Archive | Oracle ThinkQuest RSS for this section

Maths & Windows Phone Development

(Showing off a few of the UI enhancments you can achieve using the Silverlight Toolbox — Most of which I think should be native to Windows Phone…)

Today wasn’t nearly as productive as yesterday, but I still think that I got quite a lot done in the end. I started my day off by improving my score of 41% in my ACW1 for Quantitative Methods for Computing to 56% — quite a good boost after just one extra night of revision I think. Its also worth noting that I’ve more than doubled my original score of 27% in under a month. ūüôā

After this I wrote up notes on the subject of Software Infringement for IT and Professionalism and wrote up notes on the subject of Files and File Systems for Computer Systems, both of which are simple concepts to understand.

Today was also the start of our group “Micro-Project” which is worth 40% of our module grade for Computer Systems. My group has to do a 10 – 15 minute presentation on the Fetch Cycle. According to my Computer Science Operating Systems Lecturer we need to:

The fetch-cycle is a vital concept.  Why?  Illustrate your project presentation including a discussion of registers, cache memory (at various levels), RAM, and other memory options.

Though it may sound complicated I think this will actually be quite a simple topic to cover. The fetch cycle is simply the amount of time it takes for data to get to the CPU from the memory it is in — the shorter the better.

After attempting (and failing) to find any of my group colleges on Facebook I moved on to writing some more code for my Oracle ThinkQuest team, through which I stumpled across the single best resource for Windows Phone 7¬†I¬†have found to date — The Silverlight Toolkit — this¬†tool kit¬†allows custom user interface¬†elements¬†such as the date picker and toggle switch you can see above in my application. These UI elements are used heavily in the¬†Microsoft¬†apps which come with Windows Phone, so it is a surprise to me that they are not included by default in visual studios toolbox, but seen as they’re not if you develop for Windows Phone you should¬†definitely download and use the toolkit.

Whilst i found this what I was actually doing was attempting to get a local database to work in my application… still no luck there however ūüė¶ Maybe tomorrow ill work it out! ūüôā

Thats all for now
Danny

750 Blog views & more Windows Phone 7 Development

First of all a bit think you to everybody for actually reading my Blog! ¬†I’ve just looked at my admin panel and I have over 750 views! Which is around 750 more than I expected when I started writing, each view is appreciated!

Today I had Quantitive Methods for Computing to start the day which was all about Logic — which so far I have found to be really easy, its basically programming without a computer.

Logic is basically programming without a computer

After that I had Computer Systems Operating Systems which was as fast paced as usual — i.e. too fast. But it is actually pretty interested, today was all about concurrency.

Concurrency is when you have multiple processes interacting with each other and using the same resources

Later in the day I had a Quantitive Methods for Computing tutorial to go over the lecture material, this too was rather simple. Finally to round my day off I had my favourite module — programming — which for me is the reason I like computer science, today’s lecture was all about “advanced methods” much of which I already knew from the C# Yellow Book, but it was a nice recap — particularly on the out and ref keywords.

After the lecture my Oracle ThinkQuest team and I caught up with Rob Miles and showed him our prototype Windows Phone 7 app (which I have been programming over the weekend) and asked him to register us to ThinkQuest, Rob seemed pretty impressed, which can’t be a bad thing!

Above you can see the main pivot page of the Application on the Windows Phone 7 emulator, with the C# code for that page in the background in Visual Studio 2011 Express for Windows Phone 7.

I don’t want to say too much about the application online until we’ve finished but I will write a little review of the Windows Phone 7 Application Design and Devlopement Process (from the eyes of a newbie)

Windows Phone 7 Application Design and Development Review

I guess the first thing to say about WP7 D&D is that it is by far the smoothest development process I personally have ever used. Controls such as buttons and text boxes are simply to put onto a page using the simple drag and drop mechanisms Visual Studio Visual C# Developers are used to, and adding functionality (via events) is as easy as a double click on any button.

