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Independent Experts. Real World Answers.

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    Microsoft’s Web Camps are free, two-day events that allow you to learn and build on the Microsoft Web platform. At camp, you will hear from Microsoft experts on the latest components of the platform, including ASP.Net Web Forms, ASP.NET MVC, jQuery, Entity Framework, IIS, Visual Studio 2010 and much more.

    Visit www.webcamps.ms to learn more, or click on the city below for location specific details.

    LOCATIONS

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    Editor's Note: The following is a guest post by Excel MVP Nate Oliver as part of the MVP Award Program Blog's "10 Days for Office 2010" Series.  

    Excel 2010 presents traditional numerical analysts with new and old tools; today we’ll explore two of them. The difference is that the first shall be what we call qualitative, and the second, quantitative,

    As a real-world example, on a really hot day, qualitative could mean hot, while quantitative could mean 100F. We shall explore both, with Excel 2010, with respect to the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA).

    From a qualitative stand-point of view, Excel 2010 gives us ‘Sparklines’.Let’s start with qualitative.

    Sparklines are an in-cell mini charts, if you will, that will allow us to take numeric data that may seem incomparable to the naked eye, and make it comparable. Using the DJIA, for example

    clip_image002

    I’ve taken the DIJA’s monthly prices, and pivoted them, ticker price against month. If you stare at the numbers, they might not make sense, relatively, in terms of price-point or volatility; enter the Sparkline.

    The Sparkline is a miniature graph located in Column N that allows us to look at trends irrespective of price-points; it is our qualitative glance. E.g., we can see that AT&T (T) is fairly volatile issue, (row 5) at this point, whereas 3M (MMM) is a fairly stable issue.

    For quantitative types, we have not forgotten you. It’s quite normal in my experience to want to see a visual representation of data, and then there are those who want the numbers - let’s make some numbers.

    With the same data-set, we’re going to take a little algorithm I rolled off the other day:

    Public Function CAGRThresh( _

    ByRef rngYears As Range, _

    ByRef rngPrincipal As Range, _

    ByVal curThresh As Currency) As String

    Dim varYears() As Variant, varPrincipal() As Variant

    Dim strRet() As String

    Dim i As Long, j As Long, lngCount As Long

    Dim lngUpper As Long

    Dim curCAGR As Currency

    Let varYears = rngYears.Value

    Let varPrincipal = rngPrincipal.Value

    Let lngUpper = UBound(varPrincipal, 2)

    ReDim strRet(1 To (lngUpper ^ 2 * 0.5 + lngUpper * -0.5))

    For i = LBound(varPrincipal, 2) To lngUpper - 1

    For j = i + 1 To lngUpper

    Let curCAGR = ((varPrincipal(1, j) / _

    varPrincipal(1, i)) ^ (1 / (j - i))) - 1

    If curCAGR >= curThresh Then

    Let strRet(lngCount + 1) = varYears(1, i) & _

    "-" & varYears(1, j) & ": " & _

    Format$(curCAGR, "0.00%")

    Let lngCount = lngCount + 1

    End If

    Next j

    Next i

    If lngCount > 0 Then

    ReDim Preserve strRet(1 To lngCount)

    Let CAGRThresh = Join$(strRet, ", ")

    Else: Let CAGRThresh = "N/A"

    End If

    End Function

    The DJIA now gives us an interesting perspective along the lines of the following:

    clip_image004

    As you can see, this type of quantitative review provides us with a slightly different perspective; we can extrapolate growth rates for each component of the DJIA that exceed our contingency, by month.

    Typically, an issue with a Beta close to that of the S&P 500, returning 13% per annum is roughly par for the course, if you will. What this has done is extracted compounding growth rates greater than 15% per month, and at a glance, we have some interesting results. E.g., what’s going on with Bank of America (BAC)? Well, we now know what we want to look and figure out what happened at this point. It turns out BAC purchased Merrill Lynch, September 15, 2008, on the cheap, and it’s paying dividends, if you will.

