Posted: February 15, 2013 in Android company
I am really quite new to the idea of owning an application company, and though i can write some great code (IMHO) i know very little about how to sell the stuff…
I was uber surprised tonight when i found out that in addition to Google-Play there are dozens of other places we fledglings can list our apps. I’m not sure why amazon didn’t come to mind when i was getting ready to list, but it really never occurred to me to list there. Never! And it should have..
I am going to start to get together a list of all the sites that allow you to sell your apps through them… Sites that want you there, and help you (you as in one) make sales…
Here’s my list so far..
It will grow.
Posted: February 11, 2013 in running
I need to write a new smaller, simpler running application for android. I need to do this because to be perfectly frank. I don’t get how the top running applications are in fact the top. They all seem to be… well too much. They are so large that they take up a pile of room on my Android device, and most of them have a ton of features that should never be on the small screen. I can do better, I will do better. (sorry future competition).
After finishing an epic trip to and from work the other day I decided that I’d download a couple of the top run tracking application. Most of them weighed in in the 20 meg range. 20 megs? What is that? I mean really… what is that? I grew up coding in a time when handheld application developers cared about the effect their apps had on the hardware their users owned. It wasn’t long ago when an application developed for a handheld had to be concerned about it’s size, how much memory it used when it ran…. wireless data was more than a cost per byte. It cost cycles, and battery. Cost per byte was easy to beat.. a dead battery on the other hand.. well that just bugged the snot out of your users. The running apps I downloaded seem to give no weight to these. They suck back battery to keep track of your position… that I can understand, there’s no helping it.. But what about all the there things they’re doing while they do this. I really really want to know why they are 20 megs..
And what of the features. Small screens are not good at showing maps.. 3D pictures of the city you’re running through just doesn’t make sense. Planning a rout? Do people actually plan a rout on their phone? I mean I can’t think of anything less fun. Not that I’m an experienced runner, but I typically know where I’m running before I set out. I definitely don’t want to be looking at my phone while I run to see if I should turn left or right. I don’t need a camera application integrated into the application, it turns out the app my phone comes with does the job. I don’t want to send my status to facebook or twitter. I honestly doubt people care that much about my pace. I’m not a super-hero runner, nor am I Oprah… I’m not even Barny Stinson. I’m just a runner out to enjoy the time I have with myself. I want my running companion to reflect that I am on a run to be in the moment, on the run.
So today I embarked on making a small fast easy to use app that, of all things tracks my run. It won’t do much else.. it should not do much else. Today I take my love of small easy to use phone apps, and hopefully parlay it into a deeper love of the run.
Posted: February 8, 2013 in running
Last night on my bike rid home, My bike popped a spoke.. It seems that happens.
This being “clean feb”. I have promised myself only one car trip a week. Often i break these promises to myself. Not this time.
What to do though? I mean no way can i get a new tire without using the car, so i am reduced to but two options. 1.) break my promise, or 2.) run to work.
I decided that i’d try the run.
It was killer. Ten km trough the streets of Sydney is like a bush-walk with 2 ton wallabies running buy at 60 km per hour. There were times i really feared for my ankles because the footpaths are so insanely bad.. If of course you’re lucky enough to have em that is. You’d figure they might put a decent bit of concrete down in front of the highest priced school in the city.
I felt great after the morning bit though. I used to run all the time, and i keep trying to get back into it. I never manage to find the time. Code doesn’t write itself now does it. This run might just be the best and only option.
The run home took me almost 2 hours, so it is a much longer trip than my ride home, and longer still than my drive, but it will get shorter over time.
This post is not so much about the journey, it’s about the commitment.
Today i decide that i am going to do two things.
One make a lite run tracking app that does something incredibly important.. Has the ability to control my mp3 player..
Two, i am going to run to work for the rest of the month. Hopefully shaving time off each trip.
Posted: January 11, 2013 in running
Recently i’ve decided that i need to exercise more. What coder out there doesn’t?
The problem of course is the how and the when… Most of us can’t do it before work because that means waking up an hour earlier than the already nuts hour we have to, to get to work on time. After work is just not going to happen. If we manage to sneak past our boss and get away from the office 30 minutes after our allotted end of day, then it ‘s a slog home. Who has the energy?
