Fixing Wifi on Windows 10 Build 10586.318

You might find that after upgrading to Windows 10 Build 10586.318 that the wifi has stopped working. A common cause for this seems to be that the Winsock registery entries are missing.

Download and run the below two files:

Winsock

Winsock2

 

Reboot your computer and everything should be working!

Posted in Windows 10 Tagged with:

Using Images within an App

Getting started with images within an app is very easy – to get started, open a new Project within Visual Studio (File -> New Project -> Blank App (Universal Windows).

After a few minutes, the project will have loaded.

The assets folder within an app project is very important, it contains all the media related to your app.

To add images to the project, right click on the Assets folder, go to add, and then “Existing Item”

 

 

upload1

From here – add whatever images you want into your project. I have added two images here – a sad face and a happy face.

Using the Image

To use the image within your app – select the toolbar from the left hand side of Visual Studio and select the Images control. Drag and click anywhere on your app screen to place the control. To add the image to the image control, click on it, and then navigate to the properties window (usually at the bottom right hand side of Visual Studio). Navigate to the “Common” section, and under source, select your image.

 

prop

Playing about with Images 

Add a button from the toolbar to your app. Double click on your button and add the following code – the image should then disappear when you press the button.

 image.Visibility = Visibility.Collapsed;

 

 

P.S If there is anything you want to see,  please get in touch at hello@raymonddillon.com

 

Posted in Windows App Development Tagged with:

Displaying the Version Number of a Windows App package

A recent requirement that I had was to output the package number of a Windows app to the front end – this can be achieved in C# by doing the following:

public string GetPackageVersion()

{

var version = Package.Current.Id.

string major = version.

string minor = version.Minor.

string build = version.Build.

string revision = version.Revision.

string mainversion = major + “.” + minor + “.” + build + “.” +  

return mainversion;

}

 

This can then be called against a string e.g string PackageVersion = GetPackageVersion();

An example output is shown below:

version

 

Posted in Windows App Development

Making your first app

As per the tradition when starting off developing, we will make a very simple “Hello World” app using Visual Studio.

Installing Visual Studio

The first step in the process is to install Visual Studio. I will be using Visual Studio 2015 for making apps (on Windows 10). Visual Studio can be downloaded from https://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/downloads/visual-studio-2015-downloads-vs.aspx. The community edition is sufficient for making most apps.

Creating a Project

Once Visual Studio has installed and is opened, a new project can be created, by going to File – New Project.

 

newproject

 

We will create a universal app using C# and XAML. Universal apps are new to Windows 10 and they allow for the same app to run on all  platforms (Tablet, Phone, PC, Xbox One and IoT Devices).

We will call this project “Hello World”. Once the project has been created, the development environment is shown below.

layout

The left hand side of the window shows the Toolbox, where we can drag controls such as buttons and textboxes onto the screen. The middle of the window shows the designer, and the right hand side shows the solution explorer, detailing all the files associated with the project.

We will drag a button and a textbox and a button onto the screen and name them as shown in the image below. In this instance, the textbox is called “MainText” and the button is called “Hello”.

buttonname

The next step is to add our code to the app. To add code to the button, double click on it and add the line “MainTexxt.text = “Hello World””. This code tells the app once the button is clicked, the textbox should say “Hello World”.

code

To run the app, simply press F5 – the app running is shown below.

running

Posted in Windows App Development

Referencing Third Party API’s in Visual Studio

I recently implemented Google Ads into one of my Windows Phone Apps. This involved referencing the dll file in Visual Studio, however, I received the below error when I attempted to do so.

message

 

The simple fix is to locate the file in question, right click and select properties.

ads

Then click unblock and then click OK. You should now be able to add the reference within Visual Studio.

Posted in Windows Phone Tagged with: ,

Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview

Windows Phone 8.1 Developer preview was released on April 14th – so I thought I would install it on my Nokia Lumia 520.

In order to get the preview, I had to install the “Windows Phone Preview for Developers” app.

wp_ss_20140415_0003

This allowed for the developer update to be pushed down to the phone. The update came down as normal and took about 30 minutes to install with no hitches.

Once the update completed, I explored the new features. A few of them impressed me..

