Mike Swanson

October, 2005

  • Mike Swanson's Blog

    PDC05 Sessions Online

    • 31 Comments

    If you were unable to attend the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference 2005 (PDC05) in Los Angeles this year, never fear; 209 breakout sessions, panels, and symposia are now available online. Each session includes a video of the presenter, a navigable index of the content, the PowerPoint presentation itself, and video of any demos. We'll be hosting this content for free, for anyone, for six full months.

    And, due to popular blogger and e-mail demand, you can also download each session individually for offline viewing. Just click the Download Presentation link that appears beneath the session information (full session zip files average around 150MB each).

    All of the sessions include downloadable PowerPoint presentations, and many of them also include materials (code samples, Visual Studio solutions, papers, etc.).

    If the thought of spending 46 full days downloading almost 27GB of content via a 56K dial-up connection doesn’t sound appealing, you can order the 4 dual-layer 8.5GB DVD set here (attendee price: $199, non-attendee price: $499). As a bonus, the DVD set also includes nearly 4GB of Channel 9 video content that was produced for PDC05. All attendees will automatically receive the DVD set, and it is expected to begin shipping in early November.

    In case you missed my earlier post, you can right-click on the speaker video, choose Play Speed, then Fast to save yourself some time by watching the presentation at a higher speed. Since there’s over 250 hours of content, this can be a big time-saver.

    Enjoy!

  • Mike Swanson's Blog

    Awesome Music Visualization and Screen Saver: G-Force

    • 6 Comments

    I'm always looking for great Media Player visualizations, and I ran across this one just before my trip to PDC05. If you've ever spent more time than you'd like to admit watching your hard drive defrag (I know I have), I think you'll find this even more mesmerizing. A company called SoundSpectrum produces both WhiteCap and G-Force; both are available as free downloads. Check out some of the screenshots. I originally thought that it leveraged the power of the GPU for these amazing visuals, but after reading their FAQ, I see that it has no special 3D hardware requirements.

    I liked it so much that I bought the upgraded Platinum edition for $30 (which—among other things—adds a screen saver capability). You'd be surprised how many people have asked me about the screen saver on my laptop. I've come back to my machine and found people staring at the display. Now that I think about it, perhaps I can get SoundSpectrum to add a subliminal suggestion feature to their visuals. Imagine the possibilities. :-)

    I'd love to see a version of their product that takes advantage of Windows Presentation Foundation. I have to believe that the hardware acceleration alone would allow them to do some pretty stunning things. What about a feature that allows me to include my own custom XAML within their display? Sounds like a pretty wild possibility.

    What other cool visualizations and screen savers are you guys aware of?

  • Mike Swanson's Blog

    Visual Studio 2005 RTM

    • 14 Comments

    After a very long product cycle, Visual Studio 2005 released to manufacturing today. This is an awesome release that includes a lot of great new functionality. Great job, Developer Division!

    The ISO files can be downloaded via MSDN Subscriber Downloads. If you want to know which versions are offered at different subscription levels, check out MSDN Subscriptions for Visual Studio 2005. The Professional Edition ISO is a 2760MB download, and if your subscription level offers it, the Team Suite ISO is 3630MB. If you'd like to know the features that accompany each SKU, the Visual Studio 2005 Product Line Overview should help.

    Also, the various flavors of the .NET Framework 2.0 SDKs and Redistributables are available via the Microsoft Download Center.

    For those who don't have MSDN Subscriptions, the Express Editions of of Visual Basic, Visual C#, Visual C++, Visual Web Developer, Visual J#, and SQL Server will be made publicly available on the Microsoft Download Center on November 7th. You should also be able to find the full boxed product in stores that same day.

    If you have a pre-release version of Visual Studio 2005 installed on your machine, please be sure to follow the Pre-RTM Uninstall Instructions. This post by Aaron Stebner does a great job of outlining all of the potential issues.

