studio, SQL server, and other development servers and enterprise servers. They can use these for non-commercial uses free of charge. What will the impact be of things like this? I think the first impact we will see is that a lot of post-graduates are going to be able t... (more)