Archive for February 2007

Calling all Designers!

February 19, 2007

You are invited to attend the inaugural meeting of a new group

Michigan’s
Interactive
Designers
and
Software Development

Date: February 27, 2007
Time: 6:30PM
Location: 

Frenchie’s
56 E. Cross St.
Ypsilanti,MI
Phone: (734) 483-5230
Driving Directions

 

The group’s focus is Interactive Design for the Microsoft and Adobe designers who are looking to design great user experiences:

Our first meeting will feature:

  • An overview of Expression Web (featuring a walkthru of it’s features and creating a website). Expression Web is a new Microsoft product, centered around design using web standards.

  • Cool applications created with Expression Blend (Microsoft’s WPF Interactive Design Program)

    • A look at designer’s already using Expression and the applications they are creating.

      • Metalliq.com’s Snowboard WPF Application (3D, Video, and GPS integration)

      • The Otto Online Shopping Experience (a WPF 2d/3D shopping app from the folks who own Crate and Barrel).

  • A look at the WPF Design Process

  • A review of the WPF/E cross-platform February CTP and discusssion about adding WPF/E video to your website and a discussion of the VC-1 high definition video codec that can be used with WPF/E.

  • Open Question and Answer session for people wishing to enhance their design skills. We will with audience participation attempt to answer questions on popular topics like Photoshop, Expression Design, Macromedia Dreamweaver, Adobe Flex, Xaml, XML, and others.

Please note while the meeting is free to attend Frenchie’s is donating space for the meeting and will be offering food and drink for the meeting for sale. We’d like to get an idea if you are attending or not so we can appropriately reserve enough space. please email us to let us know you are attending:

midas.g@hotmail.com

We highly recommend that you come to the meeting and order something for yourself to eat or drink at the meeting so that we can keep the meeting space available to us for future meetings for free for the group. The food from SideTrack/Frenchies is great and they have a world famous burger that just can’t be beat.

HP dv9235nr Review

February 17, 2007

Well as you know I update my laptop every couple of years and with the release of Windows Vista, I wanted to get something new fast and cool enough that I wouldn’t be unhappy for the next couple of years.

Honestly I was thinking about my options and I could go small with a UMPC or I could go big!

I decided that it was time to go BIG! Please don’t even try to compare this to a national war strategy because I seriously believe in “downsizing” in that instance.

My requirements:

  1. Something that could run Windows Vista Ultimate in 64-bit mode.
  2. Dual Core support (I won’t buy a single core machine ever again on purpose).
  3. Large display format. I do a lot of design  projects, so I wanted something with at least a 17″ screen that I could show off designs to clients and not have them complain.
  4. Something with Windows Media Center capability. If you don’t use Media Center’s jukebox functionality you are missing out.
  5. A TV Tuner (media center compatible, 32 & 64-bit ready.
  6. A builtin keypad. Yeah I must be getting older or something, but life is just much easier with one on the box.
  7. A webcam (I admit I am jealous of the MacBook’s built in cameras)
  8. a built in microphone.
  9. HDTV compatibility
  10. Kickass 3d graphics (for Star Wars Galaxies and World of Warcraft capable)
  11. Good sound
  12. Built-in Wireless G

Okay so onto the requirements:

The HP comes with a Core 2 Duo T5200 processor that’s 64bit capable. Right now I have yet to install the x64 version of windows vista. I am checking to see that all the drivers have equivalents before making the transition but everything looks greenlight.

It has a nice 17″ widescreen display (1440×900) with a 256 Meg Nvidia Go 7600 gpu. Works great with Vista and is very fast 3d. Handles shader model 3 GPU effects nicely.  In the lid is a 1.3 mp webcam and what looks like a stereo microphone..

It also includes a very nice HDMI port on the side so you can output to any kind of display that supports HDMI (that’s HDTV and 1080p projectors etc..). The sound is very nice and includes altec-lansing speakers.

The TV tuner is on a card, but it’s the new High speed express card format and it does both analog NTSC and digital ATSC HDTV formats.  I watched American Idol in high definition on it while testing with the little  desktop antenna it came with the other night.

Everything has a very nice metal finish that’s easy to clean. And the keypad is great.. DVD recorder in it works great.

HP includes a security package of their own over Vista which improves on the digital dashboard idea, and they have me addicted to bejeweled 2 (thanks HP!)..

