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  • Blog Post: Useful Download Links for Windows 8 and Windows Phone Development

    Part of my job is to help people find valuable resources. I especially like it when they are free. Free is good. These links are for students, faculty and professional (or non professional) developer.  Please check these links out, visit the websites, find what looks interesting and download the...
  • Blog Post: Windows 8 Developer Camps and Hackathons – Coming July to September

    A new series of Windows 8 developer events are coming soon!  These are special two-day events , with a DevCamp on day one featuring a full day of sessions plus an InstallFest, followed on day two by a Hackathon with Lightning Talks where you can bring app ideas to life with Microsoft and community...
  • Blog Post: Python Tools for Visual Studio V1.0 Released

    A lot of people are looking into using Python in computer science education these days. Of course a lot of people are also using Visual Studio for Visual Basic or C# or even F# and it would be nice to use the same IDE for Python as well. The learning curve for an IDE is not something that really adds...
  • Blog Post: Python Tools for Visual Studio

    Microsoft has just released the Python Tools for Visual Studio add-in (Beta) . This add-in lets programmers write Python code with Ironpython , CPython, debug & profile it, and also supports High Performance Computing (Windows HPC). IF you are already using Visual Studio and are interested in trying...
  • Blog Post: To IDE or Not To IDE

    One of the controversial issues that keeps coming up in computer science education is the role of the IDE – Integrated Development Environment. Some people believe that students should learn using command line instructions so that they become more aware of the roles of compiling and linking. I’m going...
  • Blog Post: Failure to Upgrade

    There was a funny movie out a few years ago called Failure To Launch . It tells the story of a man in his mid thirties who still lives at home. He doesn’t want to take the next step and move out, get into a serious relationship and “launch” into the greater world. He is safe and comfortable. He doesn...
  • Blog Post: Visual Studio 2010 Now Available

    Well it is official – the final release of Visual Studio 2010 is not available. If your school has an MSDN AA account you can download it from ELMS now. If you don’t have MSDN AA, why not? Also for students who are part of the DreamSpark program you can download Visual Studio 2010 from there as well...
  • Blog Post: Rethinking Hello World

    Is it time to rethink and replace “Hello world?” Honestly I think so. The purpose of “Hello Word” is to walk a beginner through the process of creating a minimal computer program and getting it to run. It probably made sense when one had to use a text editor to  create a file and then manually run...
  • Blog Post: Can Movie Computer Screens Help Us Design Better

    NPR did a story recently on the computer screens that we see in the movies. You know the ones with big read “Access Denied” messages that look nothing like anything you have ever seen in real life. The story was called Hollywood's Computers: Telling A Story In A Flash and it got me thinking. My first...
  • Blog Post: Making a List, Checking it Twice

    A while back the College Board dropped one of the Advanced Placement Computer Science exams – the so-called AB exam. (About 14 months ago and I wrote about dropping the APCS AB exam here ) Ever since then there has been a lot of discussion about the AP computer science curriculum in specific and the...
  • Blog Post: Come Find Me at NECC

    Early tomorrow I get to the airport to fly to Washington DC for NECC. Saturday is the CS&IT Symposium run by the Computer Science Teachers Association ( CSTA ) with sponsorship from Microsoft Research, Intel and some company that sells ads on Internet search results. Googol or something like that...
  • Blog Post: Interesting Links June 22 2009

    It’s the end of the year for a lot of us. Not the calendar year of course but the school year or the fiscal year. I’ve been working on my input for my year end review a lot this week. And doing some preparation for NECC (I’ll be there from Friday of this week on – hope to see some of you there.) and...
  • Blog Post: Visual Studio Learning Pack 2.0

    One of the things I really like to see is when software is released in different languages. Now I only read English but I realize that lots of people in lots of places use other languages. The Visual Studio Learning Pack 2.0 is now available in Spanish, Russian and Chinese (Simplified). I understand...
  • Blog Post: Prime Numbers, Code Challenges, and Programming Languages

    Clint Rutkas and I have some friendly back and forth about a couple of things. One is the worth of Visual Basic as a programming language and the other is over who is the better coder. Don’t tell Clint but I have a secret suspicion that he may be the better coder (because he is in his prime and I am...
  • Blog Post: April 2009 Free eBooks from Microsoft Press

    Microsoft Press didn’t offer a free eBook last month but there are two available now – for a limited time only. School tech departments may and small business tech support people will very likely be interested in the first one. The second may be of interest to schools, teachers and anyone looking to...
  • Blog Post: Useful Web Links for Computer Science Teachers

    I keep doing sets of links to hand out at various conferences. It seems like every time I do the list comes out a little differently. Some new things. Some things have new addresses. And the order of things changes for the audience. This list is from a pair of handouts I have put together for a high...
  • Blog Post: Free E-books on Visual Studio 2008 and MS Robotics Studio

    Microsoft Press is celebrating their 25th Anniversary with some free e-books. Two that may be interesting to educators are one on MS Robotics Studio and one on Visual Studio 2008 . These offers expire on October 22nd so act now. And tell others who could use these books about it. The two books are: Programming...
  • Blog Post: Fun With Colors

    I’m in the middle of a deep review of some curriculum for developing web pages. ( This curriculum was talked about in a previous post .) It’s really good stuff and I think a lot of teachers will find it valuable. During the course of this review I came upon the discussion of colors and how they are represented...
  • Blog Post: Line Continuation and Visual Basic – More on C# vs. Visual Basic

    Clint has more on our Visual Basic vs. C# discussion on his blog today . Like Clint I am completely willing to let people choice the language of choice based on personal preference. One of the really great things about the .NET platform is how easily this is possible even when people on the same project...
  • Blog Post: Alfred VS Clint: C# versus VB debate

    Clint Rutkas ( who is better than everyone ) Twittered his distaste for Visual Basic and preference for C# today. Now C# is a great language and I really do think that the features they borrowed from Visual Basic (properties for example) make it the best of the C family of languages. Visual Basic also...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Visual Studio Tips Book Helps Hurricane Katrina Survivors Rebuild Lives

    The incomparable Sara Ford is coming out with a book collecting the best 251 tips of the day for Visual Studio. Sara’s tips of the day blog posts have taught me quite a bit. So I’m pleased to see that they are coming together in a book form – yes I’m an old-fashioned paper book sort of guy. The fact...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Visual Studio Middle School Power Toy 1.0

    The Microsoft Visual Studio Middle School Power Toy 1.0 was originally created by Microsoft China to help meet the curriculum needs for teaching programming in that country. According to regulations/policies of China’s Ministry of Education (MOE) almost all Chinese high school students need to learn...
  • Blog Post: Terrarium Is Back!

    If you were around in the early days of the .NET Framework you may remember a game called Terrarium. I believe that Microsoft may even have had a version running at SIGCSE one year. Bil Simser who is bringing it back fresh and updated via a CodePlex shared source project describes it this way on his...
  • Blog Post: RampUp – Learn Microsoft Technology Online

    I just found out about the RampUp program. Briefly this is a program that lets people sign up for and take online training on various Microsoft developer technology such as web development and Visual Studio. There are special tracks for Java developers and for developers who want to upgrade their skills...
  • Blog Post: Tips for Tech Talks and Demos

    One of the things I have been doing for years in the classroom and the lecture hall and conference rooms is giving technical talks and demos of creating code. As a teacher it was a daily occurrence. Honestly I thought I knew some tricks to make life easier. But one can always learn new ones. Chris Bowen...
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