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Douglas Ching's Blog (21)

Free Developer Tools on Windows

It used to be that to develop with Microsoft technologies developers would have to pay up for development tools if they wanted the best experience.  These days with all the options developers have, getting someone to pay for tools can be difficult.

Recently I wiped of one of my development machines and realized this is no longer the case while installing various tools.  

It's well known that Microsoft has been moving towards open sourcing many of their projects like…


Added by Douglas Ching on August 13, 2015 at 5:30pm — 1 Comment

JavaScript Game Engines

Recently I’ve been interested in games created using JavaScript.  JavaScript is everywhere and works with a lot of devices and platforms including mobile devices that run on iOS, Android, Windows and FirefoxOS. On the web seems that games using HTML and JavaScript have started to replace those using older technologies like Flash.  Here is a list of JavaScript libraries that I have seen recommended for creating games. To compile this list I looked at libraries that are free,…


Added by Douglas Ching on June 17, 2015 at 11:52am — 1 Comment

A Look at Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 10061

In my last blog post I wrote about Windows 10 preview for phones. Yesterday Microsoft released the latest technical preview for Windows 10 on desktops, build 10061. With the rumored end of July release date of Windows 10 here is a look at where Windows 10 is today.  The current build is the most refined one yet, but is still very buggy and hopefully…


Added by Douglas Ching on April 23, 2015 at 12:50pm — 3 Comments

Windows Phone 10 Tech Preview and Experience Using Windows Phone for 2 Years

Nearly 2 years ago I blogged about my experiences using Windows Phone for 6 months. I’m back to update my impression of Windows Phone as a whole and also blog about Windows 10 for phones.  Windows Phone has gone through several updates and in early February 2015 Microsoft released the first Tech Preview for Windows 10 on…


Added by Douglas Ching on March 2, 2015 at 5:30am — No Comments

Programming for Kids

One thing I noticed in 2014 was an overall push to “learn to code”. Today computers are everywhere and we are only getting more reliant on them every day. It makes sense that more people and kids in particular are being exposed to programming. Here are some resources that I have found very easy to set up if you want to teach your kids about programming. Since I mainly use Windows this will be mainly a Windows centric post.  Also because this is a list of resources for kids I am…


Added by Douglas Ching on January 4, 2015 at 1:05pm — 7 Comments

10 of My Debugging Tricks

Being able to solve problems and fix bugs is probably high on the list of things that make a programmer a good programmer.   These days programming is assisted with many tools and techniques.  Stepping through code using advanced IDEs and debuggers find many issues before they become issues.  Intellisense, code completion and syntax highlighting also reduce bugs before they can become bugs.  Exception handling and error logging help a lot when issues occur in programs.  Testing…


Added by Douglas Ching on November 9, 2014 at 12:06am — 4 Comments

ASP.NET vNext - Some of the Things I Look Forward To

I like to try to keep up with new technologies.  Being a developer who has used Microsoft development tools all my career I’m always interested in seeing what is coming next.  Recently Microsoft unveiled ASP.NET vNext and it seems to be their most ambitious version of ASP.NET yet.


Here are some of the things I’m looking forward to in ASP.NET vNext


Build Not…


Added by Douglas Ching on September 4, 2014 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

Observing Tech in Japan

Recently I visited Japan.  The last time I visited was in 2010.  Japan has always been known for it’s electronics and technology so I was looking forward to seeing how it’s changed in four years and how it differs from the U.S.  These are just my personal observations so they may not be indicative of actual trends or market share figures.



Added by Douglas Ching on July 9, 2014 at 11:00am — 6 Comments

Windows App Studio Review

Create apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 without coding.

The biggest issue facing Windows and Windows Phone is the relative scarcity of apps compared to Android and iOS.  Microsoft faces an uphill battle in attempting to sway companies and mobile developers into building apps for Windows Phone.  

One of the offerings created to help close this gap is called App Studio.  App Studio was first released last…


Added by Douglas Ching on May 16, 2014 at 9:16am — 1 Comment

Adobe Creative Cloud Experience - Alternatives?

About a year ago Adobe announced that it would be ending their Creative Suite offering, rebranding their applications under the Creative Cloud. Customers would no longer be able to pay once for most of the main Adobe software and use it forever.  Instead they now need to pay monthly and will no longer be able to use the software if they stop paying.  I don’t use Adobe software extensively, but there are times when I need to so I decided to try it out for a year using their…


Added by Douglas Ching on March 17, 2014 at 11:00am — 3 Comments

Happy Birthday Mac and Are Tablets the Future?

