Tag | Surface Posts

I am practicing Test Driven Development (TDD) now for some two years or so, and soon this technique of writing software felt so natural, that I hardly could imagine doing it another way or even imagine a reason why I should do so. But on the other hand, I know that not questioning something anymore and not being self-critical from time to time is a certain recipe for running into a disaster sooner or later. So I asked myself: What makes TDD such a natural way of writing software? and What are your ...
So I learned something interesting about XNA. In Axiom, you can setup your entire scene before entering the renderloop. This way there isn’t any hiccups while rendering due to loading textures, models etc. In addition to Models and textures you can also setup additional render targets. These can be used for reflection planes, shadows, dynamic textures and what have you. Well this all works really well in DirectX and OpenGL. I can setup a (DX) Surface and hold that until I’m ready to render to it. ...
I'm lucky enough to get to dabble with the Surface SDK, so I figured, let's try and install it on my MacBook Pro running Windows 7..... Very simple install. No tricks needed and now I have the Surface simulator running on my Windows 7 MacBook. Very nice. A laptop is great for running the Surface simulator since to simulate two touchpoints you need two mice. The trackpad is one, and you only need to plug in an additional USB mouse to get the other. The trackpad as a second mouse for Surface work seems ...
After many, many years of being a staunch supported of BT and BT broadband – I upgraded from Dial-up to ISDN to Broadband – I am sad to say I have been forced out by the draconian restrictions imposed on my broadband line. In July I ‘broke’ the BT fair use policy. I achieved this by a combination of stupidity and naivety on my behalf….. The stupidity: I discovered the joys of HD TV series downloads on US iTunes and downloaded a number of series: Fringe, Damages, Hero’s series 3 the normal US stuff. ...
In this Issue: Jared Bienz, Tim Heuer, Sergey Barskiy, Alex Knight, Gavin Wignall, Damon Payne, Peter Bromberg, Shawn Wildermuth, and Mark Tucker. Shoutouts: Robbe Morris at EggHead Cafe has put up EggHeadCafe in Silverlight Release Candidate Now Available. Would be cool to see a series of articles detailing this :) John Bruin has a demo of of Silverlight Money Pyramid. This is pretty cool... I don't see a link for source though :( From SilverlightCream.com: Skins for WPF and Silverlight By way of ...
In the October edition of MSDN Magazine, there’s a great article that does a quick rundown of building a component that can be surfaced as a Web Part via the Gallery and placed in Web Part zones on pages. The article by Steve Fox is here: Steve Fox - Visual Studio 2010 Tools for SharePoint Development – MSDN Magazine October 2009 There’s a couple very important aspect that might not be 100% clear from the title – 1st, you’re really visually designing a User Control (ASCX). So, this is really just ...
This series of posts is about overcoming a restriction, that O/R mappers like NHibernate have with respect to lazy loading and polymorphic type information. (Please refer to the problem description and example in part 1 and 1.5.) The previous part of this series demonstrated how we can fetch type-discriminating data from the db during the regular insert/update/retrieve lifecycle of an instance, along with its 'normal' data, and totally transparent from the domain perspective. This part now will show ...
In this Issue: Damon Payne, Rishi, Nigel Sampson, Chris Klug, Andrea Boschin, Bryant Likes, Timmy Kokke, Shawn Wildermuth, Terence Tsang, and Mark Tucker. Shoutouts: As referenced below, Shawn Wildermuth is beginning a validation project: Introducing Project Niagara Laurent Bugnion has announced MVVM Light Toolkit Messenger V2 beta, and has some good discussion comments. Koen Zwikstra also has an update: Document Toolkit 1.1.0.3 Tim Heuer announced Silverlight Firestarter Seattle videos online... ...
C# in Depth is not for beginners. It assumes a working knowledge of C# 1.0, and is not so much a tutorial of C# 2 and 3 features as an in-depth examination of how and why they work. I don’t think I learned anything I didn’t know about using generics, extension methods, delegates, anonymous methods and lambdas, but Skeet does a great job of zooming in on the inner workings of each of these features, building up to the big picture of how they all snap together to make the game-changing programming ...
In this post we'll learn how to create a windowed directdraw application for windows mobile. A windowed application is not much different from a regular full-screen application but you have to be a little careful because your application has to co-exist with GDI, peacefully. Note that I have used bits of code from Joel's code project article. Here is the code I call from WinMain(): //Create the DirectDraw object the primary and auxillary surfaces if (InitDirectDraw(g_hWnd)) { if (!CreateDirectDrawSurfaces(... ...
Surface is cool. There’s no doubt about that. People who walk up to the machine and start using it are usually impressed by it. That also goes for developers: they are sometimes even overwhelmed by it and start to wonder how hard it is to develop software for this platform. The good news is, is that it is actually fairly easy to build software for the Surface platform. Well, easy… if you know how to develop in WPF that is. In this post I will outline the most common steps to take to develop your ...
/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans... mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-... ...
Manual Labor I find occasional manual labor projects oddly satisfying. I’ve spent the majority of my career sitting behind a desk programming, or otherwise working on a computer. Putting a little bit of muscle behind a task gives my mind a chance to wander. Working on something manually taxing allows me to think of things out of order and without context. It gives me time to think about relationships. The Art of Wandering Relationships allow me to go from one topic to another without worrying that ...
Let me first start by saying that I was very much excited about creating a Silverlight multitouch application ever since I heard the announcement that Silverlight supports it, I couldn’t wait to try porting some of our Surface applications to Silverlight. From a pure feature perspective Silverlight Multitouch doesn’t really provide much since Silverlight Multitouch can only work on Windows 7 running on a Multitouch capable hardware (HP Touchsmart TX2 in my case) and when you create a web application ...
I hear this remark a lot. Whenever I show Surface to people there’s always one in the group who, after about 10 minutes, comments that Surface is just a big IPhone or a flat touch screen. Of course, it’s not. First of all, you can’t use a Surface unit out of the box to make phone calls. Second, the Surface unit is hardly portable where the IPhone most definitely is. To these commentators, Surface is like an IPhone but with less features. Again, of course, it’s not. Usually I can convince these skeptics ...
The splash screen wasn't much of a big deal. Just decide on a image to be used as the splash and when the game starts Blt the splash onto the primary surface until the user presses the center key. When he presses the center key, the splash is erased and the usual game logic executes and the game sprites are drawn. Here is what the splash screen looks like: Binged for some random image and used MS Paint, Irfan View and IcoFX to add the text and the water droplet effect. Updated TODO List ...
Registration for PDC 2009 is now open. If you register by September 15th you can save a hundred bucks. Or you could get there my way: win a contest (hey, I’m a poor developer). As I mentioned in a previous article, INETA has a component contest that prizes a trip to PDC. But, it’s not the only one: Microsoft has announced the Code7 Contest - Code the Power of 7. It pays out great prizes, but you have to take advantage of the technologies built into Windows 7 like Libraries, Touch, Shell Integration, ...
Tags: Surface Development of Surface applications is done on the Surface Simulator. Even at Microsoft the Surface team works most of the time in the simulator: I’ve heard they have 1 Surface unit per 8 developers. The simulator works fine and is a great tool for developing the applications: the debugging experience is actually quite nice. But sometimes you have to deploy your application to the actual physical unit to see what it looks like in ‘real life’. I think that is the only way to determine ...
With pride we announce that the next meeting of the Dutch Surface User Group will have Dr. Neil Roodyn as a speaker! This is the abstract of his talk: Surface has sex appeal, people are attracted to Surface as a sexy new technology. The development tools make it easy to build Surface applications and yet so many Surface applications fail to deliver the true value of Surface. In this session Dr. Neil will explore some of the things you can do to enable your Surface applications to deliver more than ...
Last night I finished my first SketchFlow project last night. I was using the (free) first chapter of an upcoming book “Dynamic Prototyping with SketchFlow in Expression Blend”. This copy doesn’t look like first draft stuff, it’s stuff that you can use right now. The free chapter gets you grounded with how you can put SketchFlow to work for you. The first thing I did was set aside what little I knew about prototyping. I’ve used many napkins to layout an app and that makes total sense. The examples ...
After my 3 1/2 month vacation (spelled laid off) I finally landed a new position, although it is only a four month contract. What worries me is that it has never taken more than a week or two to find a new position in the Charlotte, NC area so I started thinking about adding to my skill set. I would like to get into SharePoint development but it seems impossible to get a position without experience in it (make sense) and it is very expensive to set it up at home so I started looking for training. ...
All this while, we have been blitting the spaceship image: onto a black surface: giving an image which looks like: Thus giving an illusion that only the spaceship has been Blt on to the screen. But if our background was anything but black, things would look a lot different. For e.g. if our background was blue: the resulting Blt() would have looked like this: which, as you can see, is not very appealing to the eyes. Enter the concept of transparent blitting! With transparent blitting, you can specify ...
Tags: Surface A lot of people come to me with the question “why should we, as an organization, invest in Surface?” Or, to be more honest: developers come to me with the question “What can I do to convince my manager to buy us a Surface Unit"?”, which is the same question but more honest. The answer is, of course, the same answer as I give to everyone who asks me for a justification for investing in hard- and software: there needs to be a business case. And in these hard economic times: there needs ...
During the first meeting of the Dutch Surface User Group we had a video crew available who created an impression of the evening. All in Dutch, but if Dutch doesn’t scare you you might want to watch this. We’re looking forward to the next meeting! Tags: Surface ...
Introduction to Radial and Linear Gauge Radial Gauge Linear Gauge Deployment Let’s start by creating an AJAX Enabled Website, and dropping an “UltraGauge” control into the Web Page, initially you would see a blank Gauge, this gives the opportunity to select the type of gauge we need for the web page, for your convenience there are tones of Gauges available in the presets, there are Radial Gauges, Linear Gauges, Digital Gauges and other combination Gauges like Radial and Digital together, or Linear ...
Tags: Surface I have a confession to make. Never in my life have I ever felt the need to include sound effects in my applications. I have been programming professionaly for over 16 years and it has never happened to me that my manager or a customer walked up to me and said “Dennis, please add a whooshing sound to this button so I know that I clicked it.” I am sure that goes for the most of you. Well, at least the people who write LOB systems. After all, it would be quite disturbing to have a, let’s ...
Sometimes I get the feeling the Dutch are pretty much of a gadget freak. Somehow we are always one of the firsts to try out new things, to play with new toys and to advocate new technologies. Since we have quite a small population (about 16 million people) I find it rather amazing that everytime there is something new and cool, you’ll always find some Dutch there. Same goes for Surface. Dr. Neil Roodyn told me once that no matter where he gave his Surface training, there was always at least one Dutch ...
Ok, time to get our hands dirty. If you have seen the Donuts sample you would have noticed the tubular spaceship. The donuts sample uses a single image, donuts.bmp, to store all the images used in the game. Well, I just cut off a portion of it to try something out. Just use any image editor and cut out only the spaceship portion of the image. Make sure that the image you cut is 320x384 in size. This will make our calculations easier as you will see later. So the image would look something like this: ...
Recently I surfaced this error while trying to add reference of a WCF Service in Visual Studio 2008 running on Windows 7. Even when the WCF Service was browsed normally, it didn’t expose the Service Description Page that usually shows an implementation sample. I tried removing all code in the service, tried commenting, nothing worked. The ‘Root element is missing’ didn’t give much details on what could be the issue. Every time this error throws up, The “Add Service Reference” operation could not ...
Well, the initial excitement from DDEX1 didn't last for long. Just flipping between screens having some text ain't much fun. I moved onto DDEX2. DDEX2 pretty much did the same thing as DDEX1 but on a background image. It drew a fancy background on the back buffer and then flipped some alternating text onto it. Nothing too exciting here, so I didn't bother trying to make it work on the emulator. DDEX3 turned out to be interesting. It used 4 surfaces in total, a primary surface, a back buffer and two ...
I have had the good fortune to test both the Palm Pre and Apple iPhone 3Gs. In my day job I am an architect with responsibilities over messaging and mobility – hence I get to try a lot of new devices in order to evaluate their applicability for our enterprise users. One thing I have come to regard as a universal truth is that ranking mobile devices is almost a waste of time. They are so subjective depending on the personal habits and preferences of the person using them. There are some things that ...
What do you get when you combine Microsoft Surface with augmented reality technology? Sixth Sense of course! Sixth Sense is the creator's(Pranav Mistry) name for a wearable device with a projector that displays real time information from the web, pretty handy I must say, especially the example they showed of Amazon book rating when browsing a book in a real shop, how handy that would be. Here's a video of the prototype presented by Pattie Maes (small world, I remember her previous work on Tete-a-Tete): ...
In this Issue: Brian Genisio, Steve Strong, Andrew Myhre, John Papa, and Corey Schuman. Shoutout: Jordan Knight is working on a presentation for Remix Australia and has posted the code he's using throughout his talk: Remix Australia 09 – Silverlight 3 Super Session Demo!, with more info to follow. Life has been hectic, so this is part 1 of 2 today... From SilverlightCream.com: Adventures in MVVM – Slides and Demo AppBrian Genisio gave an MVVM talk and has his deck and code up for our perusal. The ...
My previous post summarised the experience I took away from Remix 09, but that was just me. Microsoft are soon to be releasing the presentation videos, and here is what I believe to be the best of what Remix 09 has to offer: Keynote – Peter Williams and his brain-wave Wii-style remote. This is certainly the future of computing, but the biggest question will it hit the Wii or X-box 360? IE8 for devs – Michael Kordahi; One of Microsoft's best web evangelists presented an excellent and swear free session ...
So blog posts from me are currently few and far between at the moment – but that is not from lack of want. I have been trying to keep my head down and catch up with the breadth of new tools gradually making themselves known in the web-dev community. Over the past few weeks I have been playing with Windows 7, and it multi-touch functionality (I realise it's not web, but I am not an IPhone owner yet so it's always nice to play) I have also been catching up on the ADO.NET entities framework, and migrating ...
First, for all of the MS SQL Server database purists out there that will complain vehemently against this method of extraction/formatting because of the special characters (SEE: http://www.webmonkey.com/re... that may (will likely) surface and need to be escaped, or that there's a better way to do this such as utilizing the XML Schema Collection/XML Explicit features available with SQL Server, etc. -- I recognize your concern, however, you'll have to admit, this is still (low-tech/mid-90's ...
My first question was, what is it? Taken from the Windows Team Blog posting about it: “The Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 is a set of six multi-touch optimized applications and games that are designed to truly showcase the capabilities of Windows Touch in Windows 7. It consists of 3 casual games, and 3 Microsoft Surface applications that have been created for Windows 7.” “Great, I want to check these applications out and see how they work.” Not so fast… In order to use the applications and games ...
I have seen an interesting issue surface recently, one that many other corporations are probably facing: the dividing forces of security and auditing. It could be argued that auditing practices should strengthen security, however this may depend on the situation. Let's take database access control as an example. In a typical two-tier application, connections established to a database server are performed using a shared account. Usually, shared accounts are considered less secured than network accounts ...
When I first started learning Surface I quickly realized how to turn a WPF app into a surface app. Basically, I did a search and replace for each control in the WPF app that has a matching control in Surface such as Button and TextBox. By doing simple replacements I was able to get a surface app up and running quickly. However, I recently learned a way to really extend this method. All you need to do is edit the control template for the particular WPF control (that doesn’t have a surface twin) and ...
I tried my first attempt at running an application in user mode yesterday and learned a couple of things. You can find both of these things in the documentation, but who actually reads the docs? If you want to test out an application in user mode, but don’t feel like going through creating and copying the xml file to the proper folder, there is a way around this. I copied the exe file into the “T” users Documents folder (anywhere else would work to). Then I clicked on the “Enter User Mode” shortcut ...
