A brewing puzzle: solution

Kudos to Clayton, mantis, and MannekinPis, who were on the right track about how to make beer in 17th century Germany.  The trick to exactly hitting arbitrary temperatures without a thermometer lies in the fact that boiling water is always 212 °F. Ice is not relevant here, though.  For one thing, ice does not have…

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A brewing puzzle

Warning: this post is not about programming.  Andy suggested I should sneak some homebrewing material onto my blog, and I thought hmm, why not?  If you violently object, let me know in the comments and I won’t do it again 🙂 Yesterday I brewed a traditional German hefeweizen, which was the first time I tried…

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Debugging Direct3D programs: a taxonomy of error conditions

Eric Lippert wrote a fantastic article that categorizes C# exceptions into four categories: Exogenous exceptions occur due to the messy nature of reality.  Filesystems can run out of space.  Network connections can drop.  These things are rare, but they do happen and robust code needs to be ready to deal with them. Boneheaded exceptions, as…

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Catalin Zima on converting textures to .dds

Catalin has a great article on how to convert textures to .dds format, which is the most efficient way to load images for use with Direct3D.  He describes how to integrate the texconv tool (from DirectXTex) into Visual Studio using MSBuild, so textures can be automatically converted every time you build your project. There’s lots…

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Beware of D3D feature level 11 in the Windows Phone emulator

Windows Phone 8 devices support Direct3D 11.1 feature level 9.3, but our emulator uses the WARP rasterizer, which can handle all the way up to feature level 11.  This means that, if you aren’t careful, it is possible to accidentally use more advanced D3D features while developing in the emulator, only to get an unpleasant…

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Speed: in which MSDOS meets Windows Phone 8

Inspired by long standing XNA team tradition, the Windows Phone graphics team recently spent some time using our product and trying to build some apps.  One of our goals in supporting native C++ was to make it easier to port existing software and frameworks to the platform, so I thought, what is the most legacy…

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DirectX Tool Kit now supports Windows Phone 8

I suspect this will come as no surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention to what I’ve been working on recently… The latest version of DirectXTK adds support for Windows Phone 8.  In fact, DirectXTK pretty much already worked on WP8, which uses the same D3D11 API as Windows 8.  The only changes in this…

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Apollo has landed

The developer SDK for Windows Phone 8 (codename Apollo) is now available for download from an internet near you.  Which means I can finally talk about what I’ve been working on this past year!  I am dev lead for graphics, so I’ll probably have most to say about that area, but knowing me I’m sure…

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DirectXTK PrimitiveBatch helper makes it easy to draw user primitives with D3D11

The latest version of DirectXTK adds a PrimitiveBatch helper, for easily and efficiently drawing dynamically generated geometry such as lines or triangles.  This fills the same role as the legacy D3D9 APIs DrawPrimitiveUP and DrawIndexedPrimitiveUP.  PrimitiveBatch manages the vertex and index buffers for you, using DISCARD and NO_OVERWRITE hints to avoid stalling the GPU pipeline. …

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DirectXTK October 2012 release

The DirectX Tool Kit has been updated with two new features: Added a ScreenGrab module for easily saving rendertarget contents into .dds or other image formats Extended GeometricPrimitive.h with a new CreateGeoSphere method  (thanks to my colleague Adrian Tsai for contributing this code!) There are also some minor tweaks and bugfixes: Moved DDSTextureLoader and WICTextureLoader…

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