# Wednesday, 07 April 2010
A little over five years ago a whole pile of people, inspired by Julie Lerman, got together to raise money for the tsunami relief and recovery in Aceh. (Here are my blog entries from that time.) We raised over $10,000 and perhaps some of you were wondering if we made a difference. Well Stephen Forte, who was a big part of that effort, now lives nearby and he visited them. His update is a lovely way to see what happened as a result of our efforts. It's nice to see that the organization we chose to support is still there and still doing good work. I wish all my donations came with a five year followup like that.

Kate

Wednesday, 07 April 2010 23:20:35 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, 05 April 2010

I am so looking forward to seeing New Orleans for the first time. I am pretty sure this is my tenth Tech Ed North America. I have two sessions, one for native C++ developers and one for managed developers who want to use Windows 7 features. No surprise if you read my blog regularly, I suppose.

The C++ talk is called Modern Programming with C++0x in Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 and the abstract reads:

Why wait for the C++ committee to finish the specification when you can enjoy much of the power of C++0x today! C++0x, the next C++ standard, is almost upon us and it contains the most important updates to the language since the mid-90s. It even accepts the existence of multiple threads for the first time in the history of the language. Needless to say, these new features bring more expressiveness and power to the native C++ developer. Visual Studio 2010 has added support for some of these key features in order to enable these modern programming techniques. This session clarifies what features are in Visual C++ 2010 and what is yet to come. It illustrates how new constructs such as lambda expressions enable better use of existing libraries and how your code can be simpler, safer, and faster all at the same time. If you are itching to show off how C++ is one of the coolest languages on the planet, this talk is for you!

The Windows 7 one is The Windows API Code Pack: Add Windows 7 Features to Your Application and the abstract is:

Accessing new Windows 7 features is a challenge from managed (.NET) code. The level of interoperability required is out of reach for many developers. The Windows API Code Pack for the Microsoft .NET Framework is a sample library you can use in your own projects today that provides access to new user interface features (taskbar jumplists, libraries, sensor platform, and more) as well as "behind the scenes" features that make your applications more aware and responsive (restart and recovery, power management, and more.) Discover a shortcut to Windows 7 development for Microsoft Visual Basic and Visual C# programmers and get started today.

Registration is open, so plan to be there!

Kate

Monday, 05 April 2010 23:13:40 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Saturday, 03 April 2010

I've been accumulating a ton of links relevant to Windows 7 development, so let's use some of them up:

Mmmm, I feel much more caught up now.

Kate
Saturday, 03 April 2010 06:12:33 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, 01 April 2010
C++ developers generally care a lot about how fast their code runs. In many cases that's the reason they wrote the application in C++. Every release of C++ development tools (compiler, optimizer, linker etc) typically has some effort invested in producing code that runs faster, even if that means the tool itself runs slower. It's tempting to think that the gains would have levelled off by now - after all, C++ has been around for a very long time. But a recent post by Lin Xu of the C++ team shows how you can take you 2008 project and rebuild it in 2010 (using the right options of course) to see up to a 16% speed increase with no code changes by you. Lin also discusses the extent to which this will slow your build process.

Visual Studio 2010 and Visual C++ have a TON of important new features for native developers, which I'll cover shortly. But let's just start with this one - faster applications - for the moment.

Kate

Thursday, 01 April 2010 05:58:13 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 30 March 2010

It's thirteen days to launch. Yesterday I was able to confirm I will be attending the Las Vegas event. I'm stoked! The speaker line-up is amazing:

In addition to insightful keynotes by Bob Muglia, President, Server and Tools Business and Scott Guthrie, Corporate Vice President, .NET Developer Platform, see key members of the Visual Studio team including Doug Seven, Sean McBreen, Chris Sells and Andy Conrad. Also see favorites from the third-party community including Juval Lowy, Michele Leroux Bustamante, Billy Hollis, Tim Huckaby, Rocky Lhotka, Dan Wahlin, Steven Smith, and Rick Strahl. Listen to a live recording of .NET Rocks! with Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell.

That's 8 RDs in that paragraph. Are we an amazing community or what? There is so much good stuff in this release that I haven't been able to play with it all yet, so I'm really looking forward to having some smart people show me what I need to know quickly.

If you can't be there in person, you'll miss some of the fun, but not all! Code Project is running a Tech Summit so you can "experience the Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 launch alongside the Visual Studio team." Live video sessions and even a virtual swag-bag for attendees.

One way or the other, be there!

Kate

Tuesday, 30 March 2010 06:41:19 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [3]
# Sunday, 28 March 2010
I've mentioned before how Windows 7 Boot-to-VHD makes working with betas so much better for me. In fact just last week I built a new VHD image to do something new with the RC of Visual Studio 2010. It took a few hours off and on, while I was puttering around the house, to install Windows, install Visual Studio, install Office, install the zips of code that someone had sent me to test, install Camtasia, and so on. I didn't begrudge the time, but I was trying to set up something very specific for a test. If you'd just like to play around a bit and see what all the fuss is about, I bet you would like it if someone made a VHD for you and you could just download it and use it.

Well Presto! Brian Keller has done just that. And he hasn't just installed Visual Studio on it, but a whole pile of hands on labs, the sample data and configuration that the labs need, and so on. In fact it's three VHDs depending on your virtualization tool - Hyper-V, Virtual PC 2007, or Windows 7 Virtual PC.

If you're getting excited about the run-up to launch and starting to ask "oh, is there good stuff in this version of Visual Studio?" then this is a really simple way to get yourself closer to seeing for yourself just how much good stuff there is. Have fun!

Kate

Sunday, 28 March 2010 06:34:03 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, 26 March 2010
One of the things I did during my break from blogging was to start creating content for Pluralsight. Is there anyone who hasn't heard of Pluralsight? An amazing group of people who want to help everyone learn how to develop on Microsoft platforms. They offer in-classroom training and also a rapidly growing online collection of videos and tutorials called Pluralsight On-Demand! that lets you learn what you want on the spot. Rather than just "here's a one hour video on topic X" it's all set up with searches and indexes to take you straight to the piece you want when you're in a searchy mood. It's really nicely done.

Pluralsight is a very MVP-positive group (and RD-positive too, though we're rarer) and has more than a few MVPs on the technical and management team. During the MVP Summit they announced that all MVPs and RDs get a free standard subscription to the entire Pluralsight On-Demand! training library. That's a heck of a deal and if you're eligible, you should sign up now.

I have one how-to reference video published at the moment, on taskbar overlays (icons and progress bars) in Windows 7 with Code Pack. There will be more :-)

Kate

Friday, 26 March 2010 09:10:51 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 24 March 2010
Today is Ada Lovelace Day, a day to celebrate the women of software. I've blogged about it before, and it seems like a good springboard to get started again. There's a nice post over on Toronto Girl Geek Dinners, too. I have been trying to go to an event there for at least 6 months, maybe a year - seems it's always on a day I'm out of town or otherwise unavailable. April 5th might work out - I hope it does.

What have I been doing for the last almost-4-months? Working hard. Speaking, mostly on Windows 7 things. Planning future speaking gigs. Writing code - real code - in VB, C#, and yes, C++. Some using STL and some using MFC as it happens. Project managing, which can be many times more satisfying than coding but also many times more frustrating. Tweeting (yes, I did - and I tweet personal stuff as much as technical stuff so if you don't care for that you don't need to feel obliged to follow me.) Publishing videos. All of these things will get blog posts of their own over the next little while.

Stay tuned!

Kate

Wednesday, 24 March 2010 20:46:38 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]