MADExpo Kicks Off in Style!

Day 1 of the inaugural Mid Atlantic Developer Expo is done, and I’m settled in to try to get some rest for day 2, which promises more awesome content and great conversations.

We kicked the day off today with an incredible talk by Wintellect‘s Jeff Prosise, entitled “Why I Love the Smell of Jet Fuel in the Morning” discussing his love of R/C jet aircraft, and how that passion relates to his success in the software development world.

The two highlights of the keynote were the 1/6th scale F-16 that shared the stage with Jeff (and which Jeff built by hand), and the final video Jeff showed, which featured clips of what happens when things go wrong with R/C jets. Suffice it to say, there were several fireballs involved (I’ll see if I can get a copy of the video from Jeff to share). Continue reading MADExpo Kicks Off in Style!

Video: Kinect-enabled MADExpo Session Finder

I’ve been working on a fun and cool project for the Mid Atlantic Developer Expo, which opens NEXT WEEK, namely a Kinect-enabled Session Finder.

The project uses the recently-released Kinect SDK for Windows beta, a custom version of the Session Sorter code from the MADExpo website, hosted in a WebBrowser control within a WPF application. The WPF application is useful since I can use it to capture audio from Kinect and enable speech recognition, as well as to run the app in kiosk mode. Meanwhile, in the background, I’m running the Coding4Fun Mouse Cursor sample that I blogged about earlier today, which captures my gestures and turns them into mouse moves and clicks. Continue reading Video: Kinect-enabled MADExpo Session Finder

Source Code Available for the Kinect Mouse Cursor Project

Getting the Code

Last week, I noted the release of the Kinect SDK for Windows beta, and at the end of the post pointed to some cool projects put together by the folks over at Coding4Fun on Channel9. One of the projects I’ve been playing with a bit is the Kinect Mouse Cursor project, which at the time of my post last week was only available in binary form. Continue reading Source Code Available for the Kinect Mouse Cursor Project

Kinect SDK for Windows beta Now Available

In case you missed the big announcement yesterday, the wait is over and those of you itching to try your hand at some NUI goodness on Windows with an official SDK can go grab the bits for the Kinect SDK for Windows beta.

tracking_2

I downloaded the beta SDK yesterday during the all-day Channel 9 Live event showcasing what you can do with the SDK (the recording of the stream is available here…eventually, the recordings will likely live elsewhere on Channel 9). So far, I’ve just run some of the samples that come with the SDK, including a skeletal tracking sample, and a sample game that uses both skeletal tracking and voice recognition. Very cool. Continue reading Kinect SDK for Windows beta Now Available

Make Script Performance Automatic with Custom Templates in Visual Studio 2010

Background

If you’ve ever used a tool like Yahoo!’s Yslow to analyze the performance of your web application, you’ve probably run into the recommendation that you should put your scripts at the bottom of the page, unless those scripts insert page content (a good example of this, which we’ll see later in this post, is modernizr.js, which dynamically adds support for semantic HTML5 elements to older browsers that do not natively support them).

Unfortunately, if you use the default MVC 3 templates in Visual Studio 2010, things like the script reference for jQuery are added in at the top of the page, in the <head> section of the document. This works fine, but may potentially delay the loading of the page while the external script is downloaded and loaded. You could, of course, manually move the script references each time you create a new project, but this would result in unnecessary duplication of effort. Continue reading Make Script Performance Automatic with Custom Templates in Visual Studio 2010

User Group Anniversaries – DC .Net and RockNUG

June is a big month for user group anniversaries, apparently. A couple of local groups are celebrating anniversaries this month, the first being the Rockville .NET User Group, which is kicking off its 5th year. As has become the tradition (I’ve only missed one year), I’m speaking for the 5.0 release, and I’ll be talking about Microsoft WebMatrix and the Razor view engine, and why they’re relevant to you, even if you’re a professional developer.

Continue reading User Group Anniversaries – DC .Net and RockNUG

Customize Orchard CMS with the Designer Tools Module

UPDATE: I was informed by Sebastien Ros from the Orchard team that some of the code below exposed an Cross-site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability by writing out the raw value of t.TagName to the markup to be rendered by the alternate template. I’ve updated the listings (and my blog) with some code/markup suggested by Sebastien that both simplifies the code and takes advantage of Razor’s built-in HTML encoding when using the @ block syntax. While the risk of an XSS attack on the tags is relatively small, it’s always a good idea to apply HTML encoding to your strings before rendering them. My thanks to Sebastien for catching that.

Background

One of the first things folks typically want to do after they install Orchard CMS is start customizing the look and feel of their site or blog. The easiest way to do this, of course, is to install one of the themes available from the Orchard Gallery. One theme in particular, The Theme Machine, is designed to facilitate customization, and in fact there’s a whole section of the Orchard documentation devoted to the subject of customization based on The Theme Machine. There are also customizable themes that you can purchase from the folks at http://bind.pt/ (my theme is a custom version of one of theirs).

Continue reading Customize Orchard CMS with the Designer Tools Module

Enabling RSS Site-wide in Orchard

Background

When publishing a blog with Orchard CMS, the blog module includes default RSS feeds for the items as well as for comments. One limitation of the default implementation is that the feeds only show up when you navigate to the main blog page, or to a post within the blog. Other pages in your site will not make the feed url(s) available.

Continue reading Enabling RSS Site-wide in Orchard

New Features in Windows Phone “Mango” – with Video!

I just finished watching the press conference announcing many of the new features that will be coming with the next release of Windows Phone, codenamed Mango, this fall. I have to say that even as a somewhat jaded insider, I am very excited about some of these features, and several of them were a complete surprise (which is a testament to the ability of the Windows Phone team to keep things under wraps). Among the new stuff announced today Continue reading New Features in Windows Phone “Mango” – with Video!

Using bit.ly with the Twitter Notify Plugin for Windows Live Writer

I had set this up before, but during the process of moving my blog to my devhammer.net domain, I wanted to enable the use of bit.ly-shortened links using my bit.ly API key with the excellent Twitter Notify plugin for Windows Live Writer on another machine. It was easy enough to find a couple of links to the process using Bing, but I also ran across this post from Scott Lovegrove (who is also the author of a nice backup utility for Windows Live Writer) Continue reading Using bit.ly with the Twitter Notify Plugin for Windows Live Writer