About the Author

Tim Huckaby is focused on the Natural User Interface (NUI) in Rich Client Technologies like Silverlight & WPF on the desktop, the notebook/tablet, the Surface, and mobile devices like the Windows Phone 7. He has been called a “Pioneer of the Smart Client Revolution” by the press. Tim has been awarded many times for the highest rated technical presentations and keynotes for Microsoft and many other technology conferences around the world. Tim is consistently rated in the top 10% of all speakers at these events. Tim has done keynote demos for many Microsoft executives including Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. Tim founded InterKnowlogy, experts in .NET and Microsoft Platforms, in 1999. He serves as its Chairman and as the Chairman of Actus Software. Tim has 30+ years’ experience including serving on a Microsoft product team as a dev lead on an architecture team on a Server Product. Tim is a Microsoft Regional Director, a Microsoft MVP and serves on many Microsoft councils and boards like the Microsoft .NET Partner Advisory Council.

Channel 9 Interview: Real-world Kinect from TechEd

One of the more fun things I did at TechEd this year was a video interview and demo with my old friend, Dan Fernandez of Microsoft.  I have known Dan for years and we have done some serious damage all over the world.  But, unlike most of the interviews I do, I really like the way this one came out.  Dan is a natural interviewer, lead me right into the things folks would be interested most in as it relates to developer productivity and usability in Kinect for Windows.

http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/Tim-Huckaby-Building-Real-World-Kinect-Applications

In the interview Dan and I discuss Usability and user experience with Kinect for Windows.  I show Cursor Navigation vs. Avatar navigation.  I show a zoom and pan gesture versus more traditional gesture based zooming.  We talk about standards for gesture…or lack thereof… and I painfully talk about lessons learned in usability.

During the interview I jump off the stage and demo:

  1. The Actus Interactive Digital Content Solution – Metro Themed and Completely Content (and application) driven in the cloud, the Actus “interactive kiosk” solution is keyboard/Mouse and/or multi-touch driven by the user.  But, it’s wildly popular differentiator is that it is gesture and/or voice controlled with Kinect for Windows.  From the Actus solution I demo:
  2. The InterKnowlogy Kinect for Windows driven Physical Therapy Application.  The demo version of this production app gets a lot of play because the gesture Bryan Coon created for the rotator cuff exercise has a ton of engineering in it to force the user into doing the exercise exactly correctly.
  3. The InterKnowlogy Touch-less Operating Room (TOR).  This app is where we first introduced our own smoothing in avatar mode.  The IK engineers found that we could improve smoothing dramatically by doing it themselves instead of using the smoothing Microsoft provides with the SDK.  I’m particularly proud of this app because it’s gets a ton of demo by Microsoft Execs and will continue to.  but, what is most cool is that it was demo’d by JP Wollersheim of the Kinect team in a Rick Rashid keynote a few weeks back to 6000 people.  Rick Rashid is the Chief Research Officer of Microsoft.

Have a Nice Conflict

“IN THE STORY that follows, we explore the practical ideas of relationship awareness theory.”
From the book
Have a Nice Conflict

When I read that first sentence from “Have a Nice Conflict” I said to myself, “God, I am going to hate this book.”  I’m an engineer by trade.  I have a black and white personality.  Let me come clean on the truth: My book reading (and writing for that matter) for the last decade has been limited to mostly software and fly fishing.  Don’t get me wrong.  It’s my job to read.  A huge portion of my day is spent reading.  But, the sheer thought of reading a management self help book made me cringe.  I have tried to read books like this, but I never finish.

This book “Have a nice Conflict” is climbing the Amazon and NY Times Best seller list.  And now that I have read the book, I can see why. Have a Nice Conflict

From where I write this in my office I can clearly see the books, “Execution”, “Never Eat Alone”, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”, and “How Full is your Bucket” among other self help business books in my bookcase.  And I look back at all those like it was a waste of my time to read them.  It’s not that they are not valuable, I know they are very valuable for many people.  They just didn’t feel like reading them was a good spend of my time – Again the weakness / arrogance of my black and white personality.  Well, that, and to be frank, turning turning obvious concepts into books seems like such a waste of trees.

