Chris Bowen's Blog

Development Practices, Tools, Technology, and Community

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    An Event for Aspiring Architects: The Architect Factory on June 2nd


    The Architect FactoryMany experienced developers look to become architects as the next step in their careers, but it can be difficult to find opportunities to learn about the skills needed to make the transition.  Aspiring architects need a way to learn what to learn to become effective architects.

    The Architect Factory is designed to fill this need.

    Coming to the Microsoft Cambridge, MA office (aka “NERD”) on June 2nd from 1-7 PM, The Architect Factory is a free event for all experienced developers to learn about the practices and processes that will help prepare them for roles as architects:

    The Architect Factory event focuses on you, senior technologists interested in becoming software, solutions, enterprise, or design architects. This event helps bridge the knowledge gap between senior technical, design, enterprise, information, and solutions roles and real-world architecture roles, putting you on the path to becoming an architect in your field.

    This is an opportunity to establish yourself as a visionary that architects the future, being able to design and create integrated systems that solve complex business problems. It can be challenging to find the right information and advice for taking steps toward becoming an architect, so join us for The Architect Factory and you’ll be well on your way!

    IASA New EnglandThe day will be feature a mix of content and social time, a great chance to learn and to make new connections.

    Thanks to IASA (International Association of Software Architects) for helping to sponsor this event and fostering the growth of a new generation of architects!


    A Hallway at the NERD Conference Facility Registration for this free event is now open, so reserve your spot at:

    Please keep in mind that there’s a lot to cover at this event, so the sessions will assume that audience members have significant hands-on development experience.

    The final schedule is coming in under two weeks, so keep an eye on this blog or the event registration page for details.

    Call for Content and Speakers

    There are a number of presenters already lined up, but we want to reach out to other architects interested in sharing knowledge and experience. 

    We’re looking for sessions to familiarize senior developers with the areas that all architects should understand to succeed.  For example (but certainly not limited to!):

    • The Role of the Architect
    • View of Boston from NERDPrinciples of Software Design
    • Methodology Comparisons (TOGAF, Zachman)
    • Design Patterns
    • Testing and Validation
    • Establishing Development Practices
    • Model Driven Architecture
    • Service Oriented Architecture
    • Performance
    • Interoperability
    • Patterns for Cloud Computing
    • Refactoring
    • Architecting for the User Experience
    • Working with Business Stakeholders and Development Teams

    Interested in helping by sharing your perspective and experience?  Contact me and let me know which areas you’re interested in covering.

    The Call for Content and Speakers will close on Tuesday, May 19th.

    Hope to see many of you there.  I’m looking forward to a day of great interaction, knowledge sharing, and networking!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Launch Event in Boston on October 5 – Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Exchange 2010



    From September through November, launch events for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Exchange 2010 are happening across the US. 

    Boston’s launch event will be on October 5th at the AMC Boston Common 19. (Other regional stops are NYC on October 20 and Philly on September 28.)

    Win7 The event will feature content for developers and IT pros (click the tabs to switch events).  Of course the content will be excellent, but as an added bonus, attendees will get a copy of Windows 7!

    Developer Session (AM)

    Windows 7 Track

    • Optimizing Your Application For Windows 7
    • Creating New And Exciting Users Experiences – Part 1
    • Creating New And Exciting Users Experiences – Part 2

    Windows Server 2008 R2 Track

    • Windows Server 2008 R2, What’s New and What’s Changed
    • Windows Server 2008 R2, Build Solutions that Scale Beyond 64 Processors
    • Windows Server 2008 R2, Enterprise Network Solutions

    IT Pro Session (PM)

    Windows 7 Track

    • Introducing Windows 7 and the Windows Optimized Desktop
    • Make People Productive Anywhere with Windows 7 and the Windows Optimized Desktop
    • Manage Risks through Enhanced Security and Control with Windows 7 and the Windows Optimized Desktop
    • Streamlining Deployment of Windows 7

