Admitted Google / Udacity Scolarship on the Android Developer track!

I recently received an email from Udacity informing me that I’ve been accepted into the Android Programmer track! This is great news for me, and I’m really excited to get this chance to delve deeper into Android development!

Congratulations!
Dear Thomas,
We are excited to offer you a Google Developer Challenge Scholarship to the Android Developer track.
We received applications from many talented and motivated candidates, and yours truly stood out.
Share your good news!

The program is three months, with the best candidates being awarded a further six months scholarship. I’m going for the full package! 🙂

 

Advertisements

Sending with Mozilla

I was listening to my favorite podcast, the TWiT show Security Now, episode 623, with Leo Laporte and Steve Gibson, while driving the other day. They showcased a brilliant little tool that the Mozilla foundation has launched at https://send.firefox.com which allows you to send files up to 1 GB in size, correctly encrypted (TNO – Trust NoOne!) that vanishes after 24 hours or a single download. The project is open source  and currently in “Test Pilot” according to the site. And, as you might expect, works in most (any) browsers, not only Firefox. Check it out at https://send.firefox.com !

Microsoft consolidates documentation

I learned today that Microsoft, in an effort to centralize and consolidate all their product documentation, have launched a portal at docs.microsoft.com

I have just been perusing around a bit, but from the looks of it, the new portal will serve as a good starting point for delving deep into Microsoft technology, wether you’re in Dev, IT or an Office-worker..

reMarkable!

As we speak, I’m one of the many people eagerly awaiting the arrival of my pre-ordered reMarkable “paper tablet”.. I’ve read all the reviews and I’ve been following the development of this device for quite some time now. It promises to deliver a paper-like experience in a tablet, and should replace all my “notebooks, sketchbooks and printouts”…

Here is a photo from the reMarkable website:

remarkable-read.jpg

I’ll be sharing my experiences with it here on the blog, so come back for more..

Facebook Graph API course

I just finished Udacity’s FREE course on developing with the Facebook Graph API and AccountKit!

This course takes you through logging in to an app using just your phone number and SMS, or by email. Then, it takes you through using your Facebook identity for logging in.

Using test accounts, you can learn and test all you want without messing up your own feed or bothering your friends.

By querying the Graph API (assuming you give the app permission to do so, of course!) you can request all types of information from the API. Again, using test users and the Graph API Explorer, you can learn all you need to learn “behind the scenes” for integration into your app or website.

With a sample app accompanying the course, you can follow along and code the same functionality for yourself, or even integrate it in your own app as you learn. The source code is available on GitHub here

All in all a well designed course on a very interesting topic. Thank you Udacity!

Find the course here!

Infrequent updates…

This blog is where I have gathered some of the article I’ve written over the last few years. Some are antiquated, some are in Norwegian, some are just outright wrong. But I should stand by what I’ve done in the past, so I’ll leave it here. As a warning. 🙂

Now, a lot has happened since the last time I wrote anything in my blog. Yes, it’s been five years! Wow… Looking back; the meetup-group I was so proud of has served it’s purpose, and it’s been shut down due to lack of interest. It was fun, while it lasted, but all good things must come to an end, I guess.

I am still employed by the same employer, but I’ve assumed a new role as mobile developer, following a crazy spark I had after learning some Android programming in school (more about that later) and deciding this is SO awesome I want to do it full time!

So here I am, a lone ranger, working on a prototype for an app which will hopefully make a meaningful difference for our customers, one day. It’s technically quite complex, and I feel like I’ve barely touched the surface of this complexity yet, but I am loving every minute of it, so I feel it was the right move to make..

I have a startup in my stomach. And in my head. And some in writing. I’ve been maturing the idea for some time now together with my soon-to-be wife Eline, and we’ve decided to incorporate and start baking up services for local (and remote) small businesses, using all our newly earned knowledge from school (yes, more later). Also we have a great idea for a more consumer-focused app/service, which we should be able to start work on as soon as we’re done in school..