    And, since I've already been asked a few times today, here's a page in the MSDN Library that discusses Installing Visual Studio Versions Side-by-Side. The short answer is that "Visual Studio supports installation of Visual Studio 6.0, Visual Studio .NET 2002, 2003, and Visual Studio 2005 on the same computer."

    By the way, although I haven't posted about it yet on this blog, I am hiring a Technical Evangelist to focus on the next version of Visual Studio, code name "Orcas." If you're passionate about our developer tools and think you might be interested, please contact me.

  • Mike Swanson's Blog

    Working on the PDC05 Post-Show DVD Set

    • 12 Comments

    I've spent the past few days reviewing the first-cut of the PDC05 post-show DVD set, and I have to say that I'm very excited about what we're going to deliver! Because I was part of the team that organized and ran this event, I only had time to attend a single session in Los Angeles. No worries, though, because we recorded all of the breakout sessions (including those during lunch), and all of the symposia. We captured four unique data streams in each room: the audio, the PowerPoint presentation, any demos, and video of the speaker(s). After collecting a half terabyte of raw data (!), we've worked very closely with a vendor to assemble all of the content into a seamless, synchronized Microsoft Producer format.

    We had originally planned to expand the "normal" 2 DVD set to 3 DVDs this time around. But, because of all the content, we've had to increase it to 4 dual-layer 8.5GB DVDs. Each DVD contains a full index, and DVDs are organized by presentation track. You can either drill down by session or perform a keyword search to find exactly what you're after. Or, if you're an uber geek, you can just sit back and watch over 200 sessions back-to-back. That's over 250 hours of content! Wow!

    The background screenshot shows the start-up interface for navigating the sessions along with their descriptions. The screenshot in the foreground shows the actual presentation. You get video of the speaker, an index of the presentation just below, and the PowerPoint slides and demo video to the right. This is the first time we've included video of the speaker for all sessions, and it really makes for a very engaging experience. Best of all, you can use standard Media Player controls to increase the playback speed to 1.6x (Ctrl+Shift+G) and completely throttle your brain with the technical torrent...don't try this with 400-level content. :-) Oh...we've also thrown in all of the PowerPoint presentations and sample code for many of the sessions.

    So, how do you get all this goodness? That's the best answer of all. If you attended PDC05, it'll be automatically shipped to you when it becomes available (targeting early November). If you'd like to order your own full DVD set to keep handy, visit the order page. Or...drum roll please...we'll be hosting all of this, for free, for anyone, for six full months! Now that's awesome.

    By the way, did you know that you can download the PDC05 PowerPoints and some sample code already? And here's a session list.

    Last, I have to shout out to Robert Ingebretsen (the guy wearing the orange shirt in the screenshot). I keep forgetting to link to his new blog site. Robby has an awesome design sense, and if you're interested in Windows Presentation Foundation, you should check out his stuff.

  • Mike Swanson's Blog

    Macro Wallpaper 7: More Fallpaper

    • 4 Comments

    Here is another set of macro photographs that have been formatted for a 16:10 aspect ratio (1920 x 1200) to match my widescreen monitor. So that they'll work with more "traditional" resolutions, I've also included links to 4:3 versions (1600 x 1200). As you can probably tell from the thumbnails below, these are images of fall. They were all taken with a Nikon 5700 in macro mode. I purchased a Canon Rebel XT a couple of months ago, but I have yet to pick up a macro lens.

    The first three photos were taken this past weekend at a park in Redmond, Washington. I don't recall exactly where the other two were taken, but it was somewhere near Holland, Michigan.


    (1600 x 1200 version)

    (1600 x 1200 version)

    (1600 x 1200 version)

    (1600 x 1200 version)

    (1600 x 1200 version)


    You can get the first six sets here: Macro Wallpaper, Macro Wallpaper 2, Macro Wallpaper 3: Fallpaper, Macro Wallpaper 4, Macro Wallpaper 5, Macro Wallpaper 6.

Page 1 of 2 (9 items) 12