Using your Xbox One controller in a UWP app

One of my original Xbox One controllers became useless a few weeks ago. It started to ‘walk away’ with my left stick. Whenever I released my thumb, it still generated a forward motion, not very handy if you are in the middle of a battlefield…

So I ordered a new one from the Microsoft Store but being a geek, I bought one with the Wireless Adapter for Windows.

02 adapter

This adapter makes it possible to use it on a Windows 10 device, like my laptop.

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Using the Visual Studio 2015/2017 IoT Hub Extension and IoT Hub Device explorer

In my previous blog, I presented a simple way to connect a device (actually it was a UWP app) to an Azure IoT Hub. After that, I persisted the messages, sent to the IoT Hub,  into SqlAzure using StreamAnalytics.

This easy example can still be simplified using the recently presented IoT Hub Extension and IoT Hub Device Explorer. In this blog, I will show you how to make use of these tools.

Update: this extension is also available for Visual Studio 2017 (version 1.6 and higher) now. At this moment, it contains basically the same functionality. In the future, I hope, this extension will provide more interesting logic like ‘device twin’ support.

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A very simple complex IoT Hub example

The Microsoft Azure service called IoT Hub is now also available in West-Europe for a couple of weeks. To be precise, it’s available as a service in East Asia, East US, North Europe, Southeast Asia, West Europe and West US.

It is good to know that there are basically three flavours available: Free, S1 standard and S2 standard. The free edition only support one, uniquely registered, device which can send eight thousand messages a day. The other versions support messages to six million messages a day. If you want to support more devices/messages, please contact Microsoft 🙂

Note: You can have only one Free IoT Hub in your Azure subscription. And turning a S1 IoT Hub into the free one is not possible.

Keep in mind that messages have a certain size. If the actual size of a single message is bigger than 0.5KB (free version) or 4KB (S1 or S2) it will be counted as multiple messages.

Getting started with IoT Hub is not that hard. You can start with the fine documentation at the Azure website. But that documentation is still limited. Integrating with StreamAnalytics ea. is not described. So here I present a more elaborate example (but keep in mind the MSFT documentation).

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UWP app as Virtual Shields for Arduino

Are you in the position of not having a screen, GPS module, internet connection, GSM/SMS module, Gyro module, compass module, microphone module, etc. for your Arduino?

Normally you went out surfing to your favorite internet dealer for the components to buy them. And these are all pretty expensive modules. If you choose to buy them as a shield, you will have to pay even more.

But if you own a Lumia smart phone, then you could be lucky. Check this site if your Lumia is compatible with Windows 10 Mobile. Why? Because these devices support UWP apps and Microsoft has provided this Virtual Shields app.

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Azure Stack , first impressions

Yesterday Microsoft introduced the first technical preview of AzureStack. It’s just Azure on premise. I went to a presentation of YourHosting in Zwolle to look at it and I am already blown away by the possibilities. Why should I do that as a hard core developer?

Until now you could have Azure on premise already. No problem, but you have to bring your own 1000 blades.

MSFT managed to put Azure on just one machine, of course still a very big one, and calls it AzureStack. And in a few months you will be able to split your local Azure over multiple machines. By the end of the year 2016 it will be complete. Then there is not a single difference between Azure and AzureStack, except for the location.

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