Brian Johnson's Startup Developer Blog

August, 2004


    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. :)


    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)

    Stepto on Channel 9

    Stephen Toulouse (affectionately known as Stepto around MS) is being interviewed on Channel 9 this week. Stepto is on the front lines of Microsoft's security response effort, so these interviews should be good.
    Stephen Toulouse - Introduction to Microsoft's security response center
    Stephen Toulouse is a security program manager with Microsoft's security response center. The security response center is the team (and place) that goes into action when a new vulnerability or attack on one of Microsoft's products or customers is found and reported to

    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

    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).

    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.


    64-bit Driver Development Chat

    I've been going through the MSDN chat page today and I found another that may be of interest to C++ developers. There's a 64-Bit Driver Development Chat on Thursday, August 26th at 10:00 AM (PST).
    Ask the Experts Online: 64-bit Driver Development
    Experts from Microsoft's Core Windows team will be available to answer questions related to the coding and debugging of 64-bit drivers, including both x64 and IA-64 platforms. This is an opportunity to get guidance on the differences between 32-bit and 64-bit driver development.

    You can add this to your Outlook Calendar here.

    Update: Since this has passed I took it off the C++ feed so it will no longer show up in the Visual C++ Developer Center.


    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.

    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.

    Niagara Falls

    We're in Niagara Falls today as part of a weeklong swing though upstate New York. Buffy saw the Mountie at the visitor center and she went wild. He was nice enough to pose for a picture and this really made her day.
    I'm conneted through T-Mobile GPRS with a bluetooth connection to my phone. It's really a great connection. I sent my mom a video feed of the falls from our room and it actually worked. We're staying on the Canadian side and I had to put the phone right up to the window to pick up T-Mobile. I'm getting only one bar, but the GPRS connection is solid.
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