Thursday, 2 June 2011

DDD South West 3 Mobile Phone Apps

DDD South West 3 (Saturday 11th June 2011) blessed in having not one but two apps for mobile phones.

  • For Windows Phone 7 you can download the free app (including the agenda) from the MarketPlace on your phone. Search on "DDD". This is of my own creation, a big thanks to Mike Hole for publishing it. (If you have downloaded the first version you need to do a refresh to get the agenda).
  • For Android, iOS, FireFox 4, IE 9 (not IE 8), Chrome 11 and Safari you can download the free app (including the agenda) from Thanks to Ross Scott for his excellent creation.

See you there.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

DDD South West 3 Balloon Debate

Making a reappearance at this years DDD South West is the very popular balloon date. This years topic is ‘The Best Web Presentation Technology’.

We see some new faces and old who will take up this challenge to convince you their technology is the best.

Gary Short - PHP

Richard Costall - Silverlight

Steve Sanderson - Build your own

Chris Canal - ASP.NET MVC

Anyone who has seen the Balloon debate at previous DDD’s will know its one of our most popular event for the style and wit on display. All those lucky to have a ticket to this event in for a treat and a chance to heckle for debaters.

To find out more visit

Ding-Ding round one!

Monday, 7 March 2011

DDD Southwest Windows 7 App

Some of you may know that I am involved in a little event called DDD Southwest.  This years event is our third.

Recently I was lucky enough to find time to develop my first Windows 7 phone application and I decided my time was best used creating an application to promote our event.


As you can see our free application contains information about the event date, the location as well as a helpful countdown to the big day.  I have also included a tweet search for #dddsw so people can see the buzz around the event.

I would like to tell you it was an amazing feet of engineering creating this application, but that would be a lie, it was incredible easy and frankly the most difficult parts were playing with XAML to create the UI.  This is actually a testament to the environment Microsoft have given us, the APIs were familiar so was the structure (if you have a small bit of silverlight knowledge) and as so many people are post information about WP7 development all the information I did not have was at easy reach.

The free application can be downloaded from the marketplace and is located under the social category. The application is called ‘DDD SW 2011’.

I would like to make a big thank you to Mike Hole who published the application for us.

For more information about DDD Southwest 2011

Friday, 5 November 2010

HTC HD7 – Everyday User Review

Recently I became the lucky owner of a HTC HD7 Windows 7 phone, here are my comments on the phone, please note that I am a Microsoft & HTC fan boy and I hope to just cover what's good and what’s not for people who use the phone every day.


The UI is great (big surprise), the home screen can be configured very easily but past the home screen is everything else, and I mean everything.  I have only loaded a few apps and I am already having to scroll to find them, however the scrolling with the sweeping action is so cool its actually a joy to do this.  It would have been nice to have some folders to organise my apps, OS feature, settings etc like in a normal OS but maybe in the future.


I use Hotmail, have done for many years, but I did not realise how much the phone integrated with Live services (I suppose I should have thought about that).  Through the Microsoft Live Services I can manage my email, contacts and calendar, which sync up to my phone and I can do the same on the phone and this then syncs up to the cloud.  Using the phone with Live Services has actually opened my eyes to how much I get for free and for web interfaces I find them really easy to use.


I have a bad memory so use the calendar in my phone to remind me to do many things during the day, I am used to my old phone (O2 XDA) which would constantly go off until I dismissed the reminder.  However the Windows Phone 7 calendar goes off once and that’s it! There is no way to make it repeat (other than snooze), so as I often do, the phone is in one room I am in another and I often don’t hear it make its singular sound for the reminder.

Phone Volume

Hearing the phone is another issue, your volume for all sounds is run through one control.  So you turn the volume down as you listen to music, this then means once you have finished listening, put the phone down, the ringer on the phone is now super quiet!  HTC has noticed this and a free app is available to solve this which pushes the phone volume up on phone ring.


The radio is great quality, something which I use every day to listen to Radio 1, and you can pin your favourite frequency to you home screen.  However there is no RDS so all you see is the frequency with no text, there is also no way to give it a name yourself even after its pinned.


The phone comes with WI-FI turned on, something which I left on all the time but as you can guess this kills the battery so I now only turn that on when I need it.  It was easy to set up and works as expected.

Sound Quality

The sound through the HTC headphones is amazing, I use the phone to listen to music to-and-from work and have also watched a movie on it, I am no audio expert but compared with my XDA(another HTC device) it is far superior sound and has amazing bass.


Zune software is used to manage all your music, movies and photos from your collection or you can purchase through it.  The software has a good UI although runs a little on the slow side sometimes. 

It is not always intuitive when it comes to managing your music collection however I believe I am partly to blame due to some dodge MP3 tag issues.  If you do have some MP3 tags it will find the album art for you, making it easier to drag and drop the album to you phone.

If you are short on your data allowance or have not got one you can use Zune to purchase apps for your phone, which are then transferred to your phone, which is quicker and easier than doing it over 3G.


I hope that Microsoft are aware of these issues especially as alot of Microsofties will be using the phone for themselves (as each gets a free one) and these are the obvious things you see form using the phone for a short while.

Apart from these little issues I have mentioned I would like to congratulate Microsoft on holding fast and concentrating on delivering a phone OS which has the features and functionality they could deliver to a high standard within their time limit.  It is certainly a very nice phone and a very nice OS, I look forward to future updates of the phone and hope my provider does not get in the way of me updating.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Silverlight Firestarter

If you have been thinking about immersing yourself in Silverlight by way of a book or multipart videos then how about spending a whole day watching live streaming from some of the worlds experts in the topic.

On Thursday 2nd December Microsoft will be hosting a one day, global, live steamed event on the topic of Silverlight from creation to profiling.  The keynote is by Scott Guthrie, followed by presentations from people like Jessie Liberty (seen at The .Net Developer Network earlier this year) and Tim Heuer and more.

If the 2nd December does not meet your needs it will all be available on demand.

Read more @

Thursday, 21 October 2010

PDC 2008 – A Night at Microsoft Reading

If you are like me the possibility of going to Reading, America for a developer conference is slim, I would actually say that I will never have the cash to go, not that I would turn down a free trip even if it involved travelling in a small box or suit case.

For those of you like myself the nice chaps down in Reading are running their own PDC event on Thursday 28th October from 4.30pm to 12 midnight, yes midnight.  They will be showing HD sessions from the Reading event as well as running some competitions (to win an Win Phone 7) and feeding you Pizza.

For me info go here

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

jQuery Fundamentals

If you are developing web sites at the moment then its almost certain that you are also seeking the use of jQuery to give it that zing that almost all new web sites have now.  However unlike learning .NET framework you are almost thrown in the deep end with jQuery and expected to swim.

I found learning jQuery hard and would have welcomed some free resources to help me get were I am today, thankfully help is at hand in the form of an online book called ‘jQuery Fundamentals’.  I have a had quick skim of the book and its very detailed, it takes you from learning the fundamentals of JavaScript for the noobs and then over to using jQuery in your sites. 

If you have been struggling to find a detailed resource on jQuery and JavaScript defiantly give this book a go.

See more @