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Archive for February, 2007

I like to use Windows Explorer in maximize view most of the time.  In Windows XP I would set the Maximize property in the shortcut.  I tried setting the value in Vista but it made no difference.

Registry Setting

A little snooping in the registry turns up the MaximizeApps key.  I don’t know if this works on all apps or just Windows Explorer but I solved my problem.

Find this Key

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\
  • CurrentVersion\Explorer
  • Add a new DWORD value named “MaximizeApps”
    • Set the value to 1

     

    -Walt

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    I’ve been using Vista on my laptop for the last week.  Most days I’m very happy with the Vista experience.  It certainly improves the WPF programming experience with the Windows Driver Display Model (WDDM) video drivers.  The graphics render as smooth as silk. 

    Vista installed in about 20 minutes.  I’m getting a 3.6 Windows Experience rating on a two year old Dell 9300. Vista worked flawlessly on the first boot and is much faster than my previous XP install.  I hear that many people are getting slower response with Vista over XP, but that hasn’t been my experience.

    Not everything has been flawless however.  I can’t use VMware Workstation 5.5.  I tried the VMWare Workstation 6.0 beta but is was sooooo sloooowwww that its was useless. I’m back to using VPC 2007 for the time being.

    Mostly I’m loving Vista.  Having the ever-present search is a killer feature.  When I work on my XP virtual computers I really miss it.  What?  I’ve got to go find the item in the Start menu.  How lame.

    I’ve found a few  annoyances too.  I’m going to post a short series of tips about fix to  Vista that make me happy.  Mostly for my own lookup later.   But I found on my old blog , my tips continually got traffic years after the original post.

     

    -Walt

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    I’ll be in Rochester NY next week.  Bob Nims was gracious and invited me to speak at the Visual Developers of Upstate New York (VDUNY) group on Wednesday February 28th.  I’m talking about WPF (of course).  If you’re in the area stop by for the evening.

    VDUNY Website

    http://www.vduny.org/

    Note: My talk is not listed on their site but the meeting will be at the Microsoft office.

    Notes from Bob

    Our schedule for Wednesday night, February 28th is:

    6:00 PM Food arrives
    6:30 PM (or thereabout) Program begins
    8:00 PM (or shortly thereafter) distribution of SWAG and continuing discussion.

    Please RSVP if you will be attending and indicate if you will be having Pizza. We request a $4 contribution for the Pizza, soda, and cookies and the RSVPs help me determine how much stuff to order, so your help is appreciated.

    VDUNY meets at the offices of Microsoft at 100 Corporate Woods in Brighton (across from MCC near the intersection of I390 and highway 15A (East Henrietta Road). This is a link to a Map To VDUNY Meeting. I hope that all that wish to will be able to attend.

    My Abstract

    WPF — Microsoft’s magnificent new graphics engine

    By now you’ve probably heard of Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). But how well do you really know WPF? It’s been my experience in talking to .NET developers that many have no idea of how powerful WPF is. Some think it is a watered down graphics engine that can animate buttons on a form. Others think it is a new API for Vista and has no impact on applications they are currently building.

    But they are wrong.

    WPF represents the first significant change to the Windows graphics engine in over ten years. What is trivial to build with WPF is difficult or impossible in Microsoft’s current Winforms technology. The WPF API is chock full of improvements for constructing rich client applications. WPF is hardware accelerated, using the graphics rendering engine in your GPU for faster processing of UI primitives. It is vector based, via Direct3D, which provides truly scalable and resolution independent UIs. WPF makes it easy to integrate video, audio, text, animation and 2D-3D graphics into a seamless montage

    You may not need 3D in your business application but I bet you have UI ideas that are difficult to accomplish with the current set of graphics tools – like GDI. If you truly care about creating a great user interface, you owe it to yourself to see what WPF can do.

    Here’s what one attendee to a recent NET 3.0 road-show said after the event.
    “I attended this event to learn mostly about WCF and WF. I was expecting WPF to be a big waste of time. Not only did Walt do an excellent job explaining the benefits of Windows Presentation Foundation but he made a convert out of me. I never realized how extensive WPF is, or how it simplifies so many UI design tasks.
    If I had to a pick a favorite from the topics it would have to be Styles and Templates. Wow! Powerful stuff.
    We are going to be using WCF in our next release, no doubt about that, but after seeing WPF I’ve already planned several UI improvements for our existing application and I’ll be using WPF for them.”

    See you there!

    -Walt

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    Tim Sneath is posting a fascinating series, Great WPF Applications, that showcases real applications written to exploit WPF features.  I’m guessing that if you are interested in WPF you’ve probably seen most of Tim’s series.  If not, here are a couple links

    I wanted to create a summary list of all the available WPF applications but Chad Brooks  already has.  Check it out.

    Cool WPF Applications

     

    -Walt

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    Today is the online chat for the WPF and Expression teams.  I’ll be there.

    Join Microsoft Experts for an Online Chat!

    WPF Technical Chat 2

    Come and meet the WPF team! We’ll have a collection of the WPF team on hand to answer your technical questions, hear your feedback on what we should be doing in our next release, share great tips and tricks for using WPF, and just generally connecting with one another.

    Wednesday, February 21, 2007

    11:00 – 12:00 P.M. Pacific Time

    2:00 – 3:00 P.M. Eastern Time

    19:00 – 20:00 GMT

    Join the chat room on the day of the chat:

    MSDN: msdn.microsoft.com/chats/chatroom.aspx

     

    -Walt

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    If you study computer graphics for even a short time you’ll discover acronyms, technical terms and concepts that don’t appear in a line-of-business programmers daily vocabulary.  Where can you find information about color theory, animation sprites, pixels, video card specifications and other graphics related technology?

    Dr Alvy Ray Smith has been a participant in many of the pioneering companies working with computer graphics.   He co-founded Pixar and was director of research at Lucas Film so one can rightly assume that he knows a thing or two about graphics. 

    He has a number of published articles on his web site that any budding graphics developer should read.  All his articles are good.  Looking for a starting point?  Try his “a pixel is not a little square” article. 

    Quote

    My purpose here is to, once and for all, rid the world of the misconception that hat a pixel is a little geometric square. This is not a religious issue. This is an issue that strikes right at the root of correct image (sprite) computing and the ability to correctly integrate (converge) the discrete and the continuous. The little square model is simply incorrect. It harms. It gets in the way. If you find yourself thinking that a pixel is a little square, please read this paper. I will have succeeded if you at least understand that you are using the model and why it is permissible in your case to do so (is it?).

    -Walt

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    During the last year I’ve worked on a variety projects.  I’ve also worked with a variety of teams, each with their own source control requirements.  As a result, I have multiple Team Foundation servers registered in Visual Studio.

    Have any idea what happens if you are not logged onto the network when starting Visual Studio?  VS tries to connect to the last TFS server.  VS can’t find the server, eventually times out and prompts you for the server and credentials.  That takes a long time.

    I found this little tidbit from Noah Coad today.  It’s a simple registry hack that prevents Visual Studio from connecting to TFS on startup.

     

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

       [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\8.0\TeamFoundation]
       "AutoLoadServer"=dword:00000000

     

    -Walt

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