Windows Phone 7 App: Rubik’s Cube

Hoem screen for Magmic's "Rubik's Cube" game

I was a teenager in the 1980s, which meant that along with watching Knight Rider, going to Depeche Mode concerts and playing blocky games on an Atari 2600, I had a Rubik’s cube. These puzzle toys were such a big craze at the time that toy and game stores couldn’t keep them on the shelves. I’m told that even decades later, it’s still considered to be the number one-selling toy of all time.

It’s nice to see that Ottawa-based developer Magmic, who specialize in mobile casual gaming, are bringing Rubik’s cube – the real officially-licensed thing – to Windows Phone 7. Naturally, you can try solving the classic 3 * 3 * 3 cube that we all know and love…

Game screen for Magmic's "Rubik's Cube" game

…but the game lets you go beyond the classic with:

  • Four different sizes of cubes
  • “Free play” or the more challenging “Timed mode”
  • A timer to keep track of your best solution times
  • Variations like “CRAZY cube” and “Picture cube”
  • A solution guide to help you learn how to solve the puzzle
  • Anaglyphic 3-D mode (3-D glasses not included)

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


Windows Phone-a-Palooza [Updated]

Update: Please note the changes to the Toronto-area deployment clinic locations!

The "Windows Phone Canada" LinkedIn Group

"I [Canada] Windows Phone" logo

If you’re not a member of LinkedIn, the social networking site for professionals, you should join it now! It’s a great place to keep in touch with your network of working peers, post and maintain your resume, find people in your industry and be found yourself, and take part in professional discussions in LinkedIn groups.

Once you’re a member of LinkedIn, you should join the Windows Phone Canada group. It’ll have links to the latest Windows Phone articles, host discussions about all aspects of Windows Phone development, from coming up with ideas for apps to writing them to selling them in Marketplace. You’ll also get to network with Windows Phone developers across Canada, and as I’ll tell you over and over, that’s where opportunities are born.

Join the WP7 discussion – join the Windows Phone Canada LinkedIn group!

Windows Phone Deployment Clinics

7 LG Windows Phone 7 phones charging

Pictured above: some of the phones we’ll be using in our deployment clinics.

Anyone who’s built apps and tried them out on an emulator and then deployed to the real thing will know what Jan van de Snepscheut was talking about when he said “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.”

To support you in your WP7 development and help you make the leap from theory to practice, we’re starting our deployment clinics this week! It’s your chance to deploy your app to a real WP7 phone and see how it works. This week’s are being held in:

There are also some events being planned for next week:

(I’m working on Toronto dates for next week…watch this blog!)

We’re working on ways to hold deployment clinics in as many places across Canada, as often as our schedules and pool of phones will allow. For those of you out west, we’re working on getting clinics out your way – watch this space!

Windows Phone Bootcamps

Photo of Windows Phone 7 bootcamp Montreal attendees sitting at a boardroom tableDevTeach’s Windows Phone 7 Bootcamp – a four-city, two-day, hands-on intensive training course taught by Colin Melia – started off quite nicely last week in Montreal (pictured left).

This week, the Bootcamp comes to Vancouver on Monday and Tuesday (August 30 – 31) and Ottawa on Thursday and Friday (September 2 – 3).

Next week, Yours Truly sits in on the Toronto Bootcamp, which happens next Tuesday and Wednesday (September 7 – 8).

Want to sign up for the Bootcamp? Register here, and save $100 when you use the discount code WP7BOOTCAMP.

Windows Phone Training and Deployment Clinics at TechDays

"Microsoft TechDays 2010" logoTechDays, our cross-Canada conference on how to make the most of Microsoft’s tools and technologies, is just over two weeks away, starting with TechDays Vancouver on September 14th and 15th. We’ve got two 65-minute breakout sessions on Windows Phone app development being presented by Windows Phone MVP Mark Arteaga and a half-hour “Turbo Talk” by Windows Phone MVP Anthony Bartolo on distributing your apps through the Marketplace. To find out more about TechDays, visit the TechDays site.

We’ll be running deployment clinics in the TechDays cities when we’re there (those cities, in order: Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Halifax, Ottawa, Montreal, Winnipeg, Calgary), in the TechDays lounge, as well as outside the conference. Watch this blog for details!

