Blog Archives

Debugging Windows Phone 8 apps with the emulator using Hotel Wi-Fi

Have you ever tried to run/debug your Windows Phone 8 apps when using Hotel mode Wi-Fi?

Hotel-mode Wi-Fi are guest access Wi-Fi routers that do not require a password to connect, but rather the first time you attempt to open a web-site you are routed to a login form, where you’re prompted with either a confirmation page or a user-id/password page.

So, where’s the problem?

You have your Visual Studio 2012 open, you already connected to the Hotel-mode router and made sure to open a page (google.com/microsoft.com/whatever) in order to go through the intermediate page and get internet connected.

Now, you launch your app, causing the emulator to load (takes about forever…) and the app to run just to find out that your app cannot connect to the internet!…

Checking again, you discover that your computer somehow reset the connection with the router and you have to go through that login page again. But, that’s not enough, as the connection will keep resetting every few seconds, making it almost impossible for you to run and debug your app, assuming it requires internet connection.

So what can you do if you just have to debug or demo your app from the emulator on such a network, assuming you do not have a Windows Phone 8 device around?

After many tries (and failures), I found only two possible solutions:

The first is to use your phone’s mobile data and tether the internet connection through Wi-Fi to your computer. But, mobile data doesn’t come cheap and you would rather use that complimentary Wi-Fi for your tests.

The solution I found was to run a USB tethering app on my Android phone, have the phone connect to the Hotel-mode Wi-Fi and tether the connection to the computer using cable.

That way, the connection is not being reset when using the emulator and you can run/debug your Windows Phone 8 app.

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Demo code from my “Azure as the backbone” talk @DevTeachConfere

Thanks to everyone who attended my “Azure as the backbone” web-api based talk today @DevTeachConfere in Montreal.

Demo code can be found on my sky-drive here.

See how easy it is to create a web-api based app using the Visual Studio 2012 wizard, deploy it to Azure and then create Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 apps that uses the service from within Azure.

Going through these examples you’ll see that there was very little code required in order to get these Windows 8/Windows Phone 8 apps connected to the web-api based Azure app.

Please note that the web-api MVC 4 project uses a bunch of NuGet packages, automatically installed by the wizard within my project.

Write me or comment for questions!

Demo code from my Practical Kinect session @DevTeachConfere

Thanks to everybody who attended my session about practical kinect at the Dev-Teach conference (@devteachconfere) today, to hear about the Kinect SDK, the different types of interactions and the way to implement them in Windows.

The demo code can be downloaded from my SkyDrive: here

The demo code includes two solutions:

KinectPointers: demonstrating how to react to hand movement by moving the mouse and generating a mouse click upon  a 1 second hover at a certain position

KinectWPFDemo: demonstrating how to create a media-player that uses postures to play, pause, fast-forward, rewind and alter the playback volume.

I’d love to hear your suggestions for practicle apps using the Kinect SDK!

Kinect SDK and Windows 8

Microsoft Kinect SDK is claimed to work under Windows 8.

Well, before you run-off starting to develop your next Kinect multi-touch experience for the Windows 8 UI, it is important that you know that there are limitations to that.

Although using the latest Kinect SDK driver, released October 2012, you can develop and run apps under the Windows 8 operating system, it only works for developing traditional desktop apps, meaning what you would call “Windows 7 apps” and not what is called: “Windows Store apps”, also formerly known as “Metro-style apps”.

The Kinect libraries are not compatible with Windows Store apps and therefore you cannot add a reference to a legacy library that works against the Kinect SDK. Visual Studio 2012 prompts you with an error message saying: “Unable to add reference”.

I’m currently working on a work-around that may enable a small portion of the Kinect features in Windows Store apps and will surely update when I come-up with something.

Latest Kinect SDK information and download to be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/kinectforwindows/develop/new.aspx

What’s new in Windows Azure?

In June 2012 Microsoft released a major update for Windows Azure, including IaaS (mounting virtual machines), websites on a shared infrastructure and a variety of frameworks, virtual networks, a new SDK, and support for many new languages including Java, Python, PHP and JavaScript.

This release puts Microsoft’s flagship cloud offering in great competition with Amazon in the IaaS market and with Google App Engine in the website market.

On the coming Sela Dev Academy I will be training a whole day tutorial in which I will present the new Azure portal and demonstrate the new features in the SDK.

Are you already using Azure? Are you developing against the SDK?

If you’re using Amazon or Google’s platforms you might want to hear this one out.

From Windows 8 to the Store

So, you’ve created an amazing new app for the Windows 8.

Everybody loves it and tell you that you should make it public and that people should pay you to use it.

But, how do you do that? It sounds complicated, isn’t it so?

It sounds like something companies does, not private people or small groups!

Well, it’s not that complicated and surely everybody can do that. It just takes some learning and a few correct steps and you’re there, at the app store, with your brand new app waiting to be downloaded and purchased!

So, to help you jump the hedge, I’ll be giving a lecture @devacademytoronto titled: “From a New Windows 8 Project to the Store“, in which I’ll show the list of actions to be taken in order to have an app in the store, explain the  methods and show the pitfalls to avoid along the way.

See you there!

Announcing “SELA Dev Academy” conference – Toronto, Nov 5th through 7th!

I’m very excited to announce the “SELA Dev Academy” conference that is going take place in Toronto on Nov 5 through 7!

The Dev Academy will host Sela’s professionals, as well as Microsoft Keynote speakers, for a one day of breakout sessions, followed by two full tutorial days.

Continuing a long lasting tradition in the SELA Group of local technological conferences, this conference, hosted by Microsoft Canada, is going to cover Client, Server, and ALM issues, such as: Windows 8, the coming Windows Phone 8, Parallel programming, Azure, WCF,Debugging, Agile and TFS, and will bring the latest news from the Microsoft front.

Registration is now open!

See you there!

Lecturing “Querying and Manipulating EDMs” at the East of Toronto .NET User Group, June 8th, 2012

On June 8th, 6:30pm, I will be giving a lecture at the “East of Toronto .NET User Group” in  the Pickering Central Library, Ontario @easttorontoug, labeled: “Querying and Manipulating EDMs”.

The Entity Data Model, being the backbone of Entity Framework, hides the skeleton of our conceptual entities, as well as the actual data-source structure and the mapping between them, all wrapped in a three layer model.

It is essential to understand how these layers interact with each other, how to access the data from, and what is being performed under-the-hood. In this session we will go through and understand the various layers and their roles, learn how to code against the data model from within LINQ & Entity-SQL (ESQL), and understand the process that is performed while our queries make their way to the DB.

We will also see advanced querying methods, such as: Joins, Nested queries, Grouping, and more, and understand the implications and implementations of transactions and concurrency issues.

If you’re interested in understanding how the Entity Framework plumbing works, I’ll be glad to see you in the session.

For more details, please see the event information here.

See you there!