Chris Bowen's Blog

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  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Boston XNA Developers Group Update

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    bostonxna 

    The Boston XNA Developers Group is dedicated to learning and using XNA to create games for Windows and Xbox 360 (and later on, the Zune!)  No game development experience is required!

    Next Meeting

    Our next meeting will be on April 24th, 6-8 PM at the Microsoft offices in Waltham.  Note that this is a Thursday, not a Wednesday as we normally prefer.

    Check out the Boston XNA Developers Group website for more details.  (Great if you can join the site, but it's not required to attend.)

    Michael Cummings and I will continue the survey of beginner-level game development topics.  P3260009If you missed the first meeting, don't worry, we'll keep things heavy on explanation and reinforce the concepts from the first session so new people won't feel lost.

    The Previous Meeting

    The March meeting was our second official meeting, but the first time we looked at any code.  We had a strong turnout of over 40 attendees, including a number of college and younger students as well!

    Pong Throughout the meeting, we created an thoroughly addictive game, okay, well - *a* game, well - Pong.  It's actually a great place to start, slowly introducing the concepts of an XNA game and setting the conceptual foundation for what we'll build on in future meetings. 

    I've posted the completed sample game to my SkyDrive account, so please download it, run it, and even better - improve it!

    More Information

    For links to resources and some discussion threads, come to the Boston XNA Developers Group site, create an account, and join in the XNA and game chatting.

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Make Silverlight Games with Popfly Game Creator

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    PopflyGamesMany people have been using Silverlight to create games for the web, but until now, you've had to be a programmer to do it. 

    Just released on the Popfly site is alpha of the new Popfly Game Creator feature, which provides a great way to create and share some interesting games without having to deal with some of the complexities normally associated with game creation, all using Silverlight.

    Head over to Popfly, choose the "Create a Game" option, and choose a base game (or start from scratch):

    CreateANewGame

    You can go ahead an click Play to try the game, but the interesting part is when you start modifying the game by working with the Actors, Scenes, and Game settings.

    With Actors, you can modify the individual elements that comprise your game.  The car that drives, the spaceship that flies, etc.  Choose from the hundreds of built-in items, or make your own.

    Actors

    In Scenes, create the different screens that your game will have (title, instructions, game, "you win", "you lose", etc.)  You can select from a number of backgrounds and sounds (or again add your own.)  Then, use the editor to place the actors on the various scenes.

    Scenes

    So, how does the game know what to do?  This is where Behaviors come in, for both scenes and actors.  Making a lot of options available to you in a surprisingly easy-to-use editor, you can add effects like motion, shooting, disappearing and more using visual tools. 

    Behaviors

    Wiring up events (like steering your car) to buttons on the keyboard is very straightforward:

    KeyPressEvent

    Want to add a special effect when the car hits a boulder?  No problem.

    SpecialEffects

    Finally, use the Game screen to change overall game properties (score, lives, etc.) and to import files to your project.

    Once your game is ready, just hit Play!  You can also use the built-in debugging features to see what's happening behind the scenes as you test your game.  You can view performance details, watch output from your game to a console window (for example, you can track game events such as keypresses), and turn on visibility of the bounding boxes used to detect collisions.

    Debug

    Best of all, since it is Popfly, you can easily save your games and share them with your friends and rest the world.

    Ready to Learn More?

    You can just jump right in and try things out, but I'd recommend you watch this video tutorial first (go ahead, it's only 8 minutes long):


    Video: Popfly Game Creator

    There's plenty more over on the Popfly Wiki, including more videos, samples and tutorials.

    Very cool stuff.  I hope you'll take a moment to check it out.  Send me a link to any games you make!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Northeast Roadshow - Summary and Resources

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    Northeast Roadshow logo

    We've put the wraps on another great Northeast Roadshow, having visited with hundreds of developers and architects in five cities across the northeast.

    See the bottom of the post for the content and resources.  But first...

    The Play-By-Play of Our Travels

    Burlington, VT

    Kicking things off in Burlington, VT (a Roadshow tradition), we again were hosted by the good folks at Vermont Technical College in Williston.  Fueled by boxes of Starbucks coffee, we had a great time and debuted Jim as part of the Roadshow team. 

    Bob Harasses Jim with Photography

    Afterward, we headed south to Albany, NY (hopping the ferry across Lake Champlain again) to deliver the developer track for that city's "Heroes Happen Here" event.  Serendipitously, we found the Albany Pump Station.  Great food, great beer... we're in love.  (Oh, and the Heroes event was great, too.)

