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And so I face the final curtain

Wednesday July 31, 2013

After about seven years including 1,820 blog posts, 350 newsletters and hundreds of articles I've decided for various reasons to bow out from writing About C,C++, C# (and unofficially Google Go). It has been fun, educational, satisfying and I'm sure someone will continue after me.

Thank you to everyone who emailed me, entered programming challenges, made suggestions, contributed code etc. Everything I've written will be staying up here for a few months longer.

As for me, I'll be writing code for iPhone and Android Apps (in C# and maybe Objective-C) in my own business.

I hope that About.com might start looking for a new About C,C++ and C# Programming Guide, so if you think you have the passion and the knowledge, check their beaguide pages until it appears, then apply. Good luck!

As for me, I'm on the web. You might have to look on the second page of results (for now) but you'll find me!

Thank you and goodbye.

David Bolton

Tox - Cross Platform Secure IM / VOIP

Tuesday July 30, 2013

Written in C, Tox aims to give you a bit of privacy (at least until the NSA can decrypt all the stored data!). It's been created to be easy to use and let you connect without anyone else listening in.

I'm always a little sceptical about projects like these because I don't know how well the software is written from a cryptographic point of view. I understand a little about how encryption works but am certainly not qualified to judge it. But having source code like this out there to do this is definitely good.

I do think P2P is the way to go for privacy because it's a lot harder to vacuum up than a server based protocol. Perhaps thats why Microsoft switched Skype to server based (from P2p) after they bought it?

XWT - A cross Platform .NET UI Toolkit

Monday July 29, 2013

Xwt is sort of like WxWidgets etc where this one open source library lets you write GUI code for different environments. In this case it's a C# library for WPF or GTK (using GTK#) on Windows, Cocoa engine on Mac (using MonoMac) and GTK on Linux.

There's quite a comprehensive set of wudgets, virtually everything you need (labels, checkboxes, buttons etc), all inheriting from Xwt.Widget. Here's a look at the simplest program.

using System;
using Xwt;

class XwtDemo {
    static void Main ()
        Application.Initialize (ToolkitType.Gtk) ;
        var mainWindow = new Window (){
            Title = "Xwt Demo Application",
            Width = 500,
            Height = 400
        mainWindow.Show () ;
        Application.Run () ;
        mainWindow.Dispose () ;

Finding Work Face to Face

Sunday July 28, 2013

One thing that the internet is not quite so good at is helping you introduce yourself to customers face to face. Last Wednesday evening I went to a Silicon Roundabout Meetup at Google Campus in Bonhill Street in Islington, London. There were over 200 people there.

I've done networking before and quite enjoy it though it's not everybody's cup of tea. I learnt one valuable lesson; it's difficult to show off an App you've created when your smartphone battery has zero charge! D'oh. I'd use maps with Location Services enabled to help me find the place and in a city it can drain the battery quite quickly. Next time, I'll make sure the charge is at 100%

Today I've spent some time switching my iPhone App's TCPClient in C# to run asynchronously using await and async. I've chosen to use TCPClient rather than Sockets but I'm not sure which is best. It sets up a connection, sends and waits for any data sent back and every 30 seconds checks for any new data. Any recommendations?

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