    Windows Server 2008 R2 Track

    • What's in Windows Server 2008 R2 for IT Administrators: A Technical Overview  Part 1
    • What's in Windows Server 2008 R2 for IT Administrators: A Technical Overview  Part 2
    • New Server Deployment and Migration
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 Virtualization Technologies-- Saving IT Costs

    Exchange 2010 Track

    • Introducing Exchange Server 2010
    • Exchange 2010 Voice Mail enabled by Unified Messaging
    • Exchange 2010 High Availability and Storage
    • Exchange 2010 Archiving and Retention

    Full details and registration are on the Boston event homepage.

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    New User Group! New England ASP.NET Professionals


    A new user group has been formed to focus on practices for building web applications using ASP.NET and related technologies.  Led by community veteran Dean Serrentino, the New England ASP.NET Professionals Group will have its first meeting on March 16th and the first speaker is the well respected technologist, speaker, and author Fritz Onion:

    Fritz Onion      New England ASP.NET Professionals
          March 16th, 6:15-8:30 PM
          Microsoft, 201 Jones Road, Waltham, MA
          Fritz Onion, Pluralsight
          "The Changing Face of ASP.NET Development:
          Ajax, MVC, jQuery, DynamicData: Things you
          should know before you start your next ASP.NET project"

    Note that this March 16th meeting isn’t on the group’s normal cycle, which will be the 4th Tuesday of each month, starting in April.

    Thanks to Dean for taking the initiative to create this new group, and to Fritz for helping to kick things off!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Introductory F# Resources


    F# I recently gave an “Introduction to F#” session for the Cape Cod .NET User group and, with Talbott Crowell for the Boston MSDN Developer Conference.

    (And for those of you in Maine, I’ll be delivering the session on February 19th with the Maine Bytes User Group in Portland.)

    Here are some resources from the session along with others I hope you’ll find useful as you explore functional programming and F#.

    Slides and Samples




    • “Expert F#”
    • “Foundations of F#"
    • “F# for Scientists”
    • “Real-World Functional Programming: With Examples in F# and C#” – Not yet released
    • “F# in a Nutshell” – Not yet released


    And, for the curious, a few commercial products written in F#:

    I hope you enjoy delving into F#!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Learn About the New England Research & Development (NERD) Center


    A new site has just launched with details of the Microsoft New England Research & Development (aka “NERD”) center at One Memorial Drive in Cambridge, MA.

    The NERD Site

    The site features details about the facility, plus events, jobs, and the teams that call NERD home.

    Check it out at:  (Not to be confused with our friends across the pond at the Cambridge, England Research Center.)

    It’s a beautiful facility, right along the Charles with amazing views of Cambridge and Boston, so take a look at the upcoming events and drop by for a visit!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Northeast MSDN Roadshow Schedule Update



    Only a few more days until we pile in the car and begin cruising the roads of the great Northeast for our March 2009 Northeast Roadshow!

    I need to share one update, however.  We unfortunately need to cancel our March 11th stop in the Albany, NY area. (The ol’ “circumstances beyond our control” at work, I’m afraid.)  Sincere apologies to folks hoping to partake of our “wit and wisdom”, but the good news is that we’re creating screencasts for each session and will post the slides and other content to our blogs. So keep an eye here and on Jim’s and Bob’s blogs for more.

    In other news, we’re now planning a visit with the Vermont .NET User Group on March 9th at 6PM!  Join us the evening before the Roadshow for “Stump the Chumps” as we face your Q&A on Microsoft, developer technologies, and anything else you’d like to throw at us (put those rocks away, that’s in a figurative sense!)

    So, here’s our updated schedule:

    There’s still room to register for these free all-day events for architects and developers, so register now and we’ll see you in the coming weeks!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    2008 Winter Northeast Roadshow - Resources and Summary


    The Winter Northeast Roadshow series has run its course!  Jim and I traveled about 2,000 miles to deliver seven events for nearly 600 people across the Northeast, and had a great time bringing developer technology and practices to you.

