Windows 7 Hang with FireWire 800 Drive Fix

Recently I bought a smoking fast external SSD enclosures from Other World Computing. My plan was to use the FireWire 800 connection to the drive so I can get the best portable speed possible. Alas, on all my machines as soon as I tried to do anything on the drive, Windows 7 hangs completely. That’s…

Boston Azure User Group Presentation Materials

Many thanks to the organizers and attendees of the Boston Azure User Group where I had the chance to speak this past week on Developing Cloud-Enabled Windows Phone Applications with Windows Azure.  I hope everyone who attended enjoyed the presentation as much as I enjoyed doing it.  I certainly appreciate everybody having stuck through considering…

Tablet Development with Microsoft Silverlight

On August 6th I gave a presentation for ReMix South about tablet development with Silverlight. It was a fun presentation to give. I presented using a Motion Computing CL900 to demonstrate the difference between standard applications and ones that are touch-optimized. I also spoke quite a bit about why Silverlight was the strategic choice for…

Silverlight 5 Incompatibility: Play by the Rules

I’ve been using the Silverlight 5 beta for some time now with no issues, so it was a surprise when I came across a project that did not work. It was definitely a backwards compatibility issue because it would run fine in Silverlight 4, but once installed the version 5 runtime, no luck. I started…

Using Attribute Validation in Silverlight with WCF RIA Services Example

I’m not a big fan of attribute-based validation because I find there are often complex requirements that involve asynchronous operations that often break the attribute model. I prefer more fluent validation using rules that can be shared between the client and server and can handle asynchronous scenarios. For those times when I do have to…

Reflection, Lambda, and Expression Magic

Sometimes I love how a little reflection can work magic. In this case I was building what I’ll call a “non-intrusive” validation system. The project contains entities that are generated by templates, and it would be extremely difficult to crack open those templates to put in a lot of custom validation code. So I decided…

Where’s my DataContext?

Every now and then a question comes up concerning a missing DataContext.  The questions usually center around a ViewModel being set to a View properly, but then developer can not bind some command or property to a FrameworkElement.  And typically the FrameworkElement in question is nested within an ItemsControl’s ItemTemplate or other similar structure. First…

How to Scale a jQuery Mobile Site for iOS

I was recently working on a jQuery Mobile application and everything looked great on my 21” touch monitor on several browsers, but when I deployed to the server and then hit the page on my iPhone, I ran into a few issues that I needed to work through in order to make the site what…

Creating Custom Ringtones in Windows Phone Mango

Now that I have upgraded my phone to the Windows Phone 7.1 Developers’ Preview, one of the features I’ve been anxious to try out is Custom Ringtones – the default tones and the ones provided by AT&T are “interesting”, but they’re just not “me.”  Windows Phone 7.1 (AKA Mango) supports custom ringtones – but how…

How to Include and Deploy Data using a Visual Studio Database Project

I’m a big fan of Visual Studio’s Database Project and I’ve used them successfully in several client projects.  If you are not familiar with using the Database Project, I encourage you to give it a look.  It gives me a nice warm feeling to see that the database schema and even necessary seed data is…

Enriching Windows Phone 7.1 (“Mango”) Apps with Secondary Tiles

Another new feature of Windows Phone 7.1 that every developer should know about is secondary tiles. Windows Phone 7.0 allowed users to pin an app to the Start screen, creating a tile for that app. But it limited apps to one tile each, and it provided no mechanism for passing information to an app launched…