Computer Science Teacher
Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

August, 2006

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Where to learn about using XNA


    Krishna Kumar in my group has just opened up a blog with a focus on XNA. In his "welcome to my blog" post Krishna lays out his proposed "program of studies." If you are interested in XNA you will want to either subscribe to his blog or at least set it as a favorite in your web browser of choice so you can follow along at home. Krishna is so far ahead of me on XNA that it is almost embarrassing. More of a teaser from Krishna's blog.

    Moving onto what this space will offer and how this will differ from the 100 other sites that are inevitably going to mushroom around XNA, the focus of this space is to provide a very strong foundation on which to base your XNA programming adventures. We won't just be looking at how to modify 1 or 2 lines of code in the starter kits. We will be talking about the foundations of the technology, get a deep understanding of the underpinnings of XNA, D3D and graphics in general so that when as you program XNA, you do so as an L33T and not a script kiddie.

    In short, this will be the next best thing to taking a Computer Science course in Graphics using XNA, only that you won't have a deadline to submit homework and won't have to shell out $3000.

    Take a look at his "course outline" and either encourage him to keep going or suggest things you want him to add or change. Tell him "Alfred sent me."

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    It's here! XNA Studio Express Beta


    The XNA Studio Express beta for creating games on both Windows and Xbox 360 is now available for download here.

    Related Resources

    1. XNA Developer Forums
    2. XNA Game Studio Express Beta FAQ
    3. XNA Developer Center
    4. Microsoft Visual C# Express 2005

    I'm downloading my copy right now. More news after I have had a chance to try some things out.

    [Editied some of the links]

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Starter Kits for Windows Mobile Device Programming


    A lot of people are interested in including some programming for mobile devices (Pocket PCs, SmartPhones and the like)  in their programming classes but are not sure where to start. There are some differences in the .NET Foundation classes for the Windows desktop and for the mobile devices subset. One thing that can be very helpful is a sample application that does some real work that one can read through, modify and otherwise use as a learning tool.

    There are now a number of starter kits for programming Windows Mobile devices. These are fully functional applications that you can modify and enhance or just read through to learn from. Well you could just use them as well and the game does look interesting.

    One kit is in C++ and the others are in C#. No VB that I saw - what's up with that? - but maybe there will be more later. One can hope.

    The existing kits include a game and web browser (with tabs) and a "today" screen. Go check them out.

    [I found the link at the UK Academic Team blog. Thanks!]

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