Brian Hitney

developing on the microsoft stack

Posts
  • Brian Hitney

    Windows 8: Cannot Connect to Printer

    I have a Canon MP830 USB printer hooked up to my always on workstation at home, and this is shared so that anyone in the house can use it to print. I haven’t had any issues until trying to add the printer in Windows 8. When I tried to add the network printer: It looks like the printer is being added ok, but then I would be given the dreaded 0x00000002 error: This is a driver issue. But what I couldn’t quite understand is why. The drivers were all 64 bit, it’s USB … and I’ve...
  • Brian Hitney

    Side Loading Windows 8 Apps

    At the Columbia Windows 8 DevCamp this weekend, the topic of side-loading apps came up in a few different scenarios, but it was particularly appropriate during the app showcase.  We had a number of developers working in the lab room, all competing to come up with the coolest app at the end of the day.  During the showcase where developers pitch their apps to the audience, it works best to have all the apps on the same machine.  Here’s the best way to do it without having to copy source code/solution...
  • Brian Hitney

    Primer: The Windows Store Certification Process for Windows Phone Developers

    As I travel around, I’ve met many people who are familiar with the Windows Phone application certification and submission process – it’s been around for a couple of years now!   Perhaps not surprising, though, is that few people I’ve met have the same comfort level with understanding the Windows 8 Store and understanding how that differs from traditional desktop applications and web applications. In this post, I’m looking not so much at converting an app (that will be another post) but instead looking...
  • Brian Hitney

    One Azure Web Role, Multiple Websites

    Windows Azure has been capable of running multiple websites in a single web role for some time now, but I found myself recently in a situation with 2 separate Azure solutions and was looking to combine them to create a single deployment.   Just like in IIS, this is most often done via host headers, so requests coming in can be forwarded to the correct site. The Goal The fine folks at infragistics created a really cool Silverlight-based reporting dashboard for Worldmaps .  Until now, each was running...
  • Brian Hitney

    Windows 8 Pop Up (and Under), Setting up Family PC Settings

    The worst best part about being the Microsoft guru when a new OS ships is configuring PCs for family members.   In Windows 8, it’s a big relief that the new start screen makes things inherently more secure and less worrisome, but in desktop mode and since I have family members who haven’t upgraded yet, I get asked about pop ups and pop “under” windows all the time, and configuring family safety settings.  The challenge is striking a balance between stopping annoying popups while allowing desirable...
  • Brian Hitney

    Windows Azure Dev Camps Soon!

    It’s that time – Windows Azure Dev Camps are coming really soon.  Here’s the schedule: Date Location   May 24th, 2012 Alpharetta, GA Register May 30th, 2012 Reston, VA Register May 31st, 2012 Iselin, NJ Register We’re pretty excited to mix up the format a little, with some time to jump into some new areas we haven’t typically talked about in our previous shows: 1. The Azure Platform – An Overview (60 minutes) Let’s start off the day with a dive into Windows Azure. We’ll talk about what Windows Azure...
  • Brian Hitney

    Windows 8 to 8.1 App Considerations: Screen Size

    One of the most frequent questions/concerns I’m seeing in community is:  what application changes do I need to consider for Windows 8.1 development?   Is there anything I should be doing today in my Win8 apps to make it easy to move to 8.1 in the future? There’s a ton of great info that came out of the recent //build conference .  In my opinion, the main design consideration to take into account with applications in Win8.1 is to handle multiple screen sizes and states effectively.  Conceptually...
  • Brian Hitney

    WinRT RoamingSettings and Serialization

    Recently, a colleague of mine, Adam Hoffman, posted a great tip on serializing a generic List<t> to a Windows 8 App’s RoamingSettings. As Adam points out, taking advantage of roaming storage is so easy to do, it’s criminal not to take advantage of it. There are three basic types of data: local, roaming, and temporary. The APIs are all used similarly, and more info on them can be found here . There are a few things to keep in mind when using roaming data. One is: the data might change after the app is running...
  • Brian Hitney

