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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here. October 2007 Entries
Good news from the VB.NET product team
As a VB.NET MVP, I love seeing stuff like this from the VB.NET product team: (I can't share most of the email, since it's NDA, but here is what I can share.) Also, here are some data points that make us confident in VB’s momentum. This is the kind of thing I share with other teams when I engage them about “speaking vb”. We’ve made the decision that you can freely talk about these data points in public (not under NDA) : ---non-NDA--- Visual Basic is the #1 .NET language (as reported by Forrester Research) ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 31, 2007 3:01 PM

It's time for gory movies... the worse, the better. Here are some of my favorites: Chopping Mall I Dismember Mama Dead Alive My absolute favorite (not as gory, but too funny to pass up): EVIL DEAD 2 So... What are yours? (Rod just suggested this one, which I haven't seen: Cannibal Holocaust) ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 31, 2007 12:54 PM

It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like a Culturally Non-Specific Gift-Giving Season...

Halloween is almost here, which means Thanksgiving isn't far behind, and you know what that means!!



Posted On Monday, October 29, 2007 9:04 PM

Indie MMOG Conference, right here in Minneapolis
How did I just find out about this today?? This is cool. *Looks at calendar* ...AND it's on a weekend, awesome! This keeps getting better. Richard Bartle, Gordon Walton (of Bioware)... $99 until 11/15 Very cool. update: I've been talking to the guy running it, and I'm helping out some now. They still need sponsors and speakers, so if you're interested... drop me a line ......

Posted On Monday, October 29, 2007 3:49 PM

my first NFL game - Go VIKINGS!
So yesterday, after code camp was done and buried on Saturday, we (D'Arcy and Boy #1 and myself) got up early and headed downtown to the Metrodome to catch the Eagles and Vikings game. I'd never been to a real Pro game (of any sport) although I'd certainly seen plenty of ECHL (hockey) back in Charleston. The excitement level was pretty high and there were lots of folks in jerseys and body paint. D'Arcy was even sporting an Eagles jersey. We got there a little early and walked around watching all ......

Posted On Monday, October 29, 2007 9:15 AM

Post Code Camp decompression
So the Twin Cities Code Camp III is over... thoughts? I had a great time meeting a lot of the local developer community, including some Magenic and Microsoft folks that I hadn't had an opportunity to hang with before. It was great seeing Bill Ryan, Lou Vega and D'Arcy Lussier again. The four of us, plus a few extra folks (Justin Chase, Aaron Erickson, Michael Dunn) all got together at my house the night before to work on our presentations, have a few beers and jam on Guitar Hero II. Michael brought ......

Posted On Monday, October 29, 2007 8:48 AM

XBOX 360 Controller Driver for Windows XP SP1

I'm putting this here for people who saw my presentation and needed a download link.


Posted On Saturday, October 27, 2007 9:35 AM

Facebook <3 Microsoft
Taken from this article here. Although the two companies said they are not disclosing all terms of the agreement, observers need look no further than the fact that Facebook has already released its APIs, and Microsoft last week released the beta for its Popfly tool, which among other things is a Silverlight-based mashup tool that can be used to build Facebook applications. Microsoft also has a Visual Studio toolset that can be used to develop Facebook apps. "You can certainly look at what we are ......

Posted On Friday, October 26, 2007 11:55 AM

MVP Summit 2008

The site is up:

My renewal cycle is in January, so hopefully I'll get picked up again. We'll see.

(Oh and I have some encouraging news about XNA, I just can't share it yet.)

Posted On Friday, October 26, 2007 10:34 AM

Guitar Hero III

Guitar Hero III comes out this weekend (10/28)

Who's getting it and which version?  I prepaid (entirely) for the Wii version.  I can hardly wait.

Kinda weird that it comes out on a Sunday...  what's that all about?

Posted On Friday, October 26, 2007 10:21 AM

Gettin Busy (and keeping busy) with The ZMan and friends.
The next few months are going to be pretty insane for me... here's why: This weekend (October 27th) at the Twin Cities Code Camp I'm doing two sessions on Game Development. One on "XNA for teh total Newb" and the other on "Build a Game in an Hour with XNA and TorqueX." Jason has been ripping on me to go minimalist on the Powerpoints, so for my TorqueX talk, I won't be using one at all. That's pretty minimalist, yeah? (All code will be posted and made available of course.) My buddies Lou Vega, D'Arcy ......

