Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Released this week, Visual Studio 2013 Update 4 CTP2

Visual Studio 2013 continues to grow and more bugs in the previous release are fixed.
Also released during the week are the following:
  • Team Explorer Everywhere Update 2
  • Visual Studio Tools for Unity 1.9.1
The download link for the Update 4 CTP2 is here:
The relevant files to download are:
VS2013.4 CTP.exe (1.8 MB)
VS2013.4.ctp2_tfs_enu.iso (2.5 GB)
VS2013.4.ctp2_tfs_exp_enu.iso (530.0 MB)

In the Update 2 CTP2 the main improvement is for Visual C++.
The full details are here:

The improvements to C++ copied from the above are :
Visual Studio now scans or rescans a solution and then updates the database much more quickly for large solutions. Therefore, the browsing process should be much more responsive, and you should experience fewer situations in which you are blocked when you perform browsing operations (such as Go To Definition) on large solutions.
•Visual Studio 2013 Update 4 CTP 2 enables you to collect and analyze GPU usage data for Windows applications by using the Performance and Diagnostics hub. This tool can help you determine whether CPU or GPU is the performance bottleneck of the application. You can also inspect timing data of each individual GPU event if supported graphics cards are present and the latest drivers are installed.

For details of the bug fixes please look up the KB article (2994375)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Microsoft announces Solid State Drives(SSD) D-Series for Azure VMs and Cloud Services

The new D-Series Standard tier instances announced today have  SSD local drives and faster processors compared to A-Series instances.

The D-Series non-persistent instances can be used as,
  • VMs
  • Web/Worker roels in Cloud Services
If you need faster CPU performance, local disk performance and higher memories these are well suited.

The following table shows the cpu, memory and disk configurations for the D-Series.

Few more details here:

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Wolfram a Knowedge based Programming Language

If you have not heard of this language it is high time you know about it. It is a proprietary
programming language that is knowledge-based, scalable, interactive and  runs on many platforms including,
  • Linux
  • Mac
  • Windows
  • iOS -near future
  • Android -near future
and on all the devices including,
  • desktop
  • cloud
  • mobile
The interactive user intrface runs natively on Mac, Windows and Linux on supported browsers.
Well that is all ready a lot.

It can do Graphics and hailing from its Mathematica origins it is extremely well suited for scientific
projects and it is well supported by a community eager to help.

Although started off with Mathematica it has grown over the long years and it now includes the
Computational Knowledge engine - WolframAlpha. It is neat and you just ask questions as simply as the one shown in this screen shot:


It is certainly knowledge based and as questions are not unique and based on your assumptions you may get a different answer.
Looks at this next one. The question is posed very simply and the answer is so very cool!

Here is another

These were queries in text. With the pro version you can input images and data structures that need computational assistance.

Here are what Bing and Google finds and Yahoo did no better. You may note these browsers can compute expressions like 2^2+3^2 etc. The example chosen is a little more difficult. Can Cortana get this intelligence?

Explore more about  Wolfram|Alpha here:

This video is very comprehensive. Do not skip!


The language handles all kinds of data from SQL, Excel Spreadsheet to freeform inputs and it can source data from of databases as well.

This could be a good challenge to the star number cruncher MS Excel.

Here is screen shot of the Wolfram Cloud on which I have a basic membership.

What about IoT?
This is covered too and you may find examples with RaspberryPi.
What's more it has hooks to C, .NET and Java.


Friday, September 19, 2014

If you bought Nokia Icon from Verizon forget about Windows Phone 8.1 OS

Yes. You are stuck with it as Verizon does not tell (or it does not know) when it can push the Windows Phone 8.1 to your Icon. It was rumored that the 'push' is going to happen at the end of August.

Come on, today is September 19.

May be you should trade it at a AT&T Stall.

Actually, I admit I had a rough conversation going with a Verizon assitant at one of the local stores here. They have one answer, "I don't know when". They were nice and better at anger management.

Verizon sells a phone and does not tell when it is going to push the new OS.
Nokia and Microsoft seems to have no bearing on this 'push'. Nobody takes the responsibility.

