# Thursday, 15 April 2010

I've been making videos lately, as I've mentioned. So among other things I've needed to know the total length of a bunch of .wmv files. Now sure, if you have a spreadsheet you can teach it to add up times. But the ironic thing is, I was asking the file system for the length (in minutes) of each video, then adding them up, when I could have just asked the file system for the total length!

Well that's fun! Notice it also adds up the total file size. I find these little savings really add up to keeping me focused on what I'm really trying to achieve (write a tutorial) instead of getting caught up in minutiae.

Kate

Thursday, 15 April 2010 11:51:57 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Is it a good omen when mornings start out beautiful? I think it might be:

Normally, when I go to a conference, the first day is a little slow. I might go to the keynote, or I might not. If I do, I wander in to the back row 5 minutes before it starts (hey, I'm leaving plenty of seats for the paying attendees) with my coffee in my hand. So reaching the keynote room at 7am, full of pep and vigour, was fun!

I really liked the story the keynote demos told. If you haven't seen it yet, it's available online. The demos start with simple productivity boosts like multi-monitor support, Intellisense for Javascript, and so on, then move to some amazing C++ updates including Windows 7 support (yes, the demo went boom, but if you watch closely you'll see it was just that the app was still running, preventing a successful rebuild.) Then you see "SharePoint F5", a huge pain-saver for anyone, like me, who does SharePoint development. Over a dozen manual steps done for you when you press F5, and you can run SharePoint right on your laptop. But they're not done yet -- here comes an Azure demo with the Windows Phone 7 emulator and a real phone, and then Team Foundation Server and a ton of exciting new Application Lifecycle Management features in Visual Studio including (no kidding) time travel. Wow! I hope you all enjoyed it as much from the seats as I did from backstage.

No sooner was the keynote over than I was headed for the Channel 9 stage to record half an hour of Q&A with Twitter people.

That's available online too. And if you want more, some of the sessions are appearing on Channel 9, too. Not filmed on site, but the content matches. Get your Visual Studio 2010 from MSDN downloads, or if you're not a subscriber you can take the Professional Edition for a test drive.

Kate

Tuesday, 13 April 2010 11:38:04 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Sunday, 11 April 2010

I've never been backstage for a big keynote before. There's a lot going on back there. Each demo runs on its own machine, so if one messes up it doesn't hurt the others. There are monitors everywhere showing what's on all the cameras and what's going out as the feed. There's one half for the camera and production people, and one half for the demo people. Here's a glimpse of the demo half:

Crowded, noisy, hot, and people are standing in your way sometimes. Best seat in the house!

Also, I'm just loving the signs throughout the Bellagio. There are all different ones (water, wires, light bulbs etc) but I think this is my favourite:

Watching something launch feels like it wouldn't be exciting, after all how long have I been working with this product? But you know what, it is!

Kate

Sunday, 11 April 2010 11:13:22 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, 09 April 2010

This trip to the launch gets more exciting by the minute! Check this out:

The Channel 9 team will be broadcasting live, unscripted, and 100% interactive from DevConnections 2010 in Las Vegas as part of the Visual Studio 2010 and Silverlight 4 launches.

Join us Monday April 12th, from 8AM (PST) for Bob Muglia's VS2010 Launch keynote then stay tuned for more than seven hours worth of Visual Studio 2010-themed demos, interviews and panel discussions on Channel 9 Live.

. . .

Day 1 Schedule April 12th 2010 (Pacific time)

8:00 AM DevConnections 2010 Day 1 Keynote.

10:00 AM Welcome to VS2010: Doug Handler and Brian Randell with Dan Fernandez.   

10:30 AM Live Q&A with Bob Muglia, President Server & Tools Division with Dan Fernandez.

11:00 AM VS2010: Native Code. Kate Gregory and Richard Campbell with Charles Torre.   

11:30 AM VS2010: Managed Code. Lisa Feigenbaum, Tim Ng Dustin Campbell with Charles Torre.

. . . then some other people, who I love, but I can't paste it all in here. . .

To be part of it, use Twitter with @ch9live somewhere in your message. We'll see it and that's all it takes to join the conversation!

I count 11 Regional Directors (many of whom are also MVPs) on the guest list. What a way to spend the day!

Kate

Friday, 09 April 2010 23:27:02 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# 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]