[ This is the sixth & final post in the Shufflr on Ultrabook: Intel Ultimate Coder Contest series. Here are the firstsecondthirdfourth and fifth posts. ]

Welcome back to the arena, after a week’s play at the IDF. With the deadline just a few days away, we scrambled to push one more key and complicated feature into the app. Yes, push is the keyword there :)

AOAC and push notifications

Right at the beginning of this contest, we said we were excited about AOAC but did not see much hope for supporting it in our Metro app. However, it was not something we could leave out, without giving it a second look. We must say that it was worth it. Now, we have new videos’ updates coming to Shufflr, even when the Ultrabook is in sleep state! With this progress, we might even attempt to integrate these with the Metro ‘live tile’ updates.

For those who are interested to understand the complexities of AOAC / connected standby, here is a fairly interesting MSDN thread: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/wdk/thread/26629db2-6d33-427c-a767-8c857d775079.

The Shufflr platform on the cloud is the best place to start work on a Windows.Networking.PushNotifications based implementation of AOAC in Shufflr. This entire push notifications implementation with a client, server and a broker in between is not trivial and Windows blokes could probably have simplified it (speaking from the experience of implementing push notifications to Shufflr on iOS).

Note: The Intel Smart Connect driver failed to install on our Ultrabook via the suggested method, as the setup program refused to run. So, we went rogue, dug out a 64-bit desktop driver for ISCT and installed it (though the driver file name suggested it was meant for Win7!). After a bit of configuring, we got the driver to check for network updates once every 10-12 minutes instead of the 5-minute interval we actually wanted.

Over and out

Just this last week to go and it is count down time. Commit a few more lines, refactor the code, make it battle ready, initiate the final test sequence and blast off. This is turning out to be one memorable ride, alright. :)

We sign off with many thanks to Bob, Wendy, Norm and their team at Intel for inviting us to the contest and staying with us all along. A hat tip to our fellow contestants. Over to the judges, to whom we send our warmest regards and also wish them all the best. ;^)