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(This will be constantly updated) Last Updated : 04/26/2013

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Wrapup Intel Ultrabook

This is the third and final post on the Ultrabook that I received from Intel to evaluate.

Whenever you receive a new piece of hardware, whether it is from work, you buy it yourself, or you are able to get one for evaluation, there is always a honeymoon phase.  You know what I am talking about, its that feeling you get when you take it out of the box, it has all the plastic protecting every surface, you open it with delicate fingers not wanting to smudge it or smear it or even breathe on it wrong.  The phase can last a few weeks or a few months, but ultimately, it starts to end up being thrown into your backpack just like every other gadget you own. It is in the “The honeymoon is over” stage that you can really evaluate your hardware.  Does it have an annoying bug that just drives you crazy? Did the sheen wear off the outside? Does it weigh down your backpack like a ton of bricks?

I have to say that while the Intel Ultra book has a few things that I wish would work better, it actually has become my main machine. In so much as I have started to not take my back-up machine with me when I travel.

First, the things I wish I could fix. Number one, being a presenter, I am always, well… presenting, so not having a VGA output can be a pain,  most rooms, stages, offices are only equipped with VGA so I had to make a couple of purchases.  I bought two different items, a Mini HDMI to VGA M/F Adapter, and just to make sure I could always connect, I also purchased a USB to VGA converter witch helped me to present wherever I go.

Second, the mouse pad is just WAY too sensitive. Although I don’t hold this against the machine at all most laptops I have have this problem, if I even look in the direction of the mouse pad, it seems to sense the touch and move the mouse which does not help when you are coding in front of a crowd.

Lastly, the cord for this thing is a absolute brick. I think it weighs more that the ultrabook itself.  It takes up a bit of room in the bag too since the cord attached to it is the big think non bending kind too.

But that being said, there is much more to like about this Intel Ultrabook then not.  The sleek design that I like when I took it out of the box is still turning heads when I bring it out in public. I am always asked where it can be purchased.  It is still rugged enough to handle my lugging it through airports and conferences.  It is also my only machine that has the SLAT compatibility I need to do my Windows Phone Development, which has been a life saver. In addition, the touch screen and other sensors have been a great help with my windows 8 development as well.

So All in All, after using it for a good 5 months now, I will continue to be using this as my main machine for quite a while, and since I have 6 other laptops sitting around my office right now, that says a ton about how much I like this device.

Generation App – The ultimate expericens

Sign up for  Generation App – The Ultimate Experience


Publish your app to the Windows Store and/or Windows Phone Store between
December 20, 2012 through February 28, 2013 to qualify for the following rewards:
· A Store registration reimbursement* AND a FREE copy of Halo 4 for Xbox 360!
· A chance to win one of 12 Xbox 360 consoles with Kinect. The more apps you enter, the more chances you’ll have to win.
· The Grand Prize: Three devs with the best apps will win an ultimate backstage pass to Microsoft Studios and spend the day with the Windows 8 Games Studios team—makers of Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and XBOX-enabled games!
· Additional Benefit for GameSalad Customers: 5 Apps Will be Chosen by Microsoft and GameSalad to be highlighted on ‘Hot Apps, Cool Dev’ site.
We can help you launch your app. Either create a new app that you have been building or contemplating for some time, or simply convert an existing app that you built for IOS and/or Android platforms.

Store Registration Reimbursement Terms: Current Windows Store and Windows Phone Store subscribers, members of DreamSpark, BizSpark, or MSDN are not eligible. Reimbursement will be awarded in the form of a Gift Card ($49 for Windows Store or $99 for Windows Phone Store). Limit one (1) reimbursement per Store per person. For full details, eligibility, and entry deadlines, see Official Rules. Participation is US Only.
Below is a summary. READ THE FULL Terms and Conditions for all the details.
You are eligible to enter this contest if you meet the following requirements at time entry:
· You are a student, hobbyist, or professional developer in the field of software technology; and
· You are a legal resident of the 50 United States and District of Columbia 18 years of age or older;
· While there is no limit to the number of apps you can submit in this promotion, each app you submit to a single platform must be substantially unique and different. If you publish one (1) specific app on both platforms, you will receive two (2) entries.
Judging Criteria for the Ultimate Experience.

  • 25.00% – Does the app include platform specific features: Live Tiles*, Snap View, Share, and Search?
  • 25.00% – Does the app have market potential given current application trends?
  • 25.00% – Is the app innovative and original?
  • 25.00% – Does the app conform to the Windows Experience and UI guidelines?

