Tag palmpre (29)
FlightPredictor wins! and a new life rule
Posted on 2010-07-28 10:09:00
Tags: health asmc palmpre projects
Palm just posted the official results of the Hot Apps competition, and FlightPredictor made the list! Really looking forward to improving it and making some new apps once I have some free time...
Speaking of which, a new life rule: no sushi close to shows. Of course, the one time I get sick from it is during a rehearsal. (nothing overly dramatic, but I did feel pretty crappy and sat down a lot) Hopefully tonight is better - only 2 days until we open!
FlightPredictor featured on palm homepage!
Posted on 2010-07-15 12:50:00
Tags: palmpre projects
As with LJ for WebOS before it, FlightPredictor is now on the Palm homepage! Screenshot:
(it's the "plane with clock symbol" at the top)
Lesson learned: avoid "authorized retailers"
Posted on 2010-07-08 12:41:00
I got the skinny on my phone today - I did buy it less than a year ago, and the warranty does carry over to the replacement phone, but because I bought it at a Sprint "authorized retailer" and not a corporate store, they sold me a refurbished phone! Maaaaaybe this was mentioned at the time (I was somewhat under duress, having just lost my phone) but I certainly don't remember them saying that. The guy at the store I went to was sympathetic, saying someone came in last week in the same situation. (then I paid for the repair, and I'll get a refurbished phone shipped to me in a few days)
So: from now on, corporate stores for me. It's certainly not clear from Sprint's website, but I guess the "Sprint Store by Direct Store" is supposed to clue me in. That's the Arbor Walk location, to be clear. And apparently the manager of that store was a real jerk to Shawn, so another reason to avoid them!
But, I still like Sprint - cheaper plans, coverage seems fine, and because I'm a "Sprint Premier" member (read: been on any smartphone plan for 6 months) I'm eligible to upgrade phones every year instead of every two years. And the customer service, at least at the corporate store on Capital of Texas (which I am sadly quite familiar with) has been friendly and competent.
so it begins
Posted on 2010-07-07 10:44:00
Tags: asmc palmpre links
Tonight is the first real summer musical rehearsal. I know it'll be fun (as it always is), but rushing home most nights to have dinner and then rush off to rehearsal gets a bit tiring. And the rehearsal schedule is brutal - WFSa this week, MWFSa the next, and then eleven days in a row until we open.
My Palm Pre's screen wouldn't turn on on Saturday, and the Sprint store told me it was out of warranty and would cost at least $100 to fix. Later that day, it started working again, but it conked out last night and hasn't come back. So I guess I have to argue with them about why it's out of warranty (I think their stance was that this phone is already a replacement, but the warranty should carry over, right? I'm still within a year since I got the phone...)
And I cut my finger last night just enough to be annoying. And my legs/feet/ankles are sore from ice skating, which means rehearsal tonight might be kinda painful.
Anyway, enough whining: check out this story about the Russian spies. Apparently one of them made contact with someone who she thought was from the Russian consulate, although none of her actual contacts vouched for this guy, who was in fact an undercover FBI agent. She was having trouble with her laptop that she used to contact the Russians, and then handed over her laptop to the FBI agent to fix it.
8 webOS apps to buy - while they're on sale!
Posted on 2010-07-02 12:49:00
Tags: essay palmpre
Since the 50% off sale is going on for another few weeks, here are my favorite webOS apps:
Palm: money to burn?
Posted on 2010-06-30 10:49:00
Tags: essay palmpre
Since the HP acquisition of Palm is expected to close this week, Palm has been spending money on their platform like crazy. To wit:
- On June 17, they announced all apps in the App Catalog would be 50% off until July 9, and they'd reimburse the difference to developers. So instead of making money on every app sale, they're paying the developer for each sale.
- Monday, Palm extended the 50% sale until July 23.
- From the beginning, the policy has been that each app in the catalog (unless it was open source) had a $50 submission fee. Yesterday they announced that not only are they getting rid of that fee, they're refunding all the $50 fees they've collected in the past, which is pretty ridiculously generous.
