A tag I apply haphazardly to various things.
I’m a Visual C++ MVP!
As many of you may have heard, Microsoft is in the process of retiring the XNA/DirectX MVP award over the next year. Though it is sad that the award category is going away, I understand Microsoft’s reason and it makes a lot of sense. They continue to have a deep commitment to gaming technologies and to game development, and they do still love indie developers (though at times that might not come through as clearly as we’d like). My Microsoft MVP award period starts on April 1st (it’s not an April ......
Posted On Monday, April 1, 2013 11:50 AM | Comments (0)
Accessing your Xbox Cloud Storage save games when you can’t access Cloud Storage
So if cloud storage is down or your internet connection to your Xbox is down, in most cases you can still play games you saved to Cloud Storage. Note: This only applies to the Xbox that you last played the game on since it is relying on cached data. If you try it on some other Xbox then it may not work at all or may present you with older data (e.g. you are only level 22 when you really had gotten up to level 24 and you don’t have all those cool items you found). From the dashboard, go to “Settings”. ......
Posted On Saturday, December 29, 2012 4:45 PM | Comments (0)
I’m a Microsoft XNA/DirectX MVP!
Yesterday I found out that I have received a Microsoft MVP Award for XNA/DirectX for 2011. It is a distinct honor and quite humbling. I join the ranks of many great individuals whose contributions, encouragement, and help have had a profound impact on my life. I have greatly enjoyed my time helping others in the App Hub forums, on Twitter, and through this blog since I first discovered XNA a little more than a year ago. I look forward to the expanded opportunities I will have to help you realize ......
Posted On Saturday, April 2, 2011 1:17 AM | Comments (2)
Nokia vs. The World
I’m looking forward to the launch of the Nokia Lumia 920. Why? Well, it stacks up better than the competition for one thing. Then there’s also that security problem that certain other phones have. Mostly, though, it’s because I love my Lumia 900 and the 920, with Windows Phone 8, will be even better. Before I got my Lumia 900, I just took it as given that smart phone cameras couldn’t be good. The Lumia taught me that smart phone cameras can be good if the manufacturer treats them as an important ......
Posted On Saturday, September 29, 2012 10:42 PM | Comments (0)
My website links now include DirectX categories
I’ve done a bit of overdue updates to my website. The links page - http://www.bobtacoindustrie... - now includes DirectX links. I’ve also updated all of the links that were broken in the recent changes to the App Hub site. If you have any good links you think I’m missing, let me know. I haven’t had a chance to do any dead link checking & pruning yet so there might be some links that go to the wrong place or go nowhere at all. That’s the problem with link repositories; maintenance ......
Posted On Wednesday, September 12, 2012 2:46 AM | Comments (0)
Windows Store now open to lots more developers (120 markets!)
See the post here: . This includes individual accounts now so if you tried signing up before and got a message about it only covering company accounts, you can sign up now. Don’t forget to verify your account and setup your payment and tax information. Also, if you are an MSDN subscriber you should be able to get a code from the MSDN site that will give you a free year (saving $49 US) but you will ......
Posted On Wednesday, September 12, 2012 2:37 AM | Comments (0)
Windows Marketplace for Mobile
My registration just came through for the WP7 Marketplace. Took several days and because of some weird system glitch, I had gotten an instantaneous form rejection email when I first submitted and my status was set to “suspended” instead of “pending” or something of the sort. But a quick email confirmed that everything was fine and that if things on my end were still processing along (they were) then just to disregard it and they were sorry for the weird glitch. I’m about half way through my first ......
Posted On Thursday, July 29, 2010 8:14 PM | Comments (0)
Guncraft on Kickstarter - Last Chance this weekend!
Andy Dunn, known far and wide as The Zman (accept no substitutes) has been a strong supporter of the XNA community for many years now (and the Managed DirectX community before that). This coming Sunday at 9:41 pm EDT (UTC + 4) the Kickstarter project for the game, Guncraft, (on which he is the Lead Programmer) comes to a close. They’ve garnered pledges in the amount of $15,375 at the time I’m writing this. The project must meet a funding target of $16,000 by the aforementioned deadline. I think this ......
