Tuesday, 24 June 2008


Whilst skimming through posts on Channel 8 I noticed this item about icon searching.

The post offers two really snazzy icon search engines that you can use to find the perfect icon for your applications. The two sites showcased in the post are:



Great work Channel 8, keep it up.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Silverlight Viewport

As part of the Resolve Evolve Solve entry for the Imagine Cup I have been looking into some game programming with Silverlight 2 and one thing that struck me was that there wasnt any support for viewports within silverlight.

A viewport is basically a small selection of an overall image that will be displayed to the user, imagine looking out of a porthole in a ship.

Our proof of concept game EnviroHouse uses a static layout where the whole game surface is displayed to the user from the begining of the game, however in the new game under development we are looking to have the user able to move further than the original size that is display, and so would need to use viewports and viewboxes. So, I decie to set out on an epic quest on the interwebs and find this rather nifty viewport class that has been pre-made. Hopefully this will solve all my worldly problems and get me home in time for tea. :)

The Silverlight viewport can be found here.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

WCF + Silverlight Problems (beta2)

After recently installing Silverlight 2 beta 2 I have had a number of problems within Visual Studio, mainly VS crashing when exiting and problems with add/updating WCF services within my projects. Due to the use of WCF services within one of the projects I'm currently working with I needed to find a way of solving this problem and found the idea answer on Tim Anderson's blog.

The basic problem was that when installing the new version of Silverlight, the installer would not update some of the required files. To get around this:

  • Move "Microsoft.VisualStudio.ServicesProxy.dll" from "Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\IDE"

Now, the file has no reference of the dll and will create a new and updated version of Microsoft.VisualStudio.ServicesProxy.dll when you reinstall Silverlight 2 beta 2.

Now, with the library moved from the location uninstall all Silverlight references from "Add/Remove Programs" and reinstall using the install chainer as linked in my previous post.

Doing this actually changes the install size of the "Microsoft Silverlight Tools Beta 2 for Visual Studio 2008" form 1.14MB to 1.17MB.

Within my Silverlight projects I can now add and update my service references as I would have done previously.


Thursday, 12 June 2008

Installing Silverlight 2 Beta2

This past week Microsoft released Silverlight 2.0 beta2, however installing the new version hasnt always been the easiest thing to do. After struggling away and getting install errors here my advice on the best way to get SL2 Beta 2 installed.


  • Uninstall all current Silverlight installs
    • Silverlight runtime
    • Silverlight 2 Beta 1 SDK
    • Silverlight Tools for VS
  • Uninstall Visual Studio KB949325 update
    • Use the control panel add/remove programs
    • "View installed Updates"
    • Remove the KB949325 update
  • Download & install Silverlight chained installer here

The chained installed holds all the installs needed to get developing with the new version of Silverlight, holding the Silverlight 2 Beta 2 runtime, SDK and also the tools for Visual Studio.


Now with everything installed, it's time to get developing. :D

Monday, 9 June 2008

PC Pro Article

Wow, the press really were quick with this one. When we arrived back to the hotel after the Imagine Cup UK finals PC Pro Magazine had already posted an article on the entry and the Imagine Cup.

The article can be found at:


Resolve Evolve Solve - Imagine Cup UK Winners

This past week at the Imagine Cup UK finals, it was announced that Resolve Evolve Solve had won the UK leg of the competition. Which is a great achivement after all the hard work and problems that have occoured throughout this year.

Resolve Evolve Solve is made up of myself (Dominic Green) and Ben Nunney, we both met up through the Microsoft Student Partners program nearly a year ago and decided that we both felt pasionatly about the topic of the enviroment which is the main focus of the Imagine Cup this year along with the fealing that we could make a real difference.

Our entry EnviroMatch is a suite of interactive mini-games that helps to educate students about the enviroment and in doing so help future generations with making the eviroment much more sustainable.

These enviromental mini-games have been deployed used a range of cutting edge technologies from Silverlight 2 Beta1 (Beta2 conversion on way), WCF webservices and also the use of the FaceBook API to create a competative edge to the entry.

Using such technology as the FaceBook API it allows a social networking aspect to be brought to the entry with EnviroMatch scores being displayed on users social network profiles so that users can compete to better their peers, in turn learning mor about the enviroment.

Ben, whilst still doing a masters to become a teacher has been able to test out with the end users as well as the teachers who would be looking to use the entry as a real educational tool. All feedback from both students and teachers have really helped made the entry better and we hope to implement even more of these ideas in the final solution.

The initial proof of concept of the application includes a game whereby users take contol of a young child in a house that has to hurry to turn off all devices in the house to save the most electricity. This is updated in real time on one side of the application, however on problem that was identified was that 20Kw/h of electricity would mean nothing to children, therefore at the end of the game this energy saving is related back to the users in a more understandable way of the ammount of Xbox games a user could buy after saving this much electricity. Hopefully this will hit home with the children.

Now myself and Ben have around 3 weeks to update the application before we head out to Paris to compete in the World Finals of the Imagine Cup. Various updates and new features will be added to the entry before the finals come around.

Will keep updating with all events as much as I can.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

How to be succesful the Imagine Cup

Today is the UK Imagine Cup UK final, teams from around the country have conveged on London and Microsofts offices.

The day so far hs been going great, Ben and Myself have been giving elevator pitches to numberous people and newspapers about our entry and the experience throughout the year. Still waiting on the results later in the day.

Howevr during the past couple of days ive been trying to find some inside information from the previous MACH grads that I've met in Reading about how to be really succesful in the Imagine Cup. Well look no further, Giorgio Sardo (a MCS Grad) who previously this year did a presentation at MIX08 on Silverlight on mobile devices has given some great advice right here on his blog.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Resolve Evolve Solve - Submission Video

Ben Nunney, of theopenbracket and fellow member of Resolve Evolve Solve has recently updated the RES website to show our EnviroMatch / Imagine Cup submission video check it out below.

Video: EnviroMatch from Resolve Evolve Solve

MACH Graduate Introduction

Ive recently been accepted onto the Microsoft MACH scheme, where I will be taking on the role of a MCS (Microsoft Consulting Services) grad.

Since finding out about the position the fellow grads and myself have whipped together a great facebook group to try and get to know one another before we beging the hectic 9 to 5 work schedule at Microsoft. So to better help us get to know each other and introduce some (well alot) of the fun stuff about the MACH program the current grads (MACH 8) put together a really informative and fun day for us all to finally meet up.

The day stated out with just a few short presentations of all the fun stuff that we are to expect whilst being a part of the MACH program, the travell, the fun filled "work trips" and the ability to network and form friendships with not only current grads in the UK but all over the world.

Speed dating, what an ingenious way to get to know who you will be working with than spend an hour doing speed dating and getting to learn all about the guys and girls that i will spend the next couple of years with, deffinatly a manic hour of finding out about each person (did you know one MACH is a distant relative to the legendary rolf harris!).

Next was my personal favourite where I couldnt stop laughing, looking over baby pictures of each other and trying to guess which photo belonged to which person and no joke everybaby, boy or girl look identical! How do maternaty wards keep track of them all?

After the days formalities at TVP were over we got the chance to relax with all the previous grads and really delve deeper into what our job roles would entail and what to expect from the scheme.

I must say its looking to be a great experience and just cant wait for September 8th to roll around :D