Friday, November 20, 2009
It's time for another release of the Windows® API Code
Pack for Microsoft® .NET Framework. Yay! This is a pretty small release (which is why the version just went from 1.0 to 1.0.1) with some bug fixes, performance improvements, and more documentation and samples. It's getting a little attention
- Yochay gives the excellent advice to "consider this library as if you wrote it yourself, as if it is your
own code" and reminds you that while it's "the closest thing to an “official” managed API for Windows", it is not a supported product you can call somebody for help with.
- Mahmoud, who's actually running a Code Pack blog (though I think both Yochay and I have more Code Pack posts).
- Sasha, like me a friend of the Code Pack, also has a summary of Yochay's PDC talk - you should download and watch it.
- Kevin Griffin wrote a nice Code Pack article a day before the new version was announced, but all his praise is still valid
If you're already a Code Pack fan, just go get the latest version. If you're not, you should be - it means just a line or two of code to make your application look and behave like a real Windows 7 app.
And are you wondering what's next for Code Pack?
See why I said to download and watch Yochay's talk?
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Developer Night in Canada is a fun podcast from John Bristowe and Joey deVilla of Microsoft Canada.
Episode 1 - my friend Joel Semeniuk. He's talking about the tool formerly known as Team Systems, and about the way he makes software. The Work Item Manager I told you about gets a mention too. Worth a listen!
Monday, November 16, 2009
Nice blog post from Scott Guthrie while I was getting ready for Tech Ed Europe. It has a whole laundry list of good stuff in WPF 4, but what jumped out for me was the Windows 7 light up content.
What can you expect? Jumplists (items and tasks), icon overlays and progress bar, thumbnail buttons, thumbnail clipping, all of it. Nice.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
I had to check Wikipedia to be sure how to spell that . I thought this was a good post to pull some images off my camera and be a little touristy.
Here is the U-Bahn (subway) station nearest the hotel. We rode the subways back and forth each day, about 30 minutes each way including changing lines, and all free thanks to a transit pass that I believe Kylie ("I'm 4 and a half and I'm a PC") might have created for us. Mine got crumpled and soggy but worked perfectly.
Here we all are headed into the Messe one morning. Big, isn't it?
This one shows you a little more of what we were up against. The big round thing is just the entrance to the complex. The red brick building with a big 2 on it had the speaker room in it. Behind it are other buildings of the same size with the exhibition halls, pavilions etc, and past that the food rooms. The blue-grey building with the 7 on it is the one that held all the breakouts. And yes, we had to go outside (and it rained a fair bit) when going from building to building - but only for 20 or 30 feet.
I have a bit of a running joke on my blog about donuts. Some Tech Eds have 'em ... and some don't. This one did. Apparently they're not called Berliners in Berlin. (And btw, JFK didn't say what you're thinking.)
Finally, here's all that's left of the wall in most spots:
And the Brandenburg Gate at night makes a very compelling image. We walked through, East to West.
Next year? I sure hope so.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
The second-last day is drawing to a close and I am getting tired. At Tech Ed Europe I actually attend sessions as well as preparing for my own and attending the various dinners and get-togethers. Throw in some attempt to do actual work rather than pressing pause on all my other projects for a full seven days, and there isn't much time for sleep.
Yesterday was my Code Pack session, featuring the mysterious disappearing slides. Some of you may have noticed a little consternation on my part when I came back from the first demo. Here's what happened. I prepared my slides for this talk following the schedule the organizers asked for, and actually uploaded them in October to be prepared for the attendees. Then one night, just as I was falling asleep, I decided I wanted to add slides that highlighted the actual code in each demo that was specific to the taskbar or the overlay or whatever. The next day, I did just that and I uploaded the deck again.
When I got to my room for the tech check, I ran through the deck on the room machine and - hey! my new slides are not in that deck! So I went back to the speaker room (which is about a mile away) and gave them to the nice "powerpoint team" that sits there waiting for all the speakers who ignore the schedule and work on their slides while on the plane. I heard them on the radio pushing the slides to the room.
An hour before my talk, I got to the room, waited while someone else did a tech check, then got set up. I paged through the "new" deck - and the code slides weren't there! Everyone remembered getting new ones from me yesterday. But they weren't there. I pulled a USB stick out and copied the deck from my laptop to the room machine.
And yet, when I did the talk moments later - they still weren't there! Did I double-click the old deck instead of the new? Did I maybe dream the entire thing? Who knows. But here they are now, attached to this post. Interleave these into the deck you got from CommNet, one after each demo.
One more day of Tech Ed... one more day of sessions and meeting people.
Katecodeslides.pptx (372.92 KB)
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Yesterday was the first day of Tech Ed. I went to Marian Luparu's talk on Visual C++ 2010. He did mostly demo, and showed a ton of hot new C++ features.
If you missed this one (it was the very first talk of the conference) be sure to look for the recording.
After lunch I headed out to be part of the anniversary celebrations. Despite the rain, it was a great outing, and the crowds were very orderly. I had a bratwurst and took a few pictures:
No place I'd rather be.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
An auspicious start to my Europe trip - a jam-packed plane means an "op-up" (operational upgrade, meaning Air Canada decided it was in their best interests to put me in Business Class for free and let someone else have my vacated economy seat). A lovely transit in Munich (probably my favourite airport to change planes in) and a pretzel in the lounge, along with some fantastic coffee, helped me convince my body it was 8am, not 2am. (Sleeping on a lie-flat bed for about 5 hours of the 8 hour flight helped with that too.) Landing in a town that's buzzing with anticipation - there's Windows, "life without walls" and then there's life without this wall - is getting me pepped up. Bring it on!
Friday, November 6, 2009
I was lucky enough to be asked to demo some Windows 7 features at a dinner hosted by Sarah Vingoe (she's on twitter, women.ca, and she blogs) in Toronto. We had some super cool hardware including two large all-in-one multitouch systems and a cute little netbook.
Sue Borden, Microsoft Canada's senior marketing manager for the
Windows consumer division, was at the dinner as well, and she showed me a super cool feature called Play To. It takes a tiny bit of setup, but here's what it does. Imagine you're in the living room on the couch with your laptop. There's some music you would like to listen to, but you don't want to use your tinny little laptop speakers when you're at home. Thing is, the music is on your laptop, not on the living room PC that's hooked up to the nice speakers. So imagine this - you open media player on your laptop, right click the song or album, and choose Play To. A cascading menu appears showing eligible other machines, you pick the living room one, and the music from your laptop comes out of the speakers on the machine you chose. Isn't that fun! I like it.
The setup is basically that on the other machine (which needs to be Windows 7 or compatible hardware) you have to turn on media streaming and then give permission to let other people send you media.
All the gory details are here. Check it out.
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