I’ve lived through my fair share of hurricanes, snow storms and other natural disasters but after Sandy I could easily write a book that had an ending scene of epic proportions. Although Sandy was only a category 1 hurricane, you would’ve thought it was a category 5 as the wind that was generated and the sheer amount of force behind it was truly amazing. The sound of a huge tree falling is unnerving any day of the week but when coupled with it landing literally inches from your home; it scares the living [censored] of you. Thankfully there were no injuries outside of a car being damaged which can easily be repaired. Unfortunately the storm did cause some deaths even though there were numerous warnings and mandatory evacuations in the areas that were expected (and were) impacted the hardest.

As of now I don’t have power (among other problems) and the expected restoration for power is 7-10 days (or longer). Luckily I’m able to get my Windows Phone charged to get all the latest information about power outages and the storm’s aftermath. I should mention that right now I’m writing this blog post via OneNote. If you haven’t used this application before I would highly suggest taking a look at it. I think you’ll find it to be another valuable tool in your tool chest.

To say that my Windows Phone has everything I need would be an understatement. I have Word, Excel, Lync, Bing Maps, People/Contacts, IE and XBOX (though I'm not much in the mood to play games) at my fingertips. Although cell coverage is spotty, when I am able to get Internet connectivity I receive all of my cued up work/personal email and am able to check the local county web site.

I’m also a big proponent of SkyDrive and using that service gives me to ability to access most of the documents I need as well as save any new documents I create. Add in the fact I'm able to upload all of the pictures/video I’ve taken and I'm one happy camper. To have all of these services from a device that is 4.84” x 2.56” x 0.39” and weighs just 4.1 ounces is simply astounding.

While the hurricane is over the cleanup and rebuilding is sure to be a long process. Knowing that, I now appreciate my Windows Phone even more than I did before. That’s hard to believe as I’m already dependent upon it like an addict addicted to their favorite drug. Speaking of Windows Phone and having created a few POC WP 8 / Windows 8 applications, I have to mention that Build 2012 kicked off this week and the new Windows Phone 8 Developer Platform was announced. There is no doubt a lot of content is going to be shared as Build 2012 continues over the next couple of days and since we’re living in an ever growing connected world, a huge opportunity presents itself to businesses in the form of revenue generation by developing mobile applications.

In order to develop such applications, you’ll need the Windows Phone SDK 8.0. That SDK is a full-featured development environment to use for building apps and games for Windows Phone 8.0 and Windows Phone 7.5. Note: Windows Phone SDK 8.0 installs side-by-side with previous versions of the Windows Phone SDK. You don't need to uninstall previous versions before beginning this installation.

If you’re like me and are introduced to a new SDK you look for tutorials and code samples. With that in mind, the Windows Phone Development Center has been redesigned so viewing samples, videos, blog posts, etc. should be extremely easy.

As much as I would like to fire up my virtual machine of Visual Studio 2012 and start using the new Windows Phone SDK, clearly there are more pressing items that need my attention. Of course, once normalcy has been restored, let the hacking begin!