Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks
Old developers can easily get set in their ways especially if they work in one environment for a dozen years or more. So how do you overcome the “that is the way it has always been done” mentality that sets in? The first thing you have to do is be patient. Don’t try to force them to change all at once. Too much change at one time can be a shock to anyone’s system. Gradually introduce new ideas and new techniques. The next thing you need to do is to make sure that you demonstrate examples and explain ......
Posted On Wednesday, October 1, 2014 10:08 AM | Comments (0)
Getting Started With WiX
Up until this week I had not even heard of WiX (Windows Installer XML Tools). As with most open source projects I found myself spending a large amount of time trying to find resources to explain how to use this tool. I figured if I was struggling there might be a few others that could use some help. In this post I will cover a number of topics to get you started with WiX. First thing you need is the toolset itself. You can get it here. Once you run the install be sure to restart your machine so that ......
Posted On Friday, August 1, 2014 3:09 PM | Comments (0)
Enhancing Your Model In MVC 5
Simple views in ASP.NET MVC 5 are simple, but once you start getting a lot of conditional content formatting in the view things can get very messy. Once you get to the point where your Razor code has way to many if/else blocks and they start repeating you have to come up with a way to abstract and simplify your code. I looked at functions and partial views as possible solutions. Both of these have their place but an alternative that you may want to entertain is implementing your model as more than ......
Posted On Thursday, May 8, 2014 3:57 PM | Comments (0)
Using BingMapsDirectionsTask In Windows Phone 7
Windows Phone has a number of great capabilities built into it for developers. The Bing APIs allows you to easily give your application mapping functionality. You may just want to give users directions to a fixed location. What happens though when you want to give a user directions from their current location to an address that they are picking from application data? This article will cover just that scenario. Since almost everything in Windows Phone development is asynchronous this can get a little ......
Posted On Thursday, August 9, 2012 4:19 PM | Comments (0)
Reading QR Codes In Your Windows Phone App
I have recently been working on an application for a client that needs to read QR codes. This has lead to some interesting findings. There are a couple of approaches you can use. One is to take a picture and evaluate it for a code and the other is more like the Bing Vision feature. Both of them can be accomplished by leveraging theSilverlight ZXing library from Codeplex. In order to have QR code images to test I would suggest going to It is a site where you can freely generate QR images ......
Posted On Monday, July 23, 2012 3:42 PM | Comments (2)
Project Spark Maze Making Technique
When I first started creating Project Spark worlds I would try to build a mountain and then tunnel through it to create halls and rooms. This really became a test of patients. Once you have created a narrow space with ceilings it is hard to get your camera in the right place to know which direction your tunnels are heading, how close you are to the outside of your terrain and good luck placing props. The solution is actually pretty simple. Use the Add tool with the cube brush and make your corridors ......
Posted On Monday, March 24, 2014 9:04 AM | Comments (0)
Project Spark Development On Windows 8 With A XBox Controller
As you may have noticed, I really enjoy building Project Spark games. Until recently you have only been able to create them on Windows 8.1. Now you have the option of playing Project Spark on XBox One with XBox 360 coming in the future. While I don’t have an XBox I have realized that there are just some things that you can’t do without a controller. The biggest one for me is manipulating the size of trigger zones around props. In order to gain this capability I picked up a second hand controller ......
Posted On Friday, March 21, 2014 12:05 PM | Comments (1)
Presenting Project Spark At Chicago Code Camp
It is conference time again and this year I am speaking at the Chicago Code Camp on my latest addiction: Project Spark. This is the game that is currently in beta on Windows 8 and XBox One which doubles as a game development environment. Come and see how you can enjoy this and even spend more time with your kids and subliminally teach them how to code. Register at the link below. http://www.chicagocodecamp.... ......
Posted On Monday, March 17, 2014 4:28 PM | Comments (0)
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, ......
Posted On Sunday, January 19, 2014 12:40 PM | Comments (0)
Pay It Forward
One of my hobbies is photography (webshots, zooomr) and I was listening to The Digital Photography Show podcast where the guest was Kevin Kubota. He presents photography seminars and is offering scholarships to his seminars. The interesting part of the application is that you have to describe what charity work you do. He said that he figures if he is doing something for you then you should be doing something for your community to show that you are serious. So how does this relate to architecture ......
Posted On Thursday, July 26, 2007 10:38 PM | Comments (0)
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Tim Murphy

Tim is a Solutions Architect for PSC Group, LLC. He has been an IT consultant since 1999 specializing in Microsoft technologies. Along with running the Chicago Information Technology Architects Group and speaking on Microsoft and architecture topics he was also contributing author on "The Definitive Guide to the Microsoft Enterprise Library".

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

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