Did You Know About Microsoft HomeOS?

Because I didn’t. Not until recently.

HomeOS has apparently been out for a little while and recently received a hefty update to coincide with the Lab of Things project.

I wish I had time to install and try both of these projects and report my findings to you, but I’ll have to leave the sleuth work to you. I’m just reminded by this project about how many amazing things come out of the MSR group that push the boundaries of computer science and turn the crank of true geeks everywhere.

Prometric Exam Giveaway

I have three coupons for Prometric exams for Microsoft certification that I’d like to give away.

Each coupon offers 3 exams for the price of one, and is good for the MCSD track of exams.

To enter follow me on twitter (if you’re not already) and retweet this tweet. On July 12 I’ll select 3 random winners from all who qualify.

Terms include…

…all 3 exams must be taken by the same person

…expires Dec 31, 2013

…works for exams 480, 481, 482, 483, 484, 485, 486, 487, 496, 497, and 498

…doesn’t work with other offers

Children of the Nations

I’ve worked with Children of the Nations (COTNI) in the past and they are a very cool organization.

At one point, my wife and I and some friends volunteered for their Meal Marathon – an extremely grassroots effort to get food to hungry kids. The program wasn’t a hundred layers of abstraction away from the actual goal – feeding hungry kids. Instead it was a simple matter of putting food in bags, putting bags in boxes, putting boxes in a shipping container, and shipping the container to Sierra Leone and the Dominican Republic. So simple… so helpful.

Right now and until June 12, COTNI needs donations of the following items…

  • School backpacks
  • School SmilePacks
  • Hygiene SmilePacks
  • Solar-powered flashlghts
  • Soccer cleats (any size)
  • Baseball cleats (any size)
  • Soccer balls
  • Soccer ball pumps
  • Baseballs
  • Baseball gloves

If you live anywhere near Silverdale, WA and would like to help get these items to the kids that need them, please go to https://cotni.org/get-involved/locally/donate-resources and get more information.

Code for CSS for Windows 8 App Development

Hello. I wrote a little book (my first actually) called CSS for Windows 8 App Development published by Apress. It’s available at aka.ms/cssbook. All of the code listings from the book are available in a Windows 8 app that I have created, and you can download all of the source code for this app at cssbookcode.codeplex.com. The code is not polished yet as the book is still in alpha, but it should build and run and you’re welcome to take a look as early as you like. Thanks for reading my book. I wish you lots of fun and success in developing apps for Windows 8.

CSS for Windows 8

My CSS for Windows 8 App Development book is done… finished… finite! You can get an ebook or an old fashioned paper style book by visiting aka.ms/cssbook. I hope the book adds something to your CSS skills. The source code for the listings in the book is available at cssbookcode.codeplex.com. Enjoy!

codeSHOW is now in the Windows Store!

The codeSHOW app is now certified and available in the Windows 8 Store. If you’re wanting to learn development for Windows 8, use codeSHOW to browse a lot of demos and then see the code for them. There’s a lot more to be added and some kinks to work out, but I hope it adds value to your life today. Updates should happen on a relatively frequent basis. Leave a review and tell me what you think.

If you have Windows 8, you can go directly to http://aka.ms/codeshowapp to download it.

Source Media

I decided to put together a reference post for when you’re looking for stock photos, clipart, audio, music, or video. I will update this post as I am made aware of new sources.


Getty Images seems to me to be the big player in stock images consuming some of the other providers such as Corbis, iStock, and FreeImages. Even in a few of the free services, you’ll see some iStock results that you can pay for if you want to.

Name Free/Pay Notes
Bing Images Free Be careful for image licenses
Google Images Free Be careful for image licenses
Pexels Free My personal favorite
morgueFile Free
Free Foto Free
Pixabay Free
FreeImages Free A subsidiary of Getty
iStock Pay A subsidiary of Getty
Getty Images Pay
PhotoSpin Pay
Unsplash Free
Pexels Free
Negative Space Free
Gratisography Free
Science Stock Photos Free


Name Free/Pay Notes
OpenClipart Free
The Noun Project Free
IconFinder Free/Pay
Icons 8 Free
SyncFusion Metro Studio Free Requires registration
Open Game Art Free
2D Game Art for Programmers Free
Modern UI Icons Free
Kenney Free Game art
Freepik Free/Pay
flaticon Free/Pay
vecteezy Free/Pay


Name Free/Pay Notes
freesound.org Free
Incompetech Free
freeSFX Free
Shockwave Sound Pay
ccMixter Free


Name Free/Pay Notes
iStockVideo Pay
Pond 5 Pay


Name Free/Pay Notes
Font Awesome Free
1001 Free Fonts Free
Google Fonts Free
We Love Icon Fonts Free
BlamBot Pay
Fonts.com Pay


Name Free/Pay Notes
SlideShare Pay
Template Monster Pay


Name Free/Pay Notes
dfWiki Free
Windows Marketplace Icon Maker Free
Canva Colors Free
Adobe Color Free

MCSD HTML5 Exam Offer

It’s was a big day in Building 33 as 100 or so people gathered to write Windows 8 apps, compete for prizes, and hopefully learn a little something along the way. One of the things attendees learned was that Microsoft Learning (MSL) is really rockin’ the Microsoft certifications lately. Paul Lee joined us at the hackathon to talk about the state of Microsoft certifications. They have tracks that based on software solutions and the technologies a developer would use to create them.

The one I’m excited about is the MCSD: Windows Store Apps - HTML5. Which you can earn if you take the 70-480, 70-481, and 70-482 exams. And actually, the first of those exams is free (for now) if you go to http://www.register.prometric.com to schedule your exam and use HTMLJMP as your promo code. If you want help studying for 70-480 and 70-481, you can take a look at the JumpStart videos that Michael Palermo and I recorded at http://aka.ms/jump480 and http://aka.ms/jump481.

Attached are the slides that Paul presented.

HackathonOffer.pptx (429.56 kb)

The Book to Buy for Learning WinJS

I’ve learned a lot from Stephen Walther, so I’m excited that his book on Windows 8 Apps with HTML and JavaScript Unleashed is available for pre-order. Save 40% through the end of November. If you see a lot of Windows 8 and a lot of JavaScript down the road like I do, you’ll want to learn everything Stephen knows about it.

Giveaway - Gears of War 3 for Xbox 360

I have an extra, shrink wrapped copy of Gears of War 3 for Xbox that I’d like to give away to a random Twitter follower. Follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/codefoster and retweet this tweet to enter. I’ll request your mailing address if you win and send it to you snail mail style. I’ll draw a name on Friday, Nov 2 at noon.