    In conclusion, Excel 2010 offers users many ways to review numerical data, some are new, and some are time-tested. While this presents two examples, the possibilities are expanding and there are many more to be found.

    Happy Exceling,

    Nate Oliver

    Microsoft Excel MVP

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Cross Posted at The Office Blog



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    Watch a quick video of Toby Richards, General Manager, Community & Online Support, and Mike Hickman, Group Program Manager, Community Interaction and Feedback, as they discuss the value of engagement with MVPs for Office 2010 and some dynamic opportunities to connect with the technical community in  the next couple of weeks. Then find out more at Get on the Bus! http://www.microsoftbustour.com and Tech-Ed North America http://www.microsoft.com/events/techednorthamerica

    And as these events unfold, we’ll follow them here with video blogs of MVP Justin Rodino—who’s riding shotgun on the Get in the Bus Tour—as well as a host of MVPs at Tech-Ed!


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    Watch a quick video of Toby Richards, General Manager, Community & Online Support, and Mike Hickman, Group Program Manager, Community Interaction and Feedback, as they discuss the value of engagement with MVPs for Office 2010 and some dynamic opportunities to connect with the technical community in  the next couple of weeks. Then find out more at Get on the Bus! http://www.microsoftbustour.com and Tech-Ed North America http://www.microsoft.com/events/techednorthamerica

    And as these events unfold, we’ll follow them here with video blogs of MVP Justin Rodino—who’s riding shotgun on the Get in the Bus Tour—as well as a host of MVPs at Tech-Ed!


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    Editor's Note: The following is guest post by Outlook MVP Diane Poremsky as part of the MVP Award Program Blog's "10 Days for Office 2010" Series.

    My Favorite Feature: Quick Steps

    One of my favorite timesaving features in Outlook 2010 is Quick Steps. You can use Quick Steps to perform tasks you need to do frequently that involve multiple steps, such as filing messages in specific folders or flagging messages for follow up and sending a reply. You can assign keyboard shortcuts to your most frequently used quick steps or click the quick step buttons using your mouse.

    Outlook includes a list of predefined Quick Steps to get your started and you can add new ones, modify existing Quick Steps or delete ones that are not useful. To create a new Quick Step, click on the scroll bar in the Quick Steps command and choose New Quick Step. It's easiest to start with one of the predefined steps and customize it, or you can choose Custom and start with a blank quick step.

    If you pick one of the standard Quick Step types, you'll get a simple dialog (Figure 1 below) and can press Options to expand the dialog and add additional steps.

    clip_image001

    Choose Manage Quick Steps (Figure 2) from the Quick Steps menu and you'll be able to edit and delete your quick steps, create new quick steps, and rearrange the order they appear in the ribbon so the most used quick steps are listed first in the ribbon.

    clip_image002


    Cross Posted on The Office Blog


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     Editors Note: The following is a guest post by One Note MVP Glen Lloyd from Canada as part of the MVP Award Program Blogs's "10 Days for Office 2010" Series.

    OneNote is probably one of the best-kept secrets of the Microsoft Office Suite. Although the application was introduced with the release of imageOffice 2003, I wasn’t really aware of it until I installed and started using Office 2007. Now, some three years later, OneNote has become an indispensable tool that I turn to every day without fail. I am convinced that many people who might benefit from this simple yet powerful tool are not using it just because they don’t know it exists.In this article I will briefly discuss just one of the ways in which OneNote has become an essential tool for me.

    First, what is OneNote? The best description that I can think of for the application is that it is a software tool for capturing and organizing notes. What sort of notes? Well, that is one of the beauties of OneNote. Almost anything qualifies as a note, whether it is something you type yourself, come across on-line, receive via e-mail. Although I don’t have the technology to use the feature, OneNote will even accept hand-written content.

    Think of OneNote as an electronic version of a simple paper notebook. Anything you might use a paper notebook for, can probably be done better and more easily with OneNote. I have a moderately large collection of notebooks. Some of these I use to capture and organize notes and information about custom Access imagedatabase applications as I develop them for clients.

