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SAMS Teach Yourself Mac OS X Lion Programming in 24 Hours

As some of you may know, I spent a tremendous amount of time and effort working on this book, which you can buy over here at Amazon.com.

Cover Art - SAMS Teach Yourself Mac OS X Lion Programming in 24 Hours

Cover Art - SAMS Teach Yourself Mac OS X Lion Programming in 24 Hours

I am posting this blog post here to let people know that all of the revisions are done, all of the proofs have been approved and accepted, and the only thing left to do for this book is to print it.

So now there is no excuse – go out and buy yourself a copy. Then buy one for your friends and your parents and your friends’ parents.

I hope you enjoy reading the book and learning from it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

What I’ve Been Up To Lately

I was originally thinking of framing this post in the form of an apology. For example, “I’m so terribly sorry that I haven’t been posting to this blog lately.” I’m not going to do that, however. While I freely admit that the blog has been barren for the last couple of months, it hasn’t been without reason.

Firstly, I have been wrapping up my work on the Windows Phone 7 for iPhone Developers book. I’m really proud of this book and I really like the way it came out. If I had it to do over again and was able to add a few hours to every day I spent working on it, I would’ve spent more time building parallel samples so that the code downloads for the book included nearly as much iOS code as it did WP7 to allow iOS developers to compare real-world, full-functioning scenarios. Oh well, perhaps I’ll include that kind of depth in a future “Mango” edition of the book (if there is such a thing).

Second, I’ve been in the process of moving. I’m packing up stuff, throwing stuff out, and staging my old house for sale. This is time consuming when you’re still working on copy edits, tech edit reviews, oh and trying to squeeze in a little family time in there here and there.

Thirdly, I’ve started working on a new book. I can’t yet tell you the title, but here is a hint: all of the code is written in Objective-C 🙂

Fourth, I’ve been working on a series of articles for the SilverlightShow.net website, all about WP7 for iPhone and Android developers. Check out that series here.

Zombie Apocalypse Trainer Now Available

As some of you may know, up until very recently I’ve been working on a book called Windows Phone 7 for iPhone Developers. This book is all about learning how to build Windows Phone 7 applications, even if you’ve never written any code for Windows or for the iPhone before. Despite the iPhone name in the title, the book is just as useful for any new mobile application developer, regardless of background. Comparisons to the iPhone are made just to make some of the concepts in the book easier to grasp for new developers.

Anyway, the last chapter in that book deals with deploying applications to the Windows Phone Marketplace. In order to get screenshots for that chapter and to be able to accurately describe the application submission process, I had to create an application and submit it to the Marketplace.

That application is called Apocalypse Trainer. It’s a simple calorie counter and weight log application, with a twist. Instead of just calling itself a calorie counter, it disguises the act of counting calories with preparing for the zombie apocalypse. Every time you eat 100 calories, a zombie gets close to attacking you. Every time you burn 100 calories, you outrun a zombie. Finally, it keeps track of the number of consecutive days you’ve been under your calorie budget and refers to this as the number of days since the last mauling.

Here’s a screenshot of the application as it looks in the Zune Marketplace:

Apocalypse Trainer

Apocalypse Trainer in the Zune Marketplace

Make no mistake, this is not an application that I intend to make a million dollars from. In fact, I sincerely doubt anyone will actually purchase this application. I deliberately set the application at $2.99 to avoid using up any of my “free app” quota and because I know the application lacks the fit and finish of a commercial application. If, by some random freak chance, people actually start buying and using this application, I’ve engaged the services of an actual designer (I may be a great programmer, but I’m a horrible designer). I figure if 20 people buy the application, I will have enough money to pay him to do the layout and artwork for version 1.5. I’ve seen some preliminary designs and am really happy.

Anyway, I will also be doing a series of blog posts recounting my experiences while writing this application. This is for the benefit of readers of my book (publish date is I believe February or March 2011) and for the readers of this blog who are interested in Windows Phone 7 and the overall experience of deploying an application to the Marketplace.

