Worst How-To ever.

Somehow I got on the MSDN C# code snippets sections (there are a whole lot of snippets that come with VB.Net but not C#) and I saw a link to How to: Restore C# Refactoring Snippets so I thought cool, maybe I can write some of my ASM -> C# in refactoring snippets, if that’s how the refactoring functionality is programmed.

So I read lots of page after that, and I was getting an over whelming feeling of poor documentation. Ie Snippets are either not very useful, or not worth writing much about them. But the length of the articles was getting really small.

Then I came across the most worthless article of the lot. Bold is add be me.

How to: Share Snippets with other Developers

  1. Create a snippet file that contains the code you want to share.
  2. Share the file you created with other developers as you would share any other file, including mail attachment, network share, and floppy disk or CD.

That’s some life changing advice right there folks…

Podcasts

Wow, I’ve not really listened to many podcasts, but last week Paschal Leloup posted that IBM is doing podcasts. I downloaded the current collection. The first five (Driving, the Home, Shopping, Our Past, Banking) but the sixth Our Cities felt like it went nowhere, and the seventh/eight Online Games didn’t cover any new ground. Crime was good, and I’m currently listening to Sports.

Other than these I’ve listened to some Roy Osherove interviews. If I was commuting, or doing mindless work (more often) I could really enjoy listening to more podcasts.

If anyone has a sensitivity to links I’m sorry for the link spam…

Game port progress

My last post about Curse of the Azure Bonds was at the beginning on November, and that was quite a productive month. In December I didn’t touch the code at all and I have been doing some work in the last week.

During my holiday in Gisborne I found a copy of the original Forgotten Realms: Azure Bonds book, and seeing this lying on my desk has encouraged me to keep working. So far it appears to be a lucky charm. The evening I started work again on this project, I decided I was going to have a brake through, and that’s just what happened. I worked out how three blocks of functions where related and the shape of the underlying data structure used to manage sprite animation. All max five frames of it.

Sunday evening I was working of the layout of the interrupt structures, and once I had most of those correctly identified I started using the Ralf Brown Interrupt List to decode what the function where doing. I then used the Visual Studio 2005 refactor tools to rename variables/functions so the code made more sense.

Tonight I was working mainly on another memory structure that purpose I have yet to decipher, but it removed a lot of errors once the related variables became Struct_XXXX (which is a class) verses byte[]/short[]/int/object. I also went on a rampage fixing “Cannot implicitly convert type ‘type1’ to ‘type2’. An explicit conversion exists (are you missing a cast?)” type errors.

Currently there are 14,403 Lines of Assembly to translate, 1,066 Errors to remove and 2 Warnings to solve. Thus at the last three months rates, it will take another year to complete this project.

Windows Live Messenger 8.0 Beta

I got an invite to the Messenger Beta today from Nathan, and my largest pet peeve has been fixed, renaming contacts. No longer will I ponder which “Dan” is this Dan. Nor will the long quote names from Hanky annoy me. Having asked for this for a while it’s great to have it completed.

Now that I slow down, I notice it’s a full Contact management system. Hmmm I wonder if I can also store non messenger contacts and replace Plaxo…

Updates:

Things that seem odd so far :

If the Window Frame is hidden the app title gets squashed by the “Change Color Scheme”, “Show Menu”, “Minimize”, “Maximize”, “Close”. The oddest thing is how is get squashed, the “Windows Live” has higher z-order than the “Messenger”, and the icons collection also have higher z-order than “Messenger”. The Messenger seems to get equally squash at both ends, so you lose the first and last letters. When the app loses focus, the “Windows Live” changes to a dull grey, but the truncated “Messenger” is still in white showing off the bad layout. As space becomes a premium, I would think the “Change Color Scheme” should disappear (off to a menu) as it’s not really top level functionality as it only affects the single title box. Funnier still is as the app gets skinner, the “Windows Live” + windows icon start to get scaled. The dulling appears to be done with alpha channel so it appears to fade even more as is scaled down.

Next noticed UI oddness, is when also in the Window Frame hidden mode, if you drag the window, the outline box is the original Framed Window, and as I don’t have the window drawn through move operations is makes it impossible to place the window at the top of the screen. It appears to have no desktop edge docking. Well it does, it doesn’t let me put any part of the app outside the visible area of the desktop. This is what I used to-do to hide the annoying ads placed at the bottom. The problem with this placement locking is there is wasted space where the Hidden Window Frame used to be. So I might as well have it turn on…

Now I would have put all this into the feedback, but when I click the feedback link, Fire Fox opens and shows me a This Service is Currently Not Available screen, but if I click the Beta Invitations link it opens IE. So it if the error is that the feedback page is IE only it seems odd for them not to use IE to open the page.