One could argue that these are nothing particularly new - Palm's been courting developers pretty heavily from the beginning, what with making homebrew very easy to do (no rooting required!) and giving away $1 million in their Hot Apps competition (of which I'm hoping to collect some), and having another Hot Apps competition starting in July for PDK apps. But the timing of these last three moves, plus the fact that they're insanely generous, make me think that they're related to the acquisition. I assume that HP was on board with these moves - if so, it bodes very well for the future of webOS!
weekend pictures, my first ad!
Posted on 2010-06-07 10:52:00
Tags: pictures palmpre projects
We went down to Houston this weekend to see the Young Frankenstein musical (verdict: entertaining but not as good as the movie), and ended up seeing a nice backyard with some bees. Also: back in Austin we saw the original Batman movie at the Paramount with Adam West. Pictures of all the above:
The Palm Hot Apps competition will award cash prizes to the 221 most popular free and paid apps on June 30. I think FlightPredictor has a (very) outside shot at winning, so I bought an ad for it on webOSroundup. (it's one of the boxes on the right - doesn't show up every time so you might have to reload) Thanks to destroyerj and skimmerduk for design help!
One year and one day ago, the Palm Pre went on sale - PreCentral has a a good retrospective on what went wrong and what went right.
Posted on 2010-05-03 10:30:00
Tags: palmpre projects
FlightPredictor, the best way to know ahead of time whether your flight will be delayed, is now available on the Palm App Catalog! Here's the official homepage, and here's a video walkthrough of how FlightPredictor works.
It's powered by FlightCaster.com, a San Francisco-based startup. Many thanks to them for making their API available and responding to my questions and suggestions quickly!
LJ for WebOS update
Posted on 2010-04-16 10:11:00
Tags: lj for webos palmpre projects
The good news: Since my last update, I'm up to 132 copies sold. I've added some new features, including the heavily-requested thumbnails in posts, and I made a video walkthrough of the app that's linked to from the App Catalog. (which is a cool feature - thanks Palm!)
The bad news: The rate of sales is really slowing down - this last week I had three days in a row where no copies were sold, which is the first time that's happened since I've been tracking the daily numbers. Pushing the update helped a little, but I'm getting a feeling that the market may be somewhat saturated - the intersection of "people who own a Pre" and "people who use LiveJournal enough that they're willing to pay a few bucks for a good client" probably isn't that big to begin with. Or maybe it's just a blip; I suppose time will tell.
I was hoping that I might squeak in to the Palm Hot Apps competition, but looking at the leaderboard I'm a ways out from the #200 slot. Right now I'd have to sell 51 more copies to get on the list, and that's only going to go up over time. Oh well!
In any case, I've had a lot of fun working on LJ for WebOS and I'm glad that people seem to generally find it useful. I'm hoping to publish my next app (the FlightCaster-based one) within a few weeks - it's mostly ready to go but I'm waiting on some API changes before I call it done, and then I have to make a video, etc.
A post by someone on Palm's developer relations team sums up well why I like WebOS so much and why I'm going to be a sad panda if it goes away.
Palm up for sale?
Posted on 2010-04-12 10:48:00
Bloomberg is reporting that Palm is putting itself up for sale - although nothing has been officially announced, I doubt they'd publish if they weren't pretty darn sure. Possible buyers include HTC and Lenovo. (but not Dell)
While I'm disappointed, I guess I don't really care as long as WebOS phones continue to be made. I like my Pre's form factor but I love the OS and software.
Posted on 2010-04-06 15:52:00
Tags: palmpre wedding
We watched Coraline last night - the Blu-Ray disc included a 3D versions, and it came with four pairs of old-school 3D glasses (with red and green lenses), so we gave it a shot. It actually worked reasonably well - it took a little while for my eyes to adjust but you could definitely see the 3D effect! The colors did appear a little weird, though. I'm guessing they did red and green for the lenses instead of red and blue because Coraline's hair is blue. After it was over, looking out of one eye looked very different than the other - our eyes had compensated and now saw the opposite color they had been looking through.
