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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet – Workhorse on the Go

A few months back I bought my Lenovo Yoga 900, after a long time of reading reviews, talking to people, evaluating ultra books and trying to make as informed a decision as possible. I was so wrapped with my choice that I kept telling people how good it is and a few people agreed (and consequently acquired one of their own). I still use the Yoga every single day and it is my number one machine for heavy duty work such as Visual Studio, Unity 3D, SQL Server and other development tooling I use regularly.

However, when Lenovo offered the ThinkPad X1 Tablet to me, I immediately saw a use outside that of the Yoga 900. In fact I was still using my original Microsoft Surface Pro, which had been my trusty second device for about 4 years, and the thought was the ThinkPad Tablet would replace that device very nicely.

Having used the tablet every day for the past three weeks, here are my thoughts (good and bad) on it.



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Alpaka 7ven Messenger Bag – A Review

First Impression

I had known for a few weeks the 7ven messenger bag  from Alpaka Gear would arrive, but as it is still not in full production I had no idea exactly when the first batch was being produced. To be fair, I was a little bit excited when it arrived


I immediately transferred most of the content of my everyday bag into the 7ven messenger bag, and I have used it since. What are the good and bad features you might ask? Well, let me tell you….


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NDC Sydney and Get a 1-on-1 HoloLens Demo

HoloLens Developer Kit

I have been very fortunate to present at the best developer conference around, NDC, in both Oslo and London. It is an event that has an atmosphere and a lineup of amazing speakers unlike almost anywhere else. I can’t say enough positive about this event, and now it is coming to Sydney, Australia for the first time. Bringing the event down under will allow a lot more Aussies to attend, and not just have to settle with the recorded videos after the event. It is an opportunity to learn from the best and to mingle with speakers and attendees alike.

In the last couple of months I have been giving talks on introducing HoloLens to developers. I will be doing the same in Sydney, as well as giving a talk of being a better developer, but this time I have a little more in the goody bag.

I am very excited to share that if you are serious about HoloLens and have plans for developing a holographic experience, I can arrange a very limited number of 1 on 1 sessions with a real HoloLens device during NDC 1-5 August 2016. The demos will take place in Sydney, very close to the NDC venue. As I am sure you can appreciate, these devices aren’t available to the general public yet, so you need to outline your project to me in some detail. To be considered, please send me an email or DM me on Twitter with the following info:

  • Your name and name of company
  • Project title
  • Project abstract
  • Project timeline
  • Probability this will be a real project with funding and support

Also if you are interested in attending NDC Sydney, let me know and I will put you in touch with the people behind the scenes.

Please share this liberally.

10 Tips to Becoming a Better Public Speaker


I have been doing a lot of public speaking over the last few years. I enjoy talking to people and both teaching and being taught. I have done small user group talks and very large conference talks and I enjoy them all. Once in a while I have a fellow geek come up to me and ask how he or she can also be a public speaker and if I have any tips for them. I am always happy to share and improve the overall pool of speakers and the quality of them. So if my tips are helpful, all the better. I decided to finally write down the 10 best ones and most asked, so at least everybody can benefit and share. Continue Reading

Developing Holographically with HoloLens SDK


I have just delivered a talk  at Techorama in Belgium (awesome conference btw) on the HoloLens development experience. It is still very very early days for the technology and for the developing experience as well. As I don’t have a physical HoloLens device (yet) I did the talk using the HoloLens emulator and the tooling that is available now.

Because the topic is so new and fresh, my demo was using the Origami collection as per Microsoft’s tutorials so that attendees could go straight out and start playing with it. And speaking of that, I promised the audience I would post links to the necessary tooling, so here it is:

And that is it. You can now build Holograms for the HoloLens. I would recommend starting with the Holograms 100 tutorial or the Holograms 101E for starting to use the origami collection with the emulator. And of course all of the tooling is completely free.

If you have any questions around any of this, leave me a comment or ping me on the twitters.

Lenovo Yoga 900 – A Truly Mobile Workhorse

I am not a hardware guy. I appreciated a great graphics card when I played games on a regular basis, but with an Xbox One and PlayStation 3, this need quickly went away. As long as the machine will do the job and let me use Visual Studio, Chrome, Camtasia, Snagit, video editing software and other developer tools I am happy. I was using my “Dellasaurus”, a 6 year old Dell XPS 1645, which was top of the line when it came out. I even bought it secondhand of a good friend when he upgraded and I still used it for about 2.5 years. However, in the last couple of years I have been travelling a lot, presenting at various conferences and combined with being a freelance consultant I carry my laptop around everywhere. And the Dell was heavy! It was also starting to slow down considerably and I was constantly running out of storage. It was time to upgrade my mobile office.

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Olixar Drivetime Pack – In Car Phones Done Right

We have a lot of cars. Some people collect stamps, we collect cars. So I was on the lookout for an in-car phone holder that was easily removable, sturdy and durable that we we coluld  take in whatever car we happen to drive. I ended up with the Olixar Drivetime Pack, mainly due to the chunky look of the hardware and the reasonable price.


The parts were packed securely and each item was attractively packaged (no cutting your fingers open).  Unpacking was straight forward.  Although there were no instructions supplied, they weren’t needed as the items were easy to assemble.

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Hour of Code – Teaching Kids to Code

Hour of Code

If there is one thing I am really passionate about (besides Windows phone and Microsoft Kool-Aid) it is opening up kids’ minds to the world of coding. Watching kids in that light bulb moment when they suddenly realise that they can control computers and make them do their bidding is just priceless. I love it. Continue Reading