Sunday, 13 November 2011

Chilli Plant Update

I've been trying hard to keep my chilli plant alive! I have now eaten quite a lot of the chillies, but there is still some to go (see below).

I'm kind of interested to see what happens when I have nommed them all...


Been having a few issues with the latest version on RunKeeper - the GPS seems less reliable than it used to be, and that has meant me manually updating maps after my run lately.

General advice seems to be to ensure there is a 'Good' GPS fix showing before you start, and I have also seen that some people are using GPS Status (Market Link) to clear the GPS before starting.

I'll try that and post back later.

SD Speed Increase

Now trying out SD Speed Increase (Market Link) - it changes the read/write speed of SD cards - gone from a 128kb buffer to 2048kb - seems decent enough...

Thursday, 10 November 2011

S2E Update

So my new class 6 SD card turned up, and I went through the process of replacing the one I had. Wan't too hard, just followed this process:

  • Titanium Backup (in case)
  • Reboot to recover
  • Nandroid
  • Copy all data of the SD card on my PC
  • Format new card
  • Partition new card (1GB for S2E)
  • Copy all data on to new card
  • Boot to recovery
  • Nandoid restore
  • Job's a good'un
All running sweet at the moment...

Saturday, 29 October 2011

S2E - Oooops

OK, so yesterday it all went pants - I took a picture and my phone wouldn't open the gallery at all. I tried a few things but ended up rebooting the phone. It booted fine (suggesting the ext partition was fine), but the SD card would not mount, and the phone said the card 'may be damaged'.

I tried plugging the phone into my PC in the hope of being able to 'fix' the card - nothing. I took the SD card out and put it directly into my laptop, and it appeared, but nothing again.

Finally I decided to format the card - that should have left the ext partition in place and only format the 6.4Gb of other space. First time all looked good, but the format failed - second time it was going to format to 7.4Gb, so all was not well - the ext partition was gone.

Eventually I partitioned another card, factory reset the phone and started again. I simple brought back the Titanium backup I had, and I was back up and running after an hour or so. However, I learnt my lesson, and I now have a new Nandroid backup and a new Titanium backup.

Below is a screenshot of the RAM I now have to play with...

I have now ordered another SD card in case. I believe if I partition the new card, do a Nandroid, put the new card in and then restore, all will be fine. I will report back.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

S2E - One week on...

S2E has worked really well over the last week - the only issues have been to do with sound - I'm guessing that me messing with the SD card reset some some notification sounds, so I suddenly had full MP3s playing when I got a text!

Otherwise, the only difference I have found is that I now am less discerning about what apps I try - I just have so much space, I download them and leave them on the phone.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Butternut squash soup with chilli and crème fraîche

So we thought we'd have a go at some home made soup this week - something a little different. With our liking of stuff a 'little spicy', we went  for a Butternut squash soup with chilli and crème fraîche from the BBC food site - Link to BBC Food.

We added a little more chilli and more garlic, and the result was absolutely great - I even sprinkled a little chilli (from my very own chilli plant - see below) on the top.


Sunday, 23 October 2011

Last race of the year

I was Oulton Park again yesterday performing my marshalling duties for the last time this year. Another great day, although not a huge amount to do. I was posted at Cascades and although we had a few cars fly through the gravel, they all got going and didn't need out help.

We actually got an early finish, so a bit of a result all round. Looking forward to next year now!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

S2E on CM7

Even after rooting my HTC Desire and putting on CM7.1, I was still running out of space far too quickly, so I decided to try S2E (Market Link) to see if that helped.

I partitioned my SD card using Clockwork Recovery and gave myself 1GB of extra space - I then installed S2E on my phone and went for the reboot. Ideally I'd have moved all the apps I had to the phone first as this would have saved some re-installation, but I was out of room.

The first boot took way longer (it has to build a new Dalvik cache I think), but once running, everything seemed fine. I saw no speed degradation and had *loads* of space.

I'll report back on how things go...

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Guy Kawasaki on Steve Jobs

This is something I read on Google+ from Guy Kawasaki, and I thought it was just too good to lose...

What I Learned From Steve Jobs
Many people have explained what one can learn from Steve Jobs. But few, if any, of these people have been inside the tent and experienced first hand what it was like to work with him. I don’t want any lessons to be lost or forgotten, so here is my list of the top twelve lessons that I learned from Steve Jobs.

Experts are clueless.
Experts - journalists, analysts, consultants, bankers, and gurus can’t “do” so they “advise.” They can tell you what is wrong with your product, but they cannot make a great one. They can tell you how to sell something, but they cannot sell it themselves. They can tell you how to create great teams, but they only manage a secretary. For example, the experts told us that the two biggest shortcomings of Macintosh in the mid 1980s was the lack of a daisy-wheel printer driver and Lotus 1-2-3; another advice gem from the experts was to buy Compaq. Hear what experts say, but don’t always listen to them.

Customers cannot tell you what they need.
“Apple market research” is an oxymoron. The Apple focus group was the right hemisphere of Steve’s brain talking to the left one. If you ask customers what they want, they will tell you, “Better, faster, and cheaper” - that is, better sameness, not revolutionary change. They can only describe their desires in terms of what they are already using - around the time of the introduction of Macintosh, all people said they wanted was better, faster, and cheaper MS-DOS machines. The richest vein for tech startups is creating the product that you want to use - that’s what Steve and Woz did.

