My user experience with Windows Phone

by Dmitry Kirsanov 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...

New Side Project - Currency Label

by Dmitry Kirsanov 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.

http://kirsanov.net/page/Currency-Label-control-for-ASPNET-Web-Forms.aspx

My First Metro App - Currency Converter for Windows 8

by Dmitry Kirsanov 23. September 2013 14:40

Currency Converter logoFinally, 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

Continuous Integration with Team Foundation Server

by Dmitry Kirsanov 12. September 2013 17:00

Team Foundation Server logo

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...

My First Application for Windows Phone 8

by Dmitry Kirsanov 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:

wxga1 wxga2 wxga3 wxga4


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!

Restoring Access to Microsoft SQL Server

by Dmitry Kirsanov 26. August 2013 13:29

As a note to system administrator – what to do, when your one and only administrators account is locked on your SQL Server.

You need to perform 5 quick steps. More...

A short note about using Windows Updates

by Dmitry Kirsanov 16. August 2013 00:00

On second Tuesday of each month Microsoft releases batch of patches for Windows and everything. Some of these patches require restarts of machine. Sometimes during the process machine can shut down instead of restarting. Sometimes the machine can’t even shut down properly. Yet in many cases production servers have "Install updates automatically" setting turned on. This is a sort of Russian roulette.

Morale: do not enable automatic installation of updates on production servers or machines you can’t switch on immediately.

Creative Ideas for Pond Owners

by Dmitry Kirsanov 12. August 2013 13:09

So, you have a pond. Now, what to do if the fish is lazy to breed? Here is the answer from LinkedIn.

First, let’s see if Bob was looking for Alice in Wonderland. Let’s say, there were 20 different Alices, but not the one he was looking for. Let’s wait for about a month and send invitation from random Alice from the previously displayed list to Bob, and from Bob to Alice. They both will think that they initiated the invitation. But first we need to make sure, that they can’t ask questions before accepting the invitation, so let’s remove that feature.

Yeah, that’s how it works in LinkedIn now. Now let’s hope that Alice is not ex-wife of Bob, or his ex business partner, or even better – a partner of his ex wife.

What happens when you leave your Windows session unattended for days

by Dmitry Kirsanov 11. August 2013 08:33

IE_VM13

This is a CPU usage graph of a Windows Server 2008 R2 machine, with all latest patches applied, and Internet Explorer 10 left opened for a few days. It had only two pages opened, both are Microsoft’s own support pages with no active content.

Remote session (RDP) was opened for about 5 days, and every hour Internet Explorer process took more and more memory and CPU, until it took most resources from server.

More...

Introducing Prerequisit.es

by Dmitry Kirsanov 10. June 2013 06:00

A few weeks ago I had to install very old software on very old server. And it turned out, that a few libraries for Visual Basic 6 were not found anywhere in the net. The company which made them doesn’t exist for many years, their website was abandoned and purchased by squatters since then. There were some binaries posted at some ancient pages, but most of them led to 404 (file not found) and the authority of the files that I managed to find, couldn’t be verified. I mean – I wouldn’t install such file at production server.

And if you think that such ill fate is only for small and unknown companies – you couldn’t be farther from truth. One of such companies is Sheridan, if you remember such name. They were quite famous in the era of Visual Basic 4, 5 and 6. But the point is – any binary of any company can be virtually lost or extremely hard to find in 10 years from now – at least the specific version of it.

That’s how I came with the

Idea

What if, just like the NuGet Package Manager, we would be able to get the binaries from a simple and never changing link, and be sure that this file is not infected and won’t disappear?

More...


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