Pinball 2000 Software Update with Windows 7 x64

pb2k

Warning: This is a pretty off-topic post about pinball, but maybe it'll help someone searching for the information.

Backstory: My dad was a coin-op operator. I'm the son of a coin-op operator. As you might imagine, I have a just a tiny bit of love for video games and pinballs. When my dad passed away in 2008, I decided to keep my favorite pins from the route: Funhouse, Addams Family, Theatre of Magic, Tales of the Arabian Nights, and Revenge from Mars.

After sitting in storage for a couple of years, the software update sitting on Revenge from Mars would no longer checksum properly. The game was running fine, but obviously something was wrong. After lots of other work on the machine, it was time

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Kinect for Windows SDK is here!

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Hooray!  I can finally talk about this!  As I've alluded to previously, I had a hand (one of many) in the managed portion of the SDK and what was originally shown at MIX. Since then the SDK has changed a bit but it's finally ready to go!

The Kinect for Windows SDK is now available for download on the Microsoft Research site.  We have also launched several samples over at Coding4Fun that you can begin using immediately:

Coding4Fun Kinect Toolkit

You definitely want to download this one when you get started.  This toolkit contains a variety of extension methods and controls to make using the Kinect for Windows SDK even easier to use.  Some of my code appears in

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ThinkGearNET Library

mindset I have written and posted a new library that allows .NET developers to easily connect to and use the Neurosky MindSet headset from any .NET application.  You can find the source code and a binary of the library at CodePlex.  Usage is very simple and may seem familiar to those that have used my .NET Wiimote LIbrary; set a reference to the library and you can connect to a headset as follows:

private ThinkGearWrapper _thinkGearWrapper = new ThinkGearWrapper();
 
private void Connect()
{
    _thinkGearWrapper = new ThinkGearWrapper();
    
    // setup the event
    _thinkGearWrapper.ThinkGearChanged += _thinkGearWrapper_ThinkGearChanged;
    
    // connect to the device on the specified COM port at 57600 baud
    _thinkGearWrapper.Connect("COM4", 57600, true);
}
 
void _thinkGearWrapper_ThinkGearChanged(object sender, ThinkGearChangedEventArgs e)
{
    // write out one of the many properties
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Windows 7 Launch Party in NYC

win_logo I had the extreme pleasure of being invited to and attending the Windows 7 Launch Party in New York City on October 22nd.  I went down to the city with fellow MVP Bill Pytlovany, author of the popular WinPatrol security software.  You can watch a video of the entire launch below or at the official Windows 7 press site.  Be sure to watch to the end to get a glimpse of some super-awesome hardware that takes advantage of all Windows 7 has to offer.

All in all, It was quite a day, from getting a picture with Steve Ballmer himself to meeting segment producer and occasional on-screen Late Show with David Letterman character Brian Teta who was amazed I recognized him. 

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Head Banger Is Now Available on Xbox LIVE Community Games

xboxboxart Several friends and I work together to write “indie” video games under the brand Ganksoft EntertainmentYou may recall that for Maker Faire 2007, we created a very simple rhythm-based music game (think Rock Band or Dance Dance Revolution) using XNA called Head Banger.

With Microsoft’s official release of Xbox LIVE Community Games with the New Xbox Experience, we decided to blow the dust off of Head Banger, add a couple songs, integrate it bit more with Community Games and XNA 3.0 and release it.  It is now available for purchase for 200 Microsoft Points (or, as with all Arcade and Community games, there’s a free trial) straight from the Community Games section of the Games Marketplace on your Xbox

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