Brian Johnson's Startup Developer Blog

August, 2004


    Windows XP Service Pack 2 Chat

    There's a Windows XP SP2 chat scheduled for Wednesday, August 25th at 3:00 PM PST. Here's link to the chats page:
    Windows XP Service Pack 2
    Join Microsoft Experts in an online chat to discuss Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2). Learn what you need to know about deploying SP2 for Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional.
    You can add this event to your Outlook Calender by clicking here.

    Building Win32 Applications Using Visual C++ 2005 Express


    A number of people have asked about building Win32 applications using the Visual C++ 2005 Express beta. I'll take you through the basic steps here and I'll try to get a more detailed page posted early this week.

    Building Win32 applications with express is a three step process:

    1. Install the Platform SDK
    2. Set the paths for the bin, include, and lib folders.
    3. Add a few options to the linker dependencies in the corewin_express.vsprops file.

    To install the Platform SDK, visit SDK Update and install the core components of the Platform SDK. Once that's accomplished, open the Visual C++ 2005 Express Edition IDE and open the Options dialog box. Navigate to Projects and Solutions and then Visual C++ Directories and add the following to the top of each the appropriate sections:

    Executable Files: C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDK\bin
    Include Files:  C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDK\include
    Library Files: C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDK\lib

    Once all that is done, you just need to take one more step to make the Win32 template work in express. You need to edit the corewin_express.vsprops file (found in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\VC\VCProjectDefaults) and change the string that reads:



    AdditionalDependencies="kernel32.lib user32.lib gdi32.lib winspool.lib comdlg32.lib advapi32.lib shell32.lib ole32.lib oleaut32.lib uuid.lib odbc32.lib odbccp32.lib"

    At this point you should be able to generate a Win32 application from the New Project dialog box. If you have trouble with this, drop me a note at and I'll see if I can make that clearer. After I test things out a bit, I'll add some instructions for using the DirectX SDK with express.


    Visual C++ FAQ Updated

    We've updated the Visual C++ FAQ with a question and answer about what Visual C++ 2005 features have been implemented in the Visual Studio 2005 Beta Release and what you can look forward to in the final release.
    Are there language features in Visual C++ that haven’t been implemented yet in the Beta1 release?
    Yes, some language features that will be included in the final release weren’t implemented in the Beta 1 release. Here’s an approximate list of what you can expect:
    Added in Beta 1
    Managed class and interface definitions (e.g. ref class R { }; )
    Managed handle (^) and reference (%) syntax
    Named and explicit overrides
    public and private on native types (e.g. public class C { }; )
    initonly and literal
    'abstract', 'sealed', and 'new' on methods
    Unicode surrogate support
    Implicit boxing
    Managed templates (e.g. template<class T> ref class X { }; )
    Verifiable and pure C++
    Refer to the entire Q/A for more information about what's planned for the release.

    Windows XPSP2 Pages Updated

    As I'm sure you know by now, we've updated the XPSP2 page in the Security Developer Center with links to the downloads available. In addition, a number of other pages have been updated on Here's a short list of the articles and pages that I'm reading through today:
    List of fixes included in Windows XP Service Pack 2

    Release notes for Windows XP Service Pack 2

    Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Developers - Lots of good info here.

    Changes to Functionality in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2
    And just a quick note about the checked build we're linking to from our XPSP2 page. This is a great build to install on a test machine that you want to run a debugger against, but it will probably mess up your workstation if you install it on a machine you're trying to work on. If you're looking for the build to run locally, use the release build.

    Windows XP Service Pack 2 on Windows Update

    You can now get Windows XP Service Pack 2 by going to Windows Update. This is probably the best way to update a single machine. Word of mouth is a great thing. Be sure to tell your friends and family to update their Windows XP machines.
    Windows XP users: Get Service Pack 2 today
    Your first step to help protect your computer is to install this new security update to Windows XP.
    In related news, there was an XPSP2 story on NPR this morning. They interviewed Rich Kaplan and others about the service pack.

    Fix Released for Windows XP Security Flaws

    Microsoft rolls out its biggest and most comprehensive security fix for Windows XP. The company says the patch will make it tougher for hackers to break in.

    Update: I added a better link with more options for getting the service pack.


    Top Ten Reasons to Install Windows XP Service Pack 2

    I found this tonight. (In case you're still undecided.)
    Top 10 Reasons to Install Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2)

    MSN Direct Updated


    My watch just beeped to tell me that football (American style) and new watch faces are now available through MSN Direct. You can now control the additional faces that you use. This is very exciting, I can't wait to start getting the Packer/Badger scores on the watch. :)


    Windows XP Security Guide Updated

    The Windows XP Security Guide has been updated with new information about Windows XP Service Pack 2. The overview page provides a content roadmap and a link to the complete paper on the download center.
    Windows XP Security Guide
    The Windows XP Security Guide provides recommendations for deploying Windows XP in three distinct environments. The first and most common of these is an enterprise environment that consists of Windows XP running in a Windows 2000 or Microsoft Windows Server™ 2003 domain. The second consists of Windows XP in a high security environment in which security risk mitigation can be implemented at the highest possible level. Finally, guidance is offered for deploying Windows XP in a stand-alone or unmanaged environment. Information is also provided about the numerous new security options that are available in Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2).

    New Laptop and Other Stuff

    A couple of weeks ago, I decided that I needed a new laptop. I didn't really need a new laptop, but I get these little urges that tell me some new piece of equipment is going to allow me to virtually plug a PC into my head and make it really easy to think with the thing the way I want.

    So I ended up buying a Sony TR3. My dream is to have a full blow PC with me at all times that's both easy to carry and that serves me as a sort of high-end multimedia player. The TR3 weighs three pounds and I'm getting about 4-5 hours of battery life and so I think it's working out well.

    The funny thing is that I was really torn between this machine and the 64-bit Acer Ferrari laptop. I finally decided that I didn't really rate a Ferrari, and that I would look a little silly with one of those. If it had been blue and said Ford on it, I probably would have gone for it.

    For what it's worth, I ended up finding a great community site for TR3 owners. Funny how important that sort of thing is becoming to me as I make purchases.

    Visual C++ 2005 Tools Refresh Available

    Today we posted the Visual C++ 2005 Tools Refresh for Visual Studio 2005 Beta 1 and the Visual C++ 2005 Express Beta. This toolset includes an updated compiler that implements many of the features that weren't complete for the Beta 1 release.

    Please read and follow the installation instructions if you decide to install this release. The Tools Refresh is from a different source tree and so the tools aren't tested to Beta quality, so please review the overview and the instructions on the download center page before you install.
    Visual C++ 2005 Tools Refresh
    Thanks for using the Visual C++ 2005 Beta. The Visual C++ compiler team has done a lot of work that is not available in the Beta 1 release. The refresh program is for users of the Visual C++ 2005 Beta who want to try out the latest development builds.

    Normally, builds go through a rigorous review process before being released as a Beta. The builds offered in the Visual C++ Tools Refresh are directly from our daily development branch and thus are not Beta quality. There has been only basic testing on these tools. If this quality level is insufficient to meet your testing needs, we suggest using the default Beta installation, or waiting for the next Visual C++ Tools Refresh.
    The team asks that you send feedback through the MSDN Product Feedback Center. Testing this and providing feedback to us is a great way for you to make a difference in the final version of the product. Thanks! Brian
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