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    "You are not a human being having a spiritual experience, but a spiritual being having a human experience."

    Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
    1881-1955

    Here my little rant and praise place, where the daily experiences of my programming work are expressed. I publish them with the idea that others might find it useful and benefit from it.

    Tag <Cellphone>

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    2013/09/02
    My Cellphones & Smartphone (2010-2013)
    last edited 2014/07/13 06:34 (*)

    Until recently I wasn't interested in smartphones and used cellphones only to call people and not really use otherwise as my desktop system gave me sufficient possibilities to communicate and work online - there was no reason for me to be online while being underway. Yet, finally I also purchased a smartphone, an used Samsung Galaxy S2 (GT-I9100) with Android 4.1.2 on an online auction site for CHF 230 (~190 Euro). So, I arrived at the smartphone age as well - and I am impressed just after a few days using it:


    Cellphones 2010, 2011 Samsung E2100B and GT-S5320, and Smartphone 2013 Galaxy S2 GT-I9100

    Advantages / Benefits

    • light and handy device, quite thin with apprx. 10mm with an additional hard plastic shell
    • I navigate information faster than on the desktop (surprising)
    • the overall user interface and experience is more intuitive than the desktop (Win7 or MacOS-X, or KDE/GNOME).
    • applications or apps are easy to install and deinstall; either via the smartphone itself or the desktop
    • syncing between smartphone and desktop is simple: G+ photos, Dropbox and BittorrentSync I use right now, and likely go with BittorrentSync: I take a photo or screenshot and it gets synced on my main desktop and/or server right away - no more copy or transfer by hand
    • notification overview is great, apps, emails and service notifications are summarized
    • found several options of off-line maps and for my bicycle travelings
    • GPS tagging of my photos, a feature which was most wanted to document my travelings better (e.g. automatically assign village names to photos)

    Disadvantages / Annoying

    • battery life is not so great with about 5-6 hours (not even a day) with heavy usage (WiFi, GPS but not gaming); I getting a new 1600mAh battery and additionally a 3500mAh extra battery (update follows)
    • requires WiFi nearby as cellular data is still expensive and limited, average use per day is about 200-500MB to my own surprise

    Overall

    I still use the desktop to write emails, but with the Swype keyboard (already installed on the Galaxy S2) I slowly get more used to type on the smartphone. Viewing news (RSS/FB/G+) or photos I already prefer the smartphone as swiping up, down or left and right is faster than most photo galleries on the desktop with keyboard and mouse - you realize how often you switch between keyboard and mouse and with the smartphone you use your thumb to navigate; this leads to the idea to have a touchscreen desktop system, larger than a mobile tablet.

    Application Examples

    Google+
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Google Maps
    SSH
    4th of 7 Homepage
    Google Books not yet in Switzerland (2013/09)
    Google Music available in Switzerland (2013/09)

    Remote Control

    XBMC on Android

    Benchmarks

    Problems

    After a few weeks following problems I discovered:

    • updating apps (automatically or manually approved) + connecting the headphone and start radio caused two freezes and actual take out of battery to restart the device
    • updating apps give error of insufficient memory, yet, there is sufficient memory - reboot device, and update app succeeds
    • Google Play (Google's app store): search for an app, find it, often the input field with prior entered terms re-appear plus the keyboard filling up the entire screen, unable to get rid of both (pushing button to Home)
    • unclear state of apps when leaving the app; I do not know whether an app keeps running or not, e.g. I stream a radio broadcast, and while listening I like to surf the net, sometimes the audio stream remains while surfing the net, sometimes it stops.
    • music uploaded to the phone is not seen by Music Player, needs a reboot to rescan the 2nd SD card where the music is stored on.

    Future Innovation: Gestures

    Needless to say, the recent years the desktop innovation has stalled, the keyboard, mouse and screen combo was set; the useability was mediocre, and Linux Desktop until recently was a let down.

    I have experimented with Kinect and gesture recognition for a touchless user interface for some contract work I did and found it interesting, yet, Kinect was a bit slow to recognize gestures accurately for a proper user interface interaction and a few times even interpreted gestures wrongly - not mature enough I would say, for gaming Kinect seems to be sufficient.



