5. July 2016 10:27
SSD are very popular these days. I can tell for myself - in all of my laptops I have SSD drives, and if it has more than one hard drive installed, at least one of them is SSD. My main laptop has rather interesting construction – it has only one standard size 2.5” hard drive, and a slot for M2 form factor SSD drive, which looks more like a microscheme than a “hard drive”. For me this means, that I have small capacity SSD (128Gb in my case) and large HDD, thus having good compromise between large capacity and performance.
With 128 and less of space, it doesn’t look like a good idea to migrate OS to such drive. Windows itself will take half of it, and then you would have to watch out for temporary files and whatever installation packages, so they wouldn’t install stuff that doesn’t require high performance storage, on SSD.
On the other hand, if you have a large existing hard drive with 500Gb of space taken over the years of work and play, migration to smaller SSD would be tricky. More...
20. June 2016 22:33
I am working quite intensively with Raspberry Pi, and recently upgraded to both Raspberry Pi 3 and Raspbian Jessie, that was released during last quarter of 2015 and is currently the latest and greatest version of Raspbian.
The paramount part of my installation is Chromium browser, as these devices have to access website that is only compatible with Chromium-based browsers. And I found that if with previous Raspbian you could just run “aptitude install chromium” and it would install the browser, now you are getting message “no candidate version found for chromium” and nothing gets installed.
To overcome this issue and install Chromium, you need to download and install three packages. Here is the exact script of what you need to run in console: More...
10. June 2016 14:26
This sounds crazy. But when you move your website to the cloud, you get problems in things you were previously taking for granted. Like sending e-mails. Basically, the problem is that many e-mail servers, usually ones of big providers, have Azure, Amazon and other cloud provider IPs blacklisted. When you attempt to use SMTP service from your virtual machine in Azure – in many cases it fails to deliver. This means, that your Azure machine can not act as mail server and shouldn’t attempt to deliver messages to recipient SMTP server directly.
Why would you use SMTP service at all? Well, mainly for the sake of performance. Your web application, be it ASP.NET, PHP, Ruby or whatever, will benefit from saving the outgoing e-mail message as text file somewhere on local hard drive, instead of trying to deliver it using TCP/IP, even if that’s done in asynchronous method.
15. March 2016 05:18
It seems like Adblock – famous add-on for Google Chrome that kept your web pages clean of malwertising – just crossed the red line. Instead of hiding adverts, it started to replace ads with even worse kind of ads – political ads. Yesterday I’ve opened IT website and I was shocked by abundance of political advertisement of “Amnesty International” that was inserted into the page by Adblock.
2 minutes later I stopped using Adblock.
5 minutes later I’ve got better option that I overlooked just because I wasn’t searching for anything better than Adblock. But guess what – there is something way better than Adblock.
The add-on is called uBlock Origin, and it works faster than Adblock, is free, has the same principles, but it doesn’t replace one advertisement with another. Instead – it completely removes it. Another benefit – I stopped seeing message “Waiting for AdBlock…” in Chrome, which sometimes extended the load time of the web page by many seconds.
In other words – Adblock repeated the old mistake, made by many companies before. You can’t lend your user base to someone, you can only sell it.
9. September 2014 06:09
If you are curious enough to develop software for Windows Phone, Microsoft got few surprises for you, which you may or may not already noticed, depending from how often you publish your apps.
First and the most important change is that Microsoft stopped testing new apps. Completely. This improved the speed of application submission from 3-7 days to 10-20 minutes. No one is going to check your app for compliance to UI, security and usability guidelines, as Microsoft has way more serious problems to solve – abysmal market share of just 2.5% and huge gap in apps with Google Market. And high quality, as you know, is an enemy of high speed, unless is backed by increased budget. Since Microsoft doesn’t yet control your budget, all they could offer is to help the speed of submission by eliminating the quality fence.
The downside of this is lowered quality of apps. For example, I released an application, which successfully completed the certification and was published in about 15 minutes, but failed to even start. That’s right, it produced exception right on start, no welcome screen or splash. More...
28. July 2014 19:15
A year ago I started an experiment. I've got myself a Windows Phone. I wanted to see if I can be happy enough to keep is as a replacement for an Android phone, and whether I could develop anything that I would miss in that platform. And so I've got myself an HTC 8X.
The phone itself, speaking about hardware, is pretty good. Apart from lack of microSD card slot and accidental restarts due to badly designed SIM slot, everything was perfect.
Pretty soon I realized, that things I could develop are either restricted by operating system, or would require support by third parties. So although I developed what I liked, it didn't really cover my user requirements, and with time I started to carry my old Android phone with me. Not to make calls, but simply for apps and internet for these apps.
A year later, I think it's time to draw the line and write down my experiences with Windows Phone. I think they might be interesting for you if you have no to little experience with Windows Phone and wondering what it's like and whether it’s worth trying.
First, here is a simple list of things that I, as a normal user, can and can not do with two mobile operating systems - Android and Windows Phone. Since this question is very popular and human memory is usually very slow, I decided to write down the points that justify me carrying an Android phone in a backpack. More...
29. January 2014 06:15
Spent 40 minutes of my life on new control for ASP.NET - the Currency Label. It allows you to add currency conversion painlessly just like a normal label. Actually, it is a normal label, just extended.
Currently it's in beta, but passed all tests so far, so you're welcome to try it on your website.
23. September 2013 14:40
Finally, here comes the Windows 8 port for my Windows Phone 8 (and 7) currency converter published 3 weeks earlier.
There was no real need for it, excerpt for the Microsoft’s challenge to create an application and get 100 installations by the end of September (so I still have a week!). Anyway, the result is good and even useful, which is quite unusual for Metro apps.
I have to operate 3 currencies on a daily basis, and therefore I have to use converter. But I wanted to get rid of advertisements and privacy issues. For example, the XE Currency converter, apart from usual advertisement, has a problem with privacy. For some reason it sends to its server a lot of irrelevant information, such as the model of my notebook. Why? I have no idea, but I didn’t like that.
So, when I had to create the first Metro app, the topic of choice was very obvious and not very original - the currency converter.
The saga of certification and myth busting (remember the “just copy your code to another platform and it works!” fairy tale?) will follow soon, but for now - Ladies and Gentlemen, you are very welcome to install and use the brand new free currency converter for Windows 8.
Here is the link to Windows Market: http://byte.lv/Z
12. September 2013 17:00
Continuous Integration is extremely important part of software development process, but is also the least used at the same time. Even at relatively big software shops, the continuous integration usually is something, that everyone heard of, but that’s it.
Among all the things you can do to shift the focus of your software developers to what they really have to do instead of what they have to do now, the continuous integration is perhaps the most rewarding. More...
1. September 2013 16:33
It finally happened - I am releasing my first application for Windows Phone 8. And Windows Phone 7.1, for a change. Taking into account the average (in all meanings of that word) quality of applications in Windows Phone Store, I should be proud of myself.
If, by chance, you own a Windows Phone device, and in need of a currency converter for Windows Phone, I highly recommend this app, as it’s the most advanced one in the store at the moment, and will become even more useful in time.
Here are the few images of it that you can also see at the store:
I really like how it looks and works so far. Planning to release its Windows 8 analogue in a few days.
If you are planning to give it a try, let me know what you think and what else you’d like to see in it. Your feedback is important!