J2i.Net

Nothing at all and Everything in general.

CodeProject Mobile Developers Contest Winners being Contacted

Code Project had a contest spanning from  14 October 2008 to 14 January 2008 and is now contacting the winners.  It should only be a matter of time before we know who the three winners are.   I received an e-mail last night because one of my articles was selected as the top 3.   I had to select a phone that I will receive as my prize.  I think I will go with the Samsung Blackjack II; I need a nice Windows Mobile Standard phone to use for development.

Visual Studio Free for Students, Discounted for ISVs

Last night a student asked me a question on how she could acquire the Expressions Suite software.  Being a student she can't afford to get it herself.  Her question reminded me of something I had known about but hasn't come to the front of my mind until now. Microsoft allows students to have free access to Expressions and Visual Studio 2008 Professional at no cost through the DreamSpark program. I had registered for the program while I was still a student so that I could tell other students of Southern Polytechnic State Univerisity how the program works. Having been reminded about the program I decided to bring it to attention one more time for any of you that may be students.

So what does this have to do with Windows Mobile?  If you wanted to begin programming with Windows Mobile there are two paths that you can take.  One is the path without Visual Studio.  It is not a path I would ever sugest unless you have no other option. The preferred path is to acquire a Professional version of Visual Studio.  But this path cost money in most cases.  If you are a student and would like to engage in Windows Mobile development you can take advantage of the DreamSpark program to go down this pathway without paying money (just remember to read the terms and conditions.  I believe software acquired this way cannot be used for commercial purposes).  If you are not a student and would still like to get your hands on Visual Studio Professional for experimenting then you can get it at a discount.  As described on the Windows Mobile Team Blog:

http://blogs.msdn.com/windowsmobile/archive/2007/07/30/visual-studio-beta-2-professional-available-for-download.aspx

If you're concerned about the cost of Visual Studio Professional, you should consider joining the ISV Empower Program which is designed for Independent Software Vendors and provides limited Microsoft software licenses – including Visual Studio – for internal use, development and testing and technical support.  Registration with the program costs around $375 for companies in the United States.  Please consult https://empower-isv.one.microsoft.com/isv/Help/en/rsc.htm for a list of other countries which have an ISV Empower Program.

ISV Empower Program Overview : https://empower-isv.one.microsoft.com/isv/programguide/Default.aspx

 

 

Windows Mobile Rebranding

With the Mobile World Congress only a couple weeks away there's rumors galor about what will be announced.  Amongst the rumors are that Windows Mobile will be rebranded as Windows Phone. There's also to be a service available for syncing mail, contacts, and files called "My Phone" and word of a new reference design for Windows Mobile...I mean Windows Phones.  We will know with certainity whether or not these rumors were true in just a couple of weeks.

Resetting the Device

I was looking through the Windows Mobile Team Blog for something and came across a bit of code that I thought would be useful to some for resetting a device.  Here's the code:

[DllImport("Coredll.dll")]
extern static int KernelIoControl(
 
int dwIoControlCode,
  IntPtr lpInBuf,
 
int nInBufSize,
  IntPtr lpOutBuf,
 
int nOutBufSize ,
 
ref int
lpBytesReturned
);

[DllImport("Coredll.dll")]

 

extern static void SetCleanRebootFlag();


public
 void HardReset()
{
   int
IOCTL_HAL_REBOOT = 0x101003C;
  
int
bytesReturned = 0;
   SetCleanRebootFlag();
  
KernelIoControl(IOCTL_HAL_REBOOT, IntPtr.Zero, 0, IntPtr.Zero, 0, ref
bytesReturned );
}

Facebook Recognition

Some time ago I wrote a post about some things I would like to be able to do with Facial Recognition on the phone.  One of those things was integrating an application with Facebook so that in theory I'd be able to point my camera-phone at some one and immediatly get information on who the person is based on the person's face being matched against a facebook profile.  Last night I decided to do some looking around for facial recognition SDKs (developing my own would take to long).  I found a couple that looked suitable.

