I've had the services below running for a few years to support Programming Windows Store Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Hwoever, given that the books themselves are getting a bit out of date, I figured it's time to shut them down. Using the examples in the books, similar services would be easy enough for you to deploy to a host of your own. Let me know if you have questions.

http://programmingwin-js-ams.azure-mobile.net

http://programmingwin8-js-ch13-amspushnotifications.azure-mobile.net

http://programmingwin8-js-ch13-hellotiles.azurewebsites.net

 

 


I wrote this today on Facebook as a way to help a number of friends who are freaking out over the 2016 US presidential election. Maybe you are one of them. Either way, enjoy. —

Regarding the reports of bigorty, racism, misogyny, and so on…it's important to remember that the perpetrators already held such views well before this election, and have likely held them through their entire lives. They now, of course, feel emboldened to outwardly express those views, which is no excuse whatsoever for hurting others.

At the same time, their expressions are revealing the stark truth about many people in our country, a truth that essentially been suppressed to the point of coming out explosively. Continued suppression was never going to help them change their views. But now that they're out in the open, it's possible to shine some light on them. Without that, there's really no hope of transformation; by having these things exposed it becomes clear what kind of work remains to be done, and the level of positive energy that must be expressed to counter the negatives.

It reminds of me of Gandhi saying that the purpose of civil resistance and non-violence is to *provoke* a response until your adversaries essentially wake up to what they're really doing. He also said that "it will hurt, as all fighting hurts." There will be pain. There will be trials and suffering. What he–and MLK–demonstrated, though, is fighting for the light and fighting for truth, rather than fighting to punish, which is what happens when you fight violence with violence or otherwise allow yourself to descend into bitterness and anger. It's vitally important, therefore, to choose always to contribute to the light, rather than the darkness.

If you're struggling with anger, get some help. Find a way to turn that anger into motivation. If nothing else, get the Gandhi movie http://amzn.to/2fVS7g8and watch it about five times. Or you can watch documentaries about Nelson Mandela. These things will give you courage.

As it's been well said, "there are no problems, only opportunities." This is your opportunity to choose whether you'll rise to a higher consciousness, or descend into the lower along with those you depise.

On that note, I'll share two pieces I wrote about an email battle that erupted at Microsoft over twenty years ago. The first is an article called "The Power of Thoughts and Words" , http://www.kraigbrockschmidt.com/the-power-of-thoughts-and…/. The second, which tells the story more fully, is Chaper 13 of my memoir, *Mystic Microsoft: A Journey of Transformation in the Halls of High Technology." The chapter is entitled, "A Flick of the Switch." http://www.kraigbrockschmidt.com/mm/Chapter13.htm.

May you also be transformed by what you choose to flow through you.


And now for something completely different.

 

I'm pleased to announce that, in contrast to my many appearances at developer events over the years, I'll be speaking at the Conference on Precession and Ancient Knowledge (CPAK), Sept 30-Oct 2 in Palm Springs(Rancho Mirage), CA.

 

TL;DR – if you have any interest in ancient technologies like the Baghdad Battery and the Antikythera device, or in subjects like non-traditional Egyptology and the 10,000 year-old ruins of Gobekli Tepi in Turkey and throw a wrench into mainstream views of cultural evolution, read on.

 

I've attended CPAK in the past, and it's full of intriguing research and reports by some real characters, which I guess now includes me. :) But perhaps what attracts me most is this disclaimer on the conference's About page:

 

Warning: This conference may address untraditional viewpoints subject to prosecution by the paradigm police. If you work in an untenured position in academia or other learning institution where unorthodox thinking is discouraged we advise you to avoid this event.

 

For the curious, the origins of this conference and its subject matter starts back in the late 1800s, with one Swami Sri Yukteswar, who is known as the guru of Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi–yes, the book that Steve Jobs, among others, rave about. Sri Yukteswar wrote a short book called The Holy Science that, among other things clarified the ancient Vedic tradition of the "yugas" or cycles of time. Based on faulty calculations in that tradition, many believe that the world is heading into a 432,000 dark age within a cycles of millions of years (abandon all hope, ye who enter here). Yukteswar instead wrote that the cycle is more on the order of 24,000-26,000 years, and is related to the astronomical phenomenon known as the precession of the equinoxes (see Wikipedia). Accordingly, he pointed out that we today are in an ascending arc of an age of energy, which makes a lot of sense looking at the last couple hundred years. Yogananda made note of this in Autobiography of a Yogi (Chapter 16, read online here or here).

