Apr
15
2014

Reno Hackathon 2014

Congratulations to the winners announced at the Reno Hackathon!

Many of the participants used GameMaker by YoYo Games to create an app.  A testimony to GameMaker Studio is that most who were using it were doing so for the first time – and of that group, some had no development background whatsoever! This was highlighted in the news coverage by KRNV Channel 4 as seen here:

image

Although the participants took the Hackathon seriously, the event was full of energy, prizes, and great networking.  There was a variety among the attendees – students, entrepreneurs, moonlighters, and newbies.  For a glimpse of what the journey was like, check out the news coverage by KTVN Channel 2:

image

The Reno Gazette-Journal also noted the activity corresponding with the Hackathon involving tech for NASA.

The Microsoft licensing team in Reno demonstrated their logistical prowess which resulted in everything running smoothly.  Special thanks to Bruno Terkaly and tech-celebrity Sarah Austin (with PlexiNLP) for contributing their technical mentorship to all!

image

    Copyright © Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
    The code provided in this post is licensed under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL).
Oct
11
2013

Surface RT Review

Surface RT - Why Loved

    Copyright © Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
    The code provided in this post is licensed under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL).
Sep
25
2013

Palermos on NBC Today Show

Please enjoy my 2 seconds of national fame as I stand in the background with my daughter asking Matt Lauer "What up?"

    Copyright © Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
    The code provided in this post is licensed under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL).
Sep
23
2013

Power Window Repair

I recently rolled down the driver-side window of my truck… and it would not come back up.  After trying repeatedly to get it to work again (failing each time), I started thinking “What is the bill going to be for this nuisance?”

I asked some of my friends in the Phoenix area if they ever had this type of problem with the power window no longer working.  Those who replied also shared the sticker shock of the repair price – anywhere from $300 to $700.

Determined not to spend that much, I binged ‘power window repair’ and started researching.  I was intrigued by the following:

SNAGHTML14e550ae

Only $99 for the repair?  Seemed too good to be true.  I looked up the Power Window Repair on Yelp and read the reviews. Because the reviews were great and recent, I called the company.  I got a voicemail and left my contact information.  Within a couple hours I got a call back from a nice lady who asked me details about my situation.  She quoted me a price on the phone ($129 all taxes included) to repair my window.  We made an appointment for the next day.  The repair would be done at my location.

Paul arrived on time and had my window fixed in under 30 minutes!  With no surprises with the repair bill, I gladly paid the $129!

What is the point of this story?  It demonstrated a true “win-win” for all parties.  From an internet perspective, it reminded me of these things:

  • Research a repair on the internet, even if your friends have a connection for you.  Why not compare and validate?
  • When researching a company, strive to get a 3rd party opinion. When reading reviews, be cognizant of the dates.  Recent reviews weight higher than older reviews.
  • If you offer a service, how would you fare with the above?  Would potential customers find you?  What do your reviews look like?

In closing, I want to thank Power Window Repair for such great service!  If you live in the greater Phoenix area and ever have a problem with your power window, this is the company to contact!

    Copyright © Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
    The code provided in this post is licensed under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL).
Sep
19
2013

Windows Store Apps with HTML5–Refresh

imageA full day of content has now extended the very popular “HTML5 for Windows 8 courses” available at the Microsoft Virtual Academy.  This new course builds on everything you’ve already learned about developing apps in these HTML5 courses: Developing Windows Store Apps with HTML5 Jump Start and Advanced Windows Store App Development Using HTML5 and JavaScript Jump Start. This fast-paced refresh course filled with real-world scenarios shows you how you can make your apps richer and more integrated, using the new features available in Windows 8.1. This course is targeted at anyone making apps or aspiring to make apps for the Windows 8 platform using HTML and JavaScript. It will help you prepare for Microsoft exams 70-481 and 70-482.

[View course at Microsoft Virtual Academy]

    Copyright © Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
    The code provided in this post is licensed under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL).
Sep
19
2013

DevRadio: Intro to Windows 8.1

To play video, hover above and press play button.

Michael Palermo kicks off Season Two of "Developing for Windows 8 in 1/2 the time" with an introduction to Windows 8.1 for developers.
More DevRadio episodes here...
    Copyright © Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
    The code provided in this post is licensed under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL).
Sep
19
2013

Gaming Engines for Windows 8

imageI am thrilled to announce the availability of a new course at the Microsoft Virtual Academy for on-demand viewing – Gaming Engines for Windows 8! This course takes you through every aspect of developing games for Windows 8, from audience definition through product monetization. Discover the gaming engines that’ll ease the process, such as Construct2 by Scirra, GameMaker by YoYo Games, and Unity. The course is appropriate for beginning game developers and includes demos and lots of tips to help you make your venture a success.

[View course at Microsoft Virtual Academy]

    Copyright © Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
    The code provided in this post is licensed under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL).
Aug
29
2013

DevRadio: Create Gaming Assets

To play video, hover above and press play button.

