Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Released this week, Visual Studio 2013 Update 4 CTP2

Visual Studio 2013 continues to grow and more bugs in the previous release are fixed.
Also released during the week are the following:
  • Team Explorer Everywhere Update 2
  • Visual Studio Tools for Unity 1.9.1
The download link for the Update 4 CTP2 is here:
The relevant files to download are:
VS2013.4 CTP.exe (1.8 MB)
VS2013.4.ctp2_tfs_enu.iso (2.5 GB)
VS2013.4.ctp2_tfs_exp_enu.iso (530.0 MB)

In the Update 2 CTP2 the main improvement is for Visual C++.
The full details are here:

The improvements to C++ copied from the above are :
Visual Studio now scans or rescans a solution and then updates the database much more quickly for large solutions. Therefore, the browsing process should be much more responsive, and you should experience fewer situations in which you are blocked when you perform browsing operations (such as Go To Definition) on large solutions.
•Visual Studio 2013 Update 4 CTP 2 enables you to collect and analyze GPU usage data for Windows applications by using the Performance and Diagnostics hub. This tool can help you determine whether CPU or GPU is the performance bottleneck of the application. You can also inspect timing data of each individual GPU event if supported graphics cards are present and the latest drivers are installed.

For details of the bug fixes please look up the KB article (2994375)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Microsoft announces Solid State Drives(SSD) D-Series for Azure VMs and Cloud Services

The new D-Series Standard tier instances announced today have  SSD local drives and faster processors compared to A-Series instances.

The D-Series non-persistent instances can be used as,
  • VMs
  • Web/Worker roels in Cloud Services
If you need faster CPU performance, local disk performance and higher memories these are well suited.

The following table shows the cpu, memory and disk configurations for the D-Series.

Few more details here:

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Wolfram a Knowedge based Programming Language

If you have not heard of this language it is high time you know about it. It is a proprietary
programming language that is knowledge-based, scalable, interactive and  runs on many platforms including,
  • Linux
  • Mac
  • Windows
  • iOS -near future
  • Android -near future
and on all the devices including,
  • desktop
  • cloud
  • mobile
The interactive user intrface runs natively on Mac, Windows and Linux on supported browsers.
Well that is all ready a lot.

It can do Graphics and hailing from its Mathematica origins it is extremely well suited for scientific
projects and it is well supported by a community eager to help.

Although started off with Mathematica it has grown over the long years and it now includes the
Computational Knowledge engine - WolframAlpha. It is neat and you just ask questions as simply as the one shown in this screen shot:


It is certainly knowledge based and as questions are not unique and based on your assumptions you may get a different answer.
Looks at this next one. The question is posed very simply and the answer is so very cool!

Here is another

These were queries in text. With the pro version you can input images and data structures that need computational assistance.

Here are what Bing and Google finds and Yahoo did no better. You may note these browsers can compute expressions like 2^2+3^2 etc. The example chosen is a little more difficult. Can Cortana get this intelligence?

Explore more about  Wolfram|Alpha here:

This video is very comprehensive. Do not skip!


The language handles all kinds of data from SQL, Excel Spreadsheet to freeform inputs and it can source data from of databases as well.

This could be a good challenge to the star number cruncher MS Excel.

Here is screen shot of the Wolfram Cloud on which I have a basic membership.

What about IoT?
This is covered too and you may find examples with RaspberryPi.
What's more it has hooks to C, .NET and Java.