North East Bytes - Microsoft Technology Usergroup in the North East of England

NEBytes October 2012 Event 2 - It's BUILD 2 !! Cancelled


Sorry for the short notice on this folks, but due to low interest in this event and only one of the NEBytes team being available tomorrow, we've taken the decision to cancel this event. It's not something that we want to make a habit of, but when it's just going to be half a dozen people in a big room watching a video stream, that doesn't sound like a whole load of fun.


We've got some great speakers lined up for future events, so please keep an eye on and @NEBytes for details.


Join North East Bytes for a slight twist this October...

In a slight departure from our normal event format (and time slot!) we are pleased to offer a chance to watch the Microsoft BUILD conference keynote (almost) live! The idea is to display the BUILD keynote stream on the big screen with the opportunity to pause & discuss key points as they are revealed.

What is this BUILD malarkey you may well ask? Well this is the follow up event to last year's first BUILD event where Microsoft unveiled Windows 8...

In 1995, Windows changed the PC. BUILD will show you that Windows 8 changes everything.

If you are a contemporary developer, a geek who thrives on the newest and coolest, who loves the freedom of the web and the power of all devices from mobile to desktop, you need to join us to help BUILD the future.

Our approach means no compromises—you get to use whatever kind of device you prefer to run the apps you love. This is sure to inspire a new generation of modern hardware and software development, improving the experience for PC users around the world. -

So come along and join us on Tuesday for the live stream & remember try not to watch it in advance it’ll spoil the mood ;)

Date and time: Tuesday 30th October 2012 - 18:30-21:00


The event will be hosted in Room 1.2 of the Claremont Building at Newcastle University. For a detailed campus map - (Identified by number 32 on the maps).

NEBytes October 2012–Getting Functional with F#

Join North East Bytes for our tenth event of 2012 where we welcome back Oliver Sturm who is going to help us get Functional with F#.   Register now, you won't want to miss this opportunity!

Date: Wednesday 17th October 2012

Time: 18:30-21:00

All You Ever Wanted to Know About F#

For once Oliver will not come prepared! Okay, perhaps he'll bring a little introduction along, and of course his quite considerable knowledge and experience on matters F#... but this talk will be interactive, a mini workshop designed to help you find solutions to your problems or answers to your questions. Oliver has created training classes for F#, for DevelopMentor as well as Pluralsight, he's worked on a number of projects using the language and he's written a book about it. Bring along your own ideas or just come and watch - but be prepared to be impressed by the most powerful Microsoft .NET language in existence today! Oh, and a free pass to watch Oliver's Pluralsight F# training class will be given away after the talk!

Oliver Sturm is an associated consultant at thinktecture and a course author at Pluralsight. He is a well-known author of training classes and articles, a regular speaker at world-wide developer conferences, an expert on programming languages, a Microsoft C# MVP, an experienced architect of .NET software solutions, and a distinguished expert in the specialised area of DevExpress UI components and frameworks.


The event will be hosted in Room 1.02 of Claremont Tower at Newcastle University. For a detailed campus map -

Eventbrite - NEBytes October 2012 - Getting Functional with F#

NEBytes September 2012–Serving the Future

Join North East Bytes for our ninth event of 2012 where we welcome our very own Jonathan Noble and Ben Lee to give us the run down on the behemoth that is Windows Server 2012.   Register now, you won't want to miss this opportunity!

Date: Wednesday 19th September 2012

Time: 18:30-21:00

Microsoft Windows Server 2012 with Jonathan Noble and Ben Lee

Windows Server 2012 is a huge release for Microsoft. Almost everything is new or improved, so don’t worry we're not going to try to cram it all into a one hour session; Instead we're giving the whole of September's NEBytes over to it!

Some of the questions thrown up by the new OS we’ll look to help answer are:

  • Server 2012 utilises the same new UI as Windows 8 and defaults to a core install, does it matter and do we need the UI anymore?
  • Microsoft say that this has been designed as a Cloud OS, what does that actually mean?
  • Server Manager is radically different, can you really manage all of your servers with a single pain of glass?
  • We've got improvements around continuous availability, Direct Access, VDI, new Dynamic Access Controls and many more features but what do these really mean to me?

In this full length Server 2012 special Ben and Jonathan will take you on a tour of the main highlights from the new OS and share some of their personal favourites. We're going to be talking storage, networking, Hyper-V and as many many more things so bring your curiosity and your propeller hat and we’ll see you there.

