Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Visual Studio Online RESTs, crosses the Pond and gets Hooked...

Visual Studio - European Datacenter & REST 1.0

European Datacenter

By popular demand, with today’s update, you can now create VS Online accounts in the Azure “West Europe” region, based in the Netherlands. You can get started by going to http://visualstudio.com and creating a new account. The account creation page will auto detect the data center that’s nearest to you, or you can click the “change options” link to override the choice

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...

Visual Studio Online REST API version 1.0 is here

In May, we announced the public preview of a new set of REST APIs for Visual Studio Online. Today, we are happy to announce that these APIs have graduated to 1.0 release status. This marks an important milestone in our journey to support easier integration between Visual Studio Online and other services, including your own custom tools and services.

The 1.0 designation means we have locked these APIs from any breaking changes going forward. As a developer, this means you can bind your app to the 1.0 API version and sleep well at night knowing future Visual Studio Online deployments won’t break your app.

Although the 1.0 set is locked from a breaking change standpoint, it is not locked from a feature standpoint. New APIs can be added to the 1.0 set and nonbreaking enhancements may even be introduced to APIs already released. A few existing preview APIs (like Git Pull Requests) remain in preview today, but will eventually graduate into the 1.0 set (this is mainly due to significant changes coming soon).

To learn more about how to use the APIs, check out Get started with the REST APIs.

To explore the available APIs, see the Visual Studio Online REST API Reference.

Developers with existing apps using the 1.0 preview APIs: you should start migrating to the release 1.0 APIs as soon as possible.

...

Service hooks is out of preview

I am also happy to announce that the service hooks features is out of preview and is a fully supported feature of Visual Studio Online. Service hooks let your app or service get notified instantly when an event happens in Visual Studio Online. With service hooks your app or service can avoid continuously polling to check for changes, such as completed builds, commits or check-ins, or work item changes.

Visual Studio Online supports 14 services out of the box, including ...

Not to be lost in the TechEd Europe news stream, VSO has rolled out two important updates, the REST API v1 and Service Hooks. I love me my official API's! :)

High Five to 5! HTML5 is Done (and what a ride it's been...)

MS Open Tech - W3C Charts a Course for the Future of the Open Web by Finalizing HTML5 Standard

Imagining what the Web might (not) have become without standards, and you will understand why we all must support an open web platform for the future.

Today marks a significant milestone for a great many of my colleagues around the world with whom I have had the privilege of working within the W3C HTML Working Group. Several of us have taken on new roles and responsibilities, changed companies, launched new businesses, or become parents – or in my case, a grandparent - since I joined the W3C HTML Working Group as a co-chair in 2009. Yet we continued to work as a community to produce the W3C Recommendation announced today for the HTML 5.0 open standard.

As a Co-Chair of the W3C HTML Working Group, I have seen firsthand the remarkable commitment that people and organizations from all over the world have contributed to this effort. It has been an open and intensely collaborative process, encompassing a great many passionate and brilliant minds.

Although many of the HTML5 features standardized today were sketched out several years ago, it took a lot of hard work to get the details right. Since 2007, the Working Group has resolved more than 4,000 errors, ambiguities, and controversies recorded in the WG bug lists. The email archive at http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/ shows that it took over 45,000 messages since March 2007 to get the job done!

...

html5Doctor - The ride to 5

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In recent weeks I contacted around 40 people, a cross section of those who have banged away at, or banged on about, HTML5. I asked them for their perspectives on HTML5 becoming a W3C Recommendation. Below are the words of the 28 people who responded, pretty much in the order they hit my inbox:

image..."

IEBlog - Celebrating HTML5 Recommendation with the W3C

Today, while several Internet Explorer team members are at W3C TPAC 2014, the IE team is happy to join Microsoft Open Technologies, other browser vendors, and the web community at large in celebrating the HTML5 specification reaching W3C Recommendation.

This milestone represents many years of commitment from people and organizations around the world to produce and stabilize the next generation of the W3C Open Web Platform. The IE team believes that the standards process is vital to creating an interoperable Web and ensuring that the web just works for everyone.

We’d also like to congratulate the W3C on its 20th anniversary and ...

HTML Guy or not, you have to admit it has changed the way we interact with the web and the world. HTML5 is when we, the internet industry, players and consumers finally grew up a little. The web world is far from perfect, but compared to the past, it's night and day...

SharpDevelop 5.0 is Final as in Final, but "... not the final version of SharpDevelop"

SharpDevelop - SharpDevelop 5.0 Final

After five Betas and one RC we are finally hitting release for SharpDevelop 5.0. Here is a recap of some of the most important features and changes from the various development stages (in short):

Item #1 in this list definitely begs the question "What about VB.NET?" I'd like to extend this question to "What's in the future of SharpDevelop?"

We have componentized SharpDevelop intentionally for what is coming now - the as-of-today core team moving to specific areas of our ecosystem. Think ILSpy. Think AvalonEdit. Yes, this means that the IDE iself is going to take a back seat. There are a couple of reasons for this decision...

...

Long story short - SharpDevelop is far from "done" (we'd never claim that), but we (the current core team) are realigning our efforts for visibility in the near term. This does not mean SharpDevelop is on "life support" or "dead". It means that bug fixing, small improvements and minor features have priority. Big shiny new things are up to contributions which we are more than happy to accept and help with, simply ping us on the developer mailing list to get started.

Like the post title says: 5.0 final, and not the final version of SharpDevelop. ...

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I've only been watching this project for a decade and they are only on v5? (cough.... slow pokes... cough)? Just Kidding! These guys rock, with not only an awesome IDE (that's free and OSS), but in all other projects under their belt, like Avalon, ILSpy, etc. And their call out to the community for contributions is very valid. If there's a missing feature, "Don't whine, do..." :)

 

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SharpDevelop 5 goes MIT and Beta 1 too!
SharpDevelop gets T4 support
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SharpDevelop (aka #develop) 3.0 RTM’s
SharpDevelop for Applications (SDA)
Web Development with SharpDevelop, Web Matrix, and DBGCLR
SourceForge.net: #develop 1.0.2a stopgap release
SourceForge.net: #develop 1.0.2 available for download
SharpDevelop 1.0 Released

Monday, October 27, 2014

".NET Serializers Comparison Chart" - Six Serializers compared

manski's blog - .NET Serializers Comparison Chart

There are many object serializers in C#/.NET but their details are often not so obvious, for example:

  • Does my class need a parameterless constructor?
  • Can I serialize private fields?
  • Can I serialize readonly fields?