We picked up our wedding album today! The binding is very elegant and the pictures turned out well. I also got a CD of lots of pictures which I'll post in the near future.
I'm going to Palm Developer Day in California! (as kind of a birthday present) Looking forward to meeting people and learning more about WebOS and such.
new external HD, project, life
Posted on 2010-04-05 13:51:00
Tags: palmpre projects programming
My backup strategy as of last week was to copy the really important stuff onto my 16GB USB thumbdrive relatively frequently, and more infrequently copy everything onto an external hard drive. Feeling rather clever at the time, I bought an enclosure like this, so I could buy a cheaper SATA hard drive and stick it in there and plug it into my computer via USB. Then when I wanted to upgrade drives I could just buy another SATA drive.
This sounded good in theory, and indeed kinda worked, but it was very slow for some reason - copying 200GB over to the drive and then untarring the 200GB file took around 3 days. Because of this I backed up way less often than I should have.
As luck would have it, the SATA drive seemed to die last week, and so after doing a little research I bought a Western Digital Elements USB Hard Drive with 1TB of space for $90. It was easy to get it to mount on Linux, and took less than 24 hours to do the same copying/untarring procedure. And it doesn't look totally cobbled together! So I'd recommended it if you're looking for an easy backup solution. You can also get a version with fancy software and an e-ink label on the outside that was actually kind of tempting.
One more LJ for WebOS sighting
Posted on 2010-03-17 11:32:00
Tags: lj for webos palmpre projects
After it made the Palm homepage, Precentral reported on the new homepage and mentioned LJ for WebOS by name. Cool beans!
(and, yes, this will be the last of these for a while)
LJ for WebOS featured on palm homepage!
Posted on 2010-03-16 17:22:00
Tags: lj for webos palmpre projects
LJ for WebOS is currently being featured on the Palm homepage! (it's the lower right of the 3x3 grid)
links n' such
Posted on 2010-03-11 12:33:00
Tags: palmpre gay projects links
My Board Game Geek app for WebOS is now available in the Palm App Catalog!
What If Everybody in Canada Flushed At Once? - or, Canadians really like hockey.
A map of the most common fast food restaurants across the US, made by calculating the "burger force" (proportional to one over distance squared). McDonalds obviously reigns supreme, but Sonic makes a pretty good run in Texas!
LOST: Baywatch intro
The subscriber rates cable companies pay to carry each channel. ESPN and Fox Sports Net are by far the most expensive, and even the FOX Soccer Channel (which apparently exists) costs more than Comedy Central.
Florida (like many places) offers tax credits if you film a movie or TV show there. Now they're considering a bill that would deny these credits if the show has a gay character. (among other things)
As a Michigan fan, I'm not sure how to take the fact that Jim Tressel (the Ohio State football coach) answered questions from a local gay publication. (and said some very nice things) He's probably the first major coach to do so.
An interview with David Boies and Ted Olson about their Prop 8 case. Nothing earthshaking, but it's interesting to hear them talk about the trial and what they think their chances are. They're expecting a ruling by late April/early May.
A close shave
Posted on 2010-03-10 13:32:00
Tags: health palmpre projects house
Yesterday, we were driving home from work as usual on the onramp to North Mopac just south of Duval when the car in front of me started slowing down and then came to a complete stop. On the onramp.
Luckily, I was watching and was able to stop in time. Even more luckily, the car behind me was barely able to stop in time as well. (David says he could hear them slam on their brakes, but I was focused on stuff in front of me) Then the crazy honking began, both from the car behind me and me, and the car pulled off into the shoulder. I'm guessing they stopped because the sun was just at the right angle so that you couldn't see anything in the side view mirror, which made getting on the freeway from a dead stop rather challenging. Luckily no one hit me.
