mr mann's mishmash

it's just a game of give and take…

So, with Silverlight’s main conference of interest over, what did you make of MIX11? Sure, Silverlight was pretty poorly mentioned in the two keynotes as HTML5, Internet Explorer 10 and Windows Phone 7 stole much of the limelight, BUT there was still plenty of breakout sessions that featured Silverlight 4 and beyond.

MIX11 website If you weren’t lucky enough to go, don’t despair! All the sessions were recorded and are available for download or streaming at your own leisure []. Quite a few downloaded videos have made it onto my Windows Phone 7 handset to make my train journeys a bit more productive!

tech.days.2011 website Back here in the UK, the tech.days.2011 week is fast approaching (23rd-27th May for London). This week of events is definitely worth a visit, with a strong line up of speakers and interesting subjects in the realms of Mobile, Client, Cloud, Web, Desktop and Server (so the slogan says!). You don’t have to attend all the days, in fact registration is for a day-at-a-time and for a particular stream. Again, don’t think you’ve missed out by not going in person, many of the sessions will be recorded.


Both these two events have something in common with the speaker at the May Silverlight UK User Group… Mike Taulty.

Mike paired up with John Papa at MIX11 to host the pre-conference Silverlight BootCamp. Mike is also speaking at the forthcoming tech.days.2011 on Silverlight, which means that he’ll have some pretty relevant things to say about Silverlight 5 (beta). So, I’m very pleased to confirm the following agenda:


Date: Wednesday 18th May 2011
Time: Registration @ 18:15, Kick off @18:30 – please don’t be late! Till about 20:30
Where: EMC Consulting 
Notcutt House, 36 Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 9EU.

Registration is required, so please register by sending us an email.
Registered attendees will be notified with any final details by Monday 16th May. If you change your mind and decide on not coming, please be considerate of others and let us know in good time so that we can release the space to someone on the waiting list.



Registration @18:00

Welcome/Kick off @ 18:30

Silverlight 5 – the beta and beyond
with Mike Taulty from Microsoft

The Silverlight 5 beta was released just last month at the MIX 11 conference in Las Vegas and makes significant advances in various areas like graphics, media, data and in the application model allowing new scenarios that are either impossible or difficult today in Silverlight 4. In this session we’ll take a look at what’s present in the beta, poke around in some demos to figure out how things work and we’ll also talk about features that are not in the beta but will be coming before release later this year.



About Mike Taulty

Mike Taulty 

Mike Taulty works in the Developer and Platform Group at Microsoft in the UK where he has spent the past few years helping developers understand and get the best from the Microsoft platform. Prior to this, Mike spent 3 years with Microsoft Consulting Services as a consultant on developer technologies.

Before joining Microsoft, Mike spent the previous 9 years working as a software developer for a number of enterprises, consultancies and software vendors working with a variety of operating system, client, communication and server technologies. | Twitter: @mtaulty | LinkedIn Profile


Most of our user group are Twitter’ers, so if there’s anything you want to share amongst the group, then check out our Twitter accounts or our user group hashtag:







Please register and I hope to see you there!



 Want to join the discussion?
The event is geared to please/interest/inform both developers and designers alike, so if you are interested in coming along then please contact us and we will be glad to add you to our events mailing list.

Want to present or showcase?
We are always on the lookout for presenters for future sessions – whether it be a high or low level coding walk through, a workflow perspective or showcase demo. If you think that you have a topic/presentation that ought to be shared with the community then please contact me and I’ll see if I can get you scheduled in!


This is a cross post from my EMC blog, mainly for backup duplicity and to aggregate some of my past postings. My EMC blog used to be under the Conchango brand but was acquired by EMC so I’ve also retrospectively refreshed some of the old links and maybe a tweak a bit of content too.
permalink to the original post here

Soon after I installed the Windows Phone 7 ‘NoDo’ update (see my previous post), another update pops up. This time, instead of a functionality update, this one is more concerned with replacing some fraudulent web certificates (more details here).

