Do programmers dream in Byte Code?

This is Boss's blog , by day I am the Managing Director of Black Marble , by night I am an MVP for BizTalk and spend my life evangalising development to all.

NDC London 2016 (Post 5 Raspberry PI, Fez Cream and Windows 10)


One of the things I showed at NDC was a Raspberry Pi 2 with a FEZ Cream Hat (I know that sounds just so wrong, but that is its name). The FEZ Cream offers Gadgeteer ports out of the Pi, which is just awesome. What this means in reality is you get objects to program against not ports and lines which is mush easier; for time, teaching children and me.


Not all gadgeteer modules are supported, mainly those that either are already on board the Pi or dont make sense (display,sd card,wifi etc), but all the ones you want are.

Development is done in Visual Studio inside a UWP application. I think this key point of the application is a C# / XAML application which is retargeted for the Pi by selecting ARM instead of x32/64. I will do a video as a follow up.



Fez Cream – GHI Electronics

Everything you need can be found in the FEZ Cream Developers' Guide.

I bought mine from Generation Robots


Here is a rough walkthrough of building and running an app on Windows 10 IOT core on a Pi, video to follow


You will need a Raspberry Pi 2b a SD Card ( 8Gb+ )


Windows 10 on PI Check List

  • Windows 10 IOT Core Dashboard is your friend download it from
  • Build a SD card using the core dashboard
  • Insert into Pi and Boot (wait, the first boot takes a while), remember to connect a display, for the first boot I suggest unplugging all external usb devices bar keyboard and mouse.
  • Update Visual Studio 2015 to Update 1 (if you dont have 2015, download the community edition and update that) here
  • Install the IOT core Templates from Tools-Extensions Updates into Visual Studio here
  • Build a UWP application
  • Reference Manager - Universal Windows - Extensions - Windows IOT extensions for the UWP


  • Change build to ARM
  • Change Local Machine to Remote Machine, in the dialog select the IP address your PI is showing on its display
  • Deploy and Run (F5)




The management portal is Windows 10 Device Portal (IP:8080)

Set the package name in the packaging section of the package.appmanifest, so when you select it from the portal it is easy to find

Remember to shut the device down.






NDC London 2016 (Post 4 Intel Edison )


The Intel Edison unit is great for building IOT, people have been asking where to get the bits and for more general information


I would suggest getting the Arduino kit to get started with. I enjoy the Xadow(below) much more but I struggled to get the Edison updated first time on the Xadow but not the Arduino (but that could have been me).

Intel IOT

Intel Examples

Intel Edison Suppliers ( for reference )


I also showed in my talk the Seed Studio Xadow kit, it comes with a mini screen and sensors

The Xadow kit allows you to build rather nifty devices by plugging modules together which is just superb.



in the UK (for reference)

Active Robitics Stock the Xadow kit



I do not recomend or warranty any suppliers, they are for reference only

NDC London 2016 (Post 1 thanks)


I had a great time at NDC 2016. It was a very well organised event, everybody enjoyed the event, content and the food.

Huge thanks to the great and efficient organisation by the NDC team.

Also thanks to the great people with clearly great taste who attended my talk.

I am separating the post into a few areas so I can keep updating them without people having to read long lists and work out what has changed.





Wraps are off - patterns & practices Architecture Track at Future Decoded!

I am delighted to announce that I am hosting the Azure patterns&practices team in a dedicated invite-only track on Day One of Future Decoded!

I've been pushing to bring the patterns&practices team to the UK for a few years now, and it's excellent that it's finally happening at the Premier UK Microsoft event this November.

We have Christopher Bennage and Masashi Narumoto travelling in from the patterns&practices team in Corp especially for the event.  The p&p team demonstrate how to bring together architecture best practices for the diverse Microsoft technologies into a unified and holistic solution.  They are passionate about discovering, collecting and encouraging best practices, delighting in software craftmanship, helping developers be successful on Microsoft platforms and bringing joy to engineering software!

I know what you're thinking now, Future Decoded is full, how do I get to attend?  Well, if you're interested (and if you're reading this blog it's safe to say you are!), then get in touch with, for the attention of Linda, and she can help you out with a special code (if there are any left!!) - this code will not only give you access to the excellent p&p track on Day One, but also the Keynotes, so please select Day One when you register!

Driving Windows 10 for Developers using the Keyboard

Key Summary

I have split the key Summary into Essential the essential keys are key combinations you NEED to know and Nice to know. I have left the Win+arrows in the Windows 8 section, while the Windows 10 version is vastly better with snapping, essentially the functionality is the same.

I will be posting later on Cortana and other joys of Windows 10.

Essential Keys (new)

Toggles between the start and the current application if in tablet mode

Starts the start menu if in Desktop

Win + A

Opens the action centre

Win + C
Cortana opens in Listening Mode

Win + S

Win + Ctrl + D
Add a New Virtual Desktop

Win + Ctrl + Left Arrow/Right Arrow

Move between virtual Desktops

Win + Arrow Key

Snaps a window , left, right, maximize, minimize

Win + Tab
(on Windows 8 Displays the current Running Applications, repeated tabs cycle through the Applications)



Essential Keys (Windows 10, Windows 8)


Win + D
Show the Windows Desktop

Win + E
Launch explorer

Win + F
File Search

Win + H
Share Charm Panel

Win + I
Settings ( Current Application, Volume,Wi-Fi and Power )

Win + J
Swaps focus between snapped applications

Win + K
Devices Charm Panel

Win + L
Locks Windows

Win + O
Locks device orientation

Win + P
Projector view switch between single/dual monitor, key pressing P to cycle trough the options

Win + R
Opens the Run Dialog (Run application)

Win + X
Start Menu

Win + Left/Right/Up/Down
Dock the current Desktop windows left/right or maximise/minimize

Win + <number>
Runs the position <number> application on the Task Bar


I hope you find these useful



Back in the Saddle

After many months travelling and spending a lot of time planning, I have now got many posts backed up to send, I am currently touching up and posting my back log.

so expect to see a flurry of posts over the next week or so



My Latest and Indeed Greatest Award

Today I was lucky enough to present one of Rob Miles legendary “Rather Useful Seminars”

For my talk on “Being Disruptive for Fun and Profit” I was awarded an award, hand carved by Rob from a much bigger award.



Rob assures me there is no other one in the world apart from the second one he gave me.

Thank you to everybody who turned up and I hope if you attended you got a lot from it.

If you want to see other luminaries for this great award look here