Geeks With Blogs
Prabhu Kumar a tech twaddler.. General General posts
Windows Phone Mango 7.1 SDK Beta 2

Posted On Sunday, July 3, 2011 10:26 PM

Windows Phone Mango Developer Tools

Posted On Wednesday, May 25, 2011 11:24 PM

MIX’11 : Windows Phone Sessions

Posted On Sunday, April 24, 2011 9:02 PM

Windows Phone 7: Freeing up space after installing the pre-NoDo update

I just published a post on my blog at, here’s the link,

Posted On Saturday, March 12, 2011 6:28 PM

What happens when you delete all the start screen tiles?
Note: I am currently in the process of relocating my blog from http://www.geekswithblogs.n... to my new address at I suggest you point your feed readers to the new address as I slowly transition to my new shared-hosted, ad-free wordpress blog :) Well, the start screen disappears and all you see is the application list, which normally shows up when you scroll to the right. Pretty interesting I thought. So the start screen is basically a shortcuts screen on steroids, ......

Posted On Sunday, February 13, 2011 6:41 PM

What motivates us? RSA Animate - Drive
Here's a brilliant video adapted from Dan Pink's talk about 'What Motivates Us?', you should watch this. Also checkout some other RSA Animate videos here ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 26, 2010 10:32 PM

Applications: Some more marble fun!
Well, yesterday night I was watching a tutorial on XNA when I came across this neat little trick. It was a simple XNA application with a Windows Phone logo in it and whenever the user clicked on the device the logo would move towards the click point, and I couldn't resist experimenting with the marble (; The code is written in C# using CF3.5. Here is a video of the demo, You probably noticed the motion of the marble towards the click point (destination). The marble starts off with a high velocity ......

Posted On Thursday, May 6, 2010 6:24 AM

How Microsoft Lost the API War - by Joel Spolsky
Came across another gem of an article by Joel Spolsky. It's a pretty old article written in June of 2004, has lot of tidbits and I really enjoyed reading it, so much in fact that I read it twice! So hit the link below and give it a read if you haven't already, How Microsoft Lost the API War - Joel Spolsky excerpt, "I first heard about this from one of the developers of the hit game SimCity, who told me that there was a critical bug in his application: it used memory right after freeing it, a major ......

Posted On Thursday, May 6, 2010 4:06 AM

My shiny new gadget
About 3 months ago when I had tweeted (or twit?) that the HD7 could be my next phone I wasn’t a 100 percent sure, and when the HTC Mozart came out it was switch at first sight. I wanted to buy the Mozart mainly for three reasons; its unibody construction, smaller screen and the SLCD display. But now, holding a HD7 in my hand, I reminisce and think about how fate had its own plan. Too dramatic for a piece of gadget? Well, sort of, but seriously, this has been most exciting. So in short, I bought myself ......

Posted On Monday, January 3, 2011 8:53 PM

Dictionary Web Service
Today I came across this web service called aonaware which serves up word definitions from various dictionary databases, so I wrote up a quick windows phone 7 app to check it out and it's kinda neat. Here's a video of the app running on the emulator, I'll write a post soon ......

Posted On Monday, November 29, 2010 11:35 PM

Just another post
It’s been a while since my last post so I thought I’ll write a filler. Forgive me but I’m going to start off with some rant. My windows mobile marketplace account hasn’t been accessible for a couple of weeks now. Every time I try logging in I get this annoying error which says, “WE’RE SORRY. AN ERROR HAS OCCURRED. We encountered an issue connecting your App Hub account with your Xbox Live Profile. Please visit and update your contact information. After you have updated your contact information, ......

Posted On Sunday, October 31, 2010 8:08 PM

Windows Mobile Marketplace: Getting started, App statistics and other details
If you follow me on twitter then this should not be news to you, the Mobile Minesweeper game that I’ve been working on (and off) forever has finally made it to marketplace and is available for download. There were a few surprises for me in store during the entire process. First, the amount of time it took for the app to be approved, one attempt and one working day! And second, the number of downloads! The app has been downloaded over 10,000 times since I made it available on the marketplace 10 days ......

Posted On Sunday, September 5, 2010 10:01 PM

HTC HD2, Accelerometer and Windows Phone 7

This post shows how to read the accelerometer data from HTC HD2 and use this on the Windows Phone 7 emulator.