    Portland, ME

    The next week found us in Westbrook, Maine.  It's great to visit Maine because the modest event size leads to a more interactive day.  Lots of great questions, which we then folded into our content for our next stop in...

    Jim Dazzles the Waltham AudienceWaltham, MA

    The Big Kahuna of audiences for the Roadshow, the attendance for this visit to Waltham didn't disappoint.

    A combined MPR A,B,C was packed for the day as orange stress balls flew wildly in response to asked questions.  Resulting casualties: one (empty) coffee cup and our aspirations to pitch for the Red Sox.

    Rochester, NY

    We always have a fantastic time visiting Rochester.  The drive (11 hours in two days) is a blast and the audiences are always very enthusiastic.  Bob Wows the Rochester AudienceTop it off with the absolutely top-notch assistance we get from our gracious hosts at RIT (thanks, Cheryl McLean!), and it can't be beat.

    Hartford, CT

    The finishing touch on the Roadshow was our visit to the Farmington, CT Microsoft office, where we delivered a day of Roadshow-tested and tuned sessions to an engaged audience.

    Random Things You Don't Need to Know

    • All three of us recommend the Hefeweizen at the Albany Pump Station.
    • Somewhere in upstate NY, Bob and I tried our hand at creating a hip-hop song.  Luckily for humanity, the effort lasted only 30 seconds.
    • Surprisingly, after hundreds of miles with Bob and me in the car, Jim hasn't changed his mind about joining the team.  Good news!

    The Goods - Session Slides and Code

    As promised, Bob, Jim, and I have posted our content to our blogs and respective Windows Live SkyDrives:

    Related Resources

    Here are some helpful resources that I mentioned during my sessions:

    LINQ to SQL and Entities

    ASP.NET MVC

    Miscellaneous

    The Next Roadshow

    We're planning a return to the road for the fall, potentially early September.  For example, we're considering a change in format - adding "turbo sessions" to the mix so we can introduce extra topics that may not warrant a full hour+ session (which we'll still have of course.)

    In the meantime, please do let us know if you have any requests for topics, features, venues, or format changes.  We'd love to hear your feedback!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Fourth Ignite Boston Event on September 11

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    Ignite My friends at O'Reilly passed along word that another Ignite Boston is coming on September 11th.  I went to the last one (some pictures below), and it was a blast!  A great chance to hear about a wide variety of topics and chat with fellow New England techies.

    Here are the details:

    Ingite Boston 3The Fourth Ignite Boston will be on Thursday, September 11, from 6 to 10pm at the Hooley House, one block from Faneuil Hall in Boston, MA. This is a larger venue, so the acoustics will be better than our last event and there will be room to sit, stand and mingle.

    From 6:00-6:45 pm, mingle and talk tech with your fellow FOOs (Friends of O'Reilly), alpha geeks, and techies from the greater Boston area.

    Ignite Boston 3After the mingling and social stuff, we'll have a couple of  special keynote presentations to kick off our Ignite talks. Then, on to guest speakers who'll catch you up on the cool, new, innovative stuff going on in technology today. Don't blink or you'll miss their lightning-fast, five-minute presentations. During intermissions, get a cold beer and chat with speakers, sponsors, and O'Reilly's own editors. Join us Thursday, September 11th, for a fun, energetic evening of talking, learning, collaborating and drinking!

    Check out the events and activities of our previous Ignite events. RSVP if you plan to attend by emailing IgniteBoston at oreilly dot com. This will also enter you in a contest to win $300 worth of O'Reilly books of your choosing. You must be present to win. There will likely be other items like tee-shirts and other promo items for those who alert us ahead that they plan to attend.

    Ignite Boston 3Ignite is a user-generated event. If you're interested in speaking, then submit a proposal for consideration.

    Presentations must:

    • Be no longer than 5 minutes
    • Be on an innovative topic (no sales pitches, please!)
    • Be viewable on a PC [a MacBook Pro with Powerpoint and Keynote, and PDF] with standard AV equipment
    • Did we mention, no Sales Pitches.

    For anyone that's never been to Ignite, you may find it useful to see a talk or two. Here's a few good examples from Ignite Boston 3.

    logo_oreillyThanks to O'Reilly for bringing these events to our area!

    Hope to see you there,

    Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Giving Two User Group Talks on XNA This Week!

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    XNA Some coincidental scheduling has given me a chance to speak with both the Boston .NET and Beantown .NET user groups this week, both on XNA!

    You'll have two chances to get up to speed on how to create games easily for Windows, XBox 360, and the Zune using XNA and .NET.

