In my second post I discussed
my run in with ASP, and how PHP was far better. I ended the post talking about
an invitation to a Microsoft event. This was an interesting event. Greg
and I were the only people under 30 there. When that’s a 15 year difference,
things get interesting. Especially when you need your mother to drive you there…
The talk was a comparison between Microsoft based technologies and Linux based technologies.
The presenter was a 10 year veteran of IBM, working on their Linux platform, who then
moved to Microsoft. For the life of me I can’t remember his name.
His goal was simple. Disprove myths around Linux costs versus Windows costs.
It was a very compelling argument. The event was based around the Windows
Compare campaign. It was around this time that Longhorn (Longhorn that turned
into Vista, not Server 2008) was in pre-beta soon to go beta, and after discussing
it with Greg, we decided to probe the presenter for information about Longhorn.
In a situation like that, the presenter either gets mad, or becomes really enthusiastic
about the question. He certainly didn’t get mad.
Throughout the rest of the talk, the presenter made some jokes at mine and Greg’s
expense, which was all in good fun. Based on that, we decided to go one step
further to ask how we can get the latest Longhorn build, at one of the breaks.
the conversation went something like this:
Me: So how do people get copies of the latest build for Longhorn?
Presenter: Currently those enrolled in the MSDN Licensing program can get
Me: Ok, how does one join such a licensing program?
Presenter: Generally you buy them.
Me: How much?
Presenter: A couple thousand…
Me: Ok let me rephrase the question. How does a student, such as myself
and my friend Greg here, get a the latest build of Longhorn when we don’t have an
MSDN subscription, nor the money to buy said subscription?
Presenter: *Laughs* Oh. Go talk to Alec over there and tell him I said
to give you a student subscription.
Me: Really? Cool!
Six months later Greg and I some how got MSDN Premium Subscriptions. We had
legal copies of almost every single piece of Microsoft software ever commercially
produced. Visual Studio 2005 was still in beta, so I decided to try it out.
I was less than impressed with Visual Studio 2003, but really liked ASP.NET, so I
wanted to see what 2005 had in store. At the time PHP was still my main language,
but after the beta of 2005, I immediately switched to C#. I had known about
C# for a while, and understood the language fairly well. It was .NET 1.1 that
never took for me. That, and I didn’t have a legal copy of Visual Studio 2003
at the time.
Running a Longhorn beta build, with Visual Studio 2005 beta installed, I started playing
with ASP.NET 2.0, and built some pretty interesting sites. The first was a Wiki
type site, designed for medical knowledge (hey, it takes a lot to kill a passion of
mine). It never saw the light of day on the interweb, but it certainly was a
cool site. Following that were a bunch of test sites that I used to experiment
with the data controls.
It wasn’t until the release of SQL Server 2005 that I started getting interested in
data. Which I will discuss in the my next