mha.dk

Random thoughts of wisdom - the personal blog of Michael Holm Andersen

Need to install a new PC with Windows 10?

If you need to install or reinstall Windows 10, you can use the Windows 10 media creation tool to either burn a DVD or create an ISO file.

This tool will download Windows 10 and will work on PC’s running Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 – if you prefer to do a “clean install” of Windows 10 on your PC, instead of upgrading your existing Windows 7 or 8.1 to Windows 10, this tool is your new best friend!

The tool is available in both 32 and 64-bit versions and can be download here:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

dummytext.in is now live!

Kim Jensen have released the first version of his new awesome text placeholder service as he writes on the site:

DummyText.in is a super simple, free service that automatically adds placeholder text into your HTML templates, mockups, or websites during development. It's practically the LoremPixel or PlaceKitten equivalent for text content.

Kim and I was attending TRSAC 2014, each working on seperate web-development projects, and I needed some ”lorem ipsum” text for my site, and complained to Kim (who is THE best JavaScript developer I know!) about why anyone have not created a ”lorem ipsum” text generator based on JavaScript which injected text on-the-fly using client-side JavaScript, and hence not polluting the HTML markup – Kim, being the JS guru he is, quickly build the first prototype and we discussed and tested how a service like this should work. And now a couple of months late – as kind of a cool christmas gift to all web developer around the world! – he has just released the first version!

I for one is very thankful for this awesome gift – be sure to check it out at http://dummytext.in  .. and a merry Chrismas to all.

New (free) ebooks on Microsoft Virtual Academy

Interested in learning about Windows Server 2012, Building Cloud Apps using Microsoft Azure, Windows 8.1, creating applications using Xamarin.Forms, Programming Windows Store Apps … or more-or-less any other topic related to the Microsoft platform? – take a look at all the free books from Microsoft Press:

http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/ebooks

Most titles are available in PDF, Kindle and ePub format – really nice when you own a Kindle Smiley

Lenovo Carbon X1 (2. generation) and PrtScn key

This may seem a bit “off topic”, but after having read numerous articles and blog posts about the Lenovo Carbon X1 (2. generation) and everyone is complaining about the missing PrtScn key on the keyboard .. I just wanted to let all my fellow Carbon X1 owners know, that if you press (and hold) the Fn key + T key this will trigger a “PrtScn” key press!  (and in my case launch the Greenshot screen capture utility).

2014-10-11 17_04_46-XnView - [_ 20141011_170119.jpg]

Other useful Fn shortcuts include:

  • Fn + I = Insert toogle
  • Fn + S = Capture entire screen
  • Fn + B = Break
  • Fn + P = Pause
  • Fn + S = SysRq
  • Fn + K = ScrLk
  • Fn + T = Prt Scrn
  • Fn + H = Home
  • Fn + E = End
  • Fn + 4 = Sleep
  •  

Anyway.. quick post – and if you’re from Denmark (and can live without the æøå keys on your keyboard!), you can find cheaper (not cheap!) Lenovo Carbon X1’s on ebay.co.uk

It’s pretty safe to use CSS3 on your website!

Today most browsers support CSS3 / HTML5 (..even though the biggest limiting factor of course still is – older – versions of Internet Explorer!)

And with the vast array of online CSS3 generators there really is no excuse for still using PNG and other old techniques to achieve dropshadows, rounded corners, gradients etc.

In part due to the CSS vendor prefixes (or CSS browser prefixes) it’s a bit of a hazzle to create the CSS for using many of the CSS3 features manually – If you’re not familiar with browser prefixes, they are used to add new features, that may not be part of a formal specification, and to implement features in a specification that hasn’t been finalized. The CSS browser prefixes are:

  • Android: -webkit-
  • Chrome: -webkit-
  • Firefox: -moz-
  • Internet Explorer: -ms-
  • iOS: -webkit-
  • Opera: -o-
  • Safari: -webkit-

 

So in order to encourage the use of CSS3 – Here’s a list of my favorite CSS3 online tools:

2014-10-03 14_40_53-Online CSS3 Code Generator With a Simple Graphical Interface - EnjoyCSS

enjoycss.com is an advanced CSS3 generator which is capable of creating dropshadows, rounded corners, gradients, animations and much more – furthermore it contains a gallery which contains a variety of pre-defined buttons, text inputs etc.

