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Sunday, March 27, 2005

Documentation First, Fun Later

I managed to install the latest WinFX CTP drop on my Dell Inspiron 8200 laptop, although it wasn't entirely smooth. The installation was going flawlessly until running Setup.exe for the WinFX SDK, the last step in the installation. I let it do it's thing for over an hour, as I heard that it takes some time on slower systems, however it would only return with a dialog stating that the installer had time out. I tried a couple more times, only to get the same result. After a full shut down and system restart, the installation took about 10 minutes.

We did a fair bit of travelling today, so I had the opportunity to read a good chunk of the documentation that is installed along side the SDK. I'd strongly suggest reading it. If you've worked with XAML before, or read some tutorials/samples on the Internet, then it is a little repetitive at the start, however there is a lot of good material in there. It seems to be much more complete compared to the online documentation found on MSDN, and the samples are definately worth a look. My favourite so far would be the Login Screen sample. It's really incredible how you can not only change the style for each user, but also the layout!

When I return to Ottawa sometime tomorrow and get settled back in, I'll format the desktop and install Server 2003 R2, followed by the March 2005 CTP. Server 2003 R2 has worked wonderfully on the laptop, with a few minor exceptions (likely due to the laptop itself), so I'll give it a try on the desktop where more of the features can be tested out. I may decide to move to XP SP2... we'll see.

In the mean time, have a look at Nathan's Blog. I found the link to it over on Chris Andersons Blog and it has lots of good information and examples for Avalon, as does Chris'. The animated CD button looks interesting, and I'd like to start playing with the 3D features that Avalon offers as soon as possible. This would be a good example to start working with and tweaking.

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