Learning To Program In Microsoft Visual Studio: From A Chromebook & Chrome OS User


While there is the Neutron Drive IDE Web App for Programming in Chrome OS, anyone who wants to learn how to Program in any or all the Languages that come as part of Visual Studio, it’s probably best to learn how to Program using Visual Studio since it’s the Industry Standard IDE for Programming.

But Visual Studio is expensive!!!! I hear you cry, well that may be true for the Professional & Ultimate Editions of Visual Studio which have been part of the Visual Studio line since 2005. visual Studio Express 2013 is composed of 3 different Editions (Visual Studio Express Web for Developing Web Applications, Visual Studio Express Windows for Developing Windows 8+ Modern UI Apps & Visual Studio Express Windows Desktop for Developing Traditional Windows Programs that run on all versions of Windows) There is also an Express Edition of  the server-side Version Control Team Foundation Server that also runs on Client Machines thanks to Windows built-in Web Server IIS. These Express Editions including Team Foundation Server are free to Download & use on as many Windows Desktops or Laptops as you like, Visual Studio 2013 only runs on Windows 8/8.1 so if you’re running Windows 7 then you will need Visual Studio 2012. Visual Studio Express takes all the complexity out of Visual Studio Professional or Ultimate.

Programming using Visual Studio & Chrome OS

The only way to Program using Visual Studio on Chrome OS requires a Windows Computer with Visual Studio installed along with the Chrome Web Browser & the Chrome Remote Desktop extension installed and the Chrome Remote Desktop installed on your Chrome OS computer. See my last Article for more on Chrome Remote Desktop.

Microsoft Visual Studio Express 2013 Windows Desktop Edition running on Chrome OS via Chrome Remote Desktop

Microsoft Visual Studio Express 2013 Windows Desktop Edition running on Chrome OS via Chrome Remote Desktop

Visual Studio runs just as smooth as if you were using it directly on your Windows computer over Chrome Remote Desktop when on a WiFi Network but it runs slightly slower when using a Mobile data connection, but this might show that there is some form of compression going on that’s not as noticeable when on WiFi.

Programming in Visual Studio while using Chrome OS gives you all the benefits of Chrome OS. This is true for any Programmer who wants to Program while away from home or the office, as they don’t have to take a heavy Laptop.

With Chromebooks being light and inexpensive compared to Windows Laptops, & Windows Ultrabooks of a comparable size and Wight being the same price if not more expensive than a regular Windows Laptop then a Chromebook makes the excellent companion  for a programmer especially when using Chrome Remote Desktop means that a Programmer doesn’t have to take their expensive Laptop on the road with them to Program.

Visual Studio Express is the perfect IDE for any novice Programmer as it allows you to install the correct tools for what you want to create.

  • If you want to create Web Apps then Visual Studio Express Web Edition is the right IDE for you.
  • If you want to create Windows 8 Modern Apps then Visual Studio Express Windows Edition is the right IDE for you.
  • If you want to create traditional Windows Programs then Visual Studio Express Windows Desktop Edition is the right IDE for you.

It’s even possible to install all three of the Visual Studio Express Editions if you require all three. If you’re a student and lucky enough to be able to get a Student MSDN Subscription then I’d suggest getting one of the none Express Editions of Visual Studio from there. (intact I’d recommend that any student that is able to get a Student MSDN Subscription gets all the downloads that they’re entitled to while they can).

Why I chose Microsoft Visual Studio Express Windows Desktop Edition

  I chose Microsoft Visual Studio Express Windows Desktop Edition because I’m currently interested in creating traditional Windows Desktop Programs not the Windows 8 Modern Apps or Web Apps. Once I’ve learnt how to write Programs in all the different Languages available in the Windows Desktop Edition I’ll move on to the Windows Edition before finally going on to the Web Edition.

I’ve always wanted to learn how to Program since Visual Studio Express originally came out in 2005 so learning to Program for the Windows Desktop was the obvious first step to take in the learning process for me, but for many of you that are reading this and are maybe thinking about learning to Program then the Visual Studio Web or Windows IDE’s might be more of what you’re into for your first step into Programming. (The downside to Programming for Windows & not the Windows Desktop is that you need to pay for a Developer Subscription to distribute your apps on the Windows Store, where as Windows Desktop Programs can be easily distributed  through Source Forge, Dropbox, Box, OneDrive & Copy meaning that you can get your Programs out there with little or no cost involved.)

