Susan IbachTechnical Evangelist
If you haven't heard already some really big news for Windows users was announced this past week. Windows 8.1 has officially launched. When Windows 8 launched last year, it brought with it a new, modern OS that was a big change from the way users interacted with their PCs. With that kind of major change comes areas for improvement. Windows 8.1 helps with this improvement and adds a lot of value to users and incorporates feedback from people who have being using Windows 8.
Some examples of these improvements include:
If you already have device running Windows 8, you can now download the free update to Windows 8.1 online through the Windows Store*. Visit Windows.com for everything you need to know including how to get the update. If you have a device running Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, or the Windows 8.1 Preview – this page on Windows.com will detect your OS and provide you with all the information you need in order to get Windows 8.1 on your device. I also highly recommend reading the FAQ which answers many of the most common questions about getting Windows 8.1.
So go ahead start updating your devices today and enjoy all the benefits of Windows 8.1
Don't have Windows 8 yet? If you are a student with access to DreamSpark Premium you can get it for free!
Here are a couple of tricks you may not know for selecting and editing text with as few keystrokes as possible.
Don’t forget students can get Visual Studio Professional for free through DreamSpark!
Find more Visual Studio tips and tricks here
Cut, Copy, Paste: Three commands programmers use every day. Let’s face it, all coders are basically lazy: The less keystrokes the better. That’s why it’s nice to know the fastest way to select the text you want to cut, copy & paste. In this post I’ll share a few different techniques for selecting code. You probably know a couple of the tricks listed below, but did you know all of them? If you have any tricks of your own, please share!
You can select text using the keyboard as well as the mouse. If you put the cursor anywhere in the code and hold down the <SHIFT> key and then use the right or left arrow key, you can make a selection one letter at a time.
If you hold down the <SHIFT> and <CTRL> keys then using the arrow keys will select one word at a time.
If you hold down the <SHIFT> key and then press the <END> key you select from the cursor location to the end of the line
I discovered this trick by accident, and fell in love with it. If you want to select an entire line of code, all you need to do is put the cursor anywhere on the line, do not make any selection at all and then do the desired command (Cut, copy, or paste). When there is no text selected, cut, copy and paste default to selecting the entire line. Try it!
Have you ever tried to select code on multiple lines? If you just start in the middle of a line of code and select multiple lines of code you end up with a selection like this:
Now try holding down the <ALT> key as you make a multiple line selection. This works if you are selecting with the keyboard or the mouse.
When you use the <ALT> key you get something called a box select. This can be useful if you are trying to copy a list of variable names, comments, or namespaces without the entire line of code.
Okay if you actually scrolled down this far, here are the two bonus tips I promised.
Not only can you select code over multiple lines with the <ALT> key, you can actually edit code on multiple lines as well. Let’s say you have a list of variables declared as private and you decide they need to be public. Use the <ALT> key to do a multiple line selection of the keyword private across all the declarations.
Now start typing the word public, as you type it will replace the selected text on each line with the new text you type
Last but not least, you can actually insert text on multiple lines of code using the box select technique as well. Let’s say I wanted to add some similar comment text after each variable declaration above. Use the <ALT> key to do a multiple line selection, but make your selection at the position in the line where you want to add the comments.
Now start typing the text you want to insert, as you type it will be added to all the lines.
If you like that multi-edit feature, you may also want to check out this neat little add-on for Visual Studio called MultiEdit Extension for Visual Studio. After you install the extension, if you hold down <ALT> while mouseclicking in the editor it will add multiple selection points wherever you clicked. Then you just type and your text is added to all the selected positions. Scott Hanselman wrote a blog post about it here. Thanks Andrew for pointing out this neat little extension.
Xbox One is going on the road with four decked out Xbox One trucks and they are coming to Canada in October!
Meet the team at one of the stops and be the first of your friends to pick up an Xbox One controller and put this beauty through its paces.
Tour details are available at the Xbox One Tour site
If you happen to be in Toronto you have an opportunity for an even more amazing experience called the Area One experience
Drop in at the Area One party to experience the new Xbox One console before it goes on sale November 22. With live music, live gameplay, and more, you and your friends can paint the town green. Be sure to bring your ID: This event is 18+ only
Ever had to make changes to someone else’s code or figure out what might be impacted by a change to a class? You will love the ability to visualize the structure of the code.
FYI – this feature is only available in Visual Studio Ultimate. If you are a student and you have access to DreamSpark Premium you can get Visual Studio Ultimate for free! If you are in a technical program and don’t have DreamSpark Premium, talk to your professor about getting all the students in your program the best development software for free!
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you will appreciate the ability to show code dependencies visually. This feature requires Visual Studio Ultimate, but it’s incredibly easy to use!
1. Open your project in Visual Studio 2012 ultimate.
2. From the menu select Architecture | Generate Dependency Graph | For Solution
You will see the dlls that make up your solution. I’ve created a dating service Windows Phone app that doesn’t call any external dlls so at first it looks pretty unimpressive.
3. Expand the dll that contains your code and you can drill down to see a dependency graph that shows each of your classes.
So instead of reading through all that code to try and figure out how you structure your classes, you’ve got a quick and easy way to visualize it right at your fingertips! This also helps when you are about to make a change to one of the classes and aren’t sure what code might be affected by your change.
If you have any tricks for checking code dependencies or navigating through code, please share! I’ll keep all the VIsual Studio tips and tricks I share here!
The next evolution of the Surface tablets, see what’s new and improved!
To pre-order or find more information check out the official Surface site or read the announcement on the Surface blog.
Let’s start with the highlights of the Surface 2 – this is the evolution of the Surface RT.
Now let’s take a look at the Surface Pro 2 that evolved from the Surface Pro and runs the full Windows 8.1 operating system
Don’t forget as a student you can use DreamSpark to load your Surface Pro with tools like Visual Studio professional for free too!
And if Music is your life…
Check out the Surface Remix project! A cover for DJS! You can also find out about it from Linkin Park’s’ Joe Hahn