Microsoft Parallel Extensions to .NET Framework 3.5, December 2007 Community Technology Preview

Parallel Extensions to the .NET Framework is a managed programming model for data parallelism, task parallelism, and coordination on parallel hardware unified by a common work scheduler. Parallel Extensions makes it easier for developers to write programs that scale to take advantage of parallel hardware by providing improved performance as the numbers of cores and processors increase without having to deal with many of the complexities of today’s concurrent programming models.

Parallel Extensions provides library based support for introducing concurrency into applications written with any .NET language, including but not limited to C# and Visual Basic.

ParallelFX runs on .NET FX 3.5, and relies on features available in C# 3.0 and VB 9.0 and includes:

  • Imperative data and task parallelism APIs, including parallel for and foreach loops, to make the transition from sequential to parallel programs simpler.
  • Declarative data parallelism in the form of a data parallel implementation of LINQ-to-Objects.  This allows you to run LINQ queries on multiple processors. (PLINQ)
  • First class tasks that can be used to schedule, wait on, and cancel parallel work.
  • New concurrency runtime used across the library to enable lightweight tasks and effectively map and balance the concurrency expressed in code to available concurrent resources on the execution platform.
  • Several great examples of how to use parallelism in real world problems to obtain impressive speedups, including a raytracer, Sudoku puzzle generator, and other simple puzzle solvers and smaller samples.

Resources:
Download Here
Parallel Extensions Team Blog
MSDN Parallel Computing Developer Center
MSDN Magazine Article: Parallel Performance: Optimize Managed Code for Multi-Core Machines
MSDN Magazine Article: Parallel LINQ: Running Queries on Multi-Core Processors
The Manycore Shift whitepaper
MSDN Forums: Parallel Extensions to the .NET Framework
MSDN Forums: Parallel Computing General forum
Parallel Extensions to the .NET Framework Connect Site
Channel9 Parallel Extension Videos

Farseer Physics Engine for XNA and Silverlight (And .NET in General)

The Farseer Physics Engine is an easy to use 2D physics engine designed for Microsoft’s XNA and Silverlight platforms. The Farseer Physics Engine focuses on simplicity, useful features, and enabling the creation of fun, dynamic games.

Features

  • General
    • Easy To Use!
    • Support for XNA (XBOX 360 and Windows)
    • Support for Silverlight (1.1 and above)
    • Support for Managed .Net Languages In General
  • Collison
    • Concave and Convex Polygons Supported
    • Multiple Collision Geometries Per Body
    • Collision Categories For Complex Interaction Between Physics Objects
    • Collision Callback Mechanism
  • Dynamics
    • Joints
      • Revolute Joint (body to body or fixed to world)
      • Angle Joint (body to body or fixed to world)
      • Slider (Prismatic) Joint
      • Pin (Distance) Joint
    • Force Controllers
      • Linear Spring
      • Angular Spring
      • Easy To Build Custom Force Controllers (Explosions, Steering Behaviors, etc.)
  • Support and Debugging
    • Samples Framework With Samples Covering Most Major Engine Features. (XNA and Silverlight versions)
    • Debug Viewer To View All Major Physics Objects (part of samples framework)
    • User Manual (in progress)

Interview from InfoQ

Although intended for games, a physics engine can be used for UI effects too. This would generally be very useful to create cool effects, especially on Silverlight applications.

Visual Studio 2008 RTM Is Released

As the title says, it is released on MSDN Subscriptions. Go get it everyone!

Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server Trial (x86 and x64 WoW) - DVD (English)
Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Suite Trial (x86 and x64 WoW) - DVD (English)
Visual Studio Team System 2008 Test Load Agent Trial (x86 and x64 WoW) - CD (English)
Visual Studio 2008 Standard Edition (x86 and x64 WoW) - DVD (English)
Visual Studio 2008 Express Editions (x86 and x64 WoW) - DVD (English)
Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition (x86 and x64 WoW) - DVD (English)
MSDN Library for Visual Studio 2008 (x86 and x64 WoW) - DVD (English)

Microsoft SOA & BP 2007 conference Presentations available

Here is the link to all the presentations from the Microsoft SOA and Business Process Conference 2007 that was held in Redmond from October 29th to November 2nd.

Steve Sfartz, architect evangelist at Microsoft France, mentions that access is available until 11/21/2007.

Free ASP.NET Pro Magazine (PDF Version)

Click on the issues for the direct download link.

Keybinding Posters and .NET 3.5 Namespace Posters

Here are some nice keybinding posters from Microsoft Downloads.

Visual Basic 2008 Keybinding Poster

Printable wall poster containing list of useful keyboard shortcuts for Visual Basic 2008 developers

Visual C++ 2008 Keybinding Poster

List of keybidings for Visual C++ language within Visual Studio and Visual C++ Express 2008

Visual C# 2008 Poster

Wall chart showing useful keyboard shortcuts for Visual C# programming language

NET Namespaces Poster

The .NET Framework 3.5 Common Namespaces and Types Poster

(In)Secure Issue #14 Released

(IN)SECURE Magazine is a freely available digital security magazine discussing some of the hottest information security topics. Issue 14, has just been released.

The covered topics are:

  • Attacking consumer embedded devices
  • Review: QualysGuard
  • CCTV: technology in transition - analog or IP?
  • Interview with Robert "RSnake" Hansen, CEO of SecTheory
  • The future of encryption
  • Endpoint threats
  • Review: Kaspersky Internet Security 7.0
  • Interview with Amol Sarwate, Manager, Vulnerability Research Lab, Qualys Inc.
  • Network access control: bridging the network security gap
  • Change and configuration solutions aid PCI auditors
  • Data protection and identity management
  • Information security governance: the nuts and bolts
  • Securing moving targets
  • 6 CTOs, 10 Burning Questions: AirDefense, AirMagnet, Aruba Networks, AirTight Networks, Fortress Technologies and Trapeze Networks
  • The need for a new security approach
  • Data insecurity: lessons learned?
  • Wi-Fi safety and security