I was pretty amped up from this and my heart was definitely beating faster than normal. Unfortunately, this continued for quite a while. Apparently reflux can present this way, and taking some antacids seemed to help for a while, but it made me jumpy all evening and made it hard to sleep...
I worked on a new WebOS app last night - this one's a quick interface to BoardGameGeek. To submit it, I had to make the decision again about where to put it. To review:
- To put it on the App Catalog costs $50 (one time fee)
- Not doing that is free, but then it's a lot harder to find without a direct link
I prefer putting my apps on the App Catalog for the widest exposure, but then I feel like I have to charge something to make my $50 back. (and it's not that I really begrudge the $50, I understand it takes Palm time to review the apps, etc.) So I did that and am charging .99, the lowest allowable. We'll see what happens1
Good lost episode last night:
The excessive "winking" at the audience is getting to be a bit much. I'm fine with Hurley acting as a fan of the show and asking a question about something every once and a while, but asking if Richard was a cyborg seemed kinda silly.
A Lost encyclopedia is coming out in August! I know it makes sense to release it after the end of the show since then it can be "complete", but it would have been helpful earlier. Still, I'll probably pick it up.
Random note: Like Greek food? Try Pars Deli at the corner of 183 and Burnet. Delicious gyros, and it's clearly a family run place. They left the door open today and it was soooo nice :-)
House stuff: We had solar screens installed by Josh Hobbs a few weeks ago. The process was pretty easy (we didn't have to be there any of the time), the prices were reasonable and the screens look nice. (need to take a picture at some point) Haven't really been able to measure their effectiveness yet, but it's definitely darker, so presumably that will keep out heat too.
Next week we're getting a high efficiency A/C unit put in, as well as making it "multi-zone" so we can control the upstairs and downstairs temperature independently. After crunching the numbers it's not going to quite pay for itself in reduced electricity bills, but it will get pretty close and we get a new unit out of the deal. (we spend a fortune on cooling in the summer!) The $1500 tax credit helps, and Austin Energy has some nice rebates too.
Bought the Heavy Rain soundtrack from iTunes. (yay for DRM-free music!) I might try to transcribe the really pretty piano music (Painful Memories), if I feel inspired enough.
Final Fantasy 13 was bought and played yesterday. Even after just playing Heavy Rain, whose visuals were pretty impressive, it looks fantastic - definitely using the PS3 to its full potential. Also, does anyone know if the characters have such ridiculous names in Japanese too, or is that just a translation thing?
Palm and LJ for WebOS
Posted on 2010-03-04 13:14:00
Tags: lj for webos essay palmpre projects programming
I worry about Palm sometimes. They recently lowered their guidance for this quarter, analysts don't seem too upbeat, and their stock price for the last year looked promising when they released the Pre in July, but has dropped dramatically since then.
More concerning is the fact that, 9 months after releasing the first WebOS phone, Gartner estimates that 0.7% of smartphones are running WebOS. Hopefully this will improve now that they're on Verizon (and rumor is they'll be on AT&T sometime this year) and once they launch in more countries.
The good news is that the mobile phone market isn't quite like, say, the social networking website market, which has a very strong network effect. If all your friends are leaving Friendster for Facebook, then Friendster is less valuable to you, and you'll probably switch to Facebook. But I can still use the web just fine from my Palm Pre even if the rest of the world switches to iPhones and Droids and Nexus Ones. There is somewhat of a problem that if fewer people use WebOS, fewer people will write apps for it, but this is more of a slow process. Also, at least in the US, most people are under contract for their phones and so they only have an opportunity to switch cheaply every one or two years. I'm really hoping Palm can keep turning things around - just yesterday they released an update to the Facebook app that makes it much nicer.
Speaking of apps...
LJ for WebOS has been doing pretty well since my last update - as of this very moment I've sold 72 copies. It seems fairly random how many copies are sold a day - thanks to the new app My WebOS Apps I have a nifty graph on my phone with these totals for the last week: 5, 1, 1, 2, 4, 2, 0. So...who knows?