    Northeast RoadshowThe Goods

    As promised, we're posting the content and resources from each of our sessions. 

    Look for the content from Jim's sessions, "Windows Workflow Steals the Show" and "Adventures in Data with Silverlight, WCF REST, and ADO.NET Data Services" on his blog.

    SESSION: "Tech Update"


    SESSION: "ASP.NET AJAX 3.5 and jQuery"

    Slides & Demos

    Albany, NYResources

    SESSION: "Deeper into Windows Presentation Foundation"

    Demos  (no slides used)


    SESSION: "Lunch in the Lab - A Look at Microsoft Research"


    Nashua, NHResources

    Thank You!

    Thanks to everyone who invested the time to join us for these events.  Special thanks to the each of the following companies and organizations who helped us along the way:

    We couldn't have delivered the Roadshow without your fantastic support!

    Next Time

    We're going into hibernation for a little while to reacquaint ourselves with family and friends, but early 2009 will see many events, including our Spring Roadshow, likely in the later February into March timeframe.

    Keep an eye on our blogs and sign up for MSDN Flash to hear updates on that and other events as they emerge.

    Thanks again, and we'll see you again on the road!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    New England Data Camp v1.0 - January 24th


    NESQL Adam Machanic, with the New England SQL Server Users Group and Southern New England SQL Server Users Group, has been working to create a data-focused event based on the Code Camp concept. 

    snessug New England Data Camp v1.0 will be on January 24th from 8:15 AM to 5:30 PM at the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA.

    Registration and Details

    From the Data Camp registration page:

    It's all about the data! Today's applications are increasing data-dependent and whether you're a developer, DBA, or BI professional, you need to know how to work a variety of data across a range of products. This free, full-day Code Camp-style event will feature three concurrent tracks throughout the day to satisfy any tech professional who is interested in the latest and greatest tips and techniques for working with SQL Server 2005 and 2008, the Microsoft BI toolset, and all of the new .NET data access technologies--including LINQ and the Entity Framework.

    Call for Speakers

    Interested in helping?  Data Camp is made better by multiple perspectives, so please consider giving a session!  The Call for Speakers is open and available at:


    Here's how to add yourself and a session (excerpted from my Code Camp 10 post):

    1. Sign in to an existing account or create a new one at site.
    2. Complete a Speaker Registry profile (if you don't already have one.)
    3. Go to the Code Camps home page.
    4. Next to the Data Camp entry, you should see a "Submit a Session" link.
    5. Submit one or more sessions.

    I believe it's been a few years since we've had a dedicated data-oriented community event of this scale, so this is a nice thing to see.  Whether you're a dev, DBA, or IT pro, this is a solid opportunity for networking and learning.

    Registration is now open, so sign up today and I'll see you there!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    The Roadshow Comes to New Hampshire on 12/18!


    Roadshow Breaking news!  We've been able to arrange a visit to New Hampshire for the Winter Northeast Roadshow!  We'll be spending the day at Daniel Webster College on December 18th, talking about jQuery & ASP.NET, Workflow, WPF, Silverlight, WCF, and a bunch more:

    Register here!

    Northeast Roadshow, December 18th

    Daniel Webster College
    Collings Auditorium
    20 University Place
    Nashua, NH 03063

    Jim and I ask that if you're switching to NH from another location, please cancel your other registration (via the My Events page).  Thanks!

