Small'ish turn out last Thursday.. but interesting discussions, including:
Hiring graduates - and what's more important, raw intellectual horse power or some demonstration of existing skills, the value of a bachelors vs. masters/honors degree... And how you can determine a candidates passion, and desperate lack of talent out there at the
Discussed Database migrations - and different strategies for migrating (both data-centric and object-centric) and the missing database-agnostic "ETL" requirement for transforming data during a migration...
Database structure problems were discussed, i.e. legacy databases, and the problems they can present when attempting to work/map/scale them.
2D Barcodes also got a mention (i.e. QR Code) - including the Microsoft research project into high capacity color barcodes.
The impedance mis-match between Amazon's SimpleDB and SQL Server, and how you can implement SimpleDB constructs in a SQL Database for testing etc.
Steganography got a bit of a mention - i.e. encrypting hidden messages into images, and how transformation/cropping tolerant you can make these processes.
I mentioned the LinqBridge project - which gives you access to Linq for objects in .Net Framework 2.0 projects. Great for those of us on projects which can't shift to 3.5 just yet for one reason or another.
FYI - Beware Resharper 4.0 EAP's though, they have a tendency to get confused by 2.0 Projects with Extension methods, turning your Linq statements in a nested set of Enumerable.Where(... etc. calls.
Keith mentioned Pourable computing - which is not something I'd come across before (you can find it briefly discussed in this TED talk by Neil Gershenfeld - part of the CBA @ MIT)
We also talked about LiveMesh - including the flaw in Vista (pre SP1) which prevented you from installing the LiveMesh software without UAC enabled... and Peter raised the question "why aren't you using UAC" ... annoying messages was the response - at which point he suggested we just disable them in the registry by setting
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesSystem onsentPromptBehaviorAdmin to 0.
And then a recurring topic around source control, file versioning (i.e. never overwriting a file) and how office-wide mesh computing could help.
Thanks all for coming - see you all on the 15th of May.