So, I’ve compiled a comparison chart in this article that will compare the various serializers and their capabilities.

Table of Contents

...

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Great post comparing native and one of the bellwether third party components. Great write-up, presentation and content.

"AMBITION" - One of the coolest space mission "communication" short films of the year

blastr - The full version of that mysterious sci-fi short, Ambition, is finally live

Remember that extremely cool sci-fi project we told you about a while back, starring Game of Thrones’ Aidan Gillen? Well the whole thing has arrived — and here’s what it’s all about.

Though it seemed like the Ambition project might be the set up to a feature film, we guessed it was probably a digital short film. Turns out, we were right. But, what we didn’t know was what the film was created to promote: The European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission, which plans to be the first-ever man-made device to land on a comet.

...

AMBITION - The Film

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www.esa.int/rosetta
www.ambitionfilm.com
Tomek Bagiński’s AMBITION, starring Aidan Gillen (GAME OF THRONES) and Aisling Franciosi (THE FALL), plays a key part in supporting the European Space Agency (ESA)’s Rosetta mission (www.esa.int/rosetta).

The short film tells the story of one of the most important space exploration endeavours of this decade. Just as Gillen’s enigmatic Master encourages Franciosi’s Apprentice to seek out the key to life amidst a rugged alien landscape, ESA has been on a decade-long ambitious journey of its own, to unlock the mysteries of a comet and the origins of our Solar System with its Rosetta spacecraft, hundreds of millions of kilometres from Earth.

AMBITION complements the ongoing communication about Rosetta and adds a “human dimension” to the scientific and technological achievements of the mission, which include curiosity, drive and ambition.

In a word, "Holly crap, that's awesome!"

TFS Cheat Sheet every TFS power user will want - "TFS Command-line Cheat Sheet"

TFS Command-line Cheat Sheet

Project Description
This project provide a Cheat Sheet listing for all Team Foundation Server Built-in and Third tools Command-line.

Built-in

  • Tf utility
  • Tfs Build
  • Tfs Security
  • Tfs and Project Server
  • Tfs Delete Project
  • Tcm (Microsoft Test Manager)
  • Tfs Config
  • Tfs Lab Config
  • Tfs Service Control
  • Tfs Field Mapping
  • WitAdmin

Third tools command-line

  • TFS Power tools
  • WiqAdmin
  • TfsClean
  • TfsCreateBuild
  • TfsExport
  • TfsMoveDescription
  • TfsReg

imageimage

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How cool is that!

One James McCaffrey, Two Succinctly's - "Machine Learning Using C# Succinctly" & "Neural Networks Using C# Succinctly" (& 50 free eBooks)

Machine Learning Using C# Succinctly

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In Machine Learning Using C# Succinctly, you’ll learn several different approaches to applying machine learning to data analysis and prediction problems. Author James McCaffrey demonstrates different clustering and classification techniques, and explains the many decisions that must be made during development that determine how effective these techniques can be. McCaffrey provides thorough examples of applying k-means clustering to group strictly numerical data, calculating category utility to cluster both qualitative and quantitative information, and even using neural network classification to predict the output of previously unseen data.

Table of Contents
  1. k-Means Clustering
  2. Categorical Data Clustering
  3. Logistic Regression Classification
  4. Naïve Bayes Classification
  5. Neural Network Classification

Neural Networks Using C# Succinctly

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Neural networks are an exciting field of software development used to calculate outputs from input data. While the idea seems simple enough, the implications of such networks are staggering—think optical character recognition, speech recognition, and regression analysis. With Neural Networks Using C# Succinctly by James McCaffrey, you'll learn how to create your own neural network to solve classification problems, or problems where the outcomes can only be one of several values. Learn about encoding and normalizing data, activation functions and how to choose the right one, and ultimately how to train a neural network to find weights and bias values that provide accurate predictions. Download the book today!

Table of Contents
  1. Neural Networks
  2. Perceptrons
  3. Feed-Forward
  4. Back-Propagation
  5. Training

Two pretty deep drives for you today. Also an interesting milestone, Machine Learning Using C# Succinctly is Syncfusion's 50th free ebook!

 

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Succinctly eBook of the Day: "Twitter Bootstrap Succinctly" [Reg-ware]
Need some help up the WPF learning curve? "WPF Succinctly" from Syncfusion is now available (and free :)
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Getting sharp with F# with the free "F# Succinctly" eBook [reg-ware]
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"JavaScript Succinctly" - Another free (reg-ware) eBook from Syncfusion
Get into sync with HTTP with the new free (reg-ware) Syncfusion Succinctly eBook, "HTTP Succinctly"
Spelunk the technical details of the PDF format with "PDF Succinctly" from Syncfusion (Free/reg-ware PDF/Mobi ebook)
"Git Succinctly" Free/reg-ware PDF/Mobi ebook)
jQuery Succinctly - Free eBook (reg-ware, PDF and/or Mobi)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Live Tiles live another day... 52 Patent clams ruled invalid in Microsoft's favor

WindowsITPro - Microsoft Wins Suit to Keep Live Tiles

In 2012, a company called SurfCast filed a suit against Microsoft that issued 52 different claims of patent infringement (U.S. Patent Numbers 6,724,403 and 7,933,632). The company claimed that it owned patents on a "computer display that organizes content from a variety of sources into a grid of tiles that is constantly updated." In Microsoft's circumstance, this is what we've all come to know as "Live Tiles" in both Windows 8.x and Windows Phone.

