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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
While many people call Chromebooks not real Laptops because you can’t run programs like Visual Studio or Office on them and the fact that some of the Chrome OS apps that do the same thing are a little lacking in features compared to their Windows, Mac OS X or Linux equivalents.
Google does offer a lightweight and convenient solution for anyone who needs to use Windows, Mac OS X or Linux programs in the form of Chrome Remote Desktop, Chrome Remote Desktop allows you to keep using your Chromebook, Chromebox or Chromebase while being logged into a different OS remotely. This is handy if you need to use a particular program doesn’t have a Chrome OS equivalent.
I use Chrome Remote Desktop to log into my Windows 8.1 Pro Laptop to keep it up-to-date as well as use programs like Visual Studio & PhotoShop. I can see Chrome Remote Desktop being a very useful app for College students, as they can keep their heavy Windows Laptop or MacBook Pro at home or in their dorm room and use a Chromebook at lectures and still be able to use programs like Visual Studio e.t.c. without having to worry about carrying a heavy Laptop all day along with their textbooks e.t.c.
Chrome Remote Desktop is really handy for me as I prefer the Keyboard on my Acer Chromebook to the Keyboard on my Toshiba Windows Laptop, so Chrome Remote Desktop allows me to Code in Visual Studio while still using my preferred Keyboard.
Chrome Remote Desktop has another handy little feature that is Remote Assistance that allows a Desktop can be shared to allow for someone to help with troubleshooting while not being sat in-front of the computer that needs troubleshooting, but this is beyond the scope of this Article as it’s not really a feature that many people will use compared to the Remote Desktop feature.
I was looking for some on the ear headphones for YouTube viewing on my Laptop, Phone & Tablet, Podcast listening on my Phone, Music listening on my Laptop, Phone & Tablet & some light gaming on my Windows Laptop as I usually use my Microsoft LifeChat headset for extended gaming and after watching many YouTube videos I decided on the Skullcandy UpRock or JVC HA-S44X Xtreme Xplosives. After looking at both pairs of headphones I decided on the Skullcandy UpRock’s as the size of the JVC Xtreame Xplosives were a little on the large side for any kind of use other than at home.
I really wanted the Navy & Gold UpRock’s that I’d seen on the Argos website (a UK retail chain) and was a little disappointed that they were out of stock as they were reported to have been an Argos exclusive colour, so I settled on a choice of the UpRock Rasta’s, UpRock in Black or the UpRock Space, while out I went into my closest B&M Store (a UK discount retailer) and saw that they had got the UpRock’s for £9.99 in both the regular & with Mic versions.
I was tempted to get the UpRock’s with Mic until I realized that they were in a sort of Plum Pink, so I decided to get the Navy regular UpRock’s which to my amazement were intact the Navy & Gold version that Argos had advertised as being an Argos exclusive colour. So here’s my un-boxing.
The box is kind of unique design as it has the feel of a box that would contain headphones in the price range of Beats by dr.dre, Soul by Ludacris or Streets by 50 and not of a pair of headphones in the budget category.
The bottom of the box has a rip strip opening but is still surprisingly well sealed shut. once open it revivals the cable of the headphones and a documentation leaflet.
The cable of the UpRock’s is fixed into the headphones & is non removable like many of the budget headphones on the market, but surprisingly it’s a flat tangle free cable and has a soft touch feel to it with an unusual elongated plug allowing it to be easily removed, but the shape of the plug might not fit in a phone that’s in a case like the Lunatik Taktik Extreme or any other shock or weatherproof case without the use of an extension cable.
The documentation leaflet just basically has a few warning information on it in various languages and is nothing of any real interest.
Now onto the UpRock’s themselves. They are lightweight and covered in a soft touch feeling coating with a matt gold metallic looking Scullcandy logo on the arms where they enter the cups creating a hinge to allow the cups to move, the headphones don’t extend very much but for me I don’t need to extend them to fit my head comfortably. The ear pads are soft and then unusually the covered ear pads are covered in material instead of having the material under the ear pads, the ear pads have the Skullcandy logo on them along with Skullcandy being embossed on the under side of the headband.