One of the frustrating parts has been seeing bad reviews indicating that it just isn't working for a few people. Most of these reviews came early and I'm pretty sure I've fixed the bugs since then, but most people don't go back and edit their review when problems get fixed, and I have no way of contacting them to ask them if it's working for them and to try to diagnose their problem if not. I've been trying to make it more and more obvious how to contact me to the point that if you can't load the posts a dialog comes up with a button to email me the problem. We'll see if this helps at all. Encouragingly, more of the recent reviews have been good than bad, bringing the average back up to 3.5/5 stars.
I spent a lot of last week working on a new feature that I really wanted to add: the ability to browse other people's journals. I even wrote the parsing code before I got stuck on a problem that I've gotten stuck on before - the inability to properly authenticate so that the client can load friends-only posts. The API way to do this is to call the sessiongenerate method - unfortunately LiveJournal's cookie scheme has changed because of some security holes, and no one's gone back and updated or added a new API.
Every time I run into this problem, I spent some time trying to "fake it" by POSTing the right thing to the login page, essentially pretending I'm a regular user signing in from a browser. As in the past, I can't get this to work and I'm not sure why, and it's really frustrating to try to debug because it's all guesswork.
So I was a little down about that, and the last release (made it to the App Catalog yesterday) only had a few small features like deleting posts. This week I took a stab at some random not-quite-featurey things that have been on my list for a while, and everything just kinda worked. The next release will use a lot less bandwidth on the initial request (66% less in my test case!), and it fixes a bug with comments not posting by showing the CAPTCHA dialog that LiveJournal was returning. I was amazed that both of these basically worked the first time, so that was a nice pick me up :-) I'll probably submit it to the App Catalog tonight after a bit more testing.
I'm running out of features to work on that are actually possible to do, so I'm very open to suggestions!
my first WebOS app published!
Posted on 2009-12-16 16:49:00
Tags: palmpre programming
PasswordHash is now officially available on the Palm App Catalog! After some initial hiccups I was able to install it to my Pre and it works just fine. Hopefully my other app will be approved soon...
Speaking of my Pre, I had been having some problems with it lately - it thought that headphones were plugged in to the headphone jack all the time, and so I couldn't listen to music or use the phone except on speakerphone, which got annoying pretty quickly. I tried some internet-suggested remedies that worked for a little while, but this weekend even those stopped working, so I took it in to Sprint to see what they could do.
I dropped my phone off at the nearest Sprint service center, got lunch and returned to have them tell me I'd be shipped a new phone and it would probably arrive the next day. And they let me keep my phone in the meantime (and ship it back when the new phone arrived). Lo and behold, yesterday it arrived, today I took it in to be activated, and it seems to work like a charm. After being careful not to nuke my existing backup (not actually sure if this is a problem anymore, but better safe than sorry!), it transferred over my contacts, apps I had installed, and even bookmarks! So +1 for Palm and Sprint for taking care of the problem.
Posted on 2009-12-11 13:26:00
Tags: palmpre programming
So WebOSJournal (my LiveJournal client for the Palm Pre/Pixi) got a nice review. I've submitted it to the Palm App Catalog, and hopefully it'll be up there soonish!
As a bonus link, The Year In Ideas is pretty interesting.
links for what should be friday
Posted on 2009-12-03 15:10:00
Tags: palmpre programming links
Seriously...long week anyone?
I put up WebOSJournal on the PreCentral homebrew gallery. Still plenty of work to be done, of course...
What every programmer should know about memory - really long article (and it's only Part 1!) but I learned a lot. (and remembered a lot from college classes :-) )
Apropos of net neutrality, How Robber Barons hijacked the "Victorian Internet" (i.e. the telegraph system). The short version is that there was no government regulation and Western Union/AP fixed an election and conspired to keep non-AP newspapers out of business. Less government regulation doesn't always equal more open markets!
