Kinect SDK

Microsoft recently release the Kinect SDK which allows you to implement a Natural User Interface and program against it! There is a lot of interest  around including claims on how Robotics will change to how you can integrate a light sensor.

You can use Visual Studio (C++, C# and VB.NET supported) and get quite interesting results.

Here are a series of links below which will help you get started.

  1. Download and install the Kinect SDK
  2. Download and install Quickstart Samples and Slides (zip file)
  3. Understanding the Kinect hardware
  4. Setting up your Dev Environment
  5. Understanding the basics of skeletal tracking using the Kinect sensor
  6. Understanding camera fundamentals
  7. Understanding the audio fundamentals
  8. Playing with the Coding4Fun Kinect toolkit and seeing how one can build cool apps such as:

Keep and eye out on the Coding4Fun Kinect blog.

Debugger Canvas–Quick Tour

Debugger Canvas is a new user experience for the debugger in Visual Studio Ultimate. It pulls together the code you’re exploring onto a single pan-and-zoom display. As you hit breakpoints or step into code, Debugger Canvas shows just the methods that you’re debugging, with call lines and local variables, to help you see the bigger picture.

Check out the quick demo below to see what it is capable of and read up on the guide on how to use it.

Using cached domain (active directory) credentials or not?

If you are ever in a situation where you want to find out if you logged into using cached domain credentials (AD) or authenticated against the domain controller then the easiest way is to open Event Viewer and look for the entry where the source is NETLOGON and Event ID 5719.

The description would be something like:

Log Name:      System
Source:        NETLOGON
Date:          27/05/2011 08:53:17
Event ID:      5719
Task Category: None
Level:         Error
Keywords:      Classic
User:          N/A
Computer:      YOUR-Full-Qualified-Computer-Name
Description:

This computer was not able to set up a secure session with a domain controller in domain YOUR-DOMAIN-NAME due to the following:
There are currently no logon servers available to service the logon request.
This may lead to authentication problems. Make sure that this computer is connected to the network. If the problem persists, please contact your domain administrator. 

ADDITIONAL INFO
If this computer is a domain controller for the specified domain, it sets up the secure session to the primary domain controller emulator in the specified domain. Otherwise, this computer sets up the secure session to any domain controller in the specified domain.

Here is a screenshot (on Win 7) showing a (filtered) view of the same event.

image

How to create a Mini Dump?

If you ever want to get a Mini Dump of a process (of course for debugging purposes) the easiest way to do so is to use Task Manager (or use Sys Explorer). Just find the process you are interested in, right click and select “Create Dump File” and voila.

One thing to be careful – make sure you are using the same version of the Task Manager (or Sys Explorer) as the process. For example if your process is x32 (and you are running on a x64 system), then make sure you are using x32 version of Task Manager and not the x64 as that will cause issues.

Creating a mini dump

BizTalk 2010

I was wondering what new features of BizTalk 2010 do you like the most? Also are they any must have tools now? I am interested in the following:

  • Automated deployment (of interfaces)
  • Automated testing (regression and functional where possible)
  • Automated configuration management (across various environments – development, various testing, pre-prod and of course prod).
  • Coordination with AppFabric?

Free (technical) Microsoft Courses

Channel 9 has a number of free technical courses on a number of emerging MS technologies covering a wide range such as Azure, Win7, Identity, SQL Server 2008 R2, Visual Studio 2010, .NET 4.0, Silverlight 4, MOSS 2010, Office 2010, etc.

These cover a number of the features and essentially have everything to get a developer quite comfortable with the stack. In some areas they go a little deep as well. I think its an excellent way to come up to speed.

Here is a quick example of the topics covered in some of the tracks:

  • Win7 – how to use the Taskbar, Multitouch, Ribbon, Sensors and Location, Session 0 Isolation, etc.
  • Azure – Azure Overview, Azure Storage, Deployment, SQL Azure, etc.
  • VS 2010 and .NET 4 – F#, ASP.NET 4, Parallel Computing, ALM, etc.

Extending WCF Adapters in BizTalk

I know a little bit about WCF :) but never really used it in anger in BizTalk and also did not get an opportunity to extend the adapter.

I was looking for something else and came across this post form Paolo which explains in a lot of detail how does one go about extending and customizing WCF adapters. If you don’t know anything about WCF the first part explains that in general before going in to the BizTalk specific things.