WP7 Certificate update prompt.

Sounds like a good idea. However, before the update process can get into gear it abruptly stops with a disk space related problem. Those of you that have been following my blog will know that I’ve been going through space issues of late (see “How to turn a physical disk to a bootable VHD”) and so my laptop is creaking at the seams (only through my own laziness).

WP7 update error on backup 

This time, to install this update I’m going to have to free 1.1GB on my C:\ drive. What happens on the next one? (the current expectation is that Windows Phone 7 settings in Zunethere is a bigger, functional update being crafted together by Microsoft called the “mango update”). With the minimum memory  specification for Windows Phone 7 set at 6GB it would appear that I could be asked for another 6GB on the next backup and my C:\ drive will surely groan, however can’t I push these backups onto my other logical “data” disk?

The logical place to look at first is at the Zune software which handles all the syncing of data between your computer and the phone device. I know that there are a good number of settings to help configure the music and video library, plus temporary folders where conversion files end up, however there is no sign any setting that allows control of backups.

I’ve also done a search of the registry hunting down the Windows Phone 7 and Zune registry keys for a hint of the directory. Nevertheless there’s nothing of interest there. (Note: if you’re not old enough to know about the registry, then leave it alone because playing about in there without confidence is lead you to disaster).

After a bit of head scratching, one of my disk analysis tools came up trumps and I discovered the following folder:

Windows Phone 7 backup folder

Of course, this folder existed since I had to perform a phone backup as I installed the “NoDo” update a couple weeks ago (see my previous post). As you can see, it’s in my AppData folder which is governed by the operating system as part of the profile store. Sigh, that means that I have to do some substantial reconfiguration of my Windows 7 instance to remap my AppData folder to a disk with ample space. I don’t want to do this.

Thus, I’ve resorted to an old trick that I used to play when configuring servers with small disk partitions in the late 90’s. Before I divulge this tip, let me warn you:

NOTE: I don’t assume any responsibility for your backups or stability of the system. It’s your computer and your choice if you follow the guidance below. The old adage that it works on my machine is not a guarantee that it works on yours!

Swap out folders – basically take a copy of the files, park them up somewhere else and label it up so you don’t forget. If you need to restore the backup later, then just move the files back as you need them! Thus:

  1. Locate the folder C:\Users\<your username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Phone Update
  2. Copy the folders within, to a different drive and backup folder of your choice.
  3. Delete the contents of each sub-folder of the Windows Phone Update folder. By leaving empty patch directories, you’ll have a chance at remembering what goes where if you need to restore later.
  4. Create a shortcut to the backup folder and put it in your Windows Phone Update folder. Rename this shortcut as “Windows Phone Update – Backup Location” (easier if you have two windows explorer windows open).
  5. Create a shortcut to the Windows Phone Update folder and put it in your backup folder. Rename this shortcut as “Windows Phone Update – Original Location” (easier if you have two windows explorer windows open).

Therefore, you should end up with something like this:

Windows Phone 7 moved backups

If you ever did need to revert back to a particular backup set, it’s easy enough to copy the folder to the destination at the end of the shortcut! Voila!

A couple of other pointers to make your backups a bit lighter:

  • Most Windows Phone backups are full device backups, thus all the internal operating system, settings and content is copied off the device. Depending on your usage, (and mine has been making good use of the video playback on my HD7’s big screen) regularly discarding unwanted videos, music or games does help reduce the amount of data to backup.
  • Backups can be placed on any drive you like, but if it is a Windows formatted disk, make use of the folder compression options. Granted, that the compression rate may be pretty low because a Windows Phone 7 backup consists of a lot of 4MB binary files, but this is still best practice and may squeeze you a bit more room. So, right click the folder and click the Advanced button on the General tab. Ensure that the “Compress contents to save disk space” is ticked.

Folder compress


I hope you found this useful. It’s certainly allowed my disk to breathe until the next phone update!

