http://resources2.news.com.au/images/2010/09/24/1225928/839170-the-social-network.jpgAs a software developer, you need a headphone and music to get into the zone. If I have to explain what “the zone” is, you might consider skipping this blog. Mark Zuckerberg was in the zone in the movie the social network.

My current headphone is a on-ear Sony MDR-NC7 with active noise-cancelling. It was the cheapest noise-cancelling headphone and I wanted to check out if noise cancelling would work. So if you have a nice affordable suggestion for a new headphone (preferably with noise cancelling) please let me know in the comments below.

As a developer, you know how hard it can be. If you have an off day:

So here is a list of Spotify playlists for coders. Please feel free to share your spotify coding playlist in the comments!

  1. A soundtrack for coding, 9911 followers
  2. Coding programming hacking slashing – tracks I listen to while writing code, 2672 followers
  3. Chill coding musix, 2625 followers
  4. Music for programming, 1500 followers
  5. A soundtrack for coding: the 2am session, 1042 followers
  6. Coding tracks, 808 followers
  7. Coding music, 463 followers
  8. Coding for hackers, 386 followers
  9. Development on the beat, 348 followers

The “followers” data is from 21th of july 2014. I will try to keep this list up-to-date after each comment. Ow and please post a comment if you have a good affordable noise cancelling over-ear headphone tip!

Good luck coding/hacking/developing/programming!

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There are a lot of guides online on how to start mining bitcoins, and a lot of them require your pc running mining software and eating all resources or buying expensive dedicated hardware. This guide is for the option in between. A dedicated USB miner. It’s inexpensive and can get up to 2GH/s. I have bought an overclockable Bitmain Antminer U2 which can get up to 2.2GH/s if you overclock it.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51YQ00d3lrL._SY300_.jpgYou won’t get rich with this usb miner by the way. In six hours I mined about 0,5 eurocent. But it is fun to explore and try out. I paid 25 dollar for the usb miner, which is about 18 euro. So it will take me about three years to it earn back. Not to mention power consumption.

So once you have bought your usb miner. Download BGFMiner for your operating system. I needed the x64 version for my Windows 8.1. Unzip it and remember the location. (mine was C:\bfgminer-4.0.0-win64) The next step is to download the driver for the usb miner and install it. Plug in your usb stick and launch a command prompt (or create a .cmd file in notepad)

c:\bfgminer-4.0.0-win64\bfgminer.exe -o PROTOCOL://POOL_URL:PORT -u MY_WORKER_NAME -p WORKER_PASSWORD -S antminer:all --set-device antminer:clock=x0781

I have setup an account at bitcoin.cz this will give you an address like stratum+tcp://stratum.bitcoin.cz:3333 and the worker name and password.

BitcoinThe ‘clock’ hexadecimal variable is to overclock. Please keep in mind that this usb miner gets really hot by default. So add extra cooling if you want to go up to 2.0Gh/s or 2.2Gh/s

x0781 = 1.6 GH/s

x0881 = 1.8 GH/s

x0981 = 2.0 GH/s

x0A81 = 2.2 GH/s

Some tips:

Good luck mining!

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There are still companies out there who use noreply@companyname.com which is wrong imho. Here are 7 reasons why:

  1. You won’t get out of office notices, because you are not listening3660230-3568764363-i-am-
  2. Noreply addresses won’t get added to whitelists
  3. In many countries you are obligated to have a working reply-to
  4. It’s arrogant to just shout at someone and do not listen to their side of the story
  5. People will list noreply more as spam because you cannot interact otherwise
  6. No-reply will not end up in the Gmail priority inbox
  7. Some people have e-mail rules to filter out no-reply and ignore them

So reasons enough to use a good ticketing system right? So that you can keep the conversations going. Please keep in mind that the user/customer gave his/her mail address but is not allowed to have yours?

Having a link in your mail is not an option to “reply a mail” and enforce users to fill in long web forms is also not user-friendly.

