MobileTechnology

My Nokia Lumia 900 Experience so far

LUM900BLKR_banner_lumia_04Here is a quick review of the new Nokia Lumia 900 (Windows Phone) that I picked up.

I went in to Rogers and walked out with the phone 15min later. It was quick and simple. Phone was $150 on hardware upgrade and you get $50 mail in rebate. Nokia is also give users who buy the phone a $100 credit if you buy it prior to April 21. This means I got the phone for $35 (admin fee).

Rogers only has the Black model available at this time. But I was able to pick up the light blue rubber sleeve. With the sleeve on, the device still looks sexy and the sleeve is barely noticeable.

The Lumia 900, like the Lumia 800 before it, comes in a unibody polycarbonate form factor that offers a terrific hand feel. Here is something that is amusing…

While Apple champions unibody designs for its laptops, it obliterates that superiority in its mobile devices. Where the iPhone is a mess of small, fragile parts—glass front and, unnecessarily, back pieces that beg to be encased in thick covers, and several thin, foil-like metal bumper bits—the 900 is a single, well-made, block of polycarbonate. It’s bulletproof, solid. Not frail. But because of its unibody design, and non-replaceable battery, the 900 isn’t going to come apart when dropped either.

Other nice features are Visual voice mail, Internet sharing (tethering) and support for LTE cellular networks. I’ve really noticed the speed improvement on 4G/LTE compared to 3G.

The cameras are sweet. You have the option for Widescreen picture taking (16:9) and there is also the front facing camera for video calls (Skype and Tango), and then there is the 8MP rear camera. Although not as good as the iPhone 4S camera, it comes close to it.

They also improved the capacitive front buttons—Back, Start, and Search. They are far less easy to trigger accidentally, a long-lived problem on Samsung’s Windows Phone handsets.

I’m also really impressed with the Nokia apps (only available on Nokia phones)…

  • Nokia Drive (Turn by turn GPS)
  • Nokia Maps
  • Nokia Transit

I have not tried the internet sharing yet…but that will be really nice to have when you’re in the middle of nowhere without Wi-Fi and want to get online from a laptop.

Getting setup on the device was quick and painless. All I did was login using my Windows Live ID (email address) and it was configured…all my email was synced, my contacts, my calendar, my tasks, my twitter, my Facebook, my linked in, etc.

I never had to plug in the phone to sync any files.

As for the apps…I downloaded an app that looks at my Windows Phone account online to see what apps I’ve installed in the past…and then on the device shows me which apps I’d like to re-install. Easy as pie.

That is all for now.

AviationTechnology

Infinite Flight (mobile flight sim)

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Last year when I got my first Windows Phone, the Samsung Focus…I was browsing the Marketplace and came across a Flight Simulator called Infinite Flight. I downloaded and tried the demo out at the time, and loved what I saw.

Almost a year later…I upgraded to a Nokia Lumia 900 and decided to pull the trigger and finally get this awesome simulator.

Here is a quick description of Infinite Flight and some of the features. If you’re an avid flight simulator, have a passion for aviation and own either an iPhone or Windows Phone…then I highly recommend you try it out.

Plus I read that they’re looking to support Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8!

http://flyingdevstudio.blogspot.co.uk/

Infinite Flight

Infinite Flight is the first Flight Simulator for iOS and Windows Phone 7 developed by a team of 2 highly dedicated developers.

 

Features

  • Great airplanes selection (varies with the platform): C-17 Globemaster III, Supermarine Spitfire, Airbus A380-800, Boeing 747-400, A-10, Boeing 737-800, Cessna 172SP, Cirrus SR22, Super Decathlon, F/A-18 Hornet, Airbus A321, Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner, A-10 warthog
  • 2 Regions: San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California
  • Flight Planning
  • Realistic Flight Model
  • Interactive Flight Lessons
  • Autopilot (Altitude and Heading, Throttle)
  • 4 time presets (Sunrise, Day, Sunset and Night)
  • Weather settings: Wind direction and intensity, visibility…
  • Yoke helper for easy handling of the airplane
  • Final Approach Path Display to help with landings
  • ILS (Instrument Landing System)
  • Realistic sounds
  • 5 Camera Modes
  • Runway lights
  • Automatic Logbook (entries added for each flight)
  • Leaderboards
  • Achievements

Screenshots

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AviationGames

Microsoft Flight is now free to play on Steam

Microsoft Flightis Now Available and Free to Play on Steam.

Experience the thrill and wonder of flight with Microsoft Flight. This free download gives you the opportunity to explore the skies over the beautiful Big Island of Hawaii in the state-of-the-art Icon A5 or the classic Boeing Stearman. Enjoy hours of gameplay with a variety of exciting missions, challenges that will test your skills, and hidden Aerocaches that will give you yet another reason to explore.

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The Steam edition is different to the original Microsoft Flight version in that it provides better pricing via the Hawaiian Starter Bundle, which is cheaper on Steam by $13 than it is on the Xbox.com Marketplace. The bundle includes two aircraft, the Maule M-7-260C and the North American P-51 Mustang, and the Hawaiian Adventure itself.

I’ve switched to using Steam when playing and buying any game content for Microsoft Flight. I like the pricing model and the game is always kept up to date.

If you haven’t tried Microsoft Flight yet, you should.

