The musical term Mash-up refers to the mostly unauthorised mixing of vocals from one music track with the backing music of another, typically from completely different genres. The term is also being applied to a type of application hosted somewhere on the internet that combines content from multiple sources on the internet that appears seamless to users.

 There have been many mash-ups, the very first combined the use of google maps with an estate agent to map house listings in California ( This was created before Google had decided they were going to open up their API for public consumption, but it may have paved the way for the common use of such services.

Yahoo provide a lot of API’s for their common services, Search, Local, Maps, Photos, Shopping, Travel and many are taking advantage of these API’s to create mash-ups.

I’m interested in integrating online services via API’s using .Net technologies to provide an easy interface for .Net based applications. This will have no real commercial benefit, however it will allow me to practice some LINQ development. I’ll be posting a follow up article on the use of LINQ when I begin to venture into .Net 3.0.


I’m off to the Espanyol v Sevilla game at Hampden Park in Glasgow tomorrow night. Should be a great atmosphere at the stadium. It should also be a great atmosphere in George Square, where large tents and screens are going up for the many fans that have travelled all the way across Europe for the game.

Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland

Good luck to both sides, and look out for me!

This is a question I have often been asked about and have also asked others in the technology business their opinions with varying opinions. A few years ago (not long after the first version of the MCSD was released) it was viewed in my eyes as a sign of a good, competent and professional developer. A ‘must have’ for a developer working with Microsoft technologies wanting to climb up the developer food chain in as little time as possible. A few years on and in my eyes it meant nothing more than the sign of a developer with a good memory. During the time I spent starting a software development company and progressing it through to Microsoft Certified Gold Partner status I was introduced to the other side of the table at developer interviews.


It didn’t take long to arrive at the conclusion that developers with Microsoft certifications weren’t automatically great developers, however it does mean that there is a strong chance that they have the ability to become excellent developers.


So why am I upgrading my certifications?


That’s simple, as a learning tool. I believe there are two ways in passing the exams required for Microsoft certification. 1 – studying the topics inside out and applying the experience learned and 2 – practising exam questions without applying the technology and methods learned within. I’ll be following the first method as I intend to use this as a learning experience more than gaining another certification.


What are your thoughts on Microsoft Certifications?

I have decided to upgrade my well outdated MCSD to the latest Microsoft certification for developers, the MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist) .  This new certification covers a wide variety of subjects, in fact there are 17 different MCTS certifications. Therefore I will be concentrating on the following:

  • MCTS: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Application Development

  • .NET Framework 2.0 Web Applications 

  • .NET Framework 2.0 Windows Applications 

  • .NET Framework 2.0 Distributed Applications 

  • SQL Server 2005

Additionally, if I am then to take the following exams, I will be gain a further certification, namely the MCPD (Microsoft Certified Professional Developer). Again there are a number of different types of MCPD, so I’ll probably concentrate on the Web Developer first.

I’ll be partaking in self study as opposed to taking any Microsoft courses, and I intend to keep a log of any interesting questions or topics I encounter (without giving away any true questions from any of the exams, wouldn’t like to make it easier for anyone else out there). I’ll be using a couple of the recommended and non-recommended text books for these subjects, again I’ll provide feedback on these books in case anyone else intends of self studying for any of these exams.

Orange SPV M3100

I have upgraded my mobile phone to a model that runs Microsoft Windows for the Pocket PC. I’ve read various reviews, some good, some bad on the performance of this model so I guess I’ll have to hope that my experience is pleasant and trouble free.


I had a blackberry for years which I found fairly useful, however in the type of work that I do, I’m never really very far away from access to the internet and therefore email access, so i doubt that I got any real benefit from it. They seem to be more suited to professionals constantly on the move, away from internet access, out on sales calls, or constantly out networking. They’re also useful for those professionals that never leave the couch. 


So my plans for this handset include:

  • Setting up Outlook to communicate with my Exchange Server

  • Adding a secondary internet email account to Outlook

  • Allow me to add new entries to my blog while on the move

  • Successfully set up a blue tooth hands free kit for driving

  • I may even attempt to set up remote desktop so I can maintain my servers while on the move (Not that they need any maintenance, but you never know)

Each of which I expect to be straight forward.


However if anyone has any experience of attempting such tasks with Pocket PC feel free to leave any advice!

The election took place tonight, and I’m interested, no, in fact I’m eager to hear the results but I can’t quite be bothered to stay up and wait as the results trickle in, that will have to wait until the morning. Many think that tomorrow Labour and in particular Tony Blair will be waking up to a “Black Friday” after receiving a “kicking” no less in the vote.


Hi, it’s taken a while but eventually I have blog.

This is going to be a simple blog, mostly covering Microsoft related technology, but there will be a few random subjects thrown in to mix it up a little.

Hope you enjoy