Jonathan Noble started his career in IT early, being kept out of primary school assemblies in order to show teachers how to use BBC Model Bs. After watching Top Gun too many times, and a less than fun part-time job in PC World, he nearly gave up computing and became a fighter pilot, but was somehow drawn back to the keyboard and has spent the last dozen years managing Windows systems at Newcastle University. His primary focus is management and automation around Windows Server products, Active Directory and Exchange; mainly using PowerShell. A blogger for many years and Twitter addict, Jonathan became an active member of the PowerShell community from early in its life and received Microsoft MVP awards in July 2009 and January 2012. He is also a member of the TechNet UK Community Council. When he's not writing PowerShell scripts, he's a massive fan of basketball; both the NBA and the Newcastle Eagles

As well as helping with NEBytes Ben Lee is a Senior Infrastructure Consultant at Waterstons, Ben focuses on Microsoft enterprise products and technologies. His key specialisms include desktop management, security and Unified Comms. He has a particular interest in Lync and Microsofts UC offerings. Ben’s blog is at and is @Bibbleq on twitter

The event will be hosted in Room 1.02 of Claremont Tower at Newcastle University. For a detailed campus map -

Stay up to date with North East Bytes

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Eventbrite - NEBytes September 2012 - Serving the Future

NEBytes August 2012 - Crossing the Streams with Mobile Applications

Join North East Bytes for our eighth event of 2012 where we welcome Chris Hardy to give us an extended look at Cross-platform Mobile Applications with C# and .Net. Register now, you won't want to miss this opportunity!

Date: Wednesday 15th August 2012

Time: 18:30-21:00

Cross-platform Mobile Applications with C# and .Net with Chris Hardy

The session will show how you can use C# and .NET to build iOS and Android applications and take full advantage of the APIs provided by the two different platforms. From this, you will find out how to re-use your C# and .NET code across these mobile platforms, including Windows Phone 7 devices and just how much code you can re-use as well as find out how Xamarin are working to make this process as easy as possible.

Chris Hardy, a Microsoft ASPInsider, is an .NET consultant focusing on MonoTouch and Mono for Android development. Ever since MonoTouch was in beta, Chris has been developing and evangelising MonoTouch and was one of the first users to get a MonoTouch application on to the App Store. Speaking at conferences around the world on the subject, Chris has been a key part of the community and extended this by contributing to MonoTouch and Mono for Android books.

The event will be hosted in Room 1.02 of Claremont Tower at Newcastle University. For a detailed campus map -

Stay up to date with North East Bytes
Follow us on Twitter - and become a fan on Facebook -

Eventbrite - NEBytes August 2012 - Crossing the Streams with Mobile Applications

NEBytes July 2012 - Managing Projects With SharePoint and What is New for IT Pros in SharePoint 2013

Join North East Bytes for our seventh event of 2012 where we are delighted to partner with the SharePoint Usergroup Once Again. Following on from the great events that we've had over the last two years, we've lined up another great event for your benefit. We are delighted to welcome John Timney to give us a shop floor view of SharePoint Project Management, and in good old NEBytes fashion we'd like to chair an open discussion on where the Microsoft Stack is heading and discuss all the key elements of Windows 8, WindowsRT, Windows Phone 8, Azure and beyond. Register now, you won't want to miss this opportunity!

Date: Wednesday 25th July 2012

Time: 18:30-21:00

SharePoint Project Management overview for Team Members with John Timney

Taking a different viewpoint on SharePoint delivery this session looks at Project Management for SharePoint from the shop floor view, looking at how you as a member of the implementation team can impact the successful delivery of SharePoint and shows how having a better understanding of the stages of delivery can make you a better IT Pro. The session considers what the different phases of a SharePoint delivery are, who and what might be involved and what some of the gotchas are at each stage. Without ever opening Microsoft Project the session is ideally aimed at information architects, implementation and development staff and will also give Management a much needed view of delivery from the shop floor up.

John can be described as a creative, proactive and quality orientated Security Cleared, ITIL 3 Certified Management and IT Professional. He is a veteran MVP and a former Microsoft MSDN “Regional Director” which demonstrates a respected technical background. He is co-author of several books including “Professional Microsoft .NET Windows Forms”, “Professional .NET for Java Developers Using C#”, “Professional JSP” and “Beginning JSP Web Development”. John is an enthusiastic, technically diverse, well informed and forward thinking IT specialist with a very credible market reputation.

UPDATE - Additional Session Added

What's New for IT Pros in SharePoint 2013

This session provides a holistic overview of the changes in SharePoint 2013 from an IT Pro perspective.  The session is designed to help the audience to determine what significant changes they need to research, target and practice build in 2013.  What significant architectural changes have occurred, what the new footprint entails, storage considerations, browser support, a dip into what has been dropped, an overview of what has matured, upgrade differences, search changes and other aspects that are important to an IT Pro in up-skilling with the next wave of SharePoint.  This is a must attend session for leading edge SharePoint IT Pro looking to jump start their 2013 experience curve.

Where are we with the Microsoft Technology Stack?