But, the engineer is an interesting breed.  As any PM will tell you they are very hard to manage.  Why?  Well I disdain generalizing any group of humans, but where in the world do we find a group of such arrogant “I’m the smartest person I have ever met and not only do I know everything about engineering I know everything about everything.” and at the same time have such fragile egos that need to be constantly appreciated than engineers?  This group is rife with conflict.  And I’m one of them I fear.  And it’s not like I wasn’t aware of it until reading the book.  I was.  But, the biggest lesson I learned from reading the book is that as a “Red”, I leave a huge calamity of conflict in my wake…and I don’t even realize it.  The book has helped to explain why I am so puzzled at some people’s reactions to the “matter of fact” things I say.  You’ll have to read the book to figure out what a “Red” is and all the other colors of humans that the book classifies.

If you are an engineer or have to work with them directly, I strongly recommend you get your hands on this book.  It’s premise is preventing, managing and leveraging conflict.  But, it is the details around the story told that pulls it together for “black and whites” like me.

How to build a simple Silverlight Animation App in Blend

One of my demos in my Windows Phone 7 presentation at Dev Connections in Orlando on March 29th, 2011 and the subject of the article I wrote for the Silverlight Update Newsletter in April of 2010 was showing the power of Microsoft Expression Blend to create XAML storyboard animations.

The document that contains the painstakingly detailed instructions to build the simple Animation application in Silverlight that was highlighted can be downloaded here.

This demo shows the power of building XAML Storyboard animations in Microsoft Expression Blend without having to manually write any code!  It also shows the power of Blend when you learn how to use it.

The instructions are for building the application for Windows Phone 7, but the process is identical for building native Silverlight applications.

Tim's WP7 animation app

Judging INETA’s Component Code Challenge

I was asked to judge the INETA’s Component Code Challenge a few weeks ago so I gladly accepted figuring it would be pretty fun.  Along with esteemed colleagues, Bill Evjen and Scott Cate we were asked to evaluate, rank and vote on application submissions from a variety of folks built on a number of different parts of the .NET stack.

What i grossly underestimated was how impressive the entries were and what a time-suck this would be.  It is just amazing to me the amount of developer productivity these guys got by using controls.  I was told to judge based on the following criteria and man, was it difficult….

1.     Effective use of a component to solve a problem/display data

2.     Innovative use of components

3.     Impact using components (i.e. reduction in lines of code written, increased productivity, etc.)

4.     Most creative use of a component.

Although I have until EOD today, March 24, 2011 I am done with my judging.  I’m not allowed to post my favorite here, because winners are not announced yet.  but, I’d love to do a subsequent blog post because the entries are awesome.

The Prizes are cool:

  • 2 Tech·Ed Scholarships: The top 2 entries, as determined by our judges, will receive a scholarship to Tech·Ed 2011 in Atlanta including air, hotel, and conference pass.
  • 10 Prize Packs: The top ten entrants will receive a prize pack full of full licenses to controls and other goodies donated by our vendors.
and since I’m speaking at TechEd i’m looking forward to meeting the winners.
It goes without saying that the winners will be announced on the INETA site.

Bytes by MSDN Video Interviews from DevConnections 2010

The most fun thing I do at the major conferences is getting to interview ~10 industry pillars for “Bytes by MSDN”.  Each interview is edited down to 5-7minutes so it’s not painful to watch at all.  The production crew is all professional and it must cost a fortune to produce…and you can tell by watching any of them.  And the crew from Microsoft is an absolute blast to work with.  They have all become good friends. 

I love doing these things because all of the folks I get to interview are not only smart and successful technologists, but genuinely great people.  And I learn so much just in the prep and the interview process.  Scott Guthrie, Dave Mendlen, Brandon Watson, Bill Buxton, Joe Belfiore, Tim Heuer, Scott Hanselman – i could list 30 of these folks that i have had the pleasure of interviewing over the last few years.  All great people and totally interesting people.