    The Boston .NET meeting is on Wednesday (7/9) in Waltham and the Beantown .NET meeting is on Thursday (7/10) on State St. in Boston, both are from 6-8 PM. 

    If you're interested in the Beantown .NET meeting, send an RSVP email as indicated on the group's site.  (I expect we'll also head across the street for a beer after that meeting.)

    Here's the description for both sessions:

    "Introduction to Game Development with XNA"

    Summer is upon us, so what better excuse to break away from the norm and discuss games? This meeting is for people who enjoy games, and have always wanted to know more about how they’re made… and maybe how to make their own.

    XNA is a game development platform based on the .NET Framework that helps to make it easy to develop games for Windows, Xbox, and now the Zune as well.  Using the free XNA Game Studio, you can use those same C# skills that pay the bills by day for creating your own games by night (or really whenever you'd like.)

    We'll introduce XNA, show you around the XNA world, then create a simple 2D game from scratch to give you a feel for game mechanics and the architecture of XNA.

    This session requires no game development experience, only a passion for coding and for games!

    I encourage students to attend and also parents to bring sons and daughters who are interested in gaming and programming.

    Hope to see you one of these evenings!

    -Chris

    P.S.  If you're unable to make these meetings or are already up to speed on XNA, you can come to the next meeting of the Boston XNA Developers Group on July 23rd in Waltham.

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Presentation Tip - Randomizing Giveaways

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    MPj03853160000[1]A simple tip for those times when you have things to give away randomly to your audience and forgot your bag of dice...

            Random.org!

    This site features a Random Sequence Generator which is simple, but effective. 

    Just have your audience count off, enter the count, then call out the first X numbers based on how many giveaways you have.  Because it's a full sequence, you won't get duplicates and you'll have extra numbers if someone leaves or doesn't want a prize.

    -Chris

    P.S.  Here's an earlier post with five other presentation tips.

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Silverlight Browser Add-In for Reflector

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    Lutz Roeder's Reflector keeps getting more useful.  There's now a Silverlight-related add-in for Reflector called "Silverlight Browser".

    Silverlight Browser is very handy for "how'd they do that?" developer use.  Open Reflector, choose File->Open Silverlight URL and point to a 1.0 or 1.1 Silverlight application endpoint. 

    For 1.0 applications, Reflector parses the component Javascript and XAML files, displaying them as tabs in the main window.  The real power is evident when loading a 1.1 Silverlight application...

    SilverlightReflectorFor 1.1 applications, the files are also parsed into tabs, but that also includes (approximate) source .NET code as well as reflected information in the left-hand pane for the .NET assemblies included with the Silverlight application.

    In the screenshot, I've loaded the 1.1 Silverlight Airlines demo application into Reflector.  You can see the display screen, tabbed listings of relevant files (.js, .xaml, and .cs) as well as the SilverlightAirlines assembly information and decompiled information on the Flights class.

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Free Microsoft Online Developer Courses

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    The Microsoft Learning site has a number of self-paced eLearning courses on current technologies (e.g. .NET 2.0 & 3.0 and VS2005.)  I've pulled the subset of the developer courses that are free and listed them below, but take a look at the full developer catalog as well (the courses with fees are pretty reasonable.)

     

    .NET 3.0

    Collection 5134: Developing Rich Experiences with Microsoft® .NET Framework 3.0 and Visual Studio® 2005

    Summary: This collection of 3 2-hour premium clinics teaches Enterprise Developers and Software Architects about the new capabilities provided by the .NET Framework 3.0.
    Audience: Developer
    Available Offline: No
    Price: FREE
    Subscription: 3 years

     

    Distributed Applications


    Clinic 5136 : Introduction to Developing with Windows® Workflow Foundation and Visual Studio® 2005

    Summary: This 2 hour premium clinic teaches Enterprise Developers and Software Architects about the functionality Windows Workflow Foundation provides for enabling business processes within applications.
    Audience: Developer
    Available Offline: No
    Price: FREE
    Subscription: 1 year


    Clinic 5137: Introduction to Developing with Windows® Communication Foundation and Visual Studio® 2005

    Summary: This 2 hour premium clinic teaches Enterprise Developers and Software Architects about the functionality Windows Communication Foundation provides for service oriented development.
    Audience: Developer
    Available Offline: No
    Price: FREE
    Subscription: 1 year

     

    Windows and Smart Client

    Clinic 5135 : Introduction to Developing with Windows® Presentation Foundation and Visual Studio® 2005

