Games

E3 2012 Coverage – Gears of War: Judgment

“Gears of War: Judgment” (Epic Games, People Can Fly, Microsoft Studios). “Gears of War: Judgment” takes you back before the events of the original “Gears of War” trilogy to the immediate aftermath of Emergence Day — the defining event of the “Gears of War” universe. Follow Kilo Squad, led by Damon Baird and Augustus “The Cole Train” Cole, as they fight to save the city of Halvo Bay from an unstoppable enemy in the most intense “Gears” game yet. “Gears of War: Judgment” introduces a variety of new multiplayer experiences, including OverRun, a thrilling new class-based competitive mode that will pit Locust and COG soldiers in a head-to-head battle unlike anything “Gears” fans have experienced yet. “Gears of War: Judgment” will launch worldwide in early 2013.

I can’t wait to get my hands on this game.

For more coverage of this and other exciting games coming out, checkout http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/Press/2012/Jun12/06-04Xbox360E3PR.aspx

Development

First Look at Visual Studio 2012 RC

First you will notice that Visual Studio 2012 gets an updated logo. Falls in line with the Metro theme that is being applied to just about every product these days.

VS2012 Logo

Visual Studio 2012 sports a new installer UI. It clearly embraces the Metro style.

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These UI changes are not final. It’s already been posted on the Visual Studio Team Blog that further changes to the Visual Studio themes are coming but just didn’t make the release candidate.

Please see my blog post about these theme changes:
Permalink to Visual Studio 11 Gets a Dark Theme

Technology

Welcome to Windows 8 (Release Preview)

Yesterday Microsoft delivered the Windows 8 Release Preview, the final pre-release milestone of its next OS. Along with this release came related releases such as Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate (RC) and Visual Studio 2012 RC.

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If you know me, then you know I’m a huge Microsoft fan boy. I have a Zune, a few Xbox 360’s, an original Xbox, a Windows Phone (first the Focus and now the Lumia 900) and I’m a software developer specializing in Microsoft Development technologies (.NET Framework, C#, Visual Studio, SQL Server, Azure, etc).

Anyway I must say I absolutely love what Windows 8 is and the impact it will have on our every day lives. I’m still a little unsure to the lack of the Star button when in Desktop mode…but I’m sure that will grow on me.

I plan on redoing my main laptop from Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 8. I’ll then install Visual Studio 2012 RC and begin exploring what is possible in Metro-style applications, the Windows Runtime, and fully embrace this change.

The Windows 8 Release Preview is here. Go get it now.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/release-preview

Here is a wonderful guide to Windows 8 Release Preview from Paul Thurrott’s Supersite for Windows. I highly recommend you take a look at everything he’s documented in his articles and the wonderful screenshots.

Development

Visual Studio 11 Gets a Dark Theme

I came across an interesting article on the Visual Studio blog, which shows a dark theme coming to Visual Studio 11…cool!

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Along with this dark theme, we will also see other improvements to the IDE such as:

  • Themed Icons (which they will provide to us for use in our applications)
  • Themed Scrollbars (finally)
  • Dark Editor Theme
  • Common Dialogs (will get the dark theme too)

Here is a screenshot that brings it all together, showing a dark themed Visual Studio 11 with the Windows 8 simulator running in the foreground.putting it all together

You can read more about this on the Visual Studio blog.

Cheers

Life

Say hello to my son Kaden Campbell

Kaden Jacob Danielson Campbell was born Sunday May 13 at 8:53pm at Mount Sinai hospital in Toronto. He weighed in at 7 lb. 13 ounces.

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These pictures are of him at the hospital when he is less than a day old. The hospital had a professional photographer that went around and offered to take pictures on a mobile studio. We thought this was great and after looking through the pictures we were really impressed and bought them…well Nana bought them for us. Thank you!

Development

ResXFileCodeGeneratorEx Update for VS2010

If you were using this tool in Visual Studio 2008 and then upgraded your solution to Visual Studio 2010, you might have noticed that this functionality no longer worked. You also might have received an error, which you dismissed.

ResXFileCodeGeneratorEx is an awesome tool and I’m surprised it still hasn’t been officially updated to support Visual Studio 2010.

Well after doing some digging around, I found an article with a work around that enables this functionality in Visual Studio 2010. Here are the instructions to get it working on your machine, followed by an example:

  1. Shut down Visual Studio 2010.
  2. If you don’t already have the tool ResXFileCodeGeneratorEx downloaded and installed, please do so. You can get the latest installer from http://dmytro.kryvko.googlepages.com/
  3. Save the attached file in this email and remove the .temp extension.
  4. Double click the attached file that you renamed and have it add its contents to your Registry.
  5. Restart Visual Studio 2010.

Here is a working example of how to use the tool. Say you want to add a new entry to the PageText.resx resource file contained in your solution and the entry was “Abandoned”:

  1. Open up PageText.resx by double clicking the file.
  2. Add “Abandoned” in the name and “Abandoned” in the value.
    clip_image002
  3. Click Save.
  4. Next right click on PageText.rex and click on Run Custom Tool as shown below…
    clip_image002[8]
  5. Now you can reference this value from your code by typing in PageText.
    clip_image002[10]

Hope that helps.

LifeTechnology

SkyDrive App for Windows

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Microsoft recently released a number of SkyDrive updates, including changes to the service, mobile apps for iPhone and Windows phone and a preview of a new Windows desktop application.

There are also changes to the storage size. As mentioned in a previous post, those that have been with Microsoft (MSN, Hotmail, Live) for a long time are being given a free upgrade to 25GB of storage. You can then add additional storage if you like. See my previous post for more details. If you haven’t already upgraded your account, you should take advantage of this before it expires.

First, what is SkyDrive?

SkyDrive is a cloud based solution for storing important files on your PC and keeping them in sync with SkyDrive.com. It is the easiest way to access your SkyDrive from your PC. When you install SkyDrive, a SkyDrive folder is created on your PC. Everything you put in this folder is automatically kept in sync between your computers (PC or Mac) and SkyDrive.com, so you can get to your latest files from virtually anywhere. Whenever you add, change, or delete files in one location, all the other locations will be updated.

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If you forgot to put something in your SkyDrive folder, you can still get back to your PC to access all its files and folders from SkyDrive.com.

You can also access your SkyDrive from your mobile devices, including Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, Android, etc. There is also support for the Mac.

SkyDrive Application for Windows

As mentioned above, with these changes comes a new desktop application for Windows which allows you to see your SkyDrive as if it were a physical folder on your machine. This has the added effect of making any program with a save option SkyDrive enabled.

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Similar to other cloud solutions, this desktop application lets you drag and drop files to the SkyDrive folder. These files are then automatically uploaded to the remove server. This means you can work on a document, save it to SkyDrive and then always have the latest version available online, your phone, another computer, and so on.

Summary of Features

  • Access your SkyDrive right from Windows Explorer—photos, documents, and all your other important files
  • Quickly add new files to SkyDrive by dragging them to the SkyDrive folder
  • Easily organize your files and folders in SkyDrive, just like any other folder
  • Connect back to your PC if you forget to put something in SkyDrive

Compatibility

This application is compatible with Windows Vista, Windows 7, and the upcoming Windows 8. Windows XP users will have to use the web browser interface.

Download

You can download any of the SkyDrive apps from here.