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Moving to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 free ebook!

September 15th, 2010 No comments

Microsoft Press - Moving to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010Free ebook compliments of Microsoft Press, you can download a PDF. or an XPS of the book and grab the book’s sample code.

The book is broken down into these parts  catering for the following audiences:

  • Part I – for those moving from Visual Studio 2003 to Visual Studio 2010.
  • Part II – for developers moving from Visual Studio 2005.
  • Part III – for developers moving from Visual Studio 2008.

See the blog post about the target audience for this ebook too.

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Channel9: Windows Phone 7 Jump Start

September 14th, 2010 No comments

With the release of the final Windows Phone 7 SDK just days away, now’s the time to get into understanding the concepts, architecture & development side of Windows Phone 7. There’s an interesting series posted on Channel 9 to hep you get there.

This Windows Phone 7 Jump Start video training is for all developers interested in developing applications or games for the new Windows Phone 7 Platform.  The course is based on the Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Developer Training Kit and taught by Microsoft MVP’s and Microsoft Press Authors, Andy Wigley and Rob S. Miles.  Watch these entertaining sessions and complete the labs found on Channel 9 (http://channel9.msdn.com/learn/courses/WP7TrainingKit/) to gain development skills using both XNA and Silverlight. For copies of the student files and links to demo code, you can go to the Windows Phone 7 Born To Learn Forum (http://borntolearn.mslearn.net/wp7/m/classresources/default.aspx).

Enjoy – the ! I’ll be posting about my own adventures soon!

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Events Downunder: CodeCampOz in Wagga & Windows Phone 7 Deep Dive

September 13th, 2010 No comments

As promised, here are some of the (Microsoft) developer events happening down under.

CodeCampOz (Wagga-Wagga)

When / Where:
20-21st of November 2001 / Charles Sturt University Wagga Wagga | Map | How to get there.

Cost: Free of charge | See the CodeCampOz FAQ

Accommodation: See Charles “Chuck” Sterling‘s list of accommodation places!

Registration: http://codecampoz2010.eventbrite.com/

Agenda:

  • Saturday – 20th November

    • 0800: Welcome & Housekeeping
    • 0830: Domain Driven Design with Entity Framework 4.0 (Omar Besiso)
    • 0930: Developing with Microsoft Commerce Server 2009 R2 (Lewis Benge)
    • 1030: Morning Tea
    • 1100: Extending Office with VSTO (Jake Ginnivan)
    • 1200: Magellan – a navigation framework for WPF (Paul Stovell)
    • 1300: Lunch
    • 1400: HTML 5.0, the useful bits – what you can use now! (Alex Mackey)
    • 1500: Afternoon Tea
    • 1530: Real World Unit Testing & Future (Rajitha Aththanyake)
  • Sunday – 21st November

    • 0800: Welcome & Housekeeping
    • 0830: Windows Azure Compute for Developers (Steven Nagy)
    • 0930: Windows Phone with Silverlight (Nick Randolph)
    • 1030: Morning Tea
    • 1100: Not a WIF of Federation (Rory Primrose)
    • 12:00: Behaviour Driven Development with StoryQ (Liam McLennan)
    • 13:00: Lunch
    • 1400: Battle of the Containers (TBA)
    • 1500: Afternoon Tea
    • 1530: Team Build Patterns & Practices (Mitch Denny)
    • 1630: Wrap-up

Windows Phone 7 Deep Dive (Melbourne/Sydney/Adelaide/Brisbane)

When / Where

  • Melbourne: 20th-21st September | Register Now >
    • Exhibition Room| Level 5, 4 Freshwater Place, Southbank VIC 3006 | Map
  • Sydney: 23rd-24th September | Register Now >
    • Exchange |  1 Epping Road North Ryde Sydney, NSW 2113 | Map
  • Adelaide: 27th-28th September | Register Now >
    • Board Room | Level 26, Santos House, 91 King William Street Adelaide SA 5000 | Map
  • Brisbane: 29th-30th September | Register Now >
    • Theatre 2 | Level 9, Waterfront Place 1 Eagle Street Brisbane QLD 4000 | Map

Cost: Free of charge

Registration: See Dave Glover’s blog post.

Please bring your laptop with you on the day.

Agenda:

Day 1
•    9.45am registration for a 10am start
•    Session 1: Introduction and Windows Phone User Experience Overview
•    Session 2: Animation, Orientation and Overlays
•    Session 3: Application Lifecycle, Navigation, Application Tiles and Notification
•    Session 4: Tasks and Touch
•    Session 5: Working with the Accelerometer, Sounds and Location
•    5.30pm close

Day 2

•    9.15am registration for a 9.30am start
•    Session 6: Connecting and Consuming the Web
•    Session 7: Retrieving, Storing and Synchronizing Data
•    Session 8: Silverlight Analytics, Unit Testing and other Frameworks
•    Session 9: Security, Authentication and Performance
•    5.30pm close

Workshop information

Are you interested in Windows Phone 7 Development? Are you keen to get ahead of the competition to create apps for the Windows Phone 7?
Windows Phone 7 is a fresh exciting mobility platform and potentially a land of opportunity for killer apps! These workshops are designed to take your skills to the next level beyond the online training kits and helps you explore some more complex scenarios.

