Tag Archives: software-design

Multipoint Gaming

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Team MultiPoint Web, three brothers from Oregon (Jimmy, Mark and Luke Dickinson), recently won the US Imagine Cup Finals and are now preparing to go to Cairo to compete in the WW Finals for Software Design.

The team also entered the MultiPoint Education Award sponsored by Unlimited Potential. Their solution is a web portal that allows for teachers and students around the world access a searchable database of MultiPoint applications in multiple languages.

Every child around the world should be entitled to a primary education, but many are not receiving a full primary education or even a partial primary education. They have many gaps where people still fail to obtain a full primary education. This is due to a lack of funding, training, materials, and manpower to provide a primary education.

In addition to being able to upload and share new MultiPoint applications, the portal also allows teachers the ability to customize game learning content, and generate reports assessing their students. The solution utilizes the Microsoft MultiPoint SDK, Silverlight, and PopFly technologies.

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Windows Vista RC1: a Piece of Sith

The last thing I wanted to do upon returning from Alaska was rip Windows Vista “Ultimate” a new one. I also don’t want to go through my list of Vista UI nitpicks, as several of them still have not been addressed – and likely never will be. Even after installing RC1, I find myself feeling like I did after I first saw Star Wars: A Phantom Menace. For whatever it’s worth, I left the theater disappointed and dejected.

Sadly, the first release candidate for Windows Vista feels more like an alpha to me (or early beta, at best). I’m not talking about performance issues, which will most likely be improved upon before this OS goes gold. No, it’s all about a cohesive user experience / user interface for me. Vista fails on most UI fronts. It doesn’t look or behave similarly across any part of the operating system. Even more sad? That’s by design, folks.

I never thought I’d say this, but… we’ve finally seen the day when KDE / Gnome look, work, and feel “better” than Windows. Vista is schizophrenic, and that disorder has been further enabled by the range of vigilante software development teams who are providing code to the core without cross-checking with other teams for UI consistency. Unless Microsoft is sitting on major detail revisions, I’m afraid they’re sitting atop a “Phantom Menace.”

If OS X had a decent desktop PIM, I think Vista would push me to switch. As far as the inconsistency of Apple’s UI is concerned, that’s already been UNOfied. There’s no such app for Windows Vista, and I’m not holding my breath for Stardock to produce anything I want to use for longer than 3 minutes at a time (sorry, but 99% of Windowblinds skins are bloated and inelegant).