Archive for January, 2008

To quickly zoom in or out of the Expression Blend artboard (work window).

Hold the Ctrl-Key and scroll the mouse wheel.


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It must be contest season in the WPF/Silverlight world.  I wrote earlier about a MIX08 contest.  Just prove your CSS ninja skills and win a MIX08 pass.

WPF in Finance Contest

Here’s another chance for fame and free travel for the WPF programmer.

WPF has enormous potential in finance, to affect the way we visualize and interact with the complex, fast-moving sea of data within the industry. To help spur innovation within this new area, we’re holding a contest with great prizes, challenging developers to build interesting new applications to visualize and interact with financial data.  

We’ve got an amazing panel of WPF luminaries to judge the entries.  We’ve lined up over $15,000 in prizes for the winners and early entrants. And the top 3 finalists will get to appear on stage at next year’s Microsoft Financial Services Developer Conference to showcase their app to the world. — Katie Meenan

Judges include Adam Nathan, Charles Petzold, Rob Relyea, Josh Smith and Chris Sells.  The prize list is impressive, for one you win a new Alienware desktop computer. Then there is the XBOX360 and a bunch of software too.  Time’s a wasting…

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Win a trip to MIX08

Think you’re the best CSS wrangler out there?  Do customers weep over the beauty of your web sites?  You say you can create a three column layout, using only CSS and div tags, before your next coffee break?  Do you want to spend a week in Las Vegas with several thousand new found UI friends?


Create the nicest restyled version of the MIX web site using only CSS and you win the prize. Microsoft will buy you a ticket to MIX, put you up for three nights in the Venetian and give you $1000 towards your travel costs.  Oh, did I mention that there will be three of these prizes?

Deadline is February 7th.  What are you waiting for, these people have already submitted their entries.

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The Microsoft Mix conference is really a fun event.  There’s something going on every minute, day or night, and it’s all related to UI.  The conference theme is ‘The Next Web Now’ and the 2008 show promises to be jam packed with Silverlight content.  You can bet there will be a ton of Silverlight 2.0 demos and announcements. Last year there was plenty of WPF content, a fascinating designer track and lots of code samples too.

Guessing game

pointing alien

A little alien told me recently that there is going to be a few surprises announced during the show.  I wonder what they are?  Want to hazard a guess? 

-Walt Ritscher

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Sometimes you just don’t want the add-in to run in Visual Studio.  This tip, and dozens more, are available via Sara Ford.


Disable Add-ins on Start-Up by holding the Left-Shift key down

If you ever want to disable add-ins from starting on launch, you can hold down the Left-Shift key while VS is loading.  If you find yourself running into random crashes, you might want to try disabling add-ins (either by this Left-Shift method or going to the Tools – Add-in Manager) to determine if it is a VS issue or an Add-in issue.  You’ll still be able to manually restart your Add-in during this VS session.

If you are seeing random VS crashes and you have Add-ins installed, the Visual Studio Team on the MSDN Forums would love to know if disabling add-ins had any effect on the crashes.

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