Friday, August 23, 2013

Welcome Guest Blogger: Chris Gordon

Please join me in welcoming Chris Gordon as a guest blogger for DotNetDude. As well as being a senior .NET developer, Chris has a passion for mobile development and is published in the Google app store. For his first post here at DotNetDude he has shared his initial impressions of a cross-platform development tool named Xamarin. Xamarin, Daddy Likey!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Xamarin, Daddy Likey!

So, I recently attended a talk given by Ben Henderson on Xamarin and was pretty impressed with what I saw. Now before I get to far into this post let me introduce my self. My name is Christopher Gordon, a Software Developer with a strong interest in mobile development. Over the last 3 years I've been dabbling with the Android framework. I, along with Frank Jones and Noah Porch, currently have an application in market named Kickback. We would like to develop a iOS client but neither of us have experience with iOS. This is were I think we could definitely benefit from Xamarin.

Xamarin allows you to develop a code base that can be shared between multiple platforms (Android, Windows and iOS), which is great for teams of any size. But for me the biggest benefit was that I could write the majority of my code in C#, which I am very familiar with, as opposed to Objective-C. This alone would flatten the learning curve tremendously and allow me to become more productive, faster. There is however one caveat to developing for iOS, and that is you MUST have a Mac in order to code the UI. Hey, I don't make the rules I just break them!

I plan to use Xamarin to rewrite the majority of Kickback so that I can leverage it's power to create an iOS and Windows Phone client. As with any awesome thing comes the price. For serious development, the Indie package looks like it has what you will need at a minimum.

Me personally, I would like to have the Visual Studio integration which will run a whopping $999/year. But, before you go out and spend tons of cash, you can always install the starter version to see if Xamarin is in fact as awesome as it claims to be. 

I plan to blog about Xamarin (good or bad) as I venture into the belly of the beast. If there are any Xamarin users out there feel free to leave a comment to let me know how you feel about Xamarin. I'm curious to hear what others think.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dynamic Windows Explorer Taskbar Icons

Dynamic Windows Explorer Taskbar Icons


If you're like me, you probably copy, move and delete files using Windows Explorer and end up with several Explorer windows open at the same time. If you have the Windows taskbar docked on the side of your screen, the ungrouped icons all look the same.

Windows provides a very easy and effective solution with custom folder icons. Select a folder you use regularly and open the folder properties then go to the Customize tab.

Then click "Change Icon" and select the icon that best fits that folder. Several icons are provide with windows, however there are plenty of free icon libraries available on the web.

That's it! Now whenever an Explorer window is open to that folder the taskbar icon will change to indicate the current location.

If you have any feedback or helpful tips, please leave a comment below or contact me directly.