Nov 23

It is now soon 6 months since I started in a new job as CTO at mBricks and in this post I will explain what we do at mBricks.

Even if I just started in this job for 6 months ago I have a long history with mBricks. I started in mBricks back in 2005 (fresh out of school) and was a part of the core team writing the very first code lines that today is a part of what we call mBricks SDK. I worked there til 2009 and then I decided to widen my horizons and try something else for a while. I am now very pleased to be back in mBricks. The circle is closed :)

mBricks facilities located at Lysaker, Norway in our mother company Teleplans' building

What is mBricks?

mBricks is a software company focusing on mobile applications. We do all kind of consulting within the mobile application area but what we are most proud about is our cross platform solution for developing/building mobile applications. This is what really makes mBricks stand out in the crowd.

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Mar 14

In this post I will write about what I have learned while working with camera on a Windows Mobile (.NET Compact Framework) project.

The first thing you need to do is to check if the device running your application supports camera. This is easily done by using the SystemState.CameraPresent property. To use this property you must add a reference to Microsoft.WindowsMobile.Status.dll and to Microsoft.WindowsMobile.dll. The following code is then all you need to check if there is a camera present:

        public bool CameraPresent()
            return SystemState.CameraPresent;

The next step is to open the camera viewfinder and take a snapshot. There are several ways to do this, one option is to use the built in CameraCaptureDialog. This is probably the easiest way to do it but you are then using the default Windows Mobile camera capture dialog and you can not graphically embed it in your application. To use CameraCaptureDialog you must reference Microsoft.WindowsMobile.Forms.dll in your project. The following code shows how to use the CameraCaptureDialog.

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Mar 06

This post will first explain the advantages you get from separating language and hard coded text from your application code and then show code examples in C# helping you getting started implementing language and text separating.

Lets have a look at the advantages:

Multi language support

When you separate the language from your application code it takes little effort to implement multi language support for your application. The only thing you need to do is to translate your original language file into the languages your application shall support and select on start up what language file to parse.

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Nov 24

GPSIt is easy to think that developing an application for Windows Mobile using the built in GPS unit requires  a lot and complex code. Luckily this is not the case. You can actually have the base for a .NET Compact Framework GPS application up and running in less than 10 minutes if you choose the correct tools.

This post describes what I have found to be the easiest and fastest way to create an application that is interacting with the GPS unit in .NET Compact Framework.

Windows Mobile have created a sample for using the GPS intermediate driver from managed code and this is all you need to get started. The sample is included with the Windows Mobile 6 Professional SDK. How to use this is explained very well at the Windows Mobile Development Center: Using the GPS Intermediate Driver from Managed Code.

If you do not have any special needs you can use this directly by compiling the sample and adding the .dll as a reference in your project. If you need to customize it you can simply just add the sample source code to your project and modify/extend it where needed.

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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 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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Sep 07

When developing mobile applications using Compact Framework and storing data to the local device database it is very handy to be able to debug and test sql queries direct on the device. This post will walk you through how to connect to the device DB, look at the tables in the device DB and run SQL queries on the device DB.

Run your application from Visual Studio, your device or emulator must be connected and cradled. (I’m running on Vista so I am using Windows Mobile Device Center).

You need to install Microsoft SQL server (I’m using the 2005 version) and run the Microsoft SQL server management studio.

Create a new connection with the following attributes: Continue reading »

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Jul 07

Finally the summer has arrived and vacation time is closing in. During the summer and especially during my vacation I will spend as little time in front of the PC as possible, but I still want to be able to access the most important services. Luckily the amount of mobile applications have exploded the last years and you can find an application for almost everything these days. You also find a lot of creative not so useful but quite interesting applications. tweeted about one of these not so useful but fun applications earlier today:

IntoMobile: Mobile app tips you when to have a restroom break during movies

I will list the applications I have installed on my HTC Touch Pro that I will be using this summer as a desktop/laptop replacement. As you can see from the list below the most important for me this summer is to be able to check/send e-mails and to follow/participate in my social networks on the net.

PockeTwit (Windows Mobile app)

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Jun 20

pet-projectFor a while ago I asked on twitter and on my blog what the Windows Mobile application of your dreams are (earlier post asking about what kind of application I should develop). I did this to find inspiration on what kind of application I should develop when I’m now starting a new pet project. It’s always interesting listening to what kind of applications other people would like to have on their mobile devices.

I got several good suggestions but in the end I decided to take the first Windows Mobile application I made and develop it from scratch again. This was an application using the GPS on your device to track your movement and calculate current speed, average speed, distance covered, timer +++ The application were meant to be used when running to help you track progress and see all detailed information you often wonder about when you are done exercising.

I want to share my work with you on this project so as I start working on it I will write posts with code examples on how I do it. When this project is done, I will distribute it for free to you to enjoy:)

Why have a pet project?

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Jun 17

mobilityWhen developing applications for mobile devices you often find the need to use a rapid application development (RAD) platform to achieve your goals and meet the time to market requirements for mobility projects. I have been developing mobile applications for several years now and I have seen many development platforms/frameworks. There are many reasons why you often need to take use of a platform/framework; wide device support, rich and flexible UI, secure and reliable communication, back-end integration and so on. If you were to take care of all these challenges by your selves the application development project would be expensive and time consuming. This post is written with large commercial enterprise applications in mind.

You should be very careful when selecting a platform for your project, by selecting the wrong platform your in for failure. The most important you need to do is to define your needs and make sure that the platform your are choosing fulfills those (or at least the most of them). Many companies/developers have different views on how to develop mobile applications, make sure that your chose a platform developed by a company that shares your view on this.

No matter what OS, programming language or technology you are using I think that flexibility is the key word. Do your self a favour, chose a flexible platform. By flexible I mean that even tough you are using a third party platform you must be able to chose when to use the platform functionalities and when to do custom coding. The platform should be easy to build functionality on top of (extending) and you should be able to switch between the platform API and the Standard API (Java ME, Compact Framework etc.).

I have been on both sides, I have been developing a RAD platform and I have been using third party platforms. I worked for over three years in the core development team at mBricks AS. mBricks is a RAD platform for developing Java ME applications (also supports Blackberry and Android). In my opinion mBricks is a great platform because of the flexibility it offers. If I were to develop a Java ME application there would be no doubt in my mind what platform to chose :)

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May 22

delivr-logoI have been testing for a while now and I must say that I see great potential in this service. I have been in contact with David Harper (CEO of and he told me that is in an early beta right now, but still it’s very functional. I have never experienced any problems using this service so by beta I guess David Harper means that there will be much more functionality added later on.

What can you do by using

You can create a short mobile/twitter-friendly url, kinda like tinyurl. For example the url for my blog is: (to make it even shorter you can remove your user name: The unique with this url is that if you go to the url via a mobile device you will get a mobile friendly web page showing your content.

Delivr creates a mobileOK landing page for media and web sites you share

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