    Summary: This 2-hour premium clinic teaches Smart Client Developers and Software Architects about the powerful features Windows Presentation Foundation provides for building rich user experiences.
    Audience: Developer
    Available Offline: No
    Price: FREE
    Subscription: 1 year

     

    Visual Studio 2005


    Clinic 5045: Inside Look at Developing with Microsoft® Windows® SharePoint® Services 3.0

    Summary: In this 2-hour premium clinic you will learn about the rich capabilities that Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 offers to developers. The clinic will focus on Architecture and List Management, Building and Extending Windows SharePoint Sites, and Packaging and Deploying Windows SharePoint services solutions.
    Audience: Developer
    Available Offline: Yes
    Price: FREE
    Subscription: 1 year


    Clinic 5046: Inside Look at Building and Developing Solutions with Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Server 2007

    Summary: In this 2-hour premium clinic you will learn about the rich capabilities that Office SharePoint Server 2007 offers to developers. The clinic will focus on Fundamentals of Building Solutions with Office SharePoint Server 2007, Building Business Solutions with Office SharePoint Server 2007 and how to Incorporate Office SharePoint Services into Business solutions.
    Audience: Developer
    Available Offline: Yes
    Price: FREE
    Subscription: 1 year

    Collection 5134: Developing Rich Experiences with Microsoft® .NET Framework 3.0 and Visual Studio® 2005

    Summary: This collection of 3 2-hour premium clinics teaches Enterprise Developers and Software Architects about the new capabilities provided by the .NET Framework 3.0.
    Audience: Developer
    Available Offline: No
    Price: FREE
    Subscription: 3 years

     

    ASP.NET 2.0


    Clinic 3402: ASP.NET for PHP Developers: Introduction to ASP.NET

    Summary: In this clinic, you learn about ASP.NET as a Web development platform and how it compares to PHP. You will explore features including Server Controls, Master Pages, and Profiles. Additionally you will also learn about Visual Web Developer Express, a powerful free tool for authoring ASP.NET Web sites.
    Audience: Developer
    Available Offline: Yes
    Price: FREE
    Subscription: 1 year


    Clinic 5230 : Developing Enhanced Web Experiences with Microsoft® ASP.NET AJAX Extensions

    Summary: In this 2-hour clinic you will learn about the rich functionality that ASP.NET AJAX Extensions provides for building highly responsive and enhanced web applications.
    Audience: Developer
    Available Offline: Yes
    Price: FREE
    Subscription: 1 year

    SharePoint


    Clinic 5045: Inside Look at Developing with Microsoft® Windows® SharePoint® Services 3.0

    Summary: In this 2-hour premium clinic you will learn about the rich capabilities that Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 offers to developers. The clinic will focus on Architecture and List Management, Building and Extending Windows SharePoint Sites, and Packaging and Deploying Windows SharePoint services solutions.
    Audience: Developer
    Available Offline: Yes
    Price: FREE
    Subscription: 1 year


    Clinic 5046: Inside Look at Building and Developing Solutions with Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Server 2007

    Summary: In this 2-hour premium clinic you will learn about the rich capabilities that Office SharePoint Server 2007 offers to developers. The clinic will focus on Fundamentals of Building Solutions with Office SharePoint Server 2007, Building Business Solutions with Office SharePoint Server 2007 and how to Incorporate Office SharePoint Services into Business solutions.
    Audience: Developer
    Available Offline: Yes
    Price: FREE
    Subscription: 1 year

     

    Security


    Clinic 2806: Microsoft® Security Guidance Training for Developers

    Summary: This online clinic provides students with knowledge and skills essential for the creation of applications with enhanced security. Students will learn about the need for implementing security at every stage of the development process and best practices for applying security principles. Students will also learn how to use established threat modeling methodologies and tools with other best practices to minimize vulnerabilities and limit damage from attacks. Finally, students will learn how to implement security features to enhance security for Web applications and Web services that are built by using Microsoft ASP.NET.
    Audience: Developer
    Available Offline: Yes
    Price: FREE
    Subscription: 1 year


    Clinic 2807: Microsoft® Security Guidance Training for Developers II

    Summary: This clinic discusses best practices for building security into the design, development, testing, and deployment phases of the software development life cycle. It is targeted towards individual with at least one to two years of programming experience. The course will provide developers with the skills and knowledge to design and develop more secure Microsoft solutions.
    Audience: Developer
    Available Offline: Yes
    Price: FREE
    Subscription: 1 year

     

    BizTalk


    Clinic 2954: First Look: Microsoft® BizTalk® Server 2006 for Developers

    Summary: This clinic provides developers with an introduction to BizTalk Server 2006.
    Audience: Developer
    Available Offline: Yes
    Price: FREE
    Subscription: 1 year 

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Announcing: Essential Windows Communication Foundation

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    Word's getting out, so it's time to acknowledge it on this blog. 

