WinMoSquare: Foursquare for Windows Mobile

29 May 2010
May 29, 2010

FoursquareAbout a month ago I received an invite to join the beta program for the Windows Mobile Foursquare client. Those who follow me on Twitter were probably a bit surprised to suddenly see me giving out foursquare updates. Alas, the beta seemed to stop functioning after a few tries and I could no longer send updates without getting an error.

Quick side note: What is this about? Well, if you haven’t heard of Foursquare yet, this might help:

WinMoSquare is a cross between a friend-finder, a social city-guide and a game that rewards you for doing interesting things. We aim to build things to not only help you keep up with the places your friends go, but that encourage you to discover new places and challenge you to explore your neighborhood in new ways.

WinMoSquare : Foursquare for Windows MobileThis week I figured I should at least take a moment and report the errors – but first opted to check the beta’s download link. Ah ha! A new version was available (side note: The download link and file name I give below never change… Best way to see if there’s been an update that I know of is to download it and open up the .cab and check file dates).

The current beta version is working well for me so far. My only beef is that it runs a bit sluggishly. However, I suspect that’s more of an issue with my phone (An HTC Mogul that’s 2.5 years old now) than the software. I just can’t be in a hurry while checking in. :-)

Getting the Beta

I received my original beta notice via email. Since I don’t see any provisions about sharing, here’s one place that you can find it, direct from the developer: http://www.touchality.com/winmosquare.cab

However, since then I’ve found Touchality on Twitter where I learned that this is also now up at the Windows Mobile Marketplace.

Feedback should be reported via email to admin@touchality.com. (Touchality is the company building the Windows Mobile 4sq client.)

A Use for Foursquare?

While using the beta yesterday, I may have unintentionally found an actual use for foursquare beyond satisfying my inner extrovert. I had just arrived at a restaurant and decided to try out the mobile client while waiting for the rest of my party:

image

It turns out that seeing that message come across twitter is what reminded the friend that he had lunch plans. He arrived shortly after, just barely late. :-)

And there you go: Foursquare and twitter combined as a social calendar.

Chrome and Web Dev Extensions

27 May 2010
May 27, 2010

Google Chrome logoI’ve always been happy with the built-in Developer tools that come with Google’s Chrome browser. They’re a pretty solid kit and generally comparable to what you can get for add-ons to Mozilla Firefox. However, more than once I’ve been left wishing for some of those Firefox tools…

Today I was skimming over the Google Webmaster blog and found the recent Chrome Extensions for web development article. Bingo, my wishes just came true! There’s now a page of “featured” web development extensions. Clearly I’m a bit behind the times as I had no idea that there were this many extensions out there already.

I’m quite excited to see one of my old Firefox favorites now available for Chrome: Web Developer by Chris Pederick. Oh sure, I’m a fan of Firebug and many other tools, but Web Developer is one that I’ve often used when I need something that works the way I expect.

Also pleased to see extensions for measuring and eyedropper/color picking as well. Great stuff. Quite a few others out there that look worth exploring as well.

Any favorites that I should be sure to check out?

Windows Update / Hotfix Conundrum

23 May 2010
May 23, 2010

A month or two ago, two of my development servers got stuck in a sort of loop. No matter how many times I applied the .NET 2.0 updates they wanted, they’d want the updates again immediately after the install. It became a bit tedious…

Updates to Install

… seeing the KB974417 and KB976569 updates listed repeatedly. I tried quite a few of the Technet tips related to fixing update issues but had no luck.

I would always end up with an Application Event:

Event Type:    Error
Event Source:    HotFixInstaller
Event Category:    None
Event ID:    5000
Date:        5/23/2010
Time:        7:37:45 AM
User:        N/A
Computer:    EFIOTA
Description:
EventType visualstudio8setup, P1 microsoft .net framework 2.0-kb974417, P2 1033, P3 1642, P4 msi, P5 f, P6 9.0.40302.0, P7 install, P8 x86, P9 w2k3, P10 0.

and the following System event as well:

Event Type:    Error
Event Source:    Windows Update Agent
Event Category:    Installation
Event ID:    20
Date:        5/23/2010
Time:        7:37:50 AM
User:        N/A
Computer:    EFIOTA
Description:
Installation Failure: Windows failed to install the following update with error 0×80070643: Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Service Pack 2 Security Update for Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP (KB974417).

Last weekend I decided to just completely uninstall all of the .NET stuff from each server and then reinstall the whole pile. From the “Add or Remove Programs” control panel I uninstalled .NET 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, rebooted and the downloaded and installed 3.5 sp1 and went through the Microsoft Update patching process. A bit time-consuming but certainly easy enough.

Hey Presto, all updates “took” and the issues went away!

But alas… the next day, one of the developers reminded me that we needed to have Hotfix KB969612 installed to address some UI menu issues when using Internet Explorer 8. I installed that and immediately got the Windows Update prompts for the same two patches.

Full circle – right back to where I started the previous day.

Frankly, I’m not quite sure how to work my way out of this one. That hotfix (logically in retrospect) blocks the subsequent updates.

LoadLabs.com Announced

19 May 2010
May 19, 2010

LOAD Labs image I don’t normally mention press releases, but this is one for some folks I know and respect. I have worked with the ProtoTest team in the past with great success. This is not a sponsored post. So, with that out of the way…

Are you looking for a load and performance testing solution? In particular, are you on that “holy grail” quest for testing in which you know how much it will cost before you start? LoadLabs was announced today and it may be just what you’re after.

I was fortunate to experience a preview (or beta) test of this service a few months back and was very impressed by the process – and the staff. It was a very positive experience and we got some great results. I definitely recommend them.

Here’s the press release:

ProtoTest, Denver’s quality assurance gurus, have just announced the launch of LoadLabs – the first and only flat-rate load and performance testing solution (www.LoadLabs.com). LoadLabs represents a completely new way to think about load and performance testing.

“Now, website and online application developers have a real alternative to companies and consultants that don’t offer upfront pricing. So far, that type of fixed-cost solution hasn’t existed. We saw a huge opportunity to create an affordable solution, and we jumped on it,” said Lawrence Nuanez, one of the developers of LoadLabs.

LoadLabs takes the hassle of load testing off your plate and helps deliver improved online app and website performance in the most cost-effective way possible. Other load test services offer price “estimates,” which create a significant barrier to determining the cost-effectiveness of a test. With LoadLabs, that variable has been eliminated.

Tests are done in about a week, and reports provide both top-line and highly detailed information. Retests are also included, so you can make sure your sites and apps work the way they are supposed to before they go live.

“Having detailed results within a week without buying expensive software, and having additional staff at this price point, is simply amazing,” said David Barclay, LoadLabs customer and Director of Technology at Medical Media Holdings.