Community report: How to be authentically digital with Shane Morris

Shane header

At the last Melbourne XDDN meeting, Shane Morris (@ShaneMo) did a great session on “How to be authentically digital”. In it he covered off what the Microsoft Metro design language is and what the principals of it are. He gave a great insight into how the Metro design language pulled in influences from a number of design styes, such as Bauhouse and motion design.

Shane talks about how using the content itself to provide form and structure to the content can be combined with typography hierarchy. He gives examples using his own applications and shows that not all Metro designed applications need to look the same. There is a lot of room for personalisation as long as you keep the core principals in mind.

I highly recommend watching his session if you have the time.

By David Burela

I’ve got the #FirstWorldProblemBlues

nerdcore cover

Some of you may have previously heard of a subgenre of music classified as “Nerdcore”. For those of you unfamiliar with it, here is the description from Wikipedia

Nerdcore hip hop, is a sub-genre of hip hop music characterized by themes and subject matter considered to be of general interest to nerds, though it can appeal to others as well… Though nerdcore rappers rhyme about anything from politics to science fiction, there are some perennial favorites in nerdcore subject matter, including Star Wars, Internet pornography, role-playing games, science, fantasy and computers.

A search for Nerdcore on YouTube returns some interesting results.

One of the first Nerdcore artists “Mc Frontalot” sums up the rationale behind Nerdcore succinctly: “Nerdcore hip-hop is the spinning of geek shame into bravo through rapping”. Geeks taking what they love and spinning it into an art form to share with others.

Nerdcore is fine for those that like repetitive beats, however today on twitter there may be the sparks of a new subgenre of music known as the “First World Problem Blues”. Taking the melancholy and sadness inherent in blues music, but using it to lament on the problems we suffer daily in the first world (examples of this meme can be found here

It started off innocently enough with a well known geek specialising in “Visual Studio Team Foundation”, asked an innocent question on twitter:

It quickly spiralled out of control as other nerds twisted it into a new shortly lived meme

By David Burela

Windows 8 app fest at TechEd Australia

If you are heading to TechEd Australia this year, and you are interested in developing Windows 8 applications, then this might be of interest to you.

There is a special event starting on the Monday before TechEd where you can work on your Windows 8 application with a number experts on hand to assist.

From the website:

Before TechEd kicks off, get hands-on coding time in the ultimate 24-hour hackathon for building Windows 8 apps. Join us on the Gold Coast a day earlier to get into the guts of app building with our Windows 8 Dev speakers and other industry experts.

You can get skilled up in Windows 8 apps, brainstorm ideas and code like there’s no tomorrow. Our expert mentors will work with you as you build your own Windows 8 app intended for the Store, rather than playing with sample applications.

There are also a few extra details on the TechEd FAQ page:

I will be at the event as a mentor, helping everyone I can to build brilliant Windows 8 Metro applications.

By David Burela

I’m speaking at TechEd Australia! Windows 8 development

I speak at a lot of user groups and developer conferences. I was even able to speak at Microsoft ReMix one year which was amazing. But one goal I’d set myself 8 years ago and had never hit was “Get a speaking slot at TechEd”. I’m really excited to announce that I can finally cross it off the list as I will be speaking at TechEd Australia this year!

My presentation will be on Windows 8 development. I will discuss a few basics of data binding, move onto the MVVM pattern, and show how we can construct all the pieces we need by hand.

I hope to see you all in my talk, and Infragistics will have a booth in the expo hall, so please come say hello.

By David Burela

Infragistics supports the Imagine Cup Worldwide game design finalists

As I previously mentioned, this year I was the Imagine Cup game design sub-captain for the Windows / Xbox track.

I just returned from the worldwide finals, and was amazed by the passion and enthusiasm from all of the students. While I was there, I saw the great XNA games that the students were making in the Windows Phone 7 games track. The quality of these games were amazing for a bunch of students doing it in their spare time.

I decided on the spot to give all of WP7 games teams a copy of our NetAdvantage for Windows Phone. The students were doing an outstanding job, and I wanted so see their apps look polished and sold on the marketplace as soon as possible.

Videos and screenshots of the top 10 Windows Phone 7 games are online for viewing.

During the Imagine Cup, the students had a chance to set up their own personalised stalls and demonstrate their games to all those interested. I managed to grab a few photos of the students while they demonstrated during the showcase.


Again, congratulations to all the teams. Your hard work paid off. Now take the Net Advantage controls, polish your apps, and release onto the marketplace ASAP!

By David Burela

Is Windows Phone 8 a chance to fix the “Bing Button”?

One of the vocal problems users would have with Windows Phone 7 was accidentally hitting the “Bing Button” (the search button). You could be happily in the middle of playing a game, you get into an intense part of a level and then… you accidentally touch the capacitive search button, you are dropped out of your game, and it then takes 30 seconds for the game to reload itself.

In 2011, Long Zheng ( put forward a proposal for “a more accident-friendly WP7 search button”.

Picture taken from

With the recent announcements from Microsoft that existing handsets will not be upgradable to the WP8 OS, and the realisation that everyone will need to purchase new handsets anyway, is this the perfect chance for Microsoft to take another look at the infamous Bing Button?

By David Burela

Community report-Melbourne Azure UG May

Last month during the Windows Azure user group there were 2 main presentations.

The first one gave a quick 15minute overview of the latest news in the Windows Azure community

The 2nd talk by Aidan Casey (@aidanjcasey) talked about how you can build Node.js apps on top of Windows Azure.

  • He gives an introduction on what Node.Js is
  • Reviews the tooling that is provided by Windows Azure
  • Demonstrates how to build and deploy a simple chat application
  • And finally explains in what situations Node.Js should be used

By David Burela