Practically you are stranded!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Azure Data Factory Azure Service in the offing

Leaks have become the modus operandi to create a buzz in the market place for products such as iPhones and other IT related goodies. According to Mary J Foley a veteran on stuff related to Microsoft, Microsoft is in the process of offering a Azure Data Factory Service to bring management of all data related services, Microsoft Azure and other third party related services under one service with the aim of getting intelligence out of them.

This appears to be what may be termed as a 'leak' as Microsoft has not commented on this topic when information was requested.

This service when it debuts is meant to include all data sources including blobs, databases, tables, and yet to be defined data and manage all of these centrally.

Read more on this here:

We should be hearing soon from Microsoft.

Want to improve your Windows 8 HTML/JS project skills then get this show going

The CodeShow() on CodePlex is one source which may help you a great deal in programming for the Windows 8 Platform. You may get a comprehensive picture of an end-to-end app but more importantly CodeShow() gives you an opportunity to learn all the bits and pieces of accessing devices like camera, error handling with grace etc.

In order to install CodeShow() there are some options. You can install from Windows Store from here:

This not some kind of an executable but bundled source code.

Another option is to get the source code from here

Once here, you can download a zip file by hitting the marked tab (Download). This will give you a snapshot of the source code as it exists at the time you downloaded. Mark you,  it gets continuously updated and if you are not vigilant you may miss out. This is a zip file and extract everything to your favorite folder.

There is yet another option Clone it or Fork it.

If you are going to fork it then it  means you are going to contribute to its development.

If you clone it you will be getting the latest version to work on and you can do this from Visual Studio 2013 (should be at least Update2). You will use the Team explorer tab in the Solution Explorer.

The details of getting to work with the clone are available at the CodePlex site.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

New Intel XDK release - September 2014

After the July 2014 release, the September 2014 SDK was released (Intel XDK - Release - 2014
September 08 v1332) recently.
Plugins and Services integration especially for games development with HTML5 was the
high point of the July release.

Read previous posts if you have missed:
Details of July release here:

Types of project you can create with Intel XDK here:

Creating a ListView type of cross-platform app with Intel XDK here:

Step-by-step procedure to create a ListView cross-platform app with a template here:

New features in the September release are:
Improvements to Live Development
  •    Live Development in Develop tab has been changed. Simultaneous editing and previewing  within  browsers or devices now possible.
  • Run my APP lets you test your app on the emulator in a separate window or on the Android       connected to an USB port. This allows access to  test native device functionality.
  •  Live Layout allows you to test your app's UI over WiFi on Android and iOS devices.
  •  App Security API's first release aid in providing security for on-device app data and      storage.     
Other related improvements:
  •      Updated App Preview
  •      Deprecated App Games Interfaces
  •      New Samples to illustrate Ads and Monetization
  •      Improvements to UI for Cardova plugins(App Security & Dolby Audio)
  •      Bug fixes

Download the new release from here:

Downloaded file name: xdk_web_win_master_1332  
File size: 128MB

Double click the above file to install. You need not remove the previous version to install.
When you launch IntelSDK from its shortcut on the taskbar, you may get a message to update your most recent application on the old SDK followed by a login screen.

Release information here:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A dongle to take if you go drinking

One such dongle is coming out of a kick starter project from Edge Tech Labs called Drinkmate. This could be an internet of things that your spouse can control from a distance. Right now it is just a dongle that you attach to your smartphone and breathe into it. It will tell you whether it is DUI or DWI, or 0.0. Right now you may even get it at kick starter price. I did not ask for one as I do not drink and drive.

Here are some neat graphics that will give some specs as well.


Sunday, September 07, 2014

SQL Server Deployment in Azure Cloud

Cost benefits, flexibility and Scale are the hall marks of cloud deployment. Microsoft SQL Server runs without a hitch in the cloud.

SQL Servers can be deployed to a private cloud, hybrid cloud or a public cloud.