You’ll find the link to the series here:

Link to the series   http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9726144

Interviews also posted here:

Microsoft properties:  MSDN, Microsoft.com/events, Microsoft Showcase, Channel 9

Social networking engines: Facebook, Twitter

Twitter  (@bytesbymsdn)

Facebook Fan Page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bytes-by-MSDN/89510523441 (like us!)

Syndication to 3rd Party engines:  Dr. Dobbs, Internet.com, YouTube

RSS feed  http://www.microsoft.com/feeds/msdn/en-us/BytesByMSDN/rss.xml

Mario Cardinal of Urban Turtle: SCRUM / TFS

Mario Cardinal is a buddy of mine who is a pillar in the .NET community.  He asked me to get the word out on what he is up to because Urban Turtle is one of the best kept secrets in SCRUM/TFS.

Mario works with the Urban Turtle team.  The do SCRUM/TFS.  Recently they received significant support from Microsoft. Brian Harry, who is the Product Unit Manager for Team Foundation Server. 

Brian Harry published an outstanding blog post about Urban Turtle that says: “…awesome Scrum experience for TFS.” You can read Brian Harry’s blog post at the following URL: http://urbanturtle.com/awesome.

Tim Huckaby’s “infamous” Margarita guidance

Tim Huckaby’s “infamous” Margarita guidance

 

Some simple guidance and a recipe for making great margaritas from the master

  • Margaritas are always on the rocks with a salted rim and a full tumbler of ice. Never blend them. Blended margaritas are for ice dancing fans. Some people do not like a salted rim. That is acceptable because even communists have a place in the world.
  • The best thing about this ancient margarita recipe developed over centuries is that it should be modified (and has been) easily to make uniquely your own – giving me (Tim) full credit, of course. It’s also one of those recipes, that, if you are missing an ingredient, you can substitute easily.
  • Done the “hard way”, these Margaritas can be a real pain (a lot of work) to make, so make them in batch in a large container and simply pour them over a salted glass full of ice as needed. I have found that making them one by one is like fishing for bluegill with 10 kids. You never get a chance to fish because you are always baiting hooks and pulling fish off hooks – it’s still fun…just not as fun…

Basic Directions

The basic idea is you end of with ½ alcohol, the next 1/4th lime juice and the remaining fourth will make it uniquely your own. This may seem like a lot of alcohol, but the ratio of lessened significantly because of a full tumbler of ice. Be somewhat careful, though, because the heavy concentration of the lime with mask the alcohol and tee-totalers can be easily overwhelmed when power-drinking 4 of these an hour for 3 hours.

Cheap tequila is all you ever need for Margaritas. Good tequila is a waste because the lime will mask the flavor of the tequila. Cuervo gold is perfect for margaritas and really bad for shots.

The Alcohol portion (1/2):

The alcohol portion of the margarita should be 2/3 cheap tequila and 1/3 triple sec, cointreau or any citris based liquor.

The Lime Juice Portion (1/4):

If you really want to make the best margaritas you need to squeeze limes…a gazillion of them to produce enough fresh lime juice. It is very hard work. Regular limes are fine, but “mexican limes”, often called “key limes” are best. A good alternative to this is bottled lime juice or concentrated frozen lime juice. The net-net is you need a lot of lime juice – a full 1/3 of the concoction. A margarita in many places in baja is simply a bartender squeezing limes into a glass of tequila.

The remaining mixer Portion (1/4):

This is the most important part of the margarita and the portion that will make your margis rock. My favorite recipe is fresh orange juice and lime flavored seltzer water in equal proportions and a dash of fresh lemon juice.

I believe orange juice and some form of carbonated beverage is a must because it backs the bite off tanginess of the lime. You can use a myriad of options for the carbonated beverage from a lite beer (I use coors light quite frequently) to hansens soda. A strawberry soda and/or cranberry juice works well here too.