    If you were at TechEd, you may have noticed copies of a sample chapter of Essential Windows Communication Foundation being given out at the Addison-Wesley booth. 

    Essential WCF The eagle eyed among you (I heard from a bunch of people, actually) noticed the author listing on the front...

    I'm very happy to be working with some of the best minds in WCF I know, Steve Resnick and Rich Crane.  Steve and Rich are fellow Microsoft guys based at the Microsoft Technology Center in Waltham, where they work with customers on this technology every day.  Steve and Rich are doing the lion's share of the chapters and I'm writing several chapters in my areas of speciality.

    It's also good to be working on a .NET Development Series book, with a rich heritage of solid developer titles that have come before us in the series - Essential ASP.NET, Essential .NET, Framework Design Guidelines, and others. 

    So, when?

    Look for the book near the time when Visual Studio 2008 and .NET 3.5 are released.  That's certainly no coincidence as we're writing everything from the ground up to be current with the changes to WCF that those technologies are bringing.

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Roadshow Update

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    Bob and returned last night from the first two visits on our May Roadshow, covering AJAX, Silverlight, Patterns & Practices, and XML & the Database

    Though Bob was sick as a dog, he managed to get through the events like a champ.  As luck would have it (knock on wood) it seems his cold didn't make the leap to me in spite of our many hours in the SUV together.

    Hartford Registration Expanded

    A note about next week.  If you previously tried to register for the Hartford event (Monday, 5/14) and found it full, we're increased the registration space so please try again.

    Burlington, VT

    P5080003Our first stop, at the Sheraton in Burlington, VT, was a good time.  Like last time, we had a good group of people who seemed to know everyone else and who put up with our expedited schedule since the room needed to be empty by 3:30 vs. our normal 4:00. 

    We'll have the slides posted after we finish the Roadshow next week.  I'm also collecting questions and requests from each stop and will post follow-up entries on this blog after next week.

    Rochester, NY

    P5100005We again had a great turnout in Rochester at the R.I.T. Inn, with everyone asking plenty of questions (which always makes it more enjoyable for us.)

    Probably one of our more "dangerous" shows, the orange stress balls were flying to and fro, a "reward" for great interaction!

    The Next Roadshow

    We mentioned to our Burlington and Rochester audiences that, though it wasn't finalized, we were looking toward June for the next Roadshow.  However at this point, we're instead planning to move to a quarterly schedule (perhaps adding more stops!) and will let the quiet days of summer go by before returning.  Look for further announcements about schedule and topics on our blogs.

    Next Week's Stops

    Next week we're finishing the May Roadshow by going to:

    See you on the road!
    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    May Roadshow Content Available

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    We've collected the slides and content from our most recent Roadshow and have made them available at:

    http://www.arcStreamEast.net/arcStreamEast/Download/zips/BandC-May2007.zip

    Covered sessions are:

    1. XML and the Database
    2. What's New from the Patterns & Practices Group?
    3. Silverlight
    4. ASP.NET AJAX - Going Deeper

    I'm on the road at the moment, but keep an eye out for follow-up posts with resources relating to questions I received during the various days.

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Prescriptive Guidance for Visual Studio Team System

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    The Patterns & Practices team has just released an excellent set of prescriptive guides for Visual Studio Team System. 

    Read the detailed information in J.D. Meier's announcement post, but here are the direct links:

  • Explained: Branching in Team Foundation Server
  • Explained - Structuring Your Solutions and Projects in Source Control with Team Foundation Server 
  • How To: Perform a Baseless Merge in Team Foundation Server
  • How To: Step Through Creating a Custom Check-in Policy for Team Foundation Server 2005 
  • How To: Step Through Creating Your Source Tree in Team Foundation Server 2005
  • How To: Structure Your ASP.NET Applications for Team Foundation Server
  • How To: Structure Your Source Control Folders in Team Foundation Server
  • How To: Structure Your Windows Applications for Team Foundation Server
  • Source Control Practices at a Glance (updated)
  • Source Control Questions and Answers  (updated)
  • Video: How To - Migrate from VSS to Team Foundation Source Control
  • Video: How To - Setup Your Source Tree in Team Foundation Server
  • Video: How To - Structure Your ASP.NET Projects for TFS
  • As J.D. mentions, keep an eye on the Visual Studio Team System Guidance Project on CodePlex as more guides, recommendations, and instructional resources are released!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Today's Maine Developer Network WCF Presentation Postponed

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    What's with this white stuff outside my window in April?  Well, apparently there's much more of it up in Maine, so we're going to postpone my WCF presentation for the Maine Developer Network today.