Posted On Saturday, July 31, 2010 1:36 AM

Shake detection on HTC HD2
In the previous post I mentioned that the acceleration vector or the force vector can be used to detect gestures like shake. Here is a crude implementation of shake detection, private const double SHAKE_THRESHOLD = 5.0f; private bool IsShakeDetected(HTCSensorData sensorData) { bool isShake = false; double x = (double)sensorData.tiltX / 1000; double y = (double)sensorData.tiltY / 1000; double z = (double)sensorData.tiltZ / 1000; double forceSqrd = x * x + y * y + z * z; System.Console.WriteLine("F... ......

Posted On Saturday, July 24, 2010 5:53 PM

HTC HD2 and the Accelerometer
A couple of weeks ago I went out and bought myself a HTC HD2. Yes, the 4.3inch monster running windows mobile, probably the best windows mobile device ever; this one running Windows Mobile 6.5. Did you just wince in pain on hearing windows mobile? Well, if it makes you feel any better let me assure you that I’ll buy a Windows Phone 7 device as soon as one is available in market. Ok? I haven’t tweaked around with it too much yet but this week I had some time to look into the accelerometer. The Accelerometer ......

Posted On Thursday, July 15, 2010 12:27 AM

Windows Phone 7 Developer Tools Beta now available
Microsoft released yesterday the beta version of the Windows Phone 7 development tools, which was up until now in CTP. You can download it from here. It installs Visual Studio 2010 Express, Silverlight and XNA 4.0 for Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone 7 emulator and Expression Blend 4 beta. Yep, Expression Blend now installs with the beta version and you don’t have to install it separately which is nice. The beta version breaks some of the namespaces and classes from the previous April refresh CTP release. ......

Posted On Tuesday, July 13, 2010 2:21 PM

Having trouble with font on this blog?
Sometimes when I open this site on other PC’s the font of the posts turns out be very small and it can be a pain to read the text. Not sure if you’ve noticed the ‘Customize’ bar on top of the page, so I thought I’ll let know. This bar helps you customize the way you want the page to look and saves the settings for you so you don’t have to change it every time. You can change the font size and the main page positioning. The white arrow marks in the image above shows the settings I find convenient. ......

Posted On Sunday, April 18, 2010 9:46 PM

How to: Show wait cursor in managed and native code
Someone on the MSDN forum asked about how to show a wait cursor, like when your application is loading or performing some (background) task. It’s pretty simple to show the wait cursor in both managed and native code, and in this post we will see just how. Managed Code (C#) Set Cursor.Current to Cursors.WaitCursor, and call Cursor.Show(). And to come back to normal cursor, set Cursor.Current to Cursors.Default and call Show() again. Below is a button handler for a sample app that I made, (watch the ......

Posted On Thursday, April 15, 2010 9:04 AM

The Future of Tech
What tech is going to be like in the near future.. love the gadgets See a lot of surface !? :) ......

Posted On Friday, April 10, 2009 2:13 PM

Windows Phone 7 Series - Tools and Resources (updated)
Unless you've been living in the caves of Lascaux for the past couple of days, you probably know what's happening in the world of Windows Phone. Microsoft unveiled the developer tools required to develop applications and games for Windows Phone 7 at MIX10 a couple of days back. Silverlight and XNA being the major frameworks, no big surprise there. And the best news of all is that all the development tools are free! So if you are planning to develop apps for Windows Phone 7, read on. The first place, ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 17, 2010 7:34 AM

Transparency and AlphaBlending (Update: with source code)

This post demonstrates how to use the AlphaBlend() api to achieve transparency effects. Also shows how to avoid flickering by using double buffering.

Posted On Sunday, March 7, 2010 8:48 AM

Extracting Icon from an executable (name)
Remember the Process Viewer that we worked on a few months back? I was wondering how to display the applications icons, the way task manager does. A small icon beside the application name gives it a pleasant look. So how do you extract the icon from an executable? Well, there's an API for that (pun). ExtractIconEx() is the function we use to get a handle to the applications icon. It's a simple API, just give it the full path to the executable and it returns an HICON (icon handle). So I went back ......

Posted On Thursday, February 25, 2010 10:43 AM

Fun with menus! update on Part I
If you remember Fun with menus! Part I, then you'll also remember that we were able to get two different popup menus on the left and the right softkeys. Morin Marco contacted me through the same post and via email, explaining that the code wasn't working for him. We had a few mail exchanges and exchanges on the post too. It wasn't clear why the same code wasn't working for him, until he sent the screen shots of his problem. Turns out he was trying the code on the latest emulator, Windows Mobile 6.5.3. ......

