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Feb 18

The MSDN & TechNet Live tour in Norway are as usual filled with interesting and great sessions. The tour will visit Stavanger (16/4), Trondheim (20/4),  Bergen (23/4)  and Oslo (26/4).

This year I will travel with Microsoft on the tour and you can find me at the Windows Phone stand ready to talk about Windows Phone, .Net Compact Framework and WPDC (Windows Phone Developer Community). I will be in three of the four cities (Stavanger, Trondheim and Oslo). My colleague Alexander Viken is also joining Microsoft on this tour and he will be in (Stavanger, Bergen and Oslo).

I am really looking forward to this and hope to meet some of you there.

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Oct 29

Microsoft My PhoneMicrosoft My Phone is a service for synchronizing the data on your Windows Phone to a web account. I tested this service when it was released in beta and have not used it since, until today. I have not used it because I am using active sync to synchronize my contacts, calendar and mail with outlook. Today I took a firmware (ROM) update on my phone and wanted to store more information like images, sms, videos, music and documents. That’s when the My Phone service came in handy.

A lot have happened since the last time I used this service. First of all the user experience on the phone is much better and there are more functionality now than before. To start using this you simply install a small application on your phone and register for an account with your Windows Live pass.

You can choose what to synchronize from a menu on the phone were the options are:

  • Contacts
  • Calendar
  • Tasks
  • Text messages
  • Browser favourites
  • Pictures
  • Videos
  • Music
  • Documents

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Oct 17

windows phoneFinally, we have decided to start a Windows Phone Developer Community in Norway. I will do this together with my good colleague Alexander Viken and we will be responsible for running and facilitating this community. Before we started this group we discussed it and had a meeting with Microsoft Norway, so they are supporting this initiative and will help us getting hold of good and interesting speakers for the upcoming meetings.

The purpose of this community is to have a place where Windows Mobile/Phone developers can meet and exchange knowledge within this field. In the near future we will create a website for this community with a forum, blog posts and useful information. We have created a meetup group were we will announce all meetings and events. We have scheduled the first meeting for this group Thursday, 3th December in Oslo. This will be the start up meeting were we will present the group and discuss what this group should do from this point on. We are also looking for persons that are interesting in helping us organize and facilitate the community.

You can find the Windows Phone Developer Community at meetup.com and read more about the group and the upcoming meeting 3th December (text in Norwegian).

I’m really looking forward to be a part of this group and meet other Windows Phone developers. I hope to see you there! Continue reading »

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Oct 07

Windows MarketplaceTo boost Windows Mobile 6.5 development and applications added to the new Windows Marketplace for Mobile, Microsoft announces the race to market challenge. They challenge you to develop application(s) and add them to the Windows Marketplace.

It looks like Microsoft will be focusing more on the mobile market in the future and as a part of this they have changed the name from Windows Mobile to Windows Phone. Windows Mobile will still be the name of the OS on the phones, but Windows Phone will be the branding name.

Microsoft will reward:

  • The developer whose paid application earns the most revenue within the contest period.

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Sep 16

surface_musicI have been very fascinated by the Microsoft Surface since the first time I tried it (earlier post about my first experience with Microsoft Surface). The development kit have now been available for quite a while and I was curious about what kind of applications have been developed.

This post is a quick summary of the different applications I have found so far.

You have off course the standard applications: surfing, newspaper reader, music player, map ++ but I want to find out if there are any creative and new applications being developed.

Razorfish Emerging Experiences have developed several MS Surface applications. I liked the table toss application where you toss bean bags on a target and get your score calculated. Other applications from Razorfish: Physics Illustrator, Financial Services, Staff Directory and AT&T Retail. Looks like a very interesting team founded in 2008 stating: “The Razorfish Emerging Experiences team is a dedicated group of highly experienced professionals focused solely on emerging experiences and technologies”.

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Jul 09
Enable ClearType text

Enable ClearType screen on my HTC Touch Pro (text in Norwegian)

Choosing the right fonts for your mobile applications have a great influence on the application look & feel. All Windows Mobile  6 devices gives you the option to enable ClearType. On most devices it is disabled by default. ClearType is a technology developed by Microsoft that improves the readability of text on LCD screens. Quick and Easy explained it is smoothing the edges on the fonts. You can read more about ClearType at Microsoft Typography.

I will show you a quick tutorial on how to enable ClearType on your Windows Mobile 6 device:

  1. Open Start menu
  2. Click Settings
  3. Chose the System tab
  4. Click Screen
  5. Chose the ClearType tab
  6. Select Enable ClearType
  7. Click OK

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May 05

A few days ago I wanted to create a fresher UI then what .NET Compact Framework offers out of the box. I wanted to create a gradient background for the screen and I wanted to have transparent labels on top of the background. In my opinion this is not much to ask for and I was a bit surprised that I actually had to do this myself.