So that leaves during work.. I tried the lunch time workout. Not such a great thing. For one you have to take a shower after any sweat, and even if you have a reasonable boss after the shower you have at most 35 minutes to work out. Not nearly enough time to get anything that makes you feel good done. I tried it for a few months and always felt rushed through.
Oh and what of food. Sure you get a workout, but you’re starving, so you eat at your desk.. Ugh
Being a Sydney resident, i decided that i would bike to work.. I work about 14 km from my house, and on a typical drive in, i spend about 30 minutes sitting behind the wheel. With the bike, it took me an hour… I say took because thats what it was when i started. Now however it takes 40 minutes each way. So i’ve managed to aget a workout and i only have to give up 30 minutes. 10 minutes extra to get in, 10 minutes for the shower, and 10 minutes on the way home. Not a bad plan. It worked out…
Perhaps however that would satisfy me.. Well being a “close to the metal” type o person its not enough. This comming week i’ve decoded to ditch the bike for a pair of runners. Yep. Runners..
Google says i can walk the distance in 2hrs 20, so that’s what i’m going to leave myself for the first week. Run in and train back. I do not think i could handle getting home at 8. It would leave too little of the day for coding.
So in addition to making a resolution to get android on an olpc, and to blog often, i am also determined to finish a marathon this year.
Never to late to become what you might have been eh?
Posted: January 10, 2013 in Android company
Lately I’ve been working on a simple little text editing aspect of my android app, and i have to say it’s a right pain in ma butt.
First I have the edit box at the bottom of the screen (under a list) and i wanted to have it float up when the screen resizes (when the keyboard shows up)… There was no way to accomplish this. Not at least that I’ve found yet. All the methods to move a control on the screen don’t actually appear to work. I tried to set the position with the layout params, but it doesn’t repaint the control. I tried to animate the control after i moved it. No joy.
IT seems that if the control falls off the bottom of the screen when the screen resizes, then it doesn’ get painted when i move it.
Ok, so i kludged the issue by getting rid of the list, and making the edit box fill the screen…
Oh, and what a wonderful thing happened then. The cursor, was in the middle of the control. That was a puzzler, but a quick google search brought me to setting the gravity to top. Now the text cursor was at the top.. Why i had to set it explicitly is puzzling. Just a small thing but honestly why default to middle?
The hardship has not ended. Now that i have my text aligned and i’ve accepted that the edit will fill the screen, i have a few other tasks.
1. Place the cursor down where the user taps.
2. Store the text when the user changes it..
First. Why do i have to type one little bit of code to set the cursor position. Setting the cursor where the user taps seems an obvious. Why is it not the default on the control?
At this moment, i have posed the question on SO, and twitter. Fingers crossed i find the answer there. I will of course continue to search for something that just “should be”.
The second thing was an odd adventure. A text edit control where getString doesn’t get the text in the box. GetText doesn’t either. I don’ have my code with me as i type this, but that i had to google how to get the text out of a text box was such a little pain in the butt.
This simple little app is being delayed one pin-prick at a time.
Here’s hoping my “one week to write app” doesn’t take yet another fortnight.
Posted: January 2, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: getting started, Minix
Today I stated a new project: I am going to put android on an OLPC.
Why am I doing such a mad thing? Well there are really two reasons. 1 I love the hardware. It is super fun to look at, and the screen and wifi is amazing. 2 To learn. I’ve been a mobility programmer for years, and though there has been little limits to what I could do with the hardware, there is still more i could learn.
Ok so there’s. a third reason. I have recently been pushed into a web developer role, and the distance i am from the metal is sole killing. I have met many different flavours of coders, and I am sorry for those web developers I respect, but as a breed, most web dev people know almost nothing about how to write code. The job gets done, but the depth of the code isn’t there. Bloat seems omnipresent. I am getting soft; spoiled by the mentality of “scale”. It has been thrust upon me, but my biggest professional fear is that I accept it. I need to get back to the metal.
Were do I start was my first question.
I figured I’d get the android source code. YIKES! It is such a large task to learn not only Linix, but also the gigs and gigs of source code for android. I recalculated, and settled on a smaller start. I am first going to build minix, and see if I can load it up on the device. Thus I’ve attained the text book and source code.
Tis blog will be a record of my jurney into the depths. Others may join, but my travels ultimately fall on me.
Oh from time to time I may rant about how mobility programmers have given in to pressure. How we have become lost.