Years ago, Microsoft offered a free service called Windows Live Custom Domains (also known as Windows Live Admin Center) which allowed people who had their own domain name (such as myself with andrewtechhelp.com) to create a Windows Live Hotmail account with an email address that ended in that custom domain (such as firstname.lastname@example.org) instead of the usual @live.com address.
In Part 1 of this 2 part tutorial series on integrating Xamarin into a continuous build environment, I detailed how to use Jenkins to build Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android projects and a Team Foundation Build server to build Windows Phone Projects. In Part 2, I’ll detail how you can take advantage of Microsoft’s new Build.vNext technology that is a part of Visual Studio Online (VSO) and Team Foundation Server (TFS) 2015.
Continuous integration is the core foundation of the DevOps lifecycle, as it allows tests to be run and builds to be created every time a member of the development team checks in new code. This allows the team to quickly know if the latest changes have ‘broken the build’ and depending on how the continuous integration is configured, for that check in or commit to be rejected (essentially allowing the team to pre-emptively avoid major issues from ever making it into the build).
Last Friday I wrote an article discussing Telstra's inaction and silence on the issue of Windows Phone 7 Updates, or more specifically the NoDo (March) update. If you wish to reread that article you can view the whole article (which includes the letter I sent to Telstra's CEO) here, but I'll recap the main points here. Microsoft released their March Update to Windows Phone (codenamed NoDo) on March 24 2011 and as of Thursday April 28th (when I wrote the letter) Telstra was still "testing" the update and instead of keeping their customers updated, they were directing their customers to an outdated update chart. Well after that letter (co-incidence or not), Telstra officially approved the update for the HTC 7 Mozart on Friday 29th April and promised to approve the LG Optimus 7Q in early May. Well today I received an offical reply from Telstra detailing some of the reasons why they took over a month to test some fairly small updates and it clears a lot of things up and even opens up some questions that Microsoft needs to answer, so I thought I'd write about that here.
It turns out, if you and a group of others can protest hard enough and communicate your message to the right people, you can achieve action. Telstra, Australia's biggest phone carrier does NOT have a good track record of releasing phone updates, especially to their line of Android Phones, but when Microsoft last year announced how they were going to architect their phone OS (in terms of strict, uniform standards) and how they would deliver the updates to customers, Windows Phone users felt a lot easier that Telstra wouldn't get in the way for them on this particular platform. Well unfortunately, that changed somewhat between the release of the phone and the time the first update was actually released on February 22nd 2011. It turned out that while Telstra wouldn't need to actually modify the phone OS or work with the manufacturer to get the update working on the phone, they would be allowed to test the update that Microsoft had created and already tested to see if would impact their network. So today (April 29th, 2011), minutes before the Royal Wedding began, Telstra tweeted that they had approved the March Update for the HTC 7 Mozart and updated their smartphone table to reflect this announcement and show that their other less popular phone (the LG Optimus 7Q) would be approved to be updated sometime in May. This whole process has involved a lot of fighting, complaining and ultimately writing to the CEO to be resolved, so let's have a look at how this whole situation panned out.
I'm a big fan of smartphones, I absolutely love them. I own and use a HTC 7 Mozart running Windows Phone 7 and it's changed the way I do things. Being a fairly technical savy person though, you might expect that I would have purchased an Android phone which allows you to customise the phone to your heart's content OR an iPhone because of the compatibility and popularity of the devices. I'm going to discuss why I haven't chosen either of those systems and instead picked the more limited and underdog Windows Phone 7 platform and why I simply cannot recommend Android phones to regular consumers. I'm probably going to get a lot of disagreement from Android users, but I stand by my claims.
I've decided to publish an essay that I've written for my year 12 Information Processing & Technology social and ethical writing assignment here on my website, because I think it's important for anyone who opposes internet filtering to build up a good set of facts so the debate can be fought strongly against the government's propaganda. The task was to write an argumentative essay which supports or refutes the following statement. “The Australian Government should pass legislation which requires all ISPs to filter illegal and inappropriate Internet content based on a secret Government blacklist in order to protect Australians from exposure to such content.” I have obviously written an essay which refutes the statement. This article will be a lot more formal than the rest of my website as it was a proper summative assignment which had to be written in a formal essay structure with a bibliography at the end. At the end of it I'm going to list one or two extra things that I found interesting but couldn't fit into the already over the word limit essay. So here's the essay I wrote.
Windows Vista. A name which makes many people cringe, many people break out in an angry rant about Microsoft and how they think XP is better and a name which makes all the Mac fanboys laugh and point fingers while giving you a raspberry. I'm now going to express my thoughts on Windows Vista in relation to where it fits between 2 successes, Windows 7 and Windows XP, why XP needs to be phased out as quickly as possible and why Windows Vista is actually a fairly decent operating system. I expect I may get a bit of feedback on this article with people thinking I'm a bit crazy and that I don't know what I'm talking about, but after a lot of thought, this is the conclusion I've come to and I don't care what people say about it.