Prerequisites

You need Silverlight/WPF, C# .NET Framework skills and you should have completed a subset of hands on labs from the following:
•    Windows Phone 7 Training Kit
•    Windows Phone 7 Jump Start Training
•    Windows Phone Design Day Recordings

Instructor

The workshop will be run by Nick Randolph from Built to Roam.

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Think this is funny? Think this is some kind of mother flipping joke? Mother flippers think everything’s a mother flipping joke.

July 28th, 2010 No comments

Google Nexus update Froyo officially available!

June 30th, 2010 1 comment

Quick note that the official release of Froyo (Android 2.2) is finally trickling down to Google Nexus One users. You’ll get it by the end of the week if not already. You can also download the officially signed release and update via your SD card alternatively.

UPDATE (01/07): The link above is for updating from the Google-IO Froyo release to the final.

The full OTA release is here:
http://android.clients.google.com/packages/passion/signed-passion-ota-42745.dc39ca1f.zip

The update from Froyo Google-IO to Froyo-OTA:
http://android.clients.google.com/packages/passion/signed-passion-FRF83-from-FRF50.38d66b26.zip

  1. Rename the signed ZIP file to “update.zip” and upload it to your SD Card.
  2. Power off your Nexus device.
  3. Turn it on with the “Volume Down” button pressed.
  4. When the boot loader appears, select “Recovery” using the Volume Up/Down keys to navigate and the Power button to select.
  5. Once the Nexus has rebooted, the screen will display an exclamation mark with Android. Press and hold down Power and Volume Up, it’ll take a bit of time to register.
  6. Navigate to “Apply SDCard:update.zip” and wait for the verification to complete and flash your phone.
  7. After a bit of time the phone will reboot and launch your cultured Froyo release.
  8. Verify by going to Settings > About Phone. The build number should be FRF83.
  9. Bon Appetit!

As mentioned in my previous post from a couple of months back, this release packs a bit of punch! Yum!

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Trailer: Java 4ever

June 26th, 2010 No comments

In genius trailer! The .NET vs Java train left the station so long ago for me. .NET’s great for somethings, for everything else, there’s Java. Probably one of the best nerdy videos for the year!

UPDATED: First video was removed 🙁

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Oracle releases VirtualBox 3.2

May 20th, 2010 1 comment

With the Sun now set, Oracle has released VirtualBox 3.2 finally 🙂 In particular some lovely optimisations for the newer Intel Core i5/i7 processors, Large  Page support (which helps significantly on Windows x64 and Linux) as well as a very welcome optimisation on the networking in VirtualBox as well as multi-monitor support for Windows Guests. Whats more RDP sessions are now accelerated (VRDP).

Amongst the changes from the changelog:

This version is a major update. The following major new features were added:

  • Following the acquisition of Sun Microsystems by Oracle Corporation, the product is now called Oracle VM VirtualBox and all references were changed without impacting compatibility
  • Experimental support for Mac OS X guests (see the manual for more information)
  • Memory ballooning to dynamically in- or decrease the amount of RAM used by a VM (64-bit hosts only) (see the manual for more information)
  • Page Fusion automatically de-duplicates RAM when running similar VMs thereby increasing capacity. Currently supported for Windows guests on 64-bit hosts (see the manual for more information)
  • CPU hot-plugging for Linux (hot-add and hot-remove) and certain Windows guests (hot-add only) (see the manual for more information)
  • New Hypervisor features: with both VT-x/AMD-V on 64-bit hosts, using large pages can improve performance (see the manual for more information); also, on VT-x, unrestricted guest execution is now supported (if nested paging is enabled with VT-x, real mode and protected mode without paging code runs faster, which mainly speeds up guest OS booting)
  • Support for deleting snapshots while the VM is running
  • Support for multi-monitor guest setups in the GUI for Windows guests (see the manual for more information)
  • USB tablet/keyboard emulation for improved user experience if no Guest Additions are available (see the manual for more information).
  • LsiLogic SAS controller emulation (see the manual for more information)
  • RDP video acceleration (see the manual for more information)
  • NAT engine configuration via API and VBoxManage
  • Use of host I/O cache is now configurable (see the manual for more information)
  • Guest Additions: added support for executing guest applications from the host system (replaces the automatic system presimparation feature; see the manual for more information)

Download from VirtualBox or get the Windows build. I’m really hoping the good Oracle keeps VirtualBox open, this is one kickass bit of kit.

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Google opens up VP8 with WebM Project

May 20th, 2010 2 comments

You kind of knew it was going to happen but the mighty Google has open-sourced On2’s VP8 codec and set it free (in the form of a BSD-style license). Don’t forget to read an intro to the WebM VP8 SDK and get the code (the files). Some of the companies backing it and the ideas behind WebM are posted on the first blog entry.

So what is WebM?

