Chris Pietschmann

husband, father, hacker, entrepreneur, futurist, innovator, autodidact


Awarded 2017 Microsoft MVP - Azure

I received notice this morning that I have been awarded Microsoft MVP in the Azure expertise category. It's been a few years since I wasn't renewed as a Bing Maps MVP, and it feels great to be recognized for the work I've been doing with, the Milwaukee Azure group, and other online and offline community contributions. This is certainly a great way to ring in the new year. Happy New Year! And, congratulations to all other renewed and newly awarded MVPs! If you are not familiar with... [More]

My Top 11 Business Tips

I have quite a bit of experience in both failing and succeeding in my career, from working as an employee to being an entrepreneur. If you follow my blog you may not know this as I haven't really blogged about it. In quick summary: Back in 2007 I quite my day job and went all in on a side project I was working on to build a product to sell with Simplovation LLC. The product didn't sell quite like I had planned, so I had to get consulting work. I was a freelance consultant for quite a few years o... [More]

Image Editing Tools: Here's what I use

If you follow my blogs (here,,, Twitter (@crpietschmann, @BuildAzure, @BuildHoloLens) and Open Source project then you're familiar that I have a number of custom drawn images and screenshots that I author to go with various content I'm authoring. Something I've never posted on is what tools I use for editing / creating all these images. The reason I felt this would be worth posting is that I do NOT use Photoshop or any other professional tool. In fact I use FREE... [More]

Announcing New Blog!

  With the recent release of the Microsoft HoloLens, I've decided to dig deep into HoloLens development. In an effort to continue in a similar fashion to what I'm already doing with, I've decided to create a dedicated site for all my Microsoft HoloLens content. The latest addition to my learning, blogging, and sharing endeavors is the all new Build HoloLens blog located at I have also created the new @BuildHoloLens Twitter account associated with the... [More]

Beachbody On Demand - Netflix of Exercise

Personally, I've been a Beachbody customer since 2010 when I originally began my own personal fitness and health journey. I first started with P90X and then purchased the newer P90X3 from Beachbody and Tony Horton. For a long time the only way to do Beachbody workouts were to put in a DVD (in your TV, Computer or portable DVD player); while this works just fine there are a few things that can go wrong. What if the DVDs get scratched? or Lost? Fortunately, Beachbody has innovated recently with th... [More]

Windows Live Writer now Open Source! as Open Live Writer

The old Windows Live Writer application for authoring blog posts in a “Word-style” fashion was a really good blog authoring application. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been maintained by Microsoft in a long time and is closed sourced. Thankfully, there’s been a movement to finally get Windows Live Writer released as Open Source. Thanks to Scott Hanselman and MANY others, the all new Open Live Writer has now been released! Download it here: The new Open Live Writer is license... [More]

Hack to Force new Skype for Business UI over Lync

Microsoft recently released an update that rebrands Lync as Skype for Business. Many got the update automatically through Windows Update, but not everyone gets the new user interface (UI). There is a Lync Server setting that tells the client to use the either the old Lync or the new Skype for Business UI. If the server doesn't have this setting, such as older Lync servers that haven't been updated yet, then the default is to show the old Lync UI. One frustrating part of this update/change from a... [More]

Social Media has ruined my blog, or am I just lazy?

As I've been using Twitter more the last couple years, I've also been blogging less. Every time I go to write up a new blog entry I realize how long it's been since the previous post. I know I'm not alone in this, and other people might blame Twitter, Facebook and/or some other social media service. It's so incredibly easy to share a link or just a sentence of information on Twitter. Facebook makes it easy to share more than just a short blurb, so many people use Facebook instead and then post a... [More]

All Information Workers are NOT Equal or Even Approximate!

There have been information workers for a long time. However, even after all this time, it is amazing that one of the biggest misconceptions is that all information workers are equal (or at least approximately equivalent.) It basically goes like this: an hour of worker A’s time is pretty much equal to an hour of worker B’s time. In reality this couldn’t be further from reality. It’s like saying a high school graduate today is as smart as Albert Einstein. Well, maybe that example is a little ext... [More]

Office 365 + Microsoft Account + Password Expiration = FAIL!

One of my business email accounts is hosted in Exchange Server via Microsoft Online Services. Earlier this year they upgraded us to the new Office 365. Everything went well for a few months after the upgrade, until my password happened to expire on my earlier this week. Below is a solution I was able to figure out to regain access to my account (without calling Microsoft for support/help.) Background This specific email address is also a Microsoft Account (aka Windows Live ID) and has been eve... [More]

Awarded 2012 Microsoft MVP - Bing Maps

Whether I won MVP or not I would still do what I do. My passion for technology and the pleasure of helping others it what drives me. This marks the 5th time I've been awarded Microsoft MVP, and am honored for this recognition. Thank you Microsoft! Congratulations to all April Fools MVP's; new and renewed! If you are not familiar with the Microsoft MVP Program, you can find information about it here:

Technology to Watch in 2011 and Beyond

While we may not find evidence of extrasolar intelligence, there is plenty of terrestrial things to keep in eye on. But then again, you never know. The below items are not numbered, as I did not want to emphasize any single item more than the others. They are all important and their advancements WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING! “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Arthur C. Clarke Advancements in Technology Touch Screens Sure, we’ve seen single touch monito... [More]

2 Interesting TED Talks on The Truth About Plastic

Below are videos of two TED talks that I discovered over at They talk about how bad plastic is for the environment, the earth, for us in the end. One disturbing thing that's mentioned is that plastic does break down into smaller pieces over time, but plastic is always plastic, is always plastic. It never truly breaks down to a point where the environment can use if for something other than pollution. Dianna Cohen: Tough truths about plastic pollution Capt. Charles Moore on the seas of... [More]

The Future of Location: You Haven't Seen Nothing Yet!