Well after a few hours I made a gradient background and a transparent label. I will now step by step go through my solution.

The first thing I started with was to create a gradient background. I found that the best way achieving this would be to override OnPaintBackground in the Screen class. I found a very good article on how to do this on MSDN: How to display a gradient fill. I copied the GradientFill class and the Win32Helper class into my project, I didn’t bother using the GradientFilledButton class since I only needed gradient for my background.

Then I override the OnPaintBackground in my Screen, giving me this Form:

using System.Drawing;
using System.Windows.Forms;

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Apr 29

microsoft surface logoCurious about developing applications for Microsoft Surface? I can assure you that you are not the only one. I have done some research on how to get started doing so.

The first thing you need to do is to get hold of the Microsoft Surface unit, this is yet only available for commercial purchase. If you are working in a company that are a Microsoft partner or using/developing within the Microsoft family it should not be too hard to acquire one. Have a look here for detailed information on how to by the Microsoft Surface. Actually you can develop and test Microsoft Surface applications on your PC using the Surface simulator, but guess what this simulator is only available from the Microsoft Surface SDK and to get hold of this SDK you need to purchase the Surface Developer unit. With good connections within MS it should not be impossible to get access to the SDK and simulator without purchasing the unit…

The Microsoft Surface unit is available in two versions:

  • Commercial version that is delivered with Microsoft Surface Runtime software, Windows Vista  Business OS and all software required to run touch-enabled applications.
  • Developer version that is delivered with Windows Surface SDK 1.0, Windows Vista Business OS and all software required to run and test touch-enabled applications.

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Apr 13

pnp_logoI recently downloaded and read the Mobile Architecture Pocket Guide by Microsoft patterns & practices. The purpose of this guide is to improve the effectiveness when building mobile applications on the Microsoft Platform. The primary audience for this guide is solution architects and development leads.

Chapter overview (quoted from the book)

• Chapter 1, “Mobile Application Architecture,” provides general design guidelines for a mobile application, explains the key attributes, discusses the use of layers, provides guidelines for performance, security, and deployment, and lists the key patterns and technology considerations.
• Chapter 2, “Architecture and Design Guidelines,” helps you to understand the concepts of software architecture, learn the key design principles for software architecture, and provides the guidelines for the key attributes of software architecture.
• Chapter 3, “Presentation Layer Guidelines,” helps you to understand how the presentation layer fits into the typical application architecture, learn about the components of the presentation layer, learn how to design these components, and understand the common issues faced when designing a presentation layer. It also contains key guidelines for designing a presentation layer, and lists the key patterns and technology considerations.
• Chapter 4, “Business Layers Guidelines,” helps you to understand how the business layer fits into the typical application architecture, learn about the components of the business layer, learn how to design these components, and understand common issues faced when designing a business layer. It also contains key guidelines for designing the business layer, and lists the key patterns and technology considerations.
• Chapter 5, “Data Access Layer Guidelines,” helps you top understand how the data layer fits into the typical application architecture, learn about the components of the data layer, learn how to design these components, and understand the common issues faced when designing a data layer. It also contains key guidelines for designing a data layer, and lists the key patterns and technology considerations.
• Chapter 6, “Service Layer Guidelines,” helps you to understand how the service layer fits into the typical application architecture, learn about the components of the service layer, learn how to design these components, and understand common issues faced when designing a service layer. It also contains key guidelines for designing a service layer, and lists the key patterns and technology considerations.
• Chapter 7, “Communication Guidelines,” helps you to learn the guidelines for designing a communication approach, and understand the ways in which components communicate with each other. It will also help you to learn the interoperability, performance, and security considerations for choosing a communication approach, and the communication technology choices available.
• Chapter 8, “Deployment Patterns,” helps you to learn the key factors that influence deployment choices, and contains recommendations for choosing a deployment pattern. It also helps you to understand the effect of deployment strategy on performance, security, and other quality attributes, and learn common deployment patterns.

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Mar 18

ms_tagI looked at a blog by Lars Wilhelmsen about Microsoft Tag and suddenly found this quite interesting. I have been reading about this system earlier but I didn’t find it interesting at that time. After installing the application on my phone and scanning some tags I wanted to try this myself.

These tags can be used to store all kind of information like vCards, free text, url and dialer by simply installing an application on your phone and point the camera at the tag. To install the application direct your phone’s browser to http://gettag.mobi/

You can now try to read my tag with your application:

perola_vcard

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