Dustin Horne

Developing for fun...

Windows Phone 8 (HTC 8X) First Impressions

On Thursday I headed down to a local Verizon Wireless store and picked up my HTC 8X.  I've been using and customizing it heavily for a couple of days now and I wanted to share my initial thoughts.  So far it's been a solid device and I absolutely love it.  I'll give you the lowdown from my purchase experience and use.  More...

Windows Phone 7 Marketplace - First Impressions

I have successfully published my first Windows Phone 7 application and wanted to quickly share my first impressions.  The idea for the application came from my wife.  She asked if I could create a daily reminding application to take her birth control pill, so that's what I set out to do.  I create a quick and simple application that allows the user to specify a time to receive the daily reminder.  Tapping the reminding takes you to an entry page where you can specify whether or not you took your pill for that day.  Another page with a calendar control color codes the days to show which days you've taken the pill, which you haven't, and which have nothing entered.  All colors are taken from the current selected Windows Phone 7 theme so they vary based on the user.  You can see my app here:  http://www.windowsphone.com/en-US/apps/01d893fb-59f1-40e9-af27-416080ec72ea.  And here are my first impressions of the development and the marketplace:  More...

Sending Email With Google Mail and ASP.NET

If you're using Google Apps for your email you may want to send email through a Google Apps account from your website.  This is a process I've found to be poorly documented (the documentation can be difficult to find) and there are several examples of different implementations, some of which work and some do not.  You need to make sure you're using the correct outbound server, the correct port, and setting up the authentication credentials properly.  Here I'm going to show you how to make it work. More...

Getting Started With My Netduino Plus

I love to get involved with a variety of technologies.  Recently I became interested in the .NET Micro Framework.  My knowledge of electronics is very basic at most but I'm interested in what types of home automation I can potentially accomplish with a micro controller.  Having a .NET background, I figured the .NET Micro Framework was a great place to start, so I picked up a Netduino Plus and dove in.  I found the basic "Turn on the built in LED" projects to be too simple for my taste so I'm going to show you my first project. More...

Consuming RSS Cross-Domain in jQuery and MVC

AJAX is a powerful tool for making asynchronous requests from the client.  Unfortunately, this is often limited to same domain requests due to security restrictions put in place to prevent cross site scripting.  This also makes it difficult to consume external data such as RSS feeds if a security policy hasn't been put in place to allow cross domain callers with javascript.  In these cases it's necessary to use your server to proxy the data back to your page. More...

Metro Style UI With jQuery

Lately I've been toying around with the idea of incorporating Metro style elements into web designs.  It seems to be a trendy thing to do lately and a lot of sites have been doing it so I started experimenting with using jQuery to achieve some of the effects.  There are already several Metro plugins for jQuery and jQuery UI but I wanted to write my own code and see what kind of effects I could achieve.  I've setup a demo site that I'm using my my Metro UI playground. 

If you want to see what I've setup you can view the source however I'll caution you that I'm just hacking it together for now and it's nowhere near production ready.  The purpose of the site and code for now is to just incorporate the visual and functional elements.  Once I'm happy with the results, I'll be rewriting and refactoring all of the javascript to make it suitable for use and especially easier to theme with CSS (currently alot of the CSS is being implemented stricly with javascript so I can tweak it easily).

I have several demos setup already.  The live tiles use setInterval and run on a constant loop currently but I will be modifying them to use a setTimeout and make them "pausable" and allow the animations to be changed and removed as well, and hopefully a more solid base of animations.  I'll also be working on compatibility with touch screen devices.  Here is a list of the currently available demos:

Live Tiles
List
Scrollbox
Pivot

Identity Crisis - Identity vs SCOPE_IDENTITY In Sql Server

A common need when writing insert queries is to return the last Id that was generated when inserting your record.  There is more than one way to retrieve this value and it can come back to bite you if you're not careful.  In simple applications it's fine and simple to just append Select @@Identity to the end of your query.  If you manage the database and know the structure will never change this isn't a problem.  In larger scale applications, a DBA can make a simple change that can have major implications.  I'm going to demonstrate the problem and show you how to avoid this pitfall. More...

Simple Asset Manager for MVC

Lately I've been using a lot of jQuery and other custom javascript in my projects.  I like to use external CDNs when possible to load my script files.  In particular, I like to use the asp.net CDN for use with jQuery.  For much of this work I can simply put my script references in the layout pages, however there are times when I want specific scripts for specific pages.  There are also times when I want to be able to upgrade a script to a newer version.  This may require modifying multiple views.  Additionally, it would require modifying my HTML/Razor for at least my layout view and re-uploading it to the server. More...

Getting Color Data for a Texture2D in Silverlight 5 XNA

I decided to finish out the year by converting my XNA Terrain series to work with Silverlight 5 and XNA but during the process of converting I ran into an interesting issue.  The Texture2D.GetData() method is oddly missing from the Silverlight 5 XNA implementation.  I came across several posts around the web asking for a workaround but found no solution so I decided to develop my own. More...

AJAX File Uploads with jQuery and MVC 3

Recently I was working on a project that required upload of images.  I wanted to upload the images AJAX style without refreshing the page and thought jQuery would be a good fit.  Using jQuery to post standard forms is extremely simple, but when posting multi-part forms for uploading files it's not so intuitive.  This is due to browser security restrictions and sandboxing.  Today I'm going to show you how to fake an asynchronous upload without reloading the page and get a result back from the server. More...