Posted On Sunday, February 21, 2010 4:44 AM

Windows Mobile 6.5.3 Developer Toolkit now available

Windows Mobile 6.5.3 DTK released

Posted On Wednesday, February 17, 2010 4:28 AM

Going Places - Gesture Magic
Paulo's blog mentioned about this MSDN magazine article on Windows Mobile Gestures by Marcus Perryman. The article explains about gestures, the design considerations that went in while implementing it, the physics engine and a few tips and tricks. And don't miss the two part series, Let's talk about Touch, by Marcus Perryman, its a good read too. Links Going Places - Gesture Magic Let's talk about Touch - Part I Let's talk about Touch - Part II ......

Posted On Monday, February 8, 2010 8:47 AM

Fun with menus Part II, Radio Menu Items and CheckMenuRadioItem()
Previously - Fun with menus - Part I A few days back I set about trying to get radio items into menus. This is helpful if you want only one of the items in the menu to be active at a time, say, for e.g. a "Select Level" popup menu which has "Level 1", "Level 2" and "Level 3" subitems and only one of them needs to be shown as active or currently selected. You get the idea. No? Here, this pic should help, A bit of searching led me to the CheckMenuRadioItem() API, and I thought, this is simple. I just ......

Posted On Thursday, January 28, 2010 8:52 AM

Windows Mobile 6.5 SDK now available (update: not really)
All this while we have been working with the Windows Mobile 6.5 DTK, the developer toolkit, which is not a SDK but more of an extension to the existing Windows Mobile 6 SDK, adding support for gestures et al. Well, the wait is over now, the WM 6.5 SDKs for professional and standard devices are now available. You can download them from here. (see update below) I've just downloaded them, haven't installed them yet, but from Joel's blog: "I downloaded and installed it and can't say I've had a chance ......

Posted On Sunday, January 24, 2010 3:34 AM

RSS Readers, Aggregators.. whats that again?

Ever heard of RSS Readers, Aggregators?

Posted On Thursday, December 10, 2009 8:47 PM

More "Getting started with managed code (C#) development for Windows Mobile" articles
Last year Chris Craft wrote this excellent "30 days of .NET" articles where he wrote 30 .NET applications in C# each day. I have gone through the initial few and plan to complete the list as and when I find time. He hasn't actually explained the code and the application logic in detail and that would surely be some task if you are doing 30 apps in 30 days (; You couldn't ask for more. The source code for all the applications is available. So just download'em and dig through. There's no better way ......

Posted On Friday, November 20, 2009 5:53 AM

Windows Mobile 6.5 Gestures : Introduction (C++)
Found a nice article on Code Project about using gesture API's on Windows Mobile 6.5 devices. Hit the link and give it a read. And off I go to try the program out. Update: Well, I gave the program a try and it works nicely. I have one concern however. When you double tap, you get a GID_SELECT message first and then GID_DOUBLESELECT, but what if I want to handle both messages differently? Like for example in a game where I want GID_SELECT and GID_DOUBLESELECT to do different things exclusively. I ......

Posted On Friday, November 20, 2009 5:38 AM

Windows Marketplace Now Available for Windows Mobile 6.0 and 6.1 "officially"
Windows Marketplace for mobile, which was up until now only available for Windows Mobile 6.5 users, is now officially made available for Windows Mobile 6.0 and 6.1 devices. This is great news since it adds almost the entire windows mobile user base to the marketplace equation in one scoop! You can catch more details below: Windows Marketplace for Windows Mobile 6.0 and 6.1 ......

Posted On Monday, November 16, 2009 6:27 PM

Getting started with Windows Mobile Development : Managed Code
I stumbled across this series of posts by Maarten Struys and Dougturn on "Getting started with windows mobile development with Visual C#". I remember Joel too having mentioned it in one of his posts. I went through a couple of articles and was able to create a few basic applications in C#. I must mention that creating a basic application with your menus and a few controls takes no time at all in visual C#. The visual designer is nice, supports a lot more controls and takes care of things that you ......

Posted On Saturday, November 14, 2009 1:48 AM

Displaying a context menu in your application
Context menus really add to the user experience. You may decide to display a context popup menu when the user taps-and-holds or double-taps on the touch screen. In this post we will see how a few lines of code enable you to do just that. While reading about popup menus I came across the WM_CONTEXTMENU message. According to the windows mobile documentation that I referred this message is sent to a window when the user right clicks on the window's client area. Since I haven't yet seen a windows mobile ......

