Ladybug for Avalon

This seemed to happen without a lot of fanfare, so I want to make sure it gets some attention: you can now report feedback and bugs on Avalon at the MSDN Product Support Center (also fondly known as Ladybug). There are a few good comments on there already, but I’m sure other issues have been found by many others out there who just haven’t been aware of the best way to report them. We know that our CTP release wasn’t perfect, and we want to hear about the issues/missing features/bugs that are blocking your development!

And for the skeptics: yes, yes, yes, we really do read these comments.

Will Life Ever be Sane Again?

I’ve been thinking about starting to blog a bit about my work (now that our project is actually out in the wild, a few of us have started to do that already).

I work on a project which is code named “Avalon” (one of my favorite things about pre-release projects at Microsoft is the sexy code names), and we are building a powerful new application client platform from the ground up. If you want some more background, the MSDN docs can help get you started, and there seems to be a bit of chatter about us on the web already. :)

I am the Application Model Program Manager for Avalon. A lot of people don’t really know what “Application Model” actually means when they first hear the term, so I’ll spend a little time talking about that, and then show you how to build some cool things in Avalon.

I may start by dissecting a very basic Avalon app and explaining what’s actually happening in our framework. If you have any suggestions for other Avalon-related content you’d like to see here, feel free to post a comment or drop me a line. And if you really want to get a head start before I go into much depth, go download our Community Tech Preview and start playing!


Yourself FitnessAs a belated V-Day gift, Kenny got me the most unique XBox game I’ve seen so far – Yourself Fitness. Yes, I agree, the title is lame, but this game is amazing. It’s essentially a digital personal trainer, effectively replacing every other workout tape anyone would ever need (and for some of these reviewers on Amazon, also eliminating the need for a gym membership). Not bad for $35!

Maya, the digital personal trainer, will tailor a workout for you based on the results of a fitness evaluation, your personal preferences, and feedback you provide when she “checks up on you” during a workout. You can choose what kind of music you want in the background while you work out, and you can choose among settings for your workout (the two provided initially are the “Empress’ Dojo” and an urban gym-like setting; you can also unlock others as you progress).

The one mixed blessing of having a digital personal trainer is that she never gets tired: after my second workout with Maya, I had a hard time walking for almost an entire day.

I Don’t Know Why You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello

Hey kids, welcome to the new blog. Yes, it’s just the WordPress boilerplate for now, but I figured I’d rather have something functional right away, and I’ll make it pretty later (maybe this weekend?)

In case you’re wondering, the old site is toast, due to a hard drive crash (apparently I was supposed to make my own backups?) I have since switched my web hosting provider. I was able to recover my files, but the database is kaput; thanks to Google’s massive cache, I think I have recovered almost all of the old posts, but I haven’t decided what to do with them yet. Some of them may surface here at some point.