How to send and receive posts safely

By now, all my friends and relatives know that if theyStop right there receive an email, even from someone they know, they should not click on any links. (Danger, Will Robinson).

But I like sending links to important articles or videos.  How can I help my friends and relatives feel safe and yet open the email.

Easy, I send each of my friends and family an email that says:

“Please check this email by writing back and asking if I really sent it, or even better by calling me at 339-201-6010  From now on, when I send you email with a link, I will put the word fadoodle* at the bottom, so that you know it is really from me. Please do the same if you are sending me a link”

*Fadoodle is any made up word and not the one I use

This simple mechanism reassures the recipient that the email really came from you.  You can use any word, but you are best doing what you would do with a password: the longer the better.

There definitely are more secure ways to do this, but this is sufficiently secure for me, and it is painless.


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10ish Cool New Products

What follows are products I’ve recently discovered, that now I can’t live without.

Back Pack

Let’s start with the best backpack I’ve ever owned

This is the Cocoon, which sells for about $100.

There are two main pockets. TCocoon pockethe larger has a suspended pocket for your Mac (or if you insist, your Lenovo ) and a second one for your iPad (Surface?).

The outer pocket is where the magic happens.  There are criss-crossed strips of expandable nylon that securely hold everything from your USB stick to your power supply, iPhone or anything else you carry.  It makes finding the wire you need right now, a snap.

Run out of room? They also sell rectangular supplements that do the same, but slip into your backpack, for the stuff you use less often.

Continue reading

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Xamarin MVP

What can I say, I’m truly grateful and proud…



Keeping good company

Falafel Logo Small White


Special thanks to Lino Tadros and Falafel Software for paying me to have way too much fun with Xamarin.

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Scroll To in Xamarin.Forms Grouping

In a recent blog-post I showed how to use the new Scroll To feature in Xamarin.Forms.  In this posting I’ll show how to go to a particular entry within a group and also how to go to a particular entry.

We start with the code were using in the previous post.  …. The key difference is that we add another parameter to ScrollTo.  Continued here


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ScrollTo in Xamarin.Forms ListView

Today we tackle another new feature in 1.3: ScrollTo.

This allows us to scroll to the beginning of a ListView or to the end or to a particular entry.  Let’s return to the grouping code we created here.  We’re going to make some minor changes to illustrate ScrollTo

To illustrate how this works, let’s add a button to the XAML which will trigger the scrolling,

The event handler is identified as GoToLastItem.  We’ll implement that in our code behind,


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Messaging in Xamarin.Forms

In recent posts I’ve discussed Styles and Triggers in Xamarin.Forms 1.3 (which is still in Community Preview).  Today I’ll discuss Messaging, which is critical when using MVVM.

Publish and Subscribe

Messaging in Xamarin.Forms implement the Publish and Subscribe pattern.  This means that any class (or page) can subscribe to a message and another page can publish that message. This may cause the first page to take some action.   Continued here


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My Favorite Books of 2014

In 2014 I read (according to GoodReads) 47 Kindle books and (according to Audible) 101 audible books.

This year I read zero books on paper.

Here is my short list of the very best:

  • Far from the Tree
  • Ulysses
  • What If?
  • The Innovators
  • The Sixth Extinction
  • Thirteen Days in October
  • The Most Dangerous Book In the World
  • The GoldFinch (and all of Donna Tartt)

But not necessarily in that order.

Enjoy, and Happy New Year!












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Product Recommendation -SaneBox for Email

I don’t usually write about individual cool products, but if email is making you crazy this is a product you really want to check out. 

It is called SaneBox and it separates your mail for you automagically into inbox, BuilkMail, View Later, and News.  You can then train it which email belongs where, though it generally gets things right without training.

More, you can move email to Next Week or Tomorrow and it leaves your inbox, only to reappear when you said.

Further, you can forward to any arbitrary time/date (e.g., and it will come back then.  Does a whole bunch more, is highly customizable and generally great.

Enjoy, and I think if you sign up we both get a small discount.

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Triggers in Xamarin.Forms 1.3

Yesterday, I wrote about one of the new features in Xamarin.Forms 1.3 (Technology Preview 2), Styles.  Today I’ll take a first look at Triggers.


The key idea of Triggers is “When this happens, do that.” More specifically, “When this property has that value, then set this other property to this new value.”  Huh?  Perhaps this is easier to show than to explain.

Let’s suppose we’re building a form and we’d like to enhance the Entry control so that when the user is entering data the text color is blue, but when they are done the text color turns black.

Step one is to create a style in the Resource Dictionary and to give that Style a set of Triggers… Continued here

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Xamarin.Forms: Styles

Xamarin.Forms 1.3 is now available in Community Preview 2 (the finalInherited Styles community preview before release).  While this is not a release version, it is close and worth taking a look at.  It offers three new killer features:

  • Styles
  • Triggers
  • Behaviors

In this post, I will look at Styles.  Continued…

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Xamarin.Forms – Groups and Jump Lists

My goal is to create a simple list of Employees with the employees grouped byJump Lists the first letter of their name.  I’d also like to create a jump list to allow the user to jump to a particular letter in the list.

To see the implementation, click here

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Using Mocks to test Xamarin

Many of us believe that Unit Testing is critical in any non-trivial programming.  But Unit Testing can be difficult, especially the use of fakes.  The most common fake is a Mock; unfortunately they are also the most confusing.

There are a number of Unit Testing libraries you might use with Xamarin, but the easiest to integrate is nUnit.  For mocking, Moq makes great sense, especially as it works so well with nUnit.  Continued here…

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