Life

Please help me support the Heart & Stroke Foundation

This year I am participating in the Heart&Stroke Big Bike to raise funds for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Heart disease and stroke take 1 in 3 Canadians before their time. Together, we can help improve this statistic.

Please help me reach my fundraising goal by sponsoring me online. Click on the link below to make a secure online credit card donation.
http://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1007010&lis=0&supId=251984362

The donations we collect will help us to continue to fund life-giving research so that all Canadians can live longer, fuller, lives.

Thank you for your support!

P.S. Here is an interesting article I came across on the Heart and Stroke website about how this is a big threat to women…even more of a threat than breast cancer.

Noel Bairey Merz: The single biggest health threat women face (16min long)

Surprising, but true: More women now die of heart disease than men, yet cardiovascular research has long focused on men. Pioneering doctor C. Noel Bairey Merz shares what we know and don’t know about women’s heart health — including the remarkably different symptoms women present during a heart attack (and why they’re often missed).

http://www.ted.com/talks/noel_bairey_merz_the_single_biggest_health_threat_women_face.html

Heart and Stroke
http://www.heartandstroke.com/site/c.ikIQLcMWJtE/b.2796497/k.BF8B/Home.htm

DatabaseDevelopment

SSDT – Schema Compare Improvements

Schema Compare is an incredibly useful tool, providing a visual head over SSDT’s model differencing and update engine. It can be used to compare any combination of database, project or dacpac, and allows selective update of the target schema (via an update script in the case of a dacpac). We’ve made some significant changes to the tool for the RTW release, improving its look and feel, particularly to make it easier to digest and process comparison results. This post describes many of Schema Compare’s key features – some of which surfaced in CTP4 – with a screen shot at the bottom that highlights several of them.

First, the visual comparison ‘language’ of the results grid:

Differences-Only by Default: By default the grid contains differences only (with empty folders removed) – if there is only one difference you will see just one item. And the grid always contains all the actions resulting from the comparison – while you can hide an action temporarily within a contracted group it is always present in the grid and will apply to the update or script unless you exclude it by unchecking the action.

Equal Objects filter:
A toolbar button adds equal objects to the grid. Enabling this is useful if you want to review, for example, unchanged columns alongside the changed columns in a table.

Unsupported Actions filter: You can also choose to see unsupported actions – these result from differences for which there is no supported action that can be taken on the target. These typically result from differences in server objects or built-in types between schema versions.

Action Icons: Actions (Add, Change, and Delete) are visualized using icons, making it easier to absorb a set of changes at a glance. The checkbox alongside an icon indicates if the action will be included in the update or generated script. If there is no icon the item will not be included in an update or script.

Grayed Items: Items that do not contribute to the update are grayed – excluded actions, unsupported actions and equal objects are all grayed. Folders are grayed when all their contents are grayed making it easy to see when a group of differences have all been excluded without you needing to drill in.

Grouping: By default, items are grouped by action so you can quickly assess what changes will be made on update. You can also group the results by object type or by schema. You can expand or collapse a group to temporarily hide detail, and you can exclude all or include all objects in a group.

Refactor Highlighting: Schema Compare processes the refactor log if present when targeting a database. Refactoring is indicated in the grid as a change action with the source name bolded to highlight the new schema and/or name. Refactoring will cause objects to be renamed in the database. Refactoring sometimes also shows up as a second order effect on other objects that SQL Server will modify when applying the rename. These will not be marked as actions in the grid as you cannot exclude them, but you will see the changed script if you select the affected object.

Probably the biggest set of changes affects the script difference pane. While the grid provides a great overview, to see all changes to an object in the grid you have to fully expand it, which, can quickly clutter the view if you’re reviewing many objects. To address this we’ve focused more attention on the script differencing experience – after all, you are writing and editing object scripts to begin with. Changes include:

Expanded Object Scripts: The script difference pane now shows the combined scripts for an object and its hierarchical children. This gives a complete picture of all the changes affecting an object in one easy-to-scan place. To complement this, the Next and Previous buttons step between top-level objects only. Together, these two changes can dramatically simplify scanning through the results of a comparison.

Enhanced Script Differencing: The script difference algorithm now treats child objects as discrete entities, more effectively highlighting those that have been added, deleted or changed. The color scheme is now more subtle and better reinforces the direction of changes. And remember that you can expand the script pane or swap it to the top – so you can easily optimize the layout to better focus on reviewing scripts.

The screen shot below highlights many of these improvements.

Reference
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ssdt/archive/2012/03/23/schema-compare-improvements.aspx

DesignDevelopment

Custom Chrome Window Glyphs

If your looking to create a custom chrome window in Winform or WPF, you should take a look at the ‘Marlett’ font that is available on your system.

This font contains the actual glyphs used in Windows for the Minimize, Maximize, Restore and Close buttons.

Using this font makes it really easy to reuse these glyphs in a custom chrome window, instead of custom images that is typically used.

To get started, assign your buttons the Marlett font.

Next, assign the text value for each of the buttons the following…

  • Close button, use the text r (lowercase R)
  • Minimize button, use 0 (zero)
  • Maximize button, use 1 (one)
  • Restore button, use 2 (two)

You can take a look at the Marlett font in the Windows Character Map or here for more details.

Here is an example of what the Windows buttons would look like using this font…

Mobile

Ordered my Nokia Lumia 900

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