• Some Things You Can't Buy

    To mark the end of the Lunar New Year, the Lantern Festival, held on the first full moon of the year, is generally a pretty exciting occasion in most of Taiwan. This year, I was lucky (or crazy enough) to join the 40,000 people descending on the sleepy mountain town of Shifen in the Pingxi district, where for the Lantern Festival an endless stream of locals and tourists set off sky lanterns en … more

  • Natalie Imbruglia - Torn (Chinese cover)

    Next in the series of Chinese to English and English to Chinese covers, the one-hit wonder of the 90s (One Direction doesn't factor into this song's progeny). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AH5F55BxV0w more

  • Happy Lunar New Year - 新年快樂

    Hello everyone! It's been a while since I posted anything - Chinese New Year is the big holiday break here in Taipei (much like Christmas / New Years in Western countries), and to celebrate I'm down in Kaoshiung with family and friends, escaping the Taipei winter and rain. Nothing quite like Mahjong until the small hours of the morning (hanging out for that 自摸 / winning hand), lots and lots of … more

  • Selected Item States For LongListSelector In Windows Phone 8

    Adding to the pile of "something that should be really easy but is not", it seems like there isn't a simple way of adding selected item states (ie, highlight an item with a border when it's selected) when you're using the native LongListSelector in Windows Phone 8. Unlike the ListBox control, there aren't any default "selected item" Visual States in the DataTemplate for you to override, and … more

  • It's a white (Nokia Lumia 920) Christmas!

    Hope the festive season is treating everyone well! After being on preorder and waiting not-so-patiently from the 12th of December, Santa came through and my brand spanking new Lumia 920 arrived! I've been messing around with it pretty much nonstop since I got it, getting to learn and love all the new intricacies of the 920 compared to my previous 800: 1) It is nowhere near as heavy or bulky as … more

  • Two-Way Binding and Deactivating Windows Phone Apps

    I'm not 100% sure on this, but for Windows Phone development it seems like if you have a textbox with two-way binding, it's not guaranteed to hit the setter for your property if you exit the app. At least, this is what I figured after the n-th time debugging my app, which was working fine if you left the page normally, but was not persisting changes to database if the app was exited via the … more

  • Five Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Moved To Taiwan / Taipei

    Being here for just under five months, I've had a lot of time to view this lovely country through a more permanent lens. In no particular order (and not necessarily being good or bad things, just things), here's five random ramblings on what I wish someone told me: 1. Don't expect to have an oven in your apartment Or in your friends' oven. Or anywhere, really. Before you move here, enjoy all … more

  • Using async and LINQ to SQL? Don't forget to Lock!

    I've been chugging along with Noborizaka 2, at a slowish pace (life is hard, okay, there's lots of night markets to visit!) So I'm going all-out bestpractice and lovely new hotness with this version, and before today I had it going pretty well with PCL (so I can spin up a Win 8 version in the future, faster), and using async for minimal UI blockages... And then I started getting errors when … more

  • Pro-Tip: Modifying Maximum Processor State In Windows 8 (Even If Power Options Won't Let You)

    Prior to upgrading to Windows 8, I had a little toggle within advanced power options that allowed me to set the maximum CPU usage state for my laptop - having had issues with XCOM running it at 100% for extended periods of time and overheating it, causing shutdowns, I pushed this down to 80% and everything was groovy... Until I upgraded to Windows 8, and the setting disappeared. Luckily, with a … more

  • Trying to use Azure Shared Caching Session State with SharePoint 2010?

    Well, don't. The Microsoft.Web.DistributedCache .dll requires .NET 4.0, which doesn't work with SharePoint 2010. The fact that 4.0 is required for Microsoft.Web.DistributedCache is nicely buried in this thread, not in MSDN where it would have been, you know, helpful. Session State running in SQLServer mode works fine still, though. Let me know if I'm wrong, and also if anyone's tried the Table … more

  • Telerik Windows 8 RadControls Available

    Here's a little plug for Telerik's Windows 8 RadControls, which has been released into the wild. Like their other RadControl suites, RadControls for Windows 8 are pre-built controls for developers. It's nice that they come in both XAML and HTML flavours, which work identically. While there aren't as many in the set as compared to some of their other RadControls (like the Windows Phone 8 one), I … more

  • Portable Class Libraries - Shared Core for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 Apps

    I'm a little late to the party, but I started looking into creating a new WP8 the other day, and figured I'd try and make it as reusable as possible for a possible Win 8 port - and Portable Class Libraries, something that used to be an extension is now fully baked into Visual Studio 2012. Basically, PCL projects allow you to share code between disparate technologies - Windows Phone, Silverlight, … more

  • Windows Store App Gotcha: Background Audio Tasks, Media Elements and AutoPlay

    Remember a few posts back, when I was talking about how to simulate suspend events because my online radio app wasn't passing the WACK? It turned out that it's not really anything to do with the suspend or resume code I wrote, but that having a Background Audio Task / MediaElement with AutoPlay="true" causes the WACK to fail that test, all the time. It also turns out that people have already … more

  • Pro-Tip: Accessing The Current Page From App.xaml.cs For Windows Store Apps

    Quick tip for anyone looking to access the current page from App in a Windows 8 Metro XAML/C# app; the full path you need to traverse is: Get the Window.Current.Content, which is the Frame object assigned in App.xaml.cs in the OnLaunched() method The Frame's Content will be your current page (you can test this, eg ((Frame)Window.Current.Content) is MainPage) more

  • Pro-Tip: How To Simulate A Suspend Event For A Windows 8 Store App

    Or is that Windows 8 Metro App? Or Windows 8 NUI App? I really wish there was one clear term that isn't a combination of words that easily messes with search engine results to look for Windows 8 app dev hints. (I know it's not Metro anymore, but I kind of wish it was, since searching for Metro generally gives better results than a generic word like Store) Anyway, where was I? Simulating a … more

  • Pro-Tip: Setting FBA Timeout When Using Claims Based Auth in SP2010

    If you're using claims based authentication in SharePoint 2010 and wondering why your Forms Based Authentication claims aren't reading your web.config timeout="x" values, it turns out that this is because they're managed on a different level by the Secure Token Service. The default timeout seems to be 10 hours (which seems a little excessive for most purposes) but you can change this easily via … more

  • Pro Tip: How To Change The Existing Product Key For Windows 8 Enterprise

    Moving my work laptop to Windows 8 goodness, and the key embedded with the install media wasn't working but I had been given a valid one from the IT Dept. - a quick surface Google/Bing kept suggesting to click on the "change product key" option, but the link doesn't appear for me in this instance. What to do? I came across this post (for Vista, would you believe it), and the instructions work. … more

  • Windows 8 Store Woes

    I should have known from previous experience with TradeMetro, but trying to get my second app through has been extremely annoying :( I feel exactly like this guy (though to his credit I haven't quite spent two months...yet) Surely it can't be that hard for MS to do all the tests at once instead of dripfeeding them to me in error after error... And apparently, I've got some issue with the media … more

  • Decrypting HTTPS Traffic With Wireshark On Windows

    Or also known as, holy cow Wireshark is crazily obtuse and information dense! While not properly using Fiddler yesterday and trying to come up with alternatives, I sorted out how to inspect HTTPS traffic and look at the packets with Wireshark; it's actually not too hard, but loading up Wireshark for the first time is extremely daunting. The basic instructions can be found in this lovely Citrix … more