windows phone toolkit

To get latest version of windows phone toolkit via nuget, which includes the funky Michael Knight progress bar.

Remember to install this to all your projects when you need it, ie: install is project specific and does not apply to the whole of visual studio projects.

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Posted by admin - January 4, 2013 at 10:46

Categories: Windows Phone   Tags:

UFOinNewYork – whats next?

This is what I am planning to do. I’ve got a few things on the go, so cannot promise to do this anytime soon…



  • add sounds – these were in the original version, but had to be removed after it failed certification (for not offering a possibility to activate/deactivate sounds).
  • add more difficulty – there are options in the code which have not yet been exposed to the user interface (speed, blocks destroyed per bomb). **Hopefully this fixes the comment from Benutzer on 11/12/2012.
  • add medals – why would you spend all your time on this game (apart from the fun): to be better than your friends!
  • remove first 2-3 columns of blocks. **Hopefully this fixes the comment from Peter on 30/11/2012.
  • high score table

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Posted by admin - January 3, 2013 at 15:48

Categories: UFOinNewYork   Tags:

UFOinNewYork reviews

Comments so far:
Benutzer. 12/11/2012. RM-825_eu_euro2_238
Steigerung fehlt
Increase is missing

User. 12/1/2012. RM-825_eu_euro1_217.
Wow. This brings back some memories. Would be great if you could add sound!

Peter. 11/30/2012.
I Ich spiele dieses Spiel schon seit 30 Minuten und schaffe es noch immer nicht. Die hochhäuser sollten nicht sofort von Links an beginnen 🙁
I’ve been playing this game for over 30 minutes and still did not manage it. The high-rise buildings should not immediately start of links to: (

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Posted by admin - January 3, 2013 at 15:35

Categories: UFOinNewYork   Tags:

Blitz revisited – behind the scenes

My first game on Windows Phone. In its first month it has got over 2500 downloads!!

This is based on an addictive game my sister and I enjoyed playing when we were young.

I cannot believe how fast phones are now. This game redraws the whole screen from blank to skyscrapers in less than a blink of an eye! In the old days, you would draw the screen once, and only make deltas to the screen (ie: draw the skyscrapers one time, and remove blocks each time there was a bomb). When C64 and BBC came along, you could draw a screen in the background and then redirect the video buffer to read that instead. How times change!

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Posted by admin - January 3, 2013 at 15:34

Categories: UFOinNewYork   Tags:

Facebook development for Windows Phone 8

Some examples below. Note, you need to get your own access tokens… to get this, go to sample queries and copy/paste the access token.


All about me (matches query in fb sample)

Profile = wall

profile of friend

get my friends
each friend has an id, eg: 4 is mark zuckerberg

friends page for more information

picture{0}/picture?type={1}&access_token={2}”, id, “square”, _accessToken

of course, how you parse these things is a non trivial mess of IDictionary, JsonArray and JsonObject. However it does have a weird logic behind it, which makes it quite expandable. I’ll write a post on that later.

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Posted by admin - January 3, 2013 at 15:31

Categories: Facebook, Win8, Windows Phone   Tags:

American Revolution – why did America win?

I got History Channel’s History of America for Christmas. It has many things I did not know and includes many famous / important people speaking.

Here’s my take of why America won the Revolution after watching the documentary:
1. Smallpox. Smallpox came to the Americans whilst they were dug in at Valley Forge. 1000s of people died per week. Washington’s doctors used a cure mentioned by African slaves, which forms the basis of many innoculations today.
2. Changing rules. For first time ever, Washington’s men targetted the officers with snipers (after killing the scouts who had the local knowledge). Without the officers, the foot soldiers were leaderless. Simon Frasier was the first British officer to be killed in this way.
3. Baron von Steuben. Prussian general destroyed by his homosexual reputation. Managed to retrain Washington’s army. Brought order, discipline, hygiene, spirit. Relocated lavatories, kitchens, produced training manual (some still in use today). Introduced new technology: bayonnet.
4. Approach. von Steuben said other nations’ soldiers would just do what they were told. Washington’s men always had to be told why they were doing something before they did it.
5. Spies. Through use of a sophisticated spy network, Washington was able to save the French fleet, giving the rebels dominance at sea.

