iPhone 7+ – First Look

What can I say that you don’t already know?  phone7plus

[Updated Sept 23, 09:19:

To reset the iPhone 7, hold the power button and the volume down button until you see the apple

The battery does seem to last much longer, but beware, it takes much longer to charge ]

The packaging is Apple standard (read beautiful), upgrading from my 6S+ was a piece of cake, activating the phone could not have been easier, and all my stuff was restored without a hitch.

Verizon is buying my old phone for $300, which offsets the new price by quite a bit.

One feature Apple is highlighting is that you can get the phone wet (and it is dust resistant as well).   Not swimming wet.  Not salt-water wet, but you can be out in the rain, or drop it in the toilet and it keeps on ticking.  That  actually matters a lot.

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MacOs Sierra – first look

[Updated 11:26 EDT]

macOS Sierra is heresierra (goodbye Mac OSX)

It has only a few new features, most notable of which is Siri on the Mac.

Siri works ok, not great.  And even when she is fully  understanding my requests, there is only so much she can do.  Great for looking up faces in your photos, good for looking up things on the web, not so great for making phone calls, and why would I want her to open Word when I can do so myself in 1/2 the time?

A perhaps more important feature is the ability to copy and paste from the Mac to the phone.  That is very cool — not needed often, but nice when you do need it.

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Yet Another Podcast #164 – Azure Mobile Apps with Chris Risner

Chris is a Principle Software Development Engineer at Microsoft.  There he

Chris Risner 2012

Chris Risner 2012

works within the Developer Experience team where he leads a team focusing on making non-traditional Microsoft technology work well with Microsoft technology.

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Yet Another Podcast #163: James Montemagno and Xamarin Cycle 8

James Montemagno is a Principal Program Manager on the Xamarin team at james-montemagnoMicrosoft. He has been a .NET developer since 2005 working in a wide range of industries including game development, printer software, and web services.

Prior to becoming a Principal Program Manager, James was a professional mobile developer and has now been crafting apps since 2011 with Xamarin.

He blogs code regularly on his personal blog, and on the weekly development podcast Merge Conflict. You can also find him on his Channel 9 TV Show or on Twitter

Posted in Android, Essentials, iOS, Xamarin | Tagged | 1 Comment

My Favorite Mac Utilities

I have experimented with a number of different utilities.  I’m going to list some of them hMacBookProere, and then invite you to please add your preferred utilities that I haven’t tried yet, and why you like them.

The following are not in any particular order

My favorite go-to browser is Chrome, though I do keep a number of others around for testing Web applications

Speaking of Google, I love Google Photos.  Its ability to search without tagging is amazing.

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Yet Another Podcast #162 What’s New in C# 7 with Mads Torgersen

Mads Torgersen is a Program Manager at Microsoft, responsible for the evolution of C#. Exported_ - 1

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Xamarin Utility in 5 Minutes with Plugins

[This article was restored]

I needed a quick and dirty program to create quick notes and mail them to myself.  You can see how this would be useful;  a way to jot down notes while away from the computer, with some high likelihood that I’ll see and remember the note when I get back.

I created a Xamarin.Forms application, and dropped an editor onto the page.  Here’s the complete XAML page:


I implemented the event handler in code behind (this project was too small for MVVM),

  voidHandle_Completed(objectsender, System.EventArgse)
   string message;

The magic here is accomplished by the Messaging plugin, which will let you make a phone call, send an SMS message or, in this case, send an email.  I could use some of the advanced features, like adding an attachment, but don’t need to.  I just want to send my text.  The three parameters are:

  • Recipient email address
  • Subject line
  • Body of message

 Pierce Boggan wrote up how to use the plugin in an excellent Xamarin blog article.

Hey! Presto! instant app.  But, the simulator can’t send email, so if you want to try it out, you need to do so on a device, which means you need to provision your phone.  Don’t panic, step by step directions are provided here.

Complete development time: 4 minutes.


But as I say, it is quick and dirty.  If I want to put it in the store, I still have some work to do.  First, I really don’t want all your notes, so I need an easy setup so that you can enter your own email address.  Second, it is ugly. Third, I need images, lots of images for the app store.  If you want to take that on, let me know and we can share the glory (and who knows, maybe advertising revenue).
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Yet Another Podcast #161 – David Britch

David Britch is a Developer/Writer at Xamarin, and has previously spent many years working on projects for different groups at Microsoft.

