Facebook cool design tools and resources

I just came across the Facebook design site that has an interesting Tools and Resources section offering free device images.  Nice!

Microsoft Regional Directors new Web site

it's been a long time coming but the Microsoft Regional Directors Program new Web site is finally online.  As a bonus, the URL is super cool! rd.microsoft.com

Microsoft Grove IoT Starter Kit: Available now in Canada!

Good news!  The Microsoft Grove IoT Starter Kit is now available in Canada from the Microsoft Store for $150 CDN with free shipping.  Previously, you had to order it directly from Seeed in China for $150 USD + shipping.

[EDIT 2016/10/15] I ordered the kit on the 201610/12, received it on the 2016/10/14 and now it's no longer listed on the Microsoft Store.  Go figure!

Azure IoT Suite - Reducing costs demoing the Remote Monitoring Solution

I have presented the Azure IoT Suite Remote Monitoring solution at user groups a few times and at each occasion, I try to create the solution just before the talk and delete it right after because this thing eats more Azure credits than a Kardashian on a shopping spree in Beverly Hills!  The reason it cost so much to run is that it use high scale instances of IoT Hub and App Service and for demos, that's not really needed.  The solution is quite simple, scale down these services!

In the portal, locate the resource group associated with the Remote Monitoring solution and services you want to scale down:

Scale the IoT Hub service from S2 to S1: 

Next, scale down both App Service plans to B1:

And finally, scale both App Service plans from 2 instances to 1:

That's it!  You may also want to stop the simulated devices from sending messages when not needed.

Visual Studio Talk Show - Microsoft Bot Framework et les interfaces conversationnelles

Nous discutons avec Alexandre Brisebois du Microsoft Bot Framework et des interfaces conversationnelles. Les interfaces conversationnelles permettent à un utilisateur d’interagir avec un ordinateur en lui donnant l'impression de dialoguer avec une personne réelle.

Alexandre Brisebois est un professionnel des solutions technique chez Microsoft ou il fournit des conseils techniques et d'architecture sur Microsoft Azure. Passionné par le Web et l’infonuagique, il explore les technologies Microsoft depuis 2002. Sa curiosité pour les nouvelles technologies, accompagnée d’un besoin immense de partager de nouvelle découverte, lui ont permis de travailler avec des compagnies comme Pratt & Whitney Canada, CGI et Air France. Nous vous invitons à le suivre via twitter (@Brisebois) ou son blog http://alexandrebrisebois.wordpress.com/


Xamarin Dev Days - Connected & Disconnected Apps with Azure Mobile Apps - Slide Deck

Here's the slide deck for my Azure Mobile Apps presentation at Xamarin Dev Days Montreal that took place on September 24th, 2016. 


NativeScript Developer Day Workshop

The good folks at Telerik/Progress have made available on GitHub the training material that they used for their 1-day workshop at NativeScript Developer Day 2016.


Take an hour to watch this thought provoking talk by Hadi Hariri about the silver bullet myth and churn in our industry:

And if you want more, listen to Uncle Bob on DotNetRocks.

Microsoft IoT Grove Kit (Azure Certified)

If you're interested in getting started with IoT, here's an interesting new kit from Seeed: the Microsoft IoT Grove Kit.

Note that this kit DOES NOT include the Raspberry Pi board. You have to purchase it separately.  Also, I haven't used it personally.

Here's the product description:

Building an IoT project on your Raspberry Pi has never been an easy task for many developers. This is due to the messy hardware connections involved, and complicated software programming. Seeed and Microsoft have worked together to alleviate some of these challenges by introducing the Microsoft IoT Grove Kit.

The GrovePi+ cape included in the kit is fully compatible with your Raspberry Pi 3 and Raspberry Pi 2 that both run Windows 10 IoT Core. With the easy-to-use Grove system, you are now able to connect up to 15 Grove modules to your Raspberry Pi simply through the Grove interfaces on the GrovePi+.

In addition to the high performance sensors and actuators, the kit contains a 5 inch HDMI Display and a RGB LCD with a backlight. The Microsoft IoT Grove Kit is a powerful platform on which to begin your exploration on the Internet of Things.

In other words, the kit uses the Grove system and comes with a board called the GrovePi+ that connects to a RaspberryPi.  From there, you connect the sensors to the GrovePi+ with the provided cables.

The kit includes a 800x480 touchscreen that you connect with and HDMI cable.  A USB cable is needed for the touch capabilities.

There's a C# driver library available on Github and as a Nuget package.  Here's the code reading from the temperature sensor and displaying the info on the LCD display:

using GrovePi;
using GrovePi.Sensors;

var tmp = DeviceFactory.Build.TemperatureAndHumiditySensor(Pin.DigitalPin3, Model.Dht11).TemperatureInCelsius();
var temperature = "temp: " + tmp.ToString("F2") + "C";
DeviceFactory.Build.RgbLcdDisplay().SetText(temperature).SetBacklightRgb(0, 255, 255);

If you're starting with Windows Core IoT development, you may want to download issue 48 of the free MagPi Magazine that has tons of Windows 10 Core IoT content.

Now for the "Azure Certified" part, I have absolutely no clue on why this kit is certified to work with Azure.

UWP Community Toolkit 1.0

Microsoft announced a cool new open-source toolkit for UWP apps called the UWP Community Toolkit.  The toolkit includes helper functions, custom controls and app services.  There's even a sample app that you can install to easily preview the toolkit capabilities.

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