South African Xbox 360 search engine

Thanks to the new Google Custom Search functionality I’ve setup a search engine for South African Xbox 360 sites and blogs. Its currently in testing and will improve in time. If you run a South African Xbox 360 related site, get in touch with me and I’ll add your content into the search engine configuration.

To make it easier to access I’ve created a shortened URL for it http://tinyurl.com/za360search and if it proves popular I’ll register a cool domain name for it.

I welcome the community feedback on the idea.

27dinner photos and follow-up

27dinner Last night I attended the Johannesburg 27dinner and as usual I took too many photos. All in all there were three talks presented by Kate Elphick, Jason Hobbs and Charl Norman. Unfortunately the restaurant patrons upstairs made it very difficult for people at the back of the restaurant to follow the presentations as they were being rather loud the whole evening. Nonetheless, I had a great evening and met quite a few new faces.

Here are a couple of photos:

You can find the rest of the photos over here for your viewing pleasure. Be sure to book your place for the next 27dinner in Jozi on the 27th of September.

Silverlight 2 with Brad Abrams

Brad Abrams Yes you heard it here first! Brad Abrams, the man, the legend, is coming to South Africa and is taking time out of his busy schedule for SA Developer .NET events in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Before you ask how I can speak so highly of the man, take a look at his bio and you’ll realise that he isn’t some newbie developer at Microsoft Corp, he is one of the geeks that make us geeks happy with new technology:

Brad Abrams was a founding member of both the Common Language Runtime, and .NET Framework teams at Microsoft Corporation where he is currently the Group Program Manager for the UI Framework and Services team which is responsible for delivering the developer platform that spans both clients and web based applications as well as the common services that are available to all applications. Specific technologies owned by this team include ASP.NET, parts of Silverlight, and Windows Forms.

Brad has been designing parts of the .NET Framework since 1998 when he started his framework design career building the BCL (Base Class Library). Brad was also the lead editor on the Common Language Specification (CLS), the .NET Framework Design Guidelines and the libraries in the ECMA\ISO CLI Standard.

Brad co-authored Programming in the .NET Environment, and was editor on .NET Framework Standard Library Annotated Reference Vol1 and Vol2 and the Framework Design Guidelines.

Brad graduated from North Carolina State University in 1997 with a BS in Computer Science. Find recent musings from Brad on his blog at: http://blogs.msdn.com/BradA/

So take a moment and register for an event:

So what are you waiting for? Remember, the events are FREE to attend so tell your friends about it, register and we’ll see you there.

[tags]SA Developer .NET,Brad Abrams,event,Silverlight,Silverlight 2[/tags]

Devs4Devs

Microsoft is hosting a Saturday morning event for speakers in the Gauteng region to come and show what they are passionate about. Currently there are 5 out of 10 speaker slots filled, so why not put your name down and present something you’re passionate about for a mere 20 minute slot.

Join us for a jam-packed morning of developer technical sessions.  We’ve invited community developer presenters to come present on their favourite topics.  It’s going to be to the point, concise, each presentation limited to 20 minutes.  It will be a great learning experience for all of us!

Some of the topics we’ll have presentations on, include “Introduction to Microsoft Sync Framework”, “Liberating Synchronous Processes from the Tyranny of Timeouts”, “WPF Data Binding Explained!” and more.  View an updated list of presenters and topics – http://dotnet.org.za/eben/archive/2008/05/19/devs4devs-saturday-7-june-2008.aspx.

Space is going to be limited so make sure you book your seat early to avoid disappointment.

[tags]Microsoft,event,community[/tags]

I’m the Rosetta@home user of the day

Rosetta@home I just got an email notification from the Rosetta@home project that I’ve been featured as the user of the day.

Congratulations!
You’ve been chosen as the Rosetta@home user of the day!
       Your profile will be featured on the Rosetta@home website for the next 24 hours.

Its just a pity that I haven’t really been able to commit CPU cycles to the project lately. Why? Well my work PC is suffering and needs a reinstall and my home PC is not running on ADSL and I’ve been too lazy to re-enable the BOINC to run while on 3G.

image

If you decide to join up I’d recommend joining team South Africa.