I’ll do a follow-up Article at some point in the future.

Microsoft Visual Studio Express 2013 Windows Desktop Edition running on Chrome OS via Chrome Remote Desktop

Microsoft Visual Studio Express 2013 Windows Desktop Edition running on Chrome OS via Chrome Remote Desktop




USB 3.0 2.5″ HDD/SSD Enclosure Review

USB 3.0 HDD enclosure


My USB 3.0 HDD enclosure came to-day so here is my promised review.

The enclosure is mad of a piece of gloss black plastic while the frame that holds the SATA to USB 3.0 interface along with the HDD is made from matt black plastic. The whole enclosure fits together with plastic clips that snap the enclosure cover to the HDD holder, making for a rather neat looking screw free finish.

When copying the same .mp4 HD video file as I used in my Samsung SD Card review to the internal SSD of my Chromebook it was maybe a little slower than from SD Card to internal SSD and copying back to the HDD was considerably slower than from internal SSD to SD Card.

The bottle neck in writing to the HDD is more than likely due to the fact that I’m using a HDD that came in my Windows Laptop that I’ve had since 2010 until I upgraded the HDD in the Laptop to a 1TB HDD. I’ll probably upgrade the USB HDD for an SSD at some point in the future so as not to lose any data.

The enclosure is so much thinner than my old one that it fits into the front pocket of my Laptop bag without looking too bulky.



Other External Hardware That Works in Chrome OS



I was going through some of the external hardware that I’ve got lying around in my Windows Laptop bag to see what is compatible with Chrome OS and what isn’t compatible with Chrome OS.

Generic USB 2.0 webcam


I originally got this Webcam as an experiment using face tracking software for gaming which has sat in my Laptop bag ever since. So I decided to try it in my Chromebook, it works flawlessly in Hangouts call and is so much clearer than the built-in one and the 6 LED’s get rid of any artifacts created by low light. Unfortunately the Chrome OS Camera app doesn’t support the use of external Webcams, but the LED’s will help get rid of low light artifacts.

I don’t really use the built-in Webcam that much, so I won’t be using my external Webcam all that much, but it might come in handy if I attempt to do some Unboxing videos on YouTube.

Generic Wireless USB Mouse

I originally got this mouse because I’m not a fan of the tiny portable wired Mouse that came with the Laptop bag. For the small amount that I paid for it on eBay it’s an excellent Mouse. It works perfectly with Chrome OS, but yet again it’ll not get much use as I really like the gesture control of the multi-touch trackpad.

If I could get hold of an Apple cheaply on eBay I’d give it a go with my Chromebook as I’d like to re-setup a little office space in the Livingroom to get a comfortable work area than having my desk pretty much being my knee and the spare seat on the sofa.


Chrome OS is really good at supporting external hardware no matter how cheap or generic it is.

Planned Projects

I’m hoping to get a replacement HDD Caddy for my 2.5″ external HDD, as I’ve had my current one since about 2009/10 and it’s seen better days. I’m also considering upgrading the 16GB internal SSD by adding a 32GB SD card, whether I keep the SD card in the SD slot permanently or keep inserting it every time I take it out to use it I’ve not decided.

I’m hoping to do these over the weekend or in the week as I’ve got to order them on eBay and await delivery. I’ll not be doing any Articles on the’s upgrades but I might do a review of the SD Card and the HDD Caddy.



SharePoint in Microsoft Office 2010

Following on from my review of Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010. It looks like you now need to have Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate to create SharePoint sites for your Intranet, this will create a huge expense for your Business, especially if you have got a small Business that has been using Microsoft Small Business Server, SharePoint Services and Office in your Business as you now might have to buy the full Visual Studio Ultimate to do what you could do with Office 2010.

I’ll let you know when I’ve had a play with VS Ultimate 2010 as I’lll do a review of VS Ultimate 2010.