    Getting an App in the Windows Store: What, Why, and How

    My colleague Andrew put together a great post on the Windows Store, developing for Windows 8, and what you need to know to get started – including some great ways to get hands on experience.  By now, most developers are aware that Windows 8 is available in a consumer preview , with a new release coming in early June.  Windows 8 not only presents developers with a new environment, it also presents a new distribution channel via the Windows Store.   Let’s dive into things: What The "What"...
  • Brian Hitney

    App Migration, Design Patterns, and choices for Windows 8

    I’ve given a lot of thought over the past few weeks to application migration scenarios.  I did a lot of this with the cloud when Windows Azure first launched in 2009, doing a number of blog posts and presentations about moving ASP/.NET code to the cloud.  Now, I’ve been thinking more about moving applications to Windows 8, and given the choices and frameworks available today, I’m often asked what I would do in various situations.  Let’s start with an overview of Windows 8, using this graphic from...
  • Brian Hitney

    Antimalware in the Windows Azure

    On most (or perhaps even all?) of the production servers I’ve worked on, antivirus/antimalware detection apps are often not installed for a variety of reasons – performance, risk of false positives or certain processes getting closed down unexpectedly, or the simple fact most production machines are under strict access control and deployment restrictions. Still, it’s a nice option to have, and it’s now possible to set this up easily in Windows Azure roles.   Somewhat quietly, the team released a CTP...
  • Brian Hitney

    Music Library Synchronization, Sonos Tips

    I love Windows Home Server.   I’ve been using Windows Home Server for years, and just purchased a Windows Home Server 2011 (WHS) box from Newegg (great deal on a HP Proliant micro server).  Many have asked me why I like WHS so much – it’s NAS, it’s a media server, it’s backup.   It’s a step up from a simple NAS device (although, admittedly, not as plug and play), offers more flexibility and is more cost effective than a Drobo.  A small backup agent can take snapshots of your PC...
  • Brian Hitney

    Calling Stored Procedures from Windows Azure Mobile Services

    I was surprised, yet delighted, that Windows Azure Mobile Services uses a SQL database.   Schema-less table storage has its place and is the right solution at times, but for most data driven applications, I’d argue otherwise. In my last post , I wrote about sending notifications by writing the payload explicitly from a Windows Azure Mobile Service.   In short, this allows us to include multiple tiles in the payload, accommodating users of both wide and square tiles.   In my application...
  • Brian Hitney

    Folding@home with the SMP Client in Windows Azure

    Want to run @home with Azure for another team or use a more powerful CPU? For the true geeks out there, running the Folding@home client involves tweaking, high performance computing, and knowing the difference between the GPU and CPU clients.  We heard from a couple of folks about maximizing their Windows Azure usage, and Jim made some changes to the client piece to accommodate.  In truth, we did a little of this last time we ran @home, but we didn’t draw much attention to it for fear it would just...
  • Brian Hitney

    VS2012 Launch Event Materials

    [Post to be edited soon] This post contains all of the information needed for the Visual Studio 2012 and Windows Azure launch events. Download for the Azure Track Hands on Labs: http://bit.ly/vs2012azurelabs Windows Azure Free 90 Day Trial: http://bit.ly/WAFreeTrial
  • Brian Hitney

    Coding for Kids #1. The Beginning.

    My daughter, a 5th grader, has shown an occasional interest in programming but having so many frameworks and platforms available today is both a blessing and a curse.  I began to learn programming by hacking Maxit, Hunt the Wumpus, Adventure, and others.   There were no graphics, no internet, no multiplayer. I saw her doing working on something when it occurred to me this would be a fun afternoon project to solve via code.  She was looking for “dollar words” – words that added up to 100 points...
  • Brian Hitney

    APIMASH Quakes & Astronomy

    A bit overdue, but I just realized I never really announced the APIMASH project we’ve been working on.  It’s up on github .   The purpose of the project is to illustrate how to go about constructing a mashup application from a variety of data sources.  We’re adding to the project all the time, and have both Windows 8 and Windows Phone app starter kits to get you going.  What makes the APIMASH concept so fun, to me, is that we’re consuming real-world data.   Whether you use...
  • Brian Hitney

