Tá ocras ar an Orcas: Visual Studio "Orcas" Beta 1 available

I'm working on two projects in the evenings: One is an XNA app (no surprises there), and the other is a Live Messenger bot that is going to integrate the DotMSN bot library, WCF, WF, SQL2005 and more.  I've been building that second project with the March CTP of Visual Studio Code Name "Orcas".

Lots of cool things happening there.

Visual Studio Codename "Orcas" Beta 1 has hit the streets and I'm downloading it now.  Download link is here.  Check out Brad Abram's example of how the new language enhancements can streamline your code.  I'm feeling these improvements myself, big time.  I linked to commentary on the language features previously, and have since appreciated Scott Guthrie's discussion of Lambda Expressions.

On the Live Messenger Bot front, Jonas just published a Vista Gadget interface to a "Bus Oracle" Messenger Bot that can give you bus times for Trondheim, Norway (in Norwegian).  Really cool example of how you can integrate the Live Messenger service, a bot and a Vista Gadget to build a useful application.  That's two Norway stories in two days - must be something in the water up there!

Bringing it back home to Ireland, the title of this post (I'm told) means something like "I've got a hunger on me for Orcas" in Irish Gaelic: Tá ocras ar an Orcas.  I'm happy to be corrected if I have it wrong, but one thing's for sure: in the middle of this monolithic download, I wish that the definition of "home broadband" was faster in this country... :)

More info and download for Visual Studio "Orcas" Beta 1 here.  [Note: at time of publishing this blog entry, the download for MSDN Subscribers was available, with a public download promised shortly.]