Archive | June 18, 2010

New slim XBOX 360 available at Amazon

After several days of drastically reduced prices for the older packages (Arcade version sliding as low as $149 with $50 gift card), Amazon finally has the new and slim XBOX 360 available for pre-order, at $299 with free shipping and no taxes in most states. The title isĀ Xbox 360 250GB Elite Console and it is advertised as “Kinect ready” – basically is has a special port for the new Kinect controller-free device that would allow you to use only one power adapter.

The new XBOX 360 is smaller that the predecessor and whisper quiet, making it a better fit for your entertainment center. It scores a spacious 250GB hard drive and integrated wireless-N adapter.

XBOX Live Gold membership card gives you access to additional features like Netflix HD client, Facebook client, Twitter and starting this fall, ESPN HD. There are rumors also about a possible HULU integration, but we need to see it first.

Microsoft Small Basic – a renewed Basic for children and absolute beginners

I, like many others my age, started my programming career learning BASIC. Initially on a Sinclair ZX Spectrum clone, after that on Commodore 64. Well, Microsoft wants to motivate the new generation to go into software development by releasing the 2010 equivalent of good old BASIC called Microsoft Small Basic. And it is small, at least by today standards, a meager 5.6MB install file for the current version, 0.9. I just downloaded it (for free, of course) , the installation took 15 seconds and I was good to go.

The application is very easy to use, it has Intellisense (a scaled down version of it, and very user friendly) and contextual help in the side bar. I intend to play with my 6 year old son in the weekend and see if he has any interest in it.

Small Basic is based on .NET technology, of course object oriented and also supports Silverlight, which allows you to publish your creations directly on your website and the visitors can run them in their browser, just like a Flash application. Microsoft also provides a converter to help you later “graduate” to Visual Basic. Check after the break for additional screen-shots. For more information, visit Microsoft Small Basic website. Read More…