Swords and Software

Operating Systems





Linux Software

Linux distributions use a system of packages (conceptually similar to Windows installers) to install and update software. These packages reside on a repository which is on a known server, and can be retrieved using an appropriate package tool (such as apt-get for Debian derivatives like Ubuntu or Knoppix, and yum for Red Hat derivatives like Fedora).

You need root privileges to install software, so you will need to run commands like:

sudo apt-get install firefox

Below are some useful free applications for Linux, most of which you can install with a package management tool (depending on availability in the distribution's repositories):

Below are some supporting libraries you can install for specific development tasks:

External info:


Windows Phone 7

General Info and Resources

The developer tools for the Windows Phone 7 series were announced at the MIX10 conference and subsequently released as a CTP for use by developers, even though the platform is available only via an emulator and there are no phones capable of running ti yet. For me this was reminiscent of my Android days two years ago, when we were using Android developer tools that were so early in development that their version was marked only as a milestone number.


Information Hubs / General Information:

Information on specific topics:

My Windows Phone 7 Applications

The original ball game
The original ball game
Game with slightly better textures
Game with slightly better textures
Game running as a Windows game
Game running as a Windows game

My first application for Windows Phone 7 was a simple Arkanoid-style ball game (it has no particular name) with no bricks to break - just a ball and paddle. The ball can bounce on the paddle or on the top, left and right of the screen, and the game is lost when the ball hits the bottom of the screen.

The textures used by the game for the ball and paddle were improved slightly following the first implementation of the game, and this required no code changes. This updated version of the game was demonstrated during my presentation on Visual Studio 2010 at Microsoft DevDays 2010 Malta, on 26th March 2010.

The great thing about XNA 4 for the phone is that the way you write XNA games for the PC or for the phone is the same. In fact the exact same code written for the Windows Phone 7 game was deployed as-is into an XNA Windows Game (except for having to comment out the Touch API import), and just worked.

Windows Phone 7 Calculator
Windows Phone 7 Calculator

The Windows Phone 7 Developer Tools CTP allow creation of applications for the phone as either XNA 4 games or Silverlight applications. Having already written a simple XNA 4 game (above), on 26th March 2010 I wrote a simple calculator application to try out Silverlight for the phone. I had never written a Silverlight application before, but getting it working was simple enough.

Google Android

Android is a mobile platform by Google. Although, at the time of this writing [5th May 2008], there are no phones capable of using this platform, enthusiasts have been programming for it for some time now, using the Android Emulator. I'm not really an enthusiast, as I was 'forced' to write software for Android as one of my third year Assigned Practical Tasks. But it was an experience, an experience I'm very much willing to share with any new developers who, like my friends and I, found very it difficult with the lack of proper tutorials and resources on the net.

For starters, below is a list of links I found useful when I had to develop software for Android.

Android 3.0 SDK Preview [28th January 2011]:

Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad