Let the players play

Let the players play

Question/Analogy It always amazes me how many tasks pro basketball players perform before, during and after every game. From carrying in the drinks, towels, medical equipment and other pro-ball paraphernalia, playing the game, to mopping the court afterwards. Wait that’s not true, why is that?

 

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iOS 7 first impressions on iPhone 4

Home Screen

Home Screen

The first thought that hit me when my iPhone 4 rebooted and presented the new lock screen was that it was such a fresh look. It feels lighter on screen and is a great departure from the now stodgy previous iOS look and feel. The colours are vivid (even on non-retina display) and there are many subtle changes all over the OS for example the 5 dots representing the coverage your network is providing, you can see in mine that 3 provide awful coverage!

Control Centre

Control Centre

So how does it run on an iPhone 4? Unfortunately, pretty bad, it’s slow and unresponsive, so much so that I have touched on icons twice because I thought the OS had not registered my first touch. The apps themselves seem fine when they are running, both native and 3rd party, Netflix runs fine with a few jitters that could have been download speed or runtime, I’m not sure which. It is so disappointing that iOS 7 runs so slowly on iPhone 4, if Apple were not happy with the speed and responsiveness on iPhone 4 they should have just not supported the device as it leaves a less than appealing impression. As per usual however, my appetite for upgrade has increased, now more than anytime over the last 2+ years, I would like to buy new hardware, I hope I will have the resolve to wait until a new iPhone is released.

Settings

Settings

 

Lastly some thoughts on other, less documented features in iOS 7. The new animations and transitions between apps are nice, I like the feeling of the app zooming in/out when called/dismissed. The lock screen is also really nice, the new keypad makes it easier to enter in lock code and the Control Centre is a welcome addition but for some reason I don’t like how it looks, it feels like a metal slate sliding up on the screen and alien compared to the rest of the delicate screens. The functionality provided by Control Centre is nice however, but hardly earth shattering in its ingenuity.

Overall iOS 7 is a very nice refresh of the iOS platform, but didn’t go at all as far as I was expecting, its performance on iPhone 4 leaves a lot to be desired. It must be remembered that this is still a beta copy, so maybe it will improve before release, lets hope so.

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AnyComp

Screen Shot 2013-04-03 at 9.09.39 AM

I have some experience in the Business Information domain, and so I have an interest in that area. When I saw a website called  opencorporates.com I played around with it a bit. The information quality is excellent as it is mined from source i.e. the official departments of specific counties, states etc. The presentation of the data is a little different than the usual Business Information companies visualisation of it, So seeing as the opencorporates.com provides an easy to use REST API, I thought I would write a quick web app and host it in the cloud to see how easy it would be to re-represent this data in a more familiar presentation.

You can view the AnyComp live here: http://anycomp.jameswhite.ie

The web app is written in Grails, and the source code is available on Github here: https://github.com/jamesmwhite/anycomp

Please feel free to fork it, change it, use it anyway you want, even as a simple introduction to Grails.

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SAMSUNG LT24B350 Full HD 24″ LED TV Monitor

photo (1)

I have a desktop PC in my spare room and no room for a TV, so I thought I would check out what TV/Monitor solutions I could find to replace the existing monitor. Following my usual pattern of thinking small and buying bigger, I set out to buy 19″ or 22″ monitor with DVB-T support built in. On arriving at PC World (UK chain also trading in Ireland) they had the Samsung LT24B350 on sale for 219 euro, it ticked all the boxes for me:
– 1080p (for PS3 gaming should I be expelled from the sitting room)
– DVB-T to watch terrestrial digital TV (saorview in Ireland)
– VGA input
– 1.5mm audio input (for PC sound)

It also had some gravy:
– PIP (picture in picture, this feature is cool, can watch and listen to TV whilst using PC)
– TV Guide (didn’t realise this would be built in)
photo (2)

I was pleasantly surprised to find both a VGA cable and male to males audio cable included in the box, on first start the TV auto-tunes to find all the channels and is extremely easy to operate. I’m running the PC at 1920×1080 and the display is excellent. It was a little tricky to find out where to change the PIP sound option, it defaults to playing PC sound instead of TV sound. Overall, for 219 euro I’m very happy with it, nice one Samsung.

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Samsung 840 SSD meet Macbook

I swapped out the stock 5,400 rpm Hard Disk in my Macbook Pro for a Samsung 840 SSD today, loving the performance so far!

Some pics, speed info and boot video below:

Installed and Ready to boot

Speed Info

 

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