WebM includes:

  • VP8, a high-quality video codec we are releasing today under a BSD-style, royalty-free license
  • Vorbis, an already open source and broadly implemented audio codec
  • a container format based on a subset of the Matroska media container

Wonder what MSFT and Apple are going to do? In either case, interesting times ahead for video.

Oh hai, I almost forgot, from their FAQ, some interesting points – besides the Licensing bits.

If I have a video card that accelerates video playback, will it accelerate VP8?

The performance of VP8 is very good in software, and we’re working closely with many video card and silicon vendors to add VP8 hardware acceleration to their chips.

Will WebM files play on my TV, set-top box, PVR, etc.?

Stay tuned! The WebM community is working with hardware manufacturers to bring WebM support to a wide range of devices.

When will other Google products support WebM and VP8?

WebM support in Android is expected in the Gingerbread release (currently planned for Q4, 2010). We expect many other Google products to adopt WebM and VP8 as they prioritize it with their other product requirements. Keep an eye on the WebM blog for announcements.

Man, Google rocks!

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OpenSolaris FIX: Server refused to allocate pty (SSH)

May 11th, 2010 5 comments

Just upgraded a friends OpenSolaris boxen to SNV_134 (latest available from the OpenSolaris dev repository) and after rebooting we realised we couldn’t SSH into it.

Server refused to allocate pty

DOH! This is caused by a known bug that has been around for a few builds now.

You’ll need to modify /etc/minor_perm and add the following to the bottom of the file.

clone:ptmx 0666 root sys

And what happens if your terminals don’t accept keyboard input? You could drop back into the shell *or* be lazy like me, find gText editor in your Accessories, add it to the panel and change the properties to run it as a privileged user:

pfexec gedit %U

Then run the file, open the /etc/minor_perm file, save and reboot. Make sure you change back the shortcut path 🙂

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The Gospel according to Jobs: Thoughts on Flash

May 3rd, 2010 2 comments

Got to give it up for Steve Jobs, he responds to his followers when things are a muck in his church. But putting aside my dislike for Apple antics, I do agree with most of his comments.

Flash was great in the early days, we had the birth of the XaoXao videos and interactivity on the web, but in the past 5-6 years, the hip cool designers of the world have transformed the browsing experience to be  fully Flash driven – which drives me nuts. Do they not realise that content would not be indexable by search engines nor useful for anyone who doesn’t have Flash? Whats more, I’m not after their fancy dancy effects, I’m after content – the exception of Flash being used for animation in addition to content (like slideshows, video presentations or marketing bits) or navigation around a site.

One recent (2006) example is the Eclipse home page, back when I got the AVN6000 installed, I wrote a little blurb on the (then) DeveloperFusion blogs and sure enough took the bulk of the traffic for the keyword AVN6000. The entire site was flash driven up until 2008 and no-one had indexed the content of the site.  As the unit was installed a week after release, it got quite a bit of traffic – nice for me.

I have FlashBlock installed to avoid uninvited flash content (especially annoying opening up a bunch of news articles and one of them is playing a video!) and have no _real_ need for Flash on my mobile devices – youtube works. Android 2.2 (Froyo) will ship with some flash support but it doesn’t excite me as much as the JIT functionality. Gotta JIT that, Gotta JIT that

There are a few points you can criticise Jobs on (HTML5, CSS+JS is no where near the functionality of Flex nor Silverlight – gasp! but it has time and momentum to grow) and everything about Apple is proprietary (sure they have a few good open-source projects – DTrace & WebKit) but their business nature to lock you into fruity loops. I still haven’t got a decent way of avoiding installing iTunes if I want to use an iPod which is the only device my (ironically) AVN6000 supports. As for the latter, overall a job well done I say and well justified move for not having Flash on their devices.

Just like to point out one thing having come from working with the On2 VP6/VP7 bits whilst at Vividas.

Although Flash has recently added support for H.264, the video on almost all Flash websites currently requires an older generation decoder that is not implemented in mobile chips and must be run in software.

What he’s talking about here is that Adobe utilises the On2 VP6 for their video rendering in Flash (as of Flash Player 8) and as such there’s no standard accelerator for the On2 codec (yet!) – its all CPU bound (and prior to 2008 quite intensive to decode!). The VP6 and VP7 codecs (though quite differently utilised) powered (or still powers) the Vividas format (could be different now, I left in 2008). Compared to Flash Player 7, the enhancements that On2 VP6 brought to Flash Player 8 effectively meant that a lot of media was encoded optimised for VP6. Newer versions of Flash Player 9 Update 3+ support h264 however.

Don’t forget that JavaFX also utilises VP6. While you’re there, checkout Gosling rant on Android and his thoughts on the Apple OS X Secret API hooks for the JVM.

With Google having purchased On2 Technologies earlier this year, there’s a bit of excitement and worry about the future of VP8 and whether it will become open-source and what will happen to h264 or Theora (a derivative of On2 VP3 which On2 open-sourced).

Having said all that, I can’t leave you without leaving something to ponder about when it comes to Apple and its many evangelists enthusiasts – maybe you’re one of them?

It’s funny because its true (!), don’t Think Different. Be different 🙂

I guess its time for Adobe to chime in and see their take on things, it better be something flashy!

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