Magnificent game music live!

I am a regular metal head and perhaps because of that I also enjoy classic music. Since I am also a gamer I had to go to Play! A Video Game Symphony in Lillestrøm, Norway last Friday. It was truly an amazing experience to hear some of my favorite game themes performed live by the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and Oslo Philharmonic Choir.

Memories of old came back when pictures from The Last Ninja filled the screens accompanied with the dramatic theme. And the themes from The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind and Oblivion beckoned me back to the lands of Tamriel.

I must also mention the drummer Rony Barrak who totally owned the show with his amazing skills at the Darabouka. With only one drum and a couple of cymbals he performed a drum solo like I never heard before. Respect, man!

Update: Someone filmed the Final Fantasy theme. Watch it at YouTube.




Mac vs PC laptops

Cool, Anders made the switch

Last time I needed to buy a new laptop I really considered buying a MacBook Pro. It have such good looks and of course, the ability to run Windows natively makes the MacBook an option for Microsoft heads.

But when compared to an almost equal HP setup the ~9.000NOK price difference was a bit hard to justify.

I asked the Apple salesman what I got for those extra bucks. He answered “Design and reduced Total Cost of Ownership”…again, I found it hard to justify the price. Note, this was back in June so prices may have changed, of course…

Anyway, good luck with your new Mac, Anders đŸ™‚ Anyone else made the switch?


Migrating VSS to TFS

Using the VSSConverter tool you can import source code including revision history from Visual SourceSafe into Team Foundation Server. The thing to do is first run the tool in analyze mode which will scan your VSS repository for problems and also generate a user mapping file that will come in handy later on.

First, you need a settings.xml file. If you’re not too happy with doing xml-in-notepad configuration, there is a GUI tool to help you out. The format isn’t too hard so I went ahead and created it by hand and came up with something like this:

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”utf-8″ ?>
       <Source name=”VSS>
        <VSSDatabase name=”C:\path-to-vss-repository />
        <UserMap name=”Usermap.xml />
       <SQL Server=”your-existing-sqlserver />
        <Project Source=”$/ProjectX Destination=”$/ProjectX />
      <TeamFoundationServer name=”tfs-server port=”8080 protocol=”http />
      <Output file=”MigrationReport.xml />

By default VSSConverter wants to use SQLExpress during import. Adding the SQL element I was able to use my existing SQL Server. So with this stuff in place, the analyze mode gave me some warnings (luckily no errors) about shared files not being supported in TFS and that these would end up as independent copies. I’m fine with that but if you’re heavily relying on shared files in VSS you probably need to think twice before migrating.

Quite jolly after a successful analyze I went ahead to do the actuall migration. First, I quickly edited the Usermap.xml file to map VSS users to Windows users. Then, I was hoping that my initial 

<Project Source=”$/ Destination=”$/ />

would work and that VSSConverter created a Team Project for each root project in my repository. But nooo. If you want separate Team projects for each top-level folder in VSS you must create these manually through the Team Explorer and then put up a Project element in the settings file for each project.

I actually had a couple of projects in VSS that I wanted to migrate into the same Team project. So I created ProjectX in TFS and imported ProjectY. So far so good. Next I tried to import ProjectZ into ProjectX and got error TF60099 slammed in my face. Seems that VSSConverter remembers the first project paths in order to do an incremental import later on, and refused to import a different VSS project. Given this tip I solved the problem by creating a sub-folder in ProjectX and configured my import like this:

<Project Source=”$/ProjectZ Destination=”$/ProjectX/ProjectZ />.

And that was it, actually. Goodby Visual SourceSafe. Good riddance, I’d say.


Xbox Live Marketplace had nothing to do with it

…as I previously assumed. The download list update “slowness” was actually filtering caused by Parental Controls enabled on the console. Unrated content will be hidden. XNA Creators Club does not have any control on what code will be executed on the xbox. So the XNACC download is marked Unrated and thus hidden.

Michael, Program Manager for XNA Game Studio, and PatrickB3 probably knew this all along, they just wouldn’t tell me until right before Christmas. Turning off Parental Control on my console solved the mystery.