Posted On Saturday, March 24, 2012 12:51 AM | Comments (0)
DMARC – A new anti-spam effort that looks promising
While doing my usual rounds of reading the news I came across an interesting post in the New York Times Bits blog: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.c... . It seems that most of the big players in the internet mail world (Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, AOL, LinkedIn, PayPal, and more) have been working together in an attempt to formulate a new way of better identifying not-spam (and thereby more easily identifying spam) by using ......
Posted On Monday, January 30, 2012 3:45 PM | Comments (1)
Leveraging MSBuild for Ruthless Productivity
(Warning: This is semi-advanced stuff. It’s not hard, per se, but it involves editing important project files manually, which, if done wrong, can render them useless making it so that your code won’t compile (and may not even load into Visual Studio). So back up everything or (better still) commit it to your source control repository before doing anything so that in case you mess something up, you can easily recover! You have been warned.) I’ve been steadily becoming more familiar with MSBuild over ......
Posted On Tuesday, September 6, 2011 8:26 AM | Comments (0)
Fake Anti Virus Software PSA: Win 7 Internet Security 2011 – Unregistred Version
Just had a stupid fake anti virus software program try to infect my computer. Two scary things about it; first, it tried to present itself as a legitimate operation by Microsoft trying to copy a file while browsing images of a band in Bing using IE9. I got the User Access Control (UAC) prompt (that thing that pops up and grays out the rest of your screen) twice. After telling it no twice, it crashed IE then presented itself not just as the fake anti virus software but also with its own fake “Action ......
Posted On Sunday, May 1, 2011 2:10 AM | Comments (1)
Musings on the Possible Future of Zune (Hardware)
For the past few weeks now there’s been a persistent “Zune is dead!” rumor. There was one a few months ago as well speculating about the name itself. The most recent one focuses on the hardware. It’s been “we have nothing to announce”-ed by Microsoft, which is Microsoft code for… having nothing to announce. As tech companies go, Microsoft doesn’t really go in for the whole rumor mill thing. The merits of that policy is a different discussion. I don’t have any insider knowledge. I don’t know anyone ......
Posted On Friday, March 25, 2011 3:53 PM | Comments (1)
Sprite Padding Using Guides in Gimp
Lately I’ve been doing a lot of drawing. A lot of it has been creating sprite animations for XNA projects. From many years of using it, I work primarily with Gimp. Some aspects of it frustrate me (mostly its awkward window management in Windows), but it suits my purposes well enough and lets me do things that other free solutions don’t. One thing I learned quite some time ago was that when including multiple items in a single texture (i.e a sprite sheet), you want to have some separation between ......
Posted On Thursday, March 24, 2011 3:43 AM | Comments (2)
Quicktips 1: Windows 7 Libraries; New website
I’m working on several large posts right now. So in the interim, I’ve decided to do shorter posts that contain something I find very helpful. This is the first. I’ve been using Windows 7 since April 2010. It’s the first OS I’ve ever worked with that I actually enjoy. I’ve used many over the years (KERNAL; PC DOS; MS-DOS 3.x+; Windows 3.0, 3.11, 95, 98, 98 SE, Me, NT 3.51, NT 4, 2000, XP, Vista, 7; various GNU/Linux distros starting with Debian 1.2 – most recently Ubuntu 10.04; ProDOS, Mac OS 9.X, ......
Posted On Sunday, February 6, 2011 6:14 AM | Comments (0)
My Thoughts On “ChevronWP7”
Today (well, yesterday now) was Thanksgiving here in the U.S. In addition to doing my traditional family things (making and eating a large, Turkey-centered dinner), I found some time to pop on to the computer. To my dismay I saw that the #WP7 hashtag on Twitter was filled with news of a program/project called “ChevronWP7” (which presumably has no connection to the U.S. petroleum products company, Chevron Corp. – which has a market cap of $166 billion dollars and whose trademark lawyers may well decide ......
