Categories
Microsoft Student Partner Modern Experience Development

An ‘Appy Christmas at Modern Jago

One of the many things I love about Modern Jago is its huge TV, which has an XBOX connected, with Kinect

My apologies for a total lack of posts since Christmas. I’ve been busy with all sorts, but mainly revision for my exams. Normal service will now be resumed ūüôā

Near the end of¬†November¬†I read about ‘Appy Christmas — an event set up by Microsoft to encourage the development of Windows 8 applications over the festive period — on the Microsoft UK Students Blog.

I immediately thought it could be good fun and posted about it on the University of Hull Microsoft User Group hoping that some of my fellow Hullians would join me on the trip down to Modern Jago, Shoreditch , London. It turns out that in the end 25% of the attendees were from The University of Hull, a fantastic turn out.

The two day event started for me and the two Hullians I was travelling with, Rob and James, went to catch our train at half 10 on Monday from the Hull¬†Paragon¬†Interchange¬†station, just 2 and a half hours later we were at Kings Cross and boarding our Circle Line tube train to Liverpool Street — 10 minutes after alighting at Liverpool Street we’d finished the final walking part of the journey and were at Modern Jago.

This was the second time I’ve been to Jago and I really like it there, its a blend of Modern and Old that works really well, much like Windows 8 I guess Microsoft would say ;).

Over the course of the Weekend I ported my Solar System Simulation coursework for 2D Graphics to WinJS, improved the UI and submitted it to the store — quick work! You can read all about that application here. Rob developed a C# and XAML Modern UI app port of his Cheap Ass Gamer Windows Phone 7 application, which is absolutely beautifully designed and you should¬†definitely¬†check out by clicking here!

Other than application development  a lot of fun was had out on the town with Phil Cross, Ben Nunney and my fellow Microsoft fans and a heck of a lot of pizza was consumed. Overall we produced over 30 apps in two days, good going! No wonder the Windows Store is the fastest growing app store at the moment. Porting applications is almost effortless, bar changing the UI for the big screen.

Danny

Categories
Programming University

2D Graphics Coursework – Solar System Simulation now on Windows 8

Before Christmas I submitted my Assessed Coursework for my 2D Graphics and User Interface Design module, a ¬†2D Orrery (or Solar System Simulation in¬†laymen¬†terms) using the HTML 5 Canvas Tag and associated JavaScript API’s. I think I did pretty well, as I implemented every feature outlined by the specification to, what I feel, was a high standard.

6 days after the hand in date my friends Rob, James and I went to ‘Appy Christmas, an event set up by Microsoft to encourage the development of Windows 8 app in the holiday period. Whilst there I ported my application from a browser based webpage to a fully featured WinJS Windows 8 application. When I told my lecturer, Dr. David Parker about it he seemed interested in the ease of the porting¬†experience, so I shall outline it here.

  • I added all my “Business Code” and classes by just adding the .js files to the solution
  • I edited the HTML page to make it fit better, as scrolling pages don’t look great in apps — all of the Windows 8 style came for free with no work

And that was it! At this point the application worked, however it wasn’t very touch friendly and the Koch Snowflake fractal algorithm would lag on some lower powered arm devices, including the Microsoft Surface RT, so I made the following enhancements

  • Lowered the amount of iterations my fractal function went through, lowering the computational power required
  • Added an “App Bar” to hold buttons which controlled all of the functions — the coursework spec asked that all functions were called using keyboard input, so this made it much more usable on a touch screen
  • Added support for the share charm. When you press it a bitmap image is created from the canvas and sent to whatever application you chose.

If you want to play with the application now, you can do so by downloading it from the Windows store here.

Below you can see some screenshots of the application in action.

I hope you enjoy using the solar system.

Danny