This is a cross post from my EMC blog, mainly for backup duplicity and to aggregate some of my past postings. My EMC blog used to be under the Conchango brand but was acquired by EMC so I’ve also retrospectively refreshed some of the old links and maybe a tweak a bit of content too.
permalink to the original post here

Windows Phone 7 released update 7.0.7390.0 to the masses in March 2011.

I don’t know why the latest operating system update for Windows Phone 7 is called “NoDo” but it’s been much anticipated to put right a couple of things that are taken for granted on other platforms (namely “Copy and Paste” functionality). Well, it arrived on my pay-as-you-go O2, HTC HD7 today. The reason why am I so explicit about the network operator and phone model is that in most countries, system patches are dictated by the network operator because of stability testing within the mobile network. There has also be a number of reports of Samsung phones have being having issues with downloading system updates and therefore may be waiting a while for various issues to be diagnosed. Thus it’s April already despite a “NoDo” officially being a March release.

The following may be pretty familiar or straightforward to you if you already own a Windows Phone 7 device, so this is merely a recap and to show some of my non-Windows Phone 7 friends what the update process is like – and to brag a bit that I’ve got “NoDo”.

I just plugged in my HTC HD7 to my laptop to recharge and the Zune desktop client immediately popped up the following alert:

WP7 - Update available

Clicking “Update Now” made the Zune software think about how much space I have free on my C:\ drive for a backup of the entire phone. Luck eludes me because I’m told that I don’t have enough space to perform a complete backup before I install the latest system update. Noting that the HTC HD7 has 16GB of internal memory makes me very aware that you potentially need 16GB free, but I’ve not filled my phone to the brink and I just need to free up 3GB to be sure. That reminds me that while I succeeded to upgrade my laptop’s hard disk, I have not managed to complete the master plan and clear out a year of accumulated data  [You can read that post here:How to turn a physical disk into a bootable VHD”].

WP7 - Update error

After liberating about 3GB from my C:\ drive I could restart the update. Validation checks and warnings out the way, the updater will check what phone you have and start downloading the updates. Exciting!

WP7 - Update download in progress

The update process will then begin to undertake a full phone backup.

WP7 - Update backup in progress

Wow. 30 minutes later, my phone reboots and the Zune software reports that the system update has been applied and now sports a new version number! My HTC HD7 is now “copy and paste” enabled and makes life a lot easier than having to type in really long URLs or email addresses from one application to another. However, this is just one issue addressed out of the long list of observations that I blogged about last November (You can read that post here : Shiny new Windows Phone 7, close but no cigar). One can only wait in anticipation of more updates to plug these holes in productivity features or consistent UI behaviour and design.

WP7 - Update completed!

There is a very good page tucked away on the Windows Phone 7 website that gives information on all the historical system updates available. Find it here: Windows Phone update history. Unfortunately my Samsung friends might have to wait a bit longer for “NoDo” as I don’t know any one of them to have the update available yet.

It was pretty obvious that there was an system update for my HTC HD7 since the Zune software kicked in with an alert. The phone itself prompts you when an update is available and to sync up as soon as possible. If you’ve clicked “Update Later” or exited the upgrade process due to a error condition then there are a couple of ways to get back to the update screen:

The easiest way is just to unplug your Windows Phone 7 device, wait 20 seconds and plug it back in. With any luck, the Zune software will go through the system version checks again.

Alternatively, you can force the Zune software to check the phone immediately by either going to the sync panel, by way of the 3 steps below phone | SUMMARY | PHONE SOFTWARE

Update via Zune - Phone Summary

Alternatively you can go via the phone options panel – SETTINGS | PHONE | UPDATE | UPDATE

Update via Zune - Phone Settings Link

Update via Zune - Phone Settings Panel


This is a cross post from my EMC blog, mainly for backup duplicity and to aggregate some of my past postings. My EMC blog used to be under the Conchango brand but was acquired by EMC so I’ve also retrospectively refreshed some of the old links and maybe a tweak a bit of content too.
permalink to the original post here