Friday, December 18, 2009

More Android 2.1 Screens From Nexus One

Some new screenshots are up on Phandroid.. and one screen showing some of the available animated wallpapers.

The revamped media gallery is also pretty cool, I like the stacked picture previews.

And I can't wait to see the "3D revolving music visualizers" in action!

3D Movies & Gaming

One of Sony's "pilars" for 2010 will be focused on bringing 3D visuals for home entertainment.

Yesterday, the Blu-ray Disc Association reported that the 3D Blu-ray specs have been finalized.

"The Blu-ray 3-D specification allows PS3 game consoles to play back Blu-ray 3-D content in 3-D. The specification also supports 2-D discs in upcoming 3-D players and allows 2-D playback of Blu-ray 3-D discs on the large installed base of Blu-ray Disc players.

The Blu-ray 3D specification calls for encoding 3D video using the Multiview Video Coding (MVC) codec, an extension to the ITU-T H.264 Advanced Video Coding (AVC) codec currently supported by all Blu-ray Disc players."

Only downside is that you'll probably have to buy a new TV. Or maybe not.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Nexus One

HTC Passion.. Google Phone... who cares... next Android OS is looking pretty sweet!

New hardware features include proximity sensor & FM radio. I wonder what the proximity sensor is used for?

Hopefully heading to Europe too.

Early 2010.

(PS. Please let it be unlocked, I don't want any provider deciding what and when to upgrade! My Proximus Magic has not received a single official HTC update, most likely because Proximus does not care about hardware & software.)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Experimental Successes

Got around to play with some soft & hardware experiments, the ones I blogged about earlier:

1) Flashing my WRT54G LinkSys router:

I received my new power adapter some weeks ago and succeeded in flashing my router with DD-WRT firmware. First attempt with latest DD-WRT release didn't work, a second attempt with a lower version did the trick.
It froze on me after flashing. At first I thought it bricked (leds kept blinking), but resetting it somehow fixed it.
Updating to the latest version was painless.

2) QNAP NAS Squeezecenter:

4 words: fast simple audio streaming. Tested it with PC player and Mac player, fooled around with some Android remote controls (Squeezer and Sqeezecontrol) that worked as advertised.
I also was pleasantly surprised that you could select online radio stations by location; Studio Brussels and some other Belgian radio stations were all listed.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Google Maps Navigation (beta)

Free interwebs enabled turn-by-turn navigation software from Google for Android 2.0

Check it out!

Official Google release statement

Navigation in action:

Friday, October 23, 2009

QNAP & opensource MP3 streaming

Allow me to introduce my next hobby project:

For the moment this seems to be the easiest solution, since we already have a QNAP TS-439 NAS hooked up in our network.

What our QNAP currently does:

  • Hosts 2TB of storage
  • Hosts all our media (pictures, movies, music, documents)
  • Shares a USB printer over the network
  • UPnP connection to PS3 (for our movie viewing pleasure)
  • iTunes Server

We also rigged our new house with speaker wires and cat5e cables for a future multisource/multiroom solution (NuVo Essentia). A Squeezebox can be hooked up as a source if needed. It comes with a wireless remote, LCD included, to select songs and playlists.

Another good thing is that the Logitech Squeezecenter (formerly known as SlimServer) is opensource. There are opensource clients available for nearly all platforms, check out SoftSqueeze for example, their site lists other clients as well.

I also found some Java code that demonstrates how to connect to the music server. Maybe my next Android project? ;-)

Anyone want to share other solutions?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Qbus Remote v0.3 - Download

[Update] A new version for Qbus3 is available on the Android Market (link)

This is the first public release candidate of Qbus Remote. To install it, see links below.

New features include error handling (you now should have a clue of why things go wrong) and a better layout (button size is fixed, more spacing and the labels are bigger). Languages include English and Dutch.

- Qbus Ethernet (ETH01) controller
- WiFi connection (or 2G/3G connection and internet access to Qbus enabled)
- A Google Android device (HTC Hero/Magic/Tattoo, Samsung Galaxy, Archos 5 Tablet, and others)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Preview Android 2.0 (Eclair)

Some new Android 2.0 screens can be found on the BoyGeniusReport site.

New Android 2.0 features:

  • Native Facebook support
  • Native MS Exchange support
  • New "Car Home" screen (new UI for easy usage while driving)
  • Faster browser
  • Layers in Google Maps
  • YouTube snap & upload widget
  • Combined Inbox
  • Contacts have context features (send message, e-mail, call, facebook profile, etc.) 

Thursday, October 15, 2009

HTC Magic & Android

So I've been using my new HTC Magic phone for 12 days now, and I'm liking it more every day. The platform is quite young compared to other mobile platforms. Android Donut (v1.6) was released earlier this month, and now the people at Google are gearing up for Eclair.

The possibilities with Android keep surprising me.

Last weekend I turned my mobile phone into a metal detector!

And today I discovered I can actually debug my application on my HTC Magic device through its USB cable. Just plug it in, install the ADB USB-driver (from the Android SDK), launch Eclipse and start the application on the device. From Eclipse you can connect to the application that's running on your device, but make sure that it was built with the debug option enabled, otherwise it won't show up in Eclipse.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Qbus Remote v0.2

Alright.. this little Android project is coming along better then expected.

The latest version is able to refresh the controls from the Qbus Ethernet Control Table (or whatever it's called). It parses the response (and I must add that the stuff that is returned is very awkward) and builds the control list.

I also added a Settings screen where you should enter the ETH01 controller's address and port.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I always thought that Linksys was a good brand for network devices since it is a division of Cisco and all. But I recently started doubting that.

My first WRT54G v1.0 router's power adapter died some year ago (at that time I thought the router died, so I bought a new one). Until yesterday I've been unable to find a simple replacement adapter. I called Linksys, they send me to a retailer and the retailer said that Linksys didn't sell seperate power adapters (that's customer support).

Yesterday I finally ordered a replacement adapter through e-bay from a store in Hong Kong.

Why all this trouble you say? Well, I'm using a second WRT54G v5.1 ever since and I recently came to the conclusion that the official firmware SUCKS! Not only did it take Linksys 10+ months to fix a UPnP bug, the subnets you can choose from are limited and once in a while our internet connection drops and we have to powercycle the router in order to get back online.

So, when the new power adapter arrives, my v1.0 router is going to be DD-WRTinized!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Demon's Soul - US Release

So.. apparently the US version of Demon's Soul is also sold-out 1 week after release. When first released in Japan on February 2009 it was also struck with shortage after a few weeks.

Atlus should have seen this one coming.

Hopefully some more copies will be distributed very soon, because if you haven't bought this one yet you're really missing out on one of the better action RPG's released on PS3 this year!

A real sleeper hit.. this thing is exciting and addictive as hell!

I hope I finish this one before Uncharted 2 is out (not putting my money on it though).

PS. Asian version (not Japanese) is full English (voice + menu), so that's still an option too.

Friday, October 9, 2009

It just works!

The QBus Remote application works! 

I just switched our wall lights on and off from the Android emulator.

Now I have to clean it up (can't believe how rusty my java skills are, it's been a while), include the code to parse the controls from the ETH01 control panel so you can always refresh to get the latest configuration.

To optimize it I'll have to persist the control configuration in a DB, and include the possibility to add some categories ("light", "curtains", etc) so that the controls can be grouped if needed.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Started development of my first Android app. It's a remote control for our QBus home automation solution.

This is what it looks like so far:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

HTC Magic

Ordered my new mobile phone. I chose the HTC Magic... an Android device =)