Posted On Thursday, October 25, 2007 8:15 PM

Let's see just how deep the rabbit hole goes...
Ok, I've jumped on the Feedburner bandwagon just like everyone else.

Please update my RSS feed to this:

Posted On Thursday, October 25, 2007 4:36 PM

There's crazy and then there's CRAAAAAAAAAZY!!
It would seem my good buddy Bill Ryan is under attack (again) by Charles Carroll. I'm not sure what provoked it, but it sure makes for interesting reading. edit: It would seem we have an update now. Here's the thing. Bill's a good guy. He's brilliant and a friend, a really good one, and the sort of guy that will definitely hit you back but rarely throws the first punch. He's helped me out of more than one bad situation and I trust him implicitly. He's got my back and I have his. Just not in the Dumbledore ......

Posted On Thursday, October 25, 2007 4:02 PM

kinda surprised nobody mentioned this one. part 2.
You can read the full article here.

The best quote of the article, by far:

"It's been terrible. I've always liked Dumbledore - just not in that way."

Posted On Thursday, October 25, 2007 2:19 PM

Check out my podcast
While I was at HDC, Jeff, John and the PodcaStars gang were there and I sat down for a few minutes to rap with them a little bit about XNA and Game Development, among other things. You can find it here: Listen to Chris discuss XNA and Game Development ......

Posted On Thursday, October 25, 2007 10:41 AM

Microsoft <3 Facebook
You know how I feel about FaceBook... so here's some interesting news. Microsoft pays $240 mln to clinch Facebook stake It's especially interesting to me as an ASP.NET developer, given that FaceBook is all PHP. Of course, 1.6% is kinda small to effect any meaningful change at Facebook, but after hours trading reports seem pretty positive ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 24, 2007 4:20 PM

More WoW players than farmers... so?
Several people have mentioned or linked to an article stating that there are more WoW players than Farmers in the U.S. While this may or may not be true, take this into consideration: There's a fair amount of farming (gold or otherwise) going on in-game in WoW, too. We're talking nonstop, around the clock farming... day or night. So, honestly, there's probably more American Farmers IN WOW than in the U.S. How's THAT for a statistic? So the real question is, where are the subsidies for our WoW farmers? ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 24, 2007 3:37 PM

So you think you can dance... like Rory
One of the more interesting people I've met from Microsoft has left some hard to fill shoes. Some might say they are giant red clown shoes, or maybe imported italian shoes, but either way... they're empty and this is your chance to try them on for size. Jeff Sandquist, the boss of those shoes and all around very cool guy, has posted an opening on his blog. Go there and see if the force is with you. Good luck. P.S. Don't go there with the intent of being another Rory. The first one isn't dead yet. ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 24, 2007 12:25 PM

Hi, I'm Chris and I am a VB.NET developer
earlier today, someone I respect very highly asked the following question: "Is this a REAL problem… Do we really need to worry about being VB Developers or not ?" I've given this a lot of thought and I believe it's a problem when the "great VB / C# divide" keeps me from using technologies that are of great interest to me. This isn't just about missing code samples anymore. I am a VB.NET developer. Before that, for many years, I was a VB Developer. Prior to that, I was a BASIC developer, in all it's ......

Posted On Tuesday, October 23, 2007 7:35 PM

kinda surprised nobody mentioned this one.
Dumbledore is gay. I don't have a problem with gay people. I don't have a problem with human rights, or tolerance or diversity or acceptance or anything. I just don't see the point of having human sexuality in children's literature. Gay, straight or otherwise. I further don't see the point of making the revelation now, after the books are done. Is Rowling so desperate for media attention, now that her cash cow has been milked dry, that she has to retroactively stir the pot? Personally, I think it's ......

Posted On Monday, October 22, 2007 6:41 PM

OMG, I'm a winner
This one not only made it past my GMail spam filter, but had an interesting enough title that I actually opened it. Imagine my surprise to learn that I was a MICROSOFT MEGAJACKPOT WINNER We are pleased to inform you of the announcement today of winners of the MICROSOFT WORD E-MAIL MEGA JACKPOT LOTTERY PROGRAMS held on 19th OCTOBER 2007. Your company or your personal e-mail address is attached to winning number 19-10OCTOBER-2007-02 MSW, with serial number S/N-00179 drew the lucky numbers 887-13-865-37-10-83, ......

