• Tim Sneath

    The Bumper List of Windows 7 Secrets

    It’s great to see Windows 7 Beta finally released to the world! We're very proud of what has been accomplished over the last months; in many ways, it sets a new quality bar for a beta operating system release. Building on top of the Windows Vista foundation...
  • Tim Sneath

    Choosing Between Windows Vista 32-bit and 64-bit Editions

    Historically, the 64-bit edition of Windows XP hasn't been a runaway hit. It's not really surprising in many ways: the x64 version was a rather specialist product built off the Windows Server 2003 codebase, which traded a loss of support for a number...
  • Tim Sneath

    Windows Vista Secret #4: Disabling UAC

    If you're a reader of this blog, I'm going to take a low-risk gamble and assert that you probably consider yourself a power user. You pride yourself in the responsibility of having full and absolute control over your machine environment and anything that...
  • Tim Sneath

    How do you convert a string into an enum?

    I've come across the situation on a number of occasions when coding where I've wanted to convert from a string to an enum . In the Media Catalog sample, I resorted to one giant switch statement that has a case block for each string that returns an enum...
  • Tim Sneath

    Windows Vista Secret #1: Open Command Prompt Here

    I don't know about your workflow as a developer, but I often find myself switching back and forward between an Explorer window and the command shell. For example, sometimes I'm looking around the filesystem for a project that I created a while back and...
  • Tim Sneath

    Introducing Microsoft Silverlight

    It is with tremendous pleasure that I can reveal Microsoft Silverlight : our next-generation, cross-platform, cross-browser web client runtime. Silverlight (previously codenamed "WPF/E") is a lightweight subset of XAML for building rich media experiences...
  • Tim Sneath

    Windows Vista Secret #10: Open an Elevated Command Prompt in Six Keystrokes

    User Account Control is, as I mentioned in secret #4 , an important part of the security protection that Windows Vista offers. For any user with administrative credentials, you can always execute a process with full admin rights by right-clicking on the...
  • Tim Sneath

    From A to Z... 50 Silverlight Applications

    It's great to see so many Silverlight-based widgets, samples, demos and applications appearing out there. I spent a happy hour this morning searching around the Internet for examples and samples, and thought I'd aggregate the fruits of my research below...
  • Tim Sneath

    An Open Letter from the President of the United States of Google

    The world’s ability to communicate with one another is a key factor in its rapid evolution and economic growth. The Esperanto language was invented last century as a politically neutral language that would foster peace and international understanding...
  • Tim Sneath

    Windows Vista Aero Pt. 1 - Adding Glass to a Windows Forms Application

    In a brief departure from my usual ramblings about Windows Presentation Foundation, I wanted to write a couple of technical posts about using new Windows Vista shell features from managed code. To start off, I thought I'd talk about how to add glass to...
  • Tim Sneath

    PDC05: Product Key Problems

    Some people have experienced difficulties with activating the Windows Vista builds that we distributed at the PDC. Please accept our apologies for this; there's been a mismatch between the activation servers and the product key that was handed out. It...
  • Tim Sneath

    Windows Vista Secret #3: Bringing Back Start / Run

    The Start menu got a big overhaul in Windows Vista, with a number of significant changes made as a result of usability testing and research. One of the nicest innovations to my mind is the search bar at the bottom, which searches through your programs...
  • Tim Sneath

    New Windows XP Theme (Energy Blue) Available...

    It's a slightly strange way to release it, admittedly, but if you're bored with the standard blue, silver and green variants of the Luna theme that ships with Windows XP, you can now download the Royale / Energy Blue theme. This theme originally shipped...
  • Tim Sneath

    Programming HTML with C#

    In my last post , I promised to provide a more detailed technical explanation of how you can use the .NET capabilities of Silverlight with HTML, allowing full access to the HTML DOM from managed code as well as providing a means for client-side JavaScript...
  • Tim Sneath

    A Modern Browser

    This morning, Mozilla shared their feelings on IE9 with a post that claims to answer the question, “Is IE9 a modern browser?” While they grudgingly concede that IE9 is “a step in the right direction”, they seem to be operating under a very narrow definition...
  • Tim Sneath

    Windows Vista Secret #11: Deleting the Undeletable

    As many of us move forward from Windows XP or prior beta versions of Windows Vista to the final RTM version, I thought this little tip / secret might be in order. You may be aware that Windows Vista includes a number of different ways to upgrade a computer...
  • Tim Sneath

    Configuring a Web Server to Host Silverlight Content

    Deploying Silverlight content to a production web server is a pretty easy process. Despite occasional misconception, Silverlight doesn't require a Microsoft-based web server: Apache can host up Silverlight content just as happily as IIS. But there's one...
  • Tim Sneath

    Extracting Metadata from Windows Media files

    In this article, I'll describe how to use the Windows Media Format SDK to access the metadata embedded in Windows Media files for cataloguing purposes. Also included is two managed classes written in C# that vastly simplify the usage of this SDK. Download...
  • Tim Sneath

    Windows 7 Theme Packs: Customize Your Desktop

    Just wanted to take a moment to highlight Mike Swanson’s amazing theme pack for Windows 7. Mike is a colleague, friend who works just down the corridor from me. His primary role with the company is as a content owner for our developer conferences (he...
  • Tim Sneath

    Windows Vista Secret #9: Kill the Startup Monsters

    If there's one thing that puts me off an application, it's when it unnecessarily inserts itself into the Windows startup process so that it can have its very own system tray icon from whence it can spam me with annoying messages. Obviously it makes sense...
  • Tim Sneath

    Five Great WPF 3D Nuggets

    If you're building a 3D application using Windows Presentation Foundation, you'll find these links handy: Firstly, Daniel Lehenbauer shares the trackball implementation that we use internally in almost all of our 3D demos for using the mouse to...
  • Tim Sneath

    Introducing the Third Major Release of Windows Presentation Foundation

    Today I'm excited to announce the public beta availability of a major new release of WPF. Since we shipped .NET Framework 3.5 late last year, the team has been hard at work at a new release that adds many supplemental features, fixes a good number of...
  • Tim Sneath

    Watch Jackass 2.5 - Free and Exclusive on Silverlight!

    Although we're all too proud to admit it, I doubt there's anyone reading this who doesn't love to while away the odd bit of free time perusing sites like YouTube and break.com for funny videos of stupid people doing dangerous things. However, there are...
  • Tim Sneath

    WPF Hands-on-Lab: Build an Outlook 2007 UI Clone

    I got wind today of a great hands-on lab that demonstrates the steps needed to create a high-quality user interface for business applications using WPF and Expression Blend. Two engineers from Microsoft Switzerland, Ronnie Saurenmann and Ruihua Jin, have...
  • Tim Sneath

    ASP.NET Session State: Architectural and Performance Considerations

    I recently came across a great post on one of the internal forums describing the strengths and weaknesses of different ASP.NET session state strategies. Its author, J.D. Meier, has graciously given me permission to use it as the basis of a blog entry...
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