Andy Pennell's Blog

See me blather about software development, Gadgets, Technology, Fatherhood, plus anything else that gets me going.

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  • Blog Post: Common Questions (and Answers) about Windows Phone 8

    Here at Microsoft we have a high percentage of Windows Phone 8 users (go figure?), however despite this I see so many of the same questions being asked by WP users on the DLs and internal Yammer pages. Here are those questions, and my answers to them. If some MS employees don’t know these things...
  • Blog Post: Getting the Name of your Windows Phone 8 device

    You can name your phone to whatever you like, but how can an app display that name? There isn't an obvious API for this, but I accidentally discovered an un-obvious API. The quick version is that you can ask getaddrinfo for the canonical network name. Too quick? OK, here is some C++/CX code to show exactly...
  • Blog Post: Handling Contract assertions on Windows Phone 8

    If you are a fan of System.Diagnostics.Contracts and use them on WP8 you may find a problem: when a contract fails, you get no clue why. Here's how to find out. Firstly lets start with a trivial repro app, take the default WP8 project, add a using System.Diagnostics.Contracts , add a button, then...
  • Blog Post: Native Code on Windows Phone 8: The assert Problem

    So there you are, cranking out some new C/C++ (or CX/C++) code on Windows Phone. Its all new, so you add asserts all over the place to make sure its working. You run your app under the debugger to see how far it gets, and boom: it exits for no obvious reason. Turns out assert is broken on WP8. First...
  • Blog Post: Car Head Unit Compatibility with Windows Phone 7.5 Mango

    I recently had a desperate need to upgrade the audio system in my car, and wanted a good Mango-compatible system. I learnt a lot about Bluetooth and what to look for to get a great in-car experience, which I am sharing here. Please note these are my personal findings and opinions, none of this should...
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