Posted On Friday, November 26, 2010 5:48 AM | Comments (39)
Miscellany Tips for Working With a WP7 Device for the First Time
I just got my first WP7 (an LG Quantum) about ten hours ago. Since then I’ve explored it, played games on it, registered it as a dev phone, deployed my project that’s nearest to completion and tested that, taken some pictures, transferred some essential albums to it, downloaded some apps and some trials, and setup my twitter account and several email accounts both standard and custom. Between one thing and another, I never had a chance to use an actual phone until now. So I’ve been running on pure ......
Posted On Thursday, November 18, 2010 4:30 AM | Comments (3)
The Reports of XBLIG’s Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated
The release of the recent update to the Xbox 360’s dashboard has caused quite a commotion among the Xbox LIVE Indie Games (“XBLIG”) community. The primary reasons for this have been a negative response to various changes that have occurred in regards to XBLIG’s look and presence on the Xbox. Unfortunately, what was an “Indie Developers Unhappy With Dashboard Changes” story has been slowly corrupted into a “Microsoft Wants To Kill XBLIG” story. I undoubtedly played a part in that with my post here ......
Posted On Sunday, November 7, 2010 10:37 AM | Comments (5)
Ending QuickTime’s Tyrannical Control of IE PNG Display
If you’re like me and still have a significant quantity of music in m4p format that’s preventing you for the time being from dumping iTunes, you are stuck with QuickTime too. This would not be so bad but for the fact that QuickTime is almost virus-like in its control of PNG display in Internet Explorer. Disabling the QuickTime add-on in IE just caused it to ask me to run the QuickTime add-on every time I navigated to a bare PNG file (one not embedded in an HTML file). Going into Control Panel->Default ......
Posted On Saturday, October 23, 2010 8:09 AM | Comments (0)
Comment moderation is now on.
In an attempt to head off idiot spammers, I’ve enabled comment moderation. I also turned on auto-closing of comments on old (60+ days) posts. Legitimate comments will be approved as soon as I get a chance to check for comments. Legitimate comments are those that are related to the post and don’t contain links to irrelevant sites. Linking to your blog/website? Fine. Linking to garbage about perfumes or exotic timeshares? Junked. I reserve the right to junk anything and everything, though I hope I ......
Posted On Thursday, September 16, 2010 9:04 AM | Comments (0)
Update on App Submission - NO FEES! :)
As promised, a new post with the updated info on app submission. The following link is the official policy: In relevant part, Annual registration fee of $99 No limit to the number of paid apps submitted 5 free apps per registration, $19.99 each after that I am sorry if I alarmed anyone (I was alarmed, myself). My other criticisms stand, but I am very glad that the other link ......
Posted On Thursday, August 19, 2010 2:45 AM | Comments (0)
WP7 Questions, Concerns, and Disappointments
Update 2: Excellent news! The $99 per app was wrong. See: Thank you, Fred! Update 1: It's possible that somebody who didn't read closely looked at the old WM 6.X app cert docs, saw the $99 per app fee there, and thought it applied to WP7. I know people who "know people" and are investigating it. I'm very hopeful it's a mistake - see the end of my next post for how someone might ......
Posted On Wednesday, August 18, 2010 2:18 PM | Comments (3) and Xbox LIVE Indie Games: a Great Combination!
One of the toughest things for an Indie game developer is getting exposure. For many Xbox Live Indie Games (“XBLIGs”), the time they spend on the “New Releases” list is critical to their success (or failure). Most games can expect a couple of days to a week before dropping off the end of the list. At that point, if they haven’t jumped up to either the “Top Downloads” or the “Top Rated” list, they will often fall off the radar of many gamers. Recently, though, a very fine gentleman from Germany, Mr. ......
Posted On Saturday, August 14, 2010 2:22 AM | Comments (0)
Bob Taco Industries is an ISV focused on game and app development for Microsoft platforms headed up by Michael B. McLaughlin. Mike is a Microsoft Visual C++ MVP (previously an XNA/DirectX MVP from 2011-2013), a developer, a writer, a consultant, and a retired lawyer. If you're a developer who is just getting started, consider checking out the BTI website's section for developers for links to code samples and other helpful sites.
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