Brian Hitney

developing on the microsoft stack

Posts
  • Brian Hitney

    Microsoft DevRadio: (Part 1) Using Windows Azure to Build Back-End Services for Windows 8 Apps

    Abstract: Peter Laudati and Brian Hitney welcome fellow Developer Evangelist, Andrew Duthie to the show as they kick off their series on how to build back-end services for their Windows 8 apps using Windows Azure. Tune in for part 1 as Andrew gives an overview of the series and introduces some potential techniques you could incorporate as you build your back-end services. After watching this video, follow these next steps: Step #1 – Try Windows Azure: No cost. No obligation. 90-Day FREE trial. Step #2 – Download...
  • Brian Hitney

    Short Post: #AmusingCode

    This put a smile on my face today: void App_UnhandledException( object sender, UnhandledExceptionEventArgs e) { throw new NotImplementedException(); }
  • Brian Hitney

    Microsoft DevRadio: How to Get Started with Windows Azure

    Peter Laudati and I kick off our new Windows Azure series by giving us a tour of what’s new in Azure with Windows Azure Web sites, Virtual Machines and Mobile Services. Tune in as we provide a brief overview of Azure’s many services and features as well as how to get started with a free 90 day trial . After watching this video, follow these next steps: Step #1 – Start Your Free 90 Day Trial of Windows Azure Step #2 – Download the Tools for Windows 8 App Development Step #3 – Start building your own Apps for...
  • Brian Hitney

    SQL Azure Pricing Changes

    SQL Azure just got some better pricing!  Here are the details: Database Size Price Per Database Per Month 0 to 100 MB Flat $4.995 Greater than 100 MB to 1 GB Flat $9.99 Greater than 1 GB to 10 GB $9.99 for first GB, $3.996 for each additional GB Greater than 10 GB to 50 GB $45.954 for first 10 GB, $1.998 for each additional GB Great than 50 GB to 150 GB $125.874 for first 50 GB, $0.999 for each additional GB Notice the new 0 to 100 MB tier – finally, a good option for small databases, utility databases...
  • Brian Hitney

    Dark Skies for Windows 8 Updated

    I’m happy to finally have the next update to Dark Skies in the Windows 8 store !  In the initial release, I used Bing Maps to display light pollution data.  In this version, I allow users to display and share favorite viewing spots, and spruced up the live tile with some cool info. The main page can display information about a pin on the map: Admittedly, there aren’t too many pins just yet, but it will grow over time.   It’s not just favorite viewing locations – astronomy shops, user groups...
  • Brian Hitney

    Windows 8 DevCamp Charlotte 10/12!

    Don’t forget – we have our weekly Windows 8 DevCamp in Charlotte tomorrow, 10/12! In this week's DevCamp, we'll dive into Sharing, Settings, and Roaming. We will also cover some tips and tricks for developing Windows 8 applications using HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. Finally, we'll also spend a few hours going hands on to ensure the best experience for your app! For more information and to register, visit http://developersguild.org/ .
  • Brian Hitney

    Microsoft DevRadio: (Part 1) What is Windows Azure Web Sites?

    Peter Laudati and Brian Hitney welcome Windows Azure Technical Evangelist Brady Gaster to the show as they discuss Windows Azure Web Sites . In part one of this series, tune in as they chat about what it is, what its key benefits are for web developers and agencies, how the Azure Web Sites infrastructure works for easier site deployment, an intro to the web sites gallery, as well as a special announcement for .NET applications. After watching this video, follow these next steps: Step #1 – Start Your Free 90...
  • Brian Hitney

    Use the Windows Azure CDN for Assets

    The most common response to running stuff in the cloud (Azure, Amazon in particular) is the that it’s too expensive for the little guy.   And generally, hosting VMs when a small shared site of something similar will suffice is a tough argument. There are aspects to Azure, though, that are very cost effective as they do “micro-scale” very well.  A good example of this is the Azure CDN, or more simply, Azure Blob Storage.   It’s effective to exchange files, it’s effective at fast delivery...
  • Brian Hitney

