The Best Microsoft Keyboard. Ever. The Natural Keyboard Pro.

Keyboards are a very personal thing. For those of us whose job requires their use basically all day, every day, they are the piece of hardware that we have to be comfortable with. A good keyboard will stay with you for years, decades in fact, but PCs will be upgraded and so will your monitors….

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Finding Your Own IP Address On Windows Phone Mango

For reasons never adequately explained there is still no API to obtain the IP address of the phone from a WP app. However if you want the IP address on the local wifi network, help is at hand, via this sample code. The way this works is that the phone does a multicast of its…

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Cheap Video Card for Windows Phone XNA Development

With the release of the RTM version of the Windows Phone 7 developer tools, some folks are running into the video card requirements that block them from running XNA applications in the emulator. I hit this problem on my home machine too, and the solution was this video card for $20 after rebate: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121360 The…

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Two Fixes You Must Have for Visual Studio 2008 SP1

The SP1 release of VS08 regressed some functionality compared to the original release, in a couple of critical areas. As a result it is highly likely you’ll need the following two patches for it. I know many of our team who hit these issues, cursed, came to me (because I am the “VS guy” on…

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How Do You Debug A Movie?

How do you debug a movie? Before I get too old and forget, here is the story of one bug that I had to find when playing King Kong in the Xbox HD DVD player. It concludes with yet another reason I am so glad we’re not doing a Blu-ray player. The HD DVD team…

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Book Review: Essential C# 3.0

I haven’t posted a book review here before, but that’s because no-one has sent me a pre-release draft manuscript to review before! So here it is, a review of Essential C# 3.0 by Mark Michaelis. To skip to the chase, I like this book a lot. My personal C# level is Intermediate: although I was…

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Tricks and Tips for using the VMR9

A few months ago I did some work involving the VMR9, and I hit several brick walls. Many of these brick walls I hit about six months previously when working on a PC application for HD DVD playback (no, there were no plans to ship it, even then), but I hadn’t taken enough notes of…

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Using the Media Center Remote from Windows

To save you the pain that I had recently, of trying to hook up simple support for the MCE remote control in your app, here is the important info that I found incredibly hard to locate via MSDN search: A C# article called “Using Alternate Input Devices in Your Smart Client Applications” (easily translatable into…

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My First Program (circa 1980)

I recently discovered my first real program(*): from 1980, it was my attempt at Space Invaders for the RML 380Z. This was the government-subsidized computer for schools, my school (Chatham House Grammar School) was lucky enough to have one. One, yes, for the whole school. The Research Machines 380Z was a Z80 CP/M machine, I…

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Xbox 360 HD DVD drive now in black

We just got some goodies on our team: Xbox 360 HD DVD drives in black! These limited-edition drives were made especially for those of us who helped work on the product, and come along with a black remote control. All I need now is an Xbox 360 at home to plug it into and I’ll…

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