    Many thanks to Genevieve Baudin and Daniel Webster College for arranging to host us!  We're looking forward to adding New Hampshire into the Roadshow tour!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Speaking on F# with Cape Cod .NET on January 13th



    Next Tuesday, January 13th, I'll be visiting Plymouth, MA to give a session on F# programming with the Cape Cod .NET User Group

    From the group's site:

    An Introduction to Microsoft F#
    Tuesday, January 13, 6:30-8:30 PM

    Chris Bowen, Developer Evangelist, Microsoft


    Plymouth Public Library, Main Branch, Board Room (second floor)
    132 South Street, Plymouth, MA

    In this session, we’ll take an introductory look at Microsoft's new language, F#, a typed functional programming language for the Microsoft .NET Framework that also features Visual Studio integration. F# can make challenging tasks easier by combining functional programming with imperative and dynamic concepts all with the runtime, libraries, tools, and object model of .NET. We’ll also see how F# can tame the complexity of parallel and asynchronous I/O programming in conjunction with tools such as Parallel Extensions for .NET. Come and see what this new “first class” .NET language (available as a CTP now and to ship as part of Visual Studio 2010) can offer your development projects.

    Thanks to Marcia McLean and Khamla Sananikone for their great work with the Cape Cod group!

    See you there!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    IT Pro Tiki Hut Tour – Spring 2009


    IT Pro Tiki Hut TourAre you an IT pro looking for the latest on the Windows roadmap including details on Windows 7?  My colleague Blain Barton, from the much warmer state of Florida, has posted details of the free IT Pro Tiki Hut Tour, spanning the eastern US this spring:

    Get ready for Spring and join our local TechNet Events team to discuss the Windows Client OS Roadmap - Why Windows Vista is an important foundation for Windows 7. We’ll discuss security and application compatibility, as well as look at the new features of the Windows 7 Beta, presentations and demos delivered live by experienced IT Pros.

    Each stop features three sessions:

    1. Moving to the Modern OS Roadmap
    2. Windows Security and Application/Driver Compatibility
    3. Windows 7 Beta Sneak Peek

    The tour makes 10 stops from April to June, and is coming to Waltham, MA on April 28th from 6-9 PM, and you can register here.


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Congratulations to John Ross and Ron Thibeau, Community Super Heroes


    This Thursday, at the TechNet / MSDN event held in Boston, John Ross and Ron Thibeau were recognized for their outstanding support of both the IT pro and developer communities in the northeast with the first Community Super Hero Award.

    Ron Thibeau (left) and John RossHats off to my colleague Dan Stolts, (please see Dan's post on the award and presentation) who did the heavy lifting on this one.  He recognized that John and Ron were due recognition, arranged the gifts, and produced framed certificates signed by Dan, Blain Barton, Jim O'Neil, and myself.  [See the picture - Ron on the left, John on right.]

    Having known John and Ron for several years before I joined Microsoft, I have seen that they epitomize the volunteer ideal.  They are always ready to lend a hand and do so without having expectations in return. 

    From running the very helpful Boston User Groups site (which has a great calendar of upcoming events!), helping with countless user group meetings, coming in on weekends to help set up wiring for C# Days, to being a constant source of help for Code Camps, they deserve to be recognized and thanked.

    So, thank you to John and Ron!  It's people like you that make our technology community one of the best anywhere!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Session Schedule for Architect Factory on June 2nd


    Architect FactoryAn update to my earlier post, the schedule has been set for The Architect Factory event coming to NERD on June 2nd.  IASA New England, {Code Right}, Microsoft, and O’Reilly are sponsoring this half day multi-track event for senior developers and aspiring architects. Hear from seasoned architects on what you need to know to become an architect.

    There will be a keynote by Rob Daigneau followed by 9 sessions organized into 3 tracks (Architecture in Action, Leadership, and Head in the Clouds). Sessions will cover practical techniques, current methodologies, patterns, cloud computing, security, how to work with IT stakeholders.

    Register at

    This event will be held at the Microsoft New England Research and Development (NERD) Center in Cambridge, MA from 1:00 - 7:15 PM with dinner afterward. So come join your peers and network with some of the most influential architects here in the northeast!

