• The world of mobile today is dominated by the Android and iOS platforms and it's therefore no surprise that we, as a Microsoft development shop, would be interested in any product that promises to offer a 'write once, run everywhere' solution which can build native applications for both of these platforms (and indeed Windows Phone), virtually from one single .NET code base.

    Tags:
    • Xamarin Mobile
  • As part of the Conference App that we built recently I was tasked with learning how to use Angular.

    This blog details some of the ups and downs of the learning experience.

    Tags:
    • Angular SPA
  • I recently started using Entity Framework in earnest and agree that it is a fantastic tool. Something I found however is that it can have performance issues especially when dealing with bulk data. These are the techniques I discovered that can radically improve the situation so that hopefully EF will be fast enough for most common bulk data operations.

    Tags:
    • Entity Framework
  • I needed to add HTTP headers to a soap request from a Windows Phone 8 app recently and unfortunately the usual method for doing this with a SOAP proxy isn't supported on Windows Phone.

    Tags:
    • wp8
    • soap
    • http
  • I was thinking about the classic programming problem Fizz Buzz recently. If you haven't come across Fizz Buzz before it's a simple game of mathematics. Players take turns counting incrementally, but if the number they are required to speak is divisible by three instead they say the word "Fizz". If the number is divisible by five, they say the word "Buzz". If it's divisible by both three and five "FizzBuzz" is said.

    When programming Fizz Buzz is usually implemented as a simple loop, incrementing an integer and checking for divisibility by three and five, but I thought it might be interesting to look at alternative implementations.

    Tags:
    • css
    • fizz-buzz
  • I've recently completed the fourth week of my Python course for GCSE students at Lordswood Girls' School. To help them with remembering all the syntax we've covered so far I made a single page cheat sheet as a reference.

    I thought perhaps others might find this useful too, either for themselves or as a lesson resource.

    Tags:
    • Python
    • Teaching
  • I was asked to fill out a survey about customer satisfaction with Microsoft today. After selecting the "I have negative feelings about Microsoft" option I was asked to explain why. This was my response.

    Tags:
    • Microsoft
    • Windows 8
  • This is the final update of my one week game project. As promised, today you can download a beta version to try out for yourself.

    Overall it's been a successful week. I've met in the original goal of writing a game in 7 days. It might not be a fully polished and ready for release game, but it is entirely playable.

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    Tags:
    • One week game
  • This is the day 6 update of my one week game project. It's been a busy weekend and I haven't had much time to do anything towards the game, so I'll be counting Sunday as a day of rest and making the final 7th day post tomorrow at which point I will be releasing the project as a PC beta version in whatever state it is in for people to try out.

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    Tags:
    • One week game
  • This is the day 5 update of my one week game project. Almost no code was written today, it was a day of art and design.

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    Tags:
    • One week game
  • This is the day 4 update of my one week game project. Over half way through now. I've made good progress but there's a lot left to do.

    The first thing to announce is that I now have a name, thanks to Sara the game will be called "Boxed In".

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    Tags:
    • One week game
  • This is the day 3 update of my one week game project.

    Today started with work on the level select menu. This might seem very simple, but in order to correctly allow selection of the locked and unlocked levels I also had to write the saving and loading system to keep track of player progress. The level selection menu will automatically display all the available levels and each time a level is completed the next one is unlocked. As part of the level tracking I've now also implemented the level completion code.

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    Tags:
    • One week game
  • This is the day 2 update of my one week game project.

    The main tasks for today were to get the movement behaviour working for blocks of different shapes and sizes, and to start work on a level manager.

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    Tags:
    • One week game
  • Today I started on my one week game project. This is the first update on my progress after a solid day of coding.

    I'm trying to keep the concept as simple as possible to allow me to realistically complete the game in my one week deadline. The game is going to be a puzzle based on the player moving blocks around to find a path to the exit.

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    Tags:
    • One week game
  • I recently finished a contract and rather than immediately starting the search for my next client I've decided to take some time off to work on a solo project.

    Tags:
    • One week game
  • You might have noticed that if you set a background gradient on something and give it rounded corners, IE9 totally ignores your rounded corners and draws an ugly square cornered gradient. Try looking at this example in IE9.

    Tags:
    • HTML
    • CSS
  • In this post I'm just going to demonstrate some simple html and css for a button with a rollover effect and rounded corners. You can find samples like this all over the internet, but this is the standard way I like to do it, and I know it works nicely with all the browsers.

    Tags:
    • HTML
    • CSS
  • This is some code I find myself re-writing for nearly every project I do so I wanted to keep a master copy of it somewhere for easy reuse.

    It's nothing complex, it just takes an exception and converts it to a string.

    You might be thinking; why is this necessary, just call ToString()? Unfortunately many of the classes that inherit from the base Exception class add extra properties that provide additional information but fail to override the ToString() method to include this extra data.

    Tags:
    • C#
    • .Net
    • Exception
    • Code Snippet
  • In case you've never heard of it, Global games jam is an annual games programming competition where you have just one weekend to create a game. Hosted by hundreds of sites worldwide I've been taking part in the one hosted at Birmingham City University.

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    Tags:
    • Global games jam
  • My micro-sim cutter arrived today so I was finally able to try out the new Nokia Lumia 800 I recieved from the Alphalabs.cc event last weekend.

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    Tags:
    • Nokia
    • Lumia 800
    • WP7