Azure how-to: Create a Virtual Machine with SSH access straight from your mac

In between moving and preparing for my wedding I managed to squeeze in an hour or so to experiment a bit with puppet. For the experiment I needed to spin up a few machines in azure. Of course you can do that using the portal, but that’s slow. And on top of that, if you need more than one machine it gets annoying. So instead of going through the portal I figured, why not use the command line tools that Microsoft provides for this sort of thing? In this blogpost you will find a quick how-to on how to spin …

A quick guide for developing Logstash plugins on Windows

A while back we started to use Logstash for knowNow to keep track of our logging data and to gather statistics on various things in the application. As our environment is quite big, we needed a way to gather log information from different servers in a central location. You can do this using standard plugins, like redis, but we wanted our environment to log the data securily over a HTTPS connection to our central logprocessing environment. This is not something you can do with the standard plugins in Logstash, so we developed our own. I initially created a new plugin …

Changing the casing of JSON properties in Web API

My favorite library to serialize/deserialize .NET objects to and from JSON is the NewtonSoft JSON library. This library is fast and does the right thing the first time you use it in your application. When Microsoft started to use this library in ASP.NET Web API, I made a little virtual jump of joy in my mind. It means we have a defacto-standard library instead of something Microsoft came up with for themselves. Not that I mind Microsoft building their own thing, but some things you shouldn’t do yourself when someone else has a better solution. By default when you serialize …

Tips for usable text on the web

After working on a number of websites I learned that making a good website, that is easy to read, is hard. There’s a lot of stuff you need to think about. Even for things like choosing the right font size and spacing between typograhical elements. In this post I’ve gathered up a few tricks that I learned while building websites. These 4 tips should help you to make better choices when it comes to picking font size and other properties of the text on your website. Tip 1: Use an optimal line length A line of text is only readable …

Migrated my blog to Ghost.js

Javascript is awesome and I had to jump on the wagon by moving my blog to this cool programming language. Well, not really, but I was looking for a blog engine that supports markdown instead of the dreaded wysiwyg HTML editor that was standard a year ago. I could ofcourse build my own blog. But I decided against it, since there are so many good blog engines out there. After googling around a bit I discovered a post by Scott Hanselman on how to run Ghost on Windows Azure. Which inspired me to try out moving my blog to it. …

Xamarin.Android by example: Monitoring the network status

Mobile apps are more often than not, about working offline. Even within our modern society, we’re still going places were a connection is not guaranteed. But we still want our apps to work like they should.

In this post I’m going to explain to you a trick to know when you are connected or not, so you know when your app needs to go offline.

Welcome in 2012, the year of clouds

The one sentence I keep saying to my co-workers, friends, family and all others is this: \u201cWelcome to 2012!\u201d It is the sentence I use to tell someone that he should lighten up and accept that things have changed. We\u2019re not in 1999 anymore.

On that note I\u2019d like to show you around on the latest incarnation of my weblog. I\u2019ve moved the whole thing to the cloud in less than 10 minutes. That includes a full restore of the data (well, full, the important stuff is there, just a few links are missing) and the installation of a bunch of modules and my custom theme.

How is that all possible? Read on!

WCF RIA services tips: Using resource files

When you\u2019re using RIA services you may have already come across the possibility to use data annotations to enrich entities exposed by your RIA service to modify the way fields are rendered an validated. One of the things that\u2019s supported is the use of resources to make error messages and other string literals localizable. In this post I will show you a handy trick to make working with resources to format your error messages a breeze.

Using OData with Mono for Android

OData is popular these days and a protocol that is very easy to use. It\u2019s a way to expose a model in a resource oriented way to clients. There\u2019s support for Windows Phone 7, Silverlight and Windows but not Mono for Android. Now that I have grown a liking to Mono for Android I thought it might be cool to convert an existing version of the OData client library to a Mono for Android version.

Using C# to take pictures with your Android phone

Taking pictures with a phone is probably the number one thing people want to be able to do when they start building apps for Android. It\u2019s not that tricky to get working properly, but there are a few things you need to know to get the whole circus going.

In this post I will be showing you how you can take pictures using your Android phone right from C#. Keep in mind this assumes you know C# and Mono for Android. I\u2019m also assuming you know a little about Android and how you should build a basic app for it using C# and Mono for Android.

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