I woke up yesterday and realized what a bad idea it was that I had planned a Webcast called Tips and Traps in Programming Silverlight 1.0 for today.
First, if you're going to do such a thing, you want to start about two weeks out asking everyone you know to send you their best tips and traps. I didn't do that that. Total brain lapse due to painkillers and stupidity. Second, I've been working my way back to full time, and over the past 4-5 days I've been spending a lot of hours preparing for a new set of lengthy blog posts (to be unveiled soon) and handling a crisis with a book (don't ask) and so I never really got around to practicing with the web cast software as much as I'd hoped — finally did yesterday, only to learn that things were not 100% exactly as I'd hoped. Took a few hours, but got it all fixed up. Sure wish I had some content though.
Now, to fully appreciate my level of panic, you really need the context. I should have been doing one web cast per month since September. That is, by now, I should have done at least 4. I did one. I canceled one because of surgery and one more was picked up for me by a colleague (who had his own technical difficulties!). So this was Webcast, err…. 2.
I set my alarm for wicked early this morning so that I could create a truly professional web cast, with tight integration of PowerPoint and great demos, and laid out 25 Tips and Traps which I whittled down to 10 that I could demo the heck out of. I then set it all up, including a cheat sheet and, just to be safe, working backup copies (belt and suspenders).
I then signed in 1/2 hour early to make sure the mic was set up right, sound was good, the screen resolution was great. 50+ people were there by starting time; eager and responsive. I went over the agenda, set expectations low (I've been watching the politicians!) got to my first point and just as I was recovering from the fact that my Favorites collection was not set up to find the web page I needed, and I was ready to display the page I was looking for, ker-pow! my entire town lost power. I do have 5 UPS's in my house, but not quite enough to keep the entire network structure up when the town goes down.
I know, I deserved it for last minute preparation and bad karma, but ouch.
Fortunately, I was able to forward the meeting information to Joe Stagner, who put up an explanation to the members, who, in turn were very understanding (power came back 90 minutes later at 14:40 Eastern (GMT -5) and the few remaining folks were very kind).
We will, of course, reschedule, but I invite your feedback on whether the Tips and Traps I was going to show were too elementary and I should look for more advanced material, or you'd like to see the ones that were planned (or you'd like to skip this topic altogether and go on to something else).
In any case, I apologize for the inconvenience.
Here is the list of tips/traps that was scheduled:
- The new way to create 1.0 apps in VS 2008
- Making horizontal linear gradients
- Creating sharp lines in gradients
- Image brush source vs. video brush source
- Getting programmer data into Silverlight controls (InitParams)
- Getting non-string data into Silverlight controls (context)
- Why don't HTML overlays work?
- Why is my transparent control black?
- Two ways to wire up event handlers
- Why did my drag and drop stop dragging?
(Okay, so it's 11).