Saturday, January 31, 2009

Multi-threading in the Visual Studio 2010 CTP

Copyright 2008-2009, Paul Jackson, all rights reserved

It’s very cool that the Parallel Extensions are going to be built into .Net 4.0, but it does present a problem for those of us who want to work with the new classes now. 

The last independent release of the CTP was in June and that release works with Visual Studio 2008, but the latest we have access to is the September CTP built into .Net 4.0 and the Visual Studio 2010 CTP, so we can’t use that with VS2008. 

But the VS2010 CTP is distributed as a Virtual PC image and Virtual PC only supports a single core.  If we want to work with the new parallel classes and really see what they can do, we need multiple cores.

So we’re stuck with a dilemma – live with the old bits from June or use the new bits with the limit of a single core.

Unless you have access to Windows Server 2008 and Hyper-V.  With that, you can move the VS2010 VPC to Hyper-V and give it up to four cores, making your parallel work in .Net 4.0 much more relevant.

If you have the right level MSDN subscription you might have access to Server 2008 or you can download a trial version good for 60-days (extendable to 240).

It’s a hoop or two to jump through, but does let you work with the latest version in a better environment.

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