In true NEBytes tradition we'd like to take the opportunity at this halfway point to discuss opinions and views on where the Microsoft Technology Stack. What questions do you have? What do you like/dislike? What would you like to see in the future?


The event will be hosted in Room 1.02 of Claremont Tower at Newcastle University. For a detailed campus map -

Eventbrite - NEBytes July 2012 - Managing Projects With SharePoint

NEBytes June 2012 - Enough About the Colour Tell Me About VS2012

Join North East Bytes for our sixth event of 2012 where our very own Andrew Westgarth and good friend of NEBytes, Black Marble's Richard Fennell will be giving us the rundown on Visual Studio 2012 and Team Foundation Server 2012.   Register now, you won't want to miss this opportunity!

Date: Wednesday 20th June 2012

Time: 18:30-21:00

Visual Studio 2012 and Team Foundation Server 2012 with Andrew Westgarth and Richard Fennell

Richard and Andrew will be giving us the low down on the new enhancements coming with Visual Studio 2012 and Team Foundation Server 2012.  Come along to hear about all the improvements to the User Interface, the Code Editors, Project Planning, Project Management.  Andrew and Richard will guide you through the myriad of SKU options and will also show off some of their favourite features coming in .Net Framework 4.5 for example bundling and minification.

Richard Fennell is the Engineering Director of the Black Marble Ltd a Microsoft Gold Partner based in the North of England. Black Marble specialises in BizTalk & SharePoint based business automation.
As Engineering Director Richard is responsible for the delivery of systems and tools to allow my company, and our clients, to deliver solutions efficiently. All Black Mable's development activity is underpinned by Visual Studio Team System an agile process model. Richard is a MVP for Visual Studio ALM (nee Team System), a Typemock MVP and a Certified Scrum Master
Richard is a regular presenter at community events in the UK and Ireland (and the rest of the world given a chance) where his most common subject is software testing and the development process.
If you want to get in touch please use the contact form on his blog or follow Richard's Twitter feed @RichardFennell

Andrew Westgarth (@apwestgarth) is founder of DDD North and Co-founder of North East Bytes.

He is a Technical Architect at Sage (UK) Ltd working on large scale cloud and web applications. Andrew is very active in the UK Developer Community, attending and speaking at multiple events, supporting users and other User Groups. In the past he has spoken at the Irish Microsoft Technology Conference, VBUG's National Two Day Conference; DDD Events and local User Group meetings. Andrew has experience in VB6/.NET; C#; ASP.NET and Internet Information Services. Andrew's current technical interests include IIS 8.0/7.5/7.0, IIS Extensions and Windows Azure; Personal Performance Improvement and Best Practices.


The event will be hosted in Room 1.02 of Claremont Tower at Newcastle University. For a detailed campus map -

Eventbrite - NEBytes June 2012 - Enough About the Colour Tell Me About VS2012 & TFS 2012

Scott Hanselman’s User Group Tour of Scotland

Yes that’s right, Scott Hanselman is touring Scottish User Groups in July!  Kudos to Gary Park of the Aberdeen Developers User Group for arranging this and if you can make the trip up to Scotland for any of Scott’s sessions I whole heartedly recommend it, Scott is a great speaker, very engaging and delivers fantastic content!

Scott will be presenting at four different User Groups and the details are below:

For more details see Gary’s post on his blog in addition to Scott’s own posts on the tour -

NEBytes and SUGUK May 2012–Threat Modelling and SharePoint Workflows

Join North East Bytes for our fifth event of 2012 where we are delighted to partner with the SharePoint Usergroup Once Again.  Following on from the great events that we've had over the last two years, we've lined up another great event for your benefit.  We are delighted to welcome Neil Dixley, from Sage, to guide us through the process of Threat Modelling, and we welcome Tony Hughes from TSG to give us the rundown on Nintex Forms and Workflow for SharePoint 2010.   Register now, you won't want to miss this opportunity!

Date: Wednesday 16th May 2012

Time: 18:30-21:00

Nintex Workflow and Forms 2010 with Tony Hughes

Nintex Workflow 2010

Nintex Workflow 2010 adds a drag-and-drop workflow designer, connectivity and advanced workflow features to the Microsoft SharePoint 2010 platform. Tony will demonstrate how Nintex Workflow 2010 can reduce development time and empower users to automate their own processes in minutes.

Nintex Forms 2010

Nintex Forms 2010 is a web based designer for the Microsoft SharePoint 2010 platform that enables custom forms to be created within SharePoint quickly and easily. Tony will demonstrate how Forms can be designed and consumed on most common mobile devices from the internet, anywhere and anytime.

Tony Hughes is a Senior SharePoint Specialist at TSG (Technology Services Group), who have kindly hosted for SUGUK many times in the past.