Drug-Makers Paying Off Competitors To Keep Cheap Generics Off Market - pretty much what the headline says. It sucks, but apparently it's legal.
No one wants America to be the sole global superpower, but no one wants to share the load.
rethinking the plan
Posted on 2009-11-24 10:30:00
Tags: palmpre projects programming
I signed up for the Houston Turkey Trot 5K with my family. Unfortunately, it starts at 8 AM (which is very early for me these days) and I'm not in great shape and it's going to be cold, which doesn't do so great on my lungs. Hopefully I survive!
Been working on WebOSJournal (the LiveJournal client for the Palm Pre/Pixi) - it's coming along decently but I'm running into some frustration trying to allow replying to posts/comments. The authorization scheme is tricky and of course you don't get useful feedback. I actually downloaded the LiveJournal source code to try to figure out what I'm doing wrong, but it's hard to find my way around...
Obama kicks off massive science education effort - yay!
Posted on 2009-11-17 22:18:00
Tags: palmpre programming
First post from Palm Pre?
Posted on 2009-10-21 13:24:00
Tags: palmpre house programming
We finally got our roof replaced (and got a gutter on the back of our house to boot), and are almost done with getting the insurance settlement and paying the roofers and whatnot. I'm looking forward to putting this behind us. How often do roofs get damaged like this, anyway? The damage happened in March and we're still not quite done...
I've been getting back into origami lately - found a really cheap source of paper and ordered a bunch that should arrive today. My sorta-goal is to make all five Platonic solids - so far I've made a (bad) tetrahedron, a decent octahedron and a pretty cool cube. Anything with equilateral triangles = hard.
We cooked something out of the Joy of Cooking last night! Some kinda chicken dish with garlic and lime and potatoes. It turned out pretty well.
Planning on volunteering with the Community Tax Center in the new year. It's been a while (too long!) since I've done any volunteering, so it'll be good to get back into it.
As I mentioned earlier, I've been working on a LiveJournal client for the Palm Pre/Pixi. It works decently for me, but when I gave it to a few people to test it freezes. (luckily, you can just kill it so it doesn't mess up the whole phone) I'm at a bit of a loss as to why this is happening and it's pretty disheartening, so I haven't worked on it in a few weeks.
developing for the Palm Pre
Posted on 2009-10-09 10:18:00
Tags: palmpre programming
This week Palm announced how you'll be able to publish apps for the Pre, Pixi, etc. There seem to be three options that I'd consider:
- Join the Palm Developer Program (PDP) for $99/year and pay $50/app to get it in the App Catalog on the phone (paid or free)
- Join PDP for $99/year and distribute it on the web (paid or free)
- Release it open source and distribute it on the web (no need to join PDP in this case)
Basically, if I wanted to sell apps, I'd have to choose options 1 or 2, which are a bit more expensive than I'd like for a hobbyist project. I've been working on a LiveJournal client under the assumption that I'd be selling it for $2.99 or so - I haven't seen any other clients and I put a fair bit of work into parsing posts and comments, etc.
But I think I'll probably just release it on the web open source and put up a Donate button or something. Costs me nothing and it will let more people use it.
reviews of stuff I generally like
Posted on 2009-09-17 09:52:00
Tags: movies reviews palmpre games
After spending another month with my Palm Pre since my last review, I thought I'd take a minute and reevaluate. I'm still happy with it in general...
Battery Life: This has gotten a bit better since my first review - I still charge it every night, but just taking to the office and browsing a little with it during the day still leaves me with plenty of juice. Even traveling with it and playing games for a while on the way back from Niagara Falls I was able to use it most of the time.
WebOS: One big annoyance is that, when the phone is in landscape mode (which is better for reading web pages, etc.), you don't get the notifications on the bottom, and the keyboard is obviously in the wrong place. This leads to a lot of switching back and forth between landscape and portrait mode, or just giving up and leaving it in portrait mode.
Apps: There are now 50 apps on the store, and supposedly paid apps will be available next week. Here's hoping!
