How to register a global hotkey for your application in C#

How to register a global hotkey for your application in C#

Register a hotkey for your application that can be triggered even if your form is minimized and does not have focus. More »

Visual Studio 2013

Visual Studio 2013

Visual Studio 2013 is now available. Make sure to upgrade to the latest version of Visual Studio. More »

How to download a file in C# (progressbar and download speed)

How to download a file in C# (progressbar and download speed)

Learn how to download files in C# while displaying the percentage and the download speed. More »

UDP hole punching implementation in C#

UDP hole punching implementation in C#

Learn how to implement UDP hole punching so you can make your clients life a lot easier by not forcing them to open ports on their end. More »

 

Google Earth Pro is now free

Google has announced that Google Earth Pro, which was before priced at $399 per year before, will now be available for free.

Google Earth Pro is of course a fairly known, perhaps a bit forgotten by a lot of people, 3D interactive globe that can be used to aid planning, analysis and decision making. In a nutshell you can think of Google Earth to be a more advance version of Google maps.

If you are interested in trying out Google Earth Pro, you can download it for free. The process is fairly straight forward and only takes a few minutes for you have everything up and running.

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How to uninstall Windows Phone SDK

Windows Phone SDK is included in Visual Studio 2013 now. If you are lucky enough you might have an entry for it in “Programs and Features” which will allow you to uninstall it. Sadly for me, this was not the case as there was no visible way to uninstall it from my system.

One solution that allowed me to uninstall Windows Phone SDK was to navigate to the packages folder that can be found in the Virtual Studio CD or .ISO file then look for the WindowsPhone81SDK folder, or something with a similar name in case the version is different.

Inside you will find some .msi files, simply right click on the files then select “Uninstall”. If Windows Phone SDK is installed on your computer the uninstallation process will begin.

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How to keep your screen always on

On most systems this can be configured by going to Control Panel --> Power Options --> Choose when to turn off the display, but there are always some situations that this solution will not suffice. As an exmaple, the last time I faced this problem, Active Directory’s settings were overriding my system’s settings, which caused my display to turn off every 5 minutes regardless of how much I tried to tweak it using the Power Options.

As a workaround I decided to create a small application that would just keep the screen from turning off. I decided to share it with you in case you ever find yourself in a similar position.

You can download the program here.

If you know a bit about programming you can take a look at the source code below that will give you an idea on how this is achieved.

The theory behind this solution is very simple. We are using the SetThreadExecutionState windows function to notify the system that the screen should stay on.

Flags Descriptions
ES_AWAYMODE_REQUIRED (0x00000040)
Away mode should be used only by media-recording and media-distribution applications that must perform critical background processing on desktop computers while the computer appears to be sleeping. See Remarks.

ES_CONTINUOUS(0x80000000)
Informs the system that the state being set should remain in effect until the next call that uses ES_CONTINUOUS and one of the other state flags is cleared.

ES_DISPLAY_REQUIRED(0x00000002)
Forces the display to be on by resetting the display idle timer.

ES_SYSTEM_REQUIRED(0x00000001)
Forces the system to be in the working state by resetting the system idle timer.

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How to uninstall Microsoft Advertising SDK

Microsoft Advertising SDK is included in Visual Studio 2013 now. If you are lucky enough you might have an entry for it in “Programs and Features” which will allow you to uninstall it. Sadly for me, this was not the case as there was no visible way to uninstall it from my system.

One solution that allowed me to uninstall Microsoft Advertising SDK was to navigate to the packages folder that can be found in the Virtual Studio CD or .ISO file then look for the AdsSDK10 folder.

Inside you will find some .msi files, simply right click on the files then select “Uninstall”. If Microsoft Advertising SDK is installed on your computer the uninstallation process will begin.

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GitHub Student Developer Pack

GitHub is now offering a pack aimed towards students completely free.

To be eligible for the pack you will need to be a student aged 13+ and enrolled in a degree or diploma granting course of study. You will need a school-issued email address, valid student identification card, or other official proof of enrollment.

The pack contains the following tools and products:

  • ATOM — A hackable text editor for the 21st Century (text editor)
  • bitnami — Business 3 plan (normally $49/month) for one year (hosting)
  • CrowdFlower — Access to the Crowdflower platform (normally $2,500/month (data enrichment platform)
  • Digital Ocean — $100 in platform credit for new users (hosting)
  • DNSimple — Bronze hosted DNS plan (normally $3/month) for two years (hosting)
  • GitHub — Micro account (normally $7/month) with five private repositories while you’re a student
  • HACKHANDS — $25 in platform credit (Live programming help available 24/7)
  • Namecheap — One year domain name registration on the .me TLD (normally $8.99/year & One year SSL certificate (normally $9/year) (domain)
  • Orchestrate — Developer account (normally $49/month) while you’re a student (API platform that powers multiple databases-as-a-service for developing Web and mobile applications)
  • Screenhero — Individual account (normally $11/month) while you’re a student (Screen sharing for collaboration in teams)
  • SendGrid — Student plan 15K free emails/month (normally limited to 200 free emails/day) while you’re a student (email service)
  • stripe — Waived transaction fees on first $1000 in revenue processed (Web and mobile payments)
  • Travis CI — Private builds (normally $69/month) while you’re a student (hosted integration platform)
  • Unreal Engine — Unreal Engine (normally $19/month) while you’re a student (game engine)

Click here to apply for the GitHub student developer pack !

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