Recent Posts

Windows 10 Mobile: Impressions after a week.

I’ve been keeping a close eye on Windows 10 Mobile, and I haven’t really liked what I’ve seen. The navigation is a clear lift from Android, and not in a good way, and paradigms like the Pivot control which made WP8.1 unique seem to have disappeared. But I’ve never been one for sticking my head in the sand and sticking to the current version of something because the new version looks scary and d...

I’ve been keeping a close eye on Windows 10 Mobile, and I haven’t really liked what I’ve seen. The navigation is a clear lift from Android, and not in a good way, and paradigms like the Pivot control which made WP8.1 unique seem to have disappeared. But I’ve never been one for sticking my head in...

In-place upgrade Windows?! You’ve got to be kidding me!

Before the release of Windows 8, this was my default reply to anyone who dared suggest doing an in-place upgrade of Windows. I’d done it before in upgrading from 98 to ME and I’d seen and heard many horror stories of failed in-place upgrades that it become clear that it wasn’t even worth the effort, you were going to have to do a fresh install either way, so you may as well make it plan A. The...

Before the release of Windows 8, this was my default reply to anyone who dared suggest doing an in-place upgrade of Windows. I’d done it before in upgrading from 98 to ME and I’d seen and heard many horror stories of failed in-place upgrades that it become clear that it wasn’t even worth the effo...

OpenLiveWriter–It’s like Windows Live Writer but it works with my blog!

Since I started blogging, I’ve had to suffer the apalling mess that is the blogger editor. Windows Live Writer was hailed as the panacea of free editors, but whatever I tried I could never get it to work. Then Scott Hanselman and a group of Microsofties resurrected it as Open Live Writer and less than a week later, blogger support now works! Go download Open Live Writer now!

Since I started blogging, I’ve had to suffer the apalling mess that is the blogger editor. Windows Live Writer was hailed as the panacea of free editors, but whatever I tried I could never get it to work. Then Scott Hanselman and a group of Microsofties resurrected it as Open Live Writer and le...

Windows 10 upgrade experience

Microsoft have really upped their upgrade game. Pre-Windows 8, there was no point even bothering with an upgrade. Even if it completed without bricking your machine, the end result would be so unstable you’d just pave it and start again anyway. The upgrade from 7 to 8 was relatively painless, I only needed to reinstall a handful of applications afterwards, not a big deal. 8 to 8.1 was seamle...

Microsoft have really upped their upgrade game. Pre-Windows 8, there was no point even bothering with an upgrade. Even if it completed without bricking your machine, the end result would be so unstable you’d just pave it and start again anyway. The upgrade from 7 to 8 was relatively painless, I...

UniqueIdentifier as a primary key, that will solve all of our problems!

No, no it won’t. In evolving a single-instance website to multi-instance one, one of the many problems I have faced is how to deal with database access when your website instances are on the opposite side of the world. My solution to this was to use SQL Azure Data Sync, makes sense as my databases are already in SQL Azure anyway. Facilitating this involved changing all of the integer primar ...

No, no it won’t. In evolving a single-instance website to multi-instance one, one of the many problems I have faced is how to deal with database access when your website instances are on the opposite side of the world. My solution to this was to use SQL Azure Data Sync, makes sense as my databa...

Windows Phone 10 - First Impressions

After running the Windows 10 Technical Preview on my laptop for the last few months and being generally happy with it, bar the obvious problems you get running a Technical Preview, I’ve been itching to get my hands on Windows Phone 10 (officially referred to as Windows 10 Mobile, but I’m going to refer to it as WP10). As a very happy owner of a Lumia 1020, I’ll be getting it eventually so thoug...

After running the Windows 10 Technical Preview on my laptop for the last few months and being generally happy with it, bar the obvious problems you get running a Technical Preview, I’ve been itching to get my hands on Windows Phone 10 (officially referred to as Windows 10 Mobile, but I’m going to...

Getting started with Azure Application Insights

Now that pricing information has been released for Application Insights, I decided to take the dive and deploy it on a few of the web applications I work on. The documentation is pretty good for your basic scenarios, but it glosses over what I think are probably common use cases. The instrumentation key (commonly referred to as the iKey) is located in an applicationinsights.config file, whi...

Now that pricing information has been released for Application Insights, I decided to take the dive and deploy it on a few of the web applications I work on. The documentation is pretty good for your basic scenarios, but it glosses over what I think are probably common use cases. The instrume...

Close a window by title in C#

When you’re developing for embedded systems that don’t have a mouse or keyboard attached, a misbehaving program that decides to pop up windows at random is suddenly a lot more inconvenient. Cue the below code snippet, which takes in a window title and sets it’s state to minimised, maximised, or normal depending on the parameters you pass in. As usual, this is a Linqpad script. You just need to...

When you’re developing for embedded systems that don’t have a mouse or keyboard attached, a misbehaving program that decides to pop up windows at random is suddenly a lot more inconvenient. Cue the below code snippet, which takes in a window title and sets it’s state to minimised, maximised, or ...

ProTip: Open Powershell as admin from Powershell

Just a quick one as I find I have been using this trick a lot lately. If I am in a standard Powershell prompt and need to get an admin one open, I used to search for Powershell, right-click, run as admin. I’d do this even if I was already in a Powershell prompt as I can never remember the syntax for runas.exe. A much easier way, especially if you are already in a Powershell prompt is: Start-...

Just a quick one as I find I have been using this trick a lot lately. If I am in a standard Powershell prompt and need to get an admin one open, I used to search for Powershell, right-click, run as admin. I’d do this even if I was already in a Powershell prompt as I can never remember the syntax...

Copying records between tables in different Azure accounts : The Next Generation

A few months back I posted a small piece of code for copying objects between Azure Table Storage Accounts. I have 2 bug-bears with the code I previously posted. It’s all very custom, you need to give it the type that is in the table and add lambdas to make sure it doesn’t try to select the wrong object. Due to a change in the Azure Storage Library, it no longer works. I hadn’t used this...

A few months back I posted a small piece of code for copying objects between Azure Table Storage Accounts. I have 2 bug-bears with the code I previously posted. It’s all very custom, you need to give it the type that is in the table and add lambdas to make sure it doesn’t try to select the wr...