    The new date will be exactly one week out, same place, same time - Thursday, April 12th from 1:30 to 3:30 at the Deering Building (on Route 9 / Hospital Street) in Augusta, ME.

    Check out the Maine Developer Network newsletter for directions.

    See you then!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    XNA Game Development News

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    It's great that with XNA, my job now officially lets me combine my hobby of gaming with my profession of software development.  With the announcements at the 2007 Game Developer Conference, the XNA Creator's Club Online site and the Dream-Build-Play contest site have moved into full availability.

    XNA Game Studio Express is a free framework for (and I can vouch for this next word) easily creating both PC and XBox 360 playable games on the Windows platform.  (The also free) Visual C# Express is required to create games with XNA Game Studio Express.  PC deployment is free, but to play your XNA games on your XBox 360, you'll first need an XNA Creators Club license. 

    The "Dream-Build-Play" contest is running through July 2, 2007 and if you create an original game with XNA Game Studio Express, you could win one of the prizes.

    Some useful links for the game developer in you:

    Now if only you can convince your boss that the next internal development support tool you write should have a gaming interface...

    -Chris

    P.S.  I'm planning to deliver a session on XNA-based game development at Code Camp 7.  ("Would You Like to Play a Game?" - Introduction to XNA Game Development.)  View the current list of CC7 sessions (and volunteer to give one if you'd like!)

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Upcoming Northeast Developer Events (March Update)

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    Here's the latest recurring update of the upcoming events and user group meetings for developers in the Northeast.  Know of other events or user group meetings?  Please let me know!

    Connecticut

    March 21, 9-4 PM
    Bob & Chris' MSDN Roadshow - Farmington, CT
    ".NET Framework 3.0"

    March 27, 6-8 PM
    Connecticut .NET User Group - Farmington, CT
    "Features and Solutions in Office SharePoint Server 2007" - Brian Berry

    April 12, 10:30 - 3:00 PM
    Microsoft arcCouncil - Farmington, CT
    "Microsoft and SAP Interoperability"

    Massachusetts

    March 20, 5:30 - 8:30
    C# User Group of Greater Boston - Waltham, MA
    "Understanding ASP.NET AJAX and the AJAX Control Toolkit" - Jason Beres

    March 27, 6:00 - 7:15 PM
    New England SharePoint User Group - Waltham, MA
    "Office and MOSS Integration" - Mauro Cardarelli

    March 31st and April 1st
    Code Camp 7 - "Deer in Headlights!" - Waltham, MA
    Join hundreds of your .NET community colleagues for a weekend of learning, networking, and fun!
    Register to attend and/or present at TheDevCommunity.org

    April 3, 6-8 PM
    Western Mass .NET Users Group - Easthampton, MA
    "Grokking C# 3.0 with C# 2.0" - Richard Hale Shaw

    April 5, 5:30 - 7:30 PM
    Beantown .NET User Group - Boston, MA
    "Test Driven Development (TDD) and the GUI" - Steve Seymour, Rjae Easton, Robert Scott

    April 5, 6:15 - 8:30 PM
    New England Visual Basic Professionals - Waltham, MA
    "Using the Amazon Web Services API" - Mike Culver, Amazon

    April 5, 6:30 PM
    Cape Cod .NET User Group - West Barnstable, MA
    "Windows Mobile Applications" - Marcia McLean

    April 12, 10:30 - 3:00 PM
    Microsoft arcCouncil - Waltham, MA
    "Microsoft and SAP Interoperability"

    April 12, 6:30 PM
    New England SQL Server User Group - Waltham, MA
    "Reporting Services 2005" - Sunil Kadimdiwan

    April 5, 6:15 - 8:30 PM
    New England Visual Basic Professionals - Waltham, MA
    "Introduction to InfoPath 2007 and Forms Services" - Barrett Simms

    April 11, 5:30 - 8:30
    Boston .NET User Group - Waltham, MA
    1)  ".NET Technology Series" - 5:30 - 6:15 PM
    2)  "Building Applications with Windows Workflow Foundation" - Michael Stiefel - 6:30 - 8:30

    April 18, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
    Boston .NET Architecture Study Group - Waltham, MA
    [Topic TBA]

