Archive for September 2010
Ok looks like wordpress and MS spaces team got the migration working now – so see below for all my previous posts.
So as you might of heard – Microsoft has decided to phase out the Windows Live spaces system and graciously ‘offered’ to migrate everyone onto wordpress. I stress the word ‘offered’ – as when I took them up on this things didn’t quite go to plan. Now several days later post ‘migration’ – over 4 years of posts, comments, images, and stats from my windows live spaces blog has been lost misplaced ermm…. suffered from a ‘migration issue’..
Windows Live spaces support team have assured me they have pointed all their fingers at WordPress – who in turn have assured me they’ve so far looked under the couch, behind the tv and at grandma’s house – but still there’s no sign of my blog posts.
In the meantime (while wordpress go and check the lost property at the local primary school) – to fill in the time and get into the spirit of finding things which have been lost misplaced ermm. suffered from a ‘migration issue’.. – please help find Wally in the picture below. (and see if you can do it in less time than it takes WordPress and Microsoft Live support teams to locate 4 years worth of my blog posts…)
On the weekend I was lucky enough to get hold of a Windowsphone7 prototype for a short loan (big thanks to Microsoft AU). Luckily I’d had access to the Windowsphone7 RTM SDK for a little while before that – so was able to take my big screen byRemote for Windowsphone7 client app for a testdrive almost straight away.
Here’s a short quick and dirty video (with some music which isn’t mine) of it running below (taken on a panasonic lumix digital camera). Please note that the device (a Samsung ‘Taylor’) is only a prototype and running a beta of Windowsphone7 O/S – so it does not represent the final product – nor does it represent a final form factor for a WP7 device (that being said it runs very very nicely). Similarly the App layout/flow may change somewhat still before final release.
I also decided yesterday to pull out the SIM from my iPhone 3G yesterday – and use this phone for real (for the short time I have it at least). Although the O/S is still in beta (and the tens of thousands of pending apps to make it fly aren’t yet available) – I have to confess I’m totally in love with this device (perhaps it was even love at first sight) – and it will be a sad few weeks/months in between giving this prototype back to Microsoft and being able to buy a real one from an Australian Carrier.
The o/s is already incredibly zippy and fast to use (even in prototype) – and I love the way it integrates all your social networking stuff into the one place (ie. I can view my facebook, windows live and phone contacts and news feeds all in one pivot menu). The inbuilt camera is great too – both for still shots and videos – and best yet since this is prototype hw – that will only get better and more powerful.
I’m still setting up the Zune s/w and the synching (haven’t yet figured out how to push my outlook contacts to the device) – but the ability to synch wirelessly (bluetooth and 802b?) – AND from remote location is a great feature – as I really hated having to load up iTunes and plug my iPhone into the PC each time I wanted to get some content on there.
When I had to get some stuff off my iPhone3G last night after using this for a day – it was truly a painful experience (although do note to be fair that it’s a 2 yr old 3G model and not an iPhone4 which I assume is quite a bit snappier).
Anyhow I think Microsoft are onto a total winner with Windowsphone7 – and is not just a huge win for software developers (of which the whole end to end experience is just sublime in comparison to doing iPhone dev) – but it’s a really usable and sexy device for consumers – and hopefully will make it a success in the marketplace.
If you’ve read my blog in the past – you will know that I’ve long pined for a mobile phone which allowed for Silverlight based apps – so for me at least all my xmas’s have come at once.
As well as a new version – the server issued expiry date (attached to registrations) – has been extended by an addition 2 months to 1 December, 2010 (was previously 1/Oct/2010). Users who have existing v0.6x releases (or this new one) can simply reactivate their products to pick up the new expiry date.
This new version fixes some bugs, provides some enhancements on both the Silverlight Client and the Mobile Browser version – but more importantly (for my own ongoing development of this and associated products) – it adds behind the scenes support for the upcoming Windowsphone 7 native client and a new addon currently being called ‘By Remote Host Relay’ (see below).
