Tim Murphy's .NET Software Architecture Blog

Reviews

HP Spectre x360: Review

I finally unboxed my Spectre x360 from the Microsoft BUILD conference and fired it up. I thought it might be useful to prospective buyers to cover the pros and cons of this machine. Pros My first impressions are that the form factor is very thin. If fits very easily as a second machine into my backpack adding extra compute capabilities. It has a bright, wide screen making it easier to get work done. Generally it will also run all day on one charge depending on how process intensive the apps are that ......

Project Spark Beta Impressions

Many kids are addicted to Minecraft. It is a game that allows you to build the environment you play in and even create new content if you are willing to learn how to make mods. Project Spark is an offering from Microsoft which allows you to create and play top quality games. For the last couple of weeks I have been addicted to the beta of Project Spark and working with my boys to make some games. Even though it is still in beta there are some great features. It would take a tome to cover them all, ......

Review: Windows 8.1 Preview First Impressions

I have been using Windows 8 since just before the release candidate came out. While don’t see it as a perfect operating system I really enjoy it in both Metro mode and desktop mode. So what does the 8.1 Preview bring to us? Start Button The public screamed and Microsoft responded. They put a start button on the task bar in the desktop. I never use the button because there are already three other ways to accomplish the same thing (the keyboard Windows button, the hardware button on the Surface Pro ......

Review: fotor for Windows 8

Editing images can be a tedious task, especially depending on how far from what your eye saw the image comes out of the camera. There are thousands of photo editing applications out there so it is a delight when you find one that works well and makes the process simple. I believe that fotor fits that description. I found that fotor makes most simple adjustments such as brightness, contrast, sharpness, color temperature and cropping. It also has the added features of special effects such as borders, ......

Review: Feed Me for Windows Phone

Prior to the announcement that Google will be shutting down Google Reader I was using Feed Reader to keep up with a number of blogs. The announcement of course sent me scrambling like everyone else. The additional aspect of the problem is whether the mobile reader solution you are currently using offers more options than just Google Reader. In my case it didn’t. I ended up with Feed Me since it integrates with Newsblur. The Feed Me’s interface is definitely functional with the ability to share posts ......

Review: Using Pluralsight Video Training To Keep Up With Technology

As a consultant I have long stretches where I may be heads down with a single technology. In the mean time the rest of the world can be passing you by. When I get off of that project there is a lot to catch up to. I could buy a bunch of books or request time to go to a class, but the first is time consuming and the second is expensive. Pluralsight allows me to catch up quickly at the end of a project or even keep up during a project by giving comprehensive video courses for a reasonable price. The ......

Get You Some DZone Refcardz

DZone is a great technology site and their Refcardz are a great way to kick start your understanding of new topics. Refcards are about the length of a book chapter packed with great details to quickly get you up and running with the latest technologies. There are quickly approaching 200 Refcardz on subjects varying from Adobe Coldfusion to Windows Powershell and everything in between with more added all the time. These quick start guides are created by the leading subject matter experts in the DZone ......

New Yahoo Mail App For Windows 8 - Review

I had heard that Yahoo was bringing out a new web interface, but I was surprised to find a Windows 8 app show up in the store as a featured app. Given this is my mainstay for mail no matter what company I work for or what internet provider I am using. Now the question is how much benefit does it give over the Windows Mail client? For basic functionality the Yahoo Mail app is well laid out and easy to use. It makes quick work of operations like moving messages to folders or creating and replying to ......

Book Review: Getting Started With Window 8 Apps By Ben Dewey

When O’Reilly gave me an opportunity to review this book I was excited. It gave me a reason to finally put some time into this new platform and what developers will need to learn in order to be successful. This book by Ben Dewey is only 92 pages long, so if you were looking for an in-depth treatment of Windows 8 development you will need supplemental materials. It is also due for an update from the perspective of recent changes made by Microsoft prior to the final release of the OS and tools. This ......

Review: Logitech t620 Touch Mouse and Windows 8

It isn’t very often that I worry much about hardware, but since I heard some others talking about “touch” mice for their Windows 8 machines I figured I would try one out and see what the experience was. The only Windows 8 compatible touch mouse that they had in the store was the Logitech t630 Touch Mouse. At $69 it isn’t exactly a cheap purchase. So how does it work with Windows 8. First it works well as a normal mouse with touch scroll capabilities. Scrolling works both horizontally and vertically. ......

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