Archive for September, 2011

MIC Global Summit 2011 @ Redmond

Is taking place (from 26th to 30th of September 2011) at the Headquarters of Microsoft in Redmond the third MIC Global Summit. All leaders of the MICs from all over the world are meeting together to create common sinergies.
Also our Director Paolo Mulassano partecipates to the Summit. It’s a big opportunity to present many activities that the MIC of Torino has undertaken as well as the various projects undertaken during this first year of the new direction.

Windows 8: Automatically Log On

If you want to automatically login in Windows 8 without entering your password you can use the userpasswords2 command, even if you are using your live-ID. To do this you have to:

  • Open Run dialog by pressing   WindowsButton+R
  • enter the following command and press enter or click OK button: control userpasswords2
  • in the User Accounts windows uncheck  Users must enter a user name and passeword to use this computer.
  • click OK
  • in the Automatically Log On dialog insert you actual password
  • click OK
  • restart your computer to verify if it works correctly

VS2010 Custom Build Configurations: msshrtmi.dll warning

When developing a business application for Windows Azure, almost surely you end up creating custom build configurations to manage multiple deployment settings for the different stages of the development process. To do this VS2010 and Windows Azure SDK (from 1.4) offer some straightforward interfaces for the configurations management with an automatic update of the project files.

Unfortunately, in Windows Azure projects with web roles this process can cause some packaging and publishing problems on x86 machines. In fact after the set up of a new custom configuration, you may receive this build warning when creating the Azure deploy package:

warning WAT160: The project ‘YourProject’ contains the following assembly: C:\Windows\assembly\GAC_32\msshrtmi\1.0.0.0__31bf3856ad364e35\msshrtmi.dll. This assembly is not compatible with the 64-bit processor architecture used by IIS on Windows Azure. To make sure that the role starts, you must replace this assembly with one that is compatible with this architecture.

The reason for this warning is that the automatic project files updater creates the new configuration property group in the web project file (.csproj) from a template which includes a PlatformTarget element. The presence of this element forces the inclusion of the msshrtmi.dll, that on x86 machines is only 32-bit processors compatible.

Example configuration tag:

<PropertyGroup Condition=”‘$(Configuration)|$(Platform)’ == ‘Production|AnyCPU'”>
<OutputPath>bin\</OutputPath>
<DefineConstants>TRACE</DefineConstants>
    <PlatformTarget>AnyCPU</PlatformTarget>
<Optimize>true</Optimize>
<DebugType>pdbonly</DebugType>
<ErrorReport>prompt</ErrorReport>
</PropertyGroup>

When deploying the packaged solution to Windows Azure the Web Roles containing the msshrtmi.dll library will not start properly.

Solution

Fortunately, the solution is quite simple: you should manually remove the PlatformTarget element from all the custom configurations properties in the web project file.

To solve this problem you have to:

  • In Solution Explorer, right-click on your web project and select Unload Project
  • Right click again and select Edit
  • Delete all PlatformTarget elements
  • Close the file and Reload Project by right clicking on the web project

Windows 8 Tips & Tricks – Part 1

We have successfully installed Windows 8 and now we want to show you some Tips & Tricks.

Switch between Classic Start Menu and Start Screen

  1. Open Desktop
  2. Win+R  to open Run dialog
  3. Write regedit and press Enter or click on OK button to open registry editor
  4. Find HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
  5. Double click on RPEnabled and set value to 0 (classic Start Menu) or 1 (default: New Windows 8 Start Menu)
  6. Click OK
  7. Close Registry Editor

Shortcut Keys

  • WinKey + C : Opens Charms Bar
  • WinKey + F : Opens File Search App
  • WinKey + H : Opens Charm Share
  • WinKey + I : Opens Charm Settings
  • WinKey + K : Opens Charm Connect
  • WinKey + O : Locks device orientation
  • WinKey + Q : Opens Search pane
  • WinKey + V : Cycles through toasts
  • WinKey + Y : Peek at the desktop temporarily
  • WinKey + W : Opens Settings Search app
  • WinKey + Z : Opens App Bar
  • WinKey + Enter : Launches Narrator
  • WinKey + PgUp : Split tiles to the left
  • WinKey + PgDown : Split tiles to the right
  • WinKey + . : Moves the split to the right
  • WinKey + Shift + . : Moves the split to the left
  • WinKey + Spacebar : Switch input language and keyboard layout

Installing Windows 8 Developer Preview x64 on HP TouchSmart 600

Last Monday (13th of September) Microsoft has released a Developer Preview of Windows 8. We have waited so long, but finally we can install it on our PCs and give you a first impression of this new OS that seems to promise very well.

The first thing to do is to download the release that you want to install from HERE. We have downloaded the Windows Developer Preview with developer tools English x64, that comes with the following:

  • 64-bit Windows Developer Preview
  • Windows SDK for Metro style apps
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 11 Express for Windows Developer Preview
  • Microsoft Expression Blend 5 Developer Preview
  • 28 Metro style apps including the BUILD Conference app
Windows Developer Preview is delivered as an .iso image that must be converted into installation media stored on a DVD or a USB flash drive. We have decided to install it using an USB Drive (SuperTalent 16 GB).

Create Bootable USB using DiskPart

    1. Open a command prompt and launch diskpart command and press enter
    2. Execute list disk command
    3. Execute select disk n command. Where n is the number of the USB drive
    4. Execute clean command.  This will remove the USB drive from the current drive letter
    5. Execute create partition primary  command to create a primary partition
    6. Execute active command. The current partition is marked as active
    7. Execute format fs = NTFS quick to format the USB drive
    8. Execute assign and press enter. This will assign a letter for the USB drive
    9. exit
You can also use Windows 7 USB/DVD [Official Microsoft tool for creating bootable DVD or USB device].

Copy ISO to USB Drive

Open the ISO image with 7Zip, Winzip or Winrar and copy all files to the USB drive just prepared with DiskPart

Start Installation

You can start installation directly from windows by opening the USB dirve and selecting setup.exe file… The install procedure will start and the system will be rebooted more than one time. The installation is very simple and it take about 20 minutes. It was very simple also because we haven’t downloaded any additional driver, even for the touch.
Once started you are in front of the new Metro Style that we love. It’s clean , simple and very intuitive.
Windows 8 is a new interpretation/re-imagination of the future of OSs that will combine PCs, Tablets and Phones….

About US

Microsoft Innovation Center – Torino (MIC-Torino) started the operations in June 2007, and in its process of growth it became part of Istituto Superiore Mario Boella (ISMB) in July 2010 extending its technology focuses that are today embedded computing and cloud computing. Embedded solutions include core competences on Windows Embedded Standard 7, Windows Embedded CE, Microsoft Auto and Microsoft Hohm.

The overall MIC-ISMB objective is to foster innovation and growth in national and international software economies and create a sound ecosystem around the Microsoft embedded and cloud computing technologies partnering with industrial players. Microsoft Innovation Center-ISMB aims at establishing technical partnerships with industrial players willing to innovate leveraging on Microsoft platforms.

MIC-ISMB offers high skilled experts in designing and developing software applications and services with the most advanced Microsoft technologies managing all the value chain, from concept to practical implementation of prototypes.