How to set configuration in your Universal Windows Application through MDM

One thing I hear over and over again when talking to (enterprise) developers is that they struggle with configuration management for UWP applications. In the past they just edited a app.config (or web.config) file on the machines to point an app to a test, acceptance or production environment. In UWP we have a app.config file as well but it’s hidden away in some obscure directory protected by some more restricted ACL.

Interesting shortcut on Windows: Windows+Ctrl+Shift+B

The advantage of working inside the Windows engineering group is you stumble upon some cool or weird new and old features you never knew about. One of this nuggets is the keyboard shortcut Windows+Ctrl+Shift+B. So what does it do? It resets the graphics subsystem on your machine (and makes your machine say Beep!). Apparently this was introduced in the Vista timeframe where we introduced the new Desktop Windows Manager (DWM) in Vista.

Auto updater for my side loaded UWP apps

As I described before, i have a few tasks to solve for my home automation project. One of the things I wanted to do is to be able to update my application on the different devices easily. I could publish my home automation app to the store, but it’s hard to provide a test environment for the store testers and it takes a while when the app gets certified before i can roll it out to all my devices.

How to use any app in assigned access mode in Windows 10

As I wrote before, by default when you setup assigned access the UI only shows app which have the aboveLockScreen extension registered. I talked to the PM who owns this feature to ask why and the reason is because we changed the behavior of how assigned access works (lock the screen and launch the app above the lock screen) we found out a lot of existing apps crash when running on the lock screen, so we changed the UI to only show apps which are designed to run above the lock screen.

How to debug DirextX on Windows 10 Mobile

Another one of these little ‘gotchas’. Morten asked the question why he couldn’t debug DirectX on mobile, but it was possible on desktop and the IOT version of windows 10. I am not a DirectX expert at all, but this was weird. So I asked around internally what was going on. First, if you want to do this on Desktop you need to install the graphics tools as an additional feature before you can do this.

Why do I only see OneNote and Skype when setting up assigned access in Windows 10?

edit; this now just works for any application in the latest version of Windows 10. So the manifest is not needed anymore. If you are trying to setup assigned access in Windows 10, you go to settings, accounts, Other Users and there is a link to ‘set up assigned access’. First you need to create a local account you can use for assigned access. You can do that at this ‘Other users’ dialog as well.

Screensaver for my app

One of the things my Home Automation app needs to do is run forever. But I don’t want the screen to burn in either. I can allow the phone to lock the screen but at that time my app isn’t running. I could run some background tasks but there is no way to wake up the app and dismiss the lock screen automatically. Therefore I want an app which runs all the time but has some kind of build in screensaver.

List of tasks I need to figure out for my home automation project

As I described before I am working on a little project to use some Lumia 640s in the house to control the home automation. Besides figuring out how to configure and roll out the devices, and figuring out how exactly I am going to put them in the walls, I also have a laundry list of items I need to figure out for the app on the device. Instead of waiting before everything is done I thought it might be useful to take you along the ride.

Fixed my Bryant two stage furnace with my NEST

When we bought the house we learned it had a fairly new Bryant furnace installed. The previous owner upgraded from an electric furnace a few years ago. When we had an HVAC guy over for an AC quote he mentioned it was a good two stage furnace, better than the one we had in Bothell. Ok, I didn’ really think about until a recent discussion with some colleagues at Microsoft.

How to disable the SIM error message on your Windows Mobile device

Some people use Windows Mobile devices without a SIM. I use it to test different things during my job and also on my developer devices at home. I just started a little project where I want to use the Lumia 640 as a control device and these devices will never get a SIM. So this pesky little warning prevents the device from automatically starting up and run my control software.