Audio Gear for Podcasting and Screencasting – Follow-up

[UPDATE – 7/30/2014: Wanted to share some feedback from one of my brothers, who purchased a Nessie mic for doing some screencast work. Apparently, he’s had some issues with low signal and lots of noise, and inconsistencies in operation depending on where he plugged it in. I took a look at the Nessie page on Blue’s website, and it lacks a support link, which is a pity in a product that seems to be designed for folks who are new to computer audio recording. Given that, I’d recommend that folks who aren’t comfortable with troubleshooting audio and USB issues look elsewhere.]

Last week I posted my thoughts about recording better quality audio for podcasts and screencasts, and shared the gear I use to record my various projects. I recently ran across a couple of things that made me want to follow up briefly on that topic.

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APIMASH Webcast Recording: Exploring Social Networking APIs

If you missed last week’s APIMASH Webcast on the Social Networking APIs, don’t fret…below, you’ll find the recording of the webcast featuring yours truly, and my peers Lindsay Lindstrom and Tara Walker:

Here’s the abstract from Channel 9:

Join Microsoft Technical Evangelists G. Andrew Duthie, Lindsay Lindstrom, and Tara Walker as they cover several of the APIMASH Starter Kits that incorporate popular social networking APIs like Meetup, Facebook, and Twitter. This is a recording of their June 12th, 2013 webcast.

[00:40] Overview of the APIMASH project (G. Andrew Duthie)

[05:00] The Meetup API (G. Andrew Duthie)

[12:25] The Facebook API (Lindsay Lindstrom)

[29:35] The Twitter API (Tara Walker)

[53:40] Closing and call to action (Tara Walker)

More APIMASH

If you’d like to catch the next couple of webcasts, there are two more you can catch:

If you can’t make those times, as with the above webcast, those recordings will be posted to our APIMASH feed on Channel 9.

Responsive Design: Fix for Windows Phone 8 Device Adaptation

As I mentioned on Saturday, I just updated my blog theme to something a bit more clean and modern. In addition to just wanting something that looked good, one of the features that factored into my choosing the Wise Words theme for Orchard was its support for responsive web design, leveraging Twitter bootstrap and bootstrap responsive to automatically reformat content and resize elements depending on the available screen real estate.

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New Blog Theme

Seemed like it was about time, so I’ve finally gotten around to doing a little housecleaning on the blog, and installed a new theme for Orchard, called Wise Words, by Shovel & Rake. I’ve done a fair amount of tweaking to the theme to get it the way I wanted it, and while I was at it, I’ve cleared away a few of the less important sidebar items.

While I was at it, I took Scott Hanselman‘s advice and did a run-through of all the PNGs on my site (after downloading the code and assets locally), and ran them all through PNGOut via powershell. A few of the largest images, I pulled into Paint.NET and saved in 8-bit format, which makes a HUGE difference in filesize, and with reasonable dithering levels, didn’t make that big a difference in quality.

So hopefully, things will be a little easier to read, and to find, and with luck the site will load a little faster, too. And since the new theme is designed to be responsive, it should hopefully also be more friendly for mobile device users.

I’ve still got a few things to tweak here and there. For example, the code samples in my posts came out a little wonky with the new theme. But I’ve updated most of the images and videos that were hanging over past the sidebar, and tweaked other issues that I ran across.

If you see something that’s clearly not right, please drop me a note and let me know, or simply post a comment here.

Audio Gear for Podcasting and Screencasting – a Primer

UPDATE: For folks who want a little more guidance in terms of specific microphones, I did a follow-up post that you might find interesting. Original post follows.

Taking a brief break from my usual diet of code for some fun with audio gear…

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Microsoft DevRadio: (Part 1) APIMASH Starter Kit – Building a Meetup / Bing Maps Windows Store App

With unprecedented reach across a range of devices and availability in over 200 markets, there’s never been a better time to build for Windows and Windows Phone. APIMash Starter Kits for Windows show you how to use public Web Service APIs (such as Bing, Edmunds, Tom-Tom, Twitter, Tumblr, Yelp, Meetup and many others) to create compelling Windows Apps.

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Microsoft DevRadio: (Part 7) Using Windows Azure to Build Back-End Services for Windows 8 Apps – Authentication Tips and Tricks

Wrapping up their “Using Windows Azure to Build Back-End Services for Windows 8 apps” series Brian Hitney , Andrew Duthie  and Peter Laudati, as they showoff some useful tips and tricks around authentication for your Windows Azure Mobile Server based apps.

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Getting a Game Rating Certificate for Windows Store and Windows Phone

If you’ve written a game for the Windows Store or for Windows Phone, you may have noticed that some markets require the use of game rating certificates. If you’re like me, your initial reaction may have been “that looks hard” and as a result just skipped the process and only published where certificates aren’t required (for example, here in the United States, ESRB certification is optional).

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Building Back-end Data and Services for Windows 8 Apps: Authentication Tips and Tricks

In previous installments of this series, I’ve shown how you can quickly create REST-based services accessible via HTTP that allow you to easily store and retrieve data in a Windows Store app, using several different approaches including WCF Data Services, ASP.NET Web API, and the new Windows Azure Mobile Services. You can read all of the previous parts of the series here. I recommend reading the intro post and the post on Windows Azure Mobile Services, as well as the most recent installment covering the basics of authentication with mobile services at a minimum, so you’re familiar with the games I’m using to demonstrate the concepts in the series, and with the basics of mobile services.

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Windows Store App Template to Live Data in 3 Easy Steps

One of the things that I like about building Windows Store apps using Visual Studio 2012 is the availability of several rich and useful templates. One of my favorites is the Grid App template, which demonstrates how to build an app with a hub page listing grouped items in a ListView control, a group details page, listing information about each group, and an item details page, for information about specific items.

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