 

2014-10-03 14_43_47-CSS3 Generator

css3generator.com was created by Randy Jensen and can also create dropshadows, rounded corners, gradients and animations – the interface is a bit more “rough” than e.g. EnjoyCSS, however it’s still pretty capable.

 

2014-10-03 14_48_36-CSS Animation _ CSS 3.0 Animation _ Animation _ Animation Generator

css3maker.com is pretty cool! – It supports most CSS3 features including simple animation. Furthermore it shows Browser Compatibility for each feature etc.

 

2014-10-03 14_47_13-Ultimate CSS Gradient Generator - ColorZilla.com

Do you need gradients? Take a look at colorzilla.com/gradient-editor which is “A powerful Photoshop-like CSS gradient editor” – it handles both radial and diagonal linear gradients, and the new version 4 even support multi-stop gradients for IE9 (using SVG). Awesome!

 

2014-10-03 14_50_16-Ceaser - CSS Easing Animation Tool - Matthew Lein

Ceaser is a CSS Easing Animation Tool and my favorite for creating “ease-in .. ease-out” animation, mostly due to the fact that it supports the classic Penner equations known from Flash and jQuery (which is waaay better than the standard “ease-in” / “ease-out”) – and the bezier editor is just awesome!

If you’re worried about which CSS3 properties are supported in which browser – take a look at the CSS3 Browser Support Reference – it’s updated and tested regularly with all major browsers.

 

2014-10-03 15_00_25-Modernizr_ the feature detection library for HTML5_CSS3 Talking about CSS3 support. A useful JavaScript tool for implementing CSS3 fallbacks is Modernizr. For anyone working with CSS3 on a production website it’s essential.
Modernizr enables you to use CSS3 for properties where it is supported, and to provide sensible alternatives where it is not! – really cool and worth using.

 

2014-10-03 15_01_15-CSS3 PIE_ CSS3 decorations for IE

As they write on the website: “PIE makes Internet Explorer 6-9 capable of rendering several of the most useful CSS3 decoration features.”

In orher words: It can save you the hassle of having to use JavaScript hacks to achieve certain effects in IE.

 

So there you have it! – some of my favorite online CSS3 tools .. now go tweak those gradients! Smiley

Peger op Do you have any tips or advice about CSS3 or some cool tool which should be on the list? Leave a comment and share your recommendations!

Composite C1 - THE best open source .NET CMS?

I’m in the process of making a small website for a customer and after KimJ have recommended Composite C1 several times, I figured it was time to give it a go!

Composite C1 was originally a commercial CMS (develop by Danes), however this changed September 2010 where it became free and open source, offered under the Mozilla Public License. Composite C1 have a lot going for it – I’ve been playing around with the example sites for a few days, and already I can conclude:

  • The “backend” is really nice and fast.
  • Composite C1 is well-structured.
  • The documentation is WAY better than most other .NET CMS systems (yes, Umbraco – I’m looking at you!!)
  • When used together with Visual Studio is rocks! - Code files, configurations and styling are all on disk aka. you get full Intellisense, full debug support, etc.
  • .. and best of all: no “DynamicNode” or similar stuff (which typically means no intellisense, bad syntax highlighting, weird errors and warnings! - which is often the case with e.g. Umbraco and embedded macro scripts).

2014-09-29 15_45_36-C1_ localhost.opencphmp - Opera
A screenshot of the Composite C1 user interface.

