Spatacoli Blog

  1. Acer Iconia Ad Featuring NOOK!

    Recently Microsoft let out an ad that featured that Acer Iconia W3. This is an 8.1 inch tablet that I got at the //build conference. I use it quite a bit for reading and some lite web surfing. The neat thing about this ad below is that it is featuring NOOK not only on the Iconia, but on the iPad Mini too! Check it out!

    Windows Ad featuring NOOK!
  2. Upgrading Apps to Windows 8.1 – Deprecated Methods

    In upgrading NOOK from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 there are four methods/properties that we were using that have been deprecated since Windows 8. Here they are and the replacement:

    1) ScrollViewer.ScrollToVerticalOffset and ScrollViewer.ScrollToHorizontalOffset have been replaced with ScrollViewer.ChangeView(OffsetX, OffsetY, ZoomLevel)

    2) ApplicationView.View has been replaced with ApplicationView.GetForCurrentView().Orientation which is an ApplicationViewOrientation

    3) DisplayProperties.LogicalDpi has been replaced with DisplayInformation.GetForCurrentView().LogicalDpi

    The first one has a catch though. Previously if the horizontal scroll width was smaller than the requested position it would fail silently. Using ChangeView though it will throw an exception. What I’ve had to do in this case is wait until the GridView is loaded then I use an anonymous method to do the horizontal scroll.

    The second one also has some interesting properties to it. Previously we were interested in if we were in snap view, but snap view is no longer used in Windows 8.1 so you need to stop looking for it. We use the Orientation to detect portrait versus landscape only. Width of the screen is detected with a size changed event.

    Let me know if you have any more methods that are deprecated that are useful to know.

  3. Packt Microsoft Carnival

    A little over a year ago I wrote a book: Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Applications on Windows Phone 7. Packt Publishing has since taken three of the chapters from this book and added them to a compendium: Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Developer’s Compendium: The Best of Packt for Extending SharePoint. And for a limited time you can purchase this book at a discount during Packt Microsoft Carnival.

    See the site for more details, and let me know via Twitter (@Spatacoli) if you want some help updating any of my examples for Windows Phone 7.5 since my book was written for Windows Phone 7.0 a lot has changed.

    Also, I would like to write another book and give some talks. If anyone has suggestions or think this is a good idea, please let me know!

    Thanks for your support.

  4. Hello from Windows 8

    Screenshot3_2I am writing this from Windows 8. I have been running the developer preview since last September, but just last week upgrade d all of my machines to the Consumer Preview. So far it is an interesting transition from Windows 7. Windows 8 was built around the idea of touch first, and using the OS really reminds you of this fact. Many commenters in the Internet have looked down on this fact and dismissed the entire experience as either too childlike or too much of a change. One even went so far as to claim he will switch to Ubuntu Linux because Windows 8 isn’t enough like Windows 7.

    Now you may notice that I’m not giving any link love to these people and this is intentional. Think about this: Windows 8 is so drastically different from Windows 7 that someone is going to switch to Ubuntu Linux? Ubuntu Linux is the same OS that was widely criticized last year when it switched the default desktop interface from a pure Gnome desktop to the Unity desktop. But I digress.

    Windows 8 is designed for touch based systems. However, not every touch based system is the same. Comparing the experience of using Windows 8 on the Samsung //build/ slate that was given to attendees at the //build/ conference last September and using Windows 8 on an HP TouchSmart All-in-one computer shows exactly what is meant by this. You see many of the OS interactions occur by swiping a finger onto the screen from off the screen. That first pixel around the entire edge of the screen is dedicated to OS functions. However, on the TouchSmart monitor, and many touch screens that I’ve seen, there is a bezel around the screen that extends out from the actual screen. This makes it really hard to get your finger into that little crevice to initiate the swipe. However on the Samsung slate there is no bezel and the swipe is easy and natural.

    Many people hate the idea of touching their monitor though and find the experience will get annoying. I can see that point of view, but I am not one of those people. After an all day coding exercise with the //build/ slate I went back to my ThinkPad laptop and found myself trying to touch the monitor far more often than I should. This doesn’t seem to happen when I am working on my desktop computer though. It must be the relative distance you are from the screen. When you are on a tablet/slate touch is natural. When you are on a laptop touch is starting to be less necessary, but still feels natural. A desktop computer with a monitor touch would be nice for some features, but not required. Finally, think about a 10 foot experience. The first thought that comes to my mind there is Kinect. I think this is also the answer to those that don’t want to touch their desktop monitor. Flicking a hand across the air to switch between applications seems like a very natural response.

    Here’s the trick

    Using Windows 8 with a mouse and keyboard isn’t as difficult as many people would have you believe. Since you don’t have a touch screen forget about swiping in from the bottom/top for application level menus just use a right click on the mouse. Also, forget about swiping in from the right to bring up the charms, just move your mouse to the top right corner of the screen in desktop mode and top right or bottom right in metro mode. If you want to switch applications move your mouse to the top left and you will see some white rectangular outlines appear along the left edge of the screen. Move your mouse down to open up a bar that shows what metro apps are running. This will include the desktop. You can also get this list by moving your mouse to the bottom left corner of the screen. Left clicking at the bottom left corner will also bring up the Start screen. Right clicking in the bottom left corner will bring up a power user menu of common admin apps that may be needed on the fly.

    It isn’t hard to use the new Windows interface with a mouse and keyboard. You just have to understand that it works with the mouse by moving the pointer to the corners of the screen.

    There are a host of keyboard shortcuts too, but we’ll leave those for another time. Except to say that the Windows Key on your keyboard is used for a lot more than just opening up the Start screen.

    I miss being able to move the pointer to the left side of the screen and dragging out the last application like I could with the developer preview, but I think that this new way will work better in the long run.

    I hope that everyone out there will go into this new operating system with an open mind, but we all know that won’t happen. I dread the day when I go to an employer provided Windows 8 machine and it boots to the desktop and has the old Windows 2000 Start Menu on it. I’ve seen that with Windows 7 and it didn’t feel natural, and it would feel even worse with Windows 8.

  5. Asus Eee PC 1001P Hard Drive

    I’ve been searching everywhere on the Internet for this information but I couldn’t find it anywhere. I even went to Central Computers hoping they’d have the answer. I got the truly unhelpful, “crack it open and look” answer.

    So I did.

    The Asus Eee PC 1001P has a standard 5400RPM 150GB 2.5” hard drive in its belly.

    Also, you can max out the memory at 2GB with PC-5400 DDR2-800 memory.

    I hope this helps someone out there.