Sample Browser App for the All-In-One Code Framework

As I’m taking a break to wind down a bit before tonight’s adventures, I figured I should tell you guys about the Sample Browser app in the Windows Store.  (Sorry, guys – no Windows Phone app yet.)

This was the app you mentioned briefly at the end of your last post, right?

Yep!  Once you install the “Sample Browser” app from the Windows Store to your Windows 8 device, you can access the All-In-One Code repository browser data.  Here’s the opening screen:




Ooh!  Shiny! Wait… that looks similar to the app from the last post.

Very observant!  Sometimes, the Microsofties understand this concept called consistency.  It’ll work wonders here.

Okay…. let’s go on an adventure. Let’s say I want to see some ASP.NET stuff.

See that ASP.NET tile under Web Samples?  Click that tile, and you should see something like this:



There are plenty of ASP.NET code samples to peek at.  I’m going to click on the web chat program that the All-In-One Code Framework team wrote.  This will take us into the project view:



All the data… what do I see?

This details page shows a lot of details, including:

  • Name of the project
  • Link to the project
  • The ability to browse the project document
  • The ability to download the code
  • Relevant technologies
  • License
  • Visual Studio support
  • Author/last updated/ratings/download count metadata

Okay… so I clicked the Download button, as I want to have the C# sample on hand.

Did you notice that the button changed to browse?  Now, you have this helpful code browser at your finger tips.  Navigate through the C# code and check out the syntax highlighting.


You can also select code and copy it to the clipboard, much like copy and paste in a lot of Metro Windows Store apps.

What if I don’t want to download the code but want to bookmark this code for later?

Come on, now!  This is a Microsoft product, which means “bookmarks” are out and “favorites” are in!  Right click in the code area to bring up the context menu bar at the bottom.  Then, click the Add Favorite button.

Okay… I downloaded this code.  I favorited this code. I like the syntax highlighting.  But how can I easily find my downloaded code or even my favorited samples?

If you go to the search screen, you’ll notice some categories at the top, including Downloaded Samples and Favorite Samples.



You’ve shown us what happens when there are results.  What if there aren’t any results?  

These guys have a very helpful “not found” message.  Here you go:





So… how did you hear about this again?

The benefits of being an MVP and finding out cool things that we’re actually allowed to talk about!

Now, if you’re on Windows 8 – go get the Sample Browser app!

If you’re on Windows 7, see my last post on how to get their app!

Windows Update Automatic Updates in Windows 7 SUX

Now that I’m back in the States, I have stories to tell.  Unfortunately, on my trip home from Hong Kong, I had a perfect situation for my SUX series.

While sitting in Newark, waiting for my flight back to Cleveland, I was playing with Microsoft Surface Collage on one of my portable Windows 7 machines, grabbing some of the pics from my trip and putting them in the collage.  Imagine my grumpiness when the collage I was working on disappeared… *poof*  In fact, the whole program closed.  And then I saw it… the dreaded installing and rebooting screen from an automatic windows update call.

No asking me if I wanted to reboot.  No confirmation that I had processes running and asking if the OS should end them.  No… instead, it was being “helpful” and closed everything.  It’s a good thing I wasn’t working on anything that important.

This experience is enough to remind me of why I turn off that option that lets updates download and install on their own.  Why does this behavior not act consistently with some of the other restart processes?  I like that it asks me if I want to force a shutdown while I have apps open on my desktop.

So this is my call to the team that works on the reboot process and the team that works on the automatic updates process of Windows Update – talk to each other and find a way to add a confirmation screen similar to the force shutdown screen to the automatic process.  It would make this user experience a lot less painful.

For now, my updates will download but I’ll okay the install when I’m ready.  Ah the joys of dealing with a fresh install of Windows 7 and remembering which settings to avoid to get around the painful UXes…

Electronics of the Future

If you’re following me on Twitter, I’m sure you’ve seen my creepy pickup line experience that I’ve had recently.  Thankfully, that was my only bad experience at the world’s largest electronics fair – the Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition) 2010.  While visiting the fair on its last day, my husband and I saw all sorts of devices that we won’t see in the States for at least 6 months – Windows tablets, tablets loaded with multiple OSes (including one that switched between Windows and Android), eBook readers, and many other electronic gadgets.  We were lucky enough that our visit here to Hong Kong coincided with this event, and I’m very thankful that my hubby’s uncle explored the fair before we arrived and was able to show us what we were interested in.

More details coming soon…

Snip snip here, snip snip there….

One of my favorite features in Windows 7 is the Snipping Tool.  Introduced in the Experience Pack for Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 and included in Windows Vista, I hadn’t noticed this feature until Windows 7.  According to the Microsoft site, it’s available only in the Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise editions of Windows 7.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m horrible with scissors in real life.  I can’t cut a straight line to save my life.  So you’ll rarely find me cutting things.

