Break into Code challenge $3000 competition for 9–18 year olds using Touchdevelop.com – Microsoft UK Faculty Connection #yam

WELCOME TO Microsoft®
WELCOME TO Microsoft® (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Break Into Code!

We want to give all students  the opportunity to learn coding, so why not get started today with http://www.Touchdevelop.com and have a chance of winning $3000

Microsoft Imagine introduces the Break Into Code challenge as a beginner level challenge that will get students excited about coding even if they don’t have any previous experience. We’ve teamed up with Microsoft Research’s Touch Develop to get students of all ages started with a simple, easy to follow tutorial on coding a brick breaker game. The tutorial will get them started from a blank slate to a working game which they can then personalize and reinvent to make it their own. They can use any device with a browser and internet connection to participate.

via Break into Code challenge $3000 competition for 9–18 year olds using Touchdevelop.com – Microsoft UK Faculty Connection – Site Home – MSDN Blogs.

Unity Game Starter Kit for Windows Store and Windows Phone Store games #yam

Vasura is a top to bottom scrolling shooter.
Vasura is a top to bottom scrolling shooter. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have created a simple game that you can download, play with and submit to the store – both to Windows Store and Windows Phone Store – reching millions of users world wide. It contains the basic functionality of a 2d sidescrolling shooter game.

This game starts simple, then after level 3 – more enemies will come, and after level 4 there is a possibility that a harder enemy that takes two shots to kill will spawn.

The game supports input of touch, mouse, keyboard and the xbox controller just connect it to a surce or a computer and play!.

This game is pretty simple, but with your modifications to it, it can be a totally new game with much more content.

via Unity Game Starter Kit for Windows Store and Windows Phone Store games | digitalerr0r.

Using Windows 8 to build Windows 8 apps #yam


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Microsoft Project Siena is a Windows 8 app which allows you to develop more Windows 8 apps, no programming skills required.

The process starts by placing, moving and resizing assorted objects on your page: images, videos, buttons, lists, checkboxes, whatever they might be.

You can link your visuals to data sources: RSS feeds, an Excel file, Sharepoint, Azure services and more.

Next comes the tricky task of making sure the app works as you expect. And this isn\’t particularly easy, at all. You don\’t need programming knowledge, but there are lots of options and settings you\’ll need to learn in order to get everything working properly as well as entering Excel code for more complex logic.

Once it\’s all done then you can use the app yourself, or share it with others. See the details below for more information

via Using Windows 8 to build Windows 8 apps – Microsoft UK Faculty Connection – Site Home – MSDN Blogs.

Cloud-computing training for researchers marches on – Microsoft Research Connections Blog – Site Home – MSDN Blogs #yam

English: Diagram showing overview of cloud com...
English: Diagram showing overview of cloud computing including Google, Salesforce, Amazon, Axios Systems, Microsoft, Yahoo & Zoho (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last September, as part of our global Windows Azure for Research program, we announced our cloud training classes that we designed to show academics how Windows Azure can accelerate their research. Now that we’re almost a month into the new year, we would like to let you know what we have planned for 2014—including some new resources that you can use and share with your colleagues and contacts.

via Cloud-computing training for researchers marches on – Microsoft Research Connections Blog – Site Home – MSDN Blogs.

Safer Internet Day 2014: Microsoft drives trainings and events in 20 countries across Europe #yam

Image representing Microsoft as depicted in Cr...
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Safer Internet Day SID is an annual, global campaign that promotes a healthy Internet for everyone. Organized by Insafe and co-founded by the European Union, Safer Internet Day encourages the responsible use of online technologies and services.  This year’s theme, “Let’s create a better Internet together,” reminds us that we all have an active role to play in helping to protect our families, information, and devices.

Microsoft continues its commitment to help make the Internet safer for people of all ages and abilities through investments in family safety technology, key partnerships, and consumer education and guidance.

To mark SID, we are launching an interactive website—Microsoft.com/SaferOnline—where people can #Do1Thing to stay safer online and create a better Internet, learn what others around the world are doing to avoid risks, and raise Microsoft dollars for TechSoup Global, a nonprofit organization using technology to solve global problems & foster social change.

via Safer Internet Day 2014: Microsoft drives trainings and events in 20 countries across Europe.

Getting Started with Windows Azure and IaaS – TechNet UK – Site Home – TechNet Blogs

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Are you an active user of Windows Azure? Tried it and not convinced, or yet to give it a go? There are a whole range of resources available to help you get to grips with the Cloud and harness the power of Azure, and we have recently released a number of new free documents on top of whats already out there. More than that, we also have some free events planned to introduce the multitude of Azure services available and give you the chance to ask questions to Microsoft experts and partners. You can find a summary below, along with some great examples of how it all really works in practice.

via Getting Started with Windows Azure and IaaS – TechNet UK – Site Home – TechNet Blogs.