The case settled on October 15th, with the New York Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruling that all 52 of the suit's claims are invalid, handing SurfCast a resounding defeat and allowing Microsoft to retain and develop its Live Tile functionality.

...

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Law360 - Microsoft Gets SurfCast Display Patent Nixed In AIA Review [Paywalled]

Law360, New York (October 15, 2014, 2:48 PM ET) -- The Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruled Tuesday that a SurfCast Inc. graphical user interface patent is invalid, in a win for Microsoft Corp., whose Windows 8 and Windows Phone 7 operating systems are accused of infringing the patent.

All 52 claims of SurfCast's patent,...

Love them, or hate them, looks like they live another day. Personally I love them, but hey, that's just me... :)

About the OpenXML SDK... Episode 020 of the Office 365 Developer Podcast

O365 Dev Podcast - Office 365 Developer Podcast: Episode 020 about Open XML SDK

In episode 20, Jeremy Thake chats to Doug Mahugh, Eric White and Chris Rae about the Open XML SDK.

...

Show Notes

...

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I've blogged about OpenXML enough (as you can see below) to think it was pretty cool to see the podcast post (does that make me weird? Na.... there's a bunch ELSE that makes me weird... lol :)

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Did you know you could update/contribute to some (OpenXML for now) MSDN Doc's via a GitHub repo?
Using the OpenXML SDK Productivity Tool to "decompile" Office documents (Turn *X files into the C# OpenXML SDK code that would generate them)

Open Sesame - Open XML SDK is now open source

Using OpenXML to load an Excel Worksheet into a DataTable (or just how different OpenXML is from the old Excel API we're used too)

Using OpenXML SDK to generate Word documents via templates (and without Word being installed)
Checking for Microsoft Word DocX/DocM Revisions/Track Changes without using Word... (via OpenXML SDK, LINQ to XML or XML DOM)
LINQ to XlsX... Using VB.Net, LINQ, the OpenXML SDK and a little C# helper, to query an Excel XlsX
Using native OpenXML to create an XlsX (Which provides an example of why I highlight tools that make OpenXML easier...)
Generating Xlsx's on the Server? You're using OpenXML, right? With help from the PowerTools for OpenXML?

Official boat-load, as in supertanker, sized OpenXML content list (Insert "One OpenXML content list to rule them all" here)
So how do I get from here to OpenXML? Got a map for you, an Open XML SDK Blog Map…
Where to go to scratch your OpenXML dev info itch…
"Open XML Explained" Free eBook (PDF)
The Noob's Guide to Open XML Dev (If you know how to spell OpenXML but that's about it, this is your Getting Started guide...)

Reusing the PowerShell PowerTools for Open XML in your C# or VB.Net world
PowerShell, OpenXML, WMI and the PowerTools for OpenXML = Doc generation for our inner geek
Because it’s a PowerShell kind of day… PowerTools for Open XML V1.1 Released
OpenXML PowerTools updated – Cell your Excel via PowerShell
Powering into OpenXML with PowerShell

Open XML SDK 2.0 for Microsoft Office Released – Automate Office documents without Office

Open XML 2.0 Code Snippets for VS2010 (and VS2008 too)
Open XML Format SDK 2.0 Code Snippets for Visual Studio 2008 – 52 C#/VB Code Snippets to help ease your Open XML coding
Open XML File Format Code Snippets for Visual Studio 2005 (Office 2007 NOT required)

Open XML SDK v1 Released

OpenXML Viewer 1.0 Released – Open source DocX to HTML conversion, with IE, Firefox and Opera (and/or command line) support

Connect(); Build, Ignite- It's Conference Announcement Time!

Somasegar’s blog - Chance to Connect(); on What’s Coming Next, November 12th and 13th

On November 12th, we'll be hosting an online developer event called Connect();Connect(); will be a chance to have a conversation with developers about what’s coming next for developer tools, developer services and application platforms across Microsoft. Check out the Connect(); event page for the agenda and other details.

Connect(); builds upon where we’ve been, and the work we’ve been doing over the last year.  As we prepare for next month’s event, I thought I would share a recap of some of the highlights from the last year.

Where We’ve Been

A year ago, we launched Visual Studio 2013 and announced the availability of Visual Studio Online.  Developers have been adopting both at a great rate with over 7 million downloads of VS2013 and over 1.7 million registered accounts in Visual Studio Online so far. 

Following through on our commitment to a faster release cadence....

Mobile

Mobile developers today face a diverse device landscape, with Android, iOS and Windows device platforms, and a variety of device form factors.  With Visual Studio, we have been working to enable developers to target every mobile platform, sharing as much code and assets as possible.  With C# and Xamarin or JavaScript and the Cordova tools for Visual Studio (preview), ...

Cloud

The cloud offers incredible flexibility and new approaches to application architectures and development practices.  Over the last year, we’ve broadened the Azure platform for all developers, with support for Windows and Linux, Chef and Puppet, SharePoint and Oracle, Java and PHP, and much more.  We’ve also talked about the next steps we are taking with .NET, including the open source ASP.NET vNext  and .NET Compiler Platform (“Roslyn”) projects, as well as the .NET Foundation.  ...

DevOps

Across every part of the software development industry, the one constant is the changing pace of application delivery.  With Visual Studio Online, we are bringing together a comprehensive suite of devops services to help developers embrace the agile and dev/ops trends, from...

What’s Next

Next month at Connect(); we’ll have a chance to talk about the next wave of innovation and releases across all of these areas.  The event will include updates from Scott Guthrie, Brian Harry, Scott Hanselman and myself, as well as deep dives by product team members on a broad array of new Microsoft developer tools and services. ...

BUILD 2015

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The Official Microsoft Blog - Introducing Microsoft Ignite and our lineup of top conferences in 2015

Last July, we put the word out that Microsoft will host a unified enterprise technology conference in May. We told you it will bring together the best of previously individual events – the Management Summit, the Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Project, and TechEd conferences – and then take it to the next level, based on what our customers and partners have asked for. Now, we have more to share.

