IT Developer for Mobile and Web Applications

Microsoft Build Conference 2017 – The Cloud Logo


Posted on May 23, 2017 by

I had a good spot for the 2017 Microsoft Professional Developer’s conference Keynote. I was at the head of the class. I could not help but notice something while Scott Guthrie was speaking.   He has the Microsoft Cloud logo behind him.  Specifically it is in the shape of what I have seen as the Microsoft Hybrid Cloud.

Since I am at the front, it is easier for me to watch Scott talk on the monitor.

I can’t help but notice that the cloud is a bit jagged at the bottom.

It gets me to wondering. Apple has the “Golden Ratio” designed into their cloud logo for iCloud. I wonder what the design guidelines are for the Microsoft Cloud logos. There seems to be a few of them.

Microcomputing, breaking all the rules


Posted on November 30, 2016 by

Rule #1, work on a static free environment

Rule #2, keep the cats out of your box


Sharpie Liquid Pencil – Do Not Want


Posted on November 30, 2016 by

I tried the Sharpie Liquid Pencil. I found it wanting. It really was a struggle to write with it. I actually returned it to the store.


Raspberry Pi Zero 1.3 for nearly Free


Posted on November 30, 2016 by

For a brief time, MicroCenter had offered the Raspberry Pi Zero 1.3 for 99 cents. The current suggested retail price is still only $5.00 US.


  • 1Ghz, Single-core CPU
  • 512MB RAM
  • Mini HDMI and USB On-The-Go ports
  • Micro USB power
  • HAT-compatible 40-pin header
  • Composite video and reset headers


I have a lot of fun comparing modern computing power to my first computing experience. The Radio Shack TRS-80

Catalog: 26-1001 TRS-80 Model 1
Released: August 1977
Price: US $599.95 (with monitor)
Video: 64 x 16 text
CPU: Zilog Z-80A, 1.77 MHz
RAM: 4KB, 16KB max (or 48Kb with the expansion interface)


Migrating from XCode 7 to XCode 8 with Jenkins Continuous Integration


Posted on November 12, 2016 by

During the latest iOS release, a new version of XCode was released. We have continuous integration using Jenkins installed on a Mac. It has XCode and Xamarin installed. We encountered problems in the initial rollout to the build server of XCode.

But, I have worked out what the trouble was with XCode 8. It does not seem to have anything to do with XCode itself, but the fact that XCode 8 uses a different svn client.

  • XCode 8 installs SVN client tool for Subversion 1.9, where the previous version was 1.7 in /usr/bin/svn. The 1.9 client cannot handle reading a 1.7 repository. The current version of Jenkins SVN plugin is set to check out at 1.7, and does not have support for 1.9, although it could be updated. There was a call in the script to get the svn revision number ( REVISION=`svn info ../.. | awk ‘/^Last Changed Rev:/ {print $NF}’` ). This was necessary for CruiseControl on the old Mac Build server, but is no longer necessary in Jenkins because I have added an SVN Revision variable in the Jenkins configuration.
  • Modifiying the Info.plist has been a vexing problem, because the Jenkins build would report this error every time I modified the Info.plist, no matter how I did it.

Encountered unknown tag <<<<<< on line 59

Error Reading File: ../Containers/Touch.Container/Info.plist

Encountered unknown tag <<<<<< on line 59

Error Reading File: ../Containers/Touch.Container/Info.plist

Xamarin Studio Build Tool

It was actually reporting this because the Subversion client was failing to merge on the svn update for the next build. The merge conflict exists because we use a tool called “Plistbuddy” to alter the Info.plist with the build number. It actually re-arranges the XML significantly. Then the next svn merge puts text in like >>>>>>>.mine. The workaround is twofold:

  1. Go to Jenkins and clear the workspace so that the new Info.plist gets read and no merge occurs
  2. Set the svn update in Jenkins to be “revert and update” not just “update”.


Windows Phone Is Out Of Time


Posted on August 20, 2016 by

I’m in a very small minority of people who have tried a Windows Phone. I have experience with two phones, the HTC Titan and the HTC One M8. I never tried any of the Nokia phones, which many people had. From the start, there was no excitement for the Windows phones. Here are some of my thoughts on the reasons to not push the Windows phones, which were apparent four years ago.

Apps: easy enough, Android and iPhone already had a huge head start on apps, with significant market penetration. Some of the Windows phone apps that did appear, were superior than their counterparts for a while. This was probably because the teams focused on the new platform for a release.  Ultimately, no further development was done when the audience did not show up.

Marketplace: The carrier retail locations did not push them. You had to ask specifically, and then they would talk about them. I am not sure what the markup or kickback was, but it must not have been significant enough to give these phones a try. I don’t know what was spent on marketing these, but it was not enough and not in the right places

Popularity: Not many people had them. They were not going to become popular unless they had something that was really outstanding.

Cool factor: They were “Microsoft” phones. Despite their range of productions and familiarity, “Microsoft” and “Windows” are not “cool” brand names. People speculated that there would have been more success if they had been branded “XBox” phones. The XBox people were probably afraid it would dilute the brand. Nokia was cool, but they are all dead now.

Music: Microsoft had already fallen down with the Zune player, which was a joke by the time the Windows phones came around. But you still used the Zune software to load music. Apple had really set the bar high here with iTunes and the Apple store. The iTunes software may be a horribly unreliable sync tool (which even MacWorld has admitted), but it is a great retail tool and great free music organizer.

At this point the main apps I use are failing. The Amazon Windows app is suspended as of August 15, 2016. The Fitbit app is very slow to sync, and now poor in comparison with the iPhone version. The MapMyRun has not been syncing for at least a year. But it makes nicer run screen shots than the iPhone version. The LinkedIn app is way behind the iPhone version. The iPhone camera has jumped ahead of the HTC cameras and photo apps.

The live tiles are still cool. The Microsoft Solitaire is still the best. But honestly, you cannot play Pokemon Go on a Windows phone.

So, why did I stick with it for so long? I think the easy answer is that because I work with iPhones all day, it was kind of like a holiday. I have a work iPhone that I could turn to if I wanted. The fact that I rarely wanted to told me that what I had was good. But, now that I have an iPhone SE with iOS 9, I find myself using it more and more.


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