Checking First-Run Info in Windows Phone

There are a lot of reasons that you’d want to know if your app has been run before.  Maybe you want to ask the user if you can collect usage information.  Maybe you want to set up the default settings.  Whatever the reason, it’s often useful to know.  A simple method would be this:

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Thursday, September 1st, 2011 Thoughts 10 Comments

Adding “Open in Git Bash” to the Context Menu

One thing I use a lot on my computer is the “open command window here” context menu entry.  By default, you have to hold shift when right-clicking on a folder to get it to show up, but you can hack it such that it always shows up when you right-click on a folder (delete the registry entry at HKCR\Directory\shell\cmd called Extended) or when you right-click the empty space inside a folder window (delete the registry key at HKCR\Directory\Background\shell\cmd called Extended).

The Windows version of git comes with a version of bash that’s set up all nice-like with git integration.  I found myself often opening a bash console, switching into some directory, doing something with git, and then closing the console.  That’s somewhat tedious, though, so I ended up making an “Open in Git Bash” context menu entry.  If you want to use it, you’ll need two files: bash.bat and bash.reg

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Sunday, July 17th, 2011 Thoughts 16 Comments

Which Programming Languages Should I Learn?

C++ is a good language to know if you want to go into software development.  So are Java and C# and Python.  More important than any of these, however, is versatility.  With documentation handy, you should be able to develop a basic working knowledge of pretty much any language within a day or so.  Don’t be scared off by that; it’s much easier than it sounds.  Languages tend to follow certain patterns.  If you can get the thinking down, translating it into code is the easy part.

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Monday, March 14th, 2011 Thoughts 1 Comment