Archive for the ‘Windows 8’ Category

Asus Zenbook UX31A

March 11, 2013

Finally got my Asus Zenbook UX31A. This is my new work computer; took 2 months to get! Apparently a lot of people want this computer. The first thing I did after booting up was to check the amount of RAM. Yes, indeed it does have 8 Gbytes of RAM. This computer must be a special build for Microsoft. I searched the Internet high and low and couldn’t find this computer with 8 Gbytes of RAM.  All specs only said 4 GBytes and apparently from what I read that memory is soldered onto the motherboard – most likely to save space. Anyway, I was very glad to see the Zenbook have 8 Gbytes; otherwise it wouldn’t make much of a dev machine.

The next thing I tried to do was hook the Zenbook up to my Dell U3011. I purchased this monitor for it’s massive size since I knew the Zenbook could only drive one external monitor and I have become quite accustomed to having dual a monitor setup. Yes, the U3011 is large: 30″, resolution of 2560 x 1600 (16:10 aspect ratio). After connecting the micro-HDMI to the HDMI port on the U3011, the max resolution I could get was 1920 x 1200. Ugh! Looks like complete crap. The trade-off solution was to create a custom resolution in the Intel graphics control panel.  I selected width: 2560, height: 1600, refresh rate of 30 Hz, and timing standard: cvt-rb.  Yes, this half the normal refresh rate but is necessary since I believe the source of the problem is the Asus motherboard which doesn’t have the bandwidth to support 2560×1600 at 60Hz.  Anyway, after adding this custom setting and rebooting I was able to get full resolution on the U3011.  I would have expected the quality to be poor but I was not able to notice a difference; maybe due to my poor engineering eyesight.  Probably if you are playing games you might notice the difference, but since mine is mostly a dev machine, I think I’ll be fine.

The next change I made to my setup was to modify how the ‘Asus Smart Gesture’ operates.  I changed scroll so that content moves with finger direction.  This make two finger operation consistent with touch screen operation.

So far, the system works well as a dev machine; cross my fingers.  I’ve had as many four instance of Visual Studio running at time with a dozen web pages open. 


WinJS.Class – unexpected behavior – watch out

January 3, 2013

What would you expect the code below to produce for value of ‘len’? If you said 1, then you, like me, are incorrect! In fact the value is 2. The problem here is that instance members get added to the prototype. So the array ‘test’ gets added to the prototype and both instances of TestClass are working on the same array. This seems very strange and is not clear from the documentation at: WinJS.Class.define. To avoid this issue, the test array must be initialized in the constructor.

var TestClass = WinJS.Class.define(function () {
// constructor
}, {
// instance members
test: []
}, {
// static members

var test1 = new TestClass();
var test2 = new TestClass();
var len = test2.test.length;

Cool Windows 8 Feature – right click on start menu

October 15, 2012

I just discovered a feature in Windows 8 I’ve been looking for quite some time and it was right in front of my face the whole time… In Windows 8, if you move the mouse to the lower left corner you see an icon for the start menu.  Now…if you right click on this icon, you get an awesome menu (below) with shortcuts to many nice features (such as control panel):

Deploy windows 8 app from the command line

May 12, 2012

I was developing a Windows 8 Metro JavaScript app and wanted to get the command line equivalent of Visual Studio “Build -> Deploy Solution”.

Simply do: devenv mysolution.sln /deploy “Release|x86” /project myproject.jsproj /projectconfig “Release|x86”

The result is located in bin/x86/Release/AppX.

This is nice because the result includes the code for the all references.  It also creates a combined .pri (resouces) file.

Performance Test in Windows 8 developer preview

September 25, 2011

In the past I’ve done a fair amount of UI development using WPF and Silverlight and at times we have run into issues with the performance of binding.  So, with Windows 8 we now can write C++ applications using Xaml.  You would think the performance of C++ compared to C# would be vastly superior; well maybe not…  I wrote a simply little test that has creates 100 TextBox elements and links them together such that when the first element is changed it causes a cascading update all the way back to the last TextBox.

The results were quite interesting…  The C++/Xaml app took on average about 42.9 ms to do the update while the C#/Xaml took 38.4 ms.  Hmmm, I would have expected much bigger difference than 4.5 ms.  Also in the test I measured the total initialization time (i.e., the time it took to create the 100 TextBox elements).  Here is the big surprise… It took C++/Xaml on average about 1735 ms to initialize while C#/Xaml took 464 ms.  That’s quite a big difference, I can’t explain the difference but would be interesting to know what results others see.

Links to the code are below: one for C# and another for C++.

Note: Tests were performed using Window 8 developer preview on Acer tablet I got at PDC a few years ago.

Windows 8 developer preview

September 25, 2011

Got Windows 8 developer preview loaded on my old Acer tablet that I received for free at PDC a couple of years ago. It actually runs quite nicely on such old hardware! The best way I found to get it up and running was to setup a bootable VHD. Scott Hanselman had some great instructions: