Saturday, 6 October 2012

Simple AES (Symmetric Key) Encryption in WinRT

Symmetric key encryption, also called secret key encryption, requires that the key used for encryption also be used for decryption. You can use a SymmetricKeyAlgorithmProvider object to specify a symmetric algorithm and create or import a key. You can use static methods on the CryptographicEngine class to encrypt and decrypt data by using the algorithm and key.

Under normal circumstances on top of the encryption key used, you would need to send vector values which is used as the initialization vector. However, for a simple scenario (e.g. you want to send a password value from the client to the server or vice-versa, and you don’t want to do a post with clear-text). You wouldn’t go through the trouble of carrying the IV buffer to the client side as well.

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WinRT/XAML Colour Picker (using SharpDx)

WinRT/XAML Colour Picker (using SharpDx)
I needed a colour picker for an app I’m building and it turns out no ones built a WinRT XAML one yet. So this is my very simple colour picker! I use bitmaps to represent the swatch (in my case i have 3 different types). I use SharpDx to get the “Pixel Buffer” of the selected swatch. Where ever the mouse or pointer is i get the pixel under that position via the pixel buffer and from that i get the colours (RGBA). This is what the colour picker looks like this.

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AgFx.WinRT 1.0.0-experimental

AgFx is a data caching framework that makes it easy to build data-connected Windows Phone applications.

To install AgFx.WinRT, run the following command in the Package Manager Console

PM> Install-Package AgFx.WinRT -Pre




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File system change notifications in WinRT

.NET framework for Windows 8 Store apps provides a subset of features included in full .NET framework profile. Microsoft excluded many APIs considered obsolete or unsafe. One of the removed classes is FileSystemWatcher, a class that proves its usefulness in applications intensively working with Windows file system. Instead, WinRT provides an alternative mechanism for folders monitoring based on queries.

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Downloading files in Windows 8 apps using Background Transfer feature

In this blog post I am going to show how to use Background Transfer feature to download files over HTTP in a Windows Store C#/XAML app. Background Transfer has several advantages over using HttpClient and is much better for long running transfers. I am going to create a simple app, that initiates download over the Internet, tracks progress of the download and supports re-attaching transfers after the app is closed.

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Simulating A Tab Control in a Windows 8 Application

I was looking through the forums on MSDN today and found someone asking how to implement a Tab Strip Control in Windows 8 Store applications.  They used the Store as an example, wanting functionality that behaves like the OverView, Details, Reviews section.

Currently there are no tab controls in Windows 8 and I haven’t seen any third party libraries implement one. I though I would put together  a quick post to show how you can get similar functionality using RadioButtons and the new FlipView control. I started with a blank application and added the following code to the MainPage.xaml.

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Firefox Metro Preview for Windows 8

Today’s preview marks the beginning of Mozilla community testing for the Firefox Metro browser designed from the ground up for Windows 8.

Earlier this year, we began development on a version of Firefox that runs on x86 Windows 8. This version of Firefox runs in both the Windows 8 “classic Desktop” environment, and in the new “Metro” environment. We’ve made a lot of progress since that first development update. We’re excited to share it with you and we’re looking forward to your feedback.

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Bing Maps SDKs for Windows Store Apps Now Available

Today we are announcing the availability of the Bing Maps SDKs for Windows Store apps. These SDKs will allow you to bring the power of Bing Maps to your Windows Store apps with support for C#, C++, Visual Basic and JavaScript based applications.

Please be aware that this release is the only version (1.1.20120927.0) of Bing Maps which will be supported for apps submitted to the Windows Store. If you are running any prior version (or BETA) you must upgrade and rebuild your app with this build to pass the Windows app Certification Kit (WACK) process. This process is required to submit all apps to the store and checks for the latest version of all dependencies to be approved. In most cases this should be as easy as downloading the latest version of the Bing Maps for Windows Store Apps API and recompiling your app.

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The HealthVault Windows 8 SDK is now available

The HealthVault Windows 8 SDK is now available
HealthVault is the single repository of your entire medical life – across doctors, clinics, and years. HealthVault is a secure repository for you and your family’s medical and fitness data. It can be, at your control, shared with health providers or anyone you trust – but only if you want to. It can be integrated into applications and technology.

The library is for both JavaScript and C# applications.

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How to check if a file exists in Windows 8

Sometimes things are simple, sometimes they aren't when you think they should be. One such thing in Windows 8 development is checking if a file exists...

In a Windows 8 app (be it C# or JavaScript) you work with the StorageFolder. Since we are sandboxed and don't really have file-system access we don't have the System.IO namespace as we're use to meaning we have an entirely new set of APIs for reading a writing files (although it's nice that they are built around being asynchronous). The fun thing about StorageFolder is it has no method like FileExistsAsync. Yep, there's no API which will allow you to work out whether a file exists or not.

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