There are blogs from back in 2008 telling companies not to kill the conversation and use no-reply and there are still in 2014 companies who use it. They should learn a thing or two about being customer friendly and ticketing systems.

Here is a Dutch mail I received which is so general and vague that I wanted to reply, but you can only send a “mail” by clicking an URL Confused smile and it is impossible to send an invoice by email in 2014.

noreply-vgz

Hope that this post convinces people not to use no-reply anymore and keep the dialogue going with their customers/users. It can give you valid feedback which can be of great value for your company.

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The Surface 3 pro will be available in 5 different versions:Surface Pro 3

  • 64Gb  i3 cpu 4gb ram €  819,-
  • 128Gb i5 cpu 4gb ram € 1019,-
  • 256Gb i5 cpu 8gb ram € 1319,-
  • 256Gb i7 cpu 8gb ram € 1569,-
  • 512Gb i7 cpu 8gb ram € 1969,-

These prices are Dutch and include VAT. I have read about the difference in RAM not on the Microsoft website but at the zdnet site.

For an awesome development setup you really want an external 4k monitor. The Surface 3 Pro should be able to output 4k which is at least 3840 * 2160 according to Wikipedia. The cheapest 4k monitor in the Netherlands is this Samsung for € 600,- 

U28D590D 4 R Perspective Black

Microsoft also has an dockingstation available which is really required if you work behind your desk all day and commute with the Surface. There is no final price info for it in euro’s but I expect it to be € 200,-. It has 3 usb 3 ports, 2 usb 2 ports, ethernet and audio. We will have to wait until the 20th of June for more detailed info.

For commuting you’ll want a cover. Type- or touchcover depends on your preference. But that is an additional 120 or 130 euro’s.

To connect an external monitor you need an adapter. For my full High definition monitor that’s an mini display port to HDMI. For the mega-awesome 4K Samsung that is a mini-display to display port.


As developer you really want to have at least 8gb ram in your device, so to round up:


Surface 3 pro with i5, 8gb ram and 256gb storage  € 1319,-

Touch or type cover € 120,-

Docking station € 200,-

Display adapter for my Full HD display (mini dp to hdmi) € 15,-

Samsung monitor € 600,- (optional perhaps stick with 1080p full hd display first)

Display adapter (mini dp to dp) € 13,-


I already have a nice Logitech K800 wireless keyboard with darkfield mouse. So total investment without the awesome 4k display would be € 1654,- (without cable 1639)

If you would buy it in the states it would be:

  • Surface        $ 1299,-
  • Dockingstation $  200,-
  • Cover          $  120,-
  • Total:         $ 1619,- (in euro: € 1187,-)

Buying it in the states will save you € 452,- That is almost the price of a two way ticket to get it yourself and have a nice city trip.

Have fun with the Microsoft Surface 3 Pro!

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To start serving ads in your Windows Phone application you can install the Microsoft advertising SDK. But I believe it is not mandatory. You do not need to reference it in your project. So please take a look at the screenshot below and make sure you do not check that box!

2014-04-25 15_30_38-Reference Manager - Zaklamp

I recommend using the (not yet final) Adrotator V2. It is the successor of V1 and has an XML configuration file which can be put somewhere online (remote) so that you can edit advertising preferences without needing to update the whole app and push it to your users.

You can get it from nuget as long as you make sure that you can view the pre-releases or put this in the packagemanager console:

Install-Package AdRotatorWP -Pre

That will pull down the package. The readme file will open in a tab and tell you to manually add more DLL’s for mobfox, smaato etc. (only adduplex is included because they have a nuget package).

You should mark your XML config file in the project explorer as content and copy to output always and check the app’s permissions, because mobfox requires <Capability Name="ID_CAP_IDENTITY_DEVICE" />  as found on http://wpunifiedad.codeplex.com/discussions/436059

It took me a while to figure that one out. You have to add this namespace in the XAML in order to use the adrotator component.

<phone:PhoneApplicationPage
    xmlns:adRotator="clr-namespace:AdRotator;assembly=AdRotator"
...>

Good luck!

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