C++ Windows 8 Store Apps: The series

So I’m going to start writing my own apps – I’ve been doing C++ for a while now (15 odd years) and fancy a new project to occupy my commute each day. I’ve equipped an old laptop with a cheap SSD and Windows 8 and installed Visual Studio. The SSD really makes a difference !

Some things I’ve noticed:
– System Restore Protection was not enabled for drive C: out of the box. I suffered some registry corruption (old laptop) and had to rebuild because of this.
– It took about an hour to build my refresh/reset image in case I suffered more problems. I really feel there should be UI elements advertising this feature.

I’ve been using it on my desktop (dual monitor) for a little while now, and while the base of the OS is good, it is hampered by a slightly unclear UI design. The ModernMix application that changes full screen Store apps to windowed apps is very welcome, but I still don’t like the number of clicks required to restart/shutdown, or that Control Panel/Preferences exists in two places.

Finally, some C++ and the class scope “internal”. I didn’t catch this in my first reading and it is essential to building your application. As you can’t have public class members which are not a Windows Runtime type, this is the only way of allowing classes to have accessible non-private members. For more information, see Namespaces and Type Visibility (C++/CX ) at MSDN.

Windows 8 and recent hotfixes

So I bought a laptop about 6+ years ago and it died about 4 1/2 years ago, refusing to take a charge when plugged into the mains. Now I’m pretty sure I tried everything I could to get it to work, considering that I had a University assignment due in 2 days later and I was half way through writing it up and my only recourse was to drive back to work and grab an spare, old, bad, slow laptop to complete it (it’s good to be in charge !). This laptop (not the work one, that got taken back as soon as I was done) was on a shelf in our spare room (I do hoard some things) and I decided to give it a go. Plugged it in. Green light. Oooohhhhh.