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With this blog we want to inform you on our latest initiatives.
Enjoy reading and stay tuned!
As you are all aware, last weekend was Uni Jam 2012, at Nottingham Trent University.
Presentation from the welcome keynote and announcement of the theme.
Setting up at Inter Uni Game Jam
Students from the following universities attended the event:
Nottingham Trent University
University of Nottingham
City University London
University of Derby
University of York
University of Warwick
Anglia Ruskin University
It is clear from the video footage taken during the event that the general atmosphere was great. The attendees were upbeat and enthused about the opportunity with everyone smiling even in the middle of the night people. Even in cases where development was being halted by bugs and other issues, all the students managed to stay positive and enjoy themselves.
Another highlight was when a member of the team from Warwick University offered to help the 2 man team (from Kingston and London City University) with a maths problem. This goes a long way to showing that although it was a competition, the spirit of the event was friendly and students from different universities were able to work together to create brilliant games.
A quote from the DevSoc Facebook page following the event was "I came to Uni in October, hoping to be able to learn how to make games, and with DevSoc, I successfully made one after a month. Can't argue with that!!!" This is what the vision for the game jam was all about, so feedback like this has made all the work worthwhile.
Full videos of the event and interviews with the teams can be found at http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCElCpSPU28MP_e3IhDerJ-A
Inter Uni Game Jam 2012 Winners
Prizes were awarded by the judges as follows:
Accessibility - NTU DevSoc (Patrick Merritt, Paul White, Eamonn Hayden, Charlotte Ash) Windows Phone 7/8, XNA MonoGame
Game Play - NTU DevSoc (Luke Shires, Alex Roberts, Nick Powell, Charlotte Neill, Russell Claxton) Windows 8 XNA MonoGame
Graphics - University of York (Samuel Twidale, Joe Williamson, Tom Rosling) Flash
Innovation - Anglia Ruskin University (Ed Horsey, James Roberts, Kieran Linnie, Owen Westfield Bell) Unity
Windows 8/Windows Phone - NTU DevSoc (Luke Shires, Alex Roberts, Nick Powell, Charlotte Neill, Russell Claxton) Windows 8
People’s Choice - NTU DevSoc (Luke Shires, Alex Roberts, Nick Powell, Charlotte Neill, Russell Claxton) Windows 8
Random Prize Draw for a Windows Nokia Lumia Phone - NTU DevSoc (Eamonn Hayden)
This event would not have been a success without all the support we have received from third parties. Our thanks go to:
Nottingham Trent University – Dev Soc’s Alex Close and his excellent organisation, huge thanks to the Computer Science Department for providing on going support through the planning and running of the event and providing us with an excellent venue.
Stewards and Nottingham Trent DevSoc team – For volunteering their time to help run the jam. Some stayed awake for the whole 24 hours to make sure they could help if they were needed.
Microsoft - For sponsoring the Windows 8/Windows Phone category, Peoples choice category and random prize draw.
Pocketeers - For sponsoring for the Innovation prize category.
Marmalade - For sponsoring the Game Play prize category.
Desura + Indie Royale - For sponsoring the Innovation prize category.
Pololu – For sponsoring the Accessibility prize category.
Rebellion + 2000AD - For sponsoring the Graphics prize category.
Insane Dev (Steven Batchelor-Manning) - For sponsoring the Accessibility prize category and coming down to the venue to show support.
Dynamite Jack – For sponsoring the Graphics, Innovation, Accessibility and Game Play prize categories.
Wiseman Designs - For providing treats for all competitors in the form of Haribo and Freddos.
Mode7 Games (Paul Taylor) - For judging the competition and providing a Frozen Synapse key to everyone who participated in the event.
David Smith - For judging the competition and providing ongoing support throughout the competition.
So get publishing apps and creating a portfolios here are some useful takeaways
Games are the #1 download and #1 money making app category so get developing!
Pick your niche, grow from there have a look at the excellent things www.devsoc.co.uk have achieved.
XNA and MonoGame provides a solution to get your existing XNA assets and games running as a Windows 8 Store App
MonoGame provides a cross platform solution so that you can leverage your existing XNA development effort, across multiple marketplaces to develop a portfolio of games across platforms
Follow the certification guidelines (WACK) to make your app Windows 8 Store ready and use your www.DreamSpark.com Free windows phone and Windows 8 developer accounts to publish your titles to store.