They have a clicking plastic sound when shaken, but then for a pair of headphones made of plastic that are normally priced at £24.99 including the Skullcandy web store then this can be forgiven.
I’ll have a full review coming up in the following days or weeks, once I’ve had the chance to use them over a long period.
Google yesterday released Photo Sphere for iOS devices. Photo Spheres have been a staple of the Android camera since Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and the release of the Photo Sphere Camera App for iOS is the first time that Google has extracted a feature of an App to specifically release it for a particular Mobile OS.
Google has previously extracted the Photos App from Google + only for Android and Hangouts on all supported Mobile Platforms, but making a feature of an App as a dedicated App only available on iOS is a first for any developer.
For those of you that don’t know, Photo Spheres are full 360 degree pictures that are very similar to the way that Google Maps Street View works, where you can look around the photo as if you were actually where the picture was taken.
The iOS Photo Sphere Camera App also allows you to tag your Photo Spheres and share them on Google Maps, Sharing your Photo Spheres with Google Maps then creates Street Views of the tagged Photo Spheres, whether Google blurred out the Licence Plates that are captured with the Photo Sphere Camera or not when shared is unknown at present (as I’ve not had the chance to take an outdoor Photo Sphere to check it out.
Most people complain about Devs separating out features of Apps into separate Apps, but in the case of Google separating out the Photo Sphere Camera feature of Google Camera just to bring it to iOS while keeping it part of Google Camera on Android is a good idea.
After using the Powermat Wireless charging kit for iPhone 4/4S for a week and a day, it’s changed the way that I use my iPhone 4S as I don’t have to remember to plug it in to charge it or un-plug it when I need to go out. All I have to do now is just place it in the charging dock to charge it and take it out of the charging dock when I use it or go out.
Other than the sheer convenience of not being tethered to the mains while charging and having to remember to un-plug it when I go out it seems to charge my phone a lot quicker than using a wired charger, which means I don’t have to worry about running out of power while out if I’ve put it on charge before going out and it not getting a decent charge. The audible sound when placing the phone in and removing the phone from the charger is handy when I’ve got my phone on silent as I know when it’s started charging.
The size of the charging dock means that it’s compact and doesn’t take up much space, as it’s only slightly larger than the phone, this means that it won’t take up much space on a desk, bed side table, Coffee table or any table at side of where you sit, unlike traditional iPhone docks that tend to have speakers e.t.c. built-in and tend to take up a lot of space. The built-in cable management on the plug means that you don’t have any cables to get tangled up, this is a really handy feature that comes into its own if you’ve got your charger on say a kitchen counter where the cable could easily get damaged if not wrapped up.
The Powermat Wireless charging system is really a good idea and it’s really a shame that the QI Wireless charging standard is more widely used as the QI charging mats need you to place your phone in exactly the right place to get it to charge, where as with the Powermat standard you just drop it into the dock and it works. There are QI style charging mats for the Powermat standard, but with the Powermat case you get stickers that you place on the mat to help you correctly place your phone.
When I’m on the road I usually take with me everything that’s in my Laptop/Home Office bag, but with a few extras that I don’t keep in my bag all the time.
The front pocket mainly holds Headphones and Memory cards along with my 32GB Samsung SD Card, Pens, my Samsung Galaxy SIII Mini, a keyboard dusting brush and the charger for my Acer C720 Chromebook.
The great thing about this setup is that I’m always ready for going on the road, as all I’ve got to do is attach the shoulder strap for my Targus Slimline Netbook Case and I can leave the house with my bag.
I also keep with me at all times an old possibly 2nd gen iPod Touch, a Fitbit Flex charging dock, a spare iPhone USB Charging brick, a Huawei E5330 Mobile Hotspot along with its USB charging cable, Huawei E5330 Mobile Hotspot Charging Brick, a pair of Apple Earpods & a pair of Beats by Dr. Dre urbeats.
The extras that I keep with me on the Road are an iPhone 4/4S Battery Case and my iPhone 4S Dock cable and USB Charging Brick, and since I’ve just recently got a Powermat iPhone 4/4S Wireless Charging kit I’ll probably take that with me on longer trips as well.