Rock, Paper, Azure is back…

Rock, Paper, Azure (RPA) is back!   For those of you who have played before, be sure to get back in the game!  If you haven’t heard of RPA, check out my past posts on the subject.   In short, RPA is a game that we built in Windows Azure.  You build a bot that plays a modified version of rock, paper, scissors on your behalf, and you try to outsmart the competition.  Over the summer, we ran a Grand Tournament where the first place prize was $5,000!   This time, w... [More]

Geo-Load Balancing with the Azure Traffic Manager

One of the great new features of the Windows Azure platform is the Azure Traffic Manager, a geo load balancer and durability solution for your cloud solutions.  For any large website, managing traffic globally is critical to the architecture for both disaster recovery and load balancing. When you deploy a typical web role in Azure, each instance is automatically load balanced at the datacenter level.   The Azure Fabric Controller manages upgrades and maintenance of those instances to ensure ... [More]

CodeMastery This Weekend in Atlanta

Chris Williams just let me know about an event happening in Atlanta this Saturday, Oct 8 … and it’s free!  Free is good.   Check it out here: http://codemastery.eventbrite.com/ Sessions: 1. CSLA .NET intro - Rocky Lhotka Topic will give attendees a high level overview of CSLA as an application framework. Key moving parts of CSLA will be covered, along with answering the most important question: Why use CSLA? Roles of business objects, data portal, rules, authentication and authorization w... [More]

Use the Windows Azure CDN for Assets

The most common response to running stuff in the cloud (Azure, Amazon in particular) is the that it’s too expensive for the little guy.   And generally, hosting VMs when a small shared site of something similar will suffice is a tough argument. There are aspects to Azure, though, that are very cost effective as they do “micro-scale” very well.  A good example of this is the Azure CDN, or more simply, Azure Blob Storage.   It’s effective to exchange files, it’s effective at fast del... [More]

Azure and Phone … Better Together

We had an excellent time presenting today’s Windows Phone Camp in Charlotte. Thank you to everyone who attended. Here are some resources and major points of today’s “To the cloud…” session. First, here is the slide deck for the presentation.  To The Cloud... Next, download the Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone. This contains both the sending notifications sample, and the Babelcam application. Note that there are quite a few setup steps – using the Web Platform Installer is a great way t... [More]

Summer of Sound

Once or twice a year, I try to take on a project around the house and bring it to a full 80% completion before abandoning for a few years.  In this case, I decided to install some sound around the home.  It was frustrating me to not be able to listen to my favorite music around the home (without dragging around gear), particularly when experiencing nice whole-home audio solutions at some friends’ homes.  The big problem is that there are very few good audio systems for retrofit installation... [More]

Windows PhoneCamps

From MSDN events, to roadshows, to firestarters … Now on to Camps … and just got word about the upcoming Windows Phone camps… What’s a Windows Phone Camp? For those who went to our "Windows Phone Garage" series last year, its one of those. For those new to the scene, its a free, full day event chocked full of everything you need to know to develop a Windows Phone application. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or just getting started with phone app development this full-day event is for you. ... [More]

RPA Grand Tournament Complete!

We had a GREAT time running the RockPaperAzure Grand Tournament Wednesday.  We had a total of 302 players from around the world, and the top players in the finals were: We saw some amazing strategies, and learned a lot along the way.  We intend to keep the site running with more contests along the way – if you have any interest in running a competition for a user group, conference, or other activity, we’d be happy to create a round for you on the site.  Contact us for info. Server Load N... [More]

Top Reasons for Bot Rejection

Just a quick tip for those in the Grand Tournament.  There are 2 very common reasons we’re seeing bots get rejected – we’ll call it the red text of death that appears when you submit a bot, but it fails code analysis.  If all you see is “Bot Successfully Uploaded,” then move along, nothing to see here. The most common are coders adding debugging statements into their code.  We do block the Diagnostics namespace (among a few others), so it’s quite likely any debugging code will trigger a fai... [More]

RockPaperAzure Grand Tournament

We’re back – this time with an International Grand Tournament in Rock, Paper, Azure.    So what’s new? First, we heard many folks loud and clear that they weren’t happy it was U.S. residents only.   So, now’s your chance – we’ve opened up the tournament to Canada, the UK, Sweden, New Zealand, Germany, China, and of course the USA.   We’ve also included country flags in the leaderboard: Next, we’ve changed some of the rules.  Specifically, players are now “blind” w... [More]

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