mr mann's mishmash

it's just a game of give and take…

I’ve used the internet in some shape or form for about 20 years, so it’s like chewing your arm off in frustration when your connection to the internet is suddenly revoked! If you’ve noticed a lack of social media activity on my or Michelle’s part then its because we’ve tightened up security at EMC since one of our subsidiary brands, RSA, came under an “advanced persistent threat” on 11th March. Ouch!

EMC wrote an open letter to customers to put it into context as this attack was also covered in Yahoo News and the BBC Tech News. We now believe the attack leveraged aspects of social networking, so I’m hoping that service will resume to normal before I chew my other arm off.

MIX11 logo MIX 2011 is nearly upon us. Hosted at the Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas on 12-14th April 2011 – are you lucky enough to go?

MIX is a gathering of developers, designers, UX experts and business professionals creating the most innovative and profitable consumer sites on the web. Sessions range from technical, code-based topics to expert advice on content strategy, usability and design. Explore the future of the standards-based web and a plethora of other visualisation enabling technologies – HTML5, CSS3, Silverlight, WP7, Azure, XNA – it might be a bit late to book your tickets to MIX11, but  you can still contribute to the conversation online via http://live.visitmix.com/mix11

 

Silverlight Surgery logo This month I’m trialling the Silverlight Surgery!… to further promote some community spirit and reduce some of the formality of the evening away the Silverlight Surgery is a chance for everyone to get involved. Hopefully we’ll be able collectively solve some real life issues whether it is code, a discussion on web-technologies, boosting Silverlight adoption in your workplace or where/how to get started. More details below.

Date: Wednesday 6th April 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 4th April.

 

AGENDA

Registration @18:00

Welcome/Kick off @ 18:30

Silverlight Surgery logo In a change of format, the evening will not be the usual presentation. Instead, the idea is to have an open evening where we can collectively discuss any problems or gotcha’s that you’ve been experiencing in your Silverlight, Expression Blend, or Windows Phone 7 projects. Boot up your code and let us diagnose the symptoms and prescribe treatment – I had to get a medical pun in there somewhere! As part of our community we’ve got a bunch of seasoned Silverlight developers and designers so I’m hoping that we’ll solve issues, debunk myths and continue to keep everyone excited about Silverlight. We’ll supply a round table, power, wifi, desk projector, whiteboard and maybe spread out over a couple of rooms – we even have a couple of sofas. It’s best to talk and share our experiences after all… “A problem shared, is a problem halved”.

I’m still figuring out how the evening will work out, so at least it will be a chance to mingle with other people in our community. Of course, to help break the ice, there’ll be beer and softies available… if we run out there’s the pub opposite.

We’ll aim to finish by 20:30 by the latest.

End.

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

@mark_mann#

Mark Mann

#sluguk 

SLUGUK logo

@michelleflynn

Michelle Flynn

Please register and I hope to see you there!

mark.


  

 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!

 


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 either myself or Michelle Flynn (here) and we will be glad to take your details.

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 (here) and I’ll see if I can get you scheduled in!

Facebook
In addition to emailing us directly there is also a Facebook group for the "Silverlight UK User Group" that we set up. Check for updates there too!

 

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

A return to “Silverlight Wednesday” was heralded by a large turnout for the first meeting of the Silverlight UK User Group in 2011. It became obvious that Expression Blend is a black art that more and more intrepid Silverlight developers and designers are wanting to become more familiar with, so Sam Bourton from QuantumBlack did an excellent job of performing a walking through many of Expression Blend’s features and poking a stick at “how to turn on the magic”, in your Silverlight application. With such interest abound, you’ll be sure that I’m hunting down more willing volunteers to cover this aspect of Silverlight design and development.

Unfortunately with time constraints this week, I had not published my regular slide of other user group events within the month. Below is a list of those that I would have given a mention. A conflict of diaries also meant that the evening had clashed with the Windows Phone 7 User Group (WPUG) – I can only apologise to the point that juggling venues, presenters and staff is tricky enough and that sometimes clashes with other events (being user groups, football, rugby etc…) is inevitable.

The slide decks from the evening can be found below.

mark.

Slides: Silverlight UK User Group Introduction – by Mark Mann.

Install Microsoft Silverlight

Slides: Expression Blend For Silverlight Developers – by Sam Bourton

Install Microsoft Silverlight


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 either myself or Michelle Flynn (here) and we will be glad to take your details.

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 (here) and I’ll see if I can get you scheduled in!

Facebook
In addition to emailing us directly there is also a Facebook group for the “Silverlight UK User Group” that we set up. Check for updates there too!

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

I bought myself a Windows Phone 7 HTC HD7, despite it’s foibles I really do think it’s an excellent bit of kit. I mainly use the video player for my train ride into work, and the games too. Oh, I know that the iPhone and Android phones have loads of apps and games available, but there is something about the games on Windows Phone 7 (WP7) that make them a bit more special to me. Maybe it’s because I can earn achievement points on XBOX Live, maybe its the fluidity and clarity of XNA.

i dig it bubble birds

There’s two games in particular that I enjoy. “i dig it” which is an XBOX Live title and the freebie “bubble birds”.

So here’s the problem… nowadays my phone is taking ages to start these games, especially the XNA based ones. Typical symptoms include:

  • Turn on phone, wait for it to fully warm up, start game application – game’s splash screen pops up and apparently freezes for 3-14 minutes*, game starts playing.
  • Use the phone throughout the day, start game application – game’s splash screen pops up and immediately returns to the WP7 start screen. Manual reboot required.
  • Play a game (noticeably one off the XNA ones), ‘tombstone’ the game by using another application on the phone, resume the game — game’s splash screen pops up and immediately returns to the WP7 start screen. Manual reboot required.

*yes, I timed it many times!

I’ve also experienced similar problems with the video playback, particularly with videos that are over an hour in duration:

  • Start video playback, watch for at least 40mins, tombstone the player by using another application, resume the video – frequently, the screen will freeze outright, battery gets very warm, phone automatically reboots after about 5 minutes.
  • Start video playback – if the phone has been in use throughout the day, random chance that the screen will just freeze in playback, as above.

Of course I thought that this was particular to my WP7 device, maybe the HTC HD7 firmware or hardware was faulty since nobody else (friends, forums or web search) exposed such problems. My HTC HD7  has 16GB of memory and despite installing a couple of games, applications, music and videos, I know that I’ve hardly filled up 25% of the full capacity… on a PC I would have thought that my problems are symptoms of an operating system that is struggling to breathe.

That’s when I bumped into the apparent solution… rooting about in the phone settings via the Zune desktop client I discovered “Reserved Space”. The helptext/description suggests that this quota allows WP7 to set aside specific space for your content and it seems that the factory-shipped setting for my HTC HD7 was set incredibly low. Only 5%, maybe that’s what’s been strangling my applications.

Find the setting here – Zune | Settings | Phone | Reserved Space

Zune | Settings | Phone | Reserved Space @5%

There does not seem to be much guidance or a recommended setting for how much Reserved Space a WP7 device should have. A quick canvass round the office resulted in no definitive answer… ranging from 5% through to 90%. Most interesting was that nobody was even aware of Reserved Space.

So I set mine to 60%. Click OK and you might be prompted to reboot (the phone) before the setting take effect.

Zune | Settings | Phone | Reserved Space @60%

Since making this change, my HTC HD7 has behaved itself admirably. It seems to running all my applications and videos quickly, reliably and without automatically tombstoning. I’d seriously recommend you check out your Reserved Space settings maybe give it a little tweak in the right direction!

Zune view of the space allocation on your WP7

 

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