Friday, July 24, 2009

Microsoft BizSpark

We are since a couple of weeks back a Microsoft BizSpark Member. This is a great opportunity for us (and other small companies) to be able to save a great deal of money on software licenses. We are currently running Visual Studio 2008 & Office 2007 in the office and the licenses cost us nothing. Another great aspect of this membership is the ability it gives us to test various softwares without any restrictions whatsoever.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Converting VC8 Solution To VC9

Ok, so I installed VS 2008 (see previous post). Were there any complications involved? Not really. Only 1 major and 1 minor. First, since I wanted to keep all vc8 projects and solutions, I copied all vc8-projects & vc8-solutions and renamed the copies to *_vc9.proj & *_vc9.sln. Then I edited all vc9.sln files to use vc9.proj files instead of the vc8.proj files. I fired up vc9.sln and VS converted the solution and the project files without problems. All fine. Was I able to build the solution? No.

There were 1 warning and 1 error. The warning was easy. It was the warning about wp64 (the option which checks for 64-bit compatibility issues) have been deprecated. All I had to do to remove this warning was to disable 64bit compatibility check in the projects options (It's deprecated anyway. You should build in 64-bits mode instead).

The error I got was from the resource compiler. I have used the resource editor and some Win32 API programming to show some simple editor dialogs in the game. When I installed VS2005 I included the MFC files which enables you to use MFC. Since I have never used MFC (I use the core Win32 API instead) I did not include it when I installed VS2008. What I didn't know (and what I think is a bug(?) from Microsoft) is that the resource editor includes a dependency on "afxres.h" in your resource file. This "afxres.h" only gets included in your install when you choose to install MFC. The solution to fix this (I do not want to install MFC) is to copy 2 files from the MFC dir of VS2005 to the same dir in VS2008.
  • VS8\VC\atlmfc\include\afxres.h -> VS9\VC\atlmfc\include\afxres.h
  • VS8\VC\atlmfc\include\winres.h -> VS9\VC\atlmfc\include\winres.h

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Visual Studio 2005 To 2008

Today I decided to upgrade my Visual Studio from 2005 to 2008 (Team System Developer Edition). The installation failed almost immediately due to an error while installing .NET Framework 3.5. For some reason I couldn't upgrade my .Net Framework version to 3.5 which is a requirement for VS2008. I tried several different ways but without any luck. The solution I found was to download .NET Framework Cleanup Tool . This tool can remove all your previous versions of .Net Framework and make your system clean of .Net Framework. After cleaning my system I downloaded .Net Framwork 3.5 SP1 installer from Microsoft and ran it. It worked like a charm. Now let's see what VS2008 have to offer me...

Friday, July 3, 2009


When working in a team you *must* use some kind of revision control sytem. Examples of such systems are SVN, CVS, Perforce & Sourcesafe. Here at the office we use SVN. As client software we choose to use TortoiseSVN. I guess we are not alone using this great piece of software since to date there have been roughly 16,000,000 downloads of it.
Now, I have had a problem in the past. I often work on several differnet computers and often when you work on some piece of a game engine, it might take a couple of days, weeks, before something is ready (stable enough) to be commited to the revision control repository. But since I might start work on something on my laptop in the office, I want to continue the work at my stationary computer at home. I DO want to keep the files synchronized but I do not want to commit my changes to the repository since no other should be bothered with temporary/broken/test - code.
Previously I have synchronized manually. Moving files back and forth on a USB stick. This can really be a pain since it's hard to keep track of changes, and newly added files. It's no fun at all I tell you. And when I'm in a hurry, I always seem to forget at file or two. One exciting new piece of software which can help you a great deal in this situation is DropBox. It gives you 2GB of free server space, and it automatically tracks changes to files. You can use it as a simple revision control system or backup software. Whenever I add/change files in my "DropBox folder" the files get synced on the server and when I log in on my other computer I get all the changes automatically. It works really well.