  1. Start Screen

The start screen has got a make over in the Windows Phone 8.1 Update, with the ability to add a background to the tiles giving a nice scrolling effect.

Start Screen – No Background                 Start Screen – With Background

wp_ss_20140415_0006                         wp_ss_20140415_0007

2. Notification Center

The notification center is a nice addition to the Windows Phone platform – enabling quick alterations to settings (admittedly, it is something Android has had for some time now)

wp_ss_20140415_0008

3. Cortana

Cortana is Microsoft’s answer to Siri and Google Now, and was one of the most eagerly anticipated features on the new platform. The idea behind Cortana is to be the most personal digital personal assistant available on a phone, powered by Bing. Below is an example of the Cortana interface.

wp_ss_20140415_0014

Initially, Microsoft has decided not to release Cortana outside the US. However, non-US residents can get Cortana by changing the language and region on their phone to English (United States) through the settings menu.

wp_ss_20140415_0011 wp_ss_20140415_0010

The final step is to download the English (United States) speech language files. You then need to reboot the phone and then Cortana can be enabled.

Cortana comes with a “Notebook” feature which allows you to inform the phone of your interests and things you regularly search for – this is then integrated into the Cortana experience, with the phone reminding you of flight times, sports team scores etc.

Cortana tries to take the natural language interaction with the user to the next level – allowing progression from one thing to another.

For example, if I ask Cortana, “Find Chinese restaurants near me”, I get the following:

wp_ss_20140415_0014

 

Asking Cortana “Show me the second one” – the phone understands the context of the question based on the previous result:

wp_ss_20140415_0015

 

 

If i find anything else I find of interest, I’ll post it here – all in all, Windows Phone 8.1 is a huge improvement, with increased user personalisation and improved productivity features. It will be interesting to see what the end user community thinks of it when it is released in the summer.

 

 

 

Posted in Windows Phone Tagged with: ,

Nokia Lumia 520

20140404_184708Microsoft Ireland have been running an “App Hero” competition for 2 years now, and this is my latest prize from the competition – a Nokia Lumia 520. I had to develop a Windows Phone app and a Windows 8 app, with each receiving at least 100 downloads. I have used a Windows 7.8 phone previously (HTC Mozart), but this was my first experience with a Windows 8 handset.

20140404_235000

The most obvious change is the resizeable live tiles, as well as the improved responsiveness from the UI and the touch screen. If i get enough time, I hope to develop some Windows Phone 8 apps and make use of the new API’s present in Windows Phone 8 – but the university work comes first!

 

Posted in Windows Phone Tagged with:

Microsoft Build 2014 Conference

During the Build 2014 conference, those viewing over the web had the opportunity to ask questions. I asked how a developer improves their UI skills, and my question was read out (around the 24:16 mark),

The link to webcast yesterday is at http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2014/9-003

 

 

Posted in Build 2014 Tagged with: ,

Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 RC

A cool feature announced at the Build 2014 conference  is that Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 allows for the creation of universal apps, allowing for the same code base to be used for Windows 8 and Windows 8 Phone apps.

 

screenshot

Posted in Build 2014 Tagged with: , ,

BT Broadband Issues

A broadband connection is something that the majority of the population now take for granted, but this is not the case for the Eskra community. I will highlight the issues regarding a fixed line broadband connection (from BT) using our own case as an example.

From the introduction of broadband to residential areas, we had applied through BT to get a connection, and for a number of years we were told that we were unable to get a connection due to the length of our line (approximately 11.5km from the local exchange of Fintona). Over the years, the infrastructure was improved to a certain extent and some in the local community were beginning to receive a connection and so this prompted us to apply for broadband again.

Around the end of January 2012, an application was made for broadband again. We received our router and all the initial documentation that comes along with it. Our broadband activation day came and went and we still didn’t have a connection. After a number of phone calls to the BT technical help line, an engineer was booked and came out, telling us again that we were unable to receive a connection due to the length of our line. However, with a little perseverance and a few more phone calls and engineer visits, we received our broadband connection of 160kbps for the first time in February 2012 after a fault was fixed on our line, so it turned out that the line was not too long after all.

We began to experience issues with our connection in June 2013, when the connection began to drop from 8am to 11pm every day. Due to the fact that we were not receiving a full service, we phoned the BT technical help line again, and an engineer visited at the end of June.