The links to the demos, resources and the pptx deck from the “Data Visualization” session I did at VSLive Orlando on 11/15/10

Here are the links to the demos, resources and the pptx deck from the “Data Visualization” session I did at VSLive Orlando on  11/15/10

Download the PowerPoint Deck from the session here: Download

Download the stand-alone community version (without the SharePoint 2007 dependancy) of the InterKnowlogy “Cancer App“ (C-ME), built for the Scripps Research Institute with source code here: Download

or

Download the 3D “Cancer App“ (C-ME), built for the Scripps Research Institute with supporting docs & source code from Codeplex : Here

Download a stand-alone version of the InterKnowlogy 3D collaborator (the WPF app for 3d AutoCad files) here: Download

See a the video on the WPF 3D Angiographer (3d heart surgery app): Go  (requires Silverlight)

The InterKnowlogy / Scripps Research Institute “Cancer app” for Surface Video can be found here.

The InterKnowlogy Virtruview “Heart Surgery” app for Surface Video can be found here.

The gigantic XAML file (which runs natively in IE) that spins the TSRI logo is here.

I can’t distribute the Surface, WPF or Silverlight versions of the US Library of Congress “History at your Fingertips” app becuase the LOC owns the copyrighted digital content, but you can find the videos here:

LOC WPF, LOC Silverlight, LOC Surface is in here.

43Things.com is at their site here and the Silverlight Wish43 version is here.  and the WP7 version can be found in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace

The InterKnowlogy “Grey’s Anatomy” Video can be found here.  But, technically ABC television owns the rights to that video so if you do want to watch the 2 minute clip with the cool app we built for the show then please respect the ABC Copyright on it.

Other resources i did not use in the session:

The InterKnowlogy “Best of Surface” Video can be found here.

The cool surface, silverlight and wpf win7 touch app videos can be found here.

Many of the cool InterKnowlogy Silverlight  Apps and videos are here: Go

Here are links to other demos & resources related to WPF Data Visualization that i didn’t do in the session, but that I have done in the past:

The Vertigo Family Show application can be found here: Go

The “design to dev” demo instructions, assets and code can be found here: Download

The Avalon Patient Monitoring Application can here downloaded here.

You can get the Source Code, Demo Guide, and other resources for the StockBoids WPF application that InterKnowlogy’s Szymon Kobalczyk built and won the Microsoft Financial application contest with here: http://geekswithblogs.net/kobush/archive/2008/03/17/120601.aspx

Links to the New York Times Reader (and other news reader) WPF applications can be found at: http://blogs.msdn.com/tims/archive/2007/02/22/great-wpf-applications-10-daily-mail-seattle-p-i-forbes-com-new-york-times.aspx

Install the XAML Cruncher app from here: http://www.charlespetzold.com/wpf/XamlCruncher/XamlCruncher.application

use this XAML as your default document for XAML Cruncher: view here

Resources from my NUI session that are related:

All the resources and bits for the Silverlight Multi-Touch Scatterview control can be found here.

The InterKnowlogy “Craps Casio Game” Video can be found here.

The Emotiv EPOC headset / Neural interface video can be found here.

More Info:

www.InterKnowlogy.com

Tim Huckaby (TimHuck@InterKnowlogy.com)

If you are interested in having InterKnowlogy help you build an application contact me or Emilie Hersh (EmilieH@InterKnowlogy.com)

For employment opportunities at InterKnowlogy:

InterKnowlogy has a small company feel, with a big company presence. We offer our employees the chance to creatively solve technology’s problems all while continually learning the latest and greatest. We treat our employees well, and expect great work. However, we know that bright and creative minds must be cultivated in order to remain passionate and engaged, so InterKnowlogy offers every employee Research and Development time each week.

You have seen our work and the technologies we use – ready to enjoy coming to work every day? E-mail your resume to findyourcalling@InterKnowlogy.com

The links to the pptx & Silverlight 4 reference app from the Silverlight Intro session, that I did at VS Live on November 15th, 2010

The links to the pptx & Silverlight 4 reference app from the Silverlight Intro session, that I did at VS Live on November 15th, 2010

The PowerPoint Deck with all the links on guidance and such can be found here.

