Downtime? Time to Build!

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many of us to stay isolated and at home, but that's OK! I genuinely enjoy developing software and wanted to take this opportunity to focus on learning. Having some downtime has afforded me to try putting together a system that I otherwise might not have explored building. In this article, I'll share different aspects about an application I'm building that purposefully put me outside of my comfort zone. In my opinion, having downtime is an opportunity to learn and grow! It's time to take advantage of that. When the app and system is ready to showcase I'll share more insight into what's actually being built! The Client Framework The application being built was intended to run on multiple mobile platforms, so Xamarin was my choice here. I have briefly used Xamarin several years ago, but…

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Controlling a Myo Armband with C#

Background Thalmic Labs has started shipping their Myo armband that allows the wearer's arm movements and gestures to control different pieces of integrated technology. How cool is that? My friend and I decided we wanted to give one a whirl and see what we could come up with. We're both C# advocates, so we were a bit taken back when we saw the only C# support in the SDK was made for Unity. We decided to take things into our own hands and open source a Myo C# library. We're excited to introduce the first version of MyoSharp! The underlying Myo components are written in C++, and there's only several functions that are exposed from the library that we can access. In order to do this, we need to leverage platform invocation (PInvokes) from C# to tap into this functionality. Once you…

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Dynamic Programming with Python and C#

Dynamic Code: Background Previously, I was expressing how excited I was when I discovered Python, C#, and Visual Studio integration. I wanted to save a couple examples regarding dynamic code for a follow up article... and here it is! (And yes... there is code you can copy and paste or download). What does it mean to be dynamic? As with most things, wikipedia provides a great start. Essentially, much of the work done for type checking and signatures is performed at runtime for a dynamic language. This could mean that you can write code that calls a non-existent method and you wont get any compilation errors. However, once execution hits that line of code, you might get an exception thrown. This Stack Overflow post's top answer does a great job of explaining it as well, so I'd recommend checking that…

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Python, Visual Studio, and C#… So. Sweet.

Python & C# - Background Let's clear the air. Using Python and C# together isn't anything new. If you've used one of these languages and at least heard of the other, then you've probably heard of IronPython. IronPython lets you use both C# and Python together. Pretty legit. If you haven't tried it out yet, hopefully your brain is starting to whir and fizzle thinking about the possibilities. My development experiences is primarily in C# and before that it was VB .NET (So I'm pretty attached to the whole .NET framework... We're basically best friends at this point). However, pretty early in my career (my first co-op at Engenuity Corporation, really) I was introduced to Python. I had never really used a dynamic or implicitly typed language, so it was quite an adventure and learning experience. Unfortunately, aside from my…

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