Show file thumbnails in your Windows Store App

  If your app has a requirement where you use a filepicker and then show the files that the user selects as a preview/list, chances are you would like the option to show thumbnails of the files. A quick search tells you that the Windows.Storage.StorageFile.GetThumbnailAsync is the way to go! However, I didn’t find an…

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Slide to shutdown in Windows 8.1 – great for touch devices

  This is going to be a small post! I found a small gem in Windows\System32 folder called SlideToShutDown.exe When I ran it, I saw this: Thought it was really cool to have a shortcut to this on the desktop, so that I can shut down my machine with a tap and a slide! Here’s…

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Status Bar (SystemTray) for Silverlight Apps for Windows Phone 8.1?

In my last post, I talked about using the “Status Bar” in Windows Phone 8.1 to make optimal use of our screen space, like the Bing apps do. What I forgot to mention, was the code mentioned in that post applies only to the new Windows Phone 8.1 Universal Apps (i.e., targeting Windows RT). If…

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Status Bar in Windows Phone 8.1

Have you used the Bing apps for Windows Phone? You know, Bing News, Weather, Travel etc.? How about the email client? Noticed how these apps use the Status Bar on the top?       I think that is very efficient use of the screen space, while not really hiding the status bar. But until I…

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Creating a simple “Tile” button in HTML/CSS and as an ASP.NET MVC HtmlHelper

If you have worked with SharePoint 2013, you may have noticed a “tile” button. Something that looks like this: Normal State On mouse over (hover)      This looks good (at least to me) and I wanted to find a simple way to create such a button. I’m mainly a XAML guy, and can create something…

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How are shortcuts created and managed on the Windows 8 Start screen?

To summarize: Shortcuts can be created on the Windows 8 Start screen by creating a folder in “C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs” Multiple shortcuts to the same exe or app with the same AppId results in only one shortcut on the Start screen, based on its name in alphanumeric ascending order. Windows remembers the pinned/unpinned status (including the…

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Better control(s) with Visual State Manager

We had talked about Visual States very briefly when we were discussing how we handle different views and orientation in a Windows Store App. Let’s go a step further and understand the concept of Visual States and how we can leverage this to create better styles for the existing controls. To understand why this is…

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Hello world, with Knockout JS and ASP.NET MVC 4!

I heard about Knockout a few months ago, but never gave it a proper try – at least not with ASP.NET MVC. You’ll enjoy the ViewModel pattern if you don’t want to have any code on your View – be it JS or CS! You can have a clean markup and a separate most part…

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The “Light” theme for Windows store apps

I was recently talking to a developer working on a Windows store app and he said: “Dude, why the dark background for the apps? Shouldn’t Windows 8 apps be a bit brighter and cheerful? I had to show a good amount of text in my app, so I ended up setting the background to white…

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A non-traditional “Hello World” app with Windows 8

As developers, we start exploring any new platform/framework/language with a traditional “Hello World” program. Windows 8 is a re-imagined new OS, and so I thought let’s re-imagine the “Hello World” too. Consultant Jargon is my non-traditional version of “Hello World”. Windows 8 store apps have a few things we need to keep in mind other…

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