Enter as many competitions and Game Jams to grow your experiences also enter competitions such as www.imaginecup.com for teams and http://www.aswift.com/searchforastar for individuals.
Useful Resources and links
http://www.ubelly.com/gaming Building Windows 8 Games
http://www.microsoft.com/uk/msdn/windows8/ Windows 8 UK Camps and Training Events
http://bit.ly/GJ_W8Samples Windows 8 Samples http://dev.windows.com Windows 8 developer resources
http://dev.windowsphone.com Windows Phone 8 developer resources
http://monogame.codeplex.com MonoGame Installer for Windows
http://www.github.com/mono/MonoGame Git Resource
Over the past few days I have had a few questions re how does a University go about installing Enterprise apps onto Windows 8 machines without having to setup Microsoft LiveIDs on each of the machines,
As your all aware from the Consumer preview, applications are installed via the Microsoft Store, authentication to the store is based upon your Microsoft LiveID. As a consumer you simply click on the store icon and use the Windows 8 Store to get an application onto Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
However if you are an Enterprise looking to get Metro applications onto your employees/students or lab Windows 8 desktops then you will likely want to do it more directly.
Which is where “sideloading” fits in.
Microsoft Technet has detailed documentation on Windows 8 Sideloading to add and remove line-of-business (LOB) Metro style apps
At which point installing an app is as simple as
Additionally you can also remove apps via this process
More details on the Windows Store can be found here
And Building Windows 8 blog
August the 1st marked a important day for academic institutions wishing to use/teach Windows 8 in the next academic session.
Windows 8 reached Release to Manufacturing, Windows 8 is now being issued to all PC OEM and manufacturing partners.
More details http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/08/01/releasing-windows-8-august-1-2012.aspx
So over the next few days/weeks you will see the availability of exciting new models of PCs loaded with Windows 8 and online availability of Windows 8 on October 26, 2012.
More details http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2012/08/01/windows-8-has-reached-the-rtm-milestone.aspx
Developers can visit the Windows Dev Center to get access to all the tools and resources they need to design, build, and sell apps in the Windows Store. While all apps during the preview phases were free, at RTM developers can begin charging for apps, so those with access to RTM bits will begin to see paid apps appear in the Windows Store.
Also, Windows Server 2012 has been released to manufacturing.
On September 4. That’s when Windows Server 2012 will be generally available for evaluation and download by all customers around the world. On that day we will also host an online launch event where our executives, engineers, customers and partners will share more about how Windows Server 2012 can help organizations of all sizes realize the benefits of what we call the Cloud OS. You will be able to learn more about the features and capabilities and connect with experts and peers. You’ll also be able to collect points along the way for the chance to win some amazing prizes. You don’t want to miss it. Visit this site to save the date for the launch event.
More details http://blogs.technet.com/b/windowsserver/archive/2012/08/01/windows-server-2012-released-to-manufacturing.aspx
Due to the number of comments I have had on this post, I just wanted to confirm what products will be available under DreamSpark for students.
MSDN Subscriber Downloads: August 15th, 2012
Visual Studio 2012 and Windows 8 are available as of, August 15th, on MSDN Subscriber Downloads to DreamSpark Subscribers.
To confirm DreamSpark Premium Subscription Program Administrators may follow these steps to get immediate access to the software:
1) Visit http://msdn.microsoft.com/subscriptions/downloads
2) Sign in with the Windows Live ID associated with their DreamSpark Subscription
3) Search for the product of choice and click on “Download”
4) To acquire product keys the administrator may click on “Product Keys” and “Get Key” for applicable SKUs.
a. Note: Not all Visual Studio 2012 SKUs require a product key.
5) The file will be downloaded in .iso format.
a. Click here for instructions on how to use .iso files.
Please see the SKU Availability Matrix below for specifics on which products will be available on DreamSpark.com, and through DreamSprk Premium ELMS Institutional WebStores. The SKUs highlighted in red will be available starting August 25th, with the remaining releasing in a week thereafter, To confirm, Windows desktop operating systems are only available to students at education institutions which have purchased a DreamSpark premium subscription for STEM based disciplines .
