Category Archives: Windows 8

Windows 8 Activation Error : The filename, directory name or volume label syntax is incorrect

When trying to activate my Windows 8 , I received this error screen :

First thing to do was to ask Google for help 😉

And I found that the problem is documented in this Microsoft Support Article.

To resolve the problem, follow these instructions :

  1. Open the  command prompt and run it as an administrator.
  2. Type the following command: slmgr.vbs /ipk  XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX ( 5*5 X is your product Key)

3. You should see this pop up window within a few seconds :


Now if you go back to the Control Panel and try to activate

You will receive this message

Now enjoy your Windows 8 🙂


Notifications & Metro Style apps in Windows8 : Local Toast

As explained in the previous post about notifications in Windows8, notifications can be local or from the Cloud ( push ) .

In this post, we will be discussing the local notifications.

Start a new project

       Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview –> New Project –> JavaScript –> Blank Application


Define the notification

      In the ‘js’ folder, let’s add a new item: a javascript file called toast.

js folder

      You should first choose a template for your toast, you can refer to Toast Template Type.

      Back to the toast.js where we will write the following code :

toast code

“This example uses the ToastImageAndText01 template, which consists of a large image with, to its right, a single string wrapped across three lines of text.

To specify the content, we retrieve the collection of text elements then enumerates through that collection, assigning a string to each of those elements . It then retrieves the image element and assigns it an image and alt text.” Windows dev center – Metro Style apps

See the toast in action

    We need to let the application send the toast.

    In the ‘ default.html’ file, add a reference to the toast script :



Voila ! Quick and easy Sourire

Notifications & Metro Style apps in Windows 8: Introduction

Did you play around with the Windows Developer Preview ? If so, you did probably notice that tiles are the primary presentation of an app on the start screen.

In order to make the start screen feel vibrant and allow the user to see at a glance what’s new ( which is one of the main purposes of the metro style), you can add notifications to those tiles or use them separately.

There are three types of notifications :

Tile Notifications

tile notification

Those are the information and notifications that you can see directly through the tile.

Tiles updates use pre-defined templates, and can cycle between five tiles.

Toast Notifications

toast notification

“A toast notification is a transient message to the user that contains relevant, time-sensitive information and provides quick access the subject of that content in an app. It can appear whether you are in another app, the Start screen, or on the desktop. Toasts are an optional part of the app experience and are intended to be used only when your app is not the active foreground app.” Dev center – Metro style apps website

Toast notifications deliver transient messages outside the app to get the user’s attention immediately.



It’s a summary or status information concerning the app notification, on the top of the tile.

It supports square and wide tiles.

start screen

All those notifications can be :

Local notifications

  • Used only when application is running.
  • Most useful for updating tiles and badges.

Scheduled notifications

  • for toast notifications to be running at a precise time.

Push notifications

  • Update tiles, show badges and raise toasts from the cloud.
  • Work even if the application is not running.

This post is an introduction, in the coming posts I will be writing about each kind of notifications and how to implement them.

Stay tuned Smile

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Exploring Visual Studio11 Express for Windows Developer Preview

With the pre-beta version of Windows8 , Microsoft also released Visual Studio11 Developer Preview available to MSDN subscribers at first and public starting today.


So what’s new in VS11 ?

Visual Studio11 Express for Windows Developer Preview allows you to create different types of applications. Either you are a HTML and Javascrip ninja , C# / VB.Net guru or C++ master, VS11 Express is the IDE you need to create a “ Blow Mind” Metro Style applications .

supported languages

Javascript templates:

When you click on Javascript , you have multiple choice :


  • Blank Application : comes with default.html page containing a blank body, default.js page and a CSS style sheet.
  • Fixed Layout Application: it’s a Blank Application with fixed layout.
  • Grid Application: it’s a a “multi page project for navigating multiple layers of content with item details details displayed on dedicated page”. If you are familiar with Windows phone, that would probably look for you like panorama and pivot apps.
  • Navigation Application: it’s a Metro Style Application with navigation support.
  • Split Application: it’s a “ project for navigating among a master list of items while viewing their details on the same page

Visual C# / Visual Basic templates:


  • Application : blank application
  • Grid Application : same thing as the javascript templates.
  • Split Application: same thing as the javascript templates.
  • Class Library: allows you to create class library useful in other Metro Style Applications.
  • Unit Test Library

Visual C++ templates:


  • WinRT Component DLL : helps you create Metro Style server DLL.
  • DirectX Application: allows you to create a blank Metro Style Application using DirectX.


That was a quick Visual Studio11 Express for Developer Preview walkthrough, more details coming in the next posts !

Stay Tuned Sourire