Big Screen Blog

Media Center, Windows Phone7 + Silverlight Goodness..

Launched+InProgress: Microsoft AU/NZ TechNet Sidebar Gadget + All Blacks (WPF) Sidebar Gadget

with one comment

Some of the other things (paid stuff) I’ve been working on apart from Media Center related applications – has been some Vista SideBar + Desktop apps (WPF etc.). I’ve been allowed to talk about a couple of these projects here (ones that are no longer commercially sensitive – due to them being out in the wild already).

For whats being shown here – mobilewares (err… me, myself and I) have been working closely with a New Zealand based company Mabode – who are comprised of some very well known/credible/connected NZ folk (including some current/former Microsofties like Jay Templeton). I won’t go too much into the Mabode-mobilewares relationship yet (maybe a later post) – however over the past 6 months – I’ve been introduced to a lot of really interesting opportunities/projects through them – and hope to have some exciting announcements on Vista + Media Center related products coming out of the work being done (with some very cool content if you are from these parts).


Microsoft Australia & New Zealand Technet SideBar Gadget

This gadget (docked+flyout view /and/ undocked shown below) – is designed for IT Pros in Australia+NZ – and provides a way to monitor news/alerts from Microsoft TechNet. This gadget went live on gallery this morning (and will appear in the Microsoft TechNet newsletters etc) – and if you want to download it – head to this link -> .



The following  sums this one up (from the download page on live gallery) :

The Microsoft TechNet Gadget for Australia and New Zealand delivers information from several of the common news feeds and security alerts. It supports up to 6 feeds with TechNet Highlights and Basic Security Alerts as default options. A range of other feeds are selectable with options for more comprehensive security alerts, Australian and New Zealand IT News and TechNet Virtual Labs. You can see items that have been read or unread at a glance. The security ticker glows red when there is something that you have not seen before. The integrated TechNet Search means you can type a search query and it will launch a web browser window with the TechNet Search results.

On the tech side – this gadget was made using Javascript + DHTML with some AJAX’y bits – so isn’t quite as slick as the AllBlacks gadget below (and was kicked off while Silverlight was still called WPF/E so that option wasn’t there yet).   Although it was a little shock to the system to go back to HTML stuff – I had quite a bit of fun with the javascript under the hood. One of cool things it does behind the scenes – is launch/run several background updater threads to monitor feeds (as using the IE7 Subscribed feed system wasn’t going to meet requirements) – using javascript and some async calls to XMLHTTP – and then synchronizes the returned content back to UI/Scroller. (which all required a bit of fancy footwork).

The settings window is pictured below :




All Blacks (New Zealand Rugby Team) Sidebar Gadget (With WPF)

The All Blacks rugby gadget is still a project "in progress". Please also note these screenshots do not represent the final product (and in fact I made some bad typos in there with regards to display of trademarks/logos) – and are taken from the prototype that has been shown to a few people. Theres still a few dominos to line up before it’s out (layouts+specs+datafeeds etc still being finalized) – so I’m not going to volunteer any info about release dates.


I’m not quite up with all this ‘rugby’ stuff – as where I live, ‘Australian Rules Football’ is the main winter sports code (and rugby is not very well known or understood) . However – I’m quickly learning that following All Blacks is some sort of religious/spiritual experience for many New Zealanders (so I’m very careful here to do a good job).

This gadget has been developed using WPF for the Flyout content (html for the docked part) – and I had quite a bit of fun working on this. This was partially due to having freerun of site for pretty theme/graphics/videos and data – but also becauses Expression Blend is starting to become mine and VS2005’s good friend (I’m slowly learning to appreciate the finer points of this program and how it can increase productivity – not drain it).

One very cool bit – is that almost all the content being displayed is feeding directly off Async XML data sources (via the various Data Binding functions in WPF) – so this saves quite a bit of behind the scenes code. In the past I’d always sourced data behind the scenes and then updated the UI when it was available.

Anyhow here’s (quite a few) screenshots from the Gadget below (with flyout). You’ll notice that this gadget has quite a few more browsing experiences exposed via the flyout than a typical 1 or 2 function gadget – and so this falls a little more into category of a ‘desktop’ gadget than a Sidebar gadget (ie. has multiple drilldown tabs + its own Video Player).



PS : For the MediaCenter fans reading this – this one above IS being designed with ’10 foot’ in mind…



Written by mobilewares

June 20, 2007 at 4:45 am

Posted in General

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I do not even know the way I ended up right here, however I assumed this submit was once good.
    I do not recognize who you might be but definitely you’re going to a well-known blogger if you aren’t already.


    June 9, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: