just another web log

24 Aug 2010 21:28
I got appinventor working in Windows 7 at work and created the Meow Purr tutorial (replacing the image and the sound with something more interesting).
Unfortunately, I did not have the USB cable with me so I could not see it running on the phone.
The designer page has a Package for Phone option to create an .APK but that would not install on my Android 1.5 DEXT
So, as appinventor is web/Java based I tried it out at home in Gentoo. There are no Gentoo packages so I had to unzip the Debian one. All you need to do is dump the folder structure in /.
Last step is to make sure the user running the appinventor has write permissions and start the emulator.
Hopefully I will get some time to play with the other features, but it was easy to use (after so flailing about).
24 Aug 2010 21:13
Do you remember the Computer-O quiz ? I thought not, I put it up over ten years ago.
I got an email today noting a few issues with the answers. Googling the sender, I find he is a well respected and smart fellow, time to update the code.
AGHHhhh! my eyes! all the HTML is in UPPERCASE, the screen is shouting at me :( The email ~
MOO also stands for Master Of Orion (First O therefore stands for Of)
POST is a HTTP request mechanism (O stands for nothing-post is just a word)
Your acronym for FLOPS is wrong, Floating Point Operations Per Second would be FPOPS
FLOPS is more often understood as standing for FLoating-point OPerations / Second, so the O again stands for nothing (the term is a portmanteau not an acronym)

I also fixed a number of typos and spelling mistakes.
Considering how many people have taken the quiz I am surprised no one picked up on the FLOPS one, goes to show people are only interested in the O.
Ok, off you go to try and beat your last score on the worlds only Computer-O quiz.
23 Aug 2010 22:11
So when I was presented with my free iPad, I though WOW and free computer, think of the productivity gains.
Now accept that the iPad is a toy. Even if you are willing to pay the money there is very little out there for professionals.
Its a very shiny, nice to show off, expensive toy. The excitement is wearing off after just a couple of weeks.
Roll on the next shiny.
23 Aug 2010 22:06
In other news I have been creating a number of test Android applications, each targeting a specific feature that will be combined into ... [TBA]
And in other 'other' news I was accepted into the google AppInventor beta.
App inventor allows you to create complex Android applications without any code, just drag and drop. Look promising but seems to have some holes.
And ... in etc etc I installed the windows phone 7 tools at work, as we are (currently) a Microsoft house.
There are worrying signs that Macs maybe in my future, but nothing to worrying yet.
23 Aug 2010 21:59
Another ten free iPad apps (no iPhone apps but two note worthy URLs).

Spirit level and bubble level. Thats it, a nicely presented bubble level (when the iPad is on its back) and spirit level when stood on end, very sensitive(good thing). *FREE* 5 stars

Doodle Buddy:
Drawing: Lots here for the kids, from multiple backgrounds to stamps with sound effects. As well as having the normal draw a colour pens, it has a smudge and also allows finished art to be saved as the iPad background. *FREE* 5 stars

Memory match game. Another on for the kids. Match the pairs with colourful illustrations and one each match get a sound or/and voice over. At the end of each level you get three wacky sound toys to play with. Lots of variation on the cards, from animals to instruments to vehicles. *FREE* 5 stars

Mind mapping. Very simple, not very many options, but allows you to create simple lists with associations in either list or graph view. *FREE* 3 stars

Clock. Show multiple clocks from different time zones. Very few customisations and the LED view is not very readable. However the analog clocks look very nice. *FREE* 3 stars

Hexagon matching game. High speed touch matching with funky explosions sounds, graphics and fun power-ups. Limited appeal. *FREE* 3 stars

Trundle HD:
Rolling physics game. Tip the iPad left and right to get your ball rolling, tap the screen to jump. One of the better and more devious physics games. *FREE* 4 stars

Rafter HD:
Drawing physics game. Draw blocks and balls at the top of the screen and let them fall down and activate the mine. Bit limited and hard in places. *FREE* 4 stars

BBC iPlayer:
BBC catchup service. Not an app but a url that you can add to your home screen. Select programs from BBC channels from the previous week (or so) and watch streaming. *FREE* 4 stars (UK only)

Live streaming TV. Not an app but a URL that you can add to your home screen. Select one of 37 channels and watch streaming live. So not really any kind of catchup service. you do have to register but its free. *FREE* 4 stars (UK only)

I have more on my list to download and test, but do not expect that anytime soon, I really have started to hit to bottom of the free iPad apps.
17 Aug 2010 22:50
Another ten free iPad apps (yes, one of them is an iPhone app).

Colour visualiser for the kuler Adobe community. Show the micro palletes either interactively or in a screen saver type experience. Fun but not very useful. Not iPad native so you get the iPhone visuals, optionally at 2x zoom. *FREE**iPHONE* 3 stars

System information reference. Find you IP and MAC address, CPU type, OS, Memory, Battery, Location, Kernel etc etc. For geeks, it just works. *FREE* 5 stars

Visual tracert. Enter an IP address or web server and get a route described by pins at the data centers the data traveled. For geeks, it just works. *FREE* 4 stars

Wink Target Clock:
A full screen arty analog clock. Imagine a shooting target composed of colourful concentric circles and then add hands and a second mechanism that changes the colours. This one may get uninstalled. *FREE* 3 stars

PCalc Lite:
Calculator. Demo for more fully featured product. Very clear and easy to use, wish it had base 2 and base 16. *FREE**DEMO* 3 stars

