Ready Player One: Bringing a 1990s 2D game to the HoloLens – Nibbles remastered

Now I’m not a HoloLens team member – but recently I’ve been using the device to develop and test an old 1990s classic game “Nibbles” in 2D. A while ago, I wrote remastered the QBasic sample game “Nibbles”, known to many by the name of snake.  This is not a full rewrite, but it utilises some of our…

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Windows productivity tip #2: File Explorer -> VS Code at the current directory

I recently blogged a favourite shortcut of mine to get to the command prompt from Windows File Explorer command bar: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/jamiedalton/2017/08/03/windows-productivity-tip-file-explorer-command-prompt-and-back-from-the-current-directory/ This is so ingrained in my day-to-day workflow, I wanted to extend this to another heavily used application, VS Code. VS Code comes with a neat trick already, when at the command prompt, you can…

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Microsoft Bot Framework: Handing off to a human for agents/supervisors with C# and the BotBuilder SDK

Supervising bot conversations One advanced concept for bots built using the Microsoft Bot Framework is handing over conversations to human supervisors (or agents).  For instance when the bot is no longer able to automatically process a request, or if the end-user of the bot is frustrated/stumped and wants some assistance. There is already some great…

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DevOps for bots: Sprinkling some devops on your bot

Hackfests are great mechanisms to kickstart the minimum viable product (mvp) for many bots/agents in a very short time.  However, just because you are working to a tight timescale doesn’t mean you should sacrifice good engineering practices.  So if you’re building a bot and want some assistance, checkout the resources below. This isn’t an exhaustive…

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Windows productivity tip: File Explorer – Command Prompt and back from the current directory

This has been one of my productivity tips within Windows for a few years now, still surprises me not many users are aware of this little feature. Often some of the stuff we do is quicker/easier to do from the command line, though other times it’s much quicker using a GUI.  Wouldn’t it be great if you could…

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Using LuisDialog with ConfigurationManager or Environment variables for your keys/secrets

Often when working with developers, they (should) ask how they can use the LuisDialog from the C# BotBuilder SDK without hard coding their subscription key and model id.  I’ve seen this asked online too in a few places on StackOverflow and Github eg: here and here:  So here’s a simple extract which shows how you can pull the…

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Using the Bot Framework from Python with the Direct Line API

Yes, it’s possible.  The Bot Framework supports the “Direct Line” channel which you can use from any client application to call your bot.  If you want to learn more about this channel and how to call it, start here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/bot-framework/rest-api/bot-framework-rest-overview. So assuming you’ve built a bot already using the Bot Builder SDK using Node.js or C#, let’s take…

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VS 2017 and Service Fabric project template not showing

In the case you’re trying to create a Service Fabric project template within VS 2017 and the option isn’t displaying within your available VS 2017 project templates – check and double check your VS Installer options: You’ll also need the Azure Service Fabric SDK available through the Web Platform Installer: http://www.microsoft.com/web/handlers/webpi.ashx?command=getinstallerredirect&appid=MicrosoftAzure-ServiceFabric-CoreSDK In my case, in an earlier…

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Annotating PDFs with Windows 10

Edge browser on Windows 10 supports web notes, which is a great way to take notes and/or highlight webpages for your own reference or for sharing with others.  Whilst this works great with html content it does not support PDF files, if you try and use this feature with a PDF open in Edge – you’ll…

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Visualising telemetry in your bot with Application Insights Analytics and PowerBI

In a previous post I showed you how you can add telemetry to your bot.  The sample code linked on my blog allows you to send key/value pairs from anywhere within your bot API to Application Insights.  Also, I showed how you view the tracked data in Application Insights Analytics.  What I didn’t show however, is…

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Building a FAQ Bot with the QnA Maker Cognitive Service

The QnA Maker cognitive service has fast become the backbone for many customer service bot scenarios.  Once you have created your QnA service and published it, it’s time to incorporate it into your bot framework bot.  To date, there are a couple of ways to implement it from C#. # Option 1 – use the Microsoft.Bot.Builder.CognitiveServices nuget package https://www.nuget.org/packages/Microsoft.Bot.Builder.CognitiveServices You’ll then…

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