But when it comes to Windows 7 and the digital world, you’ll find me using this feature often.  It was one of those features that I noticed on my Start menu one day and had to see what it was.  Once I tried it out, I was hooked.  (And I’ve been using it so much lately that I just had to tell my story here.)

How have you used the Snipping Tool?

Any time I see something on my screen that I can use, I start up the Snipping Tool and snip away.  In the MVC Melee blog post, I snipped that image from the MVC Melee website.  Whenever I am working on site changes on one of the websites that I maintain, I send screenshots of proposed changes – and the Snipping Tool is great for cutting apart the main layout and showing how new images and partial layout changes look on a site.  While documenting a particular feature in an application, I’ll have my Snipping Tool ready, so that I can get screenshots focusing on that feature.

Why do you like the Snipping Tool?

What I like best with the Snipping Tool is that the interface is easy to use.  Start the program, highlight what you want to snip, and then save it.  No need to open another program and paste the screenshot from my clipboard.  There is a setting enabled by default to copy the image to the clipboard, so pasting from the clipboard is an option.  But I don’t have to open my image editing program, paste my screenshots from the clipboard, and then crop the image.  The Snipping Tool makes it that much easier for me to get that done.

But… what about Alt+Print Screen or even just Print Screen?

Have no fear – those still work.  So if I want to get a screenshot of the active window or of my whole desktop, I can still use those keyboard combinations to store the screenshot on my clipboard and then paste them wherever I need them – be it in a Word document or in a program to create an image and use later.

Snip snip here, snip snip there, it’s a little slice of heaven.  The Snipping Tool is an awesome feature in the land of Windows 7.

For more on the Snipping Tool in Windows 7, check out the official Microsoft page.

Favorite Windows 7 Commercial

With a couple Windows 7 events coming up in the next few days — the Greater Cleveland PC Users Group meeting tomorrow morning and Microsoft’s “The New Efficiency” launch event on Monday — I’m getting even more psyched about it.

I’ve been running it as my primary operating system since beta, in the middle of January. I’ve got the 64-bit Windows 7 Ultimate install on my laptop and the 32-bit Windows 7 Ultimate install on my netbook thanks to my MSDN subscription. We also have another laptop and netbook here that also have Windows 7. We’re definitely a Windows 7 house!

But the things that really have me amused (for lack of a better term) are the Windows 7 commercials.  What happens when you put a cute little Asian girl plus the A Team theme song together?  This is my favorite Windows 7 commercial, just because the use of the A Team theme song cracks me up.  Check this out:

So I’m sure you’ve seen other ones out there. Tell me… what’s your favorite Windows 7 commercial?

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Windows 7 Launch Event Here in Cleveland!

In case you haven’t heard, Microsoft is hosting a Windows 7 launch event here in Cleveland on Monday, October 12th. (That’s right – an event here in our own home town! No need to drive a few hours to Columbus or Detroit for the launch this time around!)

“The New Efficiency” will be held at the Regal theater at Severance in Cleveland Heights. The products that will be featured at this event include Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Exchange 2010.

The Developer Track

The Developer track meets in the morning (9:00am-11:35am). There are two tracks within the Developer track:

  • Windows 7
    • “Taking Your Application to the Next Level with Windows 7”
    • “Building Next Generation User-Interface with Multitouch and Ribbon on Windows 7”
    • “Beyond Human Interaction with Windows 7 Sensor and Location Platform”
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
    • “Windows Server 2008 R2, What’s New and What’s Changed”
    • “Windows Server 2008 R2, Build Solutions that Scale Beyond 64 Processors”
    • “Windows Server 2008 R2, Enterprise Network Solutions”

The IT Professionals Track

The IT Professionals track meets in the afternoon (1:15pm -4:45pm). For IT professionals, there are three tracks to choose from:

  • Windows 7
    • “Introducing Windows 7 and the Windows Optimized Desktop”
    • “Make People Productive Anywhere with Windows 7 and the Windows Optimized Desktop”
    • “Manage Risks through Enhanced Security and Control with Windows 7 and the Windows Optimized Desktop”
    • “Streamlining Deployment of Windows 7”
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
    • “What’s in Windows Server 2008 R2 for IT Administrators: A Technical Overview Part 1”
    • “What’s in Windows Server 2008 R2 for IT Administrators: A Technical Overview Part 2”
    • “New Server Deployment and Migration”
    • “Windows Server 2008 R2 Virtualization Technologies– Saving IT Costs”
  • Exchange 2010
    • “Introducing Exchange Server 2010”
    • “Exchange 2010 Voice Mail enabled by Unified Messaging”
    • “Exchange 2010 High Availability and Storage”
    • “Exchange 2010 Archiving and Retention”

Register Today!

Did I mention that you’ll also get a free copy of Windows 7 Ultimate just for attending this FREE event?

Space is limited, so make sure to reserve your spot today. For more details (including session descriptions) and to register, check out the launch site.