Prabhu Kumar

a tech twaddler..


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* chirp * chirp *

Written by Prabhu Kumar

December 11th, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Posted in Rant

Get ‘Programming Windows 6th Edition’ by Charles Petzold for $10!

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Programming Windows 6th Edition

O’Reilly has a special offer on the new book that Charles Petzold is working on, Programming Windows 6th Edition. This should be a great book covering Windows 8 app development in C# and XAML.

You can get this book for $10 now (offer lasts till 31st May), and future editions of this book, as and when new chapters are added, will be available to you for free.

Read more at Charles’ blog here:

Shop at:

Written by Prabhu Kumar

May 30th, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

A festive feel for the 404 page?

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Was just playing around with JavaScript and came across this snowflake tutorial by Kirupa, we have a fancy 404 page now :)

Try this –

Snowfall effect –

Written by Prabhu Kumar

December 18th, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Posted in Development,General

‘CODE’ by Charles Petzold: An absolute must read

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You know how sometimes you come across a book and you go “I wish I had read this years ago!”. CODE is just that book. It’s a book about how computers work and the way in which Charles Petzold flows through the topics is pure artistry. Those electronics class lessons in college would have been much more interesting if I had read this book then ;)

The book starts off with two best friends trying to communicate from across the street using only flashlights. This is how the idea of ‘code’ is introduced. It then takes you through a journey involving Morse Code, Braille and how telegraphs and relays were used to send codes over long distances. For me, the most interesting part is when he starts building logic gates from relays and switches. This lays a solid foundation for things to come. These logic gates are then used to build half-adders, full-adders (using two half-adders), oscillators, flip-flops and latches; finally getting assembled into a unit of Random Access Memory. Towards the end, a simple computer with processing, input and output systems is designed. The book might be a little old but still very relevant.

The most amazing thing about this book? It teaches you concepts at such a fundamental level that your mind will be blown. And before you know it you will be building ripple counters from flip-flops! If you have anything to do with computers go read this book. You won’t be disappointed.

CODE on flipkart

CODE on Amazon

Written by Prabhu Kumar

November 15th, 2011 at 12:33 am

Posted in Uncategorized

My next job

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Today was my last day at Samsung. I completed 3 years there this July. My next job takes me to a new city and my domain takes a 180 degree turn from device drivers and firmware to something more related to the web.

I will be joining Microsoft, Hyderabad as an SDET in the Bing team.

Next monday, 12th September, will be my first day at Microsoft. I’m really excited and I know there is a ton of things for me to learn. Really looking forward to this!

Written by Prabhu Kumar

September 9th, 2011 at 11:20 pm

Posted in General

Hey ma look what I got, gingerbread on my HD2!

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Yep, that video above shows my HTC HD2 running Android Gingerbread (v2.3.4)! I came back home, and not having much to do thought I’ll give android another try. Sometime back I had tried running android from SD card but it didn’t work, later I found out that it was because of an older radio version on my device, so I had to update the radio version to fix it but it all looked like too much trouble and I put the HD2 back in its box. This was 6 months ago.

Today I thought I should take it for another spin. But this time we go all in, erase Windows Mobile 6 and flash the ROM with all the android goodness! It is pretty simple really, all you need is some patience to read all those articles on XDA a little carefully :)

The basic steps I followed are,

  • Check your radio version and update to 2.08.50 (if you’re running an older version)
  • Install MAGLDR 1.13 on your phone
  • Install Clockwork Mod on your device
  • Select an android ROM of your choice and flash. I chose the stock android gingerbread ROM version 2.3.4.

Here are the posts on XDA I referred to androidify my hd2, (read this fully first, very important!) (this is the android rom I installed) (faq) (a list of all the rom’s you can choose from)

To all the guys at XDA, thanks for all the posts and how-to’s for noobs. You rock!

Written by Prabhu Kumar

July 23rd, 2011 at 1:15 am

A quick update: Mango on my HD7

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This is going to be a quick post. Just over 2 weeks ago I got the Windows Phone Mango invite I was waiting for; my HD7 has been running mango in full glory since then. The installation took a long time but went pretty smoothly, backing the data up takes most of the time. I am really liking the Mango update, this is what windows phone should have been when it launched. Multitasking, IE9, better facebook integration in people’s hub and a plethora of other features. The voice command integration in mango is exceptional, and I find myself using it quite often. Being able to listen to an incoming message, compose a reply and send it, all using only your voice, is really amazing (or magical, as some might call it) and works really well.

Strangely, I am not using the multitasking feature all that much. Somehow I have an obsessive compulsion to keep the backstack clean all the time. Whenever I am done using the phone, I keep pressing the back button just to make sure there is nothing on the stack. I have a feeling I’m not alone.

