Archive for Microsoft tag

Heading to Redmond

I’ve been invited out to Microsoft HQ for a couple of days (October 22-23) which should be very interesting – more details on the what, why and how at a later date.

I will also be spending an extra day and a half in Seattle, perhaps taking in some of the sights of and maybe meeting up with a couple of on-line contacts for the first time.

Flights & hotel booked, now where I did put my passport…

The event was a Software Design Review for Microsoft’s ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions including MVC. Twenty-four of us gave our thoughts, feelings and opinions to the teams on how we believe we would or could utilise various aspects.

[)amien

Windows Mobile 6 on the HTC TyTN with a Mac

Windows Mobile 6 on the HTC TyTNIt’s been a while coming but HTC have announced Windows Mobile 6 for the TyTN (Hermes, Dopod 838Pro, iMate JASJAM , SoftBank X01HT).

Curiously the update isn’t available on their site yet despite the announcement however the enterprising folks at XDA Developers Forums have made the official HTC versions available for download.

Upgrade process

The Windows-only (crack out Parallels) upgrade process didn’t go too smoothly, perhaps because I’d been running an unofficial pre-release version.

The first two attempts failed despite following the instructions to the letter. On the third attempt I left it on the familiar red-green-blue boot-screen a previous attempt had left it on and just ignored all the on-screen instructions and it flashed just fine.

Sync on the Mac

There is no official Windows Mobile sync software available on the Mac however Missing Sync for Windows Mobile is a capable, if somewhat temperamental, solution.

Version 4 is required for Windows Mobile 6 compatibility and is capable of syncing files, music, notes, bookmarks and photos as well as the expected contacts and calendars.

The initial problem is getting the Bluetooth to start syncing is a bit of a nightmare. The best advice is if it fails to do anything when you try to sync then delete both ends of the Bluetooth pair, reboot the Mac and follow the help instructions again.

Calendar sync problems

Everything was now syncing nicely with the exception of the iCal entries. The log gives the cryptic error:

Mark/Space Calendar Events: NSInvalidArgumentException [ISyncConjunctionFilter shouldApplyRecord:withRecordIdentifier:]: the record com.apple.syncservices:0845AD5F-A4C7-48D3-B1D3-B5809C9D000E should have an entity name, but instead it is {}

Over in iCal I couldn’t find anything looking corrupt but a quick Back up Database… followed by a Restore Database Backup… took care of it.

[)amien

Xbox 360 misleading advertising?

Xbox 360 advert adjusted for realityI really enjoy my Xbox 360 – surprising considering I held the opinion my Xbox 1 was an ugly waste of space and that my PlayStation 2 satisfied my needs.

Microsoft have done many things right with this machine (Online, XNA, dashboard, media center, high-def). Sure, the hard disk should have been bigger especially now they are selling movies but my real complaint is that there STILL aren’t enough titles I want to play on it.

Imagine my surprise when flicking through this months PC Gamer (UK) magazine and finding an advert on page 59 with the words

“Feel the intense power of having way too many options to choose from. Jump in. Xbox 360″

Followed by a giant hand-print of hundreds of games. Wow, I must have missed something. There must be lots of games just waiting for me!

A quick scan through revealed a lot of dull EA Sports licences (FIFA, NHL, Madden, NBA blah blah blah) and a lot of duplicated titles.

A thought struck me – If I crossed out all the duplicate images what would we have left?

Something a little closer to reality. Click the image to zoom.

Update

Yes, dupes of Burnout, FEAR and Ultimate Alliance were missed. I’m not taking a new photo :p

[)amien

My development tools

Christopher Bennage wrote about his development tool set-up and encouraged others to do the same so here’s my current set-up.

Daily tools

  • Visual Studio 2005 – IDE of preference despite it’s sluggish behaviour
  • SQL Server 2005 Management Studio – Took getting used to but it’s an improvement on 2000’s Enterprise Manager
  • AnkhSVN - Subversion support inside Visual Studio 2005
  • .NET Reflector – Searching .NET API or to find out what it’s doing
  • Web Application Projects – Stop using VS’s web sites and start using web applications!
  • Web Deployment Projects – Deploy to dev, test or live servers as easily as building a project

Not quite daily

  • CodeSmith – Need to get to grips with v4 to build our whole database layer in one hit
  • Trac – Bug tracking, milestones & wiki with integrated support for Subversion
  • TortoiseSVN – Check-in/out of non-project items (e.g. art assets)
  • Web Developer Extension – Trying CSS changes on-the-fly, validating pages etc. from Firefox
  • Firebug – Examining pages, the page DOM etc. from Firefox
  • KDiff – Excellent 3-way diff tool that works great with AnkhSVN
  • Subtext – Blogging system running here

On occasion

  • Visual C# Express and XNA – Messing with 3D graphics, controllers and pixel shaders
  • Ogre – Steve’s object-oriented 3D engine
  • XCode and Cocoa – Still quite alien with it’s message-based calling mechanism but obviously powerful

Keeping an eye on

  • Eclipse – IDE for developing Java (C++ and C# support in various stages too)
  • Ruby on Rails – Interesting RAD approach to web development – Apple also supporting on Mac OS X 10.5
  • Sandcastle – Microsoft’s documentation tool that already seems to have had an impact on NDoc
  • SubSonic – Build-provider that generates an ORM on the fly and provides automatic developer-only db editing pages

Not used lately, still installed

  • Delphi 5/6 – Borland’s great RAD tool for non-.NET development, later versions support .NET too
  • JBuilder – Java development although I’d probably move to Eclipse
  • Visual Studio 2003 – Still required for the odd .NET 1.1 application/testing

[)amien