A code monkey in Research

One developer's view of (a little bit of) Microsoft Research, Cambridge

  • A code monkey in Research

    Want to be a developer at Microsoft Research in Cambridge?

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    Socio-Digital Systems , one of the teams I work with, has an opening for a developer if anyone's interested in coming to work here in Cambridge, England. The job ad reads: The Socio-Digital Systems (SDS) group at Microsoft Research in Cambridge is...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Careful with that Outbox, Eugene

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    Someone called Chris_is_tired alerted me to a problem with my NoReplyAll Outlook add-in recently: if you happen to have the Outbox in view and send an email, it seems to never leave the Outbox when the add-in is loaded. Without the add-in, it's fine....
  • A code monkey in Research

    Introduction to Project Waterloo

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    As I hinted earlier , I'm finally getting round to describing how we implemented our first Facebook game, Microsoft Research Project Waterloo . The game is between two players, each having one turn. The game board is a number of fields of play - in our...
  • A code monkey in Research

    The core of the game service

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    Last time , I gave an outline of our Facebook game : now I'm going to take a look at the "game engine." The game logic is pretty straightforward: Player one initiates a game by selecting an opponent and specifying the five allocations Player...
  • A code monkey in Research

    NoReplyAll Add-In 2.4.0

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    A new version of the add-in is now available - head to http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/downloads/60860f41-88ab-4bb4-8104-765feca9cfed/default.aspx to get hold of it. Only two changes since 2.3.3: yet another button rearrangement, since the dropdown...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Connecting with Facebook

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    There are several ways to integrate your application with Facebook: you can have a standalone application (which uses Facebook for authentication but has a UI totally separate from Facebook apart from login), and there can be two flavours of that, a ...
  • A code monkey in Research

    The client side of the game

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    I'm not really going to go into much detail about the client - it's fairly standard "modern" HTML and JavaScript about which you can find much better information that I could cover here. One reason why I can't say a lot about it is that pretty much all...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Project Waterloo wrap-up

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    The last few blog posts have been a rapid walkthrough of our Facebook game . To wrap up, here's the "table of contents" for the posts: Game release annoucement Introduction - quick outline of technologies Server - description of the server...
  • A code monkey in Research

    When is an Explorer not an Explorer?

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    RJGray found another error in the NoReplyAll add-in : basically, visiting the Today Page causes the add-in to throw a bunch of exceptions which seem to be triggered by accessing the Explorer Selection when that page is showing instead of an Explorer ...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Doppler One

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    Professor Chris Bishop is well known round here for giving entertaining science talks aimed at young people - a few years ago he presented the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures . Every so often Chris pops into my office to talk about a bit of software...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Doppler Two

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    Last time , I talked about a WPF application to demonstrate the Doppler effect; this time I'm going to look at a Win8 app. The starting point is the C# Windows Store application project template, of course, and then almost exactly the same Xaml content...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Research Next

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    Research Next is a chance for us at Microsoft Research Cambridge to show off some of the work we do - Project Colletta gets a brief outing at the most recent, held a couple of weeks ago. If you look carefully, you'll see that it's working with Office...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Doppler Three

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    The Doppler waves program has two bits of UI really: the "dynamic" wave drawing part, and the user interaction part, namely the slider. I could recreate a slider myself, or use some other interaction mechanism in my C++ DirectX variant of the program...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Doppler Four

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    Last time I had the basic Windows Store DirectX Doppler app working, and now it's time to add the shader. To begin, effects are applied to images, which means I need to draw the waves on to some off-screen bitmap, and then render that via an effect. I...
  • A code monkey in Research

    WiX installer for VSTO projects

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    A few people have been asking me for something akin to an MSI-based installer for my NoReplyAll tool but I've not been able to treat this as particularly high priority. Those of you with Office 2013 might have noticed Outlook pointing the finger of shame...
  • A code monkey in Research

    NoReplyAll Add-In 3.0

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    A new version of the add-in is now available. The significant change is in the installation process, from plain (and simple!) ClickOnce to MSI, as described in my last post . The new version should load faster (for a start, Outlook 2013 doesn't wag...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Windows Phone lockscreen

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    Windows Phone 8 brings with it the ability for a program to set the lockscreen picture; there are already a bunch of apps in the store that cycle through images (including the built in ability to grab pictures from the Bing home page) - however, none...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Talking to myself

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    Someone at work here presented me with a poser: make Outlook include one's own email address as a BCC when sending an email. I know you can check a box to get Outlook to CC yourself, and you can also get Outlook to save messages in the Sent Items folder...
  • A code monkey in Research

    Add-in for 64 and 32 bit Office

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    My NoReplyAll add-in , which I've talked about before, uses absolutely nothing that ties it to 32 or 64 bit Outlook - it's all "anycpu" with no architecture specific dependencies. However, the latest installer is 32 bit, with the result that the add-in...
  • A code monkey in Research

    I've only ever written one application

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    Actually, I mean, I've only ever written one application startup - in the same way I've only ever written two make files, one for applications and one for libraries, I just keep changing the words... OK, that's obviously a facetious statement, but it...
  • A code monkey in Research

    How many search apps do you need on your phone?

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    When I go searching the web from a desktop browser, I'm lazy. I head straight to a search engine and type a short query: I can get away with a short query because the ease of browsing through a large set of results often outweighs the effort involved...
  • A code monkey in Research

    NoReplyAll Add-In 2.4.2

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    A new version of the add-in is now available - head to http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/downloads/60860f41-88ab-4bb4-8104-765feca9cfed/default.aspx to get hold of it. This is to fix a problem with misidentification of HTML embedded images as attachments...
  • A code monkey in Research

    AppNap data

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    Following on from last time , I thought I'd start by describing the persisted data for AppNap , which consists of an ordered list of search shortcuts, and a search shortcut is a name (which appears in the list presented to the user) and a bit of text...
  • A code monkey in Research

    AppNap user interface

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    The AppNap main page content is pretty much a grid with three elements - the search box, the list of search buttons, and an ad control. There's a picture of it in the first post in this series , and the Xaml looks like: <Grid x:Name="ContentPanel...
  • A code monkey in Research

    AppNap settings page

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    The setting page for AppNap is a rather modified version of button list the main page: instead of clicking an entry to activate it, you click on an entry to be able to edit it. I think the politest thing I can say about my editing interface is that it...
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