Testing Microsoft Azure

Le stand Windows Azure aux #techdays 2010
Le stand Windows Azure aux #techdays 2010 (Photo credit: tomconte)

Beginning Azure

In the world of cloud hosted computing platforms it is fair to say that Amazon have taken the lead with their Elastic Compute Cloud (ECC). The newest contender to their crown comes from Microsoft. The Azure infrastructure provides a global backbone suitable for building, deploying and managing applications and services.

As a test of the suitability of Azure for these types of deployments I chose to deploy and build a new WordPress instance from scratch. This seemed a reasonable, albeit fairly simplistic, way of testing each part of the processes in turn:

  • Implementing a new computing instance
  • Installing a standard piece of open source software
  • Transferring data to the new virtual machine

While Azure as a platform supports many more technologies including XML, ASP.NET and Node.js the standard WordPress combination of PHP and MySQL provides a test that will cover a large percentage of implementations.

Sign Up

The sign up process for Azure is reasonably simple for those with one of the many incarnations of a Live account. (If not creating a new account at outlook.com is fairly painless.)

Once logged in the sign up requires verification delivered via either a texted code of a phone call followed by payment details. Payment is only required where usage exceeds the fairly generous trial limits.

Shortly after you find yourself confronted with the management portal.

Azure Management

Azure instances fall into four general themes:

  • Compute: including web services and virtual machines
  • Data Services: including storage and SQL databases
  • App Services
  • Networks

Creating a new instance of one of these is as simple as following the options. For this test I chose to create a new web service form the app gallery. This is a continually expanding  set of pre-cast applications such as ASP.NET, Drupal and Joomla. Creating my new WordPress site is easy.

  1. Choose WordPress and click next
  2. Give the database a name
  3. Keep the default “Create new MySQL database” option
  4. Choose the region where the database is to be stored. For those of us in Europe that have to comply with data protection legislation this step should be given some serious thought
  5. Press the tick and off you go

The new web site is then created and made available. (I’ve skipped over the WordPress setup.)

I’m sad to report that that’s it. The new instance is made available and is ready to go right here

http://tonygurneywordpress.azurewebsites.net

In some ways I would have preferred a longer, more tortuous set-up. As an IT guy I can always charge more for obfuscation but in this case that won’t be possible. The only thing that remains is to try the other facilities.

I look forward to it.

1:1 Computing in Education – Microsoft UK Schools blog – Site Home – MSDN Blogs

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As the global economy embraces the digital age, it is important that the delivery and focus of education evolves to better equip learners with the 21st Century skills that are key to their future success.

With this challenge in mind, a number of factors come into play, but arguably one of the most significant drivers to help build 21st Century skills is 1:1 computing in education. Whether it’s helping to equip children to compete in the global economy or driving equality and social mobility, 1:1 computing is described by many, including the Sutton Trust in their recent research, to be a prerequisite for improving learning outcomes and helping to build 21st Century skills.

via 1:1 Computing in Education – Microsoft UK Schools blog – Site Home – MSDN Blogs.

Microsoft Books for FREE on Amazon (Kindle) – Hot UK Deals #yam

Introducing Windows Server 2012 Introducing Windows SQL Server 2012Introducing Windows 8 – An Overview for IT Professionals Moving to MS Visual Studio 2010Programming Windows 8 appsSecurity and privacy for MS Office 2010 usersIntroducing Windows S…

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Image via CrunchBase

Introducing Windows Server 2012
Introducing Windows SQL Server 2012
Introducing Windows 8 – An Overview for IT Professionals
Moving to MS Visual Studio 2010
Programming Windows 8 apps
Security and privacy for MS Office 2010 users
Introducing Windows Server 2012 RTM edition
First Look: Microsoft Office 2010
Microsoft?? Office 365 

Microsoft IT Academy Student Pass

Image via CrunchBase Microsoft DreamSparkThe Microsoft IT Academy Student Pass is a special no-cost online learning opportunity for students. IT Academy Student Pass provides free e-learning courses to verified students who are interested in exten…

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Image via CrunchBase

Microsoft DreamSpark

The Microsoft IT Academy Student Pass is a special no-cost online learning opportunity for students. IT Academy Student Pass provides free e-learning courses to verified students who are interested in extending their technical skills with Microsoft technologies.

The IT Academy Student Pass offers 12 to 22 hours of FREE e-learning courses, aligned to the first set of topics you need to master for the first Microsoft certification exam within the track. Each track is unique, and most will require you to take additional e-learning courses to complete all of the topics you need to succeed on the certification exam.

The goal of the IT Academy Student Pass is to give you a head start by providing hours and hours of rich, award-winning e-learning content that sets the stage for the learning to come.

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