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Bootstrapper for .NET framework version detector

You wrote your .NET program, that can be used as stand alone portable application (such as it should be for Smart Client Apps), however you have to be sure, that necessary prerequisites (such as .NET framework) are installed on client’s machine. What to do? How to detect .NET framework version installed on target machine before running .NET application. The answer is – to use unmanaged C++ bootstrapper, that invoke your application if correct version of framework is installed.

.NET framework vrsion detector

Until now there are 15 possible .NET frameworks can be installed on client’s machine. Here the table of possible and official supported versions, as appears in Q318785

.NET version Actual version
3.5 SP1 3.5.30729.1
3.5 3.5.21022.8
3.0 SP2 3.0.4506.2152
3.0 SP1 3.0.4506.648
3.0 3.0.4506.30
2.0 SP2 2.0.50727.3053
2.0 SP1 2.0.50727.1433
2.0 2.0.50727.42
1.1 SP1 1.1.4322.2032
1.1 SP1 (in 32 bit version of Windows 2003) 1.1.4322.2300
1.1 1.1.4322.573
1.0 SP3 1.0.3705.6018
1.0 SP2 1.0.3705.288
1.0 SP1 1.0.3705.209
1.0 1.0.3705.0

All of those versions are detectible by queering specific registry keys. However, in some cases, you need to load mscoree.dll and call “GETCOREVERSION” API to determine whether specific version of .NET is installed. You can read more about it in MSDN.

So it’s really simple to write small C++ application (or PowerShell applet), that queries registry and invoke your managed application. How to do this? You can either read about it in outstanding blog of Aaron Stebner, who is Project Manager in XNA platform deployment team or attend my session next week to learn do it yourself. We’ll speak about nifty ways to do it also.

Anyway, by now, you can use small stand alone program, I wrote a while ago, that will tell you all versions of .NET frameworks installed in target machine without any prerequisites. It can be run even from shared network location :)

Download whoooot.exe (13K) >>

See you next week.

PS: Do not forget to download and install the new version of Visual Studio Snippet Designer, which is extremely useful tool by MVP Bill McCarthy, you’ll need it later next week…

Have a nice day and be good people.

Presenting at TechEd Developers South Africa 2008, Durban

Save the date. TechEd Developers South Africa is around the corner (August 3rd through 6th). This year it will take place in Durban, the third most populous city in South Africa.


This TechEd, there are four sessions assigned to me:

Creating Rich Applications with Windows Presentation Foundation (300)

Completely new session about how to enrich user experience, by decreasing development efforts with WPF. In order to do this, we’ll try to take some application and completely recreate it, by using XAML only without any single code line.

Target audience: Developers and decide makers, who what to understand what can be done with WPF and how easy you can do it.

Understanding Reflection (400)

This is also new session for lazy developers. It’s not only about what reflection is or what’s new about reflection in latest frameworks (including .NET 3.5 and Silverlight), but also how to use it to make developer’s life easier. We’ll enter a bit into IL to understand what’s going on under the hoods, but most of session is about appliance of this technology for everyday developers’ tasks and challenges.

Target audience: Developers, have an experience with .NET programming

WPF Performance (400)

Session very similar to one, I had in Dev Academy 2. However this time it will focus on performance enhancements in .NET framework 3.5 SP1. I’ll speak about virtualization, parallel processing, DX surface direct access and more…

Target audience: Developers, have an experience with WPF development.

Game Development Using Microsoft’s Latest Technologies (300)

Fun session, I had in TechEd Israel with very complicated setup. Here the sneak preview of how it looks like. It listed as a 300 level, because the fact, that except this session’s fun, you can learn a lot of new there.

Target audience: Everyone, who love technology and want to have fun hour in the morning before advanced sessions will begin.

If you’re reading my blog, and you’re going TechEd Africa. Come and say me hello, ‘cos it would be really nice to see the faces of the people I’m writing to in this blog :)

More information about other sessions in this TechEd can be found in Ahmed Salijee blog, who is developer evangelist in Microsoft Africa and arranges this event.

See you there.

XNA Game Studio 3.0 CTP is now available!

Do you want to build XNA games for Zune? Do you want to do in from Visual Studio 2008, rather, then from Visual Studio 2005? Download new technology preview of XNA Game Studio. Currently you cannot build games for XBox with XNA GS 3.0 – only for Zune and PC? What does it mean? Actually nothing, but worth a try. Also, you can see in my blog what you can do with it.

Where to get it? From XNA Creators Club online. For more information, visit XNA team blog.

My TechEd ‘08 presentation slides download

I do not know why, but for some reason in development section of TechEd website there are only two recording and no presentations. I do not want to wait for them to upload (we sent all presentations a while ago), so here it comes. My TechEd presentation DEV335 – Game Development Using Microsoft’s Latest Technologies. I have no recordings by now (so pity), so you’ll have to wait for Microsoft to encode and upload it. Upon it will be done, I’ll publish it here.
There is no real reason to upload samples – they will not work without all environment we had there.

Download full slides from my TechEd presentation (PPT 7,165 KB) >>

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me by using contact form or LinkedIn profile. You also can send me a message by twitter


TechEd is over the corner and we are ready! What about you?

