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Archive for the ‘Cool Tools’ Category

Windows Phone 7 Developer Tools Released!

September 17th, 2010 No comments

The moment we’ve all been waiting for, the final release of the Windows Phone 7 SDK has been released! What are you waiting for, go download it and try out some cool things!

No Visual Studio installed? Not an issue, it comes with the Express edition of VS2010 and Expression Blend 4 for Windows Phone as well as XNA and Silverlight tools for Windows Phone and an emulator – all for free too!

For more information, see ScottGu’s great post about it!

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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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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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VirtualBox 3.2.0 Beta 1 Released!

May 3rd, 2010 No comments

Finally downloaded the latest 3.2.0 release of VirtualBox today and gave it ago!

From the forum post for this pre-release.

VirtualBox Version 3.2.0 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
  • 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)
  • 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 (see the manual for more information)
  • USB tablet/keyboard emulation for improved user experience if no Guest Additions are available
  • LsiLogic SAS controller emulation
  • RDP video acceleration
  • NAT engine configuration via API and VBoxManage
  • Guest Additions: added support for executing guest applications from the host system
  • OVF: enhanced OVF support with custom namespace to preserve settings that are not part of the base OVF standard

In addition, the following items were fixed and/or added:

  • VMM: fixed crash with the OpenSUSE 11.3 milestone kernel during early boot (software virtualization only)
  • VMM: fixed OS/2 guest crash with nested paging enabled
  • VMM: fixed Windows 2000 guest crash when configured with a large amount of RAM (bug 5800)
  • VMM: fixed massive display performance loss (AMD-V with nested paging only)
  • Linux/Solaris guests: PAM module for automatic logons added
  • GUI: guess the OS type from the OS name when creating a new VM
  • GUI: added VM setting for passing the time in UTC instead of passing the local host time to the guest (bug 1310)
  • GUI: fixed seamless mode on secondary monitors (bugs 1322 and 1669)
  • GUI: added –seamless and –fullscreen command line switches (bug 4220)
  • Settings: be more robust when saving the XML settings files
  • Mac OS X: rewrite of the CoreAudio driver and added support for audio input (bug 5869)
  • Mac OS X: external VRDP authentication module support (bug 3106)
  • Mac OS X: Moved the realtime dock preview settings to the VM settings (no global option anymore). Use the dock menu to configure it.
  • Mac OS X: added the VM menu to the dock menu
  • 3D support: fixed corrupted surface rendering (bug 5695)
  • 3D support: fixed VM crashes when using ARB_IMAGING (bug 6014)
  • 3D support: fixed assertion when guest applications uses several windows with single OpenGL context (bug 4598)
  • 3D support: added GL_ARB_pixel_buffer_object support
  • 3D support: added OpenGL 2.1 support
  • 3D support: fixed Final frame of Compiz animation not updated to the screen (Mac OS X only) (bug 4653)
  • Added support for virtual high precision event timer (HPET)
  • LsiLogic: Fixed detection of hard disks attached to port 0 when using the drivers from LSI
  • NAT: fixed ICMP latency (non-Windows hosts only; bug 6427)
  • Keyboard/Mouse emulation: fixed handling of simultaneous mouse/keyboard events under certain circumstances (bug 5375)
  • Shared folders: fixed issue with copying read-only files (Linux guests only; bug 4890)
  • OVF: fixed mapping between two IDE channels in OVF and the one IDE controller in VirtualBox

Bootilicious! Download links are on the site (updated for BETA2).

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Mechwarrior 4, free download!

May 2nd, 2010 No comments

Quick note after seeing this on Kotaku, Mektek has released MechWarrior 4 for download for free (as in totally). Bring back those memories! The site’s been MC hammered right now but grab the 1.7Gb and lock & load 🙂

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Visual Studio 2010 & Resharper 5 hit the interwebs.

April 13th, 2010 No comments

A little late on this one, but MSFT have released the long awaited Visual Studio 2010 release and JetBrains have also released ReSharper 5.

A full breakdown of Visual Studios are also available, not a huge fan of all these different SKUs to be honest. You can download a copy from your MSDN subscriptions now, or download the trial version (direct download), buy an upgrade from VS2008 or just download the .NET 4.0 runtime (48Mb).

I’ve spent the past 3 hours downloading from MSDN and its been crawling.

MUST.HAVE.PLINQ.FIX.

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Google shows the power of HTML 5, ports Quake II to run in browser!

April 3rd, 2010 No comments

The title says it all. Using the Jake2 port of Quake II (to Java) the bright sparks at Google have used GWT to bring Quake II to HTML 5.

We started with the existing Jake2 Java port of the Quake II engine, then used the Google Web Toolkit (along with WebGL, WebSockets, and a lot of refactoring) to cross-compile it into Javascript. You can see the results in the video above — we were honestly a bit surprised when we saw it pushing over 30 frames per second on our laptops (your mileage may vary)!

At first I thought it was an April fools joke, but as cruel as that may be, it wasn’t. Download the source and give it ago, I nearly fell of my chair.

At the moment you have to build from source and mess about a bit, but fear not, I followed the guide on OSNews by Kroc on our MacBook Pro and it worked quite well, yet to try it on Linux.

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xkcd goes CLI!

April 2nd, 2010 No comments

This is cool, xkcd is now command line based! Try it!

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ASP.NET MVC 2 released!

March 14th, 2010 No comments

Quick note that ASP.NET MVC 2.0 was released on Friday, still yet to play with the RTM, but don’t let me stop you. Go for it!

Link dump – mostly from Scott Hanselman’s announcement:

Exciting and just in time for a fairly large project we’re working on right now 🙂

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Ninject 2.0 is out, now with more ninja!

February 27th, 2010 1 comment

Nate Kohari (the head Ninja of Ninject) has announced the availability of Ninject 2.0 which has been a long time coming – being a complete rewrite. The sources are on  github repository. Oh and checkout the new website, its got more ninja references that you can poke a ninja with!

As for .NET 4.0 compatibility,  whilst not officially announced, we’ve been using Ninject 2.0 (betas) and now just moving to the final release with .NET 4.0 without issues. All documentation and material are available on the wiki however.

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