Code Snippets for Windows Store Apps

Code Snippets for Windows Store AppsIf you're writing (or plan to write) a Windows Store app, check out our Windows Store App snippets project!  In partnership with the Visual Studio team, we have created a collection of around 60 IntelliSense Code Snippets for common Windows Store app programming tasks. The snippets are available for Visual Basic, C#, C++, and JavaScript developers.

For more details, please see:

With the Windows Store now open for submissions, use these snippets to get a jump start on your project.

After installing, just right-click and select Insert Snippet, and select the snippet from the list. Then press Tab to jump between fields.  Here's an example:


Give them a try and let us know what you think!

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Pinball 2000 Software Update with Windows 7 x64


Warning: This is a pretty off-topic post about pinball, but maybe it’ll help someone searching for the information.

Backstory: My dad was a coin-op operator. I’m the son of a coin-op operator. As you might imagine, I have a just a tiny bit of love for video games and pinballs. When my dad passed away in 2008, I decided to keep my favorite pins from the route: Funhouse, Addams Family, Theatre of Magic, Tales of the Arabian Nights, and Revenge from Mars.

After sitting in storage for a couple of years, the software update sitting on Revenge from Mars would no longer checksum properly. The game was running fine, but obviously something was wrong. After lots of other work on the machine, it was time to update the firmware again to version 1.5.

Finding the software and ROM images was easy. Everything is available at Anyone can just grab the Pinball 2000 Update Manager and the appropriate software update for the machine to be updated. However, …

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Visual Studio Live! - Redmond 2012

imageI will be presenting a session at Visual Studio Live! in New York this August 6-10 hosted on the Microsoft Campus.  The conference is a full 5 day event and there’s still time to register!

T13 - Writing Asynchronous Code Using .NET 4.5 and C# 5.0
Date: Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Time: 2:30 PM – 3:45 PM 
Level: Introductory

A variety of new features were added to the .NET 4.5 Framework, including support for easily writing asynchronous code. This session will introduce the concepts of asynchronous programming, .NET Tasks, how to ensure your UI remains responsive, and how to do all of this properly in your own applications using the new async and await keywords. If you’re looking for ways to provide a better, smoother experience for your users, don’t miss this session!

Get more information on the conference at:

Hope to see you all there!

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TechEd North America 2012

I'm off to TechEd North America later this week where we'll be showing off the Project Detroit car and our BoxingBots project previously demonstrated at SXSW in March. 

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Dan Fernandez and I will also be giving a talk on Kinect goodness.  Here are the details:

Coding4Fun: Build Fun, Cool, Commercial Applications Using the Kinect for Windows SDK

Session Code: DEV330
Speaker(s): Brian Peek, Dan Fernandez
Tuesday, June 12 at 5:00 PM - 6:15 PM in S320A

Come to this must-see session to find out how you can use the Kinect for Windows SDK to build commercial applications! Learn how the RGB and depth cameras work, how to use and fine-tune skeletal tracking, how to read an audio stream from the Kinect microphone array and even how to send Kinect data over the network including to your Windows Phone

This same session will be given at TechEd Europe in two weeks, with Clint Rutkas playing the part of me.  I will not be at the Europe conference.

So, if you're attending …

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Assembla SVN With Local Backup

I recently moved my personal source control setup from a local SourceGear Vault server to a free, hosted SVN service from Assembla.  I wanted to have access to my source code while travelling without having to keep the server running at home, and Assembla provides users with up to 1GB of space and unlimited users absolutely free for private SVN hosting.

I wasn't looking to import my entire Vault database over to SVN, so manually creating new projects in Assembla was just fine.  I setup 3 different repositories:  one for personal projects, one for code related to sessions I give, and one scratch space that I can use to test things out and delete without issue.

My main concern in going to a hosted solution is ensuring I have a current backup of my repositories should something go wrong.  Assembla provides a manual backup option via their website, but I wanted something automated.  After some searching, I learned of the svncync command.  This command allows …

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