Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Windows Server 2008... as a desktop

Well its been quite a while since Vista was launched and with the release of SP1 most of the major bugs that plagued the OS are now gone... apart from performance, it still seems as slow and lumbersome as ever. Now don't get me wrong, Vista is my primary OS and I have it installed on 4 of my PC's but I don't need really any of the features it shows off as being amazing. I don't use the search; I already put everything in sensible easy to find places. I don't use all the added-value programs like MovieMaker, Contacts, Calender, Mail, PhotoGallery etc. Really the only things I like is the sidebar and the nicer UI, so how do I get increased performance, and only the bare essentials of what I need to be as effecient as possible, well I use Windows Server 2008 as a desktop.

Now its not as crazy as it sounds once you start thinking about it, when you disable all the server roles and enable some of the Vista functionality such as Desktop Experience then you have a rock solid, secure, ultra reliable desktop which I find amazing for my needs. It may not be great at games but really, was Vista?

Another interesting thing to point out is that Windows Server 2008 uses the majority of the same code base as Vista however in some instances can be a lot faster, if your interested in reading more about it have a look over here

Thursday, 24 July 2008

WPF and the future of the Windows Desktop

So lately at work I've been working alot with WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) in conjunction with C# and producing a lot of cool content with it; especially the ease of producing powerful 3D displays. It's great to see the power and functionality it provides over simple Win32 application design, and now with the .Net 3.5 release coming soon we can expect to see a lot more features being put in place within. From what Tim Sneath has been blogging about it some of the improvements to it are definitely worth looking out for.
If anyone is interested the beta for .Net 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008 SP1 is out so you can go test out some of the new functionality yourself.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Why doesn't Windows Mobile have a paint program?

One of the main things that bugged me about most handheld's (Windows Mobile & my good old Psion Revo) was that there was no paint program that came with the device as default. Whats the point of touchscreen if you can't mess around with it?

So this weekend I got bored (as I usually do) and wrote myself a simple paint program for Windows Mobile, it mainly uses GDI methods for the rendering although does direct mapping for the filters for the speed gain (See the Windows Mobile blog for how to)

Its written in C# and will most likely post it online when its done (though have to edit it to now handle the VGA screen on the handheld I currently use)

Wondering what its like working at Microsoft?

For those wondering what it is like to work as an intern at Microsoft I have written yet another article for Microsofts StudentZine newsletter about it, so if you are interested in having a read then head on over to the blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/ukstudentzine/archive/2008/07/18/student-voice-life-as-an-intern-kevin-pfister.aspx and have a read.

And yes, the free Coke is awesome.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Working at Microsoft...

Well I am now working at Microsoft (though as an intern) in the Developer and Platform Evangelism (DPE) Department. My role is that of an Academic Developer Evangelist (ADE) and what I do is I try and communicate with Students and like minded people to get them interested in developing and try and show them some cool stuff.

...as some may have noticed I hadn't updated my blog much; its been a very busy year but expect now lots of updates to come.