I’m pleased to announce that we’re finally launching our Rock, Paper, Azure Challenge! For the past couple of months, I’ve been working with Jim O’Neil and Peter Laudati on a new Azure event/game called Rock, Paper, Azure. The concept is this: you (hopefully) code a “bot” that plays rock, paper, scissors against the other players in the game. Simple, right? Here’s where it gets interesting. Rock, paper, scissors by itself isn’t all that interesting (after all, you can’t really b... [More]
On Thursday, we’re going to go live with our RockPaperAzure coding challenge – and it’s time to brain dump on some of the lessons learned while building out the solution – some small (like this one), some large. When developing the RPA website, I chose to use ASP.NET Webforms and ASP.NET Ajax. The reason for this is simple … I’m a big fan ASP.NET MVC, but for this, given the very short time frame, it was the fastest route to completion. (For those familiar with Aaron’s base project on Git... [More]
While building the back end to host our “Rock, Paper, Scissors in the cloud” game, we faced a situation of where/how to store the log files for the games that are played. In my last post, I explained a bit about the idea; in the game, log files are essential at tuning your bot to play effectively. Just to give a quick example of what the top of a log file might look like: In this match, I (bhitney) was playing a house team (HouseTeam4) … each match is made up of potentially thous... [More]
We’re gearing up for something that I think will be truly exciting – but I’m getting ahead of myself. This is likely going to be a long series of posts, so let me start from the beginning. About a year or so ago, at the Raleigh Code Camp, I stumbled into a coding competition that was run by James Avery and Nate Kohari during a few hours in the middle of the day. The concept was simple: write a program that plays “Rock, Paper, Scissors” – you would take your code, compiled as a DLL, ... [More]
Many years ago, I was a reasonably active person in computer chess and OTB (over-the-board) chess playing, though admittedly I was more interested in the computer science behind chess rather than my own chess playing strength. I owe this resurgence in my interest to my daughter as her interest in the game has grown. I’ve broken out the nice pieces, chess clock, and of course, software! I’ve been searching for casual chess meetups in the Greensboro, NC area, and haven’t had much luck... [More]
There aren’t too many Acer 1420P netbooks out there – this is the one given out at PDC 2009. I was recently having some problems with it and needed to disassemble (to the bone). If you’ve ever disassembled a laptop, you know you pretty much need a service manual to guide you. I love my laptops, but working on them makes me really appreciate the modular ATX design in many desktops.
The problem was finding the service manual – I’m not exactly sure where I ... [More]
Thanks to the folks at Infragistics, there’s a new reporting site for Worldmaps! This Silverlight application not only looks great, but provides many new ways to drill down into the data: One of the cool things you can do is easily compare to sites – the app has tabs that allows you to add multiple sites (unlike the still-existing old dashboard which showed only your neighbors in the leaderboard): What’s even cooler is playing around with the Gapminder stats: A Gapminder chart is idea... [More]
I recently sat down with Peter Laudati, my cloud colleague up in the NY/NJ area, and discussed Worldmaps and the migration to the cloud in Peter’s and Dmitry’s Connected Show podcast . Thanks guys for the opportunity! Connected Show - Episode #40 – Migrating World Maps to Azure A new year, a new episode. This time, the Connected Show hits 40! In this episode, guest Brian Hitney joins Peter to discuss how he migrated the My World Maps application to Window... [More]
Wouldn’t you know it! As soon as we get admin rights in Azure in the form of Startup Tasks and VM Role, the fine folks at Stanford have released a new SMP client that doesn’t require administrative rights. This is great news, but let me provide a little background on the problem and why this is good for our @home project.
In the @home project, we leverage Stanford’s console client in the worker roles that run their Folding@home application. The application, h... [More]
I wanted to make my app experience as open as possible, so now that reporting for Windows Phone 7 app sales is out, I’m going to share my details with the world for those interested in developing for Windows Phone 7. First: device sales, as of this writing, have not been released by Microsoft. I don’t know them, and won’t speculate on what that means. As Joe B pointed out in his interview with Walt recently, it will be a process over time. But, now that reporting fo... [More]