In the public cloud SQL Server can be run in different ways:
  • Windows Azure SQL Database - this is a cloud-based to build relational database applications that scale out to millions of users
  • Windows Azure Virtual Machine- this is just like a on-premises SQL Server
Features of running on Windows Azure VMs

Running SQL Server in a Windows Azure VM is no different from running SQL Server in a on-premises VM. The businesses have complete control over the server and they can install applications and run almost any work load. This mode of running SQL Server is fully supported by Microsoft.
Businesses can create a cloud server using prebuilt virtual machine images from the Microsoft Windows Azure Gallery.

After creating and starting the server they can migrate the database server using any of the well documented methods such Attach/detach, or backup and restore, etc..
Another method is to upload the entire on-premises virtual machine and upload it to Windows Azure.
Sign in to Windows Azure.
Get on to Windows Azure .

Click on the subscription you want use this time.

Click on Virtual Machines.

Presently there are no virtual machines.
Click +NEW at the very bottom to display this pane.

The following are the images available (Scroll to review the complete list on the portal) either on Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, or Windows Server 2008 R2:

SQL Server 2008 R2 SP2 WEB
SQL Server 2008 R2 SP2 Standard
SQL Server 2008 R2 SP2 Enterprise
SQL Server 2012 SP2 WEB
SQL Server 2012 SP2 Standard
SQL Server 2012 SP2 Enterprise
SQL Server 2012 SP1 WEB
SQL Server 2012 SP1 Standard
SQL Server 2012 SP1 for Data Warehousing
SQL Server 2012 SP1 Enterprise
SQL Server 2014 RTM WEB
SQL Server 2014 RTM Standard
SQL Server 2014 RTM Enterprise
SQL Server 2014 RTM Data warehousing

You can choose one appropriate for your needs.
--to be continued

Read more here:

Saturday, September 06, 2014

JumpStart learning based multiplayer game company jumps to the Azure Cloud

The jump was partly from RackSpace to Azure Cloud. In the process the entire on-premise infrastructure has also been moved to Azure according to

JumpStart is a leader in the learning-based multiplayer games for kids with recent releases like School of Dragons and Madagascar Math Ops.

According to a JumpStart article it has thrown all of its eggs in Azure basket that includes all of its web content, web and mobile game products to Azure.

Read more about this here: http://www.jumpstart.com/aboutus/press-releases/jumpstart-transitions-to-microsoft-azure-scalable-cloud-technology

Friday, September 05, 2014

Creating a ListView type of cross-platform app with Intel XDK is quick and easy

In http://hodentek.blogspot.com/2014/08/jump-start-your-cross-platform-app.html I described some details of Intel XDK for cross-platform app development. In more ways than one this is really one of the easiest platforms to use. The developer support is really good with lots of samples, videos, etc.

I just used the template for starting the project and in no time at all the app was ready and was tested on the device. In this case the app was tested on a Nokia ICON and a iPad.

I am sure it will work on iPhone as well. Sure the app is pretty trivial but the point is made that a successful cross-platform could be created using this platform.

It is true that you may require a language other than HTML5/CSS/JavaScript to create more complex programs, but if your program is small and no so complicated and falls into a familiar type then this program works quite well.

In my previous post http://hodentekmobile.blogspot.com/2014/08/creating-projects-with-intel-xdk-part-2.html   I covered the various project options that you can choose for designing your apps that can be accessed by multiple devices, iPhones, Windows Phones, iPads etc.

In this post I describe the steps to create a ListView App with the Intel XDK using the published templates.

A list view consists of a list and when you click on one of the list items, you get a detailed page related to the item. This is a very common type of application.

Download the source code for the template from github here:

The following note is from the above site:
'App Designer Ready-This template can be used for simple list view application
that has a main view with scrollable list and detail view for each list item,
this template can be used for creating applications similar to Mail app, Messages
app or Twitter* app'

After downloading the code, extract to a folder (Herein MyListView)
Launch Intel XDK and choose Start with a template and browse to the extracted folder location.

The extracted folder is as shown:

In the Intel XDK after browsing to the folder location click Create.
It will take a few seconds and you get a 'Success' message.

Follow the step-by-step procedure to create the app here:
DMCA.com Protection Status