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Building a Voice-Driven TV Remote - Part 1: Getting The Data

When thinking recently about the types of things I wish I could control by voice in my house, one of the obvious answers was everything in my media center setup. I've had a Harmony One for over eight years now which has always done a great job at helping coordinate all the different devices and activities (seriously, few products age as well as that thing has), but that of course requires actually using the remote. I…

Creating Slack Slash Commands With Azure Functions

One of the nice features of Slack is how easy they make it to add custom slash commands simply by providing an HTTP endpoint for them to call. This is the kind of scenario where a "serverless" architecture shines, allowing you to create these HTTP endpoints without having to maintain any actual infrastructure for it. In this post I'll show how easy it is to write a custom Slack slash command that is backed by Azure…

Getting Started with Azure Functions and F#

While it's been possible to use F# in Azure Functions for some time now, it wasn't until this week that it really became a first class citizen. Previously it would execute your F# scripts by calling out to fsi, but now the runtime is fully available, including input and output bindings, making it a far more compelling option. I recently built a somewhat complex "serverless" application using AWS Lambda and JavaScript, thinking to myself the entire…

Building a Real-Time Photo Gallery with Xamarin, SignalR, Azure, and WebAPI

Lately I’ve been throwing around the idea of writing an app for my wedding, and started thinking of what I’d want to put in it. One feature that I thought could be fun would be to let guests upload photos directly from the app and display them both to other guests and on our site in real time. In this post I’ll go over how I was able to quickly put together a…