    Windows 8 Event Resources

    Here are some resources for the Windows 8 Events we’re doing today in Raleigh: Slides and Cookbook App:  https://bthtemp.blob.core.windows.net/misc/Win8-devcamp.zip Contoso Labs: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=34619
  • Brian Hitney

    Bing Maps Mashup in Dark Skies

    I’ve gotten a few requests about how to do a mashup in Dark Skies … so, thought I’d do a blog post on how it was put together. First, what’s a mashup? A mashup is an application that combines data from multiple sources into what is, hopefully, a more useful or interesting way to view the data. They are often done as web applications because the data is often pulled from online sources. But, mashups are ideal for Windows 8 and Windows Phone apps, too. Dark Skies is simply a mashup that combines 3 main sources...
  • Brian Hitney

    Microsoft DevRadio: (Part 2) APIMASH – Earthquake and Messier Sky Object API Starter Kit for Windows Store Apps

    My latest DevRadio episode has been published – here are the details! Abstract: In today’s episode Brian Hitney demos for us the Messier Sky Object Explorer and Earthquake Starter Kits for your Windows 8 apps. Tune in as he walks us through both APIs and show us how easy it is get started building for Windows 8 . Check out all the APIMASH Starter Kits here Download Earthquake APIMASH Starter Kit Download the Messier Sky Object Explorer APIMASH Starter Kit Next Steps: Step #1 – Download the Tools for Windows...
  • Brian Hitney

    Dealing with Expired Channels in Windows Azure Mobile Services

    What’s this?  Another Windows Azure Mobile Services (WAMS) post?!  In the next version of my app, I keep a record of the user’s Channel in order to send down notifications.  The built in todo list example does this or something very similar.  My table in WAMS looks like: Not shown are a couple of fields, but of particular interest is the device Id.  I realized that one user might have multiple devices, so the channel then is tied to the device Id.  I still haven’t found a perfect...
  • Brian Hitney

    Microsoft DevRadio: (Part 7) Using Windows Azure to Build Back-End Services for Windows 8 Apps – Authentication Tips and Tricks

    At long last!  Our final installment to the series – check it out! About this Video: Wrapping up their  “Using Windows Azure to Build Back-End Services for Windows 8 apps” series Brian Hitney , Andrew Duthie   and Peter Laudati , as they showoff some useful tips and tricks around authentication for your Windows Azure Mobile Server based apps. Tune in as they enable persistent login for a mobile service, and then discuss how we can get additional information about users from the configured identity...
  • Brian Hitney

    Geo-Load Balancing with the Azure Traffic Manager

    One of the great new features of the Windows Azure platform is the Azure Traffic Manager, a geo load balancer and durability solution for your cloud solutions.  For any large website, managing traffic globally is critical to the architecture for both disaster recovery and load balancing. When you deploy a typical web role in Azure, each instance is automatically load balanced at the datacenter level.   The Azure Fabric Controller manages upgrades and maintenance of those instances to ensure uptime...
  • Brian Hitney

    Charlotte Windows 8 DevCamp 9/8/12

    This coming Saturday, 9/8/12, we’re putting together a 1 day Windows 8 DevCamp! Check out the details here: http://developersguild.org What we decided to do is put the best content from ou Technorati Tags: windows 8 , development , charlotte , microsoft r other Win8 DevCamps (typically 2 day), and create an essential, what-you-need-to-know day of content to help you get an app up and running quickly. In addition, we decided to build the entire content around the Contoso Cookbook sample app, allowing...
  • Brian Hitney

    Azure this Week!

    Lots of things going on in Windows Azure this week!  First up, I’ll be presenting at the TRINUG on Windows Azure on Wednesday, Nov. 14th 2012 .   If you’re in the area, stop by! This Wednesday, the corp team is also holding a Windows Azure conference appropriately named Windows Azure Conf ,  be sure to check it out.    The event will be streamed online via Channel 9 and include a keynote from ScuttGu: On November 14, 2012, Microsoft will be hosting Windows AzureConf, a free...
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