Archive for September 2007

Halo 3

Posted on: September 29, 2007

So through a fortunate coincidence Halo 3 was released during my visit to Microsoft in Redmond. Thus I had a chance to play through the first few hours of the game. How does it hold up? Well, the game play is very very good, the character control is amazing and the environments are astonishing.

However, as the story line goes, I have to give it up to Half-Life 2, as in my opinion it still holds up better than Halo 3. I must admit I haven’t finished either so I expect to be flamed for not knowing what I am talking about, but as DN points out
the single player campaign in Halo 3 is only 7 hours long, and I do believe I played through the first 5.

Anyways, Half-Life’s story line may be thin as onion skin, but the way the story unfolds in the Half-Life universe is still a greater experience in my opinion. On Halo’s part I’d give it sugar and love for the game play, weapons/difficulty balance and character control.

I would also, based on watching my friends (some of who are great fans of the series) playing the game, say that if you are a fan of the Halo chronicle, I am sure you will love this last chapter. It is faster, more intense, more beautiful and even better balanced than the previous ones. It is, in my opinion, without the doubt the greatest console FPS experience ever.

Way to go Bungie!

Okidoki, back in the United States, this time Seattle. It’s my first time this far north in the states and the one thing that struck me after leaving the airport was how similar the environment is to Sweden. The southern part that is. Actually it looks very much like the surroundings where I grew up. Also, people seem to be a lot more relaxed around here that say California, Texas or Boston. Or at least that’s my impression from walking around in Redmond looking for cheap and warm shirts and jackets. Why? There’s one more thing about this place that resembles Sweden, the temperature. Today shows a whooping 13 degrees Celsius ;). I guess I really have gotten used to the nice warm autumns in Tokyo :). Well, I guess I don’t have to spill it out, but already after a day, I miss Tokyo… And even more, I miss S… It sucks being a part even if it’s only for a week……….

On another note:

Heard today in a TV commercial on Americas channel 12 USA:

Every day has the potential to be a Dixi day. What if you could save another 5 minutes everyday, 5 minutes that you could spend with your family instead. Little moments one by one but in the end, they add up to a life time of memories. The new Dixi paper plates, so strong and white you wont know the difference. Make it a Dixi day, with the new ultra strong non-spill Dixi Paper plate.

I’m quoting out of memory here so I might be a little bit off…

Anyways, interesting the sincerity by which paper plates can be presented…

S: 凄く凄く会いたい!一週間も絶対長すぎ!!!気を付けてね!!!!

Laser i dagens nat-upplaga av DN att Irans president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inte far besoka platsen dar World Trade center stod fram till den 11 September 2001. ‘Iraniern’ som DN valjer att kalla honom har namligen enligt Rudolph Giuliani (New Yorks borgmastare vid tiden for den omtalade terrorattacken):

– Detta är en man som har hotat Amerika och Israel, ger skydd åt bin Ladins son och andra al Qaidaledare, förser irakiska upprorsmän med vapen och ägnar sig åt att utveckla kärnvapen. Att medverka till att Ahmadinejad besöker Ground Zero, helig mark för alla amerikaner, vore skandalöst, sade han.

Sjalv staller jag mig stillsamt fragan; nar blev ovanstaende sa fruktansvart och oheligt? USA har val sjalva hotat fler lander att med vald genomdriva sin ideologi och demokrati, gett skydd at Bin Ladens familj, forsett irak med vapen och utvecklat karnvapen? Att platsen dessutom hanvisas till som Helig Mark ar ett intressant ordval i sig…


Currently sitting on the floor (as any true conference goer) stealing some electricity from the Tokyo International Forum to write this post. I am attending the ReMix Event in Tokyo, hosted by Microsoft to show of and discuss their web platform offerings (that would be Silverlight, Asp.Net and so on). Basically you have the main Mix conference held in Las Vegas every year, and for those that can’t make it there are local ReMix event held at various locations around the world.

When I visited the first Mix event in Las Vegas last year I was very positively impressed by the breadth and depth of the presenters, coming from all kinds of backgrounds, technologies and fields. Also I was very happy to find that many of the presenters actually offered a critical view on the Ms platforms, something that I believe is very important whether you are a fan of Microsoft or not.

