I’ve been playing around with a way to control an Android device that is hooked up to a projector which will make it great for showing off apps in meetings. The setup I’m using consists of a Galaxy Nexus runninng a TUIO client, a Kinect, projector and a MHL adapter. With an AOSP build of Android the TUIO client app can be signed with the system keys to allow TUIO events across all of Android and not just limited to the TUIO client app.
I recently started working at Ironclad Mobile, they have a workflow that is very similar to what they use at GitHub, GitHub Flow. This method generates enough pull requests that I had to disable email notifications of pull requests as they were quickly filling up my inbox. But I still needed a way to be able to tell if someone had submitted a pull request that didn’t require me to open GitHub just to check. So I decided to write a Chrome extension that takes advantage of the GitHub v3 API that keeps me updated on the latest pulls.
When developing Android apps it can be painful making sure that all you have image assets for every dpi level. I’ve been dealing with this by making all my original images in inkscape and saving them as svg files. I then use a script to scale and save the images for each dpi level.
I’ve put the script up on github:gist here
Last week Motorola finally started allowing Xoom tablets to be sent in for their 4g LTE upgrade. Mine came back today and I was surprised to discover that they had sent it back with a little something extra, a dock. I had been looking at getting one of these since I go the Xoom back in February. The only reason I hadn’t was that there was no passthrough USB so I wouldn’t be able to use it while developing Android applications. Having received one for free I decided to go ahead and see if I could modify it to have USB and make it a little more useful.
Disassembling the dock was actually easier than expected, Motorola opted to use screws instead of the typical snap together casing.
From there it was as simple as desoldering the USB connector in the dock and splicing it to a USB cable that I had laying around. I opted to remove the audio jack from the board inside the dock so that I could route the USB cable out through the existing hole.
I hooked the Xoom up to the dock and my computer to make sure that all the connections had been made correctly and then promptly sealed the dock back up.
Finally a useful dock for the Xoom!
At the office we have an unreasonable amount of discs that we use frequently. At one point they were kept on thumb tacks on a bulletin board, but they always seems to manage to jump off and end up in the same place where lost socks go. Luckily I stumbled upon an excellent article on Make, Peel ‘n’ Stick Disc Storage.
It turns out that the CD hubs, that are often found in books, are the perfect solution and cost very little. I went ahead and ordered some clear ones from Amazon and set them up in the office. So far they get the job done wonderfully, the discs are easy to access and they don’t try to run away anymore.
Yesterday I published minus for Android to the Android marketplace. It is in the same vein as the imgur for Android app that I published in 2010, except it is for the competing service min.us. Minus is organized differently in the fact that images have to be in a gallery to exist, this led to minus for Android having album support from the start. This along with no-nonsense photo uploading makes it a great choice for sharing original content with the internet. If you try it out and have any problems, send me an email from the marketplace and I’ll see what I can do to fix it. Enjoy!
Text-To-Speech is one of the many great features built into the Android OS. Many users may only use it for the turn by turn navigation, but that still adds up to lots of time listening to a “tinny” robotic voice. Luckily Android 2.2 introduced the ability to install new TTS libraries to change the voice from the default voice. So far there are only two additional voice libraries in the market, one provided by SVOX and the the other by Loquendo.
Midwest Supplies recently had an offer on Groupon that allowed you to purchase their Brewing Basics Kit and a Beer Recipe Kit for around $40. I had been thinking about getting into homebrewing for a while and when I saw this I decided to go ahead and try it out. These kits come with just about everything you need, even material on how to properly brew beer (a book and DVD). The only other thing you need is a large brewing kettle and some bottles.
The SanDisk Extreme arrived in the mail today. The linux image copied over easily from the old card to the new one. Sadly this didn’t actually fix the problem. Talking to people on the PandaBoard irc channel it turns out that MMC has issues with reads and writes and I/O blocking. They recommended trying a usb drive for the main filesystem while booting of the SD card. The next post will be on the performance with an external drive of the OS.
The PandaBoard was quick and easy to get running. All that has to be done is download a image and write it to a sd card. Ubuntu started up quickly and easily, and the omap4 extras packages took care of any weird dependcies that Ubuntu needed for graphics acceleration and wifi. The only problem is that I just used a class 2 sd card that was laying around, with the filesytem on this Ubuntu is almost unuseable, and not fast enough to even update. SanDisk makes some nice class 10 SD cards that would probably be perfect so I’ll order one and work from there, if that isn’t good enough we will move on to external storage using usb.