November 26, 2007
WPF user group tour slides and demos
Thanks to the Tauranga, Auckland and Hawke's Bay .NET user groups for their hospitality last week. I had a great time and it was particularly good to visit a couple of the regional groups. Here are the slides and demos from the talk.
I'll be taking the talk to Christchurch and Dunedin this week on the second leg of the tour -- looking forward to it!
November 16, 2007
Usability and the early typewriters
Riveting article about typewriters, the usability issues and trade-offs of the early designs, and how manufacturers used usability as a competitive edge.
On an unrelated note, "riveting article about typewriters" joins my list of Things I Would Have Bet Money I Would Never Say, hard on the heels of "life-changing book about town planning" and "turn left just after the emu farm."
November 15, 2007
Colossus reconstruction goes live
BBC News: "For the first time in more than 60 years a Colossus computer will be cracking codes at Bletchley Park."
This is tremendous. I've recently been reading a couple of books on the Colossus story -- a story long played down in favour of the cracking of Enigma, and which it seems is still only just emerging. Because of the relative lack of publicity (and even continuing secrecy) around Colossus, I didn't really appreciate the significance of Colossus when I visited Bletchley Park in 2004 and saw the reconstruction in progress, but the machine was awe-inspiring and a bit scary nevertheless. (Those paper tapes go really fast.)
Rather surprisingly, one of the experts on Colossus is based practically next door in sunny Christchurch. I wonder if he does speaking engagements?
November 08, 2007
Christchurch Code Camp 2007 - WPF data binding
Despite the military branding, the Christchurch Code Camp was actually pleasantly relaxed, with a great informal atmosphere, and picnics on the lawn taking the place of the more traditional university canteen arrangements. As always it was great to put faces to names from the mailing list. Thanks to all the organisers.
I've struggled rather to figure out how to put my talk up, because the slides don't say very much, the demo files are a rather unholy combination of things that deliberately don't work and things that are totally intimidating, and the speaker notes on building up the demos are as enigmatic as. So I will try to polish these up into something that builds up more gradually and with better explanation, but since several people did ask, here in the meantime here is the raw story:
Slides (PowerPoint 2007 format) (Note: Typepad sometimes messes up PPTX downloads; if you get problems, right-click and do a Save As.)
Demos (VS2005 format - requires VS2005 WPF plug-in)