Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Halo: Spartan Assault

Just in time for my flight to Seattle, WA, Microsoft has just published the awaited game, Halo:  Spartan Assault.  This game is made for touch enabled devices; specifically, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

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You can download the game right now for Windows 8 devices (I just downloaded the ~850 MB game for my Surface RT) for the low price of $6.99. 

For Windows Phone 8 users, Halo: Spartan Assault is exclusive to Verizon customers ONLY for the moment.  My understanding is that it will come to ALL Windows Phone 8 phones (that can support the hardware requirements) in about a month.

Download the game

For Windows 8

For Windows Phone 8 (coming soon)

Publisher Description

Halo: Spartan Assault brings the excitement of Halo combat to touch-based devices for the very first time. Battle your way through 25 action-packed missions against the Covenant as you explore the origin of the Spartan Ops program and Halo 4’s Spartan Commander, Sarah Palmer.

Earn Xbox achievements, complete mission and weekly challenges, unlock new customizations for your Halo 4 career, and compete against your friends for the top scores in the leaderboards.

It’s time to join the assault, Spartan!

*Halo Spartan Assault requires users to sign into Xbox with a Microsoft account to play.

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XBOX meets Pizza Hut

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I believe I have just given reason for my wife to worry just a little more.  Earlier, it has been reported that you can now order your pizza (thanks to Pizza Hut) from your XBOX 360. 

USA Today Story

If that wasn’t incentive enough, if you use this app through May 6, 2013, you will receive a 15% discount.  Love it!

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Windows 8: Stephen Legler’s Technology Blog

This WordPress blog is now available as a Windows 8 application (once it completes the Microsoft Certification Process… estimated April 18, 2013).  Please read the Privacy Statement below.

This blog is now touch-optimized as a Windows 8 Application “Stephen Legler’s Technology Blog.”  The application allows for you to have a reader experience and leverages the Windows 8 features:  Live Tiles, Search, and Sharing.  You are also able to bookmark articles of interest (i.e. Windows 8 Tips & Tricks) for easy access later.

You can get the application here:  Coming Soon

Details on how to Turn Your WordPress Blog into a Windows 8 Application:  Coming Soon

Application:  Blog/About

This application consolidates articles, tips, and tricks from Microsoft’s Stephen Legler.  Stephen is a top-producing sales executive and technical strategist with focus on Windows and client technologies (with special emphasis on management, security, mobile devices, tablets, and virtualization).  Download this application to learn about the latest Microsoft-related news and tidbits, along with bonus topics that Stephen is passionate about.

Windows 8 App Screenshots

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Privacy Statement

Information Collection

This blog and application does not collect any personal, usage, or tracking information unless you subscribe to the blog as an email follower.  As an email follower, your email address is listed on the website.

The information listed will NOT be used for solicitation. You opt-in or opt-out based on your desire to receive posts and updates via the WordPress blog service.

Information Sharing

Stephen Legler does not share any data from the information that it collects (stated above).

Microsoft’s Privacy Statement

http://privacy.microsoft.com/en-us/AdDisplay.mspx

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National Champions–Louisville Cardinals

Just a quick congratulations to my hometown, Louisville Cardinals.  The final game was extremely tough and I was nervous the entire time.  Congratulations to the Michigan Wolverines as well… they are a Powerhouse.  

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Image Source:  www.louisville.edu

I think the only real loser was Charles Barkley… over the last couple of years, he spouts off that the Big East was overrated and this year he says the Big 10 was overrated.  Was happy to see a Big East vs. Big 10 finale.

Now, can the Lady Cardinals do it tonight???  They are facing a tough opponent – UConn. 

Let’s Go Cards!

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Colleague Shout-out: Jennifer Marsman, Microsoft Principal Developer Evangelist

I have written a few posts on developing for the Windows 8 platform and thought I would take a moment to give a kudos / shout-out to one of my colleagues, Jennifer Marsman.  Jennifer is a Principal Developer Evangelist at Microsoft where she educates developers on Microsoft’s newest technologies.

She has a real passion for developing applications and games and I truly enjoy any conversation I get to have with her.  A few months ago, she led a Microsoft only developer day for anyone that was interested in attending (geared for us non-developers).  That day, she showcased how you can easily create a Windows 8 game using Scirra’s Construct 2 solution (will post my experiences later).

Although she is predominately responsible for developer evangelism for 1/3 of the United States, her blog is global and I thought I would take this time to share her blog for those of you that want to follow her insights more closely.

