Great Tablet PC Development Blog

Gavin Gear, a software engineer on the Tablet PC Team (SDK) has been writing some great articles on Tablet PC development, complete with code samples (C# mainly).  He started off with the basics, and is now starting to move into some advanced areas.

If you are a developer who wants a crash course in Tablet PC programming (or hire / manage such developers) be sure to check out Gavin’s blog – you’ll be up and inking in no time.

Gavin also has an open invatation to answer any Tablet PC SDK questions you throw at him – very cool!

Gavin, keep up the great work!

Ink Blog Plugin – Update for problem systems

I’ve had a few problem reports from folks using Ink Blog Beta 2, where they get an exception message that starts like this:

System.IO.FileNotFoundException: Could not load file or assembly
‘Microsoft.mshtml, Version=7.0.3300.0, Culture=neutral,
PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a’ or one of its dependencies. The system
cannot find the file specified.
File name: ‘Microsoft.mshtml, Version=7.0.3300.0


If you are getting this message, or any similar message that has “Microsot.mshtml” in it, then it probably means your system is missing this Windows file.  Normally this file is installed as part of IE 5.5 and up, so most folks have it.  I have read several reasons why this file may be missing, including IE7 Beta installs, but it seems pretty rare.

If you are missing the file, and you want to run Ink Blog Plugin you have 2 options:

1) Download / Repair your IE Install

2) Or (much easier) just download the missing file from here, unzip it, and copy it to your plugin directory ( C:\Program Files\Windows Live Writer\Plugins )


Hope this helps a few of you.


Microsoft XNA Game Studio Available

Like most of you, I saw the XNA announcement about a month ago, I had actually forgotten about it – or at least cataloged it into a back corner of the mind.

Well, I just saw an email from MSDN  that the new XNA game development studio beta is now available.  There is no support yet for the XBOX 360 yet, but they say it will be available later this year.

I really think once the 360 support is ready AND Microsoft figures out an easy way for smaller developers to promote and monetize these games (and apps), we’ll see an interesting ecosystem start to crop up here.

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Ink Blog Plugin Beta 2 now Available!

UPDATE – Please note the newest version (v1.0) is now available here

I’ve just released an updated version of the Ink Blog Plugin, Beta 2 for Microsoft Live Writer & Tablet PCs.

There are quite a bit of new features here including:

  • More ink colors, including custom colors
  • Handwriting Recognition of Ink, which is posted in blog under the ink area
  • Various pens and line weights
  • Highlighters
  • Lasso tool / Move / Cut / Copy / Paste
  • Multi-level Undo / Redo
  • Text inside the ink region
  • Ability to re-edit ink before you publish
  • Vertically Expanding ink area – unlimited ‘paper’
  • Edit mode backgrounds for cleaner inking (Several line widths & Grid)
  • Recognition of shapes
  • And More….. 🙂


  • Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
  • Windows Live Writer
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0
  • Microsoft Ink Update for Tablet PCs on .NET framework 2.0 / CLR

To Install the latest version on your Tablet:

  1. Download Here
  2. Close any open MS Windows of Live Writer
  3. Run Installer by double clicking on the downloaded file
  4. You will now have a “Insert Ink Blog” option in the Live Writer task pane, and on the ‘Insert’ menu
  5. Ink Away, and enjoy!

Important NOTES:

  •   If you get a warning message during the install, it is probably because you do not have the Microsoft Ink update installed (see above).  Continuing through the install is fine, but you will need to download and install the update for full & proper functionality.  (This is a good update to put on your Tablet PC either way to ensure optimum ink compatibility in other applications)
  • This beta build will expire on October 1, 2006 (Don’t worry, I should have another out long before then! 🙂 )

As always, please leave your feedback, issues, and requests as a comment here, or contact me directly.

 [UPDATE] If you are getting an error when you try to use the plugin that mentions the file Microsoft.mshtml please see the post here for a fix.

Ink Generated with Ink Blog Plugin -

Must Have Tools for Power Users

Scott Hanselman has updated his excellent list of tools for developers and power users.

This is a must read list form anyone involved in software development or that spends their day on a PC.  You will save many hours and plenty of computer frustrations by using some of the tools from this list.

After reading the list and his comments, I think Scott suffers from the same problem I have – always being asked by family and friends to fix/upgrade/clean their PC.

I’ve thought about buying the “No, I will not fix your computer” shirt from ThinkGeek on more than one occasion! 🙂