Brian Johnson's Startup Developer Blog

November, 2004


    Halo 2 vs. Half-Life 2


    Well, it's not really like that, but Steve posted that he's tempted to get an Xbox simply to play Halo 2. I'm having similar pains over Half-Life 2. My beautiful wife picked up a copy of Halo 2 for me this morning at Target. On my home PC, I've got a ready to activate copy of Half-Life 2. The problem is, after playing the source beta for Counter-Strike 2, I find that my video card isn't quite up to snuff for the HL2 release. So my conundrum is, do I buy a new video card so that I can play HL2, or do I save myself 250 bucks and just get some of the other great new Xbox games that are coming out this fall? The mind reels...

    Update: I'm going to get a new video card and at get the game.(Eventually) I didn't mean to start a Vi vs. Emacs war, my only point was that I don't have to screw with the console games at all. I can just pop a disk in and play it. The PC is a little tougher, as I want to play wide screen and I want it to run well. I love playing Counter-Strike, so there was never really a question that I would get the software. I'm also looking forward to playing with the source code and maybe building a level or two. :)


    Visual C++ Getting Started Page Updated

    We've updated the Visual C++ Developer Center Getting Started page. It now has links to a number of different examples to get you started with Visual C++. Take a look and let me know if there's anything else you'd like to see in this area.
    Visual C++ Getting Started Page
    I've had a number of requests for some step by step instructions for using the Visual C++ Toolkit 2003 download to build C++ applications. I'll try to get a little notepad tutorial posted for how to do that in the next week or so.

    Security Chat November 18th


    Update: I'm taking this off the security feed so the new one shows up on the Security Developer Center home page.

    Update: Chat is over. Lots of good info from Mike and great questions. I'll post a link to the transcript when I get it.

    Update: This chat is starting now. Go here to enter the chat room.

    The next Mike Nash Security Chat is Thursday, November 18th at 9:00 AM (PST). These chats take place monthly and they provide an excellent chance to mix with the security experts at Microsoft. We really had a good time with the last chat, and I would encourage everyone interested in security to attend. Here's a link and a description:

    Security in Microsoft Products
    Join Mike Nash, Vice President for the Microsoft Security Business Unit, and his team of security experts each month. Microsoft is working hard to improve security and Mike and his team invite you to join them in a candid Q&A session. Ask us your tough questions; share with us what is going well and what needs improvement. This is your chance to talk up front with the leading security minds at Microsoft.
    Click here to add the chat to your Outlook calendar. This page links to past chat transcripts.

    Happy Birthday Marines

    Today, US Marines around the world celebrate the 229th birthday of the Corps. Today my family is thinking about all those men and women in harm's way.
    Here's a picture of my dad and me in our Marine photos. Our Marine careers were seperated by about 35 years, but we both went to bootcamp in San Diego. :)

    Here's a link to the Marines web page. They've got a lot of news written by guys doing the job I used to do.


    Visual C++ Toolkit 2003 from the Command Prompt

    I was getting a ton of questions from students who wanted to get started with the Visual C++ Toolkit 2003, but who weren't sure how to begin. To answer the question I wrote a little article that explains how to create and compile a Hello World app from the command line using the toolkit. This article is obviously not for most of the readers of the Visual C++ Developer Center, but it provides a starting point for those people who are very new to the language and to command line tools. If you're new to programming and you have any ideas for how I can make using the Visual C++ Toolkit 2003 easier, please drop me a note.
    Using Visual C++ Toolkit 2003 from the Command Prompt
    In this article, Brian Johnson describes how to use the Microsoft Visual C++ compiler that ships with the Visual C++ Toolkit 2003 from the command line. This article is for beginners who've never used a command line compiler before.

    MSN Search on David Letterman Last Night

    This was on Letterman last night. Pretty funny:
    Have you heard that Microsoft is launching a new search engine to compete with Google? They've come out with this commercial.
    "Microsoft if proud to announce a new, comprehensive Internet search engine that is far superior to Google. And using the Microsoft search engine couldn't be easier: simply go to, click the sign-in button, register to create a .net password, complete the registration check, read the terms of use and statement of privacy and confirm your agreement, return to the homepage, click, stipulate how your search words are to be interpreted, then adjust how the results are to be displayed, indicate the file types your search should cover, then specify the content to be found on those sites, type, enter the desire topic, and click the search button. It's just that easy. The new Microsoft search engine --- Try it today!" This piece cost us $40.
    I'm actually using MSN for most of my searches now anyway. I use the MSN Explorer browser most of the time and I use the MSN Toolbar on machines where I don't have the MSN software installed. All this integration is just too convenient for me.

    TechNet Magazine Security Watch

    I've been going through the premiere issue of TechNet Magazine and this is one awesome resource. I'll headline a few of the stories on the Security Developer Center over the next few weeks. For now, check out this piece by Kai Axford on free security tools:
    Security Watch
    Six Free Microsoft Security Resources

    Free? Just hearing that word on the radio or TV makes me cringe. Like you, I'm an IT professional. I'd be interested if one of the big hardware vendors decided to pass out free 20,000 RPM SCSI drives along with a fiber channel SAN, but that's about it.

    So why in the world am I telling you about free stuff in this column? Well, because at Microsoft, we've got some amazing free security tools and whitepapers. If you fail to check them out, you're going to kick yourself just like you would if you missed out on a free SCSI drive. I do a lot of presentations and webcasts, and I've noticed that many IT pros have never heard of these tools. To be honest with you, that's a travesty.

    Halo 2 Guide to Multiplayer Medals

    Check this guide out for the medals you can earn this weekend playing Halo 2 online. My gamer tag is Brize if anybody wants to say hi. :)

    Slashdot Picks up on Visual C++ 2005 Express

    Slashdot is linking to the Visual C++ 2005 Express page in a new entry. I'm finding the comments rather interesting. Take a look here:
    Microsoft Offers Beta of Visual Studio 2005
    nanodude writes "According to DimensionXC, Microsoft is offering a free beta version of Visual C++ Express 2005 among other programs in the Visual Studio 2005 Express Suite. Seems like a good deal to me!"

    KB Article: Migrating a Custom AppWizard

    Freshly updated and just what I needed for a little project that I'm working on. :)
    How to migrate a Visual C++ 6.0 custom AppWizard to a Visual C++ .NET custom wizard
    This step-by-step article describes how to migrate a Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0 custom AppWizard to a Microsoft Visual C++ .NET custom wizard. The custom wizard technology in Visual C++ .NET is significantly different from the custom AppWizard technology in Visual C++ 6.0. You cannot port a custom AppWizard project that was created in Visual C++ 6.0 directly to the new technology. However, you can reuse the existing template files and modify the existing directives to the new syntax.
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