From Zero to Xamarin – Part 1 – First contact

In order to evaluate Xamarin as a potential platform for developing our mobile app, myself and a couple of co-workers downloaded and installed the free trial edition at various points in time. A little while later I got an email from a Xamarin “Customer Success Engineer” who noticed that a few people from the same company had downloaded Xamarin and wanted to know if there was anything they could do to help us get going. Okay so a couple of things here: Continue reading…

From Zero to Xamarin – Part 0 – A New Hope

I’m working on a fantastic project at work at the moment.  It’s 51% awesome and 49% scary as hell.

It’s awesome because it’s an innovative mobile project across all the major platforms and therefore I get to play with loads of toys and devices.

It’s scary as hell because we are attempting to publish 4 apps into 4 different app stores in just a few months, which would be cool if we had a crack team of mobile developers and designers.  Unfortunately this is far from the truth.  The reality is this – There is me, some very committed totally awesome devs who are putting in hours outside of their normal work, and a crazed bunch of business people who have promised a October 24 big bang release!

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Log me off damn it!!!

One of the coolest new features in the Retail POS for AX 2012 R2 is the ability to host custom controls and entirely change it’s look and feel. These custom controls implement IPOSCustomControl and import a reference to IApplication using MEF. That way you have access to the transaction and can effectively run any POS operation you like. Shane Erstad has written a great introduction to Adding a Custom User Control to the POS if you require further information on the topic.

The problem arises when you first try to use the Log Off operation…

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Rebuilding custom Build activities for TFS 2012

At our company Fred I’ve sort of inherited the role of TFS administrator. So as part of this I get to deal with upgrading our TFS server to 2012; and as part of the upgrade we need to ensure that Builds continue to work, So since a 2010 Build machine will NOT work with a 2012 Team Foundation Server, we need to ensure our builds work on a 2012 build machine!

p.s. Jason Prickett has a few hints that help to get started if you’re thinking about going through a TFS upgrade – http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jpricket/archive/2012/10/24/upgrading-your-build-definitions-from-tfs2010-to-tfs2012.aspx

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Finding Illegal Cross Thread Calls

We recently had some customers reporting issues with our software, the reports were of the UI ‘locking up’, and never coming back.
This plays out as a weird scenario, where the UI would become totally unresponsive to any user interaction, however from Window’s (task manager’s) point of view, all seems peachy and the application is reported as ‘responsive’.
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LINQPad. It doesn't get any more gangster…

I love LINQPad nearly as much as my wife. For quickly mocking up .NET code, debugging OData services or for general LINQ goodness it’s like a Swiss Army Knife. In C# Statements mode all objects and collections are extended with the Dump extension method. This allows viewing of an object or object hierarchy in a way that you’ll never beat with Debug.Writelines.
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Windows 7 System Optimisations

Today I was asked by a fellow developer colleague if I could give some them pointers in how to optimise their new machine; in particular if anything should be done to make their “SSD hum along”. So considering I’ve already done through this process a dozen time for others, I should probably just document it!

So I’m going to get all old and cranky here and tell you what’s what, and then I might yell at you to GET OF MY LAWN ! As I get a little venty on the basics of what to and not to do !

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Using DBCC SHRINKFILE to shrink the transaction log Errors with 'Cannot shrink log file 2 (LogFileName) because all logical log files are in use.'

I recently had a (relatively small, 4gb) database blow out with a transaction file of 160gb+. No matter what I tried I couldn’t truncate the logs and as a result I couldn’t shrink the file. Whenever I tried to run a DBCC SHRINKFILE to shrink the transaction log. SQL would error after a short time with ‘Cannot shrink log file 2 (LogFileName) because all logical log files are in use.’

I recently solved this issue and it was a doozy; I found that in sys.databases, log_reuse_wait_desc was equal to ‘replication’. Apparently this means something to the effect of SQL Server waiting for a replication task to finish before it can reuse the log space.

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