    Rock, Paper, Azure is back…

    Rock, Paper, Azure (RPA) is back!   For those of you who have played before, be sure to get back in the game !  If you haven’t heard of RPA, check out my past posts on the subject .   In short, RPA is a game that we built in Windows Azure.  You build a bot that plays a modified version of rock, paper, scissors on your behalf, and you try to outsmart the competition.  Over the summer, we ran a Grand Tournament where the first place prize was $5,000!   This time, we...
  • Brian Hitney

    Creating a Great Mashup using Windows Azure

    This post details features used by Earthquake Explorer , a Windows 8 app that displays earthquake information on Bing maps. Earthquake Explorer was based off of the Earthquakes mashup starter kit on github . Creating a mashup is pretty easy in Windows 8 – creating a great one requires a bit more work. In this case, I'm working with the USGS earthquake GeoJSON feeds , a very easy-to-use feed that contains earthquake information for either the past hour, day, week, or month. Overall, it’s a pretty ideal feed....
  • Brian Hitney

    Microsoft DevRadio: (Part 2) Using Windows Azure to Build Back-End Services for Windows 8 Apps

    Abstract: Peter Laudati , Brian Hitney and Andrew Duthie are back for part 2 of their series and in today’s episode Andrew shows us how to deploy the OData Service for his Windows 8 app to Windows Azure as well as outlines the advantages and disadvantages to building back-end services via this approach. After watching this video, follow these next steps: Step #1 – Try Windows Azure: No cost. No obligation. 90-Day FREE trial. Step #2 – Download the Tools for Windows 8 App Development Step #3 – Start building...
  • Brian Hitney

    DevRadio Episode: #beatthegu at TechEd

    Andrew, Peter, and myself in the latest DevRadio show! Abstract: In today’s episode Developer Evangelists Andrew Duthie, Brian Hitney and Peter Laudati recap the “Rock, Paper, Azure” – (#BeatTheGu) challenge from this year’s TechEd as well as how they built a Windows 8 App for the competition. Tune in for this lessons learned session on what considerations and features Andrew took into the design of the app. Next Steps: Step #1 – Download Windows 8 Release Preview and Windows 8 SDK Step #2 – Start building your...
  • Brian Hitney

    Summer of Sound

    Once or twice a year, I try to take on a project around the house and bring it to a full 80% completion before abandoning for a few years.  In this case, I decided to install some sound around the home.  It was frustrating me to not be able to listen to my favorite music around the home (without dragging around gear), particularly when experiencing nice whole-home audio solutions at some friends’ homes.  The big problem is that there are very few good audio systems for retrofit installations. ...
  • Brian Hitney

    Upcoming Events

    Lots of great events coming up in the Carolinas: 1/18/2013  Charlotte, NC:  We’re hosting a Windows 8 “Office Hours” at the Microsoft Office.  More info here .  Essentially, if you’re looking for time to hack on a Windows 8 solution, work on ideas, test some stuff out, enlist some testers – we’re there for you.  1/19/2013  Columbia, SC:  Windows 8 DevCamp .   This event is really shaping up to be great!   Interesting sessions, and hands-on time in the labs...
  • Brian Hitney

    APIMASH and Intro to Game Dev Raleigh

    I’m really excited to be hosting a few events in the Microsoft Raleigh office focused on Windows 8 development.  The first on revolves around our APIMASH starter kits – a great way to get started building mashup style applications in Windows 8, with templates and examples in both C# and HTML/JS.  The other sessions are intro to gaming, developing some simple games using Construct2, and GameMaker/other frameworks as time allows.   Here are the events/times: APIMASH: Tue 6/4/2013 from 10:00am...
  • Brian Hitney

    Funniest Slide Header I’ve Seen in a Long Time…

    Credit to a colleague for this slide, but for those who follow Microsoft’s cloud platform might get this reference:
  • Brian Hitney

    Webcast: Intro to @home with Windows Azure

    Tomorrow (Thursday, 3/15/2012) at noon ET or 9am PT, we have our first screencast in the @home series:  an introduction to the @home distributed computing project ! This is the first in a series where we’ll dive into various aspects of Windows Azure – in this first webcast, we’ll keep it 100 level, discussing the platform, how to get started, and what the project is about.  From the abstract page: In this 100-level webcast, we introduce Windows Azure. We look at signing up a new account, evaluate the...
  • Brian Hitney