This ease of development for User Interfaces allows you to spend more time on the functionality of your application, which after all is the point for it to exist!

99.9% of what I have experienced with the Visual Studio IDE, Windows Phone 7 Emulator and XAML User interface design method has been great, however there are a few things which I would like to see changed:

  • Styling list boxes is incredibly frustrating
  • Creating some sort of tile based UI is even more annoying.
  • Expression Blend is simple impossible to understand
  • Its annoying debugging on a device requires Zune to be open
  • It needs to be easier to make live tiles
  • There is no good resource online to learn how to use MS SQL CE on WP7, hopefully this will change soon
That is all for now.
Thanks for reading,
Danny

Weekend Roundup

This weekend has been very relaxing, which has made a nice change in pace from the last few busy, busy weeks. Friday night I went to the Machine Head (some metal band) launch party at Pozition in Hull. It was a ¬†bit different to what I would go to, it being a metal night but it was OK, it was nice to bump into a friend I’d made at the Special gig last Sunday and discuss the show!

Saturday I had a massive and —¬†I¬†feel — well deserve lie in. After which I started work on Rob Miles’ Blue Book. The book walks though Windows Phone 7 Application programming and after a short time tinkering had turned into a start on the Oracle ThinkQuest app. You can see a blurry sneak peak of it above.

Today I continued programming for the app with plenty of time speaking to Jess before she leaves for Paris tomorrow.

To be honest there isn’t much to say about this weekend because no much happened, which I think has been a good thing!

Thanks for Reading,
Danny

Oracle ThinkQuest

Today was pretty good, and set me off on hopefully a very fruitful project!

The day started as most days do for me, with a mad rush to catch the bus to get to my first period lecture on time, which today was an IT and Professionalism Module Test, unfortunately that proved to be a waste of time as a design fault in the IT system (somewhat ironically…) stopped us from being able to log into the test page we needed on eBridge, so after 30 minutes of twiddling our thumbs the test was abandoned.

I then had an hours wait till an entertaining¬†programming¬†lecture with Rob Miles, followed by a Operating Systems lectures, followed by IT and professionalism — a busy 3 hour stretch.

After another hours wait in Sanctuary (the Hull Student Union bar) I headed to meeting room 4 of Student House for a seminar provided by the Oracle Education Foundation. Oracle is a huge multinational software company which owns a 42% share of the database market around the world. It is estimated that 80% of working people will have used at least 1 Oracle product today, a massive figure!

I don’t usually look favourably upon Oracle for the issues that have¬†occurred¬†with MySQL since Oracle aquired MySQL AB,¬†however¬†this seminar was absolutely fantastic and gave great insight into the technology sector job market and globalisation as a whole. Essentially due to previously undeveloped countries, such as¬†India, suddenly becoming big in the¬†technology¬†coupled with remote employment (people working from home, anywhere in the world, with some “teams” spanning multiple continents) the amount of people applying for each Computer Science role has increased, meaning more competition — because of this each of us has to have as strong a list of skills and CV as possible.

Oracle therefore offer a competition to allow people to¬†acquire¬†and hone their skills and add to their CV, its called ThinkQuest as you may have assumed from the title. The outline of the competition is that you have a team of 1 – 6 as well as an adult (usually lecturer) team leader to guide you and you outline an issue that you feel needs solving, e.g. “children’s¬†rights” and then¬†develop¬†a solution (either an application or website). The team who last year chose “children’s¬†rights” as an issue created a website and games to raise¬†awareness¬†of the issue and came in second place.

Its a competition so it has prizes! These include

  • Trips to San¬†Francisco¬†to meet top Oracle Developers for a week
  • Laptops
  • Money for your uni
  • Chance to apply for a PAID internship
Pretty good!
Tonight I arranged a team by sending a Facebook message to some of my fellow CS students and we asked Rob Miles to be our team leader, so hopefully I’m on my way to a cool prize! Even if it doesn’t work out that way it’ll be an awesome experiance to add to the CV.
Thanks for Reading
Danny