One was Okao from Omron. This company has done a lot of work with AI and machine recognition and is the company behind the face recognition in Apple's iPhoto in iLife 09. They have a version of their face recognition software that will work on Windows Mobile phones but there is no trial version available.  The other company I found was Neuto Technology.  Unlike Omron they have a Windows Mobile SDK that will work for 30 days.   The only component left would be something to look at Facebook Photographs.  I'll have to build a solution for iterating through the photographs.  But I'm sure most of the work of doing this will be reduced by making use of the  Microsoft Facebook Developer Kit.

 

I am begining to think this idea is actually possible!

Provoking Post

For any mobile operating system that you can name you can find some one that will point out what they feel to be a flaw in the operating System.  Mike  Calligaro of the Windows Embeded team knows this all to well.  If you read through the reader responses to many of his post you'll find a pletora of emotionally charged responses  For some of the responses I get the feeling the reader didn't actually read the entire post.  For others some readers make pretty good arguments. In either case I decided to collect what I thought to be the most interesting post addressing features of Windows Mobile that many have questioned.

 

 

Interesting Post

 

Quotes from Mike:

 

In response to "why can't you fix the damn bugs"

As much as I love the job, there are certainly frustrations as well. One of them is that more than half of the code on one of our phones is written by other people (OEMs, ISVs contracted by OEMs, ISVs contracted by Mobile Operators, etc) and any failing in any of that code is usually blamed on us.

 

 

 

Why Can't I Create a Smart Device Project?

So you've installed Visual Studio and you are ready to create a Smart Device project for your Windows Mobile device.  But when you go to create a new project the Smart Device templates are no where to be found.  Why is that?  Let's look at the possible causes for this problem. 

Is your Visual Studio Version an Express Edition?

Presently Microsoft doesn't have a version of Visual Studio Express that can be used to create smart device projects. If you are running an Express Edition of Visual Studio you will need to replace it with a professional version to develop for Windows Mobile. 

24 Hours of Windows Mobile : two thirds complete

As of today the "24 Hours of Windows Mobile" presentations are 2/3 complete.  I've been keeping track of the presentations.  If you would like to see any of them the links are below. 

TitleLevelDescription
Introduction to Windows Mobile Development 200 High level introduction to developing managed applications for mobile devices
Interoperability Between Native and Managed Code 300 Basic's of P/Invoke and using COM objects
Creating Adaptive Applications 300 Creating applications that work with a wide variety of formfactors
Using Pocket Outlook Data within a Managed Application 300 Retrieving and manipulating data stored within Pocket Outlook
Live Update from PDC 300 Sharing news announced at PDC time and other demonstrations
Developing Battery Friendly Applications for Windows Mobile 300 Demonstration of the State and Notifications broker and other features of Windows Mobile that can assist in developing applications that consume less power
Unit Testing for Mobile Devices 300 Explore using the unit testing functionality of Windows Mobile for devices
Testing Your Mobile Applications 300 Strategies for testing your Mobile Application
IPC and True Push 300 Asynchronous programming techniques inside your managed application
Windows Mobile Networking 300 Negotiating and establishing a network connection
Location Awareness 300 Location services available for Windows Mobile
Windows Mobile Power Toys 200 Tools to assist you in diagnosing information about your running applications.
App Dev with VS 2008 and SDK tools 300 what is new in the Microsoft .NET Compact Framework 3.5 and how to develop Windows Mobile client applications effectively.
Device Security 300 Explains how the Windows Mobile Security model works, and they show you how you can mimic device security using the emulator.
Tips for App Devs 300 Tips to improve your productivity in developing for Windows Mobile in Visual Studio.
Asynchronous Development Techniques 300 Learn how to properly start and terminate threads, update user interface controls inside multiple threads, and call Web services asynchronously.