Imagine Cup Finals – Today!

The day is finally here, five teams were chosen from over forty-five entries from almost all the universities in Sri Lanka. Today evening at the Taj, each team will present their Imagine Cup entry to a panel of judges as well as an audience that includes their colleagues, lecturers, industry as well as the media.

One team is going to emerge victorious and will be makings its way to the global finals in India where they will compete with the other national winners.

AirNow, the team that I mentored, spent quite a lot of time over the past weekend as well as the last two days, polishing up on the presentation and demos. I got them to do something cheeky by including a quote by Steve Jobs on connecting the dots ;)

Best of luck to all the teams!

MSDN June Webcasts

This month’s MSDN webcasts line up looks like a pretty impressive resource on all things Web Services.

Our very own fellow MVP, William “Softwaremaker” Tay will be doing his virgin webcast on “Taking Advantage of TCP/IP Reliability in SOAP”. Don’t miss out.

The other webcasts include:

Imagine Cup Sri Lanka site

Wela announced yesterday about the launch of www.imaginecupsrilanka.com. As usual a job well done by Wela and team which included both Razor and Charith.

The finals take place next Wednesday and is going to be much bigger than last time. Amity (AirNow), the team that I’m mentoring has a good chance of winning (I haven’t seen much of the other presentations though) and I wish them all the luck.

Another plus to my team is that it is dominated by women with a ratio of 3 to 1. In Sri Lanka ‘Women in IT’ is alive and kicking. The way these geek girls move around so comfortably within the Visual Studio tools can put many guys I know to shame. They tell me that they’ve only been using Visual Studio in the last five months which I find very hard to believe.

AirNow is going to KICK ASS!

PS: If you would like to come see the finals register at the site, there are a few slots available to the public.

SQL Prompt

If you spend time writing Stored Procedures or SQL Queries then SQL Prompt is a must have tool. It basically adds Intellisense for SQL Server and works well with SQL Server 2000 as well as SQL Server 2005.

The best news is that Red Gate is giving it away free of charge until the 1st of September.

Just to give you an example, I was just showing it off to one of my friends at work with a simple SELECT statement and he prompted me to write an INNER JOIN, lo and behold SQL Prompt looked up the foreign keys and went ahead and inserted the join clause linking the two fields between the tables.

Now this is a product that far exceeds the users expectations. Sweet!

Microsoft, shame on you for not including this in Developer Studio.

What’s up?

Wow. I just remembered that I had a blog.

I’ve been quite busy the last three to four weeks putting some of my personal development items in place. The biggest changes has been inspired by a combination of reading Steve Pavlina, The Seven Habits and Getting Things Done.

I now sleep only 6.5 hours a day, wake up at 5 am, head over to the cricket grounds at Tamil Union. At the grounds I’m joined by Kavinda and Wansika, we jog about five rounds around the ground and do another five with a brisk walk. Next we hit the showers and I then do a quick 20 laps at the pool before coming back to office by around 8.00–8.30 am.

And boy does it really energise your day. My best part of the morning is the cool feel of the wet grass under my feet and listening to the early morning sounds of the chirping birds. I’ll try to post a few pics sometime soon.

My memberships fees to join Tamil Union has been one of the best investments I’ve made in my life. I just spent Rs. 6,500/– to become a club member which included a Rs. 3000/– joining fee.

Database diagram problems on a database migrated from SQL Server 2005

I ran into a wierd error message when trying to view the Diagrams on a database that was migrated to SQL Server 2005. Something about the user not being valid and to change the database owner.

A quick search brought up this quick fix:

Try running this command to change the compatibility level to SQL Server 2005.

EXEC</font> sp_dbcmptlevel database_name, 90

Works like a charm! [SQL BOL]

So what’s the first timezone PITA for you?

You’ll need to change the timezone on your box to be +5.30 (India Standard Time) until we have a service pack release from Microsoft that moves Sri Lanka back into the +5.30 offset.

Note that changing just the time is a fruitless exercise as the time server will reset it on a periodic basis.

You have been warned! Resistance is futile.

ASP.NET Tips and Tricks

I hope those of you who came to the .NET User Group meeting yesterday enjoyed my session on Cool ASP.NET Tips and Tricks.

As promised the slides and demos can be downloaded from Scott Guthrie’s post or you can directly download the file.

.NET User Group: Smart Client Deep Dive

The Sri Lankan .NET developer community will be given a rare treat today when Dr. Nitin Paranjape an Office MVP does a talk on Developing VSTO Application at the NDB Auditorium at Navam Mawatha.

I have seen Dr. Nitin in action before and this guy is a truly gifted trainer and a great orator. You will understand what I mean when you see for yourself today. He follows a mantra of ‘teaching people to learn’ and his sessions are thought provoking. No wonder then that he was picked as the best MCT trainer worldwide by Microsoft.

I will be going to the session today more because I want to see and learn from how he teaches than for his session on VSTO, which undoubtely is going to be fabulous on its own.

The other speakers at the Deep Dive will include Wela on ClickOnce and Prasanna on DataBinding. If you are a Smart Client developer you owe it to yourself and your company to be there today.

This being our very first INETA meeting we’ll also get to meet Howard Lo from Microsoft Singapore (he’s also a star in Singapore). Howard Lo is also the MVP Lead for Sri Lanka, so do definitely have a chat with him when you meet up today. He’ll give you the low down on the MVP program and what plans he has for the Sri Lankan community.

This event is a brainchild Jinath who relentlessly kept on banging doors to get the event going. Kudos to him and the rest of the team which included Dinesh, Prasanna and the ever reliable Wela for pulling this off in such a very short time.

Imagine Cup 06 Sri Lanka Finalists Announced

Jina just started announcing the five finalists for the Imagine Cup ‘06 so I guess I can blog about it. The shortlisted teams in no particular order are:

  • Perfect Sleep & Energetic Wake Up (P Mahanthege, K Jeewantha, B Balasooriya & H Kumara of Colombo University)
  • My Plant (Sudesh, Prabath, Amila & Kosala of Colombo University)
  • Panchayudha (Yasith, Shanaka, Prasad & Chathurika of Moratuwa University)
  • Smart Buddy (D Abeywickrama, J Liyanaarachchi, K Peiris & D Perera of Colombo University)
  • Amity (Y Hettiarachchi, J Liyanapathirana, K Karunanayake & G Perera of Colombo University)
  • </UL>

    Congralutions guys! So what happens next is that each team will be assigned a mentor (one of the MVPs) and then each finalist will present their entry at the grand final which will be held on the 31st of May. There’s going to be a whole lot of tension and excitement since the presentations will be live in front of the judges as well as all the invitees and the winning entry will be announced immediately.

    I also need to congratulate all the other teams that sent in entries as well, believe it or not, you too are a winner for the simple fact that you did compete.