    All OneNote notebooks follow the same general structure. The application’s ‘document’ is a notebook. Each notebook can have multiple sections and section groups. Each section has one or more pages. Each page can have multiple sub-pages. So, when a client approaches me to explore developing a new Access application, I create a new OneNote notebook, using the client’s business name and the working title for the project as the notebook name. This notebook then serves as a central location for storing anything and everything related to the project.

    With OneNote 2010, the application now offers even better organizational tools. While 2007 had pages and subpages, all page tabs are visible all the time. With 2010, subpages can be collapsed, leaving just the top level imagepage tabs visible. In the screenshot you see the tabs for some of the pages in my design notes section. Notice how the titles of subpages are indented so it is easy to see where they fit organizationally.

    Now in the second screen shot, notice how a collapse icon appears when I hover the mouse over a main page tab. Then after clicking the tab, the Business Rules sub-page tabs are collapsed. I find that these organizational tools help me keep my thoughts organized so that I am not always swimming in a sea of details.

    imageIncidentally, OneNote 2010 has made creating new pages even simpler. Notice the small icon to the left of the page tabs. Clicking that will create a new page right after the tab that was active when you clicked. The New Page shortcut at the beginning of the page tabs no longer lets you create a sub-page. (In 2007 that was the only way to create a subpage.) However, if you right click a page tab, you can choose to create a subpage of the tab you clicked. If you right click a subpage tab, the tab title is indented to a second level.

    The second new feature of OneNote 2010 that I am going to find extremely useful is the ability to specify exactly where in my OneNote  documents an item goes when I use Send To OneNote.

    The Select Location dialogue pops up so that you can select exactly where you want the item to go in OneNote. For me, this is a major improvement over 2007 where most of my ‘send to’s’ ended up in Unfiled notes, requiring me to take additional time to move the item to its final destination.

    When it comes to developing Access applications, I am a sole practitioner so I don’t need to take advantage of OneNote’s sharing features. What I am describing here is a typical stand-alone notebook used on a single computer.

    After I create the notebook, I add the main sections that I will be using while I develop the proposal and proceed into developing the application itself. The development notebook for a small custom project I am currently working on has these sections:

    · Proposal

    · Correspondence

    · Screenshots

    · Design notes

    As the project proceeds I might add additional sections to its notebook but these four give me a simple structure in which to keep information for a basic project. In the Proposal section, I include any correspondence and notes I make during preliminary discussions with the client about a potential project. Because OneNote is integrated with the Office suite I can send a copy of a relevant e-mail to OneNote with the simple click of a button. It’s also easy to include hyperlinks to relevant Word and Excel documents.

    For example, the client may provide me with a copy of an Excel workbook that they would now like to implement as a database. As I make notes to myself about the workbook, I can easily include hyperlinks to the appropriate worksheet or ranges within the workbook.

    When actual project development begins I use the correspondence section to keep notes on client discussions on the look and feel of the application, and notes about applicable business rules that affect the project.

    From time to time during development I will make screenshots for review with the client. I store these in the Screenshots section together with notes about required changes to the appearance of the developing user interface.

    I use the Design Notes section to keep ‘notes to self’ about any design decisions I make in order to tailor the project to the needs of the client. Some projects require specialized calculations or terminology that is not commonplace. Writing an explanatory note to myself about the calculation and the approach I follow helps me think through how to do what is needed and remind me later of how it is done.

    OneNote provides a simple means of keeping my rough notes organized so that I don’t have to rely on memory about what was planned and the outcome of those decisions. Being able to easily make and organize these notes ‘on the fly’ means that I am making the notes sooner rather than later. That makes ongoing maintenance of the application more straightforward and simplifies the preparation of final documentation and client help guides.

     

    ---------------------------

    Cross Posted on The Office Blog


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    Windows Desktop MVP Justin Rodino took a moment to create this video postcard from New York City to share with his fellow MVPs.  Justin is on the "Get on the Bus" tour which is on its way to New Orleans for Tech Ed North America 2010.