    April 19, 5:30 - 7:30
    Team System Public User Group - Waltham, MA
    [Topic TBA]

    May 8, 5:30 - 8:30
    Boston .NET User Group - Waltham, MA
    1)  ".NET Technology Series" - 5:30 - 6:15 PM
    2)  "Web Services in a Post Web 2.0 World" - Mike Culver, Amazon - 6:30 - 8:30

    May 10, 6:30 PM
    New England SQL Server User Group - Waltham, MA
    "MS Access for he SQL Server DBA" - Dean Serrentino

    MSDN Events:
    May 22, 1-5 PM, Westborough, MA
    June 7, 1-5 PM, Boston, MA
    1) Next Generation Identity Management: Windows CardSpace  
    2) Revving up Cross-Browser and Cross-Server Web Sites with the Microsoft AJAX Library 
    3) Best Practices for Building Next Generation Web Applications Using Microsoft ASP.NET AJAX 

    Maine

    April 5, 1:30-3:30 PM
    Maine Developer Network - Augusta, ME
    "Developing with Windows Communication Foundation" - Chris Bowen

    April 12, 6-8:30 PM
    Maine Bytes User Group - Portland, ME
    "Windows Presentation Foundation" - Chris Bowen

    New Hampshire

    April 4, 7:00 PM
    New Hampshire SQL Users Group - Nashua, NH
    [Topic TBA]

    April 19, 6-8 PM
    New Hampshire .NET User Group - Tyngsborough, MA (Yes, Massachusetts)
    [Topic TBA] 

    June 5, 1-5 PM
    MSDN Event - Nashua, NH
    1) Next Generation Identity Management: Windows CardSpace  
    2) Revving up Cross-Browser and Cross-Server Web Sites with the Microsoft AJAX Library 
    3) Best Practices for Building Next Generation Web Applications Using Microsoft ASP.NET AJAX 

    New York (Upstate)

    March 28, 6:00 - 8:30 PM
    VDUNY - Visual Developers of Upstate NY - Rochester, NY
    [Topic TBA]

    MSDN Events:
    May 8, 1-5 PM, Buffalo, NY
    May 10, 1-5 PM, Syracuse, NY

    1) Next Generation Identity Management: Windows CardSpace  
    2) Revving up Cross-Browser and Cross-Server Web Sites with the Microsoft AJAX Library 
    3) Best Practices for Building Next Generation Web Applications Using Microsoft ASP.NET AJAX 

    April 4, 6:00 PM
    Central New York .NET Developer Group - East Syracuse, NY
    [Topic TBA] - Susan Wisowaty

    Rhode Island

    April 4, 5:00 - 8:00 PM
    Rhode Island .NET Users Group - Bristol, RI
    [Topic TBA] - Jason Beres

    April 11, 6:00 - 9:00 PM
    Southern New England SQL Server User Group, Warwick, RI
    "User-Defined Functions in SQL Server 2005" - Andrew Novick

    May 2, 5:00 - 8:00 PM
    Rhode Island .NET Users Group - Bristol, RI
    [Topic TBA]

    Vermont

    April 16, 6:00 - 8:30
    Vermont .NET User Group - Burlington, VT
    "Introduction to 2D & 3D Game Development using the XNA Framework" - Griffith Townsend

    May 14, 6:00 - 8:30
    Vermont .NET User Group - Burlington, VT
    [Topic TBA] - Don Kiely 

     

    [Update 3/24 - Added Southern NE SQL Server Users Group meeting]

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Boston Vista, Office 2007, Exchange 2007 Launch Event - 1/24/07

    • 2 Comments

    Boston is one of the key launch cities for the upcoming Vista, Office 2007, Exchange 2007 launch series.  The launch will be held at the Boston Convention Center on January 24th.

    Some highlights:

    • Attendees will get a free copy of Office 2007 Professional and Office Groove 2007
    • Breakout sessions for developers, IT pros, and technology decision makers
    • Keynote with Ron Markezich (VP, Microsoft Managed Solutions)
    • Expo hall with Ask the Experts and Microsoft and Partner Paviliions
    • Opportunity to test drive the new products
    • Bumping into your friendly local Developer Evangelist  :)

    Full agenda

    Registration is required - Developer or IT Professional | Technology Decision Maker

    If you can't attend the Boston launch, there will be a number of regional launch events as well.  Northeast events are:

    • South Portland, ME - 2/13
    • Rochester, NY - 2/13
    • Nashua, NH - 2/15
    • Albany, NY - 2/15
    • Comwell, CT - 2/22

    You can find details on these events here.

