Archive for January 2007
You can read the full ‘announcement’ from Charlie Owen on the Media Center Sandbox Blog (which has some more info on this and both of us)..
If you are currently developing for Vista Media Center (or just thinking about it) – I strongly encourage you to come and join us on Media Center Sandbox – and feel free to browse, ask a few questions or if you’re up to it – help answer some questions. (and on this I should mention there’s also quite a few other guys there doing a great job answering questions)..
It took me a few days to find the best way to use this new environment (what should program should run on which screen) – but now that I’m settled its a major productivity improvement for me. Probably the three biggest gains are the ability to
1) Huge amount of extra space when writing code (I always spent so much time scrolling left/right in the code or markup editors in VS2005).
2) Ability to work on graphics in native 1366×768 / 100% zoom (in the past I always had to zoom to 66% to fit it on screen which never looked the same)
3) the ability to run Media Center in Fullscreen/Widescreen mode. However - the res of the Monitor is actually 16:10 – so this screws things up quite a bit in fullscreen mode (and in MCML you lose horizontal space in this aspect ratio) – but is fine in Windowed mode (which is what I use mostly anyhow as I like to modify/update the MCML while I look at the running addin). The positive bit on this is that I now know to also optimize for this Aspect ratio for other users in the same boat (with lcd widescreens or widescreen laptops).
Ok now that I’m right into 3 monitors – I started to think about a 4th screen. (I actually have more CRT monitors here and another spare DVI/VGA port). However I think I will wait until some widescreen tv’s come down in price – as I’d like to stack this vertically above my middle monitor (and use for MediaCenter fullscreen testing while I code in the screen underneath).
Here’s my ‘non-artists impression’ of how I’d set this up (and would need to mount it on the wall behind with a bracket).
Hopefully there’s no ‘health’ side effects of running so many screens (like some weird sort of radiation we don’t know about yet) – luckily none of my hair (or my retinas) are singed – and no neck strain injuries have occured (well not yet at least)…
I think I’m starting to really become a big fan of the MCPL architecture now – and am finding it’s been the easiest to work with out of all of the above – and I’m still undecided on whether having Visual Markup Designers (like Blend) actually improves or degrades your productivity. (and I noticed for WPF – I still am predominently jumping into the VS2005 raw XAML editor rather then using the visual designer – when both could have been used).