Implode Nature!:
Physics game. Demo, containing 10 levels where you place explosives and try and decimate chalk drawn structures. Completed the demo in less than 10 minutes, not impressed, uninstalled *FREE**DEMO* 3 stars

Bub Wider:
Tilt game. Control a bubble by tilting the iPad collecting art and avoiding sugar babes. No indication it was only a demo. Basic premise, collect objects and avoid enemies, again not impressed, uninstalled *FREE**DEMO* 3 stars

RJ Voyager:
Audio mixer. Fun interactive audio toy for mixing up sounds. Comes with eight 'scenes' that are a collection of samples each with their own parameters such as volume, echo, reality and filter to name but a few. For acid house, trance dance types. *FREE* 5 stars

Labyrinth 2 HD Lite:
Tilt maze game. Demo containing 20 levels, some easy some hard. Amazingly well presented and lots of fun, but I got neck ache looking down at the iPad as it had to be flat as neutral. At £4.99 I will consider purchasing the 300 level complete version. *FREE**DEMO* 5 stars

Pocket Pond HD:
Interactive pond. Play with the fish in this relaxing interactive pond environment. Ambient sounds play, you can annoy the fish by touching the water or add lily pads, the only other thing is to drag through the water like all those water demos before it. Simple, beautiful, but a bit basic. Not really a demo but a new more advanced version called iPond with fishing, frogs and dragon flies is available. *FREE* 4 stars

Yes, lots more to test and will distract me from what I was doing previously, drat.
15 Aug 2010 21:21
No one told me my dnet stats have been failing to update for over a year !
Appears the stats I was receiving were for one of the developers as a default value.
Missing quotes around the wget URL in the wget call, if you must know.
And yes I do feel stupid.
15 Aug 2010 20:50
I was worried that there would be no free apps worth having on the iPad. Here are ten of the first crop I tested.

Dragon Dictation:
Voice based dictation for notes. Very basic but does do dictation without any training. Needs a training mode ! *FREE* 3 stars

Recipe book. In one word 'lavish', it is beautiful/responsive and has everything you need. Nice layout/options images, reviews and can store all the required ingredients in a shopping list. *FREE* 5 stars

Dictionary/Theosaurus. Just works, no obvious niggles. *FREE* 5 stars

Internet Movie DataBase. Just works and looks brilliant. *FREE* 5 stars

Record audio from the microphone. Although heavily ad supported it does do a good job. Just hit record, and rename your recording after. *FREE*AD Supported* 3 stars

The Guardian Eyewitness:
Slide show of the best daily global photography. Stunning, must have. *FREE* 5 stars

Music creator: very fun, simple and has some useful configurations. *FREE* 4 stars

News consolidation app. Bit quirky, nice way to waste five minutes catching up with news about things and stuff you might otherwise have missed. *FREE* 3 stars

Google Earth:
Planet visualiser. Does exactly what you expect, fun and easy to use. Pinch zoom seems to rotate the image every time. *FREE* 5 stars

Toy Story:
Interactive story book, with games and sing a-longs. Kids adored it, great graphics easy to use, intermixes actual film and audio clips. *FREE* 5 stars

I got a list of over forty by searching google for ipad must have apps, Expect more mini reviews soon.
14 Aug 2010 22:58
Appears there are not free iPad download manager apps that can download a PDF from a web site AND make it available in iBooks.
Found two that would download the PDF but then keep the file in there own apps areas with no export option.
They would of course happily open the PDF but then I am back to the same problem with apples built in PDF reader.
I am not willing to risk paying and it also not working.
Did you know the iPad does not come with a calculator ? odd.
14 Aug 2010 21:00
Work have given me an iPad, basic model 16gb wifi only, bit of a shock, they gave everyone one.
My like/dislike for this device goes up and down like a gymnast on a trampoline.
Dislike: its Apple (so much hate), forced me to get an iTunes account(even more hate), had to agree to numerous terms and conditions that were far to long to read.
Like: sexy, there is no doubt that the beast is nicely sized and has a beautiful screen.
Dislike: Cost, but of course for me it was free, so I am bit conflicted, maybe as free it is still too expensive ?
Like: battery life, its been used for four days and is still at 60% and colleagues have been running it over a week with no charge.
Dislike: comes with a USB cable and no power cable but can not be charged from the USB socket, uses a mains adapter for USB.
Like: iBooks, free app for reading ebooks and PDFs makes me want to read the PDF version of tech books.
Dislike: Safari, ignoring the recent security issues and lack of flash support I tried to get the train time table. Did open the PDF from the train operators web site but after any action just hung. No problem I will just save the link to hard disk and load it into iBooks(see above), no can not do that.
Like: Screen resolution, video quality.
Dislike: Can not get many useful apps for free.
I wanted a simple SSH client, six clients available all cost...
Like: the possibility of free apps, I have a list to follow up on.
Dislike: I can not develop for the iPad, you still HAVE to develop on a MAC.
Like: smooth rotation even upside down.
Dislike: another shiny to take my focus away from ... well everything.

Expect lots of ipad tagged posts.
14 Aug 2010 10:14
Up until today I had a very nice Microsoft wireless mouse that has had only one battery change in 4 years and works perfectly in Linux.
Today I have Microsoft mouse that has an issue making it unusable, problem was not there yesterday is today.
So, do I need new drivers, replace the batteries or clean it?
Nope, none of those, today the entire rubber surround has degraded and become so sticky it is unpleasant.
Only reference online is http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/vistahardware/thread/832bc523-aa4c-4ad4-83ec-a6d81bac4455
Time for a new mouse.
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