London Trip

U.K. Trip

I am currently flying back home after 6 days in the U.K.  I'm on a plane for 10 hours, so this is an ideal time for a blog entry.  I was there to collaborate with some of our internal team members and partners on an interesting project involving advanced Web Services.  It was a great trip and London is a great city.  I have been there a few times before, but this trip was long enough to appreciate it more than past visits.  Spending seven straight days away from home is something that I prefer to avoid, but I will be seeing Angie and Chloe tonight for dinner at least.

We had some great meetings, and I think all involved would certainly agree we made excellent progress.  I was also able to spend time at both the Microsoft office in Reading and the MSN office in the Soho district in London.  Much of my time was focused on technical pursuits involving Web Services and implementing performance counters in WSE 2.0 (I'll share details on my implementation soon).  I also worked with my MCS team on MOM 2005 integration for our Web Services demo.

"Lamb Coma"

We had an excellent dinner with one of our partners in Newbury at The Bunk Inn.  It was lots of fun, and the conversation was interesting.  Chung recommended I try the famous half lamb shoulder, so I did.  It was much larger than I expected, but I ate every last bit of the thing!  And then it set in-- the Lamb Coma! It was if I had failed "a savings throw versus paralysis" or something. I became instantly drowsy for about 15 minutes. When I emerged out of the Lamb Coma, the dinner conversation had become creative and a little whimsical.  I joined in this goofiness with a discussion around "wetware" implants and the Mouth Area Network.

Mouth Area Network

Those who have heard my pitch for the Mouth Area Network know that it's mostly tongue in cheek.  It is a form of a personal area network which seeks to implement intra-, inter-, and extra- mouth-area communications using pluggable computing modules which replace your teeth.  These modules are functionally and aesthetically equivalent to teeth, but offer much more value to end users (here is a diagram of your teeth).  Different oral modules provide storage, processing, communications, and IO.  These modules need to be integrated in some sort of mouth-wide network with a service bus architecture ideally.

We expanded on this concept during our dinner discussion.  We talked about a data storage module that would replace a first or second molar and that could be both upgradeable and support plug-and-play.  Bruce and I discussed supporting the idea of a short-range wireless communications unit that would simply replace a third molar (a.k.a. wisdom tooth).  We decided that this particular tooth unit would be a blue color.  We also discussed a line-of-sight module to replace one of your central incisors using a gold tooth with a diamond in it (diagram here)-- this could be very classy while providing infrared transfer services when you smile. 

I started thinking about using WS-* protocols to achieve the integration of the oral modules.  Perhaps I could implement some of the key WS-* protocols within a micro-CLR implementation from someone like Hive-Minded.  One of the most important scenarios is establishing trust between different mouths, and the need for a challenge/response protocol for establishing secure conversations in mouth-to-mouth (extranet) service integration.  Given these requirements, a robust Web services artchitecture is required.  Of course, I’m guessing at least some of you would like me to consider REST for this topic.

London Recommendations

On a more serious note, I have some recommendations for those visiting London.  St. Martins Lane, a hotel near Covent Garden and the West End theatres, is an excellent place!  The Light Bar, which is in the hotel, is a great place for geeks to gather to discuss deep topics while enjoying fine beverages.  The Red Fort is an amazing and high quality Indian restaurant in Soho.  The food was incredible, the atmosphere was ideal, and the variety was really good.  I definitely recommend it.

Working with Beta 2 of Visual Studio 2005

I pulled down Beta 2, and I am busy working through the changes since the last CTP.  Overall, this release seems much more polished than I expected.  I will be implementing some DebuggerVisualizers for the rest of this flight.