FastHosts Dedicated Virtual Servers

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Followed up on this tweet and got a free dedicated virtual server from Fasthosts.!

Up and running in half an hour: – Check it out – MultiTouch Spot the Difference 

Looks to be a nice operation with the call Centre running just down the road from me in Gloucester.

How cool is that?

http://FastHosts.co.uk

Fasthosts
Discovery House
154 Southgate Street
Gloucester
GL1 2EX
United KingdomSales helpline
+44 (0)844 583 0777Facsimile
0844 583 0780
(+44 1452 304242)Email sales
sales@fasthosts.co.uk

UKTechDays – 14/04/2010

Silverlight 4

I was happy to see that Mike Taulty was giving two talks about Silverlight .  He has a great way of imparting information in a relaxed and unassuming way – its a nice skill to have especially when coupled with a  strong understanding of the subject matter.  I’m looking forward to his talk covering Windows Phone 7 this coming Friday…

UI Interaction Design

Michael Koster evangelized on the benefits to a Developer in using Blend alongside Visual Studio – he did a great job of showing all the time saving features that are a part of Blend itself –  I still have much to learn in this area but am learning fast , now using Blend on a daily basis

ASP.Net 4 / JQuery

Like his predecessors Mike Ormond covered a lot of ground in a short space of time.  He has a no nonsense style and appeared to have prepared well ( I especially enjoyed the example app that usefully covered much of the  functionality of JQuery  and am looking forward to some revision using it).

Silverlight 4, MVVM and TDD with Jesse Liberty

I’m only an hour away from the venue (University of the West of England) so spent this evening being entertained and educated about the relationships between MVVM ((Model/View/ViewModel) and TDD  (Test Driven Development).  Jesse is a veteran developer, still on the cutting edge and it was interesting to listen to him sharing his unique insights into our world of development while he covered the nuts and bolts (and some detail) of the subject matter specifics.  I especially enjoyed his perspective on “Emerging Design”, (which I wholeheartedly share!)

Silverlight vs XNA for WP7 Games

I found this useful overview comparing the pros and cons of each platform :

XNA Benefits

  • Great support for 3D
  • Superior performance when many elements moving or being added/removed
  • Built in game loop
  • XNA’s polling based input generally a better fit than Silverlight’s event based input for games
  • XNA content pipeline makes handling large stores of content easier
  • More image formats supported
  • Can make game for both Xbox and Phone
  • Graphics blend modes (Silverlight only has alpha blending)
  • More GPU acceleration built in
  • Lighter memory footprint for bitmap based games
  • Superior shader support
  • Drawing with a “tint” easier

Silverlight Benefits

  • Vector graphics (XNA has some very basic line drawing support)
  • Vector drawing of text (XNA text is bitmap based)
  • Can make game for phone and web
  • Storyboard animations
  • Visual states and behaviors
  • Navigation framework
  • Controls (button, listbox, user controls, etc)
  • Expression Blend design support
  • Event based model is more familiar to many developers
  • Data binding can come in handy in some scenarios
  • VisualTreeHelper useful for determining what element is being touched

Check out the whole article on Silverlight-Games101

Spot the Difference – Update

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Looks like SPOT got featured in the news box and also at the bottom of the Silverlight.net home page (thank you) , correspondingly the stats went from 5-6 hits a day to 400 a day!

 For anyone still interested in the original premise – I have now ported the app to WP7 (OK port makes it sound quite grand – it just needed a couple of tweaks)   spotGraph

I am presently at work on my second and third Windows Phone 7 apps which are a little more ambitious – I hope to be able to launch those when the platform becomes available later in the year.