    2010/01/26
    Cellphone Networks: Thieves, Insanity & Crap
    last edited 2010/03/21 11:29 (*)

    I moved from Switzerland to France, and I thought I just buy a new phone "S by SFR 112" and test a new french phone-carrier, in my case SFR.fr . After 2 month the display broke, when I moved to the store to ask for a repair and warranty, both was denied . . . the LCD display broke, not the glass protecting it, I wasn't aware when it broke, it fell a few times without problems, one day I noticed the broken crystal display.

    So, they deny the warranty, they sell a phone which breaks all of the sudden, the customer care of SFR replied "just bad luck" - wow. Euro 30 lasting two months. They asked me if I like to buy another cellphone.

    Ok, that moment I thought, let's SIM unlock my swiss chellphone Nokia 1209, it cost me Euro 20, about Euro 15 discount by Sunrise.ch , without SIM lock it would have cost Euro 35, but that I found out later. So I purchased it at Sunrise - about 8 months later, me in France, ask for the legal unlock:

    Handys, welche mit einer Prepaid Nummer bezogen werden, verfügen über einen Simlock von 24 Monaten. In dieser Sperrfrist von 24 Monaten (bis am 09.04.2011) ist es nur möglich, den Unlock Code gegen Bezahlung von CHF 300.- zu erhalten.

    which in plain english means:

    Mobile phones sold under prepaid condition contain a 24 month SIM lock. During this lock time (until April 9, 2011) it's only possible to unlock with a payment of CHF 300.

    This is insane . . .

    That's about 8x times more than a single unlocked cellphone . . . at that point you realize, they are either thieves or insane. That they are able to operate a sophisticated network of cellphone towers is amazing. That's only possible when the insane people are actually working at the sales department, and not are technicians.

    Update 2010/03/20: I've got a new Samsung E2100B cellphone, and when I demand how much balance I have for the prepaid, and I'm not in range or bad reception, the phone locks up that I can't receive calls or messages even when in good reception - solution: turn the cellphone off and on again (aka "reboot"). It took me a while to realize, after people tried to reach me or sent messages. What does it tell us? Cellphones getting more and more complicate, and flaws and bugs become more and more - the same everywhere. They can't even make a phone in 2010 which can retrieve the balance via SMS from a provider like SFR.fr , and then still be operational afterwards . . . and some people wonder how we ever made it to the moon the first time, when 40 years later cellphones don't even provide reliable basic functionality. The devil lies in the detail - and those details are the many in more and more complex systems all around us (shrugg!!).



    2009/03/14
    iPhone JavaScript Frameworks (aka Avoiding Objective-C)
    last edited 2009/03/30 10:16 (*)

    There is a strong movement to open iPhone development beyond the XCode/Objective-C constraint and enhance the JavaScript layer with WebKit further. PhoneGap.com already did this to some degree with interfacing the accelerator and GPS location, but for now OpenGL isn't tied in yet.

    Two frameworks seems approved by Apple.com (accepted apps written by those frameworks):

    John Resig wrote an amazing hack for Processing.org (a visualization framework): Processing.js which allows to write Processing code and run it as JavaScript. Michael Schieben adapted it with some minor changes to work on the iPhone: Processing.js for iPhone (github source ).

    Further Interesting References:

    and eases the application development without going to have to dive into Objective-C.

    Playing Looped Videos

    As part of an art project I'm involved, I require to play looped videos but this seems impossible with both frameworks because, both use HTML as backend, which by itself is again Safari Mobile, and there:

    • embed doesn't support autoplay=true or loop=true, in other words video doesn't start automatically neither loops, instead the 'ugly' QuickTime logo appears with the > "play" icon
    • embed doesn't support "src=poster.jpg href=movie.m4v", unlike documentation at developer.apple.com indicates
    • direct links to movie.m4v starts the movie right away, but no way to let it loop, and return to page which linked the movie itself

    In a nutshell, these frameworks do not provide the way to start movies right away, and let it loop.



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