Sunday, December 29, 2013

My First Pluralsight Course Released

I am very happy to announce that my first Pluralsight course has gone live! The course have been over a year in the making. The topic is the Windows Azure Marketplace and can be found here.

The two-hour course details the 160+ cloud-scale data sets available in the marketplace that provide interesting and useful data from around the world, with over half of the data sets offering at least some free level of access. The data can be easily downloaded into Excel or incorporated into any .NET application. I highly recommend browsing the datasets in the Marketplace to see which ones are of interest to you, then watch my course to learn how to take full advantage of them.

Not only is the Marketplace a great place to locate and consume useful data, it is also a place where you can easily publish your own data on a global level (currently 88 countries). It is your choice to offer the data for free, for a monthly subscription fee, or both. It truly is a great money-making opportunity.

The Windows Azure Marketplace is a little-known but very exciting offering and I am sure you will enjoy learning more about it.  If you don’t currently have a Pluralsight subscription, you can get a 10-day free trial here.


Joe Kunk
Okemos, MI USA

Saturday, March 17, 2012

VMWare Guest OS Won’t Connect to Internet–How I fixed it

I use VMWare Workstation to host virtual machines (VM) for writing my articles.  I make sure to use a VM that has only the software that I really need, to eliminate side effects that could skew the behavior of the software I am writing about.

Some time ago, I started having the problem that I could not get the Windows 7 Professional guest OS to connect to the internet inside the VM. Nothing worked. I tried NAT, bridged, bridged with copied physical adapter settings. I reset the Windows Firewall, I turned off the Windows firewall, I ran network diagnostics.

I searched the Internet for a solution but found nothing particularly helpful. I was spending precious time I should have been writing, on frustratingly unsuccessful attempts to solve this problem. I am running VMWare Workstation version 7.1.5 build-491717.

I worked around it by downloading files on the host laptop and putting them in a shared folder that the VM could see. For applications that required Internet access, I worked on the bare metal of my laptop but I really wanted the isolation of the VM.

Today I realized the bridged connection was bridging to my unconnected ethernet port and not my wireless adapter. There is no way to specify what to bridge to in the VM settings but I found the Virtual Network Editor utility in the VMWare application folder on the host laptop. It has an option to specify which device the Bridge will connect to.  I set it to bridge to my wireless adapter and now I have Internet access in all my VMWare VMs without any issue.

VMWare Virtual Netwok Editor

I post this for others that may be experiencing the same issue.  If you found this post helpful, please add a comment to that effect.

Joe Kunk
Microsoft MVP VB
Okemos, MI USA


Monday, January 09, 2012

Headed to CodeMash

Eric Vogel and I will be heading down to Sandusky OH for CodeMash on Tuesday afternoon. CodeMash is held each year at the Kalahari resort and is both educational and a lot of fun. What I like most about it is the diversity of developers among many technologies way outside the .Net space. I always come  back with a fresh perspective and a head full of new ideas. With over 1300 attendees, many flying in from all over the country, that is guaranteed to happen. If you are attending CodeMash this year, please be sure to stop me and say hello.

If you want to attend CodeMash in 2013, there are a couple thing you must remember to do. First, follow @codemash on twitter and announcements on the web at There is a google group as well.

Next, the hotel rooms are made available well in advance of the actual tickets sales. Grab a room reservation as soon they are announced available – if you wait until you get your tickets, it will be too late. There is a small cancellation fee if you don’t get tickets, but rooms are always in demand and you can transfer the reservation to someone else at no charge.

Be ready to purchase your event ticket as soon as they become available. The date and time is announced in advance. This year, the 1300+ tickets sold out in 90 minutes and there was such a rush that it crashed EventBrite, so keep your keyboard warm and ready on registration day and keep retrying even if the site crashes.

Hope that helps.

Joe Kunk
Microsoft MVP Visual Basic
Okemos, MI USA
January 9, 2012


Sunday, January 01, 2012

Renewed as Visual Basic MVP for 2012

I am very honored to announce that I have been renewed as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in the Visual Basic discipline for the fourth consecutive year. The award is more exciting for me each year!

I congratulate all my fellow Microsoft industry professionals that received their first MVP award or were also renewed.

The MVP awards are announced on the first day of each calendar quarter. Each successful candidate is then eligible for renewal annually on the same date as long as their MVP status remains in good standing.

The MVP is awarded in recognition of technical community leadership and willingness to share expertise over the last year. If you are interested in becoming a MVP or wish to nominate someone with exceptional contributions, you can learn more at

I look forward to continuing to participate in the Microsoft developer community and sharing my experiences and expertise, hopefully to the benefit of many.

