Hide the “Search” and “Task View” buttons in Windows 10 Tech Preview

October 3rd, 2014 No comments

Here’s a little tool that you can use to hide the “Search” and “Task View” buttons on the Windows 10 Task Bar – at least until some future update to Windows 10 brings this in as an official option and you have to assume that such a feature is coming…).

Oren Categories: Windows Tags:

comiXology Promo: Download all of the comics

April 12th, 2013 No comments

While sitting in a particularly long meeting today I happened to receive an email from comiXology inviting me to claim my “over 700 free comics”. While this is an extremely cool promotion it is somewhat limited in that to get all of the comics (I read a lot and I also don’t have time to sift through all of the comics to find the ones that I want) you have to click “Buy” on each one.

So, what does a developer stuck in a meeting do when struck with such a problem? 30 minutes later we have the solution to both problems – https://github.com/nachmore/grab-comixology

Grab the download, run the app, stick in your promo url and your password and watch the browser (IE) come to life in front of you and add all 723 comics to your cart. All you have to do then is check out! You can find the complete FAQ here.

Have fun reading!

Oren Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

HOWTO: Run Bastion on Windows 8

July 29th, 2012 5 comments

After playing the Bastion demo in Chrome’s Native Client I recently picked up a full copy care of  Humble Bundle, only to have it crash immediately on startup on Windows 8.

Turns out the culprit is a missing XNA redistributable - you can install it directly from Bastion’s install directory (C:\Program Files (x86)\Bastion\xnafx31_redist.msi).

Happy Hunting!

Oren Categories: Windows 8 Tags:

Last Minute Perf Video for Mango

July 10th, 2012 No comments

I had the opportunity to join Microsoft Research and this year’s Interns at a recent XAPfest event (a regular internal Windows Phone development event) and give a performance talk for Mango / Tango (i.e. WP 7.x) – here’s hoping it’s the last one before we move on to Windows Phone 8!

To check it (and my bad hair day) skip to 1:23:30 at http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=168593&l=i or listen from the start if you’re new to Windows Phone development in general for a great overview from Shawn Henry.

Oren Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

WP Emulator Crashing on Windows 8? Here’s a Fix

June 25th, 2012 No comments

Don’t you just hate it when you upgrade to a new OS (even when it’s a beta) and everything works amazingly well, except for that one critical bit of infrastructure that just fails? That’s kind of how you might be feeling if you boot up your brand spanking new Windows 8 install, install VS 2010 and the WP 7.1 SDK, followed by the 7.1.1. update to get the emulator and Tango support, boot up your project – hit F5… drum roll… emulator crashes. Sigh.

Luckily, there’s an easy fix!

Rename all of the *.dess files under %systemdrive%\programdata\Microsoft\XDE and restart the emulator, and all should be good.

What’s going on?

For some reason the saved state of the emulator is getting corrupted, by renaming these files (which could probably be safely deleted) you’re forcing the emulator to recreate them (shutdown may be a little slower the first time you close the emulator).

Oren Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

HOWTO: Download Boot Camp 4.0

January 24th, 2012 7 comments

I recently (this afternoon) found myself having to install Windows 7 on a large number of mac mini’s, without an OS X installation CD. Downloading the software through Boot Camp assistant didn’t seem to work eitherso I went ahead and installed Windows anyway while hunting for a way to get at the drivers without a CD.

Turns out this isn’t the easiest thing in the world. The only downloads on Apple’s site are updates, and not Boot Camp itself. Some further digging turned up this post which points towards an Apple update catalog. Once you have that, getting the Windows software is easy:

  1. Grab a copy of 7-zip
  2. Search through the catalog for product 041-0694
  3. Download the pkg file (it’s around 600mb)
  4. Extract the pkg file with 7-zip
  5. Here’s the fun part – keep extracting the largest files as you go (Payload,  WindowsSupport.dmg etc) until you hit 0.APPLE_ISO
  6. Rename 0.APPLE_ISO to 0.iso and extract that with 7-zip and run setup.exe
    1. Alternatively you can simply burn the iso file onto a CD

Good Luck!

Oren Categories: Apple Tags:

Got Phantom Menus? RefreshScreen is here to help

November 8th, 2011 No comments

The fact that my (fully updated)  video card will occasionally blue screen my screen after playing Flash videos aside, my next biggest video card related gripe is floating phantom menus:

Floating Phantom Menus

You know the ones – those ones that stick around, in front of everything, after you click on a random menu item. They only seem to go away when you restart your system or force a screen resolution change. Since that involves multiple clicks and a dialog I’ve written a tiny, one line, screen refresher. Run it to exorcise those menus!

Note: Unfortunately this doesn’t solve the actual problem that causes this, so you’ll probably get more phantoms afterwards.

Grab the EXE

Grab the Project (VS2010, C++)

P.S. For reference, all the code does is call ChangeDisplaySettings with (NULL, 0) in order to refresh the screen settings from the registry.

Oren Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Windows Phone Power Tools 1.1

September 20th, 2011 1 comment

Grab them here

I received a fair amount of feedback about the first version of the Power Tools mainly focused around the UI (people like modern today) and around “bug #1“, which prevented files from uploading to the correct path in IsolatedStorage.

I’ve just pushed a major UI rehaul to something somewhat more Metro-ish, loosely styled off Zune. It uses a combination of custom styles that you can find in the source tree and MahApps.Metro. I’ve also fixed the upload bug and other miscellaneous bits of polish here and there. This probably should have been a 2.0 or a 1.5 but it seemed to soon :)

As always, feedback is welcome, though a reminder that this is not a Microsoft official tool.

Oren Categories: Dev Tips, Windows Phone Tags:

Windows Phone Power Tools

September 13th, 2011 No comments

Necessity may be the mother of invention, but it’s also often the mother of Open Source tools which are not really reinventing the wheel, but perhaps make our lives just that little bit easier (or more functional). A common pain point, especially as more and more developers move their apps to Mango is testing update scenarios and exploring the IsolatedStorage of a developer app, both extremely handy debugging tools to have that either don’t exist (updating developer apps is not really possible) or are very basic (the IsolatedStorage Explorer tool that ships with the SDK).

To this end, I’ve published a little Open Source app that I’m dubbing the “Windows Phone Power Tools” that allow you to do just that – update developer xaps, visually explore the IsolatedStorage structure of your apps and a bunch of other small, but handy, features.

You can check it out on codeplex: http://wptools.codeplex.com

Oren Categories: Dev Tips, Windows Phone Tags:

Windows Phone App Lookup Tool

July 12th, 2011 No comments

Ever ended up with an application’s GUID but not with the app’s name?

Probably not, but just in case you do ever need to reverse lookup a Windows Phone’s app name from its GUID, you can grab App Lookup. It’s also Open Source (i.e. not official Microsoft), so feel free to grab it, fork it and send through pull requests!

How’s that for a short one? :)

Oren Categories: Windows Phone Tags: