Archive for October, 2008

HP TouchSmart application development guidelines: download them now

October 29, 2008 12:15 am

I just noticed that the development guidelines for how to write an application that works with the HP TouchSmart software has been made available for download.

Go get it at

There’s a license agreement you need to read and agree to before you download. Please read it carefully.

The document is not what I would call a “proper” SDK, since there are no “header files” or anything of that kind. The nice thing is that our “interface” is at the hWnd level, so pretty much any way you want to write a touch-optimized windows app should be able to work in the HP TouchSmart environment.

One more thing: you need to also download the update to the HP TouchSmart software itself, otherwise you won’t have the ability to “register” your application with the TouchSmart UI. That update is available here:

[Edit 2008-11-20: The update was taken down for a while, for fixing an issue that was found after initial release. This is the new link.]

[Edit 2008-12-07: Looks like the link moved once more. Hope it stays for a while now. The SP number is sp40894]

So there you go, have fun writing some apps, and show them off through the community site. No need to wait for Windows 7…

PDC 2008, Day 2 – HP TouchSmart front and center

October 28, 2008 11:55 pm


The PDC keynote this morning was amazing to me. It felt like the HP TouchSmart PC was utilized for about half of the entire keynote by Steven Sinofski and Julie Larson Green. Four machines on stage, front and center.

Since the HP TouchSmart doesn’t have VGA out, there was a camera guy up on stage during the demos, which I thought worked out really well, sort of bringing the audience up on stage with Julie.



Naturally, the machines had been wiped clean and had a Windows 7 build with the new taskbar installed (6933, the build on “The Goods” is 6801 and doesn’t have it). NextWindow, the people making the touchscreen, are making a Windows 7 compatible driver available so you can start developing for Windows 7 touch today, using the TouchSmart. Of course, I’d rather you develop something for the HP TouchSmart UI that we’ve created, and you’ll be able to download some documentation for that soon, from the community site

But I digress.

If you ever doubted that .NET and WPF were ready for “prime time”, doubt no longer. According to Scott Guthrie’s keynote, Visual Studio 2010 will have its user interface migrated to WPF. That almost blew my mind. Microsoft transitioning their bedrock developer tool to WPF – they wouldn’t do that lightly. Here’s a shot of how WPF in VS 2010 will enable useful visualizations and hookup to external tools:


Scott, too used TouchSmart for his keynote:


And Tesco used it for their demo as well:


And the machines that were all covered up tightly in the big room yesterday:


Yup, all TouchSmarts, ready for Multi Touch hands-on-labs:


The Windows 7 booth had one:


The WPF team did too, although I don’t have a picture of it.

The coolest “giveaway” of PDC 2008 has to be the Sensor development kit from the Windows 7 team. It’s got a hardware board from Freescale with a bunch of sensors, accelerometer and LEDs, all powered via USB, and accessible via the new Sensor APIs in Windows 7. Here’s a shot of the booth:


I can’t wait to play with it.

What a day. Not sure it gets much better than that.

Quick impressions from PDC 2008, Day 1

October 27, 2008 11:14 pm

STA_1752 Stitch

Windows Azure (hmm, hard to pronounce for non-U.S. people, wonder if they ever consider things like that). Ozzie was great, knew his material, delivered well! Wonder what they’ll charge once it’s ready. Red shoes on the dev team, nice touch.

Best presentation, HANDS DOWN: Surface! Cool technology, excellent demos, super easy SDK. One word: wow! Sorry, no pics. Sure you can find plenty elsewhere.

Biggest surprise for me on a personal level: Meeting Nathan Dunlap from IdentityMine (Hi, Nathan!). Seeing their components demoed, running on HP TouchSmart, no less: fabulous.

Other HP TouchSmart sightings: DevExpress demoing their wares on TouchSmart too. More sightings to come tomorrow after the Windows 7 keynotes.

Handed out about three handfuls of USB drives with TouchSmart development guidelines (to some that might be an SDK, but it really is just a document with some high level guidelines). In other words: yes, you can write your own programs for HP TouchSmart and yes, this will be available for download some time soon (pending a software update that is needed for the IQ 500 series, IQ 800 series should be good to go as-is). If you’re not at PDC – sorry, you’ll have to wait a little longer to get it. Someone from Microsoft said it was the nicest USB drive he had seen so far.

My OpenSpace session on TouchSmart development happened, sort of. I just didn’t get to talk much with anyone completely new to HP TouchSmart with an interest in developing for it. Was nice to see some familiar faces, though (Hi, Mark, in case you read this!)

Check out my photos on Flickr.

HP TouchSmart / badges at PDC 08

October 24, 2008 10:44 pm

You’ll see a lot of the HP TouchSmart PC at the Microsoft PDC 2008 starting on Monday. Not only physically, but also as it relates to the software. Can’t say any more than that right now.

We’ll have two of the HP TouchSmart software developers attending, so if you see them, don’t be shy. Please come and say "hi".

If you do, we’ll have some stuff to share that should make people who have commented on some of my previous posts a little happier, I think. Again, I can’t say any more than that now.

Oh, and we’ll have PDC badges to hand out. Here’s a sample:


We have five different ones, but only a limited supply.

Oh, and we may do an OpenSpace session, although I’m not sure we’d be in "compliance" with the rules. Let’s see.

I’m definitely looking forward to PDC 08!

I’ll be wearing my geek tie (recently "upgraded", too). Hope to see you there!