I must be the only person who didn’t have a ZX-Spectrum and play Manic Miner. If you hark for those days of irritating beeps and badly drawn sprites then try this SilverLight version of Manic Miner http://www.nxtgenug.net/manicminer/
Top score at the moment is Lee with a whopping 128,720 – obviously has way too much time on his hands. I expect to see Steve Clayton on the leaderboard any time soon :)
It was developed buy the guys at the NextGen UG
Here’s a bit of info about them :-
FAQ about NxtGenUG
Why another User Group?
Todays developer is in a different situation, they can no longer get away with just language knowledge, and even that is quite daunting. Look at VB.NET or C# and how they have changed since their initial arrival on the scene. The Language is just the starting point for many things, for example, XML, SQL, Web Services and architectural decisions. Throw in all the next wave of technologies WPF, WCF, WF, Office 12 and Windows Vista and developers are becoming in danger of being left behind. Dave, John and Myself felt we need to get developers to the front line and give them an 'overview' of all these incredible technologies and others such as Media Centre and Xbox 360. By forming our own group we have the control to implement all our ideas. We are all so excited we have now reached the starting line - theres a lot more to come from NxtGenUG for its members.
Why should I register?
Registration will allow you to attend a couple of events to see if you like what we are doing. It also allows us to gauge where we should be creating new regions based on the interest from people who register.
Why should I become a Member?
Becoming a paid-up member allows you to attend all of our meetings and view restricted articles and interviews on the site. Registration for events is easy - one click registration and all feedback from the event is completed online. We offer two membership packages, Individual and Corporate, both are very competitive with the majority of fees being ploughed back into the meetings and a small slice given to charity. We dont intend to run NxtGenUG at a profit - that means better speakers, relaxing venues, food and great prizes. We have more ideas under development which will make membership even more compelling, which i'd expect to be rolled out by July 2006, I can't really mention them yet, watch for a news announcement soon.
Tell us about the articles and interviews
Yeah, two great features of the site. Articles pitched at the easy to read level, introducing a broad feature such as Vista security or drilling down into a specific item such as Master Pages in ASP.NET 2.0 or getting started with media centre. I'd also see Conference reports and book reviews appearing as articles. The interview part we are really excited about - we have about 30 filed at the moment. The transcripts will be put up on the site and interviews will be shown at meetings, and possibly sent to members on a DVD. Whats really cool about these is seeing Microsoft employees and Independant speakers being really passionate about technology, it shows a very human, or emotional side to technology that does not really come across in articles. If you need to get the low down on a technology why not ask the people who write or speak about it!
What about events?
NxtGenUG are already showing their commitment to the midlands with the launches of Coventry and Birmingham, we will also work with other user groups to cross fertilise members. Both our regions will hold monthly meetings, comprising of one or more presentations, news items, interviews, prizes and food. We will also hold more informal evenings - pie and a pint nights, just to chill, have something to eat and talk 'techie' - these will sometimes even feature a 'special guest'. The majority of the membership fees will go into funding these event, this is why we chose to charge for membership; paying for venues, speaker costs and providing something to eat costs money - we are working hard to keep these costs down, but still provide a real quality of service. Members will also be notified of important Micrososft events its so difficult for developers to keep track of all the things going on. Our event calendar is a 'one-stop-shop' for events developers show know about.
If a developer is interested in speaking or playing more of a role what should they do?
Get in touch! This is what we are about: growing the community and raising members profile. For speakers, Community meeting are a great place to start out - small and informal, before you head onto the bright lights of a major conference. If you want to help organise,submit articles or even demo something you wrote thats great. Members quite often answer each others problems or issues - we are just bringing together like minded people