Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Microsoft Certified Professional

Longer than I thought I passed some Microsoft Developer Exams and just received an email to login to keep them valid.

So I thought i would share my qualifications with friends, strangers and colleagues. 

I need to provide my Transcript ID (670391) and the Access Code (microsoftmcp), and direct you to

Monday, July 21, 2014


Apple Developer Program Renewal

So ive just renewed my Xamarin Indie subscription so it was time to do the same with my Apple Developer Program as well.
Not a cheap month software wise but both are for a year and this will be the year I publish a few apps to the store both Mac and iOS.

Friday, July 18, 2014


Hooked on Xamarin Studio / Monodevelop / ServiceStack

So one year later my indie subscription to the Xamarin Indie product was expiring . An ide to rival Microsoft Visual Studio, uses my language of choice c# and allows me to build web, console, services and apps all cross platform.

It hurts paying for software sure but I am now more comfortable on a Mac in Xamarin building all sorts or cross platform goodness with .NET and just testing on a windows virtual machines.

Add in the well thought out ServiceStack framework and various open source peojects and when my subscription reminder came round it was an easy decision to make.

Compare to an MSDN license for example..

The other thing of note was chatting to a WPF dev the other day and while we both loved MVVM and the language and various other Microsoft tooling, when i explained i was using the same language to deliver cross platform apps from a Mac and still getting a blank stare shows how much more Xamarin can offer.

Big fan. you have my cash again this year as does ServiceStack


Amazon Zocalo

While busy coding away on some API endpoints and refactoring some code and making some schema changes, I realised I had not opened my email client all day and after a quick scan for anything requiring my immediate attention I noticed that Amazon had given me early access to the new Zocalo product.

First thoughts

Initially I thought this is Dropbox with Sharepoint and that with web, mobile apps, Windows and Mac clients with promises of browser plugins this could be pretty cool.
“Amazon Zocalo is a fully managed, secure enterprise storage and sharing service with strong administrative controls and feedback capabilities that improve user productivity.”
Intro Video


  • typical amazon storage in the cloud
  • low cost initially if you are a start up for example
  • easy to get started
  • most importantly active directory support

Active Directory

Amazon Zocalo can integrate with your existing Active Directory. This means that your users can easily access Amazon Zocalo using their existing Active Directory credentials. This is a big win for the enterprise.

Amazon Workspaces

Not 100 percent sure but when linked to Amazon Workspaces you could have a team all working on a Windows 7 experience with office apps and Zocola.

More later when not as busy!

In the meantime have a read of the docs and look at some screenshots of the iPad app. Ok break over back to the code!
iPad Screenshot 1 iPad Screenshot 2 iPad Screenshot 3 iPad Screenshot 4

Thursday, June 12, 2014

CloudCheckr Review

So as I’ve progressed to living in the Visual Studio and Microsoft Windows eco system to using a Mac and Xamarin building cross platform apps to also being a head of devops and using the Amazon Web Services Cloud to setup 3 new start ups now there have been some tools and services that have stayed with me and improved and been a vital part of my toolbox.
CloudCheckr is one such tool and has come on in leaps and bounds since I started using it for a single use case back in the day so I thought I would post about this application and what it did for me then. I went from the free use teir to a paid one I think its that good even though I am just using it to monitor some personal projects.

Best Practices

My first and still an important use case as I was getting to know AWS was best practises. Is my cloud setup secure, available and am I under or over usage?
This was and is still a very useful tool as it’s easy to forget to lock something down or forget that you fire up 1000 servers somewhere as a test.
Have I left ports open? Having a service send you best practises is worth every penny spent.

Best Practices

Spend Optimization

This was next up once I knew things were secure. Getting warning and potential cost savings especially important with start ups was invaluable.

Spend Optimisation

More Features

Since then they have added new features which are explained better on their website so I shall finish by just linking off to them and suggest you give them a free trial you will not be disappointed.

Home Page

Cost Allocation

Resource Reporting

You Tube Video

Wednesday, May 07, 2014


Amazon Workspaces

So during an insomniac night I had a play with Amazon’s new workspaces feature that provides a fully managed virtual desktop experience fully controlled from their web based console.
Being a long term but ex windows guy now I am quite interested in the possibilities of pay as you go and more active directory linked virtualised machines now provided by Amazon for testing and one off tasks but the value for everyone from one man operations to something much larger are clear.
They have a very good Workspaces intro
With more detailed information available
So using the closet data centre to me I created a workspace using the web console by providing a username and email address and about 20 minutes later it was provisioned and I got the intro email with all the information I needed to connect to my instance.
Amazon Workspaces
Once I followed the instructions and entered the password I got to download the client from this page
Various Clients
Being on a mac I downloaded and installed the mac installer and was soon connected to a very fast desktop client machine.
A very nice experience indeed Not the most complete test but it is very late and I am very tired right now. More later on this new and shiny feature.

Monday, May 05, 2014


Yak Shaving

In the middle of quite a few bug fixes and some heavy refactoring of some early code and this is where I have ended up. Time for some food and a break I think!

Build failed. Could not find type ‘System.Globalization.SortVersion’

There seems to be a post on stackoverflow about the issue so I’ll take a look next up.


Microsoft Remote Desktop for Mac

So while I wait for the latest Xamarin Studio to install and a remote windows machine to restart I thought I would test out Byword as I am a huge Markdown fan and use it for all text that isnt code although thats possible too.

I use IA Writer, Mou, Day One and now I am trialling ByWord as it hooks into Blogger and Wordpress and a few more.

I use a Mac these days but for 12 years I was a Microsoft Guy and still need to use Microsoft machines and up until now I have been using the old version that looks like this

It sort of worked but now I am using the latest version it’s a treat to use. Especially on a Thunderbolt display, Go get it now!

I’ll leave the links up to the reader to google as my machines should have restarted now and Xamarin has updated!


Thursday, November 07, 2013

Opserver – Stack Exchange’s open source .NET monitoring system

A good find from jokecamp - a windows specific set of monitoring tools for the DevOps guys built and open sourced by the stackoverflow team.

"This is a repository to keep your eye on. I can easily see it become the devops dashboard of choice for .NET environments."

Just spotted Opserver – Stack Exchange’s open source .NET monitoring system | Joe's Code:

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Every upgrade of iTunes on windows I need to fix sqlite3 error

So everytime there is a new version of iTunes I always have to fix an sqlite3 error. So to tell help me and anyone else with the same issue here is the solution I found on the following helpful page:

First the error is "The procedure entry point sqlite3_wal_checkpoint could not be located in the dynamic link library SQLite3.dll."

And the fix: Hummie's World of Digital Scrapbooking Tutorials: iTunes sqlite3 dll error - How to Fix