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XNA, XBox 360 and the decline of computer science

I promised some more comment on the conference on XNA game development last week. It was a fascinating event, not so much because of sparkling content (though it was good), but because of the underlying themes. This conference was for the academic community, both students and lecturers. The idea was to promote the adoption of

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XNA up and running

My install of XNA on Vista is up and running; here is the demo game I did for PCW Hands On:

In this exciting game, the magazine logo swings back and forth. Your task is to hammer the space bar at exactly the moment the logo is over the up arrow. Your score

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Installing XNA Game Studio Express on Vista

Yesterday I attended a conference on XNA game development. More on that soon; but first a quick note on what happened when, fired with enthusiasm for XNA, I installed the release build of XNA Game Studio Express on Vista.

At least I tried. You have to install Visual C# Express first (since for some reason XNA

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Java SE 6

Sun released Java SE 6 this week. Lots of improvements though we are talking consolidation, bundling and incremental improvement rather than radical innovation. That may be a good thing. I had a chat with some of the Java team at Sun; check back later for a report.

JetBrains OMEA going free and open source

Prior to my current experiments with the IE7 RSS platform, my blog reader of choice was Omea Reader. However, despite the popularity of RSS, Omea Reader somehow never made it beyond a small niche, as I know from my own web stats. The company has just announced that the product is now free and will

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Google ranks MSN search top

This amused me. After reading on Slashdot how Google “claim the top ad position for searches relevant to its own products” I tried a few tests. The first one I tried was for the word “search”:

I noted that in my results Google was not claiming the top ad spot; what amused me

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The death of SVG

This is not news; but I’ve just come across Adobe’s end of life notice for its SVG viewer. Adobe was a key supporter of SVG, which is the W3C standard for vector graphics and animation embedded in web pages, until it acquired Macromedia and with it the rival but proprietary Flash technology. The demise of

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Developing from prototypes, and Microsoft vs Adobe

Scoble describes a common development scenario. The design team do a prototype GUI of your new app using the tools they know best – Flash or Director, usually on a Mac. This gets handed to the dev team who then try to replicate it in C++ (or VB or C# or even I guess Java).

The mismatch

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WPF/E preview is out – but no cross-platform .NET for now

Microsoft has posted a CTP (Community Tech Preview) of Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere, a cross-platform browser-hosted runtime for XAML, its XML GUI language. There’s a download for Mac as well as Windows, but sadly one of the most intriguing aspects of WPF/E is not yet included. You can code the CTP with JavaScript, but the

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Conquering the Office Ribbon

Rick Strahl was struggling to apply a template to an open document:

My quest today: Apply a template to an open document in Word. Where the hell is that option buried?

My generic solution to this kind of problem is the Quick Access Toolbar. Here’s how it works in this case:

Click the little down

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