    Launching “Learn the Cloud, Make a Difference” DC Effort

    Two years ago, Jim O’neil and I developed a quick Azure training program called “@home with Windows Azure” – a way to learn Windows Azure and have some fun contributing to a well known distributed computing effort, Folding@home .  A few months later, Peter Laudati joined the cloud team and we developed the game RockPaperAzure .   RockPaperAzure was a lot of fun and is still active, but we decided to re-launch the @home with Windows Azure project because of all of the changes in the cloud since...
  • Brian Hitney

    Coding for Kids #2. Code!

    In my last post , I introduced the problem we’re trying to solve via an introductory computer program:  finding 100 point words where each letter of the alphabet corresponds to its place in the alphabet (A=1, B=2 … Z=26).  At this point, we’ve built the basic template for the app, but haven’t yet written any code.   It’s time to write some basic functions (or methods) that help solve this.  For coding veterans, remember – this initially is about solving the problem as a beginner and...
  • Brian Hitney

    Windows PhoneCamps

    From MSDN events, to roadshows, to firestarters … Now on to Camps … and just got word about the upcoming Windows Phone camps… What’s a Windows Phone Camp? For those who went to our "Windows Phone Garage" series last year, its one of those. For those new to the scene, its a free, full day event chocked full of everything you need to know to develop a Windows Phone application. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or just getting started with phone app development this full-day event is for you. Interested...
  • Brian Hitney

    Migrating a Blog to Windows Azure Web Sites

    For many years, I’ve hosted my blog on Orcsweb .  I moved there about 5 years ago or so, after outgrowing webhost4life.  Orcsweb is a huge supporter of the community and has offered free hosting to MVPs and MSFTies, so it seemed like a no brainer to go to a first class host at no charge.  Orcs is also local (Charlotte, NC) and I know many of the great folks there.  But, the time has come to move my blog to Windows Azure Web Sites (WAWS).  (This switch, of course, should be transparent...
  • Brian Hitney

    Azure and Phone … Better Together

    We had an excellent time presenting today’s Windows Phone Camp in Charlotte. Thank you to everyone who attended. Here are some resources and major points of today’s “To the cloud…” session. First, here is the slide deck for the presentation.  To The Cloud... Next, download the Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone . This contains both the sending notifications sample, and the Babelcam application. Note that there are quite a few setup steps – using the Web Platform Installer is a great way to make all...
  • Brian Hitney

    Top Reasons for Bot Rejection

    Just a quick tip for those in the Grand Tournament.  There are 2 very common reasons we’re seeing bots get rejected – we’ll call it the red text of death that appears when you submit a bot, but it fails code analysis.  If all you see is “ Bot Successfully Uploaded,” then move along, nothing to see here. The most common are coders adding debugging statements into their code.  We do block the Diagnostics namespace (among a few others), so it’s quite likely any debugging code will trigger a failure...
  • Brian Hitney

    Just One More Week To Enter The Rock Paper Azure Fall Sweepstakes!

    Week #3 of the Rock Paper Azure Challenge ended at 6pm EST on 12/9/2011. That means another five contestants just won $50 Best Buy gift cards! Congratulations to the following players for having the Top 5 bots for Week #3: AmpaT choi Protist RockMeister porterhouse Just a reminder to folks in the contest, be sure to catch Scott Guthrie, Dave Campbell, and Mark Russinovich live online next Tuesday, 12/13/2011, for the Learn Windows Azure event ! Does your bot have what it takes to win? There is one more week...
  • Brian Hitney

    RPA Grand Tournament Complete!

    We had a GREAT time running the RockPaperAzure Grand Tournament Wednesday.  We had a total of 302 players from around the world, and the top players in the finals were: We saw some amazing strategies, and learned a lot along the way.  We intend to keep the site running with more contests along the way – if you have any interest in running a competition for a user group, conference, or other activity, we’d be happy to create a round for you on the site.  Contact us for info. Server Load Nothing...
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