Michael Palermo invites Bret Stateham for this special "gaming" DevRadio episode. Bret shows us how to find and create your own images and sounds for your Windows Games!
More DevRadio episodes here...
    Copyright © Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
    The code provided in this post is licensed under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL).
Aug
27
2013

Windows Phone Emulator: Hyper-V isn’t on

I attribute this entire blog post to Scott Kerfoot who provided these instructions to me Smile

If you should stumble upon this dialog box…

clip_image001

…  you should then click the ‘Turn on Hyper-V’ link.  The Windows Features dialog box will then appear as seen here:

clip_image001[6]

Notice that Hyper-V is not selected. To enable it, select the box next to it, and click OK. You will now be required to re-boot.  After rebooting, attempt to run the emulator again. Hopefully this was successful for you.  However, you may encounter the following dialog box:

clip_image001[8]

If you get this error, select the ‘Join the Hyper-V Administrators security group’ option and click Retry.  You will now need to log off and log back on again for security permissions to take effect.  Try running the emulator again.  Hopefully you have success and are ready to develop!  One way or another, please leave a comment here if this information was helpful, or if you have additional information to provide.

    Copyright © Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
    The code provided in this post is licensed under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL).
Aug
16
2013

Start Developing for Windows (8.1) Store Apps using HTML5

jumpstartstudioWhen Windows 8 was first introduced, a huge opportunity opened up for web developers.  How so?  Anyone with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript skills could now apply such skills to developing apps, not just sites.  This is due to Microsoft supporting the development of WinRT apps with either C++, .NET, and/or JavaScript.  How different is it from writing a web site vs. an app?  If you are a web developer and you want to find out, be sure to look at the DevRadio episodes on developing for Windows 8 in half the time (4 minute videos) or the comprehensive “jump start” training series on HTML5 for Windows 8.  Moving onward, it will be assumed you already have a degree of experience with developing apps for Windows 8 using HTML5, and you are interested in what’s new or changed.

With Windows 8.1, consumers will enjoy a richer, more interactive experience. Correspondingly, the  APIs have been updated, providing developers either new or easier ways of doing things. A listing of the API deltas can be found at the Windows Dev Center for Windows Store apps.  Our focus right now is not to do a tedious overview of everything new.  Rather, we will look at what you need to do to get ramped up with some highlighted features as quick as possible.

Developer Requirements

To get started, you will need to install Windows 8.1 (preview is available for download) and Visual Studio 2013 (preview is available for download).  You should also highly consider registering at the App Builder site for relevant resources.

Visual Studio 2013 Updates

Creating a new project with Visual Studio 2013 is much like it was with Visual Studio 2012.  Consider the following screen capture of the “New Project” dialogue box:

vs13_new_project

First point of interest is a new template type named “Hub App” which allows for a hierarchical system of navigation. The template uses a new Hub control, and you can learn more about it if you download the Hub control sample. Regardless of which template type used though, let’s examine some core changes. 

WinJS 2.0

The source page of HTML files now target Windows 8.1, as indicated by the references to WinJS 2.0 as seen here:

<!-- WinJS references -->
<link href="//Microsoft.WinJS.2.0.Preview/css/ui-light.css" 
     rel="stylesheet" /> <script src="//Microsoft.WinJS.2.0.Preview/js/base.js"></script> <script src="//Microsoft.WinJS.2.0.Preview/js/ui.js"></script>

You will also see this visually in the solution explorer view.  When expanded, it is easy to see the resources being requested as seen here:

vs13_ref

Note that when you open a project created for Windows 8, Visual Studio 2013 will prompt you to determine if the project should now target Windows 8.1

Editor Enhancements

A pleasant enhancement to the JavaScript editor is the automatic completion of code blocks when typing the left side of the block.  For example, when typing a left brace { , the editor will pair it with a right brace } and auto-format along the way.  Other pairings include parenthesis, brackets, and quotation marks (single or double).

The editor will also highlight identifiers when selected.  For example, if a variable is declared with the name isAwesome, notice how the editor will highlight where else it is used:

vs13_id

Tiles

One more quick change to be aware of is found in the package.appxmanifest file.  When opening in Visual Studio 2013, you will find the Application UI tab where you can configure the images used for your apps tiles.  However, notice the new options as seen here:

vs13_logos

These new options introduce both a larger and smaller tile.  You should support these new tile sizes so that users of Windows 8.1 can easily organize their Start screen.  The example below shows the 70x70 in upper left, 150x150 in upper middle, 310x150 in the lower left, and the 310x310 on the right:

What Next?

So much could be next.  To some degree that will depend on the type of app you are developing.  The information covered so far is to enable a quick start to the development process.  By setting up the required environment and understanding a few of the changes in Visual Studio 2013, you can start coding as usual.  Look for deeper looks at specific features in the near future!

    Copyright © Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
    The code provided in this post is licensed under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL).

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