Android


A couple of weeks ago, I spotted and android tablet at Fry, I’ve been looking at them on-line for awhile now. Picked up a coby kryos M7015 tablet, it’s a little slow and only has the 2.1 OS, which means it doesn’t have full flash support, but I have hope someone will crack that. Following the advice from the android forums over at  http://www.androidtablets.net/forum/coby-tablets/ I was able to get root, and install the full google marketplace(it came installed with an app loader that didn’t have nearly as many apps). I’ve installed a bunch of e-books and movies on it, video playback was the happiest suprise- full hd without a stutter, even has hdmi so I can play it on my tv and used it to show a program with a projector at our caving meeting.
The biggest disappointment was trying to get it to tether with my phone, apparently android won’t connect to ad-hoc wi-fi only AP, so I’ll have to keep working on that.

CS5


Sarahs eyes

Sarahs eyes

Adobe finally made me an offer I couldn’t refuse on their new version of photoshop-CS5 (more then half off) So I upgraded and have had a lot of fun playing with manipulating some pictures, heres a couple I did earlier this week.

moonlight

moonlight

New Camera HTC HD2 (yes it does play DOOM!)


So I’ve now had my new phone for a couple of weeks and I’m really enjoying it. It has a 1ghz snapdragon processor and 488mb of memory making it the fastest handheld computer I’ve had so far. The ability to download all sorts of  programs of course makes it especially appealing.  Now while I have the full version of doom that I purchased years ago, and there’s been numerous versions ported to mobile devices, it took a bit of digging to find a version that works correctly with the HD2. The reason being that there’s no joystick type buttons just the touch screen. I finally stumbled across gfdoom which works quite nicely. Next up I recommend visiting XDA developers which has loads of ways to update and customize your phone. They also have plenty of advice if you have questions. For example after loading a bunch of music on the microsd card I noticed the HTC music player kept causing the phone to slow down.I found several suggestions to help speed it back up, the main one being to keep your music sorted in album folders. Though really playing my music on the built in windows media player seems more efficient.The big thing about this device though, is the screen and combined with it’s fast processing makes it ideal for video playback. It came with transformers 1 and 2 on it and I’ve been able to put several movies as well as tv shows on it.So far I’m really happy with it and look forward to trying out linux on it some time in the future though for now I’ve got plenty to tinker with.

MakerFaire!


 

Maker Faire

Maker Faire

 

I headed down to San Mateo for MakerFaire again this year. This time I rode down with Tom and we checked out the goings on together.

They even had a full size rocket ship

Rocket ship

Rocket ship

 

Though, since it didn’t launch up into space neither Tom or I were sure what it was good for.  That’s one thing there’s no shortage of at Maker Faire, really cool stuff without any real practical use. Course there’s no shortage of useful things either.  Like this, all electric Motorcycle. (in case you were wondering what to get me for my birthday- this is it:) )

electric motorcycle

electric motorcycle

 

There were lots of cool cars and people in interesting costumes of course,

1914 Ford automobile

1914 Ford automobile

 

Though the highlight of the day was the performance by Arc Attack from Texas, What could be cooler then music played by giant tesla coils with hugh sparks leaping across the stage?

Arc Attack

Arc Attack

 

We enjoyed some good BBQ and garlic fries, then purchased some mushroom kits to try growing at home before we headed out. A good day at the faire.

giant trike

giant trike

 

What is this thing? – Well, I wouldn’t get in front of it that’s for sure!

Cute monster

Cute monster

Windows 7


So last weekend I decided to go ahead and upgrade my computer- new motherboard, processor, RAM and install windows7. I picked up a MSI 790GX-G65 motherboard on sale at frys with an AMD quad-core processor, a couple of sticks of DDR3 ram and an OEM copy of win 7 and I was ready to begin. The install was probably one of the simplest I’ve ever done. Pulled out the old hardware, connected the new, reinserted my geforce 9800 gt card and all I had to do was install windows. I selected boot from cd/dvd in the bios, inserted the windows disc, told it which partition to install on and in a matter of 20 minutes or so had a fully functioning windows seven desktop running. I enjoyed the new aero desktop software and it’s ability to be customized fairly easily. Next I began getting the rest of my software installed, AVG antivirus, comodo firewall, audio and video utilities etc. Lightroom and photoshop for photo editing installed easily and lightroom imported my old catalog file easily enough, though I did have to point the folders back to the original ones since the drive letters had changed.

So far everything had gone rather well and I was very pleased. Then I decided to install a game. I tried borderlands as this is one of the newer games I’ve played, just finished it a month or so ago in fact. The install seemed to go fine but when I tried to play the game the screens (I have a multi monitor setup) went blank. ctrl-alt-del, tab etc did not respond and finally I was forced to shutdown the computer and reboot. Next I tried mirrors edge, this installed and ran just fine. At this point i had no idea what was wrong but I began to suspect the video drivers might not be setup correctly so I started cleaning out old files and tried re-installing the drivers, directx etc. I then tried Unreal Tournament3 and found that it ran but would occasionally do the same thing as borderlands, black screen, no response to keyboard etc.  After a couple of days of trying different things I tried installing nvidia’s latest beta drivers (195.81) and then found Unreal tournament 3 working, I tried borderlands and it ran, I also tried Farcry2 and it ran,  so success! The next day   however I tried a game and once more was faced with a black screen. I did some research and found this page, could this be my problem? I disconnected my ethernet cable, turned off comodo and finally all the games ran just fine, I even installed crysis and quake4 without any major hitches (you have to right-click on the quake4 installer and run it as admin or it gives a bunch of errors). It appears that what’s happening is a lot of these games connect to the internet on start up, either to confirm you have a legitimate copy, to download updates or for online playing. However they first take control of the video giving you a blank screen. then when they try to connect, comodo blocks the connection and waits for you to approve it, since you can’t see the screen, that never happens and the system just sits there! Looks like I may be looking for a new firewall program, perhaps pctools firewall plus which claims to have a full screen game mode for just such instances.

Oh and since this motherboard had two pci-e slots I’ve installed my old geforce 8400 card in the second slot so now I can run a third monitor to display speedfan and other monitoring programs while I’m gaming or editing pictures.