    (Please visit the site to view this media)

    You can meet up with Justin and the "Get on The Bus" tour in one of the remaining cities on the tour.  I'm sure he would love it if you stopped by to say hello. 

    They are scheduled to arrive in New Orleans  for Tech Ed North America. Be sure to follow the tour on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/thebustour and on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/MicrosoftBusTour

    If you cannot make it to one of the cities, feel free to leave Justin a comment below!   


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    Microsoft’s Web Camps are free, two-day events that allow you to learn and build on the Microsoft Web platform. At camp, you will hear from Microsoft experts on the latest components of the platform, including ASP.Net Web Forms, ASP.NET MVC, jQuery, Entity Framework, IIS, Visual Studio 2010 and much more.

    Visit www.webcamps.ms to learn more, or click on the city below for location specific details.

    LOCATIONS

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    Last Saturday, over 800 participants attended 107 sessions lead by over 88 presenters at Portland, Oregon's Code Camp. 17 of those presenters were Microsoft MVPs!

    MVPs Arnie Rowland and Stuart Celarier co-directed the event. Rowland wrote the MVP Award Program in an e-mail:

     

    In December 2009, the Mayor of Portland, Sam Adams, met with the CEOs of over 50 regional software development firms, seeking input into the City’s Economic Development Plan –the city is pushing to support software development as an essential ‘industry’ for the area. Stuart and I approached the Mayor to bring the conversation to the developer community, convincing the Mayor that working developers had just as much to contribute to the conversation as the CEOs. It took some time to work out the details, and the Mayor participated in a lunchtime keynote ‘conversation with developers’ –packing the auditorium. Participants could use Twitter and submit questions prior and during the session. The results have been viewed as quite positive, the Mayor has expressed a desire to be included in next year’s event, and a large number of participants left with knowledge that the City is listening to and giving credence to the down in the trenches developer.

     

    The MVP Award Program wants to congratulate Rowland and Celarier for a job well done. Clearly by reaching out to the Mayor they were able to create even more excitement about Code Camp while increasing the profile of the developer community. Who knows what next year will bring? With the relationship building they started this year, I can only imagine that next year will be even more memorable.

     


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    MVP Aryeh Goretskywas interviewed by Lenovo Connections about his experience with the MVP Award Program, his thoughts on "influencer recognition programs" in general, and how he became interested in online communities:

     

    ... what I enjoy most about being an MVP are the engagements I have with Microsoft employees, as well as my fellow MVPs. For many computer users, Microsoft is an abstraction, a logo they see when their computer boots up, or perhaps when they run a program. Microsoft is a company, though, and like any other company is made up of people. What I have found is that those people are some of the most genuinely intelligent and passionate people I have ever met, and they have gathered people whom they feel represents technical expertise in their communities. Being in contact with both Microsoft’s employees and my fellow MVPs allows me to learn a great deal. Although I left school behind many years ago, I think of myself as something of a lifelong student, and I learn quite a bit from my interactions with them.

    You can read the complete interview at Lenovo Connections.


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    Toby Richards, General Manager, Community & Online Support, and Nestor Portillo, Director of Community and Online Support, take a look back at FY 2010 and look forward to exciting plans for FY 2011.


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    The MVP driven charity organization GeekGive, is teaming up with Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans on June 5, the weekend before Tech Ed.  GeekGive is an outstanding charity organization run by MVPs  who value giving back to the community:

    For us, giving back to the community is more than just Code Camp presentations and blog posts. We want to give of our time and energy and help improve the greater community at large. If you're like us have a browse around the site, find projects that interest you, and get involved!

    A team of volunteers, including MVPs and Microsoft employees will help build a Habitat for Humanity home in New Orleans. While four years have passed since Hurricane Katrina ravished New Orleans and the surrounding area, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. I can only imagine how the BP oil spill compounds the problems for that region.