Tony has been involved with SharePoint since 2001 in consultancy, pre-sales and sales roles. Working across a wide range of business sectors in both the private and public sector Tony is highly skilled in conveying the business benefits of SharePoint Technologies to a range of audiences in a non-technical fashion.

Modelling Security Threats with Neil Dixley

Threat modelling is a powerful and effective way of discovering and closing security vulnerabilities in applications. This session will look at techniques and tools available and includes an interactive example.

Despite being one of the senior engineers on a ‘Subprime’ project  in the USA, Neil survived and spent most of the last 10 years working in the north east for Tombola, Codeworks and now Sage. Neil is also one of the funkiest banjo players this side of the pond.


The event will be hosted in Room 1.02 of Claremont Tower at Newcastle University. For a detailed campus map -

Stay up to date with North East Bytes

Follow us on Twitter - and become a fan on Facebook -

Eventbrite - NEBytes May 2012 - Threat Modelling and SharePoint Workflows

The 2012 Imagine Cup UK Final Results Are In

As many of you who have attended NEBytes events recently will know we have been doing our very best to support all the teams who have taken part in the 2012 Imagine Cup North East.  Well today was the final of the UK Competition and the results are in.  We are delighted to announce that the two teams which went through from the Imagine Cup North East Finals finished first and second in the UK Final!!!!!!!!!

This is a fantastic result not only for the teams but for the North East community as a whole!  This is the first year we have seen participation in the Imagine Cup competition from the North East and we hope to see this continue for many, many years to come.  The standard of entries from the North East teams alone was very high so we can imagine that the UK judges had a real difficulty in choosing the eventual winner!

The winners of the Imagine Cup UK Final were Team Eyeworks, who presented their idea at NEBytes last month and the very close runners up were Teeside 0x32.  Both entries were fantastic and we really hope that both teams continue to develop their fantastic ideas!  We hope to welcome both of the teams back to NEBytes very soon to get their reaction on the result and to find out their next steps!

Well done to all of the teams who took part in every single stage of the competition and good luck to Team Eye Works when they travel to Sydney to represent the UK in the 2012 Imagine Cup World Final!!!!

Imagine Cup North East: Team Eye Works

At our March event we had the pleasure of welcoming Team Eye Works to NEBytes to present their entry in the 2012 Imagine Cup.  We asked the team to provide us with a blog post about their project and so I’ll hand the content over to them:

Mobile Intelligent Retinal Analysis (MIRA)

Imagine Cup entry by Team Eye Works


Four students from the North East of England have been bought together to make up Team Eye Works. The team is competing in the Microsoft Imagine Cup. Consisting of 3 students from Northumberland University, and one student from Newcastle College, the team came together with a wide range of skills, with the intention of tackling one of the world’s great problems.

The Problem

A lot of people take the gift of sight for granted, and don’t realise how easily this gift can be taken away from them, due to everyday conditions, which, if detected early, can be prevented.

In the UK, recent studies have shown that 2 million people were living with various degrees of sight loss. It has been shown that 50% of the 2 million cases could have been prevented, and the World Health Organisation has discovered that 90% of people suffering from sight loss are living within the developing world.

Out of the various causes of sight loss, the main contributors are cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration.


Team Eye Works have proposed to tackle this problem by making a mobile platform app capable of detecting the symptoms of the previously mentioned causes of sight loss.


This shall be accomplished by creating a piece of software which will be capable of analysing an image of the human retina to detect different abnormalities. This will be done by comparing the taken image against a library of images. The library of images shall contain pictures of retinal abnormalities. By using Microsoft Azure, the software will be able to upload and download images for analysis. It is important to use a system such as Microsoft Azure, as it can contain, and store a large amount of data, which will be available almost anywhere in the world, without the need for a physical backup. This will allow Team Eye Works’ solution to be used globally. Apart from the cloud, the mobile app will also be able to do a local comparison of the retina image using neural networks. A different neural network will be trained beforehand for each disease and used on the mobile app to quickly analyse the retinal image and give a probability of infection. As internet connectivity is not as reliable in developing countries this feature is required. It was decided to go with the neural network approach to effectively use the limited memory and computational power of mobile phones, as the approach of comparing retinal image with the image database (used by the cloud) is highly expensive, demanding a lot of computational and memory requirements.

Whilst the software is a very important element of the proposed solution from Team Eye Works, hardware is just as important. The solution will be developed for Windows Mobile technology, and will require other physical elements. Currently there is no mobile device on the consumer market that has a suitable camera and lens package. This has meant that Team Eye Works have researched, and developed a lens attachment and an apparatus used for chin rest and the camera stand, that will be capable of allowing mobile devices to capture best quality image of the retina, which will be suitable for the image analysis. The image displayed below shows the flow of the proposed system.