A new journey in education

Archive for the ‘Windows 7’ tag

How I used XNA Game Studio in the classroom Part 1

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The last term was an extremely busy time, the last 9 weeks of year 9 IST was no different. I was originally planning to have the class start on Lego NXT Robotics having purchased 3 kits in late term 3 however there was a delivery issue with the battery charger for the kits. So I had a choice to make, move on with the basics of Lego robotics or try something else. At around the same time in which I was making my this decision I visited the Microsoft Channel 9 Coding4fun website. Released earlier in the year was Script TD, a simple tower defense game for Windows Phone 7. Script TD is a simple tower defense game which uses XML as the format to easily change gameplay and based on an open source, perfect for IST.

ScriptTD Home screen

So if you have been following along this year, you would already realise that developing for Windows Phone requires Vista or Windows 7 based computers. My school has yet to come into this decade re operating systems being stuck on XP. Luckily for my students I have 4 laptops for them to use running Windows 7 along with all the typical designer software. Other then needing Windows 7 (who really still uses Vista?) there are no other required pieces of hardware, you can do all the work in the phone emulator with no need for a phone. I have 2 HTC HD7 Windows Phones so I chose to go a little further.

To complicate things a little further, I was asked to head my schools participation in the DEC’s Google Apps trial. A little unprepared for this I chose to throw Google Apps into the mix for term also. My immediate use for Google Apps with this project would be the collaborative abilities of docs and the ease of use of Google Sites so each of the 4 groups in the class could have a site designed specifically around their tower defense game.

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Written by theMolisticView

December 22nd, 2011 at 2:11 am

Windows 8 is coming in November and we still have XP

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I have been watching the Windows Weekly podcast for nearly 2 years on both generations of Apple Tv. Paul Thurrott and Leo Laporte do an excellent job explaining the news from Microsoft.

On his site and to a degree in this weeks podcast Paul delves into the soon to be released Windows 8 OS. As a prominent Microsoft enthusiast and a journalist Paul is given early access to future releases of Microsoft products. Windows 8 is the latest Microsoft system of which he has access. As can be seen in a post yesterday on The Windows Supersite Windows 8 is very close to a public Beta release with some interesting new features including the “ribbon everywhere”.

This leads to the title of my post, we have to be one of Microsofts largest partners in the Asia-Pacific region if not the world. Our DER laptops had the first official release of Windows 7. Why are we still on XP in the classroom and 2003 for our local server technology?

My place of work is about to install a new Windows server which will be remotely managed. Problem is it will only be Server 2003 which will not support Windows 7 and beyond. Windows XP is over 10 years old! how can that still be in place? Many of the new Microsoft products from Office to Visual Studio and IE 9 are not supported fully or at all on XP, why do we still have it when we have such a partner in Microsoft?

Next year looks like the students will have Windows 8 on their laptops and we as teachers will still have XP in our computer rooms.

If your situation is different to mine I would like to hear about it.

Written by themolisticview

April 3rd, 2011 at 1:21 am

Windows 7 Ultimate Upgrade vs MacBookPro

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Back on October 28th I turned 40. To celebrate I decided that I should by the computer which I have always wanted but could never justify the price. The Apple MacBook Pro 17″. I jumped on the Apple store website and half an hour later had ordered an Apple computer. Slowly over the next few days the bits n pieces arrived, I was so excited to finally see what all the fuss of a Mac was about.

15 minutes after start up I was exploring my Mac and all its crazy gadgets. I was so amazed at how easy the transition was for a person who had only used PC’s since 2003. I tweeted my joy, asking where had this been all my life. Over the ensuing week I purchased the dept. software and with in an hour had a Mac with Microsoft office 2008 for Mac and the full Adobe suite loaded, all my preferences sorted and working on new ideas.

At the around this time the Windows 7 Upgrade was officially made available to DET staff through the supplier. It is a steal at $50 delivered compared to the $500 odd dollars you would pay at a retailer. Reading the fine print, the upgrade required that Windows Vista be installed. No big deal I thought I have a copy of Vista that came with my Toshiba, I will just load it up and be ready for the new and exciting Windows 7 OS.

How wrong I was. Vista from a recovery disk took an easy 3/4 of an hour before it asked me who I was and was at least another 15 minutes before I could use the computer for what it was meant for. Then there were the driver issues!! At least 7 drivers required replacing for it to even start (the important graphics driver being the hardest). Having completed this I thought all would be ok, well wrong again. 2 days later and 160 to 170 updates later I could use my windows computer as a computer. Knowing I was going to upgrade to Windows 7 there was no need to add software or files, because I thought this would only slow the upgrade process.

Now we come to today 1pm. My Windows 7 arrived at work and I had senior Multimedia straight after lunch, perfect I thought, add Windows 7 and use it as a lesson at the same time.

Right on 1:15pm the bell went, I was in the room computer running, disc at the ready. The students arrived and I explained what was going to happen and that they were free to have a look at the process. I new I was in trouble 20 minutes in to the 75 minute period when Windows 7 was still deciding if it was compatible. After this there was an install screen which had 4 sections of progress and that it would restart several times as it went, normal practice for a windows install.

When the bell went for the end of the day the score was 1 and 1/2 sections installed and 2 reboots. I went away for 20 minutes came back hoping it had finished. When I looked the screen had not changed. Suddenly it said 100% and rebooted, I thought this might be the end. Unfortunately no, I was asked if I could leave by the head cleaner at 4 pm. So I kept the machine running on battery in my car on the way home fingers crossed it would be all over before I got home and run out of battery. 20 minutes later I entered the codes and a reboot was required.

On start up I received a little message stating that the system required another reboot to remove Vista data from the system. I obliged, after the reboot I shut the lid and headed home again.

On reaching home I fitted the charger, lifted the lid all was sweet, Windows 7 is quite attractive looking system. I set the background, window chrome style etc. made sure everything worked. Soon after the dreaded windows update appeared. This new OS which only arrived on October 22nd required 8 major security updates.

Any body want to buy an 8 month old Toshiba Satellite Pro??

I am going away from windows after this. Next month I’m buying an IMac.

Any one else have an opinion??

Written by theMolisticView

November 9th, 2009 at 8:28 am