DDD is Back for the 12th Time


After last year’s successful reboot, DDD is back in Reading for its twelfth outing, on Saturday, 10th of June.


Again DDD is free for all to attend, thanks to some great sponsors – and if you would like to be considered, please email ddd@blackmarble.com.

Our aim is to make DDD accessible to all, making it free is key to this but also leaves us limited budget for the nice to haves but we will always try.

I would love to see new speakers and new topics in the DDD line up, so please submit a session.  I’m afraid we can’t cover your costs, but so many great speakers have come out of DDD, many of them prized on the International Developer conference circuit.


Session submission has finished and so please vote on which sessions you would like to see @ http://developerdeveloperdeveloper.com/


I look forward to seeing you all in June and we will be announcing more DDD dates at the event



Policing and HoloLens


Recently we had a great day demonstrating the great innovations we have made with HoloLens for the Police to a room full of jaded but ultimately enthusiastic, technology journalists.

It was great to see their responses to the solutions we have put together, and heartening to read some of the things they had to say.


Alice Bonasio (Tech Trends) produced this great piece on how MR CSI isn’t SciFi anymore! It was great to see how she could see the potential in what we had produced, “With tuServ you can effectively have a fully functional portable Command and Control Centre.”


With HoloLens and tuServ, we have envisaged a real-world solution, that can make a difference in how police officers can do their job.

Back Again and HoloLens


I have been a bit quiet on the blogging front for a while as I have been deep in planning for community events and steeped in the joys of HoloLens.


The results, two more DDD community events on the way (Reading and the North), and Black Marble has been made one of Microsoft’s HoloLens Agency Readiness Partners.  So few companies have achieved this, it’s great recognition for all the hard work we have put in, and I’m looking forward to what we can achieve.


What have we been doing with HoloLens?


Under the banner of tuServ we have build a mobile command and control solution for the Police…




The reactions and feedback have been amazing and I am so proud of our both our tuServ and HoloLens teams for producing a great product.

But we did not stop there we also have build a prototype Scene of Crime tool for HoloLens as well; more on that to come.


Good to be Back




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 http://www.generationrobots.com/en/


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 http://ms-iot.github.io/content/en-US/GetStarted.htm
  • 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 https://software.intel.com/iot

Intel Examples http://www.instructables.com/id/Intel/

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 http://www.active-robots.com/xadow-wearable-kit-for-intelr-edison



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 enquiries@blackmarble.com, 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