Apart from Composite C1 there are a number of other open source CMS systems based on the .NET platform – you might take a look at these:

  • DNN – formerly called “DotNetNuke”, is the most well known and popular .NET CMS with more than 750.000 sites worldwide. It's very stable and there's a huge amount of add-ons and a large community. Grap the bits from CodePlex if you want to check it out!
  • Umbraco – like Composite C1 this CMS is also from Denmark and power more than 250.000 sites worldwide (e.g. the http://www.asp.net/ site is using Umbraco).The CMS can be installed either using the Microsoft Web Platform Installer or from our.umbraco.org
  • Orchard – the Orchard CMS is community developed, but backed by full-time developers from Microsoft. The iead behind Orchard is to create a repository of ASP.NET components that are versatile and reusable, which is also the reason why this CMS lacks some of the features  you'd expect in a more robust CMS.
  • mojoPortal – as defined on the website: “You can think of mojoPortal as a Starter Kit for Advanced ASP.NET Web Sites and Portals” – mojoPortal is a good standalone CMS or website framework which include blogs, photo galleries, chat, newsletters, pools, forums, and much more.

Other CMS systems worth mentioning are: Kentico - Sitefinity (from Telerik) – koobooprontoN2 CMS

I will be posting “follow-up” articles about C1 as the above mentioned website is being developed – so stay tuned…

Peger op Do you have any tips or advice about open source CMS systems for the .NET platform? Leave a comment and share your recommendations!

New theme and more content!

I finally found the time to upgrade my blog to the most current version of BlogEngine.NET

Old to New design

As you can see I also switched to a new design in the process - and I have decided to change a few things around here:

  • I will begin publishing a newsletter (signup form is coming very soon!) – I’m planning on twice a month, but time will tell… UPDATE: It’s now possible to sign-up!
  • I have “reactivated” my Twitter account (been a member since 2009 but never actually been using it much – this will change!)
  • I will write at least one blog post per week! (probably more!)
  • I have enabled the commets system once again (as the new version have better spam-comments capabilities),so feel free to write comments and I will respond to any questions etc.

The focus of the blog will not change much – I will still write about C#, ASP.NET, Web development tools and Windows utilities in general

Hope to see you all on the mailing list (just need to read up on the mailchimp stuff)

Enjoy! :-)

Awesome free book site!

Just talked to Kim (thank you so much for the link!) on Skype and he mentioned a very cool link:

http://it-ebooks.info/

The site (as seen below) contains tons of free e-books about programming and web technologies:

2014-09-12 10_27_20-IT eBooks - Free Download - Big Library

If you’re into C# – Be sure to check out this free book: Ultra-Fast ASP.NET 4.5, 2nd Edition and if you’re looking for C# – check out this one

Windows Phone development

As a .NET developer it’s kind of a “no-brainer” to start looking at Windows Phone development .. so that’s exactly what I’m doing! ;-)

I talked to one of my student (thanks, Casper Kønigsfeldt Christensen) about good ressources for beginning WP development and he suggested the following links:

Windows Phone 8.1 Development for Absolute Beginners:
http://channel9.msdn.com/Series/Windows-Phone-8-1-Development-for-Absolute-Beginners

Building Apps for Windows Phone 8.1:
http://channel9.msdn.com/Series/Building-Apps-for-Windows-Phone-8-1

MS Virtual Academy have some of the same videos:
http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/training-courses/building-apps-for-windows-phone-8-1-jump-start

http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/training-courses/windows-phone-8-1-development-for-absolute-beginners

Of course MSDN also includes information about WP development:
http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/windowsapps/Windows-Phone-81-samples-08631ca7

A good ressource regarding the actual design of WP app.:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/windows/apps/hh465424.aspx

And last .. a nice PDF which you can print and use to visualize your WP application before you start coding (aka prototyping):
http://cmsresources.windowsphone.com/devcenter/en-us/downloads/Sketch_Templates.pdf

Microsoft Virtual Academy–free learning from Microsoft Experts

This is mostly related to those of my students who are interested in learning Microsoft technologies: Take a look at the Microsoft Virtual Academy which offers “Free Microsoft Training Delivered by Experts” as stated on the website:

http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/

This site includes 100s of free courses about Microsoft technologies. To name a few topics:

- App Development
- C# / XAML
- HTML5
- Visual Studio
- SQL Server
- Windows Azure

+ many other topics…