Last week I needed to completely reset my surface unit back to factory settings due to erratic behavior (mostly in VS 2008). I followed the docs on the process Microsoft released in their SDK, but I had a couple of hiccups I thought I would share with you. 1. When you restart your surface you will want to hit your delete key once a second when the bios screen appears. Then when that screen changes you will want to hit F8. For some reason I had difficulty timing these key strokes. 2. you will need ...
I have found myself converting WPF apps to Surface apps quite often lately. Most of the necessary changes are fairly obvious, but I encountered one lately I thought I would share with you. In WPF apps there is functionality to capture the mouse cursor, but in Surface we have no mouse. So we need to perform the analogous catch of a finger (or whatever else you like) contact. Below is the first method I needed to change in a recent project: private void OnMouseDown(object sender, MouseButtonEventArgs ...
After months of development I finally got around to packaging up my app for deployment in user mode on the Surface. I did run into a couple of minor hurdles at first which I will share with you, and tell you how I got around them. First of all, check out the documentation on the Microsoft Surface community site and the SDK. In your root app directory you will see a file like myapp.xml which is generated by visual studio for you. The following code example shows the default XML file. <?xml version="1.0" ...
I was working with identity tags and byte tags today, and the obvious short-comings of both became apparent to me. The identity tags have an enormous number of unique values possible, but there is no tool to create them right now. The byte tags can be created and printed now quite easily, however there is only 256 different possibilities when using a single byte tag. So I threw together a way to add multiple byte tags onto a single object to create far more possible values. 4 byte tags together will ...
We are in a new building where I work. It is pretty nice building. We have been trying to get the air conditioning setup correctly for months. The issue is that the zones are off; we have our IT development room on the same zone as several groups that don’t have 30 server class machines. As a result, our room freezes/fries the others do the opposite. It’s balancing act we don’t do well. One of the founders came up stairs on Monday claiming our lamps were the problem. He pointed to mine specifically ...
Development related: Persistence ignorance in the Entity Framework discussed with reference to the EFPocoAdapter http://railsenvy.com/ Lots of Ruby and Rails stuff – and some good podcasts and video Scott Hanselman has listed his “must haves” on a machine rebuild. Always illuminating to see other techies “must have” lists EssWork 2.0 is a framework for software development integrated into VSTS. And its free. From Ivor Jacobson - who once cost me a lot of brandy on expenses :-) A video showing construction ...
When we started WCFing in my current project, the first challenge that we had was to get the WCF Services to impersonate the callers, I had burned a lot of mid night oil trying to figure out the right configuration that would make this happen. Till that time I had not gone through the WCF Security Guidance on CodePlex. The Guidance turned out to be quite helpful and very comprehensive. If you have not gone though that yet, I strongly recommend going to CodePlex and reading it right away. For those ...
In this Issue: Erik and Monica Mork, Guillaume André, Mike Taulty(2), Cameron Albert, Manish Dalal, and Michael Wolf. Shoutouts: Bob Thomson of Colaab and StormID.com sent me this link of a visualization they've done showing statistics for water quality in Scottland: Drinking Water Quality Regulator Bob said that mapping this many polygons with JS just grinds eveything to a stop, but Silvelright... well, check it out! Peter Dungan wrote that he has a new version up on CodePlex of AutoScroller for ...
[The official announcement is in this Wednesdays MSDN Flash – but why wait!] Every two weeks we send an email out to tens of thousands of UK based developers. This email is called the MSDN Flash. The Flash contains many useful sections including a 400 to 500 word technical article on a developer related topic either written by a member of the Microsoft UK technical team or a member of the broader UK developer community. We have had some great articles over the years which to some extent end up “hidden ...

Weighing in at 150kg,    Carl and I struggled to get a Surface unit up 88 steps on Thursday.  We did it!    OK, it was by escalator, but it still hurt (Carl).    Surface displayed all great and working to 52 of our customers.