The popularity of location aware devices and software has been on the rise for the last five years, since Google Maps and Microsoft Virtual Earth (now Bing Maps) were initially released. Surprisingly, however, the utilization and adoption of geo-location and mapping haven't been as rapid as I had speculated back in 2005. Today there are all kinds of location based applications and services popping up. Paper Maps and Expensive Software Prior to 2005 the existence of maps were mostly on paper. Y... [More]

Today (8/31) is last day to enter 2010 Community Coding Contest for chance to win an MSDN Ultimate Subscription!

Today is the last day to enter the 2010 Community Coding Contest for a chance to win an MSDN Ultimate Subscription plus a total of approximately $20,719 worth of prizes!! All you need to do is write some source code to do something, and enter it into the contest. Who know, you could be one of the winners!

Microsoft BizSpark: My new startup is enrolled, but was denied twice before this blog post

Update Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010: I have had a few people contact me about getting denied enrollment in the BizSpark program. Most of these people are trying to enroll a CONSULTING company; which is NOT what BizSpark is for. BizSpark is for companies that are “Actively engaged in development of a software-based product or online service that will form a core piece of its current or intended business.” That means, if you want to enroll in BizSpark, that you must be developing a product ... [More]

Bing Community Site Not SEO Optimized

Since Bing is a search (ahem, I mean “decision”) engine, I would assume that the rest of the website, other than the search, would be SEO optimized (Search Engine Optimization). It hosts blogs and forums, and I would assume Microsoft would want them to be indexed by Google and Yahoo. After all, more traffic to the Bing site should be a good thing. However, it seems that the “Bing Community” sections of are lacking when it comes to SEO. Below are some link... [More]

Boycott BP, Save the Planet!

I've decided to boycott BP until the Oil Spill in the Guld of Mexico is fixed/cleaned up! If you remember the oil spill in Alaska back in the '80's then you remember all the pictures/videos of all the animals killed by being covered in oil. The same thing is happening today in the Gulf of Mexico with the oil drilling blowout that has been spewing oil into the ocean for a month now. Oil does not occur naturaling in the ocean or on land. As a result animals can not breath or fly when covered in o... [More]

Awarded 2010 Microsoft MVP - Windows Live Platform

"Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2010 Microsoft® MVP Award!" I'm happy to announce that I've been awarded the Microsoft MVP award for the third year in a row. Just like last year, I've been awarded within the "Windows Live Platform" category. The "Windows Live Platform" category includes the Bing Maps SDK (both JavaScript and Silverlight Map Controls) which is the product/technology that I work with and help out others with the most in this category. Congratulation... [More]

Software Basics: What are Databases and Data Access Layers, and How do they relate to Web Services?

In my own personal discussions with other developers and computer users I've seen a fair amount of confusion as to what a database is. Since the purpose of almost all applications is to Create/Read/Update/Delete data, they need to connect to a database, since data persistence storage need to be provided for the application to function as intended. If you want to stick to the simplest definition below, then a file cabinet is technically a database, but now that we're in the information age we don... [More]

Feb. 23rd 2010: Blogs been dark lately, but I've been busy, busy... Neuroscience what?

I've read a couple of "Intro" to neuroscience and psychology books, and what I've learned has fascinated and inspired my way more than anything I've learned about computers and electronics over the years. The Brain is truly the more complex "computer" the work has ever seen! Here's a couple books I've read that I highly recommend: A User's Guide to the Brain: Attention, Preception, and the Four Theaters of the Brain by John Ratey Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism by Temple Grandin A ... [More]

My Brother In Law Is Home After Second Tour In Iraq

My Brother In Law, Jeremy, is back now after his second tour in Iraq. This time he was gone only 12 months, instead of 18 months the first time. He has a wife (my sister) and 3 boys (3yrs, 6yrs and 9yrs) of whom were eagerly awaiting his return. The people at WXOW Channel 19 in La Crosse, WI interviewed them when he returned to Wisconsin. Written Article - "Family waits for soldiers return" Video of Interview - "Family waits for soldiers return" The above picture is from the video, and is m... [More]

Community Coding Contest 2010 - Looking for Input and Prizes

Now that it's 2010, and over a year since the first Community Coding Contest came to an end, I'm thinking about running the contest again in 2010. Last time it ran for 3 months and we had 6 really great entries. This time around I'm thinking that it may be better to accept entries for 6 months, and have the voting run for a full month. This will give much more time for entries to be submitted, and for people to work on their entries before submitting and/or voting begins. These are just some i... [More]

Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 Setup Contains a Weird Blue Mac-Style Button!

I just finished installing Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 within a Windows 7 Virtual Machine running within Windows VIrtual PC and the Final/Finish screen of the installation wizard contains a weird, blue, Mac-style Button. Ok, I know it’s not exactly how the button are in the UI of Max OSX, but it’s much closer to that than it is to Windows 7 buttons. The button looks so incredibly out of place, and I wonder who decided that it should be used, especially since it doesn’t match the... [More]