David has authored and contributed to a range of recent software development publications including books, guidance documentation, reference implementations, whitepapers, videos, HOLs, and ILT courses.

Blog – www.davidbritch.com



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Tech Bash 2016

Save $50 with code LIBERTY


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Yet Another Podcast #160 – Mobile Technology Overview – Sam Basu

Sam Basu is a technologist, author, speaker, Microsoft MVP, gadget-lover and Developer Advocate for Progress. With a long developer background, he now spends much of his time advocating modern web/mobile/cloud development platforms on Microsoft/Telerik stacks. His spare times call for travel, fast cars, cricket and culinary adventures with the family. You can find him on the internet as @samidip.

Square HeadshotNativeScript – https://www.nativescript.org/
Kendo UI – http://www.telerik.com/kendo-ui
Telerik UI for Xamarin – http://www.telerik.com/xamarin-ui
Telerik Platform – http://www.telerik.com/platform#overview

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 1.36.38 PM





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My Web Journey

In a recent post, I launched what will be a series on web development.  What better way to get this started than to review how we got here?  And to do that, indulge me, I will tell you (briefly) my own story with the web.

At Demo ’94 I had the opportunity to see the new ‘program’ MosaicaExported_ - 1 (1).  I had been working with the Internet for a good while, but this blew me out of my seat.  Here was a graphic rich environment with hyperlinks, that they were giving away for free.  Wow.
I had been working on a commercial effort named Interchange that did all this and a lot more, but it wasn’t free and it wasn’t open standards.  Needless to say, we were dead in the water (see the first chapter of my book Beginning Object Oriented Design and Devlopment (1998)).

From 1998 to 2000 I programmed the web in HTML and C++.  In 2000 I discovered C# and never looked back.  Two years later Active Server Pages came along, and once again, changed everything.  That was the real beginning of my professional web programming.

In 2007 I went to Microsoft to work on the XAML and C# framework:  Silverlight, and stayed until it was officially pronounced dead in 2012.  I then turned to XAML programming and evangelism until 2014 when  I started work with Xamarin (also a XAML & C# development framework; this time for mobile apps).

In 2015 I went back to being independent* and have been dividing my time between Xamarin and web programming since.  I created a number of web-oriented courses for Pluralsight such as Programming JavaScript from Scratch, Programming HTML From Scratch, CSS3 From Scratch and One ASP.Net From Scratch.  I also wrote a couple Pluralsight courses on creating Web Applications from start to finish, such as Building Web Apps and Services with EF and Web API and a few others.

I learned Angular JS through the efforts of my good friends Ward Bell and John Papa among other patient experts, and presented on Testing Angular JS at Angle BrackAngular2ets.  But then I closed my eyes and when I opened them a moment later, everything had changed.

ASP.NET 4 was now ASP.NET Core, and AngularJS was now Angular 2.  And these were not incremental changes; they were fairly revolutionary.  So I’m swimming as fast as I can to catch up.

Fortunately, the top level of ASP.NET Core is an easy transition from ASP.NET 4, and Angular 2 is not only better than Angular JS, it is easier to learn because it makes more sense.

This year I’m presenting again at Angle Brackets / Dev Intersections**, which is a kick, and in Moscow I’ll be presenting on Angular 2 (!)

That’s my story, what’s yours?  Please use the comments to tell me about your own history with the web.  By creating a common starting ground, we can move forward more quickly.



* My friend Andy Knight once said “Going independent is trading the illusion of security for the illusion of independence.”

** For $50 off, use the discount word LIBERTY

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Back to the Web – but where to start?

In my previous post I described my desire to revive my web programming skills and tune up to the latest frameworks.  The question is: which frameworks, and in

Illustration depicting signs with a confusion concept.what order?

This is a question that I struggled over for quite a while; checking in with friends with expertise in various aspects of web programming.

I’ve concluded a few things so far:

  • You can’t learn everything at once
  • You don’t need to learn everything at once
  • It is important to leverage what you already know

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