Friday, October 14, 2005

Useful Sparkle/XAML Links

This post is just a bunch of links on XAML/Sparkle put together in one place for my convenience:

North Face Demo at the PDC

Manuel Clement and others – Introducing Sparkle

PDC Dev Team -- Plasma Screen Application at PDC

Introduction to XAML


Mobiform Aurora

Healthcare demo of Windows Presentation Foundation (AKA Avalon)

Infragistics DataPresenter Control for Windows Presentation Foundation

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Dead Computer Talking

Yesterday, I had a quick power glitch. Most computers in my office simply rebooted, but my new Asus A8V Athlon 64 system got stuck in a mode where the screen had a weird pattern on it and the PC started talking to me through the speaker system. It was saying something like “CPU failure” over and over in synthesized speech. This was somewhat disconcerting at first! The sound is straight off the motherboard, so it seems its a means of passing on status information to the user when the processor is totally cactus. Fortunately cold booting let it come up without hassles. The processor for the system is an Athlon 64 3500, but I’m looking forward to the time when an Athlon 64 X2 4800 level processor’s prices comes down from the stratosphere. Socket and Bios compatibility for the Athlon 64 series is very cool.

Feature Estimation

There have been countless times when a customer has described some new software functionality they want and are dumbfounded when I can’t give them a ball park estimate without a ton of if’s and but’s. When you start breaking down the functionality and everything that naturally flows on from that new functionality does the customer realize how huge a task can get without explicitly acknowledging many constraints up front. Check out “The fractal nature of UI design problems” for a great example of how functionality requirements are deceptive in their apparent simplicity.