Another Good Use for ASP.NET 4 Unleashed

I’ve been handing out free copies of my latest work, ASP.NET 4 Unleashed (you have purchased this fine piece of writing, haven’t you?) and due to its relative size, people generally start joking about the various possible uses for a tome of this magnitude when they see it, hold it, and appreciate its girth.

A few that I’ve heard include:

  • Doorstop
  • A deadly weapon in case of attempted mugging
  • Used to press flowers ( this isn’t just a suggestion, my girlfriend has actually done this with her copy )
  • Use to block bullets
  • A boat anchor
  • Throw in the trunk or the back of a rear-wheel drive pickup truck for added traction in the winter
  • Replacement for concrete blocks in martial arts exhibitions
  • Booster for movie and/or desk chairs
  • With 5 or 6 of them, you can make a nice fort for a cat (yes, I’ve done this, and my cat greatly appreciated it)

But without a doubt, the best use I’ve seen for this book so far has been : baby food.

ASP.NET 4 Unleashed is Yummy!

ASP.NET 4 Unleashed is Yummy!

Windows Phone 7 for iPhone Developers

For those of you who have been reading my blog for a long time (back when I was still actively posting on the “.NET Addict’s Blog”) you know that I often work in bursts. There will be months where I have nearly 2 blog posts every day for the entire month, and then I will go dry for the next month.

Some of this is because I tend to post about what I’m working on. If I happen to be working on something that precludes me from posting publicly about said technology, then my blog will often appear to go silent for a long time. Other times its because I’ve decided that my personal life takes precedence over my ability to blog often enough to keep up my readership and to remain at the forefront of tech blogging.

A couple of years ago, the most important thing to me was in making sure that I was blogging regularly, learning constantly, and generally staying as far ahead of everyone else in the field as I possibly could. Today, these are still important to me, but they are not as important to me as family, friends, and generally enjoying life. I spend less and less time in front of a computer at home lately… with the exception of the project that has kept me busy for the last month or so.

This is the reason for this blog post.. I would like to announce my new book project, “Windows Phone 7 for iPhone Developers”.

Windows phone 7 for iPhone Developers

Windows phone 7 for iPhone Developers

This book, while initially marketed at those iPhone developers seeking to adapt their iPhone skills to the world of Silverlight and WP7, is for any developer looking to build WP7 applications. This includes people who have never written a mobile application before as well as those of you looking to build the same application for both iPhone and WP7 platforms and share as much code as possible.

Once I have the link to the Amazon landing page for “Windows Phone 7 for iPhone Developers” I will post that here.

Additionally, on November 6th, I will be presenting on this topic in a session shockingly entitled “Windows Phone 7 for iPhone Developers” at the Westchester / Fairfield Code Camp at the UConn campus. If you’re in Connecticut that weekend, stop by and get a preview of the contents of the book and hopefully have fun learning about the awesome Windows Phone 7 SDK.

This book is one of many reasons why my blog has been silent for a while lately and I hope the effort I’m putting into this book will pay off and give you and other readers a really educational, fun tour through WP7.

ASP.NET 4 Unleashed

Some of you may have heard of this little book called ASP.NET 3.5 Unleashed, written by Stephen Walther. The new version of this book, updated for ASP.NET 4.0 is now in the final stages of editing and review. Oddly enough, the new title of the book is ASP.NET 4 Unleashed.

My friend and partner in crime, Nate Dudek, and I have been working on adding new chapters to this tome (it’s something like 1800-ish pages!) as well as updating the existing chapters to show off the great new features of the ASP.NET 4.0 development platform.

ASP.NET 4.0 Unleashed Cover Art

ASP.NET 4.0 Unleashed Cover Art

The book is, as far as I know, scheduled to come out in October. But, that certainly doesn’t prevent any of you from rushing out to pre-order your copy now!