Microsoft Ignite is May 4-8 in Chicago at McCormick Place. Satya Nadella will keynote and will be joined by technical and business leaders including Brad Anderson, Joe Belfiore, Dave Campbell, Peggy Johnson, Chris Jones, Julie Larson Green, Gurdeep Singh Pall and many others.

Ignite rounds out our schedule of key events for professional communities in the first half of 2015. We start with...

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So it's Build 2015 4/29-5/1 then Ignite (fka TechEd+ a bunch of other conferences rolled into one), 5/4-5/8, i.e. back-to-back.

I'm thinking then that besides a bunch of very tired Microsoft employees, that most of the big reveals will be at BUILD. Win10 RTM? VS "14" Release? Xamarin/Unity purchase (hold over from last year, but a boy can dream... :). So announcements at BUILD but actual bit release the following week at Ignite? That way they keep the news cycle for two weeks? Hummmmm... (Remember this is a TOTAL WAG)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

No, you've not been infected... That new Bing Search on the IE11 New Tab page is "Official" - "Update to increase prominence of Web suggestions in Internet Explorer 11"

There I was, looking at my Win 8.1 IE New Tab page and there's this bing search bar there... What? When did that happen? Crud, is this maybe malware/injection-ware/something-bad-ware?

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Nope. It was Update-Tuesday-ware...

Update to increase prominence of Web suggestions in Internet Explorer 11

Increasingly, users search the web through the Internet Explorer address bar. To keep up with this growing need, this update increases prominence of web suggestions in Internet Explorer 11 so that you can easily select an appropriate web search suggestion. The changes include the following:

  • History and Favorites group headers are not displayed in the suggestions list of the address bar. This lets more suggestions display in the same vertical space.
  • For certain queries, there may only be several web suggestions. However, for other more ambiguous queries, more web suggestions may have to be displayed to capture your intent. With this update, the search engine can control how many web suggestions are appropriate for the typed query so that you receive the appropriate number of relevant suggestions.
  • Domain suggestions for sites that you never visited before are not displayed (for example, if you type "m" and you had never visited "mapquest.com", it will not be displayed). These domain suggestions did not receive many clicks from you and yet you use valuable real estate. Instead, more relevant suggestions are displayed.

Besides looking a little "google" like, and having a somewhat weird placement (all that gray around it is funky), I wish something like this had been announced, noted, mentioned on the IE blog. I know this isn't a big thing, but with all the malware/hacking/crud going on, you know? And with all the Windows Updates, who can go through each one to look at the KB article, etc.

 

(via Microsoft Updates Internet Explorer 11, Now Includes Bing Search Bar In The New Tab Page)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Want to help drive .NET forward? Here's your call to action and comment...

http://tirania.org/blog/ - .NET Foundation: Forums and Advisory Council

Today, I want to share some news from the .NET Foundation.

Forums: We are launching the official .NET Foundation forums to engage with the larger .NET community and to start the flow of ideas on the future of .NET, the community of users of .NET, and the community of contributors to the .NET ecosystem.

Please join us at forums.dotnetfoundation.org. We are using the powerful Discourse platform. Come join us!

Advisory Council: We want to make the .NET Foundation open and transparent. To achieve that goal, we decided to create an advisory council. But we need your help in shaping the advisory council: its role, its reach, its obligations and its influence on the foundation itself.

To bootstrap the discussion, we have a baseline proposal that was contributed by Shaun Walker. We want to invite the larger .NET community to a conversation about this proposal and help us shape the advisory council.

...

.NET Foundation - .NET Foundation Advisory Council Call for Public Comment

Friends in the .NET community,

When the .NET Foundation was created, there was an important principle that the foundation and its work be transparent, open, and community driven. In order to ensure that the foundation delivers on this primary objective, the board of the .Net Foundation asked Shaun Walker, who has a long history leading and contributing to .Net open source projects, to develop an initial proposal for a community based advisory council to help guide the governance of the .NET Foundation. That proposal is now available for community comment.

There are many reasons we feel that an advisory council is needed. Our goal is to ensure that the foundations operation and governance is both efficient and effective when viewed from a community building perspective. Some of the practical reasons for the creation of the council are:

  • Providing a clear communication channel between the community and the board on the foundations community building activities. To provide a channel for community stakeholders to provide feedback and guidance on the foundations value proposition, governance model, and other important foundation level decisions.
  • Provide a set of known, high profile individuals who can advocate for and evangelize the benefits and services provided by the .Net foundation and evangelize the foundation’s mission.
  • Establishes a group of individuals, experienced in open source community cultivation and project governance, who can provide stewardship, education and leadership to open source .NET projects of all size, popularity, and stature.
  • To augment the capacity of the board, and distribute work of the foundation across more community members to increase the governance bandwidth of the foundation.

The proposal outlines the rationale for the advisory council, along with ...

What is the .NET Foundation?

We foster open development, collaboration and community engagement on the .NET platform. The .NET Foundation is the steward of a growing collection of open source technologies for.NET, Microsoft’s comprehensive development framework. The .NET Foundation includes popular open source .NET projects such as the .NET Compiler Platform (“Roslyn”), ASP.NET MVC, Xamarin's Mimekit and Mailkit, and many others.

Background

Announced at the Build 2014 conference, the .NET Foundation was created as an independent forum to foster open development and collaboration around the growing collection of open source technologies for .NET....

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Think of it as where ASP.NET vNext lives... (So yeah, it's kind of a big deal)  Visual Studio "14" CTP 2 is now available. There's many more CTP's coming, ALL CAPS are not, no TFS "14" CTP's, don't side-by-side this CTP and more...

That's Onetastic Documentation! Onetastic Macro Language doc's are now available...

Onetastic for Microsoft OneNote - Documentation for Macro Language is Now Available

Macros allow extending OneNote's functionality in a way that was never possible before. Macroland is full of ready to download macros. Many users developed their own macros and published them there. Developing macros may be a daunting task especially since the Macro language wasn't documented at all, except for a few tutorials in this blog.