 

Based on Yukteswar's work as well as worldwide traditions about similar cycles–e.g. the Greek traditions of Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Iron ages–a number of historians, scientists, and other researchers have taken an active interest looking for evidence of the cycle within ancient sites and ancient knowledge (e.g. myths and legends). There have been general studies, such as Hamlet's Mill, The Yugas (the author of which is my next door neighbor) and Lost Star of Myth and Time (written by CPAK's organizer), and the DVD The Great Year (narrated by James Earl Jones).

 

There is also a host of more specific, ongoing research, such as the work of Boston University geologist Robert Schoch and Egyptologist John Anthony West, TV programs like The Pyramid Code (on Netflix), and more. I just recently finished reading two books by software engineer Laird Scranton that analyze ancient creation myths of both the Egyptians and a modern-day tribe in Mali called the Dogon, demonstrating that those myths clearly spell the atomic and subatomic theories of matter along with the fundamental tenants of modern string theory. Go figure.

 

Like I said, something completely different, and I'm looking forward to participating as a speaker this year. My topic is Participating in the Cycle of the Ages, Today. Should be fun!

 

Perhaps you might join us! Register at https://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1810152.

 

CPAK-SpeakerPromo-Brockschmidt


I'm delighted to announce that Microsoft Virtual Academy has just posted an ~80 minutes couse (in nine segments) that I recorded with Jonathan Carter, Getting Started with Unit Testing for Cross-Platform Mobile Apps. This follows from the documentation I wrote on the subject for the taco.visualstudio.com earlier in the year, but is expanded to include both JavaScript and C# demonstrations.

The course is a great introduction to both the subject and to the type of content that Microsoft Virtual Academy has in general–all for free!


Yeah, it's been a while since I've posted anything, thanks to an intensive project in February and March, followed by a series of travel including //build, Xamarin Evolve, a graduation at Pacifica Graduate Institute, and a two-week road trip into eastern Oregon, among others.

Better late than never, though–specifically, the "intensive project" that I was on earlier in the year was MyDriving, which you can explore on https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/campaigns/mydriving/.

This was a project that Scott Guthrie asked for leading up to //build. He wanted to see a real-world, comprehensive demonstration of an IoT scenario that involved mobile apps, Power BI, a rich Azure back end, and complete documentation including an ebook reference guide that would explain how everything worked. So we got a team together to pull this off in about 8 weeks, and my particular role was leading production of the docs and the ebook.

With the help of a number of other writers in my org, especially Dominic Betts, Alan Wills, and Seth Mannheim, we were able to produce what I think turned out to be a pretty good 141-page ref guide, which you can download directly from http://aka.ms/mydrivingdocs. I especially enjoyed the chapter on machine learning, which Alan write, because that's a space I wasn't familiar with. The same goes for the chapters on IoT from Dominic. I did the section on the mobile app and Azure App Service, and recruited a number of others for some of the other Azure topics. I also got to edit the whole thing multiple times, as is necessary when you're getting material from multiple writers.

All in all, it's quite interesting to see how many Azure services combine in the back end to make the system work. I hope you enjoy it too.

PS Right now I'm working on content related to DevOps for mobile apps. I have stuff on UI testing for Cordova apps using Appium that'll soon be on taco.visualstudio.com, and am working on a series of articles for MSDN Magazine that will roll out in August. Stay tuned!



Larry Conklin, author of the blog post at http://voixsecurity.blogspot.com/2015/12/privacy-breadcrumbs-and-personally.html, wrote me recently to let me know about this post in which picks up on my mention in Programming Windows Store Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, 2nd Edition about obscuring my geolocation in a screenshot. The point of his post is that with all the other public information out there, it's not all that difficult to get a reasonably good bead on where I live.