Last night we watched Spirited Away which was really pretty amazing. It struck the same "magical environment" tone for me that Coraline did. Here's a good review of it with a few clips to get a good taste of it. The director's newest film is Ponyo, now showing at the Alamo Drafthouse Village.
This week (busy week!) we also picked up Scribblenauts, a new game for the Nintendo DS whose tagline is "Write Anything, Solve Everything". The basic idea is that you have a series of puzzles to solve, and you can write any object (no trademarks or profanities) and it will appear, which you can then use to help you. It's a pretty cool idea and the dictionary of words it recognizes is huge. (according to someone who extracted it, it's over 22000 words!)
There are two types of levels - puzzle ones, where the goal is to do something specific (like collect the flowers and give them to the florist, or help the birthday boy break open his piñata) and action ones, where the goal is to get to the starite and overcome whatever obstacles are in the way. The puzzle levels are a lot of fun - they aren't too difficult but you master the level if you beat it three times in a row using none of the same objects. The action levels are an exercise in frustration, because the control scheme is fairly terrible. You tap on objects to manipulate them, but you also tap to move Maxwell (your character) to a spot on the screen. We've already died many times because of mistaps and there sure isn't any undo...
Anyway, it's a cute game and fun to play and watch. I just wish it was less frustrating!
still liking my Pre
Music: Michael Giacchino - "Star Trek" soundtrack
Posted on 2009-08-20 14:17:00
Tags: palmpre programming politics links
Palm is now accepting submissions for the Pre App Catalog, so I went ahead and submitted PasswordHash. That one will be free but I'm thinking of charging $2 for my next one...
LabVIEW has a lot of handy keyboard shortcuts.
codepad.org is a neat place to quickly try out/share code in a bunch of different languages.
The latest in health care: maybe the Democrats are going to give up trying to compromise since the Republicans don't really seem interested, although Chuck Grassley may or may not be. Honestly, I've kinda given up trying to figure out what the hell is going on - I hope something good passes but hearing how laws that affect us actually get passed makes me sad.
The Longest Poem in the World made out of rhyming tweets.
Posted on 2009-08-17 09:52:00
Tags: pictures palmpre projects links
Pictures from New Mexico and Barbara & Alex's wedding are up. Note that the pictures from the wedding itself aren't that great...I did my best!
Published a Pre version of PasswordHash - it was relatively easy to port. A new feature (in the web and Firefox versions as well) lets you force a special character to appear in the password.
Apparently men who "strongly endorsed old-school notions of masculinity" were half as likely to get flu shots and other preventative medicine. Can't say I'm surprised.
Also, "for men, sexual boredom was correlated with variety in partners (or lack thereof), while for women, it was more related to variety in activity." Good to know? (the Coolidge effect description at Wikipedia is pretty funny)
Finally, an Obama protest I can get behind.
Posted on 2009-08-11 14:15:00
Tags: palmpre projects
Did a quick project so that GLSlideshow (my screensaver), which currently shows random pictures from my gallery, would show the comment on the picture as well. Wrote it up here but there are no demos or anything so it's not very exciting :-)
Played around with the Palm Pre API last night, and I feel like I have my legs under me and can start making things that are actually neat rather than just toys. Exciting!
Palm Pre review
Posted on 2009-08-10 14:27:00
Tags: reviews palmpre
I've been using my new Palm Pre for just over a week. My old phone was a Nokia 62xx something and was pretty terrible, so I'll mostly be comparing it to David's iPhone 3G. (which of course I don't have a ton of experience with) Here are my thoughts, roughly in order from good to bad:
OS: WebOS is really pretty wonderful. One of the big advantages is being able to run multiple applications at once - you can get by on the iPhone without this, but the way I'm used to doing things it feels much more natural. In WebOS open applications look like cards, and you can switch between them with a flick of the finger, or close them by flicking them up off the screen.
Another nice thing is the way they do notifications - for example, when I get a new mail message, a little banner pops up in the bottom of the screen with the subject, and then it shortly collapses to a small icon in the bottom right corner which I can later touch to see the subject. It does the same thing for voicemails and calendar alerts, and it's a very slick way of letting you know something happened without totally interrupting you.
There's a menu you can open by touching the top right that shows you percentage battery life, and lets you configure WiFi, Bluetooth and Airplane Mode. Whereas the iPhone has a modal popup every time you get in range of a WiFi network, for the Pre you'd have to go to the menu to connect to one. I think I like the Pre's way better as I found the popups annoying on the iPhone.
Calendar: Integrates nicely with Google Calendar, which I use - I get notifications on the phone and it's easy to browse. Yay!
Email: I get push email from Gmail which is awesome. The mail client itself is decent - I can see my labels, and clicking on a link opens the web browser like you'd expect.
Browser: The browser is generally fine. Has the same pinch/unpinch for zooming as the iPhone does. Sadly the scrolling (both here and in other apps) just doesn't feel as smooth as the iPhone's. I also really wish there was a way to open a link in a new card - there used to be an arcane key combination (orange button + space + click, maybe?) but it got removed in the WebOS 1.1.0 update.
Keyboard: The physical keyboard is small but functional. I like it a little better than the iPhone's keyboard - the tactile feedback is really nice to have. On the other hand, you can't really use it in landscape mode, since obviously it rotated with the phone. The keys are pretty small but I've gotten used to them and can type at a reasonable rate.
Having extra keys (orange, symbol, shift) is nice, but it means it can be a bit of a crutch. For example, to delete an app from the launcher, you have to hold the orange button and click it. Apple can't do this with the iPhone, so they had to find a more intuitive way of allowing this, which in the end benefits the user.
Contacts: They have this neat system called Synergy that can download your Google, Facebook, and AIM contacts (and Microsoft Exchange, but I didn't try that). The good news is that this is pretty neat and it tries its best to merge contacts that are actually the same person. The bad news is that, at least in my case, there were still a ton of contacts (AIM in particular) that didn't get merged, so I had to go through and manually do that. Which was kind of a hassle.
But still, the nice thing is that since it knows the merged contacts are all the same person, you can continue conversations you were having over AIM and switch to SMS or email fairly seamlessly. I haven't had a chance to actually try this but the demo I saw looked neat. Also, it downloads Facebook contact pictures which is a nice plus.
Launcher: The launcher is kinda OK. There are only 3 screens with apps on them which mean they can get kinda long. One nice feature is that you can start typing while the launcher is open and it will search through all your apps and contacts (this mitigates the 3 screen limitation somewhat). If you type something that has no matches it will bring up options to search on Google, Google Maps, Wikipedia, and Twitter which is nifty.
Messaging: I haven't done this much at all (it's really annoying at work getting my IMs on my phone) but the times I used it it worked fine.
Apps: The App Catalog currently has only 32 apps - they haven't really opened the door yet, but what's there is decent. There's Tweed (a nice Twitter app), Pandora, a stock ticker and a few others. Happily, their SDK is now available and it's pretty easy to install apps on the phone, so I'm looking forward to testing it out with a few simple apps.
Other apps it ships with: Google Maps (works about the same as the iPhone version, including builtin GPS), the requisite YouTube app, Amazon MP3 (yay!), and PDF and Office file viewers.
It comes with some Sprint apps, too, like Sprint Navigation (provides turn-by-turn directions with speaking!) and Sprint TV which I've only played with a little but seems to have a decent selection of TV shows (most require payment) and radio stations.
Battery Life: The battery life is honestly pretty bad. Usually I end the day at around 50% battery life which is reasonable I guess. Leaving the phone on in areas where signal strength is low seems particularly hard on it. (i.e. inside the Austin Convention Center) It was terrible the first few discharge cycles but things have gotten to a point now that I can live with it.
I've been happy with my Pre, and I'm looking forward to developing apps for it!
This backup was done by LJBackup.