So, school! By school I mean that I went back to school to (finally) get a degree in this thing I’ve been working with for years. So, in 2015 I embarked on a journey to get a Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems at Nord University! This is where I also met my soon-to-be wife, and I might just tell that story another time.. But, here we are, just about started on the third year, and it’s been a blast! The first two semesters I was surfing along on my IT experience, but then something happened. The subjects were suddenly unknown to me, the demands and complexities hardened, and I was feeling like I was really learning something new! When the subject “App-programming in Android” came up, I loved every minute of it! And while I’ve been programming for many many years, this was the first truly (by my standards) complex use of object-oriented programming I had seen. Suddenly, I was grasping the concepts at a whole new level! “Algorithms and data structures using Java” was another eye-opener for me, and I’ve fallen in love with the Java programming language.

Anyways, wanted to just write something here, so I did. And I’ll try to find more time to do so again in the near future… Or not.. 🙂

Microsoft Exchange Remote Connectivity Analyzer

 ExRCA

Leave it to Microsoft to create short an sweet names for their products. This time though, it’s a real pearl – and we’ll just shorten the name to ExRCA for the rest of this article.
(Edit: If you have suggestions for new name, or other comments, visit the site and click the Feedback-link)

Currently this tool is marked with “Beta”, and I suspect Microsoft are taking after Google here, notorious for their eternal beta products.

ExRCA is a gem in and of it’s own, and supplies great insight for those of us that really need it – the Exchange Administrator/Architect/Implementer/Troubleshooter.

It’s merely a troubleshooting tool in the form of a webpage that will, provided you submit it some information, connect and analyze your externally exposed Exchange Web Services! At the time of writing, these are your options:

  •  Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync Connectivity Tests
    • Exchange ActiveSync with AutoDiscover
    • Exchange ActiveSync (which is the one I’ve tested so far)
  •  Microsoft Exchange Web Services Connectivity Tests
    • ActiveSync Provider AutoDiscover
    • Outlook Provider AutoDiscover
  •  Microsoft Office Outlook Connectivity Tests
    • Outlook Anywhere with AutoDiscover
    • Outlook 2003 RPC/HTTP
  •  Internet Email Tests
    • Inbound SMTP Email Test

Are you still reading? I’ll give you the link to this site in a moment, let me just give you some background on the issue I was facing first:

I was recently tasked with setting up external services like Outlook Web Access and Exchange Active Sync for mobile devices for a client. The Exchange Server in question was one typical non-dedicated server – loaded with other services. There were several services installed in the “Default Web Site” in IIS, all of which had imposed *their* settings into IIS. The Exchange web services hadn’t been in use before, but my client desired a move into the future, and so they wanted to utilize email, calendar, contact and task synchronization to their various mobile devices.

The web services are automatically installed and set up by Exchange when you first install it, but since the other services had had their way with the IIS site, “nothing” was working – no SSL, no permissions, no configurations – seemed to be in order for Exchange web services.

As I started ironing out the creases, more and more functionality came in to place and to make a long story short, I had only one thing remaining that didn’t work properly, and that was the most important – device synchronization with ActiveSync!

I had already configured the service and was able to connect, providing a user name and password, but when it came time to move data, the device (an old HTC S710 I keep around just for testing) would throw an error message (It was “Support Code 0x85010014” if you’re interested) that I couldn’t quite get my head around, because every search for this code gave me different results.

In the end I stumbled upon a forum thread that seemed to be moving into the same problem I was having. A moderator suggested they go to the Microsoft Exchange Remote Connectivity Analyzer and use it to analyze the problem.

I did the same, and using a test user-ID (as recommended – do no use any production user-ID unless you absolutely have to) I ran the test. My client didn’t have a trusted SSL certificate installed on his IIS Server at the time, so I had to check “Ignore Trust for SSL” to make the tests pass.

After supplying the server name and user credentials and verifying to the service that I understood what this was going to do, the tests ran and a report was presented in the webpage. It informed me that connecting and communicating was working fine, but there was something towards the end that failed. It then supplied a link to a Technet article explaining what was wrong and a link to a KB Article on how to fix the issue. I needed to create a separate Virtual Directory for non-SSL Outlook Mobile Access, and once I had that I redirected clients to it using a registry key.

The information gathered by ExRCA was invaluable in resolving the issue, and will definitely be a part of my toolbox from now on!