Today extensive documentation is available for the Onetastic Macro Language here. You can find the link "DOCUMENTATION" above as well. The documentation has following sections:

  • Getting Started: An introduction to Macros and the Macro Language
  • Commands: List of Macro commands and detailed explanation of their syntax, possible values and allowed child commands
  • Concepts: Basic concepts of the Macro Language like Objects, Properties, Variables and Functions
  • Tutorial: Updated tutorial on how to build Macros
  • Hierarchy and Page Objects:  Detailed documentation on all objects supported in Macros and their hierarchical structure as well as list of properties.

If you haven't tried building macros before or tried but got stuck due to limited information available, you can give it another try by reading the tutorial and checking out all the reference information.

image..."

This is one of the must have OneNote Extensions, with a great and growing list of macro's, but like said, figuring out how to write them was "fun." Now, we can RTFM. Woot!

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Onetastic way to crop images in OneNote...

Hey, it's everyone's favorite topic! Licensing VS and MSDN... :|

Microsoft Downloads - Visual Studio and MSDN Licensing White Paper

Version:  1.0

File Name:

Visual Studio 2013 and MSDN Licensing Whitepaper - October-2014.docx

Visual Studio 2013 and MSDN Licensing Whitepaper - October-2014.pdf

Date Published:  10/8/2014

This white paper provides an overview of the Visual Studio product line and the licensing requirements for those products in common deployment scenarios. For a definitive guide to licensing terms and conditions for products licensed through Microsoft Volume Licensing, see the Microsoft Licensing Product Use Rights (PUR) document and applicable licensing agreements. For retail customers the license terms are specified in the End User Licensing Agreement (EULA) included with your product or with your MSDN subscription.

Okay, so we all pretty much try to ignore this and hope it goes away, every so often this comes up, so it's good to have the latest version of this available (or at least the link to it ;)

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It's only 36 pages, so stop your whining (Greg, yes, I'm looking at your reflection in the notebook...)

 

Related Past Post XRef:

Visual Studio 2013 and MSDN Licensing Whitepaper
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MVMC v3 gets P2V (Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter gets Physical to Virtual feature)

System Center: Virtual Machine Manager Engineering Blog - Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 3.0 is now available for download

Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC) is a Microsoft-supported, stand-alone solution for the IT pro or solution provider who wants to convert virtual machines and disks from VMware hosts to Hyper-V hosts and Windows Azure or alternatively convert a physical computer running Windows Server 2008 or above server operating systems or Windows Vista or above client operating systems to a virtual machine running on Hyper-V host.

MVMC can be deployed with minimal dependencies. Because MVMC provides native support for Windows PowerShell, it enables scripting and integration with data center automation workflows such as those authored and run within Microsoft System Center 2012 Orchestrator R2. It can also be invoked through the Windows PowerShell command-line interface. The solution is simple to download, install, and use. In addition to the Windows PowerShell capability, MVMC provides a wizard-driven GUI to facilitate virtual machine conversion.

New Features in MVMC 3.0

The 3.0 release of MVMC adds the ability to convert a physical computer running Windows Server 2008 or above server operating systems or Windows Vista or above client operating systems to a virtual machine running on Hyper-V host.

Standard Features

...

For complete, up-to-date information as well as a download link, please see the following:

Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 3.0 - http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42497

The MVMC has moved pretty quickly since I blogged about it going v1 two years ago. The new P2V feature alone is worth the price. Oh wait, this is free... :)

 

Related Past Post XRef:
MVMC RTW's (Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter Solution Accelerator is now available)
Have VMware images? Want to convert them to Hyper-V? Microsoft now has a beta conversation tool for you... MVMC

“Manually Performing [Windows] P2V Migration for Software Assurance” (mostly… but the tools, like Disk2VHD.exe and Virtual PC, and methods are free and available to most…)
"How to convert a physical computer to a virtual machine" with NTBackup
System Center Virtual Machine Manager Background and Installation
Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (MSCVMM) 2007 Trial Available via VHD
Tips for migrating a physical computer to a virtual machine (part 4)
Virtual Server Migration Toolkit (VSMT) Guidelines
Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 Migration Toolkit Beta
How To Sysprep a Virtual PC Image

Thursday, October 09, 2014

MVVM Light V5 for Windows, Xamarin and * (pretty much everywhere you'd want to .NET MVVM)

Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft) - Announcing MVVM Light V5 for Windows and Xamarin

Here at the Xamarin Evolve conference in Atlanta, I just announced the immediate availability of MVVM Light V5. This version runs on the following platforms:

  • Windows Presentation Foundation (3.5, 4, 4.5, 4.5.1)
  • Silverlight (4 and 5)
  • Windows Phone (7.1, 8, 8.1 Silverlight, 8.1 RT)
  • Windows Store (8, 8.1)
  • Xamarin Android
  • Xamarin iOS
  • Xamarin Forms

What’s new?

There are three major changes in this version: Xamarin Support, NavigationService and DialogService, and Portable Class Library support.

...

Visual Studio Gallery - MVVM Light (VS2013)

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The MVVM Light Toolkit is a set of components helping people to get started in the Model - View - ViewModel pattern in Windows 8, Silverlight, WPF, Windows Phone, Xamarin Android and Xamarin iOS. It is a light and pragmatic framework that contains only the essential components needed. It includes classes such as RelayCommand, Messenger, ViewModelBase and ObservableObject, SimpleIoc and more.

MVVM Light Toolkit (http://www.mvvmlight.net/)

Jump to: Intro / Documentation / Installation and Creation / Source and Codeplex / Support / Donate / Credits / Praises

...

Introduction

The main purpose of the toolkit is to accelerate the creation and development of MVVM applications in WPF, Silverlight, Windows Store (RT) and for Windows Phone.

The MVVM Light Toolkit helps you to separate your View from your Model which creates applications that are cleaner and easier to maintain and extend. It also creates testable applications and allows you to have a much thinner user interface layer (which is more difficult to test automatically).