    Event Agenda

    1:00 – 1:30 - Arrive, Meet and Greet

    1:30 - 2:45 - Keynote: “Becoming An Architect”, Rob Daigneau

    2:45 – 3:00 - Break

    3:30 - 4:15 – Sessions
    ”The Dangers of Over Architecting Solutions” - Bryan Tuttle
    “The IT Architect and Technology Leadership – where are we and what next?” - David Leonard
    “How the Cloud Pattern is Changing Enterprise Architecture” - Todd Bremner

    4:15 - 4:30 - Break

    4:30 - 5:45 – Sessions 
    “Establishing Developer Practices” - Dennis Perlot
    “Working with Business Stakeholders” - Ian Dicker
    “The Architect and the New Identity Paradigm” -
    Curt Devlin

    5:45 – 6:00 - Break

    6:00 - 7:15 – Sessions 
    “Architecture of Collaboration Systems” - SB Chatterjee
    “Using LAAAM to Make Good Architectural Decisions, Fast!” - Jeromy Carriere
    “Application Patterns for the Cloud” - Igor Moochnick

    7:15 -8:30 - Evening Dinner Event


    O’Reilly Media has generously donated copies of 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know, and we’ll raffle off a copy or two in each session.

    Sponsored By

    IASANE   cr_logo  
    MSLogo  oreilly_large

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Kodu (Game Programming Environment) Now Available


    KoduBoxArt On an earlier Roadshow (winter 2008), I gave a preview of a great environment from Microsoft Research for making game programming friendly and accessible to a wider audience, and especially children.  At the time it was called “Boku”, but was since renamed “Kodu”.

    As of yesterday, Kodu is now available on XBOX Live Marketplace as a free trial or purchase for 400 points (about $5) and lets you create games using only the XBOX controller (though the chatpad is useful, too.)

    KoduProgramming KoduTurtle KoduProgramming2

    I’ll be downloading it soon and showing our daughters.  I just might even let them have a turn!


    P.S.  Other useful links:

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Summer Northeast Roadshow Resources and Wrapup


    Roadshow Our Summer 2009 Northeast MSDN Roadshow is done and was an absolute blast!  Bob, Jim, and I returned to many (oh so many) miles of open road to bring six sessions to five northeastern cities in June.

    Thanks to everyone who took the time to attend in each city!

    Burlington, VTOn the Ferry from VT to NYRochester, NY

    Roadshow Resources

    As promised, we’ve posted the materials from each of the sessions on the Northeast Roadshow Code Gallery, but here are quick links to each:

    We’re also working on recording screencasts for each of the sessions, which we’ll post to the Northeast Channel 9 Site in the coming weeks.

    Augusta, ME Waltham, MA

    The Fall 2009 Series

    Farmington, CTWe’re already hard at work on the next set of events!  Things are shaping up for a September/October series, and we’re hoping to mix things up a bit this time (I’ll be purposefully vague here), so keep an eye on our blogs for news.


    This time, we had extra help with our (very large!) Waltham event.  Thanks to both Sybase and Burntsand for providing the food for the show! 

    Architectural Salvage - Where Patterns Seek ReuseSpecial thanks to the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and the State of Maine Office of the Fire Marshal for again generously donating use of their facilities for our stops in Rochester, NY and Augusta, ME respectively.

    Sincere thanks to coffee and chocolate-covered espresso beans (which melt in a car surprisingly quickly) for keeping us (or at least Bob who was the driver) awake for our travels.

    And again, thanks to you for attending and investing your time with us!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Announcing the Fall 2009 Northeast MSDN Roadshow!


    Roadshow0910 September seems a long time from these warm days of July, but we’ve set the dates and locations for the next Northeast MSDN Roadshow and wanted to tell you about it now!

    Join Jim O’Neil and me for one of our stops of the Fall 2009 series as we bring developer goodness to a town near you, including our first Roadshow stop in Rhode Island*.

    *Update – 7/31:  Sorry for the inconvenience, but we couldn’t get the timing to work in Warwick, RI.  Signs are excellent that we’ll make a stop there for our Winter series, though!

    Update 8/31:  Thanks to the Beantown .NET User Group and the Microsoft New England R&D Center, we’ve just added a new stop on September 28th in Cambridge, MA!

    But there’s something else new as well - four of our events will be in partnership with morning TechNet IT Pro events!  (The TechNet events are separate events you’ll need to additionally register for if you wish to attend both.)

    Please note of the times of each event, because they’re not all the same and not the usual times of previous Roadshows.

    For those of you in Burlington, VT, while won’t have a Roadshow there this time, we will be in town on September 12th as part of the VT Code Camp and hope to see you there!

    Here’s our agenda, the humor of which will provide you countless minutes of enjoyment:

    The Fall 2009 Northeast MSDN Roadshow:  Food for Thoughts Tour

    Food for Thoughts After a long summer, you’re probably hungry for more tools and techniques to feed your development efforts.  Touring the northeast this fall for the tenth Roadshow, road and code warriors Jim O’Neil and Chris Bowen have cooked up a select menu of sessions that are sure to please the heartiest of appetites.  From current tools and technologies to practical insights, there is plenty to digest!

    Reservations are required, so register today for a seating at these free and relaxed technology events. 

    You’ll see how Chris and Jim handle the heat of the demo kitchen, dish out knowledge, and pepper guests with half-baked humor, all the while being grilled by audience questions.

    The Agenda – A Four Course Meal for the Mind:


    1:00 - Essential Patterns, Practically Served

    Design patterns, they’re important but often presented with unappetizing formality, like getting only the oat bits from a box of marshmallow cereal.  We’ll sample a small set of key patterns, but also show you how free frameworks and tools (such as Enterprise Library, Prism, Unity, Velocity, and others) put each of those patterns directly into practice – so you can too.  You’ll leave with a mind full of practical technology and a healthy understanding of how to turn underlying patterns into recipes for success.


    2:15 - 7-Up(grade) Your Applications

    Refresh your existing applications by pouring in some the new features of Windows 7 via the managed-code Windows API Code Pack.  We’ll quench your thirst for how to incorporate the Taskbar, jumplists, and Libraries by taking the cap off an existing Windows Forms application and adding new capabilities, all the while retaining compatibility for your XP and Vista users.  We’ll have you bubbling with excitement, able to give your applications that extra pop.


    3:30 - Silverlight Snacks that Satisfy

    There’s a generous amount of delicious ingredients in Silverlight 3 and we’re going to focus deeply on some of the most enriching.  We’re going beyond the standard fare in this code-heavy session to create an application that leverages the new out-of-browser and offline execution features, local and remote connections, local data storage, and more.  You’ll see that Silverlight 3 applications can be fortified with features so they can go well beyond being eye candy.


    4:45 - Chips off the .NET Block

    As seasoned developers, we know there’s a mix of options on the trail to implementing requirements.  From staples like value types vs. reference types, interfaces vs. classes, Strings vs. StringBuilder, to other more exotic ingredients you may have yet tried, this session will dip into ways to leverage .NET, offering a taste of the impact they have on code execution, performance, and extensibility.


    5:50 – “Check Please!” We’ll box any leftovers, collect your comment cards, and distribute an array of giveaways.

    Register today and we’ll see you on the road!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    CTDOTNET Hartford Code Camp 2 Registration Open


    CTDOTNET-NewCode Camps are a great (and free) way to spend a day learning and connecting with area developers, and the second Hartford, CT area camp is coming on June 13th from 9 AM to 5:30 PM in Bloomfield, CT.

    The CTDOTNET Hartford Code Camp 2 already has a wide variety of sessions planned by about 30 speakers, and the day will also feature a Career Fair, with mini-sessions on career related topics.

    Registration Now Open

    Register today (it’s free) by visiting

    You Can Help!

    Code Camps rely on volunteer speakers as well as contributions from supporting companies, and the Call for Speakers and Call for Sponsors are both still open.

    For details on how you can help, see


    Thanks to SB Chatterjee (MVP and leader of the CT .NET User Group) and other volunteers for doing a great job organizing what is shaping up to be another excellent camp in the Hartford area!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Briefing in Waltham for Microsoft ProDev Partners


    There will be a half-day partner briefing event at the Microsoft Waltham office on April 14th for Microsoft Partners with a competency in building custom development solutions, or those with an interest in expanding their practice in that direction.

    The Field Evangelism Group will share with you the inner workings of their organization, the initiatives and big bets they are making this year - business and technology - and how they align with the greater worldwide Microsoft and Partner ecosystem.  


    • 8:30am - 9:00am: Registration and Breakfast
    • 9:00am - 9:15am: Welcome and Introductions
    • 9:15am - 10:00am: General Session: Navigating MSDN Field Evangelism Organization & Understanding Our Mission
    • 10:00am - 10:30am: Business Session: Big Bets for Success-Part 1: Application Lifecycle Management (ALM)
    • 10:30am - 10:45am: Break
    • 10:45am - 11:15am: Business Session: Big Bets for Success- Part 2: Software Plus Services (S+S)
    • 11:15am - 11:45am: Business Session: Big Bets for Success- Part 3: Web 2.0
    • 11:45am - 1:00pm: Networking Lunch


    Not in the New England area?  This briefing is being held at other locations in the eastern U.S. as well.


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Huge XNA News at GDC '08


    XNA_3The XNA team made two very big announcements at the Game Developers' Conference

    Cutting right to the chase, the biggest news is that the wait will be over for community XNA games on Xbox LIVE!  Coming this holiday season, people will be able to share, peer review, and play user-created games!

    From the announcement on the XNA Team Blog:

    The Xbox LIVE community games brings to life the community-driven gaming vision we have talked about in the past.  This offering gives the opportunity to share, peer review, download and play games created by the community, for the community.  Starting with the beta launch of the service later this Spring, XNA Creators Club subscribers will be able to submit their own game creations for self-publishing through to Xbox LIVE Marketplace. 

    Read the post for the full details, and here for more, but another important note is that yes, this will lead to the ability to make money by writing XNA games for XBOX Live (details still to come)!

    The second announcement is of one of the first new features coming with Game Studio v3.0 - the ability to create games for the Zune!

    [...] This will let you write one game and deploy it to all three platforms that XNA Game Studio 3.0 will support: the Xbox 360, Windows, and now the Zune. [...]  That means that XNA Game Studio 3.0 integration includes discoverability/access to the user's music - allowing the user to customize background soundtracks or create real-time visualizations at their discretion. 


    In addition, the XNA Community Games Platform team has announced the ability to have multiple Zunes wirelessly engage in an ad-hoc gaming experience (think of the possibilities!)

    Boston XNA Developers Group

    Now, what better place to discuss these announcements than at the new Boston XNA Developers Group?  The first meeting is on Wednesday of next week, February 27th at 6:00 in the Waltham Microsoft office.  No game development experience required.

    Details are on the Boston XNA Developers Group site.

    See you there!



  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Presentation Zooming with ZoomIt


    After my Heroes Happen Here talk in Boston about web development with Visual Studio 2008, I got a few emails from people asking me how I was able to zoom in to areas of my screen during my demos.

    There's a handy and free utility, ZoomIt, originally a SysInternals utility, that's available on TechNet at:

    zoomit Put it in your startup folder and you'll always be a keystroke from it's features:

    1. Zooming in - CTRL+1
      • Use the mouse to move the zoom around.
      • Use the up and down arrows to zoom farther in or out.
    2. Drawing - CTRL+2
      • Change colors with "r", "y", "o", "g", b".
      • Add text with "t"
      • Draw shapes with shift, control, and tab keys.
      • Press "w" to enter whiteboard or "k" for blackboard mode.
    3. Countdown Clock - CTRL+3
      • For when you want to say "Let's take a 10 minute break"
      • Advanced options let you play a sound on expiration and set opacity



Page 5 of 23 (458 items) «34567»