A Dullard's Guide

Information on development, Silverlight, HD DVD, HDi, and whatever else Amy feels is missing from the interblags.

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  • Blog Post: Tokens Gone

    Wow. The Xbox 360 HD DVD emulator was WAY more popular than we had imagined. Josh processed thousands of requests and hopefully a huge number of developers are now out there experimenting with interactivity. But, now we have run out of our token allotment from the Xbox team and the emulator is no longer...
  • Blog Post: Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator Request Update

    Any of you who made requests for the Xbox 360 HD DVD emulator last week should have received at least an initial email with further instructions on getting access to the emulator support site on http://connect.microsoft.com/ , signing the end user licensing agreement (EULA), and obtaining the Xbox Live...
  • Blog Post: Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator - Now Free

    UPDATE 3/18 : The Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator is no longer available. For more information, please see: http://blogs.msdn.com/amyd/archive/2008/03/18/tokens-gone.aspx The Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator is now available as a free download on Xbox Live Marketplace when you request a token at http://www.thisishddvd...
  • Blog Post: Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator Now Available

    The Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator is now available! The emulator is downloaded through Xbox LIVE Marketplace on your existing Xbox player. The Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator can run projects from an optical disc, an external USB drive, or from a network drive, and logs API calls, errors, warnings, and exceptions...
  • Blog Post: Exception Handling

    An HD DVD player may throw exceptions during the execution of script, and if not caught will result in a player crash (showing an error code of 0x4094C00C on Toshiba or 0xC667000B on Xbox). While it's always a good idea to check conditions which could cause an exception to be thrown, an exception could...
  • Blog Post: Error Codes, Toshiba Edition

    If you know what an error code means, it can be immensely helpful in diagnosing the problem with your project. Below are some of the more common error codes found on Toshiba Players and their potential cause. There is a similar post for Xbox HD DVD add-on error codes . Note: the contents of this post...
  • Blog Post: Error Codes, Xbox Edition

    If you know what an error code means, it can be immensely helpful in diagnosing the problem with your project. Below are some of the more common error codes found on the Xbox HD DVD add on and their potential cause. There is a similar post for Toshiba player error codes . Note: the contents of this post...
  • Blog Post: Advanced Subtitles

    In HD DVD subtitling can be done via a subpicture stream or an Advanced Subtitle. An advanced subtitle is very similar in structure to an advanced application. It has a manifest, markup file, and font and is declared with its resources in the playlist. But, an advanced subtitle has some unique characteristics...
  • Blog Post: Virtual Keyboards

    The input tag has four options for mode: password, singleline, multiline or display. When an input element with singleline, multiline, or password mode receives focus, the player may launch an onscreen keyboard to allow user input or a software player may enable use of the computer keyboard. This is...
  • Blog Post: HD DVD Script Object Model

    Have you ever been working on an HDi project and needed to look up a method name in Annex Z, but you don't have it handy (or access at all)? Well, luckily the Interactivity Jumpstart Kit ships with the HD DVD Script Object Model as a Visio file and a PNG. You'll find this very useful file in C:\Program...
  • Blog Post: Dynamic Content

    Today's sample was created upon a request from my very nice and hard working office-mate Chris. Last week Chris began learning HDi. He whizzed through all the Jumpstart samples and the projects on my blog, and jumped into creating a project that would dynamically generate content on the fly. After messing...
  • Blog Post: HD DVD FAQs

    General Why is Microsoft involved in HD DVD? Microsoft supports HD DVD because the mandatory player features such as persistent storage, picture-in-picture, and network connectivity lead to greater interactivity and a better, more consistent user experience. Read more in the white paper available...
  • Blog Post: Saving Resume Information, part II

    In a previous post , I stated that when you press the stop button on your player, you have 2 seconds to continue to execute code before the player shuts down. But, that statement needs to be qualified. If you try to delay the application_end (or the deprecated stop_request) event by calling preventDefault...
  • Blog Post: Very Simple Network Example

    I have received a couple requests for an example of networking, so I put something very basic together to show some simple functionality. What it does have: Functionality to download a file from a server to persistent storage Calculation of percentage of download complete What it does...
  • Blog Post: Saving Resume Information

    If you've purchased a DVD player in the last few years or used a software player, likely you've experienced a built in player feature that remembers where you last left off in the movie and allows you to resume play from that point. That functionality is player dependent - and usually the memory is discarded...
  • Blog Post: Persistent Storage Management

    One of the great features mandatory on every HD DVD player is at least 128 MB of persistent storage. Many discs on the market are taking advantage of this feature to allow you to do things like save bookmarked scenes, download new trailers, or cache your login information to access network enabled content...
  • Blog Post: Blackjack

    Today's game example is inspired by Ocean's 13 (available on HD DVD this fall). Blackjack is one of my favorite casino games, but I was too busy at NAB this year to make it to the tables. So, here it is for you in HDi (with some graphics assistance from John Green - Thanks, John!). Writing the...
  • Blog Post: Making the Most of Markup

    Before I started working on HDi, I was a web developer. I found the transition to HDi pretty easy because the markup and the script were already so familiar to me. There is, however, a very big difference with HDi markup that web developers should learn in order to make their applications more efficient...
  • Blog Post: Sliding Puzzle

    There have been a lot of JavaScript games created for the web. And, because HDi is based on web standards, with a little tweaking, you can easily turn many of them into games for HD DVD. And, as long as we're tweaking, we might as well add the cool additional features where we can - like screen capture...
  • Blog Post: Launching the Simulator from Visual Studio

    When you're building your HDi applications, you can use the BUILD_PROJECT.BAT file you downloaded from my last post to create your aca file and launch your project in the simulator in one simple step. But, now, let's cut that double clicking down to one single button press in Visual Studio. First...
  • Blog Post: Have you noticed I like Batch Files?

    I am a big fan of automating where I can. I am not a big fan of remembering command line arguments. I prefer to double-click whenever possible. In my last post, I went over how I generated an aca using a batch file. Using the aca means that I can add resources to my project whenever I want without...
  • Blog Post: ACAs are Your Friend

    As you have noticed, every resource that you use - script, markup, images, audio, etc - must be listed as a resource in both the playlist and the manifest. As you can imagine, this quickly becomes painful as your applications grow in size. This is where ACA files come in very handy. ACAs are simply...
  • Blog Post: IntelliSense - It's a Good Thing.

    As you begin working on your playlists, manifests, and markup xml files, you will find attaching the HDi schemas to be very helpful in creating and validating your files. A schema defines structure, content, and semantics for your XML document. When you have the correct schemas loaded into Visual Studio...
  • Blog Post: Regarding Fonts in HD DVD

    In my last post I mentioned that you can use an OpenType font if you wish to include dynamic text in your application. But please remember to review the license of the font that you choose to use. Fonts are protected by copyright and you must obtain proper licensing to use them. And, just because the...
  • Blog Post: Dissecting Hello World

    Lets open up the Hello World sample that came with Jumpstart and go through the components that make up a HDi application. You will find these files in C:\Program Files\HD DVD Interactivity Jumpstart\Samples\HelloWorld\ADV_OBJ PLAYLIST VPLST000.XPL is the playlist for the disc and is required for...
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