Mike Swanson

June, 2005

  • Mike Swanson's Blog

    Batman Begins

    • 17 Comments
    Wow. Overall, the reviews for Batman Begins have been good, but not out-of-this-world. Nevertheless, the trailer had me excited about this movie, and my wife and I went to see it tonight. I don't want to build up too many expectations, but I loved this movie! And for the record, I didn't like any of the other Batman films. I can't remember the last time I've been entertained like this. I was engrossed almost the whole time. The music was fantastic. The special effects must have looked real, because I don't remember even thinking about them. I decided about 3/4 of the way through that I would need to clap at the end, and I can't remember the last time I clapped at the end of a movie. If you see it, please see it in a theater with good sound. It'll make all the difference.
  • Mike Swanson's Blog

    RAW Image Thumbnails for XP

    • 2 Comments
    As a digital photo enthusiast, I was excited to learn that we've released a RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer for Windows XP. This free PowerToy allows you to view, organize, and print photos captured in the RAW image formats produced by Canon and Nikon digital cameras. If you're not familiar with the RAW format, here's a good introduction. I've been a very satisfied user of dpMagic for a long time, and I'm curious to see how this compares.
  • Mike Swanson's Blog

    CTP Madness Tool

    • 1 Comments
    Okay...here's a handy tool. Now that we're releasing Community Technology Previews (CTPs) so frequently, it can be difficult (even for us Microsofties) to track which version of a product works with which version of the .NET Framework. The Channel 9 CTP Madness tool reports the versions that appear to be running on your current machine (via browsercaps) and shows which products are compatible. The tool relies on a simple BuildData.xml file that could easily be used to build a new frontend for the data. Special thanks to Brad Abrams, Jason Sutherland, and Charles Torre for making this available.
  • Mike Swanson's Blog

    Public Beta of Acrylic Graphics Tool

    • 0 Comments
    Some of you may recall our 2003 acquisition of Expression, a vector-based illustration tool by Creature House. Well, you can now download a beta version of Acrylic which is built on the same technology and blends both vector- and pixel-based editing in a single package. The download is 77MB, requires Windows XP SP2, and is set to expire on October 1, 2005. There is also a beta discussion forum that has been setup to capture feedback, suggestions, and to answer questions. You'll want to check out Annie Ford's helpful What's New page that links to some product screen captures. Be sure to check out the Image Stitching feature...it works remarkably well.
  • Mike Swanson's Blog

    ZAM 3D for Avalon Beta 1 RC

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    Electric Rain has updated their excellent ZAM 3D modeling and animation tool to support the recently released Avalon Beta 1 RC. Download it here.

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