Over a span of two days, this engineer carried out “improvements” to the line, after which the connection that we did have was lost, with the engineer at the time stating, surprise surprise, that the line was too long (trust me though, the house hasn’t moved).

A second call to the technical help team was made and another engineer came out (who had no record of previous engineer visits). He carried out a few tests and came to the same conclusion that the line was too long. We mentioned to him that we had been told this before, and ended up with a connection for over a year, to which he had no answer.

Another call was made to the technical help team, and after going through mundane checks such as confirming that we had our router, the colour of the lights on the router, what phones, electrical devices we had in the house yet again, and even being told that the phone line we called the technical help team on didn’t exist, we realised that we were getting nowhere.

Between these two engineer visits, our internet connection began to come back for a day or two at a time, but sadly it was still very intermittent, and in fact, more intermittent than when the problem was reported in the first place.

An alternative route was attempted in which we contacted the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment (DETI). After clarification of the problem, our complaint was passed through to the executive level complaints department in BT, and we believed that we had some hope of sorting things out – unfortunately we were so wrong.

We received a phone call from the complaints department in which they stated that were unable to get a connection due to the length of our line. After some discussion with them, highlighting that those further down our line had a connection, and stating that we had the connection for so long, and how the initial engineer visit had made the issue worse, it was agreed that a third engineer would visit and that an end to end test of our line would be carried out, and that there would be a follow up call from the complaints department after the visit.

jbox

 

The final engineer came out and carried out a number of tests on the line, and tested the line and a number of poles near the house, but he came to the same conclusion that the line was too long.

 

Between this engineer visit and the call back from BT, our internet connection came back for over 48 hours. When we received the call back, we were told that we were definitely unable to get a connection and that there was no further point in trying or sending out further engineers. When we informed the agent on the phone that we actually had a connection at that exact moment, they simply didn’t believe us and asked could they run a check on the line to see. After carrying out this test, they were astonished that after three engineer visits stating we couldn’t get a connection, that we did in fact have one.

The agent on the phone asked to monitor the connection and requested that we note the date and time that the connection dropped if it were to. When the connection went, we got in touch to let them know, and we were told that we were “just lucky”, and they admitted not knowing why we had the connection. We believed that this was not a satisfactory answer, and asked for further investigation.

In the final call from the executive level complaints department, they stated that the final position from BT was that the line was too long to sustain a connection, and that we had the connection for those few days, and I quote, “because of the way the wind was blowing” –  our family has a strong background in technology and there is also a retired telephone engineer in the family and so we knew when we were getting fobbed off.

During this phone call, we asked how far away we were from getting a stable broadband connection, and the agent stated that there was a stable connection at pole DP146, which is in fact the pole outside our house (around 10m away from our front door). The agent had no explanation to why when the connection was at that pole, why it couldn’t be re-established in the house.

20130823_124456(1)

As the situation now stands, BT are officially in deadlock over the situation.

UPDATE: On the 9th September, a BT engineer visited and changed our router, and within 30 seconds he had fixed our internet connection and a long line was never mentioned! I should highlight that during this time we were (and still are officially) in a deadlock situation with BT.

UPDATE: From September 2013 to June 2014, we has our internet connection no problem. Issues began to appear from the 11th June when the connection started to drop from time to time. Again, I was in touch with the technical help department at BT, and after an engineer visit, we were told again that it was a long line. issue. Again , with some preference, another engineer was due to visit. The engineer phoned on the day to say he would check a few things and phone back.

The engineer did not phone back.

The connection was still dropping, so I got back on the phone again on the 1st September 2014. An engineer was then booked for the 4th of September.

This engineer did not telephone or call to the house. (4th September)

And so on the 19th September, I telephoned BT again. The engineer again said that it was a long line. Having highlighted that we were told this in June 2013 and the connection was then fixed, I was informed that in the previous year, a “temporary fix” was put in place. Asking what this fix was, I was informed that a “temporary fix” would not be done because I would be phoning in 8 to 9 months with the same problem.

Asking why we were not given any feedback from this engineer visit that was supposed to have happened on the 4th September, I was informed that they were “telling me now” – 15 days later!.

Posted in Misc Tagged with: