Since I started playing World of Warcraft again, I've taken a bit more of a developer approach to it this time, and after founding a little casual guild, I decided to create a site for it.

However, I'm a lazy developer, I don't intend to update the site regularly whenever someone joins or leaves the guild.

Also because I'm quite geeky when it comes to statistics, and a bit of a theory crafter, I planned to populate our guild site with lots of stats.

Where else would be a better place to get them from then the Armory? It contains everything I want!

After searching a little, I found various libraries for PHP, Perl and Ruby, but nothing for the .NET world. At least nothing that fetches everything I wanted, like Reputation and Skills.

So, I decided to just write it myself! :)

Read more at http://blog.cumps.be/csharp-world-of-warcraft-armory-library-0-1/

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I just downloaded the ASP.NET MVC Preview 5 bits from Codeplex and started on my first experiment.

One of the first things I did was to modify the default AccountController to use the new Form Posting and Form Validation features of the Preview 5, somebody probably overlooked updating those :)

If anyone else wants the reworked code, feel free to copy paste.

Note this was something done during lunch break in a hurry, it seems to all work logically, but it's possible I'll have to tune it a bit later on.

Read more at http://blog.cumps.be/modified-accountcontroller-preview-5/

When looking back at my World of Warcraft experience, I came to the conclusion that when added up, I've been playing this game for over 3 years already. I've even participated in the very first beta ;)

Over time, a lot has changed, I took a few breaks, leveled plenty of classes to the max level, had my days of hardcore end-game raiding (pre-TBC, Naxx), Reputation grinding, Honor grinding (pre-TBC, Warlord), war effort grinding (our guild opened the gates of AQ).

After a year and a half, I took a break from what had become a huge grind, before TBC came out. I returned a while later with some colleagues on an RP realm however.

I've seen the introduction of Blood Elves, the change in faction balance, the faster leveling, and the lack of instance groups at lower levels due to this, combined with the lack of understanding of game mechanics by an ever increasing number of new players (no time or groups for them to get the experience at a low level).

I've also greatly enjoyed doing all new TBC quests a few months after it came out, with less crowded zones, and now I'm liking the casual side of WoW :)

As part of staying on the casual side (casual meaning no hardcore raiding/grinding) I've given the geek in me more freedom to fool around with anything WoW related.

One of the first result of this was the C# World Of Warcraft Armory Library 0.1 I recently released.

The next thing I'm on, is trying out Multiboxing, which is the subject for today's post. There is a lot of information out there, a lot of misconception and taboo around it. Hopefully you'll have a better view on the concept after reading this, as well as an easy to follow guide to try it out.

Read more at http://blog.cumps.be/multiboxing-101-introduction/

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Chapter three finished, Searching, Modifying, and Encoding Text.

Implementing globalization, drawing, and text manipulation functionality in a .NET Framework application

Read more at http://blog.cumps.be/exam-70-536-searching-modifying-and-encoding-text/

Finished another chapter in my book, Input/Output, which deals with the following:

Implementing serialization and input/output functionality in a .NET Framework application

Read more at http://blog.cumps.be/exam-70-536-input-output/

The book I'm reading to prepare myself is Microsoft.NET Framework 2.0 Application Development Foundation.

Just finished the first chapter about Framework Fundamentals. Topics dealt with in this chapter are:

Developing applications that use system types and collections

Read more at http://blog.cumps.be/exam-70-536-framework-fundamentals/

Taking a little break right now, got a bit of a burn out, lack of sleep might have something to do with it :)

The ASP.NET MVC project I had in mind will have to wait a little bit, with a bit of luck it gives me time to find a good graphical designer as well, they seem so rare to find. If you know a good designer, please comment!

What I'm going to do however, is study for a Microsoft Certificate.

Normally I'm not into degrees, when I graduated I saw people graduate with the same degree as me, who could barely write HTML or C#, at which point I placed no value in the degree people have. I rather judge people on what they say and do, which is also the reason I never really bothered with certificates.

But even as a developer, you can't be blind to the world, certificates matter for non-developers. I admit it's a nice addition to a resume and leverage when it comes to negotiating your salary, however I'm starting to see some value in the certificate as well.

When you properly prepare for an exam, without cheating and learning all questions by heart, it's actually a good form of self-education. Even when you don't take the exam in the end, the stuff you pick up while learning the required matter for an exam is valuable.

All these little hidden things you learn about the .NET Framework help to broaden your background knowledge, tiny things which you'd never encounter normally. It helps you make you aware of all the features .NET offers you, and if it only helps you do one thing better, it still helped.

I could disappear for some weeks now to study and not write anything, but that's not me.

Instead, I've added a section to my wiki reserved for note taking and research on the exam itself.

It's not a tutorial, but I belief it does contain some nice "wow, that's cool"-things.

Going to keep you updated whenever I finish a chapter, with a small summary of the things I think are cool.

Welcome back for another episode in the pattern series! This will also be the last article about Design Patterns, since I've finished reading the Head First Design Patterns book :)

It's been a very interesting journey, lots of new patterns learned, lots of knowledge gained, and now it's time to apply them in real projects.

As a summary, the overview of all articles about patterns, including the one we're going to see today:

 

Let's get started! Make sure you're seated comfortable, it's going to be a long one today!

The definiton, as usual: "Provide a surrogate or placeholder for another object to control access to it."

Testing Proxy Pattern

Read more at http://blog.cumps.be/design-patterns-proxy-pattern/

It's been a while again, but it's time for another pattern. Today we'll look at the State Pattern.

First of all, the definition: "Allow an object to alter its behavior when its internal state changes. The object will appear to change its class."

State Pattern Class Diagram

Read more at http://blog.cumps.be/design-patterns-state-pattern/

It's been a little while again. I blame myself for installing World Of Warcraft again, too addictive.

Anyway, time for the Composite Pattern. This is one I'm having a little trouble with to describe clearly.

Let's start with the definition: "Compose objects into tree structures to represent part-whole hierarchies. Composite lets clients treat individual objects and compositions of objects uniformly."

Composite Pattern Class Diagram

Read more at http://blog.cumps.be/design-patterns-composite-pattern/

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