Build Your Biz

Build Your Biz

BuildYourBiz is a site created by local Boston Technology community leaders and technology business owners.  The great content and success factors covered are a collaboration of many technology leaders including John Ross, Dan Stolts, Tommy Patterson, Blain BartonJames Quick and others.  Together, These experts as well as other technology experts and business owners will help you build your business on free Microsoft resources. This site and project was put together to help people start and build their business. BuildYourBiz will teach business owners, consultants, technologists and students how they can leverage technology to build their business. This will include many tips, tricks and resources available to help start, build and grow your business.

This coming Saturday, March 1st 2014, I will be leading the workshop on how to build your first app. This will be a step-by-step lesson to building a business for Technology Professionals and Students. Now we will dive into how you (an IT Professional or Student) can get started in building your first Windows Store application. No prior development experience required.

Register Now

Read more “Build Your Biz”

Windows Phone Developer Saturday


Is something stopping you from finishing your Windows Phone app?

Welcome to WPdev Saturday!

Please join Nick Landry and other Windows Phone community experts for WPdev Saturday on February 22, 2014 in New Jersey for a fun day of mobile app building. WPdev Saturday is an event brought to you by Nokia DVLUP and sponsored by Microsoft.


The goal is to help you overcome any obstacles that might be preventing you from publishing an app. Whether you’re working on your first app or putting the polish on your 20th, all are welcome. If you do not have any apps in the works, then come and build a Microsoft App Studio app with our help.

When & Where?

Microsoft New Jersey Office – Iselin
101 Wood Ave South, 9th floor
Iselin, NJ 08830

Find more information on Nick’s site and how to register.

Unity and Windows: Road to Success

Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 10.15.12 AM

Unity developers listen up! Microsoft has created a great oppurtunity for success on the Windows Platform. Using a great tool like Unity, and a great platform like Windows, success is an easy few steps away.

Head on over to to view the progam and the step to qualify and start feeling the success!

WinRT information: No mapping for the Unicode character exists in the target multi-byte code page.

I am working on a new app that utilizes local JSON as well as JSON and XML results from a RESTful service. I enjoy the local JSON with Visual Studio 2013 and Windows Store app since I can bind my JSON data to my XAML to view it at design time. Saves a lot of time when it comes to spacing and determining what your UI looks like.

However, when I tried to run my app I get one of those lovely error messages.

WinRT information: No mapping for the Unicode character exists in the target multi-byte code page.

Unicode Error

WTF! Something is obviously wrong with my JSON. So I perform the following troubleshooting routines.

  1. I take the JSON and go to a online validator to ensure that is it valid. (I use It does a fine job.) It should be valid because the XAML designer shows my data, but just to be safe.
  2. Perform a Copy n Paste into my favorite text editor and copy back out.
  3. Skim through my JSON looking for ‘ or any other character that should not be in there.

All of which proves to be unsuccessful. So what do I do.

Well, apparently in Visual Studio you have the ability to save files in different formats. If you open the file in Visual Studio, then go to the File Menu and choose Advanced Save Options you can choose different file encodings. The encoding that came up for my JSON file was Western European (not sure why we are still called Western European but that is a different post).

Western European

I changed the encoding from Western European to Unicode UTF-8. Magically it worked!

Unicode UTF-8

Hopefully this will help anyone who runs into a issue similar to the one I had with Unicode.