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.

Feeling the Microsoft Developer Love on Phone 8

it has been a general gripe in the developer community that preview updates for Windows Phone are carrier dependant and to say the least the Windows Phone team rarely allowed early access.

But this has changed, the latest update (Update 3) is available as a preview for developers (FEEL THE LOVE) through the new developer program


i) You need to have a developer account on

(if you don't have one, you should coz they are fab)


ii) You need to have a developer unlocked phone (using the above account)


iii) have an App Studio account

head over to this page Windows Phone Preview for Developers

the updates for Visual Studio aren’t out yet, but this release has no API changes, I suspect we will have to wait until Windows Phone 8.1 for that Smile

***WARNING*** this update may void your carrier warranty READ the Terms and Conditions


Microsoft Mathematics 2013 for Word and OneNote

Every now and again I post about the great tooling for kids and geeks that Microsoft product, the latest update in this set is the Microsoft Mathematics 2013 update for Word and OneNote.

The add in allows you to

• Compute standard mathematical functions, such as roots and logarithms
• Compute trigonometric functions, such as sine and cosine
• Find derivatives and integrals, limits, and sums and products of series
• Perform matrix operations, such as inverses, addition, and multiplication
• Perform operations on complex numbers
• Plot 2-D graphs in Cartesian and polar coordinates
• Plot 3-D graphs in Cartesian, cylindrical, and spherical coordinates
• Solve equations and inequalities
• Calculate statistical functions, such as mode and variance, on lists of numbers
• Factor polynomials or integers
• Simplify or expand algebraic expressions

all from with in word and OneNote

Get it Here


Kinect 1.7 update now out

Kinect for Windows has just had a update to version 1.7. The Kinect team are calling it "our most significant update to the SDK since we released the first version"

And they are right, it is just awesome , will be talking a lot about Kinect 1.7 over the next few months.

The new version includes

Kinect Fusion -   3D object scanning application  creates live 3D models

New recognisable gestures - push-to-press buttons, grip-to-pan

and new multiple users and two person interactions

along with Microsoft pushing a bunch of code samples to CodePlex in a move to deliver open source samples get them here

Get the SDK here

and the Developer toolkit is here remember you need both kits (install the SDK first)


Windows 8 Developer Rewards (free phones,games)

The great people over in the Windows Team have set up a rewards program to thank developers for producing great Windows 8 Applications

if you are developing or want to develop for Windows Look at and Register with

for some great rewards.

The amount and value of the rewards are staggering, from Xbox Subscriptions to Samsung TV’s

There are added bonus for early adopters such as free Windows Phones, copies of Halo.

register today, its free.

when you go to the site to claim your points, if you fill in the who referred you as either

Robert Hogg or Black Marble

it help us get more support for future Windows 8 events has all of the data you need to start

for quick starts on using windows 8 I have several posts on using windows 8 for developers and a windows 8 overview video



TypeScript 0.83 update

Wow the typescript guys are busy the new version has a bunch of compiler improvements and fixes especially around large project compilation speed and consistency in the visual studio experience.

Great improvements in the Visual Studio delivery allowing direct connection to projects not in scope, allowing debugging of files which are not in the current project.

Get it Here


TypeScript– Application grade JavaScript

During Decembers Architect Forum I talked about TypeScript and some recent updates have prompted a post.

So what is the rational behind Yet another JavaScript language,  when there are already a few out there. Microsoft's motivation was to produce an Application grade version of JavaScript which would not impede only improve existing JavaScript development.

The design choices made in TypeScript which make it so appealing is that it is built as a set of Optional extensions to JavaScript so in effect all JavaScript code is also TypeScript code. Combined with the TypeScript implementation which compiles the Typescript down into JavaScript (EC3 or EC5) means that it will run on all platforms where JavaScript runs with out the need of any additional runtime. These give key advantages in both adoption which can be done at the start or during a project and also it does not preclude any existing user libraries which is the classic stumbling block for any new language.

Typescript guys have made a great choice to in effect implement most of the EC6 planned and features still up for discussion, bottom line this means you get classes, strong typing throughout your code to use in JavaScript now.

To get started first of look at is the home of typescript and of course as typescript is JavaScript, you can try it right now in your browser

For actual production use you can down get it as either a Node.js package by using node.js package manager npm install -g typescript and then use the command line compiler tsc

or as plugin for Visual Studio 2012 Here

or just the source and do it yourself, all from here 

Chris Sells from Telerik has not only produced a great post on TypeScript but also some Windows 8 Templates so you can develop Windows 8 applications in HTML and Typescript which in my opinion will improve the quality of your applications no end.

read his article here and the instructions on how to install the Windows 8 templates are at the end


Hilo : Developing an End-to-End Windows Store app using C++ and XAML

I have been a massive fan of the work the Microsoft Patterns and Practices team for years and in the past year I have been lucky enough to be able to help out as a reviewer on a couple of projects.

What makes the P&P team stand out is the fact that their aim is to make your life easier and you to look better by helping you delivering better products faster.

One of the projects I was lucky enough to review is Hilo, which is a guide demonstrating how to write modern C++ and XAML code using async programming patterns to build Windows Store apps that use tiles, a splash screen, controls, pages, navigation, suspend & resume, and touch.  The guide provides common guidance on common development patterns and practices such as Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) and Repository patterns and unit testing.


Guide chapters:

· Getting started with Hilo

· Designing Hilo's UX

· Writing modern C++ code in Hilo

· Async programming patterns and tips in Hilo

· Working with tiles and the splash screen in Hilo

· Using the Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) pattern in Hilo

· Using the Repository pattern in Hilo

· Creating and navigating between pages in Hilo

· Using controls in Hilo

· Using touch in Hilo

· Handling suspend, resume, and activation in Hilo

· Improving performance in Hilo

· Testing and deploying Hilo

· Meet the Hilo team

· Performing interop between XAML and DirectX

CodePlex Site

Download the Hilo sample

 Get the book


Thinking about Printing a House

Now is the time to start thinking about projects for the year and by recent posts it should be clear that 3D printing is on my mind as is building a house and so when the worlds collide, I suspect fear will be striking the hearts of anybody who knows me Smile

A Company called D Shape are moving ahead with the concept of Printing Buildings 

it looks at a R&D stage but here is an article of Enrico Dini in Action, what an Awesome concept. He is planning to build a Mobius Strip House using the printer.

What can I say but, I love the world we live in.