The Case of the Broken Blog


I took this picture shortly after I arrived at the conference centre. Lovely sky.

Before I do a session I always test my demos. I’ve found that you really need to do this, as oddities in the network setup can sometimes catch you out. Anyhoo, I was happily (or rather non-happily) testing my file download demonstration and it got stuck. So I spent a painful while trying to get it to work, all to no avail. Then I found the problem.

My blog was broken. It was the source of the files that I was showing how to fetch, and it wasn’t there. Wah. So I re-wrote the demonstrations to use different servers (and local ones just in case everything broke again) and just as I’d finished this little exercise my blog came back again. Oh well.

The sessions themselves went nicely, and folks were polite enough to laugh at my jokes. You can find the Speech demos here and the Background Agents demos here.



These are some of the audience at my first session.DSCF0514_5_6.jpg

This is my demonstration setup. Note red rocket poised for lift off. DSCF0517.jpg

These are some of the audience for the second session. There are some more pictures on Flickr. Apologies if you arrived a bit later,, and aren’t on the pictures. Although then again you might not be that bothered…..

I love doing TechEd sessions, the audiences are always great, and today was no exception. Thanks folks.

Tomorrow I’m back on a play to head for home.

Hello Madrid


After a day of travel I’m now installed in the hotel in Madrid, nervously checking my demos and making sure that I don’t forget any plastic rockets for the sessions tomorrow.

The journey here was fairly uneventful, except for the “experimental road works” on the M62 as I was driving to Manchester Airport. The road works seem to exist for the sole purpose of finding out what happens if you reduce a busy three lane motorway to one lane. (The answer, by the way, is that you make everyone 25 minutes late).

If you are at TechED EU I’d love to see you at my talks tomorrow. Come and see me in room N12 at 12:00 to 12:15 talking about Speech on Windows Phone and at 3:15 pm lots of fun and games based around background agents. And you might win a rocket. Can’t say fairer than that.

Learn Things from Rob at TechEd EU


I’m doing some sessions at TechEd 2013. If you want to know how to make your Windows Phone use background agents to add value to your application, or respond to what you say, then I’m your man. I’m speaking at 10:00 am on Thursday about speech and 3:15 about background agents. And I’m going to be around at Ask the Experts too.

I had this brilliant plan for TechED US, where I’d give away 3D printed phone cases at my session. I even printed them and everything. Then I found out that the phone that I’d printed the cases for is not actually sold in the US. Which makes me an idiot.

So, instead, this time I’m giving away “I learned something from Rob” ceremonial plaques. These are completely unique, except in the sense that there are more than one of them in existence. I’ll also be giving away lovely 3D printed red rockets. So come along to my session, answer a question and you might be in the running to win.

Above you can see the 3D design for the plaque.


This is what the real thing looks like. With a bit of luck I might see you in Madrid, and give you one.

Last Teched 2013 Show Day


This is the Windows Phone part of the exhibition, where I’ve been spending a few hours each day. The conference ends today, I’ll miss the smell of brand new carpet.


In the evening we went up to the Mercedes Benz Superdome for the TechEd 2013 attendee party. Lots of other folks went too. Fortunately this is a Very Big Place. DSCF2506.jpg

There was good food, good music and, most important of all, free beer.

New Orleans Saturday Morning


My cure for jetlag is to try and get eight hours sleep each night. Snag is, that we went to bed so early that we had completed our sleepings by four thirty in the morning today. Oh well. Best plan is to get outside into the sunlight and wait for the body to catch up. So we did. Turns out that there is not much happening at seven thirty in the morning, but we did get to take some pictures.


These places were open.


Why we are here.

Heading for TechEd New Orleans

Atlanta Airport has a nice ceiling.

After the excitement of yesterday, today I had to get up bright and early, or at least early, and head off to Manchester Airport to fly to New Orleans.

Such is life. The flights were smooth, everything worked and by the end of the day we were happily ensconced in the hotel. I’m really regretting not being around for the Three Thing Game finals but it was not to be this time. Simon has done a great job of finishing off the competition and you can find out what folks thought over at Hull Comp. Sci. Blogs.



Rob at TechEd 2013


I’ve finished my preparations for TechEd 2013. I’ve written the presentations, developed a bunch of new demos (including something that involve cheese and something that doesn’t) and also also created a custom Lumia 820 case using the Nokia design on Thingiverse. I’ve printed out a couple in white and they don’t look too shabby. I’ll be giving one away at each of my sessions next week. Come along and be ready to answer questions if you want to win.

If you are coming along to the conference, and want to know when all the Windows Phone sessions are (including mine) then here’s the info. See if you can spot which ones I’ll be doing:

6/3/2013 1:15PM WPH-B202 The Phone That Has Everything the Enterprise Needs: Windows Phone 8
Rob Tiffany 383

6/3/2013 3:00PM WPH-B205 Top Down Guide for Developers: Windows Phone 8
Larry Lieberman 383

6/3/2013 4:45PM WPH-B204 Radical Perspectives on Mobility Strategy
Kuleen Bharadwaj 383

4/2013 8:30AM WPH-B201The Power of Collaboration: Integrating Windows Phone with Microsoft Office 365, Exchange and SharePoint Online
Alan Meeus 383

6/4/2013 10:15AM WPH-B304 All Aboard for the Future of HTML5 Mobile and Hybrid Web Apps for Windows Phone 8 and Windows Tablets
Rob Tiffany 383

6/4/2013 1:30PM WPH-B309 The Windows Phone 8 Networking Survival Kit
Andy Wigley 383

6/4/2013 3:15PM WPH-B303 Build It Once For Both: Writing Code and Designing for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8
Matthias Shapiro 383

6/4/2013 5:00PM WPH-B302 Secrets of Using Background Agents for Windows Phone 8
Rob Miles 383

6/5/2013 8:30AM WPH-B203 Mobile Security in the Enterprise: Windows Phone 8 Answers the Call
Alan Meeus 383

6/5/2013 10:15AM WPH-B308 Using C and C++ in Your Windows Phone 8 Applications
Maarten Struys 383

6/5/2013 1:30PM WPH-B305 Developing Large-Scale Enterprise Mobile Apps for Windows Phone 8 and Windows Tablets
Rob Tiffany 383

6/5/2013 3:15PM WPH-B301Speechifying your Windows Phone 8 Applications
Rob Miles 383

6/6/2013 8:30AM WPH-B207 Manage Windows Phone Enterprise Apps
Robert Hoover 383

6/6/2013 10:15AM WPH-B306 Support Your Demanding LOB Apps With SQLite and Windows Phone 8
Andy Wigley 383

6/6/2013 1:00PM WPH-B307 Creating Windows Phone 8 Apps for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013
Jeremy Thake 383

It looks to me like room 383 is basically Windows Phone Central. I’m also going to “Ask the Experts” on the Tuesday (I’ve actually got some questions) and I’ll be on the Windows Phone Booth (sounds appropriate) on Wednesday and Thursday morning. Drop by and I’ll tell you a really funny joke. Perhaps.