Ramblings of a Coder's Mind

Got Tech? Will Hack.

Visit to Microsoft, Redmond

Firstly, I’d like to apologize to all that have been waiting for this. My health and unusually booked schedules are to blame. Lets get into the trip on a day to day basis then!

Before I begin, I’d like to thank Microsoft for having us in Seattle despite the prior two scheduling issues. More importantly, I’d like to thank Jas who did a great job of not only showing us around campus but around Redmond, Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland and other neighboring places always making sure we get the best experience during our trip, getting a chance to try out different things and to keep each one of us happy. He really did make the trip perfect in every respect and for that I’d like to thank him on behalf of my entire team. Of course, thanks to the Interop team as well for having us there and giving us the opportunity to interview. The experience we bring back from meeting all those great people will indeed carry us a long way.

There are quite a few things that I saw a lot of which, I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of. If I was, I have uploaded them to my Picasa Web albums here.

Beware, the post is (4500 words) HUGE. Sorry about that. :P Without further adieu, let’s begin!

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First hand at F#

With the release of the first beta of Visual Studio 2010 which includes support for F#, it was only a matter of time till I tried my hand at it.

I don’t go for Hello World programs. Apart from C, the first code I’ve written in every other language (since I heard this question) has been the same. Keeping up tradition, here’s the F# port.

let Check (x: int) = float(int(sqrt(float x))) = sqrt(float x) for x = 32 to 99 do let sqVal = pown x 2 if (Check(sqVal / 100) && Check(sqVal % 100)) then
  

  
    

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The power of the Windows key!

The Windows key might have started as something a tad bit redundant (considering Ctrl+Esc does the same thing) but the Windows Key is so much more.

I have already spoken about the Win+(1-9) to activate programs in Vista’s Quick Launch Toolbar and its transition to taskbar applications in Windows 7. Of course, everyone knows about Win+Tab activating Aero Flip 3D but there is more to this.

Here is one that really strikes me as super-useful. On Windows 7, you can now use Win+Up to maximize a window, Win+Down to restore a maximized window and minimize a restored one, Win+Left/Right to

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VS 2010 Beta 1: User Interface

Well, I’ve been browsing through Visual Studio 2010 for a while now. I’ve not gotten into coding but did get a chance to have a look at the User Interface for this product. Here are some of the things I’ve noticed.

  1. WPF is in: Oh yes, you heard right! The start page uses WPF for a clean and slick use. Have a look at the start screen (image in the gallery at the bottom)

  2. New context highlighting: Its bigger and better than ever! The editor looks slicker that ever before and I’m

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Is Microsoft delaying Vista SP2 launch?

Microsoft is usually eager to release updates to its products. I have been seeing Vista SP2 news and downloadable links all over the internets. Release Candidates have been around for a while now but I never got any of them because I didn’t want to spend an hour or so on the update (that’s how long SP1 took to install) and then possibly have to do it again when the final SP2 comes out. I was just waiting for Microsoft to push SP2 through Windows Update.

Microsoft has come up with the RTM for Vista SP2. They have asked

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Visual Studio 2010 / .NET 4.0 Beta 1 released

Yes, they are out! You might have been hearing about the two for the past week or two around the interneticle blogosphere. I certainly did and as with every VS release, I was excited. VS is the best IDE I have seen so its no surprise that a new release excites me.

Initial reports state that the editor now uses WPF at points, has a brand new editor and improvements in syntaxes. Another thing they have changed is VS 2010 now has native support for F# :o This release isn’t really high on performance and optimization but gives you a

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Small Platform Development

I guess a lot of programming lovers are into development on smaller platforms. I certainly am one of them. I usually speak of work I’ve done on actual programs when in actuality, there are a lot more smaller pieces of code that I write that never get shown off publically. Most of them are known to a select group of people; the ones who are meant to find use to it.

Not many know this but despite mIRC scripting being non mainstream and not a perfectly good platform to do a lot on, I spend a lot of time (perhaps

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Wolfram|Alpha up for Official Public Release

Have you heard of Wolfram Alpha (also called WoflramAlpha or Wolfram|Alpha)? If you haven’t, you best do it quickly. Its going to be brought online in about 30 minutes from now. I can’t wait! :D

Wolfram|Alpha is an answer-engine developed by Wolfram Research headed by British CEO and founder, physicist Stephen Wolfram. It is an online service that answers factual queries directly by computing the answer instead of providing a list of documents or web pages that might contain the answer. It is an effort to make all the information known to man to be made available to everyone at their computational fingertips ;)

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Windows 7: A second look

I’ve had a bit of reprieve from work here and I finally got some time to install Windows 7 on my laptop. Though my desktop has had the latest builds available to me, they have all been on a test drive. My laptop however had to wait until I was done with my academic work before it could move permanently to Windows 7 and afford any issues that might come its way.

So here are a few things I’ve found interesting in Windows 7 that should make your Windows 7 User eXperience a lot more enjoyable.

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Checking out Windows 7 Build 7077

I admit, its not a public build but I really couldn’t help myself so I got hold of a copy off a public torrent and here I am. I’ve had Windows 7 discs and keys around for a couple of months now but I never really got time to install them. Finally, I queued up the latest build a couple of nights ago and FINALLY it completed downloading.

Needless to say the new taskbar is pretty cool. I do have a few suggestions though.

  1. Aero Snap for minimization: Aero Snap provides us with a set area on the

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