After a lot of work I’m ready for TechEd. It worth me a lot of blood, sweat and tears until it started to work as I expected. What our session about? In one sentence – Game Development. In number of sentences – we’ll build online car racing multiplayer game, that will run on XBOX, Windows, Linux, Mac and mobile phone. All this will be tied up with Windows Live services. During the session, XBOX will play with WPF and Novel Suse Linux will run ASP.NET and play with IIS7. Don’t believe me? Come and see. Here small video, that demonstrates some of this session results. There are much more to see…

See you there 8th of april, 10:45 in Knaan hall of Hilton hotel in Eilat.

Running WPF on gas pump (or other Windows CE devices)?

What do you think, is it possible to run WPF on Windows CE enabled devices (e.g. gas pumps, GPS systems, robots, game or automatic teller machines or, even, scientific calculators)? Let’s see following code:

StackPanel panel = new StackPanel(Orientation.Horizontal);
            Ellipse ellipse = new Ellipse(10, 10);
            ellipse.Fill = new SolidColorBrush(Colors.Red);
            ellipse.Stroke = new Pen(Color.Black);
            Rectangle rect = new Rectangle();
            rect.Width = 40;
            rect.Height = 40;
            Line l = new Line(20, 20);
            Polygon polygon = new Polygon(new int[] { 0, 0, 20, 0, 20, 20, 0, 20 });

            panel.AddHandler(Buttons.ButtonUpEvent, (ButtonEventHandler)delegate
                panel.Orientation = panel.Orientation == Orientation.Horizontal ? Orientation.Vertical : Orientation.Horizontal;
            }, false);

Or even this code

void OnButtonHeld(object o)
    Button b = (Button)o;
    Dispatcher.Invoke(TimeSpan.FromTicks(10), (ButtonHeldDelegate)delegate(Button btn)
        while (Buttons.IsButtonDown(btn))
            switch (btn)
                case Button.Left: p.X–; break;
                case Button.Up: p.Y–; break;
                case Button.Right: p.X++; break;
                case Button.Down: p.Y++; break;
                case Button.Select: p.X = mainWindow.Width / 2; p.Y = mainWindow.Height / 2; break;

    }, b);

void moveMouse()
    host.DrawRectangle(Colors.Black,2,p.X,p.Y, 100, 100,0,0,Colors.Red,0,0,Colors.Blue,100,100,255);

This code will run on any Windows CE device. And it is not WPF :) It’s .NET Micro Framework. Actually, when we’re looking for it’s syntax, it looks like WPF/Silverlight and .NET Micro Framework have the same architect. However, it cannot use hardware acceleration and has very limited number of objects. All this because of it’s purpose "platform to devices that do not need the fuller functionality available in the .NET Framework and the .NET Compact Framework". I would add Windows Presentation Foundation as well.

The application model of .NET Micro Framework is very similar to WPF. It has native CLR/PAL and HAL and managed libraries.


Sufficient number of components in CLR – types, threads and timers, reflection, serialization, GC, networking, other connectivities etc., enables you to create, even games, that will run on even Heart Device.

Other words, cool technology and possible cool appliance for your programming skills. 

How to start? First of all, download .NET Micro Framework v2.5 (VS2005, you can also add Microsoft.SPOT assemblies into your regular VS2008 project) and start programming. It’s really simple (I build snake game for less, then hour)

See your applications, running on embedded devices. BTW, I’ll probably present something, developed with this framework in my TechEd session aside with WPF, Silverlight and XNA… Keep tuned and have a nice day

Some new post-mix downloads

Today is download day at MSDN. There are some very interesting things published.

Enough for this morning. Warm up your download machines and start downloading.

7 XNA community games for XBOX are free now!

Xbox Live Community Games is new program, announced by XNA Creators Club. It gives you a chance to download for free seven games for XBox absolutely free.  So, what are you waiting for? Download it now from website.

What’s included?

  • The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai
  • JelloCar
  • Little Gamers
  • Proximity HD
  • Rocketball
  • TriLinea
  • Culture

You can either watch an "XBox insider" video to learn how to download and run those games.

However, the most interesting news, is that Microsoft deciding be become an authority for distributing community games via Xbox Live Marketplace, thus now, you can write not only for yourself, but wider your game distribution with Microsoft.

So what are you waiting for? Download and install XNA Game Studio 2.0, come to my presentation in TechEd ’08 to learn how to do it and begin to make your own gaming business (or do it just for your fun).


How to build cool games by using XNA framework

This TechEd, me and Alex will explain how to make XNA, WPF and {censored} work together to develop entertainment stuff easier. In spite of the fact, that we’ll explain a little about XNA core, it makes cense (if you want to know) to learn it yourself.

Trust me, XNA is brilliant framework, that makes you able to build games easier. You have not know DirectX or C++ in order to build your own WoW, Resident Evil, GTA or Halo. All you have to do is to visit, download XNA Game Studio 2 and start programming your own game, that will run on your PC and XBOX.

Already done it and still do not know how to start? Let Dan to teach you. Visit his great video series about XNA development. Still frustrated and want to know more? Come and s ee me at TechEd’08 Eilat.






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