Posted On Monday, October 22, 2007 12:12 AM

oh no he didn't.... a two parter.
In this post Nick Randolph makes reference to Bill McCarthy's unfortunate choice of words in his blog and on a VB community list about how Microsoft treats VB. The short version is, Bill dropped the N word, and got rightfully smacked around for it, and he wrote up a blog post attempting to explain his choice of the word in a more politically correct context. and now lots of folks are talking about what a shame ......

Posted On Sunday, October 21, 2007 11:55 PM

Why do people think this will work? (For that matter, why do people think I have this info?) Comment from Blogus Maximus ---------------------------... From: aslam shaik <> Url: none given IP: ===========================... pls sent me complete architecture behind xbox 360 Source: ......

Posted On Sunday, October 21, 2007 10:53 AM

weekend update
Spent most of Saturday in the van, coming back from Omaha. I got home around 2pm, checked the mail and found a nasty surprise. My oldest son's interim report. All A's and B's (mostly A's) and an F in reading due to "many missing assignments." Huh? Needless to say, I wasn't very happy about this. The thing is, I see him do his homework every night. So either he isn't turning it in, or there's some other problem. I know he's a good reader. He reads all the time. What upsets me most about this is that ......

Posted On Sunday, October 21, 2007 10:13 AM

Free XNA Stuff
I'm asking, not offering. The offering part comes later. :) I'm looking for sponsors for the Twin Cities XNA User Group meetings. Magenic was awesome enough to offer a place to meet and occasional pizza, but in order to really crank things up a notch, I need swag and lots of it. If you're a book publisher, contact me and I'll get your books into the hands of folks that will read and review them. If you're a software tools publisher, let's chat. I'd love to get your product in front of my members. ......

Posted On Friday, October 19, 2007 1:45 PM

Tales from the Trenches, part one and a half
Today is wrapping up and I've met some terrific folks, as well as seeing some old friends. I got to talk a fair amount about Magenic, and talk to some Microsoft folks about my XNA User Group as well. Tomorrow I'm supposed to be doing a podcast with Jeff and the gang, although I haven't a clue on what to talk about. Probably be something user group or XNA/TorqueX related. I've seen some interesting booths, at least of two of which had Nintendo Wii's setup for the attendees to play. (I remember the ......

Posted On Thursday, October 18, 2007 4:38 PM

Tales from the Trenches, part one
Today was day one at HDC. I've spoken to about 300 people so far today. Most of my morning went something like this: good mornin, good mornin, how are you, hello, good mornin, good mornin. hi. howdy. good mornin. hello. hi there. no its pronounce Ma-gen-ic, yeah, there's no T there. nope. just magenic. good mornin. yep. hi. mornin. sure I can draw a smily face instead. good mornin. thanks. mornin. nope, rockys not here... mornin. mornin. no i dont know where rocky is today. mornin. mornin. yeah I ......

Posted On Thursday, October 18, 2007 2:26 PM

See you at HDC

I don't know how much blogging I'll get done the rest of this week, since I'm driving down to Omaha tomorrow for the Heartland Developers Conference (

If you're going to be there, be sure to stop by the Magenic booth and say hello. I'll be attending sessions along with everyone else, but between sessions I'll be at the Magenic booth.

Drop me a line here or by email and let me know if you're going to be there.

Posted On Tuesday, October 16, 2007 2:58 PM

If you are reading this

If you read my blog (not just the main GWB feed) do me a favor and leave me a comment.  I'm curious how many unique readers I have and how often they read.  If everyone who reads my blog leaves a comment (just one please), I'll get a rough idea of viewership.

I'll also do a random drawing in a few weeks for a prize to one of my commenters as a thank you.

Posted On Tuesday, October 16, 2007 2:54 PM

Cinema analysts blame Halo 3 for low ticket sales.
This is hilarious.

Cinema analysts blame Halo 3 for low ticket sales.

Here's a thought.  Stop making movies that suck.

Posted On Tuesday, October 16, 2007 11:24 AM

Technorati rank
I never really pay much attention to this kind of stuff, and largely forget it exists, but I noticed someone else recently linked to their Technorati rank, and I was curious what mine was, so here it is: If you're on GeeksWithBlogs and want to see yours, just replace cwilliams with your account name. But then again, if you're on GeeksWithBlogs, you're probably geeky enough to know that. :) ......