Note: these SKUs will be available in the following languages on the 25th, English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese-Brazil, Russian, Chinese Simplified, and Chinese Traditional, with rolling releases of additional languages following on a week after:
For Visual Studio SKUs a separate Portuguese-Brazil language pack will be required, and will also be available on the 25th.
Visual Studio Professional 2012
Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web
Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows
Visual Studio Premium 2012
Visual Studio Ultimate 2012
Visual Studio TFS Express 2012
Visual Studio TFS Server 2012
Team Explorer for Visual Studio 2012
Team Explorer Everywhere for TFS
Windows 8 Debug/Checked Build
Windows 8 Enterprise
counts as credit toward the following certification(s):
Use code : HTMLJMP for a free exam credit, the exam will normally cost £99.
After passing 70-480, you will be given a certification for Microsoft Specialist and this is one of the three exams which will ultimately certify you as MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solution Developer).
MCSD is one tier above MCSA (Associate) and is a respectable title in the field of web development.
Exam registration: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exam.aspx?id=70-480 Link for free online training: https://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/tracks/developing-html5-apps-jump-start?o=1943 Link to MCSD page: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/mcsd.aspx
This offer is available for a limited time only until March 2013 and is open to IT Academy members also so all students undertaking a course can sit a free exam at any prometric testing centre.
The Secure Download Manager (SDM) is Kivuto's proprietary software program for managing the secure download of files from DreamSpark.com and institutions DreamSpark ELMS Stores.
When you download software with the new SDM for the first time, you will be prompted to download and install the SDM on to your computer.
You will need to install the SDM on your computer only once; all subsequent downloads will automatically launch the SDM. The SDM provides for secure, effective and efficient file downloads, especially for files that are too large for some browsers to download.
Note: The DreamSpark SDM is only available for Windows.
OPERATING SYSTEMS SUPPORTED BY KIVUTO SDM Windows XP Windows Vista Windows 7 Windows 8 Windows 8.1 Mac OSX running Windows via VM Image or BootCamp
WEB BROWSERS SUPPORTED BY KIVUTO SDM IE 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 Firefox Chrome
How do I download and install the SDM?
Where can I find the SDM on my computer?
How do I download my software?
If you have any questions about the new Secure Download Manager contact Kivuto at DreamSpark@kivuto.com.
Further details on DreamSpark Secure Download Manager
Getting Started with a ELMS Store
Getting Started Guide - http://kivuto.com/dreamspark/DreamSparkGettingStartedGuide_en.pdf
Tutorial Videos for setting up ELMS - Training Videos
DreamSpark for Institutions - Microsoft DreamSpark Program
One of the questions I have had this week, is from Mobile development course leaders, how they can teach, Windows Phone, iOS and Android in the same lab?
For the first time ever, you can write native iOS apps in Visual Studio using C#.
So I know a number of academics love Resharper, Team Foundation Server, and the entire Visual Studio ecosystem, so hopefully the following information will make your life is now complete.
Another key aspect of mobile development is code portability simply put the Sharing code between iOS, Android and Windows and with the Xamarin iOS plug this has just got a whole lot easier.
Xamarin iOS for Visual Studio allows iOS applications to be written and tested on Windows computers, with a networked Mac providing the build and deployment service.
This article covers the steps to install and configure the Xamarin iOS tools on each computer, in order to build iOS applications using Visual Studio.
Developing for iOS inside Visual Studio provides a number of benefits:
Xamarin.iOS for Visual Studio supports configurations where Visual Studio is running inside a Windows virtual machine on a Mac (eg. using Parallels or VMWare).
Watch the following video for more information
Well the answer is yes you can!
At the Connect() developer event in New York City. We announced a number of new capabilities coming with the Visual Studio 2015 and .NET 5 releases and some exciting news regarding .NET Open Source and Visual Studio Community editions. You can watch the event on-demand here.
But here is a quick summary
Open Sourcing the .NET Core Runtime and Libraries
Open sourcing the .NET Core Runtime. This will include everything needed to execute .NET code – including the CLR, Just-In-Time Compiler (JIT), Garbage Collector (GC), and core .NET base class libraries. We are releasing the source under the MIT open source license and are also issuing an explicit patent promise to clarify users patent rights to .NET. This is published on the public GitHub https://github.com/dotnet/corefx
The source release includes many of the newer core .NET framework libraries (ImmutableCollections, SIMD, XML and MetadataReader). These libraries are fully open, and are ready to accept contributions. Over the next several weeks and months we will continue to transfer source (including the Core CLR which is not there right now but in the process of being moved) into the repository and likewise make it open for contributions.