    MVP Steve Andrews is spearheading this project. He wrote on GeekGive's website:

    It has been four years since Hurricane Katrina devastated the gulf coast as the worst civil disaster in American history. It is estimated that 400,000 jobs were lost and 275,000 homes were destroyed, ten times as many as any other natural disaster in US history. The total cost is estimated at $100 billion in damages making Katrina the most costly hurricane in US history. Up to 15 million people were affected by Hurricane Katrina, and New Orleans itself is still struggling to rebuild.

    One of the biggest needs is for new housing, and to help we've arranged for a volunteer group to work with Habitat for Humanity to help rebuild New Orleans on Saturday June 5th, 2010, the Saturday before Tech·Ed.

    The need is great, so I am not surprised that MVPs were inspired to pitch in. MVPs are some of the most generous people I have met. Their unique drive is inspiring, so it is easy to understand why my colleagues are so excited about joining MVPs to help out.

    If you did not have a chance to sign up, check back with the blog early next week for video footage from the project. If you are going to help out, please consider sharing your pictures and short videos from the day on the MVP Award Program Facebook Page.

     


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    Welcome to Tech-Ed 2010 New Orleans! Our team is excited about all the fun activities at the MVP Community Lounge in La Nouvelle Orleans Ballroom. One highlight is the Foursquare game. If you check in at the MVP Community Lounge, the Bink Event, or the MVP Dinner, you will be entered into a drawing to win a fabulous prize! For example, every day a winner will be drawn from those who check in at the Community Lounge. The winner will recieve one of these jeweled buttons. I know, I know. You want one so bad it hurts. You have to check in by 4:00 PM on June 7, 8, 9, or 10th  to be entered in the contest at the Community Lounge.

    The person who checks into the booth the most by June 10th, will win a license for Office 2010. 

     

    Prizes for the Bink Event and the MVP Dinner are also amazing, but I want to surprise you with those.

    Good luck and have fun!


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    Last week I told you about an inspiring MVP driven project called GeekGive. On June 5th volunteers worked in extremely uncomfortable temperatures to help build a cinder block frame for a Habitat for Humanity House. My colleague Deb Sorenson brought home this heartfelt footage from the project. 

     

    (Please visit the site to view this media)

    You can read more on Microsoft News Center.


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    You may remember Windows Desktop Experience MVP Justin Rodino from his video postcard that he shared with the MVP Community (and friends) just a couple of weeks ago. Well, the two and half week journey on the Get on the Bus Tour just completed in New Orleans at Tech Ed 2010 this week. Watch Justin as he shares highlights from the adventure:

     


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    Do you want to learn how to shoot a shirt out of a cannon with your Windows 7 Phone? Learn how you can find out more about that trick and more in this short video from TechEd New Orleans 2010 with MVPs, Ken Getz, Nikita Polyakov, and Ginny Caughey.

     


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    Here is more awesome footage from TechEd 2010. This time with MVPs Todd Klindt, Kyle Rosenthal, and Stuart Celarier. Enjoy!

     

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    What technologies are you most excited about? MVPs shared their favorites and more during TechEd 2010 in New Orleans.

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    MVPs Steve Andrews, Paul Litwin, Jennelle Crothers, Peter KellnerRocky Lhotka, Mark Rosenberg, Hal Hostetler, and Elias Mereb shared their thoughts about TechEd 2010, GeekGive, Windows 7 and more.

     

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    Get Microsoft Silverlight

    This Channel9 Video "External Online Connection to a Dynamics AX DB" by the Spanish MVP, Manel Querol is the most  popular Channel9 video in Spanish ever.

    Manel Querol Marco, Dynamics MVP explains how to perform an external database connection from Dynamics AX 2009.

     

    Este video de Channel9 "Externa Online conexión a un Dynamics AX DB" por el MVP de la española, Manel Querol es nunca al vídeo de Channel9 popular en español.

    Manel Querol Marco, MVP de Dynamics nos explica como realizar una conexión de base de datos externa desde Dynamics AX 2009. Demostrándonos la resolución del problema en directo.

     

    Spanish to English and English to Spanish Language Translation assistance provided by Bing Translate.


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