[tags]Rosetta@home[/tags]

Grand Theft Auto launch follow-up

I know, its been over a week now and I still haven’t posted the pictures on the web from the launch event. My bad!

The event was very well attended, unlike some previous attempts. MooDy and the team at ZAPS with the help I believe from Megarom had done an awesome job in setting up some consoles outside the store for people to play GTA IV. I heard something about some guys having played almost the whole day – talk about liking the game. I don’t think I could play for a full day standing in front of one of the kiosks machines, its just too uncomfortable.

Just after midnight the queue was out the door and around the corner already. People really seemed to want to get hold of their copies of GTA IV.

Well here are a few choice picks:

 The AnimeWorX guys getting into the swing. Proud new GTA IV owner. He hobbled in for a copy.

You can find the rest of them over here.

Grand Theft Auto IV launch events

Grand Theft Auto IV For those in and around Johannesburg there are going to be some launch parties happening for one of the most anticipated sequels in the gaming industry. Yes I can only be talking about Grand Theft Auto IV. According to my sources the local distributor, Megarom, will be teaming up with local game store ZAPS at The Brightwater Commons. All are welcome to attend the launch event and I understand that Xbox 360 owners are invited to bring their consoles for some LAN action hosted by The Xbox Lounge.

From what I’ve read the event will be running from 18h00 until just after midnight when the game officially launches to the public. So don’t miss out, get your butt down to ZAPS and pick up your copy while you are at it for just R640 (Xbox 360) or R677 (PS3).

I first tried out Grand Theft Auto on the original Xbox console and I must say I wasn’t too excited about the genre in general. But I believe GTA IV is a break from the old formula with online multiplayer and some cool new concepts.

Grand Theft Auto fans can now get another glimpse of “Grand Theft Auto IV” before it hits shelves on April 29. The fourth official trailer, titled “Good Lord, What are You Doing?” AKA “Everyone’s a Rat,” is now available on Xbox.com.

Developed by Rockstar Games, “Grand Theft Auto IV” is a powerful crime epic set in modern-day Liberty City, a world with an unparalleled combination of scale, depth and detail.

For the first time ever, “Grand Theft Auto IV” will also include online multiplayer, enabling gamers to play with their friends.  Plus, only Xbox 360 players will have access to exclusive “Grand Theft Auto IV” content coming this fall.

I believe both AnimeWorX and  BT Games will also be hosting a midnight launch for gamers to be able to fetch their pre-orders at midnight.

[tags]GTA IV,Xbox 360,PS3,launch,South Africa,game[/tags]

South African Communities on Virtual Tech-Ed

A couple of us local community enthusiasts quickly put together a last minute idea for a Fish Bowl video at Tech-Ed 2007 South Africa last year. The video finally went live on the site today. You can watch it by clicking here.

Thanks to Hilton, Nicholas and Willie for helping get the word out there and putting South Africa on the international map.

Now does anyone know how to download a copy of the video for storage purposes?

[tags]Tech-Ed 2007,video[/tags]

Linux running under Virtual Server 2005

image Recently we decided to put up a virtual Linux server in one of our hosting environments. The host machine is a Windows Server 2003 x64 edition running Virtual Server 2005 R2 x64 SP1. We chose to install CentOS 5.1 which is community Linux distribution based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).

The installation went perfectly fine but I noticed that the system time was going way too fast. So the first thing I did was configure ntpd to synchronise the system time with an NTP time source. Unfortunately after about 12 hours the time was still about 40 minutes out, obviously traditional time synchonisation was not going to cut it. After a bit of searching I found this knowledge base article on the Linux kernel 2.6 clock source. I set the kernel option clock=pit which configures the Linux kernel to use the programmable interrupt timer, only to find that now the clock was too slow. Could it get any worse!

Then I recalled that Microsoft had been working on virtual machine additions for Linux and that one of the features was time synchronisation. Unfortunately they only officially support Red Hat and SuSE Linux so I took a long-shot and installed them anyway. I had to manually force install the RHEL RPM but it worked and now the time is perfectly synchronised with the host server – which of course is already NTP synchronised to the hosting environment’s NTP server.

[tags]Virtual Server 2005,Linux,CentOS,NTP,time synchronisation[/tags]