What does this open sourcing mean?
The open source announcement, simply means that developers will have a fully supported, fully open source, fully cross platform .NET stack for creating server and cloud applications – including everything from the C#/VB compilers, to the CLR runtime, to the core .NET base class libraries, to the higher-level .NET Web, Data and API frameworks.
Last month at a Cloud Event held in San Francisco, Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO – showed a slide like this one where he talked about how Microsoft loves Linux:
We’ve worked hard with Azure to make it a first-class cloud platform for Linux based applications, and shared how more than 20% of all VMs running on Azure are Linux based. In fact, we now have a number different Linux distributions officially supported for use on Azure – with full integration within our management portal and command-line extensibility.
Which now include Ubuntu, CoreOs, Centos, Suse, Oracle Linux and Puppet Labs
Bringing Core .NET to Linux and OS X
In addition to making the .NET server stack open-source, we are also going to release an official distribution of the .NET Core for Linux, as well as an official distribution of .NET Core for the Mac operation system as well.
This will enable you to build .NET server and cloud applications and run them on both Windows Server and Linux. It is going to enable every developer – regardless of what operating system they use to develop or target – to use .NET. And to do so on a fully open source runtime.
We will be working closely with the Mono community as we complete our Linux port. The Mono community have done a great job advancing .NET and Linux over the last decade. Releasing the .NET Core source under an open source license is going to enable us to collaborate together much more closely going forward.
A new free edition of Visual Studio - Visual Studio Community 2013 edition is a full-featured IDE. It supports multiple project types in one solution file in a single IDE, and has all of the productivity features and IDE extensibility capabilities (meaning you can use Xamarin, ReSharper, VsVim, and any other VSIX extension) that developers love in Visual Studio.
It is now available completely free for:
There is no program you need to join to use it – simply visit www.visualstudio.com, click the download button.
Visual Studio Community Edition Virtual Machine
It is going to enable even more developers to take advantage of Visual Studio and build even better applications. We are looking forward to seeing what you build with it. Additionally if your a Mac User you can now spin up a virtual machine running community connect as part of an Azure.
The Visual Studio Community 2013 image enables you to unleash the full power of Visual Studio to develop cross-platform solutions. Create apps in one unified IDE, and incorporate new languages, features, and development tools into them with Visual Studio Extensions (available in the Visual Studio Gallery).
Pricing varies based on the subscription you select to provision your virtual machine see http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/calculator/?scenario=virtual-machines but as an example you could spin up a D3 Series Windows Virtual Machine with 4 Cores and 14GB Ram with a 250GB SSD drive for 1.42 Euro per hour and simply only pay per the hour by turning the machine off when not required.
It has never been a better time to be a software developer.
With the provision of FREE Software and Visual Studio Community edition it will now enable organizations to succeed in today’s digital environment.
Using the cloud, every software developer on the planet can now create and build solutions that can reach millions of users, with no upfront costs, powered by a cloud infrastructure that delivers completely global reach. The impact an individual developer can now have has never been greater than it is today.
.NET open source, cross platform, and Visual Studio Community edition announcements will enable the development technology we build to be leveraged by an even wider range of developers and across all mobile platforms
Developers can now use the breadth Microsoft’s tools and services for free with Visual Studio Community 2013 tools for developing applications from mobile and desktop to web and cloud, Azure Free Trial providing hosting for 10 websites + 10 mobile services, and Visual Studio Online offering developer services free for up to 5 users. You can get started with all three offers today.
The Event and official announcements
You can watch the online presentations here. Also read Soma’s blog post for a summary of some of the new VS 2015 and .NET 5 capabilities
With the announcement that you can run Hyper-V on the Windows 8 client. I have had a lot of questions regarding this? I did do a post back in August explaining the process of checking your PC estate for SLAT Support see http://blogs.msdn.com/b/uk_faculty_connection/archive/2012/08/31/if-your-thinking-of-installing-windows-8-are-your-labs-machine-capable.aspx
A number of people have reported simple having problems running Hyper-V on a Windows 8 client as it requires SLAT to run Hyper-V.
Running Hyper-V on Windows Server 2012 does *not* require SLAT but most institutions don't want to install a server OS as a desktop operating system. SLAT is a feature of the CPU. It is called “Rapid Virtualization Indexing (RVI)”, and has been called Extended Page Tables (EPT) by Intel and Nested Page Tables (NPT) by AMD.
You can use Wikipedia to look up Intel Nehalem and AMD NPT:
Processors that support SLAT
For AMD machines you can look up the supported models at http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles/Pages/GPU120AMDRVICPUsHyperVWin8.aspx
Tools for testing for SLAT Microsoft’s Mark Russinovich has also created a really nice utility coreinfo.exe You can simply run coreinfo.ext and it will detect EPT and NPT (SLAT) support on your CPU.
To test your machine, simply download coreinfo.exe from Microsoft Sysinternals http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/cc835722 and use the coreinfo -v switch to list the features. An asterisk * next to a feature indicates that it is supported. A minus sign - indicates no support for that feature. Note: Coreinfo must be executed on a system without a hypervisor running for accurate results and under a administrator account on Windows 8. For example here is a screenshot from my Lenovo X200 series tablet
“*” means the feature is present
“-“ means it is missing
Alternatively, you can use Windows PowerShell to capture your specific CPU model this could be scripted to report the state of your entire PC labs or cluster estate the PowerShell command is gwmi win32_processor
NOTE: Be sure to include the specific family/model/stepping since different processor revisions may have different feature sets.
I have a had a number of questions last week, from some of the UK’s University Gaming Students and Academics re Windows 8.
Over the past few weeks as part of my UK tour with Aardvark Swift recruitment, I have been highlighting the opportunity of students building portfolio’s and publishing apps on Windows 8 Store to demonstrate their abilities to help them gain employment see the PowerPoint deck below.
For more resources on Windows 8 development see http://www.ubelly.com/gaming
If your interested in attending a free Windows 8 developer camp see http://www.microsoft.com/uk/msdn/windows8
One of the questions, I was asked last week was how can student use tools to develop prototypes and proof of concepts for academic activities, I wanted to share with you the following templates for PowerPoint. Using these templates, you can quickly put together a Windows 8 app layout and iterate on it. All elements in the set are based upon regular PowerPoint vector shapes, and are fully editable and customizable.
As anyone who has seen one of my presentations, PowerPoint is a really great rapid prototyping tool its slide-by-slide approach allows you to present a flow and tell a story with your designs. You can even create basic clickable prototypes by adding hyperlinks between slides. Furthermore, PowerPoint is available on almost every computer, including the new Windows Surface devices that run Windows RT, and is fairly simple to get started with.
Download the Templates For Free!
The wireframing set is available as a .pptx file (for PowerPoint 2007 or newer) that you can download using the link below:
It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You can therefore use it any way you want, private or commercial, just as long as you distribute the resulting work under the same license and give proper credit to the original creators:
Example grid page displaying item previews arranged in groups.
Example page displaying details for a single group with previews for each item in the group.
Example page displaying one item in detail.
Example page displaying a list of items and the details for the selected item.
Example of a Metro app in snapped view state.
Example of an app in fill view state.
Collection of common UI controls (part 1): button, text box, list box, check box, radio button, toggle switch, etc.
Collection of common UI controls (part 2): search box, date/time picker, slider, progress bar, scrollbar, etc.
Grid view (with groups).
List view and charms bar.
App header, app bar, and toast.
240 app icons (part 1).
240 app icons (part 2).
While you can build great prototypes with FREE tools and PowerPoint, you may find yourself wanting the templates to be in a format that is easier to search through.
In this case, I can highly recommend taking a look at PowerMockup, an add-on for PowerPoint.
PowerMockup provides a searchable library of wireframe elements that can easily be dragged and dropped onto a slide. Best of all, the tool allows you to add your own creations to the library and share them with others.
Andreas Wulf, www.powermockup.com has created these FREE additions
After downloading the files, switch to the “PowerMockup” tab in the PowerPoint Ribbon bar, click on “Import Files”, and select the downloaded .pmst files. Here is a screenshot of how it will look like after you have imported the templates:
All elements, including the icons, are properly named and tagged, making them easily searchable.
I hope you enjoy the set!