Taken from the Release Notes – here’s what’s changed in this version :
- (Silverlight 4 client) Fixed : various bugs in UI such as Recording/Popup Functionality not working in the ‘Whats On’ Browser and other miscellaneous problems.
- (Silverlight 4 client) Enhanced : Enhanced : Network Connection Settings Dialog has been rewritten – now includes a ‘connection’ wizard so that you can add new connections and test them at same time.
- (Silverlight 4 client) New : Contains additional functionality/dialogs for new ByRemote Host Relay (Coming Soon)
- (Mobile) Fixed : Problems with DateTime display accross UI. Now standardizes the datetime display with globalization support (uses globalization settings from your By Remote Server machine’s control panel and region) – with correct display of 24hr/12hr times, dates etc. These fixes are now visible in the iPhone/iPad (IUI) and XHTML Interfaces.
Plus the following functionality has been added to the By Remote Server (which will be important for new stuff Coming Soon ) :
- New : Various Internal Support for By Remote Host Relay (Coming Soon – see below for more info on what this is).
- New : Various Internal Support for new Native Mobile Phone Clients (Coming Soon) – such as Windowsphone7 By Remote Client – including new authentication methods (required by Windowsphone7 clients).
*Coming Soon* By Remote ‘Host Relay’ (working title) – how it works…
By Remote Host Relay is a new ‘addon’ (for lack of better word) – which will be deployed most likely as an additional Windows Service – and provides functionality for those who are running multiple Media Center machines around the house (which have By Remote Servers running on them).
The By Remote Host Relay offers a ‘single point’ of access for all your By Remote Servers / Media Center machines (which works in a similar manner to a specialized reverse proxy server) – and hence greatly simplifies setting up remote and local access to your machines. There’s also a single ‘sign on’ (authentication) for the Host Relay – so you don’t need to remember each machines username/password when you’re connecting to it.
Currently – if you have more then one By Remote Server – you need to individually access and configure each one. (which might mean a lot of setup on your router). While this functionality is ‘sort-of’ provided in the existing Silverlight client – it needs to be done for each client machine – and still requires that you open up multiple ports into your network (which may not be desirable).
The following (shabby) diagram below tries to explain the two scenarios – the left hand side being one where each individual byRemote server needs to be exposed – and on the right is the scenario where you are using the Host Relay.
Note that since the Host Relay works by relaying requests back and forth from the Media Center machines (running byRemote) – it doesn’t actually need to be installed on a Media Center PC (so it can be on another Windows Server or Desktop – and potentially even your ‘Windows Home Server’ box). For those of you who are security
paranoid (aware) – this might be a machine which has nothing of use or sensitive on it – or it could even be one of your actual Media Center machines (which in turn provides access to other machines).
When you access a By Remote Relay Server from inside the Silverlight client – once authenticated to the server – you are presented with the following dialog (see below for preview – note the wording is still a wip). This lists all the running By Remote Servers available and allows you to quickly select one. (and you can later select another without reauthenticating). You’ll notice there’s also a ‘Wake’ button – which will provide the ability to do WOL (Wake on Lan) to any of your machines which might be asleep.
If you access the Host Relay Server from the browser (ie. for purposes of accessing mobile browsers ) – then you see something like this :
Then when you launch the mobile client – the host IP address and Port remains the same no matter what other by Remote Server you are talking to – and the ‘destination’ machine name is simply passed in via the url.
Please note that while the required functionality is actually built into v0.6c release (and works with all the clients including the Mobile, SL4 and WP7 versions) – the actual Host Relay Server Service/EXE is not yet available for download. I hope to make this available for download soon.
Also in regards to the By Remote Windowsphone7 client (which this v0.6c release contains specific functionality for) – I hope to have a video demo of it running on an ‘actual’ prototype WP7 device very soon (should hopefully have a ‘loaner’ unit as early as end of next week thanks to MS Australia). I’m currently finalizing the code atm with the RTM dev tools (required by the prototype device) – so it is ready for deployment/testing when I have this unit. Unfortunately I think I won’t be able to purchase an actual launch WP7 unit until at least December in Australia.