Posted On Monday, October 15, 2007 12:38 PM

It's been a long week and it's only monday...
This weekend wasn't too bad. I mean, sure, it could have been better but all in all it was ok. Let's take a look at how it went. I finished my slide deck for one of my code camp sessions. That's a check in the plus column. I went to the Midwest Robotics League competition this weekend. There was much carnage. Big check. One of the kids was bored to tears and we ended up leaving early. That sucked. I went to GameStop and traded in enough old games to totally prepay for Guitar Hero III for the Wii. ......

Posted On Monday, October 15, 2007 12:18 PM

Facebook Application Platform 2007
As you know, I'm completely addicted to Facebook, so when I heard about this book, I immediately requested a review copy. I just got it today. I've been on the fence about making some facebook apps, and this just might push me over the edge... Pretty excited about digging into it. I'll followup with a review soon. For more info, check out this link: ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 10, 2007 2:41 PM

as seen on Craigs List
wow you Atlanta guys get all the interesting gigs... Web Designer needed to update existing site Reply to: Date: 2007-10-09, 6:33PM EDT Help! My web designer has abandoned me. I need a web designer that is local(here in Atlanta) and can update and eventually train me to update my adult website. I also have videos I need added to the site. If you can help, please email me. This is a paid position ......

Posted On Tuesday, October 9, 2007 8:02 PM

Robot Combat in the Twin Cities this weekend...
The Midwest Robotics League is having their first competition of the new season this Saturday at Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis, MN. It's not quite as hyped and polished as the old BattleBots (Robot Wars) TV show, but it's still a good bit of fun to watch. The kid leagues (Middle School and High School) are doing 15 pound robots, but there's a 120 pound class also, so you might see some pretty impressive damage. I'm not actively participating this year but I'm planning on hitting most ......

Posted On Tuesday, October 9, 2007 12:43 PM

new website

The Twin Cities XNA User Group has a website finally.

We're still tweaking things here and there, but it's coming along nicely.

Posted On Saturday, October 6, 2007 5:52 PM

Twin Cities XNA User Group
It's official. The Twin Cities XNA User Group has been born. We're signed up with CodeZone and we have a place to meet and a date for the first real meeting. Where: Magenic ( for directions) When: 6:00PM November 15th (3rd Thursday of each month) Pizza: Provided by Magenic Guests: Steve Loethen (Microsoft) and Andy (The Z-Man) Dunn The first meeting will mostly be a "getting to know you" session. People are encouraged to bring what they're working on, or to talk about what they'd like ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 3, 2007 10:01 PM

Code to Live: XNA Video

Catch it here:

Steve Loethen is one of my (semi-)local MS guys up here in the Twin Cities and puts on a mighty fine Halo 3 party.

Posted On Wednesday, October 3, 2007 12:35 PM

yes it's true, .NET Framework Source Code to become available

As you've no doubt seen on at least a dozen other blogs by now, Microsoft is releasing parts of the source for the .NET Framework.

More info here.

I've already had an "interesting" conversation with one of my coworkers about this. He doesn't think it's such a great idea. I think it is.

What do you think?

Posted On Wednesday, October 3, 2007 12:12 PM

New Zunes w00t!
Pulled from Engadget We love a good non-mystery around here, and Microsoft's new Zunes are about as un-mysterious as they get. But we also love a good product refresh, and now that the cat's officially out of the bag we can really dig into the new Zunes, which definitely have a lot going for them. There's plenty to cover, so here's what you need to know. Hard drive Zunes It's called the Zune 80 and, shockingly enough, it has 80GB of storage. Uses the new Zune Pad -- four way touch-sensitive d-pad ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 3, 2007 10:43 AM

XNA GeekSpeak
Hey if you're into XNA, be sure to check this out: My buddy Glen Gordon is hosting a MSDN Webcast with Nick Landry. In this installment of geekSpeak, bring your questions about Microsoft XNA game development for industry expert Nick Landry to answer. "ActiveNick" is an accomplished author and speaker on topics like XNA and mobility ......

Posted On Tuesday, October 2, 2007 6:29 PM

TorqueX Tutorials
If you've been playing with XNA but haven't tried TorqueX, or maybe you tried it but didn't find it intuitive, or thought it was too hard, or whatever... I'm pleased to say that the super secret beta tutorials I've been testing are done and publicly released. You can grab them here: They are well worth the time it takes to work through them, especially for the TorqueX novice. enjoy ......

Posted On Monday, October 1, 2007 12:00 PM

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