Windows Phone 8 Dev Requirements

I get asked all of the time what is needed to develop for Windows Phone 8 so I thought I would do a blog post on it to make it easier.

Of course you need the SDK. which you can find here.


System requirements

Supported operating systems: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro

  • Operating system type:
    • Windows 8 64-bit (x64) client versions
  • Hardware:
    • 6.5 GB of free hard disk space
    • 4 GB RAM
    • 64-bit (x64) CPU
  • Windows Phone 8 Emulator:
    • Windows 8 Pro edition or greater
    • Requires a processor that supports Second Level Address Translation (SLAT)

    If your computer meets the hardware and operating system requirements, but does not meet the requirements for the Windows Phone 8 Emulator, the Windows Phone SDK 8.0 will install and run. However, the Windows Phone 8 Emulator will not function and you will not be able to deploy or test apps on the Windows Phone 8 Emulator.


That last part SLAT is very important. If you want to find out what SLAT is and how to check to see if you are compatible. How To Geek has a great article on it.

Windows Phone 8 Phone Camp (LIVE)

Please Join Us for the Windows Phone 8 Phone Camp.  Live on Friday Dec 7th 9am – 2pm

The Stream will start LIVE below when the event begins.  You can also chat during the event.  We will attempt to ask your question to the presenter.


If you hover over the video, you can view it full screen.






Happy Programing – The Sociable Geek

Working With the Intel Ultrabook

imageBack in September I wrote about my first impressions of the Ultrabook I received from Intel. It has now been a couple of months and so I thought I would give a follow up on how it has been holding up.  Well, I have to say that I have been impressed with it so much that I have been using it as my main machine.  It is not only a slim and sexy ultrabook ,weighing only 3.5 pounds, which is great when you travel, but it has really been a power house machine for me.  I have been spending a lot of time lately building Windows Phone 8 applications which requires a machine that supports SLAT (Second Level Address Translation) and this machine does. I have been building an app with a colleague that uses NFC to transfer data from one phone to another (or to another machine) and this has been a great machine to develop and test on.  I will do one more most and talk more specifically about the sensors and that application.  

To remind you, I have Windows 8 Release Candidate as the base install of this machine since that is how it was shipped to me,  and I am currently running Windows 8 RTM as a Boot To VHD.  I originally kept it set up this way because I was working on converting applications that I built using the RC version to RTM.  I tell you this because even running this as a Boot to VHD machine it is blazing fast with the IvyBridge I5 and 180GB SSD even though it only has 4GB of RAM. In addition, since it has a USB3 Port, I am able to show off using my Windows 8 To Go stick.  

Being in meetings all of the time, I find myself using two apps on this machine all of the time.  Skype and Lync.  Although not at the same time as the picture might suggest.  I guess I could.


It has been a great machine for both of these apps.  I used it quite a bit over the Thanksgiving holidays to talk to family across the country.  The fact that is is a light machine made it easy to tote around the house for the different conversations.  The touchscreen works amazingly well and I find myself using it more than I have in the past.  I have a another tablet with Windows 8 loaded on it but I don’t use the touch screen that much.  I think that is  because when I touch it, it bounces back and fourth which makes it not respond as well and honestly a bit annoying.  With this machine, the screen stays solid and allows me to use it as it should be used.  Its funny, its those little things that really start to show up the longer you use a machine.

The one thing that is a bit of a downer for me is that the trackpad is too sensitive.  It is waaaay to easy to make the cursor jump to another locations by brushing it, but to be honest, I find this to be the case on most machines with a touchpad.

I will do one more post on this and talk more deeply about development on it as I dive into the sensors.

Happy Programing – The Sociable Geek

<disclaimer>I received the Intel Ultrabook (pre-release) for free in the hope that I would write about it in this blog. I only recommend things I personally endorse and would otherwise recommend without further consideration. I’m disclosing this in accordance with the FTC’s Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. I also cleared it with my employer (and this is the important part)  and I made sure the agreement said that my review would be my honest opinion. This review reflects my opinion alone, and doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of my employer or anyone else.</disclaimer>

Dev Intersection Conference


Hey Devs.
I wanted to pass this along to let you know about this great conference that is in our back yard … Well Vegas anyway. 

Register Here
$50 off if you use the Discount Code EGAN

DevIntersection is a brand new conference and is Jam Packed with all of the speakers you know and love.  This is really a cant miss line-up.


  • Scott Guthrie
  • Scott Hanselman
  • Tim Huckaby
  • Michele Bustamonte
  • Richard Campbell
  • Carl Franklin
  • Kate Gregory
  • Doug Seven
  • John Papa
  • Paul Sheriff
  • Scott Allen

And the list goes on, and on, and on. 

