Coding For a Living


A place to share and comment about coding for a living.

Windows Store apps Dev Center 2013 Mike McIntyre

Have you checked out the Windows Store apps Dev Center lately?

It’s been filled with excellent resources for learning about and developing Windows Store apps. From code, to design guidelines, it’s chuck full of what you need to develop Windows Store Apps.

Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1

Feature guide

Product guide

Getting started

Support forums



Design downloads

Our design principles

Index UX guidelines

iPad to Windows Store app





Windows 8





API reference


Certification requirements

Visual Basic If Operator Mike McIntyre

It looks like a function but it is an operator.  The Visual Basic If operator provides the functionality of the IIF function and more - including short-circuiting. It can be use as a ternary operator which mimics the functionality of the IIF function while adding some more to it, and as a binary operator which provides a comparison/assignment feature. image

The operator uses short-circuit evaluation to conditionally return one of two values. The If operator can be called with three arguments or with two arguments.

When If is called by using three arguments, the first argument must evaluate to a value that can be cast as a Boolean. That Boolean value will determine which of the other two arguments is evaluated and returned.

' This statement prints TruePart, because the first argument is true. Console.WriteLine(If(True, "TruePart", "FalsePart")) ' This statement prints FalsePart, because the first argument is false. Console.WriteLine(If(False, "TruePart", "FalsePart")) Dim number = 3 ' With number set to 3, this statement prints Positive. Console.WriteLine(If(number >= 0, "Positive", "Negative")) number = -1 ' With number set to -1, this statement prints Negative. Console.WriteLine(If(number >= 0, "Positive", "Negative"))

Free Bing Code Snippets Mike McIntyre

The Bing Code Snippets package uses the Code Snippets technology of Visual Studio to provide blocks of code that you can insert into your C# or JavaScript Windows Store applications. image

These snippets support the following Bing technologies:

  • Translator control
  • Translator API
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR) control
  • Speech Recognition control
  • Speech Synthesis (Text to Speech)

Download them here.

Gadgeteer Book–Learn to Program With VB & .Net Mike McIntyre

This book is a free resource from Microsoft Press which helps students learn to program with the .Net Gadgeteer, a device originated at the Microsoft Research in Cambridge, U.K.. image

The Gadgeteer book explains how to program with VB and .Net using the FEZ Cerberus Tinker Kit modules such as the mainboard, USPClientSP power module, the Joystick, the LED strip, and the Display N18 module.

Students plug together modules then use Visual Studio 2012 or Visual Studio 2010 to build a .Net Gadgeteer project.

The Visual Studio project includes lots of visual tools for connecting and configuring modules.


I love this book and the FEZ Tinker Kit. 

Back in the day I remember buying electronic parts, wiring up boards and hooking up devices based on computer magazine articles.

This kit gives a similar ‘hands on experience’ with the power of VB and .NET added in. 

This book and the FEZ Cerberus Tinker Kit are highly recommended for the young nerds in your life.  The book is free and the kit costs around $100 U.S.

IE11 Real-world Performance Mike McIntyre

The W3C Web Performance working group has standardized the Navigation Timing, Resource Timing, User Timing, and Performance Timeline interfaces to help you understand the real-world performance of navigating, fetching resources, and running scripts in your Web application.

The interfaces are supported in IE11.

Read more here.

What can you do with Roslyn? Scripting Mike McIntyre

With Microsoft Roslyn you can write applications that evaluate code at runtime.

While it’s been possible to implement scripting since the release of .Net it’s not been easy. Check out Brian Rasmussen’s blog on scripting:

     Learn about the Roslyn scripting API