Mario Cardinal

"The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes" – Marcel Proust

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Continuous Training

Successful developers never stop learning and technology never stops evolving. Here is a great opportunity for those of you who want to improve their technical skills for free.

Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) offers online training to help technologists continually learn, with hundreds of courses, in 11 different languages.

mvaThe MVA mission is to help developers, knowledgeable IT professionals and advanced students learn the latest technology, build their skills, and advance their careers. MVA is free of charge, and the entire service is hosted on Microsoft Azure. Be sure to create an MVA account so that you collect points and move up the leaderboard!

  • C# Fundamentals: Development for Absolute
  • Programming
    in C# Jump Start
  • Windows
    Store App Development Essentials with C# Refresh Jump Start
  • Advanced
    Windows Store App Development using C# Refresh Jump Start
  • Designing
    Your XAML UI with Blend Jump Start
  • XAML
    Deep Dive for Windows & Windows Phone Apps Jump Start
  • Developing
    Windows Store Apps with HTML5 Jump Start
  • Windows
    Store Apps with HTML5 Refresh Jump Start
  • Advanced
    Windows Store App Development with HTML5 Jump Start
  • Building
    Windows Store Apps for iOS Developers Jump Start
  • Gaming
    Engines for Windows 8 Jump Start
  • Windows
    Phone 8 Development for Absolute Beginners
  • Building
    Apps for Windows Phone 8 Jump Start
  • Applying
    ALM with Visual Studio 2012 Jump Start
  • Administering
    Visual Studio TFS 2012 Jump Start
  • Software
    Testing with Visual Studio 2012 Jump Start
  • Developing
    ASP.NET MVC4 Web Applications Jump Start
  • HTML5
    & CSS3 Fundamentals: Development for Absolute Beginners
  • Developing
    in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3 Jump Start
  • Building
    Web Apps with ASP.NET Jump Start
  • Developing
    Windows Azure and Web Services Jump Start
  • Building
    Business Apps with Visual Studio Lightswitch
  • Developing
    Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Core Solutions
  • Introduction
    to C++/DirectX Game Development
  • Porting
    Unity Games to Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone
  • Windows
    8.1 UX Design Jump Start
  • Windows
    Azure Web Sites – Deep Dive Jump Start
  • What’s
    New in Visual Studio 2013 Jump Start
  • Developing
    SharePoint Server Advanced Solutions Jump Start
  • C++:
    A General Purpose Language and Library
  • Windows
    8.1 Developer Training: Geek Edition

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    My new phone is a 7-inch tablet

    I’ve always been uncomfortable with the small size of my smartphone screen . So when the first 7-inch tablets size appeared, I considered merging my phone with a tablet to carry only one device with me. 

    asus-fonepad1I am a big fan of the Phablets form factor and a 7-inch phone is a device with which I can live. After a long thinking , I finally decided to proceed with a change. This summer, I exchanged my iPhone 4 for an Asus Fonepad tablet. Here is a summary of my experience during this transition.

    My needs were simple. I need to run the same applications (or equivalent) than what I used on my iphone 4. Here is a list of those applications sorted by priority:

    • Email that work with Exchange
    • Feed reader that work with feedly (i now use gReader)
    • Mobile reader for the Montreal newspaper “La Presse”
    • Mobile player for french canadian TV (
    • Voice recorder (i now use smart voice recorder)
    • Google Maps
    • TuneIn Radio
    • Podcast player (i now use gReader)
    • Book reader (I now use Google Play to read epub and PDF)
    • Rdio player
    • Safari To Go
    • Pluralsight
    • Hootsuite
    • Twitter
    • OneNote
    • Lync2013

    It was mandatory to obtain a tablet with 3G data. For the phone feature, I was ready to try Voice-Over-IP (VOIP) services such as Skype or Line2. Obviously, since I had an ipone 4, I evaluated the purchase of the iPad mini but when I saw the price (around $550), I decided it was too expensive. After evaluating all my options, I decided to opt for the Google tablet as I feel the price was fair (around $300).

    So in June, I bought a Google Nexus 7 tablet with 3G data. As I live in Canada and I need a phone number in the 514 area, I subscribe to the Line2 service and start testing VOIP. During my tests, I discovered that the services provided by Line2 was correct even if the reach of 3G data is not equivalent as the reach of mobile phone. For example, I could hardly received phone calls when I was in the basement of my house. Those were constraints that I could live with.

    Unfortunately, because of the design of the tablet, there was a problem that I could not tolerate. Since the speaker and the microphone were side by side, the microphone recorded the sound of the speaker which created a very unpleasant echo for the caller. All the people who were calling me experienced the echo and all were uncomfortable. Despite the fact that I enjoyed a lot my experience with Google Nexus 7, I had to consider another option. So, I canceled my subscription with Line2 and I sold my Nexus 7.

    By doing some research over the web, I discovered that ASUS is offering an almost identical clone of the Nexus 7 that include a mobile phone.  This tablet is the ASUS Fonepad and bought it for 270 dollars through a reseller who import them from Japan. I now have the best of both worlds, a real mobile phone and a 7-inch tablet . It’s been almost 2 months since I used this new tablet and I could not be more happier.


    From now on, I plan to use only phablets and I’ll probably change my device every year. In this regard, the new 6-inch ASUS Fonepad Note seems like a promising device.