This should really be a great conference.  AND the first 300 people to register will get a Surface RT to boot. I also talked them into giving you a discount.

Register Here

$50 off if you use the Discount Code EGAN

Again, I just wanted to share this with you. If you can make it let me know, I will be there

Remote Debugging to your Surface Machine

So since the Microsoft Surface is out today, I thought I would do a post to show people how to do remote debugging to test it on their ARM device.  I know for me, it has been quite a while since I had the need to do any remote debugging but since your Windows Store apps will run on ARM devices, you will want the ability to do this.

The first thing you want to do is go to the desktop of your SURFACE Device.


Yes, there is a desktop, it will just allow you to do a limited amount of things ( including installing these debugging tools)

Open up internet explorer and go to the Visual Studio Download section.

Go to the section for Remote Tools for Visual Studio 2012


Download the Remote Tools for Visual Studio 2012 For ARM (last one)


The the prompt asks you, select the Run button.


Follow the prompts to install the Remote tools for Visual Studio


When complete you will have an icon for Remote Debugger on your start screen


Click this to start the remote debugger.

The first time it starts it will ask you to configure the Remote Debugger


Just click on the configure button.  ( note, If it asks you to, install the Web Services API,,,, mine did not)

The Remote Debugging Monitor will then appear.


NOTE:  Both machines must be on the same network for this to work.

Now go to your Visual Studio Project and select Remote Machine from the dropdown


In the Remote Debugger Connections Window Select your device.


Run your project….

NOTE: The first time you run your project to the remote machine, it will ask you to download a developer license for the machine.  Follow the prompts to do this.

The next time you run your project, it will run on your Surface machine.  And if you pop over to the desktop on your surface machine, you will see it connected in the monitor.



Happy Programming

Daniel Egan – The Sociable Geek

Intel Ultrabook–First Impressions


One of the cool things about being in technology is that fact that you sometimes get to try stuff before it is on the market. It was cool a few years back when I was able to carry around a pre-release Windows Phone. Sometimes it doesn’t fit into exactly what I do for a living but this time it does.  I received an IvyBridge Ultrbook from Intel to review.  The reason I was excited was because it runs Windows 8, has a touch screen, and has a ton of sensors.  Although it is a prototype, it is a very slick device.


As you can see, it is very slimline and weighs about 3.5 pounds.  For me it hits that perfect size.  Light enough that is is not a bother to carry around but big enough that it is nice to actually develop on in short stretches.


It has a 13.3 multi-touch display that is just enough for my Starbucks programming sessions and the fact that it has 5 points of touch makes it great for working on and testing my Windows RT applications.  I have what I term generically other “Slim-line” laptops and for some reason most of them have a trackpad that is so sensitive that it makes it impossible to type using the keyboard.  The Intel Ultrabook’s keyboard worked great, the keys are light but have a nice tactile feel and I have not once inadvertently moved the mouse while typing, a big plus.


For specs, it has an Intel Core i7 , 4GB of DDR RAM and a 180 GB SSD hard drive. Two USB3 Slots, a mini-HDMI connector, a 1.5 MP WebCam,    It came preloaded with Windows 8 Release candidate but instead of wiping out the system, I decided to create a 90GB VHD and do a Boot To VHD.  I had to turn on virtualization in the Bios, but after that, it worked great.  I am sure I will reformat soon, but since I have been using the Boot To VHD in my Windows 8 Unleashed sessions, it was the fastest way to get me up and running and playing with the machine.  In addition, since this is a prototype machine, I am not really worried about running it through any benchmarks. As other reviewers have pointed out, the fan is a bit loud which can be a bit annoying but again, it’s a prototype.   What really gets me excited about working with it is the sensors that are available to me.

  • NFC
  • Accelerometer
  • Magnetometer
  • Gyroscope
  • Ambient Light Sensor
  • GPS

This will be a great machine for me to test out working with Sensors in my Windows 8 Development and I will do other posts to talk about my experiences working with them while I create Windows 8 RT applications that take advantage of them. I have already begun using VS2012 and another SDK which we will not speak of on this machine and have been very happy with performance.

Happy Programming

Daniel Egan – The Sociable Geek

<disclaimer>I received the Intel Ultrabook (pre-release) for free in the hope that I would write about it in this blog. I only recommend things I personally endorse and would otherwise recommend without further consideration. I’m disclosing this in accordance with the FTC’s Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. I also cleared it with my employer and I made sure the agreement said that my review would be my honest opinion. This review reflects my opinion alone, and doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of my employer or anyone else.</disclaimer>