Build Day 1 Windows QuickStart Challenge

June 27, 2013

Build officially started today, and instead of writing yet-another-summary-of-the-keynote analyzing Julie’s anxiety and Steve’s sweaty armpits, I think it’s more interesting to tell you about the Windows QuickStart Challenge that I stumbled upon in the expo hall. In a nutshell, you are challenged to integrate a simple Windows 8 app with a number of partner offerings for analytics, push, authentication, in-app purchasing, and other services. If you integrate with five different partner offerings, you win a Surface RT. Which is exactly what I did :-) The funny thing is that I started the challenge with...
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Automatically Obtaining Source and Line Number from Symbol Name and Offset

June 25, 2013

Once upon a time, unmanaged code developers had to work very hard to correlate code offsets back to source file names and line numbers. One approach involved generating .cod files (assembly listings) for each module, and then painstakingly comparing the instruction offsets with the contents of the .cod file. For example, if you received a faulting stack trace from a client machine that had the frame BatteryMeter!TemperatureAndBatteryUpdaterThread+0xd0, you could go back to the .cod file for BatteryMeter.exe, look up the code listing for TemperatureAndBatteryUpdaterThread, and then look for the source line located at (or near) offset 0xd0. ...
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Node.js and Windows Azure: A Love Story

June 23, 2013

Node.js and Windows Azure work great together. Windows Azure is a perfect host for running Node.js web sites, web services, and other kinds of applications. In my AzureConf and Visual Studio Live! talks this year I’ve been telling the story of this integration, and figured it would be a good idea to document some of the demos I use. Shameless plug: I will be delivering the Node on Azure talk again at Visual Studio Live! Redmond in August. There is still time to register with an early bird discount and an additional speaker discount if you use the...
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Selathon 2013: A Weekend Hackathon for Sela’s Experts

June 9, 2013

The view from the hotel lobby. It was rather hard to step away and go into an air-conditioned conference room to stare at a computer screen :) We have been planning this event for a long time, and finally this weekend had a chance to turn into reality. Eighteen of our experts, accompanied by families, spent the weekend at the gorgeous Golden Crown resort in southern Nazareth. Five project teams of 2-5 developers each worked on various projects they came up with, designed, and implemented during the weekend. The variety of the ideas was...
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Windows Azure Mobile Services "Rent a Home" Sample, Part 4: Push Notifications

June 2, 2013

In the previous posts we explored data and authentication on the backend and client-side. This post explains how the Rent a Home application uses push notifications on all four platforms to let users know immediately when a new apartment listing is added. First, it's important to understand the general model used by all mobile platforms for push notifications. The mobile application calls a set of local APIs to obtain a push token, referred to as channel URI, registration id, or device token on the various platforms. The mobile application then has to send that push token to the backend, which...
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