Nov 12

When developing Windows Mobile applications in Visual Studio creating user controls or custom controls will often help you get a better application and decrease your development time. Often you will have problem using your user controls or custom controls in the Visual Studio designer. Forms using your controls will not show at all in the designer and sometimes Visual Studio will shut down because of this (happens often if you are referring to external .dll in the user control or custom control).

I will walk you through a simple example on how you can achieve this with out any problems at all.

I will use a simple example where I have created a Header user control that is referring to the Microsoft.WindowsMobile.dll and Microsoft.WindowsMobile.Status.dll. Then I have a simple Form that I will use the designer to append the Header to and make sure the Visual Studio designer still works.

I am using Visual Studio 2008, Windows Mobile 6 Professional SDK and .Net Compact Framework 3.5 for this example.

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Nov 11

samsung omnia 2I have now been using the Samsung Omnia II for a while and these are my first impressions.

The first thing I noticed with the phone was the large and very sharp 480 x 800 pixel 16,7 millions colors AMOLED screen. The phone is filled with technology and software for most of your needs.

The second thing I noticed and very much enjoyed was the possibility to customize your home screen with a lot of useful widgets. You can also download additional widgets if the original ones pre installed on the phone does not support your needs. You have three home screens and can switch between them by sliding your finger over the screen to the left or to the right. I have set up one home screen for work mode, one for private mode and the other with useful widgets and short cuts for all kind of situations.

In the beginning I had problems to make the GPS work with the built in navigation software (Route 66) but after I while I made it work and it’s actually a good navigation software to use.

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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 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 10

apacheWhen developing all kind of projects a good strategy for logging can save you a lot of time and frustration. Personally I am very found of using Apache log4net and this post will describe the most important features in log4net and how to implement and use this in a .Net Compact Framework project.

log4net can be configured with different appenders that logs to different sources (file, output window, smtp, server ++). You can also configure what kind of log levels will be written to the different appenders (info, debug, warn, error and fatal).

Most of the time I use two different appenders: I use the DebugAppender to log to my output window in Visual Studio, I like to set this appender to log all levels. I also like to use a LogFileAppender to log to a file on the device, I usually set this appender to only log error and fatal.

You can read documentation and download Apache log4net at

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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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Oct 02

NITHThis fall I will be teaching .Net mobile programming (.Net Compact Framework) at The Norwegian School of Information Technology (NITH) together with my good friend and colleague Alexander Viken.

We will hold a 3 hours session each week filled with lecturing, programming and discussions. I find it a great privilege to be able to talk about mobile development with the students and hopefully we will be able to motivate them with “real life” experience stories from projects we have been involved in.

We will cover subjects like:

  • GUI and usability
  • Error handling and debugging
  • Persisting data
  • Device interaction
  • Security
  • Communication
  • Deployment

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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 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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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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