Windows Phone Training for Students at Go DevMENTAL

"Go DevMENTAL" logoJust as TechDays is a cross-Canada tour for working developers and IT pros, Go DevMENTAL is a cross-Canada tour for post-secondary students who’d like to learn more about the coolest apps and platforms, get connected with people in the software industry and get help in pursing a career. To find out more about Go DevMENTAL, check out the Go DevMENTAL site.

One of Go DevMENTAL’s tracks is dedicated to creating Windows Phone apps. It’ll have two sessions: one on building Silverlight apps for WP7; the other on building XNA-based games for WP7.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


WordCamp Montreal and WebMatrix

Wordpress logoWe’ll be at WordCamp Montreal this Saturday! (In fact, for the second year in a row, Microsoft is a gold sponsor for the event.) WordCamp Montreal takes place this Saturday and Sunday, August 28th and 29th in the Agora Hydro-Quebec in the UQAM Coeur-des-Sciences complex (200 Sherbrooke West).

My fellow Developer Evangelist Christian Beauclair will be presenting Microsoft’s new web development environment, WebMatrix, this Saturday at 11:00 a.m.

(At this point, feel free to put on a dark suit and sunglasses, sit back in a comfortable chair, and in your best Laurence Fishburne voice ask: What is WebMatrix?)

WebMatrix is a development environment that gives you:

  • An integrated code editor
  • A database editor
  • Web site and server management tools
  • Search engine optimization tools
  • Simple web site and application deployment
  • Popular open source web applications such as WordPress
  • A system that installs and configures web tools and technologies for you

Christian will walk you through the whole experience from start to finish, demonstrate how easy it is to deploy a WordPress blog using WebMatrix.

Want to get your hands on WebMatrix so you can get a head start or follow along with Christian’s demonstration? Download the installer for the WebMatrix beta and get started right away!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


Join the “Windows Phone Canada” LinkedIn Group

windows phone canadaIf you’re on LinkedIn (and really, you should be) and are interested in developing for Windows Phone 7, you should join the Windows Phone Canada LinkedIn group! It’s a place for Canadian WP7 developers, enthusiasts and users to connect, share news, links to articles, exchange ideas, look for work and projects and get to know each other. You’ll also be able to start your own discussions, ask questions and point people to your WP7-related projects.

Those of you who know me well know I keep saying it over and over again: community and connections is an important and underappreciated element of your career. Join Windows Phone Canada, start some discussions and make those connections!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


“HTML5 Up and Running”– Only $9.99 Today!

html5 up and runningWant to get started developing sites and web applications that run on all modern browsers, including the upcoming Internet Explorer 9? You’ll need HTML 5 (along with CSS 3 and JavaScript) and a handy guide like Mark Pilgrim’s new book, HTML5 Up and Running.

If Mark’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s written all sorts of great guides, from Dive Into Python to Dive Into Accessibility to Dive into Greasemonkey to Greasemonkey Hacks, and much of his work is available as both for-pay books and free books off his website.

Today and today only (Friday, August 20, 2010), you can get the ebook version (PDF, ePub and mobi) of HTML5 Up and Running for just USD$9.99 (it normally goes for USD$23.99). Just go to the HTML5 Up and Running page in the O’Reilly site, order the ebook and  use the discount code DDHUR when you check out!

(And while you’re at it, take the latest platform preview of the HTML5-ready Internet Explorer 9!)


This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


Why You Should Keep Your Facebook Profile Private

A hilarious worst-case scenario involving Facebook and a job interview. Contains some weird adult situations, which is why it’s so funny:

Found via Gizmodo.

This article also appears in The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.


Windows Phone 7 Montreal Bootcamp on Monday!

In case you hadn’t yet seen Windows Phone 7 in action, here’s a video that was shot recently:

I get a lot of questions about Windows Phone 7 development, and of these, the most often-asked one is “How do I get started building apps for Windows Phone?” My answer is always the same: take a guide or tutorial that suits you, learn how the example program works, and then start experimenting!


If you really want to dive into the world of Windows Phone development, you should check out DevTeach’s two-day intensive bootcamp hosted by Colin Melia, who’s presented at TechDays, wrote the Silverlight demo app that we used for the EnergizeIT tour and is one of our go-to guys for Windows Azure – simply put, the guy knows his stuff. If you’re looking to kick-start your WP7 development, there isn’t a course more hardcore than this one.


The first bootcamp takes place next week in Montreal at the Microsoft offices on Avenue McGill College. The registration fee is $999, but you can save $100 with the discount code WP7BOOTCAMP. Register today!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.