Fernando Alonso to race with Ferrari in 2010

I went on vacation in August and hit a little blogging dry spell. On the technical side, I was waiting for some things like SQL Azure and the F1 scene, well the whole Piquet/Briatore/Symonds cheat-o-rama really made my blood boil.

Watching Nelson “just following orders” Piquet Jr. and his loving dad, turn Junior’s justifiable dismissal from the Renault team (he is a lousy driver) into a snitch-fest that got Junior immunity for carrying out a plan hatched by Symonds that would have made Dr. Evil proud, just made me sick. (editors note: wow that was some crazy run-on sentence)

Today, finally, there is some definitive news which I am happy to hear. Yes, after months of rumor, it’s official. Fernando Alonso will be racing a red car in 2010 alongside the steadily recovering Felipe Massa. This will get Alonso out of the Renault cesspool and onto a team that at least has a chance of developing a winning car for next year.

Kimi Räikkönen will replace the slightly more animated Heikki Kovalainen at McLaren in what should be an imperceptible change for Lewis Hamilton. Also, it is expected that Robert Kubica will be filling Alonso’s seat in the Renault.

Now, we can all watch Rubens hunt Jenson and count the days until Max Mosley slithers under a rock somewhere and Masa makes his comeback.

SQL Azure Database CTP Released – waiting for my token!

SQL Azure Team Announced the availability of the SQL Azure Database CTP. I am waiting, oh so patiently, for my token to arrive. For those who are not aware, this is a cloud implementation of SQL Server – yes a relational database in the cloud. Pricing you ask? 1GB database will run you $9.99. Need a 10GB database – that will cost you 10x more… $99.99 a month.

You prefer PHP… hey no problem. As we have already seen, you can host PHP based sites (running pure PHP v 5.3, no monkey business there) up in Azure. Microsoft has also released a PHP driver for SQL Azure.

Congrats to the team! More news after I get a token.

SQL Azure on MSDN

Azure Platform Overview

Windows 7 Screen Rotation : Success on R1F

I have been running Windows 7 beta and RC bit for a while and my only real complaint was problems with the tablet rotation. The problem was the button on the bezel that that rotates the screen and the auto-rotate that would kick in when you put the screen in tablet mode just wouldn’t work.

Today I did a clean install of the RTM bits hoping this would be resoled out of the box, but alas I was disappointed. But it was a small disappointment, otherwise the install went flawlessly. I didn’t need to have anything from ASUS handy – just slipped in the Windows install disc and it just worked.

Looking to get everything squared away I did a quick Bing (yes I use Bing sometimes) and the second result on a search for r1f “windows 7” rotate turned up the answer.

Thanks to Alphaswift on Tablet PC Forums my Asus R1F Tablet is totally functional on Windows 7 RTM!

Asus – why is this driver only listed under the R1E and not the R1F ?

This is the second machine I worked on today – I also did an upgrade on my wife’s Dell Inspiron 1420 (Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Ultimate). That was quick, easy and flawless.

Also – I am really liking Kaspersky for anti-virus. I used to be an AVG guy, but they got too intrusive and naggy. Kaspersky has been doing me right on Win 7 since their first technical preview.

Windows 7 on a Netbook – Very Sweet

Just finished setting up an HP Mini 110 (32GB SSD, 1GB RAM, 1366×768) with Windows 7 Home Premium. First I set up a 4GB thumb drive using these great instructions


Then I did a Custom install which blew away the XP install that was on the machine out of the box. I did NOTHING to help this along – I just started the install and let it run. About 40 minutes later, everything was all set.

I ran into one problem, the microphone did not work. So I went to the HP site, got the latest audio drivers (for Vista) and installed them. Restarted the machine and was back in business.

The machine performance is VERY crisp. Color me impressed.

Windows 7 RTM available now – Aug 6th 2009

So I haven’t been blogging a lot lately. I know. Since Massa got bonked on the head, it has been hard to concentrate. Thankfully, he is recuperating well and we will get to see Schu do his thing again.

On the tech front, I have been very impressed with some of the stuff in Blend 3 with Sketchflow and am looking forward to putting the Expression Web 3 SuperPreview through the paces. i am also knee deep in ASP.NET MVC and really liking it – so now the MVC v2 beta is out… so much to catch up on. Finally, I have been playing around with SubSonic Simple Repository. Oh yeah, and I have been enjoying the summer!

So there you have it – if you have MSDN, get your Windows 7 on!

Nice work Windows team!

F1 – Mixed bag in Hungary for Massa, Alonso, Raikkonen and Hamilton

The freak accident that nearly killed Felipe Massa at the Hungaroring during qualifying, really ruined any hope that I would enjoy this weekend’s race. The NY Times (with uncharacteristic F1 coverage) and Sky News in the UK both have gruesome, but informative pictures. As I write this, the sketchy news is that Felipe is conscious, able to communicate – but not speak, and the extent of his eye injuries are unknown. Selfishly, I can only hope that his recovery is swift and complete so that my dream of a Alonso – Massa Ferrari lineup are fulfilled.

Speaking of Alonso, after spending some time at the front of the pack Alonso began to lose ground to the charging Hamilton. Then a fateful pitstop would send Fernando out onto the course with an improperly secured right front wheel – which subsequently flew off and bounced around the track. Between the Surtees horror in F2 and Brands Hatch last week and the two Hungaroring flying objects, it’s been a bit scary. The screw-up in the Renault pits was just a precursor to the fuel pump  that eventually ended Alonso’s day, which had begun on pole.

As for Raikkonen who is not my favorite Scuderia driver, I was happily surprised to see a second place finish to Lewis Hamilton who seemed to have been handed a whole new chassis, one that actually drives well. Now we have four weeks off and the silly season is in full swing. Hopefully, Felipe will rest easy and be back in the cockpit in time for Valencia.

NerdDinner on Azure

Michael Papasevastos beat me to the punch and took the Nerd Dinner to Azure! I was planning on doing just that over the July 4th weekend. Now it looks like I will have to spend the weekend lying around doing nothing. Nah, that’s not true. Aside from visiting my Father and Brother In Law, I am going to fire up Beyond Compare and see what Michael changed. Then I am going to deploy it myself!

I’ll fill you in on what I find.