David Silverlight's XML and .NET GrokSpot

To grok (pronounced GRAHK) something is to understand something so well that it is fully absorbed into oneself. In Robert Heinlein's science-fiction novel of 1961, Stranger in a Strange Land, the word is Martian and literally means "to drink" but metaphorically means "to take it all in," to understand fully, or to "be at one with."

<August 2005>



DotNet Pub Club - What a Beautiful Concept

I recently attended a .NET Pub Club event in South Florida and have been reflecting on what a beautiful concept this is.  For those of you who are not familiar with the PubClub concept, let me paint a bit of a picture for you.  The DotNet Pub Club is a meeting place where .NET developers can socialize, drink, eat, play pool and hang out. This is really important because it is hard to bring up topics like "asp.net 2.0" or "Web Services" in a bar without getting taken out back and beaten senseless by the regulars.   PubClub meetings occur at locations across the country, always following a .NET Tech event, and create an environment where developers can unwind, chat and enjoy themselves.  In my case, I actually skipped the Techie-Event and arrived for the PubClub portion only, for the purpose of doing some hardcore .NET networking in a beer-friendly environment.  This recent pub club event met at Little Hoolies Bar and Grill, a fine establishment that included food, drink and pool.  It was a really good time as they always are!  Here are some of the highlights that stick in my mind:

a) I met the person who actually wrote Dig Dug, one of my all-time favorite games,  for the Atari 2600.  His name is Mike Faulkner and he has a very interesting work history, including Bell Labs and Disney.  His site is http://www.SkyDancerStudios.com.  We had a very interesting chat about old school games (Donkey Kong, Pac Man, etc).  Those were the best!!!  I actually own a full-size stand up video game machine that I bought on eBay some time back that has MAME installed on it, allowing me to play every old school game every written.  See Picture at Bottom.

b) I met with some folks who are looking for an expert to hold a training class on .NET for their companies.  They may be sending me an RFP.

c) I met with other developers who are holding a workshop on being an Expert Witness as well as somebody from Microsoft who has served as an Expert Witness in a few cases.  I am currently involved in a court case where I am serving as an Expert Witness for the first time. I have never done it before and you would be amazed at what is involved in this role that you can't learn in too many places.  Fortunately, the Pub Club offered 3 people who have all had direct experience and really enlightened me.

d) I saw a very cool pool trick, from somebody at Microsoft nonetheless, that involved 3 pool cues, 2 balls and 3 cushions.  It was a variation of a trick-shot that I have seen in the past, but a MUCH COOLER variation that is sure to win me a few drinks in a pool hall sometime in my future.

e) The remainder of my highlights revolved around networking with other .NET Geeks. 

As always,  Russ Fustino was on hand to make sure that everybody was having a good time, the way that only Russ can do.  Russ, the MSDN Developepr Community Champion, is the brainchild behind the .NET Pub Club.  He is the guy you will see in the Hawaiian Shirts keeping the partying moving forward.  When you meet him, you will easily see that he is perfect for this role.  Be sure to check out Russ's Toolshed.  His bio just cracks me up.


An ole school gamers dream come true!!  Thanks to eBay and MAME...


posted on Saturday, August 06, 2005 4:06 AM by admin

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