Monthly Archives: March 2012

Ubuntu: The competition or the future?

For the longest time I have been turned off by Linux.  Like with any big change to the way things in my life work, I met it with a little resistance and some of the issues fueled some of my opinions.  Recently I had a seminar where we were required to install Ubuntu and compare the latest version of it to Windows.  The following seminars were to examine system processes, the advantages and disadvantages of using Ubuntu and in a nut shell re-evaluate everything comparing it to what we like about Windows.  At week 5 of this class, I can say I am using both equally now and I am starting to push more towards using Ubuntu. I am very interested in future releases and being a developer I am considering looking at some code with it to help the worldwide development team out.

Here are some big turning points for me:

  1. Free software galore!  – Ubuntu comes installed with Libre Office.  This is probably the best comparison I have seen to Microsoft Office thus far and I am enjoying using it to write my thesis papers.  A big selling point on this was having the ability to save and open existing Microsoft Office files up to version 2010.
  2. Automatic Updating Restored – Windows has always been very functional with their update system, and diving into automatic updates.  Previous releases of Linux that I have used required that you download a zip file for almost everything you do, unzip it into a folder, make and build it and then take the updated pieces and overwrite your existing kernel.  Very much dislike.  Hallelujah for seamless code updates.
  3. Updated Navigation – I have always hated XWindows and almost every attempt at making some kind of Windows clone, but there is a nice refeshing UI target for Ubuntu and Unity, MAC!  Almost every time I have ever heard of great UI, Macintosh comes up and if you compare the starting screens of  Ubuntu and MacOS you will see a lot of similarities.
  4. Speed – Ubuntu boots very well and has almost no lag time compared to my failing deadlocking page faulting version of Windows.  I sit on this machine all day and I find that I personally am running out of memory after about 10 minutes of use.  Linux on the other hand has always been designed to run on lower end systems so it seems almost natural that it is quick.
  5. Support for Windows Apps – This one is another biggie for me, all of the games and programs that I like to use for Windows which have no Linux clones are holding me back.  I recently installed Wine on Ubuntu and found it to be extremely easy to use and it was almost transparent enough where I did not have to do anything extra to install and use a Windows application.

Careful everyone, I might trade in my Windows PC for Mac hardware running Ubuntu.  Of course my first goal is to find a way to port Visual Studio so I can still write .NET and hopefully get more into C and less into C#.

HOW TO: Connect Windows Mobile Emulators

When you are writing a windows mobile application it is tough not to want to play with all the tools in the Windows Phone.  Being a personal fan of Android I find myself unfamiliar and want to know the environment I am supporting for clients (and I am a techie so it is easy to get lost in these things).  Recently I ran into an issue even accessing the internet on my mobile device and had to come up with steps to enable network access.  Here are some steps you can take to get mobile access on your device emulator:
1. In your Emulator window, navigate to File -> Configure
2. Enable the network adapter through the Network tab on the Emulator properties.
3. If you get an error message at this point about VPC drivers, follow this link to obtain them:
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=46859.  This is a free download around 30mb.
4. Start Windows Mobile Device Center from your Start Menu
5. Select Connection Settings and change the Allow connections option to DMA:
6. Start up your device emulator from Visual Studio. (Tools -> Device Emulator Manager)
7. Set your device into Cradled mode:
At this point you should be able to open up Internet Explorer and start browsing, or use any other feature that requires network activity.

Dot Net Framework in Windows 8?

Recently more and more people have been asking me about whether or not WinForms will be in Windows 8.  A more serious question has also been whether or not the Dot Net Framework will be in Windows 8, which would be a huge drawback if it were not.  The framework is far from over, as it is a foundation to how most developers write code for the Windows platform.  Whether or not you know you are using .NET albeit in WPF or through WinForms you are using DotNet.

That being said, Microsoft will likely not cancel their support for their own framework in the new operating system, but expand upon it to provide more useful functionality to developers.  Officially, Microsoft stopped supporting WinForms in Visual Studio 2005 and has not touched it since.  There have been random hot fixes but no new major development and more important no developer support.  Whether or not developers will be forced to move to WPF instead of WinForms to take advantage of the new functionality of Windows 8 is yet to been, but the dying support levels for WinForms should be reason enough to move.

As for any language barriers, just like with any coding language at some point it will die out and you will have to learn something new.  My advice to any developer or user of the Windows platform who is afraid of learning something new is to give up the fear.  We will all move forward and keep our jobs, and eventually be better for it because that is what we do as a society.  Happy coding!