This toolkit puts a special emphasis on the "blendability" of the created application (i.e. the ability to open and edit the user interface into Blend), including the creation of design-time data to enable the Blend users to "see something" when they work with data controls.

...

My current workday MVVM framework of choice is Caliburn.Micro, but I keep seeing more and more projects using MVVM Light, to the point where I think I'm going to have to check it out... That and it's hard to beat how portable it is. :)

"The ALM Rangers with Willy-Peter"

I've already tweeted about today's recording and posting of this RadioTFS session, yet it's easy to miss a tweet. While all of our shows are good (well we try at least) and all are fun to be part of, this one just seemed to come together and record smooth as silk. Everything really just clicked.

RadioTFS - 82 // The ALM Rangers with Willy-Peter

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In this show special guest Willy-Peter Schaub joins us to talk about the ALM Rangers as well as helping us round up this weeks news and information.

Willy-Peter Schaub is a Senior Program Manager with the Visual Studio ALM Rangers at the Microsoft Canada Development Center. Since the mid-1980s, he’s been striving for simplicity and maintainability in software engineering. His blog is at blogs.msdn.com/b/willy-peter_schaub, and you can also find him on Twitter @wpschaub.

Paul also joined us in between Code Camps. If you want to catch him in person then he’ll be at the following events over the coming weeks:

...

node.js as a desktop app runtime, to build "desktop" apps with it? node-webkit...

[DebuggerStepThrough] - Desktop applications with nodejs! ...as if winforms and wpf aren't dead already!

I used to disfavor javascript over other languages because it wasn't type-safe, it was hard to refactor, hard to write tests, find usages in the code, ...and the list goes on...

The past few years though, some amazing things have happened in the world that now make javascript an amazing language!

...

And my personal favorite - NodeJS! This tool is amazing! It can do so many things from being a fully functional and scalable backend server to a framework for writing desktop applications.

While looking into the code of PopcornTime I realized it was written in nodejs, with a framework called node-webkit. ...

...

The steps taken to create a simple desktop application with node-webkit are super-simple! (and easier than building a desktop application with any other language i've tried!)

...

Start building your application just like you would a website. You can use the browser just like you're used to, to see your work.

When you want to start accessing node modules, you'll need to start running it with node-webkit.

In order to do this, just run the node-webkit executable from the command line with your main html file as a parameter.

C:\Utilities\node-webkit\nw.exe index.html

...

rogerwang/node-webkit

Call all Node.js modules directly from DOM and enable a new way of writing applications with all Web technologies

Introduction

node-webkit is an app runtime based on Chromium and node.js. You can write native apps in HTML and JavaScript with node-webkit. It also lets you call Node.js modules directly from the DOM and enables a new way of writing native applications with all Web technologies.

It's created and developed in the Intel Open Source Technology Center.

Introduction to node-webkit (slides)
Creating Desktop Applications With node-webkit
WebApp to DesktopApp with node-webkit (slides)
Essay on the history and internals of the project

Features

  • Apps written in modern HTML5, CSS3, JS and WebGL.
  • Complete support for Node.js APIs and all its third party modules.
  • Good performance: Node and WebKit runs in the same thread: Function calls are made straightforward; objects are in the same heap and can just reference each other;
  • Easy to package and distribute apps.
  • Available on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows

...

I'm not jumping out of my WPF world for this, nor do I see it taking on the future of Universal App's, but I still think this is a pretty cool project and idea. Security scares me a little, but hey, it always scares me a little... lol

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Explorer Azure Media Services with the new Azure Media Services Explorer Tool (with source too)

Azure BlogAnnouncements - Media Services - Managing Media Workflows with the new Azure Media Services Explorer Tool

Several months ago, a broadcaster asked me to provide a tool with a User Interface to upload, encode and manage assets with Azure Media Services. They wanted to easily, and without code, test our cloud encoding and streaming services before asking their developers to do the integration with their current system. The Azure Media Services management portal provides some of the features but has some limitations too (asset upload is limited, no possibility to call all the processors or to see detailed information on entities, not all API features are exposed, etc.).

For a few months, the tool has been trialed by several customers and based on their feedback it is time to release it widely.

So, I am pleased to announce the new Azure Media Services Explorer tool!

It’s a Windows Forms tool based on the Azure Media SDKs that can be used by non-developers to test media workflows, monitor activities on their Azure Media Services accounts, or do just about anything that the full API allows you to do today without writing a line of code.

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You can find the installation package on http://aka.ms/amse.

We are also pleased to announce that the full source code for this tool is published to GitHub as well to help you better learn our APIs and integrate features into your own applications.

This sample tool will continue to evolve in the coming weeks and months. Check for updates! And please provide your feedback and suggestions to amse@microsoft.com.

Summary of features

Asset upload/download/management

  • Asset upload from files, folder, in batch mode, with a watch folder
  • Asset import from Azure Storage or from any http source
  • Asset download to local, and export to Azure Storage
  • Asset files management (upload or delete) within an existing asset
  • Duplicate/merge assets

Process assets

  • Encode with Azure Media Encoder (standard and custom presets, video stitching, audio or video overlay, etc)
  • Extract keywords and TTML caption files with Media Indexer
  • Encrypt with static packagers: PlayReady encryptor, MP4 to Smooth, Smooth to HLS, storage decryptor, multi MP4 validator
  • Generate thumbnails for your existing assets
  • Call any Media Processor generically
  • Manage jobs (progress, priority…)
  • List all available processors in your account

Live streaming

  • Enable live channels and programs (creation, start, stop, delete, reset)
  • Live preview playback, program playback

Publish assets

  • Dynamic encryption setup (AES, Common Encryption) and key/license delivery service
  • SAS and streaming locators creation/deletion
  • Playback assets with web based players (Silverlight, Flash, HTML5/Dash)
  • Manage streaming endpoints management (creation, deletion, settings)

Display and reporting

  • Display detailed information on assets (locators, protection), jobs (tasks), live channels, programs, streaming endpoints
  • Send email report for jobs and assets
  • Links to players and online documentation, and offline help file for Media Services

Note: you can select multiple assets, jobs, channels or programs for some features.