The Mac turned 30 today.  Happy Birthday, Mac!  Apple has been through ups and downs in those 30 years, but now they are one of the most successful companies in the world.  That’s thanks in large part to the success of their iPods, iPhones and iPads, but the Mac remains a mainstay of Apple’s product line.

For years analysts have predicted that…


Added by Douglas Ching on January 24, 2014 at 11:30am — 2 Comments

Get a Cheap Smartphone

Do you have a smartphone?  Chances are you do.  Whether it is an iPhone, an Android phone or any one of the many other smartphones out there it is clear that the age of the feature phone (dumbphone) is past.  This year, for the first time, smartphone sales have exceeded dumbphone sales worldwide.

The explosion of smartphones is due to the steady march of technology getting better and lowering costs.  Smartphones have dropped in cost from $600+ in the early 2000’s…


Added by Douglas Ching on November 27, 2013 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment

Evolving Mobile Technology

Sometimes it seems like there is a new mobile phone or device announced every day.  It’s an exciting time when the things we could only dream about 15 years ago are becoming reality. What do we have to look forward to in the next few years and beyond?

Near Field Communication (NFC)

The technology allows interaction between devices and even unpowered chips or tags.  It’s already used in a…


Added by Douglas Ching on September 27, 2013 at 2:00pm — 2 Comments

Making a Windows 8 Store App with HTML, CSS and Javascript

With Windows 8 Microsoft added the ability for developers to create Windows 8 store apps using HTML, CSS and Javascript.  Here is a tour walking through creating a simple Windows 8 app…


Added by Douglas Ching on July 19, 2013 at 1:36pm — No Comments

My Experiences with Windows Phone 8

Last winter I bought a Lumia 920 which runs Windows Phone 8.  Windows Phone 8 is a large overhaul of Windows Phone 7 because now it uses the same kernel as Windows 8.  It also added support for better hardware and a more flexible development framework. Previously I have used the original iPhone, the iPhone 4 and the Galaxy Nexus Google Android phone. I have never seen anyone with a Windows Phone and I thought it looked neat so I decided to try it…


Added by Douglas Ching on May 10, 2013 at 11:36am — 1 Comment

Trying out Xamarin Studio 2.0 Starter Edition

Trying out Xamarin Studio 2.0 Starter Edition

Xamarin Studio is an IDE that allows developers to create iOS, Android and Mac apps using C#.  Recently Xamarin released Xamarin Studio 2.0 and along with a free Starter edition.  While the Starter edition is very limited it allows developers to see what Xamarin Studio is like and how writing Android apps using C# works.  I was hoping to create an iOS app, but it turns out a Mac is still required in order to write iOS apps even…


Added by Douglas Ching on March 8, 2013 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

Ubuntu for Phones

Today Canonical officially announced Ubuntu for phones  Usually a new phone OS announcement is not much to get excited about, but Ubuntu’s entry has been anticipated for years.  I am interested in this because Canonical’s Ubuntu is the most widely adopted and supported Linux distribution and they are promising a level of convergence never seen before.  Eventually Ubuntu will be able to run the same OS on…


Added by Douglas Ching on January 2, 2013 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Why TypeScript?

A few weeks ago Microsoft released a preview for TypeScript.  What is TypeScript and why would you use it?  Initially TypeScript may look very similar in function to CoffeeScript or Dart.  These are two technologies TypeScript often gets compared to because all three can be used to generate JavaScript.…


Added by Douglas Ching on October 22, 2012 at 11:00am — 5 Comments

Web Site Security Tips

Web Site Security Tips

When developing web sites it’s a good practice to address security from the start.  Here are some basic security tips that I find many sites overlook.

  1. Use different passwords for your server, database, FTP and other logins.  I am often surprised to find many sites that use the same admin password for all their systems or use the same default password without forcing a password…

Added by Douglas Ching on July 15, 2012 at 10:30pm — 5 Comments

10 Reasons to Write a Native Mobile App

In recent years smartphones have become part of many people's daily lives.  They are used to communicate, stay updated, take photos, listen to music and entertain us with hundreds of thousands of apps. People carry their cellphones around with them wherever they go.  They wake up with them, eat with them and go to bed with them.  

For companies this presents another opportunity to market and reach out to customers.  If you or your company is considering a mobile presence there are…


Added by Douglas Ching on May 14, 2012 at 10:27am — 5 Comments


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