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Since two of my friends have bought new Android phones in the past two weeks, I think it’d be helpful if I wrote up a quick guide and some app recommendations for those entering the Android world.

Quick Tips

Android version numbers went: 1.5, 1.6, then 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3, and now the latest 3.0 release. Starting with 1.5, releases get code-names that start with successive letters of the alphabet, and which are based on “sweet things” or desserts. 1.5 was Cupcake, then 1.6 was Donut. The “Eclair” code-name is applied to both 2.0 and 2.1.

Most modern Android phones should (hopefully) be using at least version 2.2, “Froyo” — or 2.3, “Gingerbread” if they’re nice and up-to-date. The 3.0 “Honeycomb” release is currently intended only for tablets.

Since there’s no way to right-click on things with a touchscreen, Android uses the long-tap, or tap-and-hold, method. This is probably familiar to Mac users already. Try long-tapping on things; you’ll find a lot of features that way.

The home screen is not just one screen; it’s anywhere from 3 to 7 of them, depending on what particular model of phone you’ve got. Just swipe left and right to access the other home screens.

Read the rest of this entry »

Originally published at Coyote Tracks. You can comment here or there.

kai_mactane: (Default)

I’ve just upgraded Hummingbird from version 0.5 to its new version: 0.51. Since I recently starting using the #PalmPrē hashtag in my tweets, I suddenly noticed that Hummingbird didn’t make hashtags clickable.

Well, now it does.

The change is pretty minimal, but it also incurred some overhead in my web site: the Hummingbird web page needed to be updated to match the new feature. And since that feature meant adding a new CSS class, I had to update the “CSS Styling” section as well as the “Features” section… and add a new “Version History” section…

All in all, it was harder to update the documentary web page than to update the software itself. In a way, that implies that my code was pretty clean. If you want, you can download the new version here.

See, I’m not neglecting everything to work on Palm Prē programming! (I’m also doing some contracting, which is taking up even more time.)

Originally published at Coyote Tracks. You can comment here or there.

kai_mactane: (Default)

Just updated my software page to bring it a little more up-to-date with what I’ve been doing in the past few years. It’s funny to see how my coding style has evolved and grown continually over that time. There were some things I used to be showing off that were almost totally procedural; even some of the things I’m still linking to (but which I wrote two or three years ago) make very little use of functional programming or anonymous functions in JavaScript.

It’s really tempting to completely refactor some of that stuff, but I haven’t got the time. I actually have at least one more software project that I should really package up and publish — a thing that might be helpful for system administrators who are being annoyed by SSH dictionary attacks.

Writing something that works on your own machine is one thing. Making a full release? That’s quite different! It needs documentation, and that documentation needs to explain all the things that you “just know”. It needs some kind of install mechanism, or else it needs to explain how to install the stuff manually — and you need to make absolutely sure that you haven’t forgotten any of the things you wrote, changed, or tweaked while you were making it work!

Originally published at Coyote Tracks. You can comment here or there.

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July 2011

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