I wrote him back, of course, with the note below (also in his blog comment), explaining that the public information isn't quite good enough:

What fun! I don’t mind at all being the subject of your blog, as obviously I put out a fair amount of personal information already. In my particular case, however, the home address that appears by the methods you outline provides my mailing address, but not the location of my physical house. In my community here we have a shared mailroom, which means that 200 residential addresses all start with the same street address. My house itself has a different address that’s used by only a few contractors and service providers. (I should also add that one of the other services came up with me living in Bellevue, WA, which hasn’t been true since 1993, meaning that its pulling from outdated public records. J)

Fortunately, what I have not shared is something like an aerial photo of my house location, because if I did, you’d be able to look around the location of my mailing address and find the house itself.

At the same time, if you drove into my community, you’d probably find a sufficient number of friendly people willing to point to the house especially if you had my name and claimed to be making a special delivery or something.

I should add that quite a few of my neighbors probably aren't entirely sure where our house is, exactly! :)


I just finished publishing a body of content on unit testing for JavaScript in the context of Apache Cordova, including both command-line and Visual Studio interfaces. I had a lot of fun learning about the subject and finding ways to communicate a number of concepts. I also found a direct example of a slight difference between JS runtimes that can bite you, but I'll leave that for the articles themselves.

You can find it all on http://taco.visualstudio.com/, the docs site for the Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova, under the "Test" node. Here are the individual topics:

There are two other topics in that node that I'll be revising and/or integrating into the stuff above: Test Apache Cordova apps with Karma and Jasmine and Test Apache Cordova apps with Chutzpah.

I'd love to know what you think, as this material is easily the basis for a video course with Microsoft Virtual Academy as well.

In January I'll start diving into UI testing for mobile–should be fun!


Microsoft's Developer Division just hosted its second Connect(); event, which I suspect many of you have been following on http://www.visualstudio.com/connect2015.

I got to be in the heart of things this year. I've been temporarily managing the Visual Studio Blog while Radhika Tadinada, the PM who owns it, is out on maternity leave until about March enjoying her adorable little baby girl. For Connect();, this meant two things. First was managing the content for the VS blog itself, which included working closely with John Montgomery on posts like his news/announcement rollup. Second was that I coordinated the efforts of all the other blogs that are represented on the header menu on the blog site…and that was quite a few of them!

Anyway, I compiled a list of all the blogs that went out yesterday for Connect(); and wanted to share that here.

.NET
Announcing .NET Core and ASP.NET 5 RC
Entity Framework 7 RC1 Available

App Insights and HockeyApp
Introducing Mobile DevOps with Visual Studio Team Services and HockeyApp
Deep Diagnostics for Web Apps with Application Insights
Azure Diagnostics Integration with Application Insights

Apps for Windows
Vungle SDK for Windows 10 Released
November improvements in Dev Center: submission, promotion and developer agreement
Windows Bridge for iOS: Where we are and where we are headed

Azure and Azure SDK
Azure: The cloud for any app and every developer
Public preview of Azure Service Fabric
Public preview of Azure DevTest Labs
Announcing the Azure SDK 2.8 for .NET

Brian Harry
News from Connect(); 2015

C++
Announcing the VS GDB Debugger extension

OfficeDev
Introducing the Microsoft Graph

Visual Studio
News and Announcements at Connect(); //2015
Node.js Tools 1.1 for Visual Studio Released
Announcing the Intune App SDK

Visual Studio Code
Announcing Visual Studio Code Beta

Web Development
Announcing ASP.NET 5 Release Candidate 1

Visual Studio ALM
Getting Started with DevTest Lab for Azure
MacinCloud Visual Studio Team Services Build and Improvements to iOS Build Support
Announcing Public Preview for Visual Studio Team Services Code Search
Announcing the new Release Management service in Visual Studio Team Services
Subversion integration with Visual Studio Team Services
Announcing Public Preview of Visual Studio Marketplace
Announcing easy to use browser-based exploratory testing for Visual Studio Team Services
Git Credential Manager for Mac and Linux
Test Results in Build

Xamarin (I didn't have anything to do with this one, but it's referenced from the VS blog, so I’m including here)
Introducing Xamarin 4