    -Chris

    P.S.  Keep in mind this is the new Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (if you attended the Visual Studio 2005 launch event - same place) and not the Hynes CC.

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    A Guide to the Newly-Released Developer Updates

    • 2 Comments

    Though I managed to sneak away for some vacation time this week, it's clearly been a busy time for the product teams.  Here's a summary of the recently-released betas and updates with links for more information: 

    Silverlight

    Details on Tim Sneath's blog.
    Here's a useful guide to the Silverlight versions and supporting tools.

    Expression

    Both include support for Silverlight 1.0 RC.
    Details on the Expression Site.

    Visual Studio & .NET Framework

    Now include "Go Live" license.
    Full details in Scott Guthrie's post.
    Scott Hanselman (BTW, now a Microsoft employee) has a simplified installation guide.

    ASP.NET Futures

    Includes Silverlight support (asp:Media, asp:Xaml), AJAX extensions, application services, dynamic language support, and dynamic data controls.
    Soma describes the release on his blog.
    More details on Brad Abrams' blog (second half of the post).

    Ajax Control Toolkit

    Update to support the Beta 2's of VS2008 and .NET 3.5.
    Details on Delay's blog.

    IronRuby

    John Lam has the details.
    Scott Guthrie has a helpful introduction/tutorial.

    IronPython

    Dino Viehland's announcement [via PLNews.org]

    F#

    Don Syme's announcement of v1.9.2.7
    Don Syme with the full release notes
    F# Overview (i.e. why you may be interested)

    Enjoy your explorations!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Controls and Control Libraries for Silverlight

    • 2 Comments

    Though the jury is still out on what controls we'll see in or alongside Silverlight 1.1 when it's released, there are a number of reusable controls and libraries emerging to help make development more efficient and familiar to developers used to WinForms and WebForms style programming.

    Of course, if others made the above controls, you can create your own as well:

    -Chris

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  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Big Changes for the Acropolis Project

    • 2 Comments

    If you're been looking into the Acropolis project for building composite applications, take a look at this post by the Acropolis team.

    The short of it is that the project in its current form (as CTP's) will no longer be versioned (but will remain available.)  However, the goals, concepts, and lessons learned from Acropolis are being transitioned to the Patterns & Practices team for long-term direction and development of guidance:

    "We are very excited to announce that we are going to be working closely with the Microsoft Patterns & Practices team to provide guidance (samples, applications blocks, patterns and so on) for building composite client applications for .NET Framework 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008."

    The post includes a summary of guidance for customers who have been considering how to implement composite applications:

    "If you have evaluated Acropolis and are unsure whether to adopt it for your project, or to use the existing CAB, or to wait for the new guidance, our guidance for this situation remains the same - if you are building a Windows Forms LOB composite client (with maybe rich islands of WPF content) you should carefully evaluate the current CAB release. If you are specifically interesting in building composite applications on .NET 3.5, please get involved with the Patterns & Practices project and help us to deliver a guidance package that meets your requirements."

    imageIn a related announcement, Glenn Block of the P&P team has announced plans around the WPF Composite Client.  It will be a new set of libraries and guidance, not a new version of the existing CAB, to be delivered in several smaller releases so customer feedback can be incorporated into subsequent iterations.

    -Chris

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  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Job Openings with Microsoft SoftGrid in Cambridge

    • 2 Comments

    As I've mentioned before, Microsoft is in the process of moving/growing groups to a great new location in the Cambridge area.  Microsoft SoftGrid is one of the groups moving into that space on 1 Memorial Drive on September 24th.

    The SoftGrid team has a bunch of Software Development job openings available - Dev Manager, Lead Test Engineer, Software Engineers, Sustaining Engineers and Test Engineers. )

    Here's a link to the details:

    http://members.microsoft.com/careers/search/results.aspx?FromCP=Y&JobCategoryCodeID=&JobLocationCodeID=104&JobProductCodeID=&JobTitleCodeID=&Divisions=&TargetLevels=&Keywords=%20&JobCode=&ManagerAlias=&Interval=10

    If you're interested, send your resume to:

    Lauren Day
    Microsoft
    Staffing Consultant- SoftGrid/MSD/Forefront
    27 Melcher Street 3rd Floor, Boston MA 02210
    [moving to 1 Memorial Drive, Cambridge on 9/24/07]
    Direct: 617-896-5601 EST
    Home office: 978-686-2234 EST
    laday@microsoft.com
    www.microsoft.com/careers

    For more information about SoftGrid, take a look at:

    http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/softgrid

    -Chris

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