Sunday, July 8, 2007

Sumarfrí í Danmörku

Ég er ekki búinn að skrifa neitt í nokkrar vikur nú og er ástæðan fyrir því sú að við Hjördís fórum með fjölskylduna til Danmerkur í miðjum júní og vorum á norður Jótlandi í um tvær vikur. Á sama tíma voru bæði mamma og pabbi, og bróðir minn með fjölskylduna sína, á sama stað. Öll vorum við þar í sumarleyfi og til að hitta dönsku fjölskylduna okkar og heimsækja heimabæ mömmu, Hals. Þetta var frábær ferð og náðum við að heimsækja Danmörk í þokkalega góðu veðri rétt áður en rigningarnar hófust, sem náðu hámarki á sama tíma og tónlistarhátíðin í Roskilde stóð yfir og allir hafa auðvitað fylgst með í fréttum.

Við komum heim þann 29. júní og í framhaldinu tók við vika af vinnu en elsta dóttirin var heima með hinar tvær dúllurnar. Vinnan var blanda af bæði að slökkva tæknilega elda og þessi venjulegu mánaðarlegu störf í rekstri hvers fyrirtækis. En að þeirri viku lokinni var ég kominn í frí og ætla mér að reyna að halda því til streitu út mánuðinn.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Introduction to new links

I have added a few new links that may need introduction.

First there is Joel on Software, the blog by Joel Spolsky, CEO of Fog Creek Software, expert on software development and other stuff too. I read absolutely everything he writes and more often than not I like it. If you are not reading Joel you should.

Then there are a few Microsoft gurus:

First there is S. "Soma" Somasegar, head of Microsoft's Developer Division who has been at Microsoft since the eighties and is now the most important blogger on MSDN. An interesting read is an interview with Somasegar in RedmondDeveloper since November last year.

Then there is Scott Guthrie, or ScottGu, who runs the teams at Microsoft that build IIS, ASP.NET, Atlas, CLR, Compact Framework, Windows Forms, Commerce Server, Visual Web Developer and the Visual Studio Tools for WPF.

And Joe Stegman, lead PM (Program Manager) on Windows Forms team (now known as Silverlight) and finally Mike Harsh, Microsoft WPF/E PM.

As I quite frequently read articles in the RedmondDeveloper and on Channel 9 I decided to add those to the list as well.

Surface and StarTrek

In the end of May this year Microsoft introduced a new way of computing, namely surface computing. Their new product, Microsoft Surface, supports this way of computing but is essentially just a table with a 30 inch computer display mounted into it. You turn it on and this monitor is your computer.

When using it you don't use a mouse and keyboard, you mainly use it like any other touch-screen but with a little twist. It can recognize multiple contacts at once, so many people can be using it at the same time or you can use both hands, for example resize a picture in two directions at once.

Also, it actually recognizes objects that you place on the table, for example if you place your (wireless) digital camera on the surface the computer will interact with it seamlessly, fetch all your pictures from it and display them on the screen for you to interact with them. It can also recognize things like mobile devices, phones, cup of coffee, credit cards and more.

This is pretty cool but currently Microsoft is only making a handful and only for hotels and such. So for the average Joe, this is nothing more than a fancy demo, but still a nice introduction to a cool future of computing.

When I was looking at the introductions on the Microsoft Surface web site and then the Microsoft Surface Parody joke on YouTube I came to think of StarTrek because we have seen them using surface computing for many seasons, maybe this is where the idea came from.

This is not the first time I get the feeling that by making movies and television shows, like StarTrek, the entertainment business and Hollywood is actually forming the future, telling us what our future should look and feel like. So, what is coming next? Ask Hollywood.


For more techy StarTrek stuff just key "StarTrek" into Google and you can continue to read for decades, quite a lot of stuff about this actually. The best way to get to know what is coming is see the episodes :-)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Silverlight and popfly

I have been reading about new development things at Microsoft. Things have surely be happening, especially with the Silverlight project.

Silverlight is the new name for the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), which is part of the .NET Framework 3.0. Not only can you develop applications, based on Silverlight, that run on the Windows client but also deploy them using a browser plug-in. This allows you to develop media experiences and interactive applications for the browser (like Flash apps!?)

For more information take a look at the official Microsoft Silverlight site. Silverlight is still in Beta but you can use it and even develop for it using the Visual Studio "Orcas" version. This is cool stuff :-)








Also, there is a the very cool Silverlight implementation called Popfly where users can share their Silverlight remixes. The Popfly Explorer is currently in alpha version shows great potential as a new way of developing and sharing Silverlight experiences. You can also read Somasegar's blog on this issue.