In other news, AppHub gets some new features and Windows Phone is expanding to new markets. More importantly, Microsoft’s pubCenter, finally, will be available to developers outside of US of A. According to Todd Brix’s post, pubCenter should launch to new markets (including India!) before the end of 2011. I can’t wait to try out adCenter. You can read Todd’s post here,

Written by Prabhu Kumar

July 21st, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Windows Phone Mango 7.1 SDK Beta 2

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The developer tools for Windows Phone Mango were updated to Beta 2 a few days ago. You can find the bits here,

Web Installer –

ISO file –

You can read this WindowsPhoneGeek article on installation instructions.

On June 29th, Microsoft also released Mango for developers,

I am still waiting for my invite. Looks like they are sending out invites starting from the list of supported countries, which unfortunately, India is not a part of. I’ll write when I get the invite and let you know how the installation goes on my HD7.

Written by Prabhu Kumar

July 3rd, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Windows Phone Mango Developer Tools

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The consumer side of Windows Phone Mango was unveiled yesterday by Microsoft. It brings in some great new features like multitasking, IE9, fast application switching, maps, web marketplace etc to name a few. I was also impressed with enhancements to bing like local scout, bing vision and bing voice. With the NoDo update fiasco now behind us, I think the expectations are set just right for the ‘mango’ update which will be coming this fall ;) One thing that annoys me is the feature-market fragmentation that’s happening with Windows Phone. What’s the deal with making some features available only to a few markets! Just look at the way zune services and their features are split region-wise. It’s horrible and needs fixing.

Nothing was mentioned about Microsoft’s ad framework, PubCenter, and its expansion plans. It’s been close to 8 months since windows phone came out and PubCenter has expanded its market by zero, zilch, nada! There were talks a while back that it will be made available in europe, I don’t know how that’s working out. Hey you, make it global already! And show us some pay-per-impression love.


You can download the Windows Phone Developer Tools 7.1 Beta from here, (web installer)

And if you don’t believe in web installers, here’s the link for downloading the ISO file,

Aaron Stebner’s post contains some more links and other useful information, do take a look,

And remember to install Visual Studio 2010 SP1 first.

You have a good day while I watch the ISO getting sucked from the interwebs at mind-numbing speeds.  /s

Until next time…

Written by Prabhu Kumar

May 25th, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Windows Mobile 6.x Application Submissions to Stop on July 15, 2011

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Got a mail today from the Windows Phone Marketplace team that application submission to Windows Mobile 6.x marketplace will be stopped effective July 15, 2011. Existing apps will stay on the marketplace, users (whatever remains) will be able to download your apps and more importantly developer payouts will continue to happen as usual.

Here is the complete text of the mail,


May 16, 2011
Dear Windows Marketplace for Mobile Developer,

We are excited about the momentum we have with Windows Phone. Since we launched Windows Phone last fall, technical reviews have been very positive and, most importantly, customer satisfaction has been extremely high. Moreover, our Windows Phone Marketplace continues to grow at a fast pace. It now features more than 15,000 apps and games and there are over 40,000 registered developers.

At MIX we announced that in May we will release the beta version of the Windows Phone Developer Tools for the next version of Windows Phone, code-named “Mango,” which we are still on track to do. The Mango release will be made available to users later this year, and it represents the next step in our continued focus on advancing the Windows Phone platform and expanding the opportunity for developers.

To innovate faster on the Windows Phone Marketplace, we are scaling back our investments in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile service. We are sharing this plan with you, in advance, so that you can make thoughtful plans and preparations.

  • App Submission and Management. On July 15, 2011, we will no longer be accepting new Windows Mobile 6.x applications or application updates. In addition, it will no longer be possible to modify prices, metadata, or other information. However, you will still be able to remove your apps by contacting support.
  • App Distribution. Even though app submission will stop on July 15, users will still be able to purchase and download your Windows Mobile 6.x applications through the Windows Marketplace for Mobile.
  • App Reporting. Sales and download reports will continue to be available for your Windows Mobile 6.x applications through the App Hub after July 15.
  • Developer Payouts. Developer payouts will continue to be processed in accordance with the provisions of the Windows Phone Marketplace Application Provider Agreement.

Additional information regarding the scaling back of our investment in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile will be shared over the coming months as plans become finalized.

We would like to thank you for being part of our Windows Marketplace for Mobile developer community, and we look forward to helping you build more Windows Phone applications.

For more information, please visit the App Hub Forum. For further assistance, please contact support directly.

Thank you for your support,

The Windows Phone Marketplace Team


Rest in peace, windows mobile.

Written by Prabhu Kumar

May 17th, 2011 at 5:53 pm