A first example..."

Two things I really dig about this (okay, three). The tool itself, making it easy easy to play with Azure Media Services. That it's based on the public API that we can all use to create our own like tools and that the source for this tool is available too. I've been interested in Media Services, wondering if it would let a little guy, a one man op, create my own cloud based studio and broadcasting solution. So instead of all the work and infrastructure required for sites like  Channel 9 or twit.tv, that it would lower the bar? I don't think it's there yet, but it sure is getting closer.

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Wrapping your head about Azure, one infographic at a time... Windows Azure Infographics

Some tips, information, libraries, and tools for building a video consumption app for Win8

Updated Microsoft Media Platform Player Framework for Windows 8 RP Released
Building your first HTML Metro Style app with the Style Smooth Streaming Player walk through
MMPPF - Getting started guide for the Silverlight Microsoft Media Platform
That's smoooootttthhhh... The Smooth Streaming Client SDK Beta and Player Framework Beta for Windows 8 Metro

IIS Transform Manager 1.0 (RTW) An extensible media transform engine with "watch folder" job submission, queuing, management, integrated media transcoding/container format repackaging
IIS Media Pack 1.0 – Helps make IIS7 a happy, media serving, camper

I am off to the Red Planet! Okay, my name is anyway (again). And so can yours...

JPL - Send Your Name on NASA's Mars Journey, Start with Orion

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If only your name could collect frequent flyer miles. NASA is inviting the public to send their names on a microchip to destinations beyond low-Earth orbit, including Mars.

Your name will begin its journey on a dime-sized microchip when the agency's Orion spacecraft launches Dec. 4 on its first flight, designated Exploration Flight Test-1. After a 4.5-hour, two-orbit mission around Earth to test Orion's systems, the spacecraft will travel back through the atmosphere at speeds approaching 20,000 mph and temperatures near 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit, before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

But the journey for your name doesn't end there. After returning to Earth, the names will fly on future NASA exploration flights and missions to Mars. With each flight, selected individuals will accrue more miles as members of a global space-faring society.

"NASA is pushing the boundaries of exploration and working hard to send people to Mars in the future," said Mark Geyer, Orion Program manager. "When ...

...

The deadline for receiving a personal "boarding pass" on Orion's test flight closes Friday, Oct. 31. The public will have an opportunity to keep submitting names beyond Oct. 31 to be included on future test flights and future NASA missions to Mars.

To submit your name to fly on Orion's flight test, visit:

http://go.usa.gov/vcpz

Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #JourneyToMars.

For information about Orion and its first flight, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/orion"

Of COURSE I had to sigh up! :)

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(Via Tatworth - Send your name to Mars!)

 

Related Past Post XRef:
I’m out of here… I’m heading to Mars (well my name is at least ;)
Duncan’s in Space! (Well our names at least ;)

The Xamarin.Forms excitement continues to build, getting broad third party support and more...

Like I said here, Cool Preview eBook of the Day: "Creating Mobile Apps with Xamarin.Forms" by Charles Petzold (Yes, that one), Xamrin.Forms is generating allot of excitement in the .NET/Xaml space and the excitement continues to build with the announcement of top tier third party support. Infragistics and Syncfusion both just announced support for Xamarin.Forms, among other top tier vendors, Enterprise Component Vendors Join Xamarin.Forms Ecosystem. Heck, even Microsoft is getting into the game!

Infragistics - Announcing Infragistics Xamarin.Forms!

I am very excited to announce a new partnership with Xamarin and our newest product release to compliment our Native Mobile story with Visual Studio – Infragistics Xamarin.Forms.

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Over the last few years we have invested heavily in the native UI controls - we have an iOS control set, Android control set and Windows Phone control set.  Up until now, the target developer for these control sets were your objective-C, Java or Windows Developer.  Now with Infragistics Xamarin.Forms, the market is super-expanded - any Visual Studio, C#, XAML Developer can now write once, a single codebase, and then take our new Xamarin.Forms product with Xamarin’s product and ship native apps that target each major platform in no time..

There are a ton of reasons why this is so exciting, but from a pure cost perspective, using the technology from Infragistics & Xamarin, a company does not need to invest in the training and time loss of learning a new platform – using current C# & XAML skillsets native apps can be churned out in no time compared to building a native experience from scratch on each major mobile platform.  Add the long-term maintenance costs of bug fixes, feature changes, UI updates and more, and you are looking at a significant cost savings if you have a single code base to maintain while still having the benefit of native apps on each major platform.  Pretty cool!

So what exactly are we shipping today?

...

Syncfusion - Essential Studio for Xamarin has Arrived

As part of our participation in the Xamarin Evolve 2014 conference this week, Syncfusion is excited to reveal a new control suite for cross-platform mobile development: Essential Studio for Xamarin. We’ve incorporated some of your favorite data visualization and file-format components from Syncfusion with Xamarin.Forms, an API that enables developers to use a single C# codebase to build UIs for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone apps.

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Native apps built with Essential Studio for Xamarin

Essential Studio for Xamarin is MVVM-compatible and includes a total of six Syncfusion controls. The Chart, TreeMap, and Gauge UI tools provide enterprise-grade processing and interactive visualization for your business data. File-format APIs XlsIO, DocIO, and PDF allow users to easily read, write, and edit Excel, Word, and PDF files on any device.

With Essential Studio for Xamarin, you can:

...

Multilingual App Toolkit's blog MAT v4.0 Technical Preview adds Xamarin support

The Multilingual App Toolkit v4.0 Technical Preview adds support for VS + Xamarin based iOS and Android projects.  We are super excited (just had to say it) about adding MAT’s localization workflow for developers using Visual Studio and Xamarin to create great cross-platform apps! You can download it here

I am fortunate enough to be in attendance at Xamarin Evolve 2014 this week. On Monday I attended a training session presented by Craig Dunn on Xamarin localization.  Craig did a great job covering localization in general, then focused on iOS and Android projects specifics as well as RESX with Xamarin Forms.  Craig’s demo code is available on GitHub.  So of course I wanted to see how the v4.0 technical preview would handle the code.  The demo is pre-populated with the target RESX files, so I simply removed them before using MAT v4.0 preview to add Japanese (JA) and Arabic (AR).  After generating translating using the default translation providers.  As you can tell from the images below everything worked as expected.

image

...