You may want to stay close to this blog as she posts upcoming developer event information as well.

You can also follow her on Twitter:  Jennifer Marsman

Cheers!

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King of the Bracket–2013 NCAAM Tourney

I’ve never been good at overall performance when selecting the teams during the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament.  Maybe this year will be better.  I have my hometown Louisville Cardinals facing Miami (Fl.) in the Championship round.

I’m hoping that the Cardinals don’t have to play the Spartans to advance… and, if a team needs to exit early, hopefully it is those Spartans.

Good luck Cardinals!  #L1C4

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Embracing your Inner Developer

By now, most of you may have already seen the following video titled “What most schools don’t teach you.”  If you haven’t, I ask you to take the 6 minutes out of your life to watch it. 

During the video, you will see direct comments from Bill Gates (Microsoft), Jack Dorsey (Twitter), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Drew Houston (Dropbox), Tony Hsieh (Zappos), Elena Silenok (Clothia), Gabe Newell (Valve) among many others.  They describe how and when they first began to program. 

What most schools don’t teach you

Their mission is simple – to encourage you to embrace your inner developer.  The video ends with the following:

1 million of the best jobs in America may go unfilled… because only 1 in 10 schools teach students how to code

The beauty of this story is that you don’t need to be college educated, live in an affluent neighborhood, or feel that you are too old and may have missed your opportunity.  Today, thanks to many great people and the power of the internet, there are many resources that are freely available for you (I will provide quite a few at the end of this post).

One of my favorites stories comes from my home state of Kentucky.  There are many places in Kentucky that are extremely impoverished and were hit drastically with the on-going recession.  I am thankful for a company that looks for ways to extend our passion and technology to assist those that may not have an opportunity to shine.  Watch Jeremy’s story to see how one vision can change a person, a town.

Jeremy’s Story

I will be the first to admit that I’m not a developer.  But, I try and spend a few hours every week to tinker and learn new languages and new patterns.  I find the developers around the world have the greatest gift because their potential is truly unlimited.  Being able to think of an idea and code it into a working program is just inspirational.

I try to encourage all of the youth that I encounter to take up programming. 

Develop for Windows 8

With the introduction of Windows 8, this is a perfect opportunity to embrace the new platform and begin to develop applications for the new Windows Store.  You may ask – why not start with iOS or Android development.  You could.  But, I would encourage you to look at the totality of the Microsoft ecosystem.

It is estimated that Windows 7 and Windows XP account for nearly 83.5% of the global desktop operating system market share.   This means that 44.5% of the PCs/Laptops are capable of running Windows 8 and 38.9% of the desktops (ones that are running Windows XP) have less than 13 months to upgrade or they are subjected to not receive any more security updates from Microsoft.  The logical choice for those that have Windows XP machines is to purchase a new Windows 8 device (Desktops, Laptops, or Tablets).

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Source:  http://www.netmarketshare.com/

Tami Reller, Windows Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer, shared with the public in early January that Windows 8 has sold 60 million licenses to date (as of January 8, 2013).

Since the Windows Store is just beginning (October 2012), you can develop and submit an application early in the evolution of the Windows Store and will have a greater opportunity for your application to be seen (and purchased).  With the Apple store (and possibly Google’s store), it is possible that your application will get lost in the complexity.  There is an Apple Insider’s article that details 2/3rds of Apple’s iOS App Store is populated by “zombie” apps – meaning, 2/3rds of these apps never get purchased, downloaded, or installed.

Don’t just listen to me.  There is a great success story on this already.  Kevin Ashley (a Microsoft architect and technical evangelist) has written about his own experiences with his applications in the Windows Store – Making $30,000 a month on Windows 8 Apps.

In summary, I encourage you to consider developing an application.  If you have children in the middle school or high school, maybe they will be inspired by these stories… stories that can be life changing.

Until later, take a look at these resources available for you.

Tips on getting started

FREE Development Environment – Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8

Training Videos

C# Fundamentals:  Development for Absolute Beginners

Windows Store Apps for Absolute Beginners with C#

HTML5 and CSS3 Fundamentals:  Development for Absolute Beginners

Javascript Fundamentals:  Development for Absolute Beginners

Windows Store Apps for Absolute Beginners with JavaScript

Building Apps for Windows Phone 8 Jump Start:  Introducing Windows Phone 8 Development

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