Connect to a Bluetooth Serial Device with Xamarin.Android

I have been exploring the Xamarin tools recently and decided to try my hand at connecting some Bluetooth hardware to Android for a project that will be released soon. I have learned quite a bit about Bluetooth on Android and decided to write up a short description on how to connect to a Bluetooth serial device via RFCOMM/SPP.

First, grab an instance of the default BluetoothAdapter on the Android device and determine if it is enabled:

BluetoothAdapter adapter = BluetoothAdapter.DefaultAdapter;  
if(adapter == null)  
    throw new Exception("No Bluetooth adapter found.");

if(!adapter.IsEnabled)  
    throw new Exception("Bluetooth adapter is not enabled.");

Next, get an instance of the BluetoothDevice representing the physical device you’re connecting to. You can get a list of currently paired

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Visual Studio Live! – Orlando 2013

Update: Make that 3 sessions!

imageI will be presenting 3 sessions at Visual Studio Live! in Orlando this November 18-22.  The conference is a full 5 day event and there’s still time to register and save some cash!  For this event, I’ll be presenting:

VST01 What's New in Windows 8.1 for Developers
Date:
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Time: 9:30 am – 10:45 am
Level: Introductory

Windows 8.1 contains thousands of new APIs which can make your application even better. In this session, you will get an overview of what’s new to developers in Windows 8.1, and how to use these features to make your apps even better. From new XAML controls to PDF support to text-to-speech,

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Pinball 2000 Software Update with Windows 7 x64

pb2k

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

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HP TouchSmart 420t Recovery Discs + Software

imageMy mom desperately needed a new computer (she's still running XP on a very old Dell), so I decided to pick up one of HP's new TouchSmart 420t machines for her, thinking it'll also be a great machine for Windows 8 when it arrives.

HP, in their infinite wisdom, decided that, among other annoyances, one can only create a single set of recovery media from the included Recovery Media Creation application.  Once you make the set, that's it.  If you lose the media, or if you want to make a second set on USB instead of DVDs, you're out of luck, short of ordering the media from HP for a price.

If you are stuck in this situation, there is an easy fix,

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Kinect for Windows SDK is here!

image

Hooray!  I can finally talk about this!  As I've alluded to previously, I had a hand (one of many) in the managed portion of the SDK and what was originally shown at MIX. Since then the SDK has changed a bit but it's finally ready to go!

The Kinect for Windows SDK is now available for download on the Microsoft Research site.  We have also launched several samples over at Coding4Fun that you can begin using immediately:

Coding4Fun Kinect Toolkit

You definitely want to download this one when you get started.  This toolkit contains a variety of extension methods and controls to make using the Kinect for Windows SDK even easier to use.  Some of my code appears in

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