Posted On Friday, November 13, 2009 1:26 AM

How to change the text of a softkey menu?
To change the text of a softkey menu item, all you have to do is pretend that they are buttons. Well, they are specialized buttons in any case. So in order to change its property (in this case the 'text') you will have to use the TBBUTTONINFO structure along with TB_GETBUTTONINFO and TB_SETBUTTONINFO messages. Lets dive into the code: Note: Error checking is omitted for obvious reasons. TCHAR szText[128] = TEXT(""); TBBUTTONINFO tbi; ZeroMemory(&tbi, sizeof(tbi)); tbi.cbSize = sizeof(tbi); tbi.dwMask ......

Posted On Monday, November 9, 2009 12:34 AM

Project Resistance for Windows Mobile and iPhone
Chris Tacke has undertaken "Project Resistance" and gives great insight on developing and deploying an application onto the Marketplace. Project Resistance is a simple utility application that allows the user to play with resistor color bands. Selecting a color band combination gives you the resistance in ohms and given a resistance in ohms it will show you the corresponding color band. You can follow and get more details here. Another interesting thing is that Chris Tec is developing the same application ......

Posted On Tuesday, October 27, 2009 10:02 PM

How to embed an exe inside another exe as a resource and then launch it
While working on a utility project today, I stumbled upon wanting to embed an executable inside another executable. Sounds fun doesn't it? And what is even more fun is to be able to launch the embedded exe! Basically, here's how it works. You embed Foo.exe inside Bar.exe. And by embed I mean, add Foo.exe as a resource in Bar.exe. And then from Bar.exe's code, you can launch Foo.exe using CreateProcess(). So before answering the "Why?" lets answer the "How?" Rename Foo.exe to Foo.txt. We do this just ......

Posted On Friday, October 16, 2009 7:33 AM

The Visual Studio Documentary
I got this from Olivier's blog, a new video posted by the channel 9 team about the history of visual studio. Its pretty cool!

Hit the links below:

Part 1

Part 2

Posted On Thursday, October 15, 2009 12:18 AM

Away on business trip 2..
So I will be away for a good two months (subject to conditions). The next project seems interesting and challenging and I hope I can squeeze out as many valuables from it as I can (;

My blogging frequency might take a hit, but I'll try to keep up.

See you soon.

Posted On Saturday, October 10, 2009 11:57 PM

Submitting applications to Windows Mobile Marketplace
Here is a nice walk through video by WMExperts on submitting applications to the windows marketplace, hit the link below.

Submitting apps to marketplace.

Posted On Wednesday, September 30, 2009 10:27 AM

I just finished writing a lengthy post on creating windowed DirectDraw application and when I was formatting the post my laptop crashed :x

I'll write the entire thing again, but tomorrow. Darn!

Posted On Thursday, September 24, 2009 12:42 PM


CloseHandle( CreateThread(...) );

Posted On Tuesday, September 22, 2009 12:32 PM

Cellular emulator, COM3 in use please verify
I was trying to set up the cellular emulator with the windows mobile emulator on my laptop when the cellular emulator spat out "COM3 in use, please verify". I knew it was another classic case of some application holding a port and another application failing because of it. Such problems are usually solved by changing the order of installing those application. To find a solution I binged around (yes! I bing :) and found this msdn forum link. No surprise that many people had already gone through this. ......

Posted On Sunday, June 7, 2009 10:49 AM

Tools I use
I think the tools that we use and the way we use them define us in some ways. Some people prefer to work with command prompts even though a GUI is available, some people always stick with their editors that they use and switching to a new editor is very unsettling. As you progress as a developer you become greatly attached to these tools and the first thing that we do on a new PC is setup the tools the way we want. So here goes the list of tools that I use. TextPad TextPad has always been the editor ......

Posted On Monday, April 6, 2009 1:25 AM

My laptop arrives!
Finally, I got my laptop after a long wait of three weeks. Its a Dell Studio 15 with Intel Core 2, 2.4GHz, 4GB of RAM, 320gig hard drive and 256mb ATI Radeon graphics card and last but not the least its gorgeous 15.6inch WLED screen. Well, the looks and the finishing are impressive and I must say that Dell has done a good job on the outside. The 15.6inch WLED screen is, as I said gorgeous and super bright, totally worth the extra buck and I would recommend it to anyone planning to buy one. Got a ......

Posted On Monday, April 6, 2009 12:38 AM

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