The InterKnowlogy AdventureWorks Silverlight 4 reference application solution and source code:

  • Source code can be downloaded here. (7 mbs)
  • A backup of the AdventureWorks2008 database can be downloaded here. (36 mbs)

or you can install the AdventureWorks2008 database from Codeplex here.

The links to the demos, resources and the pptx deck from the “NUI” session I did at TechEd in Berlin on 11/9/10

Here are the links to the demos, resources and the pptx deck from the “NUI” session I did at TechEd in Berlin on 11/9/10

Download the PowerPoint Deck from the session here: Download

The InterKnowlogy “Grey’s Anatomy” Video can be found here.  But, technically ABC television owns the rights to that video so if you do want to watch the 2 minute clip with the cool app we built for the show then please respect the ABC Copyright on it.

All the resources and bits for the Silverlight Multi-Touch Scatterview control can be found here.

The InterKnowlogy / Scripps Research Institute “Cancer app” for Surface Video can be found here.

The InterKnowlogy Virtruview “Heart Surgery” app for Surface Video can be found here.

The InterKnowlogy “Craps Casio Game” Video can be found here.

I’m sorry, but i can’t distribute the NASA Marsbound app just yet.  becuase it has not shipped publicly.  feel free to check back with me in a few weeks or track on the InterKnowlogy.com website

The Emotiv EPOC headset / Neural interface video can be found here.

Other resources i did not use in the session:

The InterKnowlogy “Best of Surface” Video can be found here.

The cool surface, silverlight and wpf win7 touch app videos can be found here.

Download the stand-alone community version (without the SharePoint 2007 dependancy) of the InterKnowlogy “Cancer App“ (C-ME), built for the Scripps Research Institute with source code here: Download

or

Download the 3D “Cancer App“ (C-ME), built for the Scripps Research Institute with supporting docs & source code from Codeplex : Here

Download a stand-alone version of the InterKnowlogy 3D collaborator (the WPF app for 3d AutoCad files) here: Download

See a the video on the WPF 3D Angiographer (3d heart surgery app): Go  (requires Silverlight)

43Things.com is at their site here and the Silverlight Wish43 version is here.

Many of the cool InterKnowlogy Silverlight  Apps and videos are here: Go

Here are links to other demos & resources related to WPF Data Visualization that i didn’t do in the session, but that I have done in the past:

The Vertigo Family Show application can be found here: Go

The “design to dev” demo instructions, assets and code can be found here: Download

The Avalon Patient Monitoring Application can here downloaded here.

You can get the Source Code, Demo Guide, and other resources for the StockBoids WPF application that InterKnowlogy’s Szymon Kobalczyk built and won the Microsoft Financial application contest with here: http://geekswithblogs.net/kobush/archive/2008/03/17/120601.aspx

Links to the New York Times Reader (and other news reader) WPF applications can be found at: http://blogs.msdn.com/tims/archive/2007/02/22/great-wpf-applications-10-daily-mail-seattle-p-i-forbes-com-new-york-times.aspx

Install the XAML Cruncher app from here: http://www.charlespetzold.com/wpf/XamlCruncher/XamlCruncher.application

use this XAML as your default document for XAML Cruncher: view here

More Info:

www.InterKnowlogy.com

Tim Huckaby (TimHuck@InterKnowlogy.com)

If you are interested in having InterKnowlogy help you build an application contact me or Emilie Hersh (EmilieH@InterKnowlogy.com)

For employment opportunities at InterKnowlogy:

InterKnowlogy has a small company feel, with a big company presence. We offer our employees the chance to creatively solve technology’s problems all while continually learning the latest and greatest. We treat our employees well, and expect great work. However, we know that bright and creative minds must be cultivated in order to remain passionate and engaged, so InterKnowlogy offers every employee Research and Development time each week.

You have seen our work and the technologies we use – ready to enjoy coming to work every day? E-mail your resume to findyourcalling@InterKnowlogy.com