Extract from wikipedia:
Timothy Murphy shot and killed General Simon Fraser of Balnain on October 7, 1777 at a distance of about 400 yards.

And this shows the thinking of the time…
During the Battle of Brandywine, Capt. Patrick Ferguson had a tall, distinguished American officer in his iron rifle sights. Ferguson did not take the shot as the officer had his back to Ferguson, only later did Ferguson learn that George Washington had been on the battlefield that day.

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Posted by admin - December 30, 2012 at 19:45

Categories: American Revolution, History   Tags:

NFC Charging plate for Nokia Lumia 820

Got my NFC charging plate today for my Nokia Lumia 820. Overall I think this is good – but it’s not a travel accessory, better for your home base.

UK plug is huge – much bigger than the sleek charging plug provided in the Lumia pack.
Power plugs are not USB, so need yet a different set of cables. Although supplied with the pack, you can guarantee those will get lost… why did they not use USB?

No more putting USB connector into the phone (it’s led to some damage on other makes & models).
Really quite easy to charge (as long as the NFC plate is pointing the right way)

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Posted by admin - December 30, 2012 at 19:33

Categories: Mobile Living, Tech, Windows Phone   Tags:

My new HP Envy dv6 7200 EO and windows 8…

Copy of my post… will update later…

When I upgraded my hp envy dv6-7200EO from Win8 to Win8 Pro, there were 4 things that did not work:
1. cd/dvd drive – fixed by plugging in a cd drive onto the usb and then a rescan of hardware
2. PCI card reader – “Realtek PCIE Card Reader”, shown by PCI\VEN_10EC&DEV_5229&SUBSYS_1818103C&REV_01
3. fingerprint reader – USB\VID_138A&PID_0018&REV_0078
4. acpi – “HP Wireless Button Driver”

The ids come from devicemgr/properties/detail/hardwareid.

TOPTIP: before doing anything with your hard drive, copy the c:\swsetup folder. This contains a copy of all the drivers 🙂 The HP product page does *not* have all the drivers: (plus you get into a whole load of problems around installing .net framework, only for the “let hp recommend” assistant to not work).

For the items above, here are the paths in swsetup. In almost all cases, just launch setup.exe:
2. C:\SWSetup\Drivers\Misc
3. C:\SWSetup\Drivers\Fingerprint
4. C:\SWSetup\Drivers\HPWBD

PS: I will try to post my experiences to my blog: shortly… it’s been a very dark few days… some things I have done:
1. updated to windows pro (for bitlocker) – although HP does not seem to have TPM, seems to work ok. used usb boot.
2. updated to samsung 840 pro ssd (for fast encryption) – gave up on their migration software (now written by clonix) and reinstalled win8 from scratch
3. swapped cd drive to original seagate hard drive which came with hp
4. was going to swap out memory, but Amazon sent me wrong memory 🙁
5. updated bios to F13 from F12 (takes a very long time – ie: 3 minutes of black screen with an SSD drive at first start up and then when it had flashed everything)

For those techies out there, the HP support assistant provides some very good tech info (including speed of RAM). Also for MSDN suscribers, download Win8 retail for the Pro version (otherwise looks as though the only Pro version available is VL, which is not the case).

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Posted by admin - December 11, 2012 at 17:19

Categories: Tech, Win8   Tags:

win8 start menu

I am missing the jump list on win8. I downloaded Pokki after reading this cnet article.

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Posted by admin - December 4, 2012 at 14:26

Categories: Mobile Living, Tech, Win8   Tags:

Exporting outlook contacts

I was trying to export my outlook contacts. I tried to copy/paste them into my hotmail account. However I got an error: “Cannot complete the copy operation. The items may have been moved or deleted, or you may not have sufficient permission.”

The error is very misleading. What is actually happening is that the form for Outlook is much more extensive than that for hotmail. It cannot find all the fields and therefore says that there is a problem. I did try an export of the data (if I remember right it is in the advanced options of import?!). However that took way too long and I risked losing data.

So what was the solution? I subscribed to office365… bit costly, but with 3500 contacts in my address book, I think it is worth it…

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Posted by admin - November 30, 2012 at 18:48

Categories: Feeling At Home in New Places, Mobile Living, Tech   Tags:

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