.NET Core: not your daddy’s dotnet

On March 29, we (my colleague Oscar van Tol and myself) held a 2.5 hour presentation about .NET Core at the Betabit office in Rotterdam. We ended up having too much content for the evening, so we decided to host a hands-on workshop for those interested, where we not only show .NET Core, but also enable you to have a go at it yourself. The location will most probably be Utrecht (because it’s located more central). Stay tuned for more info on the details of the workshop.

About that evening: we had a lot of fun doing this talk and we’re looking forward to doing more in the future. You can find the presentation on Slideshare, the sourcecode we used for the demos (and then some…!) can be found on GitHub: https://github.com/betabitnl/nyddn.

Happy coding.

Microsoft Research: Sphere multi-touch computing

Earlier this week the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit was held. On 10 was on the scene, and has a nice movie about the Sphere. For the entire article @ on 10, have a look over here: http://on10.net/blogs/laura/Sphere-multi-touch-computing/.

This is just another sign that the best is yet to come… Good times :)

Live Mesh, a first look

This morning I found a mail in my inbox telling me I was invited to Live Mesh. That’s a nice start of the weekend, so thanks Jan! The Live Desktop user interface looks pretty cool, and it almost feels like a real desktop. But that part of Live Mesh is pretty much like Live SkyDrive: a big online disk for you to put stuff on. Lots of stuff. 5 Gigabytes worth of stuf… ;)

I immediately went to the installer for my machine, because that would make Mesh stand out from an online storage service like SkyDrive. But I was kinda surprised to get this message: ‘Product does not support running under elevated administrator account or with UAC disabled’.


Say what? So Windows Vista enables me to disable User Account Control, but the Live Mesh notifier* will not install on a machine that has UAC disabled? That’s just wrong in my book, especially because the intial help info doesn’t explan why it should be enabled. But OK, it’s a preview. This might be modified before it goes all the way live ;)
After some searching and digging through the help, I think I found the explanation of why UAC should be enabled. In short: The remote desktop functionality (!) of Live Mesh won’t work (correctly) without UAC enabled. Although the help suggests you can still use the Live Mesh notifier without having UAC enabled, you can’t install it. I’ve tried livemesh -help which is supposed to display command line options, but that doesn’t seem to work. Maybe because AUC is disabled…?

A cool thing over there is this nice little developers movie. It explains how Live Mesh works behind the scenes and how developers can make applications that benefit from the possibilities Live Mesh has to offer. Nice…

Besides that, channel 10 has a post that asks ‘Do you really get Live Mesh‘? Because it has so many possibilities, you can’t explain it in an ‘elevator pitch’. They suggest watching this great movie, that sheds a light on what Live Mesh has to offer.

Just wanted to add this screenshot: Live Mesh stops showing updates (and wasting bandwith) when you haven’t used the window for ten minutes. That’s kind smart, right ;)

I can’t really conclude, because I haven’t enabled UAC to test adding my device. At least, not yet… Watching all the movies, both provided by the Live Mesh team and by others, gives a pretty good idea though. I think Live Mesh might help change the way we use computers, the internet and data. The strong developer approach (there are already SDK’s available with Visual Studio code snippets and howto’s!) will drive the number of Mesh-enabled applications, which is probably one of the most important factors in the success of Live Mesh. Undoubtetly to be continued …

* The Live Mesh notifier is the gateway to the folders, devices, and news in your mesh. You can open the notifier by clicking the Live Mesh icon Live Mesh icon that appears in the notification area of your Windows taskbar on your device or in the lower right-hand corner of your Live Desktop (The online location where your Live Mesh folders are stored, so you can access them from the web.)

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Stephen Lawler on Microsoft’s Virtual Earth @ TED.com

The TED website actually explains for me why you should watch Stephen Lawler’s talk on Virtual Earth:

Why you should listen to him:

Microsoft’s Stephen Lawler offers a tour of Virtual Earth that not only reveals the power and potential of the software itself, but also gives a global glimpse of the new virtual frontier of digital globes, the 3D Web and the metaverse.
Lawler also explores the enormous effort it takes to create the fluid blending and shifting between the multiple views and resolutions of Virtual Earth. From the satellites and airplanes that gather photo data for a top-down view to the ground vehicles and headgear-wearing pedestrians who canvas the ground for an eye-level perspective — all of it represents a monumental effort of logistics and mechanics.

I think one of the things this talk makes clear is that there are lots of neat things coming our way. And the innovations that are being revealed now have probably been in development for the last couple of years. Imagine what great stuff is being thought up right now… Exciting times. ;)

We’re entering puberty …

I already stated it at Paul Gielens’ post about the SQL Server 2008 CTP: software (development) is about to hit puberty, if it hasn’t done so already. Looking at the rate (big!) new things are coming our way, you have to agree we’re entering a new level in software (development). Take a look at things like AJAX, the upcoming entity framework combined with SQL Server 2008, Acropolis, the upcoming versions of the .Net framework, Microsoft Surface and many, many more. Probably just like lots of you out there, I’m just happy to be in this business at these (exciting) times.

A bit more on Surface: the Surface website does not only illustrate the power of the table (through the videos), it illustrates the power of the concept (have a look at origins – future).

“As form factors continue to evolve, surface computing will be in any number of environments – schools, businesses, homes and any number of form factors – part of the countertop, the wall or the refrigerator”

Imagine coming home from the supermarket, touching your fridge with the groceries and getting numerous recipies accompanied by instruction videos on how to make a lovely dinner with your new groceries, combined with what you have in the fridge…
I’ll just repeat what Paul said: exciting times! ;)

WLW – My first post

I tried using Windows Live Writer as soon as it got out, but because of proxy settings at the company I was working publishing posts wasn’t possible. I only now got time to try it at home, because I’ve been at home ill the past days. I’m still not 100% well, but I’ll keep quiet to get well soon. So maybe it’s better if I go and rest now…

By the way: nice writing software, Windows Live Writer!

Google code search

Google added another cool search to their labs: Google Code search. Find code written in almost any language, and under almost any license. Have a look at advanced code search and see the possibilities. If the codebase that is searched is big enough, this might be a good step into getting developers to use Google if they’re looking for a piece of code (when they’re that not doing that already…).

Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar (Beta)

Today I stumbled upon the Dutch Microsoft blogs and found an interesting post at the blog of Robert Fransen: the IE Developer Toolbar beta is available! The Toolbar offers you lots of handy features:

  • Explore and modify the document object model (DOM) of a web page.
  • Locate and select specific elements on a web page through a variety of techniques.
  • Selectively disable Internet Explorer settings.
  • View HTML object class names, ID’s, and details such as link paths, tab index values, and access keys.
  • Outline tables, table cells, images, or selected tags.
  • Validate HTML, CSS, WAI, and RSS web feed links.
  • Display image dimensions, file sizes, path information, and alternate (ALT) text.
  • Immediately resize the browser window to 800×600 or a custom size.
  • Selectively clear the browser cache and saved cookies. Choose from all objects or those associated with a given domain.
  • Choose direct links to W3C specification references, the Internet Explorer team weblog (blog), and other resources.
  • Display a fully featured design ruler to help accurately align objects on your pages.

Find the original (Dutch) post of Robert Fransen here, the IEBlog post here and the download here.

ASP.Net 2.0

If you’re interested in Visual Studio 2005, and especially ASP.Net 2.0, visit this site: http://beta.asp.net/ It’s an official Microsoft beta site running ASP.Net 2.0. Including forum, a control gallery, tutorials, starter kits and many more!

Microsoft releases ‘Acrylic’ beta

Microsoft has released a beta for the program codenamed ‘Acrylic’. According to some people this might be Microsofts attempt to compete with Adobe, because it is said the program is the ideal combination of vector based graphics (Illustrator) and pixel based graphics (Photoshop). Is this Microsofts answer to the domination of Adobe in the graphics department?

I downloaded (free) and installed it today, but I haven’t had time to check it out. I have seen it supports all major formats for opening and exporting. You can find the Acrylic site here. Tell me what you think about it …