Jump to the next curve.
Big wins happen when you go beyond better sameness. The best daisy-wheel printer companies were introducing new fonts in more sizes. Apple introduced the next curve: laser printing. Think of ice harvesters, ice factories, and refrigerator companies. Ice 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0. Are you still harvesting ice during the winter from a frozen pond?

The biggest challenges beget best work.
I lived in fear that Steve would tell me that I, or my work, was crap. In public. This fear was a big challenge. Competing with IBM and then Microsoft was a big challenge. Changing the world was a big challenge. I, and Apple employees before me and after me, did their best work because we had to do our best work to meet the big challenges.

Design counts.
Steve drove people nuts with his design demands - some shades of black weren’t black enough. Mere mortals think that black is black, and that a trash can is a trash can. Steve was such a perfectionist - a perfectionist Beyond: Thunderdome - and lo and behold he was right: some people care about design and many people at least sense it. Maybe not everyone, but the important ones.

You can’t go wrong with big graphics and big fonts.
Take a look at Steve’s slides. The font is sixty points. There’s usually one big screenshot or graphic. Look at other tech speaker’s slides - even the ones who have seen Steve in action. The font is eight points, and there are no graphics. So many people say that Steve was the world’s greatest product introduction guy..don’t you wonder why more people don’t copy his style?

Changing your mind is a sign of intelligence.
When Apple first shipped the iPhone there was no such thing as apps. Apps, Steve decreed, were a bad thing because you never know what they could be doing to your phone. Safari web apps were the way to go until six months later when Steve decided, or someone convinced Steve, that apps were the way to go - but of course. Duh! Apple came a long way in a short time from Safari web apps to “there’s an app for that.”

“Value” is different from “price.”
Woe unto you if you decide everything based on price. Even more woe unto you if you compete solely on price. Price is not all that matters - what is important, at least to some people, is value. And value takes into account training, support, and the intrinsic joy of using the best tool that’s made. It’s pretty safe to say that no one buys Apple products because of their low price.

A players hire A+ players.
Actually, Steve believed that A players hire A players - that is people who are as good as they are. I refined this slightly - my theory is that A players hire people even better than themselves. It’s clear, though, that B players hire C players so they can feel superior to them, and C players hire D players. If you start hiring B players, expect what Steve called “the bozo explosion” to happen in your organization.

Real CEOs demo.
Steve Jobs could demo a pod, pad, phone, and Mac two to three times a year with millions of people watching, why is it that many CEOs call upon their vice-president of engineering to do a product demo? Maybe it’s to show that there’s a team effort in play. Maybe. It’s more likely that the CEO doesn’t understand what his/her company is making well enough to explain it. How pathetic is that?

Real CEOs ship.
For all his perfectionism, Steve could ship. Maybe the product wasn’t perfect every time, but it was almost always great enough to go. The lesson is that Steve wasn’t tinkering for the sake of tinkering - he had a goal: shipping and achieving worldwide domination of existing markets or creation of new markets. Apple is an engineering-centric company, not a research-centric one. Which would you rather be: Apple or Xerox PARC?

Marketing boils down to providing unique value.
Think of a 2 x 2 matrix. The vertical axis measures how your product differs from the competition. The horizontal axis measures the value of your product. Bottom right: valuable but not unique - you’ll have to compete on price. Top left: unique but not valuable - you’ll own a market that doesn’t exist. Bottom left: not unique and not value - you’re a bozo. Top right: unique and valuable - this is where you make margin, money, and history. For example, the iPod was unique and valuable because it was the only way to legally, inexpensively, and easily download music from the six biggest record labels. 

Bonus: Some things need to be believed to be seen. When you are jumping curves, defying/ignoring the experts, facing off against big challenges, obsessing about design, and focusing on unique value, you will need to convince people to believe in what you are doing in order to see your efforts come to fruition. People needed to believe in Macintosh to see it become real. Ditto for iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Not everyone will believe - that’s okay. But the starting point of changing the world is changing a few minds. This is the greatest lesson of all that I learned from Steve.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Camera on CM7

So, as a kind of follow up to the CM7 post, I found out that the camera app in Cyanogen is not that great, especially when compared to the one in Sense - there was no real zoom and more upsetting (for me) was that the images were not wide screen.

So after many failed attempts, I found one that fits the bill - it's taken from the MIUI ROM, and the file you need on a Desire is named MIUIcamera_v17_Fixed2.apk. I haven't linked it on here as it's an easy find on XDA  although I have attached a link to the thread - Linky to XDA.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Cyanogen CM7.1 on my HTC Desire

I struggled with my HTC Desire - it was (and is) without the best phone I have used - however, as apps get better (and bigger) I was always banging my head on the memory limit, with constant warnings about low space.

From what I read, Gingerbread was going to help, and as I was fairly happy with things, I decided not to root the phone - I stuck with stock for ages. When HTC said they were not going to release Gingerbread for the Desire, I started looking around at rooting and putting Cyanogen on.

I had put Cyanogen on my old HTC Magic, and it was pretty good - the process was scary, but all was good. I was about to 'do the deed' on my Desire when HTC release their 'hacked version' to allow GB on the Desire - I installed that and was fairly impressed - for about 4 weeks! Then I was getting the messages again.

So I took the plunge and had a quick read - however rooting the Desire and putting CM7 on was a dream compared to the Magic - and has given me a 'new phone' all over again. I have all the configuration I could want again, it is faster, and I have loads of space for apps.

I used to get S-Off and deal with the HBOOT - just an app and a couple of clicks - sorted.