Tag Archive | Oracle ThinkQuest

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

A productive day

Today was a good day. It started with my first Quantitative methods for Computing Lecture with Dr. Li which was an introduction to Vectors and Matrices, two totally foreign concepts to me. However, I found them pretty easy to understand at the basic level at which we looked at them this morning.

After the QMfC lecture I had 3 hours of free time so I decided I would use it productively rather than go home and therefore I spent some time on my ACW1 and ACW2 for QMfC. ACW1 is a¬†mathematics¬†diagnostics test of a¬†piece¬†of software called Diagnosys (I see what they did there) — ¬†to pass the module we need a pass mark of at least 40% in it by the end of the first 11 weeks of the semester. Today I finally beat that with a mammoth 41% :P. After this I then submitted my ACW2 which is a serious of logic questions we have been set over the past 3 weeks, starting off simple and ending in some pretty complex theories. (I still not sure I fully understand Logical Validity if I’m honest, choosing the premises is hard) I hope to get over 60% in both ACW’s by the end of week 11. For the remainder of the 3 hours I continued work on my Windows Phone 7 Application for Oracles ThinkQuest Competition which is coming along nicely.

My next lecture of the day was Computer Systems with Dr. Breyshaw, this was all about using logic to perform arthritic, finite state machines and the manufacture of registers on a modern Central Processing Unit. Dr. Breyshaw also took my last lecture of the day which was Programming 1 (Algorithms) which taught us about HEAPS and using them to sort as well as another sorting method called KY Merge which is used to sort two sorted lists into one in an efficient manner.

Since the end of my University day I have spoken to my family on Skype, ¬†been¬†practising¬†mathematics with Jess’ help, registered to give blood and been working on my Windows Phone 7 Application for my Oracle ThinkQuest team. I have been having some difficulty in implementing a Database for which to hold data about the users purchases, however I hope to find out how to do this tomorrow at an event which is being hosted by Microsoft for University of Hull Computer Scientists interested in Windows Phone 7 Application Development, such as myself. Exciting Stuff.¬†I shall post about how that goes tomorrow.

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