What have I been up to?
Well, a lot has been going on lately. Work as been very hectic leading up to NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) convention. I actually got to go this year, which marks nearly 10 years since the last time. What's amazing is to see how much has changed and even more impressive is how much has stayed the same. The Las Vegas convention center is more than tripled in size. The radio section is still about the same size... and nothing really jumped out at me as being to drastically different. There's been improvement in the software that people use, but none of it is what I would call ground breaking technology. The hardware has improved, mainly in the size of the components... but considering that the end users expect to play with knobs, sliders and switches, this is not much of a surprise either.
Now, the TV portion has nearly tripled in size as well. About 1/3rd of that space was dedicated to various technologies focusing on either video compression or HD editing. The Apple booth was huge; apparently they are really trying to push themselves as a leading competitor in the High Definition video market; of course, Avid, Pinnacle, Sony, etc. were all there as well. What shocked me was that the technology that our company is already licensing is HD editing ready. I'll have to make no changes to my code in order to support High Definition... sweet! Got to meet with a lot of our technology partners and see some people face to face for the first time since we began speaking nearly two years ago.
Now for the .NET related portion of this entry...
Obviously, looking at screens and such won't tell me what technologies people are using to develop their products, however, keep my ears open, the question usually pops up as to what people are using to develop. I saw a lot of cool products out there, some written as C++ COM objects that are leveraged by VB6 developers to manipulate on screen graphics (as an example). I saw very few people running (or more accurately leveraging Windows XP Visual Styles). But there was one semi-shocker out there... one other company is using .NET to developer their products. What is interesting is that this is one of our companies technology partners! Nearly every time I spoke on the phone with them, the topic of .NET would come up... first by me explaining that that's what I was using and they should get with the program... then, in the past 8-9 months or so... they've finally taken the leap and developed a new application using C#. Now the developers on that project wouldn't even think of going back to C++ ;-) That's what I like to hear. Without understanding the radio / television industry, it's difficult for me to explain the scope of this. This industry is one of the slowest to adopt new software technologies; once they buy something, it's usually 5-7 years before anything new is even discussed. To see two major companies in this space moving to .NET is exciting.
Oh yeah... Xbox Friends Thing is growing in numbers a lot faster than I ever expected. I'm working on a new version, so sit tight... it's coming.