Given Xamarin Evolve 2014 still has a couple days to go (ends on the 10th), and given all the other announcements Xamarin have made, such as Xamarin Platform Previews, Introducing Xamarin Insights: Real-time Monitoring for Your Apps and New Xamarin Test Cloud Features I wonder what else we'll hear and see?

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Cool Preview eBook of the Day: "Creating Mobile Apps with Xamarin.Forms" by Charles Petzold (Yes, that one)

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Looks like .NET vNext IS going to be .NET 4.5.3 (maybe)...

.NET Framework Blog - Announcing October 2014 Updates to .NET Framework vNext, ASP.NET vNext and .NET Native in Visual Studio “14” CTP4

Today, we are announcing updates to the .NET Framework vNext, ASP.NET vNext and .NET Native. These are all available in Visual Studio “14” CTP4. This .NET Framework release contains RyuJIT, the next generation X64 JIT. ASP.NET vNext contains major improvements in the runtime and Visual Studio Experience. Additionally, .NET Native contains a small set of fixes for reported issues. Please download these .NET releases with Visual Studio “14” CTP4 and give us feedback.

.NET Framework vNext

Today’s release of .NET Framework vNext adds RyuJIT and ~ 150 new APIs. We have released multiple standalone versions of RyuJIT, after introducing you to it almost exactly one year ago. RyuJIT is the new Just-In-Time (JIT) compiler, now integrated into the .NET Framework and enabled by default for 64-bit processes.

We’ve added ~150 new APIs across the product to make many scenarios easier. We’ve also updated ~50 more APIs (mostly types). In particular, we sprinkled IReadOnlyCollection<T> in more parts of the Framework libraries to make collections easier and more intuitive to use.

You can see the changes in this diff from the .NET Framework 4.5.2 to .NET Framework 4.5.3.

You may be wondering when we’ll ship a separate redistributable for the .NET Framework vNext, like we’ve had for all other .NET Framework versions. We haven’t forgotten about it. It’s still coming.

...

ASP.NET vNext

...

.NET Native

...

Summary

..."

I blogged about this in August, .NET vNext doesn't currently look like it's side-by-side "5.x," instead it's an in-place update like a 4.5.+ (so maybe 4.6'ish... ?), but this is the first time I think I've seen an official'ish post giving it a version number, 4.5.3...

Now, we're still a ways from RTW, but the picture appears to be getting a little clearer...

BTW, the mentioned Diff spreadsheet is interesting (if you find that find of stuff interesting at least). Here's a snap of it.

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Related Past Post XRef:
.NET vNext doesn't currently look like it's side-by-side "5.x," instead it's an in-place update like a 4.5.+ (so maybe 4.6'ish... ?)

Using .NET 4, 4.5, 4.5.1? Only 4.5.2 will be receiving technical support and security updates after Jan 12, 2016 (so start your 4.5.2 planning/deployment...)
Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.2 Released
.NET Framework setup verification, cleanup tool and detection code (C++) updated for 4.5.2

BKVM, to the cloud! "Creating training virtual machines in Azure" using the BKVM (VS 2013 HOL/ALM VM)

Naked ALM - Creating training virtual machines in Azure

I am teaching the Managing Projects with Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2013 class next week in Cheltenham and for that I need 16 VM’s based on the Visual Studio 2013 Update 3 ALM Virtual Machine. To make life easier I will be creating training virtual machines in Azure.

If you have ever had to teach a training course, especially a technical one, it’s the equipment that is the most painful thing to configure. Azure has matured a lot over the last few years and although I have configured training in Amazon’s AWS service I wanted to go all Microsoft.

The kind of tough thing is that the virtual hard disk (VHD) used by the virtual demo machine form Brian Keller is 80GB. And yes, I have to upload that beast to Azure.

Uploading your Hyper-V virtual machine

The first task is to download and install the Azure PowerShell using the web platform installer. This will get all of the pre-requisites and install them for you.

...

image..."

While I've highlighted the BKVM (aka VS 2013 HOL/ALM VM ) a number of times (as you can see below), as well as Azuring it, but this post by Martin Hinshelwood is one of the most complete I think. Plus I think this is the first time I've seen it used this way, as an Azure training room. If you are thinking about using the BKVM on Azure (or other VM's) you owe it to yourself to check out this book (I mean post... ;)

 

Related Past Post XRef:
VS 2013 HOL/ALM VM now with Update 3 (VS 2013.3)

24! [Hands-on-Labs and Demo Scripts now available in the big BK Visual Studio 2013 ALM VM] + [Bonus: Azure'ing it too...]
Happy VM Day! The Visual Studio 2013 RTM ALM Virtual Machine is now available
The HOL "Building a Release Pipeline with Team Foundation Server 2012" thing
Featuring Agile Planning and Portfolio Management with TFS2013 in these Hands On Labs
Visual Studio 2013 ALM and HOL VM now available...
VS2012 Update 1 ALM VM and HOL / Demo Scripts now available
The VS 2012 ALM Virtual Machine and VS 2012 Update 1 (In short, there's an updated VM coming, don't install it on this VM if you don't have too)
The big BK has updated the Visual Studio 2012 RC ALM Virtual Machine and Hands-on-Labs
VS 11 ALM DemoMates updated for the Beta
Visual Studio/TFS11 ALM Demo's... Mate! See the VS/TFS 11 ALM's hands-on-labs in DemoMate form
Visual Studio 11 ALM VHD's, VirtualBoxed (and even on x86 hosts too)
Want to play with Visual Studio 11 & TFS 11 Dev Preview but don't want to install it (and have access to a Hyper-V server)? Here's a VHD just for