This years conference (the one in vegas that is) however was considerably more Microsoft centered with most (that’s almost all) of the presenters being either Microsoft employees or partners. Still the atmosphere was good and the event offered a lot of fun and social aspects that I truly believe is an important ingredient in building a useful conference experience.

So what about the ReMix Tokyo event. Well, while Japan may be a huge market with a very technology savvy population, the number of ISV’s and developers that have picked up on Microsoft’s technologies are disproportionately few. I dare not offer you an explanation as to why this is, but my guess is that Japanese developers have for a very long time been mostly oriented towards open source solutions and technology bases.

Anyways, Mix is fun, ReMix too, if your in Tokyo and have some time to spare, hurry down to Yurakuchou and you can stil catch some of the presentations :).

Of course you saw it coming! At least if the name of any of your relatives was Nostradamus…


From a marketing perspective I’m sure just the mentioning of these to brands in the same breath must make your head spin with all the life-style keywords you can slam onto the ads. The only problem might be that the combination is so hip and right-in-time that it is hard to find a medium where such an ad could fit comfortably in. TV is obviously out of the question, Web 2.0 might be ok but you’d still have to deal with that old 2000-like internet thingy….

If it works out, great! I will happily admit that I’m a fan of both the Ipod and Starbucks. But this ‘mash-up’ seems a little too slippery… Just me being skeptical?

I just wanted to point out for those of you who are interested in working with editable FlowDocuments in the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) that most standard editing commands such as adjusting alignment, setting various font variations such as underline, italics or bold and also building bulleted lists and other nice (albeit simple) layout tricks, are all available out of the box in WPF.

Say you have a RichTextBox and you want the user to be able to add some text, edit the “style”of this text and also set various style-properties that should be applied to all new text entered into the RTB.

The simplest way to do this is to simply slap a RichTextBox into a grid of a new Window, like so:

<Window x:Class=”EditableRTB.Window1″
Title=”Window1″ Height=”300″ Width=”300″>
<RichTextBox />

(Remember that the contents of a RichTextBox is actually a FlowDocument…)

Now compile and run this, add some text into the box, select it and then press the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+U. You will noticed that the selected text gets underlined. You can try the same for other standard shortcuts available in for example Word Pad, and voila! ;) most of them work right out of the box.

While this is nice it might also be helpful for some users to have buttons to press that invoke the same commands. Sometimes referred to as Usability. The nice thing about implementing such functionality is that it can all be done in XAML. Below is a sample button that invokes the EditingCommands.ToggleUnderline command.

<Button Content=”Un” Command=”EditingCommands.ToggleUnderline”
CommandTarget=”{Binding ElementName=_textArea}”

If we break this down into its interesting parts you will first notice the Command attribute. This attribute takes any RoutedCommand with an associated CommandBinding. In this case we are using a Command that is available by default in WPF. There are many others associated with other types of controls and scenarios such as MediaCommands and ComponentCommands.

The next attribute is called CommandTarget. This is the control on which the Command should be executed. In this sample XAML the CommandTarget is a RichTextBox called “_textArea”.

The last attribute is called CommandParameter. While some default Commands do take parameters, most do not. Thus in most cases you can safely pass a Null value for this parameter.

That’s about it. Granted, the above is slightly simplified, but if you experiment with it for a while you will find how easy it is to manipulate the contents of a FlowDocument in a RichTextBox.

You can easily check the generated XAML of the FlowDocument being generated in the RTB by simply adding another TextBox somewhere in your window, hook up the TextChanged event from the RTB to an eventhandler and have this eventhandler do something like the following:

private void _textArea_TextChanged(object sender, TextChangedEventArgs e)
this.myTextBox.Text = XamlWriter.Save(this._textArea.Document);

This will allow you to see what the different EditingCommands actually do to your FlowDocument in real time :) Be warned though that this is not a very nice solution but only a quick hack :)

Read more about the Editing Commands over at MSDN at this link:







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