Joe Kunk
Microsoft MVP Visual Basic
Okemos, MI USA
January 2012

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Microsoft MVP Profile

Every so often I get asked for the link to my Microsoft MVP profile. It is too long to remember so I always have go to the MVP Quick Search page and search for myself.  To make easier for myself and others to find that page, below is the link to my MVP Profile.  My MVP ID number is 4024553.
I update this MVP Profile page every couple months with anything new that I have done related to the .Net community, so it is a good one-stop location to see what I have been up to professionally. The last update was December 9 2011.

Joe Kunk
Microsoft MVP Visual Basic
Okemos MI USA
December 2011

Update: Caio Proiete kindly pointed out that each MVP has a custom URL that goes to the same page. For me, that URL is:
Thanks Caio!

Monday, November 28, 2011

A review of Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch Business Application Development by Jayaram Krishnaswamy

As a Microsoft MVP, I was fortunate enough to be able to see demos and follow the development of Microsoft’s  project Kitty Hawk, better known now by its release name of Visual Studio LightSwitch (VSLS). I was then, and remain now, very excited about this new version of Microsoft Visual Studio.

VSLS is exciting because it brings Rapid Application Development (RAD) into Microsoft.Net development; something that many developers have complained has been missing since VB6.

VSLS is exciting because it provides an easier .Net development platform for the “techie” that does not want to learn all the complexities of the full .Net stack but needs to quickly deliver line-of-business applications that solve yesterday’s problems today.

VSLS is exciting because it provides a migration path to the full Microsoft .Net professional application when and if that becomes necessary, since it is part of the Visual Studio family.

In “Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch Business Application Development” (ISBN: 978-1-849682-86-2), Jayaram Krishnaswamy, provides a clear path to understanding and using Visual Studio LightSwitch. Published in September 2011, it covers the released version of VSLS with the latest features, not the earlier Beta 1 which was significantly different; be careful to avoid VSLS books based on Beta 1.

Filled with full-color screen images and ample references, the book introduces the necessary concepts and skills in a natural order, one that should be comfortable even to someone with no prior VSLS experience. Examples and sample code are provided in both C# and Visual Basic.

The table of contents are:

Chapter 1 – Getting Started with Microsoft LightSwitch
Chapter 2 – Microsoft LightSwitch IDE and Architecture
Chapter 3 – Accessing Data from a VSLS Application
Chapter 4 – Screens in VSLS Application
Chapter 5 – Working with Entities
Chapter 6 – Querying and Filtering Data
Chapter 7 – Writing Code in Microsoft LightSwitch
Chapter 8 – Authentication and Authorization in VSLS
Chapter 9 – Deploying LightSwitch Applications
Chapter 10 – Troubleshooting, Debugging, Custom Controls, and Extensions

Some books choose to pick a single application and progressively enhance it with each chapter. I am not a fan of this approach since it makes it much harder to jump around to learn specific skills as needed or use the book as a reference. Fortunately, Jayaram does not do this, instead tailoring each example to clearly illustrate the point at hand.

When I began my professional career as a developer, each software program came with a comprehensive printed manual and it was possible to take the manual home and read it over the weekend and come into work on Monday morning, ready to be productive on the first day.  Today, as you know, comprehensive printed manuals have disappeared and it is up to the developer to find and use the best learning resources from myriad sources, each offering only a piece of the information needed. I miss having software product manuals. To my knowledge, Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch Business Application Development is the most comprehensive single resource available today for learning to use Visual Studio LightSwitch.  It is the next best thing to having an official manual; some would say better due to its conversational tone.

Whether you are an experienced developer or just interested in development in Visual Studio LightSwitch, I recommend you read this book.

Joe Kunk
Microsoft MVP Visual Basic
Okemos, MI USA
November 2011

Disclaimer: The publisher provided a free ebook for this review. No other compensation was given.



Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Free Databases in the Windows Azure Marketplace

The Windows Azure Marketplace has a hidden jewel: a host of free and nearly free databases.

My article on Windows Azure Marketplace databases just published online and in the November 2011 print issue of Visual Studio Magazine.

This article explores 14 different free databases or databases that are free for the first several thousand queries per month. These include topics such as language translation, economics, crime, health, real estate, and global statistics.

A sample MVC 3 web site is available for download that demonstrates using these databases, in both C# and Visual Basic code.  The same techniques used can be used to consume the additional 100+ paid databases available in the Windows Azure Marketplace in many more topics.

I hope you find it useful.

Joe Kunk
Microsoft MVP Visual Basic
Okemos, MI USA
November 2011