Memory is great 2 gigs of RAM 160 gig hard drive. Empty bay for a second hard drive..

All in all I give this an A plus it’s a great unit.. A nice desktop replacement and for $1400 a better buy than the equivalent Dell unit.

Good going HP!

WPF User Controls

February 9, 2007

A lot of people when .NET 3.0 was release (AKA WPF, WCF, etc.) were expecting all the same features available in the old winforms user interface. Well a few user interface elements that everyone expected to be there were missing.

Lucky for us we have component developers already filling the gap with their own versions of the most requested winform control features.

 

XCEED DataGrid Control for WPF

If you have .Net 3.0 installed you can actually see full working version demo of this application by clicking here.. This is working grid control with many different functions.

Office 2007-Like Ribbon Control for WPF

DevComponents has announced the development of the most sought after new control found in Microsoft Office 2007, the toobar “ribbon” control. This lets you create an “Office” style user interface in your own WPF applications. I am looking forward to this one’s release as it will make UI design that is consistant across Windows development and user interfacing standards that business has come to expect..

 

 

 

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Introducing MIDaS

February 8, 2007

You are invited to attend the inaugural meeting of a new group

Michigan’s
Interactive
Designers
and
Software Development

Date: February 27, 2007
Time: 6:30PM
Location: 

Frenchie’s
56 E. Cross St.
Ypsilanti,MI
Phone: (734) 483-5230
Driving Directions

The group’s focus is Interactive Design for the Microsoft and Adobe designers who are looking to design great user experiences:

Our first meeting will feature:

  • An overview of Expression Web (featuring a walkthru of it’s features and creating a website). Expression Web is a new Microsoft product, centered around design using web standards.

  • Cool applications created with Expression Blend (Microsoft’s WPF Interactive Design Program)

    • A look at designer’s already using Expression and the applications they are creating.

      • Metalliq.com’s Snowboard WPF Application (3D, Video, and GPS integration)

      • The Otto Online Shopping Experience (a WPF 2d/3D shopping app from the folks who own Crate and Barrel).

  • A look at the WPF Design Process

  • A review of the WPF/E cross-platform February CTP and discusssion about adding WPF/E video to your website and a discussion of the VC-1 high definition video codec that can be used with WPF/E.

  • Open Question and Answer session for people wishing to enhance their design skills. We will with audience participation attempt to answer questions on popular topics like Photoshop, Expression Design, Macromedia Dreamweaver, Adobe Flex, Xaml, XML, and others.

Please note while the meeting is free to attend Frenchie’s is donating space for the meeting and will be offering food and drink for the meeting for sale. We’d like to get an idea if you are attending or not so we can appropriately reserve enough space. please email us to let us know you are attending:

midas.g@hotmail.com

We highly recommend that you come to the meeting and order something for yourself to eat or drink at the meeting so that we can keep the meeting space available to us for future meetings for free for the group. The food from SideTrack/Frenchies is great and they have a world famous burger that just can’t be beat.

Microsoft Designers Start Rocking with WPF

February 5, 2007

As you know with the launch of Windows® Vista a lot of new applications are becoming available and the design community is starting to embrace the new internet enabled Windows applications. One of the things that I saw at expressionsession07.com was a snowboarding application.

If you would like to check it out for yourself you can even download and run it yourself (it features video and 3d navigation and elments). You can go find it at:

http://www.metaliq.com/wpf/

 

 

This application totally rocks and shows off the new levels of interactivity possible with WPF (.NET 3.0 Framework), windows vista and an internet enabled application..

Download

 

The WPF Shopping Experience online at OTTO

Over in Germany there is a company named Otto. You might not have heard about them here, but they might be more familiar with a company they own called Crate and Barrel. They have put their entire store online in a showcase of WPF 3d, with a unique product brower. It’s a 3d Windows WPF experience complete with video. It takes a few minutes to initially load up but after it’s all loaded (it’s not a web page but a full blown shopping app) It’s just amazing..

You should check out Otto’s Vista Page at:

http://www.otto.de/vista

 

What’s really nice is both of these experiences are available now and on Vista and XP (if you have 3.0 dot net framwork installed)..

These are just two very recent examples of Vista’s new UI and what you can do with XAML and the Framework.. I have to give props to the designers and the folks involved with all of this.. It really shows the commitment to design and new UI capabilities.. I think it’s pretty cool and sets the new stuff and Microsoft apart..

reliability

February 4, 2007