Blog Archives

Southbound On I-5 Blues


So I wrote a song one afternoon while driving through Orange County. Unfortunately, I lost the other recording I made. This will have to do. With my sincerest apologies to Jerry Reed:

Watch on YouTube

Bad Play, Google


I kinda grimaced when Google announced their rebranding Music and Android Market into “Google Play.”  To me, it just seemed like an idea that came from marketing as some hackneyed effort to breathe some perceived new vibrancy into a product that hadn’t even scratched its showroom paint yet.  It certainly didn’t come from engineering, as the following screenshot can attest:

Well played, Google. Well played.

As you can see, Google Music has become “Play Music,” and, when put next to the built-in Android music player, might cause some embarrassingly humourous (and vaguely confusing) results.  Granted, I’m excited about the potential of Play:  if I can upload and stream my video files the same way I can with my music, I’ll enjoy being able to access my entertainment on the go without lugging around an external hard drive or even my lappy.

It’s clearly Google positioning itself to compete directly with Apple’s iCloud service, but, for the Big G’s sake, I hope that they work out the kinks between the different apps quickly or it all may be doomed to suffer the same fate as Google+.

What’s The Best Free iPhone App For Tracking Fitness?


Author’s Note: This question was posed on Formspring. Feel free to ask any questions to me at http://www.formspring.me/matteargle and perhaps I will answer it in a future post!

Zelzega asks: What’s the best free iphone app for tracking fitness? I currently have Electric Miles (dailymile), Kinetic Lite, and Runkeeper. I love that Kinetic Lite connects to both dailymile and runkeeper, but which is the best?


As far as iPhone goes, I have no real idea considering I don’t carry one. In general, though, I use RunKeeper and Fitocracy. I’m not into tracking everything I eat, but RK does fantastically for my cardio, and Fitocracy imports from it so I don’t have to reenter anything.  Fitocracy hasn’t developed a native application yet, but their mobile site is fully-featured and quite accessible.

The best part about Fitocracy is that it gamifies exercise.  The site was started by a couple of stereotypical nerds who wanted to appeal to other stereotypical nerds through the two most powerful words in our language:  LEVEL UP!  The concept is that one earns points by performing certain exercises, thus increasing your overall capabilities–all in traditional RPG fashion.  I have to admit, the formula works, especially in keeping me focused on strength training (which has always been something I avoided).

In short, the best application out there is the one that works best for what you want to accomplish.  I want to have fun, and I’m a data junkie, so RK and Fitocracy work best for me.  Try some of the applications listed in the apps section of the RunKeeper website.  You’ll likely find one you like.

How To Set Up Custom Notification Tones On Samsung Galaxy S


If you’re like me and enjoy delving into a little hackery on your devices to make them “function correctly”, then welcome!  I did a little futzing around with my Galaxy S to try and get a particular email notification working, so I thought I may share the process with you all here.  First and foremost, you must have enabled root access on your phone, so go check that post out if you haven’t already.  As always, no warranty is implied and you might void your warranty following this procedure.  Perform at your own risk!

You will need:

Galaxy S phone with root access
Computer with Audacity installed and Bluetooth connectivity
Root Explorer application installed

Procedure:

1. Open the sound file you wish to use with Audacity.

2. Export the sound as *.ogg (Ogg Vorbis) format.

3. Rename the new file “22_FILENAME.ogg” where FILENAME is some short name describing the file.

4. Bluetooth transfer the file to your phone.

5. Open Root Explorer on your phone.

6. Navigate to ../sdcard/bluetooth/

7. Tap-hold the filename to bring up the options menu.

8. Click “Move” from the dialog.

9. Navigate to ../system/media/audio/notifications/ and make sure that “Mount R/W” is selected.

10. Click “Paste”.

11. Exit Root Explorer and reboot your phone.

12. Change your sound settings and enjoy!

BONUS:

I’m going to link you to a couple files that I used and, specifically, the email notification that I specifically figured this process out for.  Enjoy!


Zombies, Run! Trains You For The Coming Apocalypse


Our evidence suggests that the zombie apocalypse can’t be more than a few years away now…It’s time to get in training.

Adrian Hon, Game Designer for Zombies, Run!

Zombies Run Six To Start iPhone Android app runningI caught a glimpse of this new augmented reality game earlier this month in Wired magazine’s GameLife blog, back when it was still seeking funding via Kickstarter.

In Zombies, Run! you play the part of “Runner 5,” an anonymous hero who has to search a post-apocalyptic on foot for weapons and supplies while outrunning an unseen horde of zombies hot on your tail.  I have to say, the concept is quite intriguing, and might actually provide an excuse for the otherwise sedentary to get out and beat the pavement a little bit.  The really cool thing is that the game will grow and evolve as you play; being available on both iPhone and Android devices, the potential for DLC add-ons, patches, and story updates is virtually limitless.

I’m actually rather excited about this particular app, as it might be a little more exciting than the Runkeeper app that I currently use.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the constant feedback I get while running (I’m a bit of a data junkie), but Zombies seems to build on that extra little incentive–that need for survival.  It might be just enough to get the adrenaline pumping.

Heck, with it’s February scheduled release date, it might even get me in shape for next year’s Run For Your Lives 5K.

How To Root The Samsung Fascinate (Mac)


‘Free like a puppy’ is certainly much, much better than an atrociously priced and uncontrollably incontinent, rabies-infected mad hound.

Posted on Android Authority (www.androidauthority.com)

Admittedly, this is more for my own future reference, and a little behind the times (this tutorial is based on Eclair and Froyo), but if any of you still have a first-generation Fascinate (Galaxy S), you may find this handy.  Rooting the phone was the first thing that excited me about getting an Android phone, and is still one of my biggest selling points.  Verizon tends to bog their phones down with lots of bloatware that comes preinstalled, whose removal is otherwise prohibited, and requires a separate purchase or subscription to use (BAD, VERIZON!  BAD!).

Before you follow the tutorial in the video, you will need to download and unzip the following archive:

FascinateRoot_v02.zip

From there, it’s as simple as following the directions laid out in this video:

Enjoy your newly freed Android OS!

Retro Camera Incorporates Fun, Excludes Smugness


Many hipsters refuse to learn the same way that most photographers do, about apertures, ISOs, shutter speeds, etc. Instead, they just shoot, and claim that learning the technicalities only slows them down.

Chris Gampat

I was futzing around with one of my favourite Android apps back during in July, trying to get an interesting shot of one of my favourite beaches.  These photos were all taken with Urbian’s Retro Camera, a free Android camera application similar to Hipstamatic for iOS, but without the associated hipster smugness.  It’s great fun for nostalgia buffs, photography aficionados, or fans of obsolete technology!  That being said, just for the sake of comparison, I took the same shot with each of the camera settings.  Enjoy, and let me know which you like best!