Skip to content

Project reviews : An essential exercise to maintain momentum and direction in hobby projects.

15-Sep-11

For a past month I have been coding a Symbian native application as a hobby project. What was initially a month’s exercise(according to my earlier estimates), is not even 50% over after nearly a month. There is progress , daily checkins and visual progress in terms of the UI development. But the project still seems hopelessly over-schedule. So what went wrong?
I decided to preside over this question to understand the factors affecting my progress. I made a long list of features, features of my application. Then I tagged them according to the phase they were conceptualized. And finally the version in which they will be released. Check the pie chart of the same.

Features added in phase?

So as it is clear from the pie chart, as I continued coding I did not stick to the feature list which I had planned. Adding more killer features to the app only adds on to the agony and stretches the limits of the developers interest. The most important thing is to freeze the feature set and even if some “absolutely needed” feature emerges, it should be added to the list of features so that work can be done on it subsequently.
More…

Some OpenGL ES links.

08-Aug-11
  1. Linear Algebra Video Lectures from MIT Open Courseware.
  2. A First Course in Linear Algebra – Online book.

OpenGL – Just links for making OpenGL ES work on various platforms

OpenGL ES for Symbian links

RmClock : The nitro boost for mobile processors.

22-Jul-11

This experiment was done by me some time back to squeeze out more performance from my Acer Aspire 5052. Now if you check the specs it has a AMD Turion Processor MK38 maxing out at 2.2 Ghz. The AMD processor is known to be more cheap than the Intel line of similar mobile processors. But they are more like the Intel Celeron line, cheap but they heat on running cpu intensive tasks. So this laptop was being used to do Symbian application development, but the thing I noticed that it would take some time to build the code. I was not sure what was the reason for the extra build time taken, even though the laptop was decently powered!!

After doing some research on the net, I figured AMD employs, it calls the PowerNow! which is similar to Intel’s SpeedStep. PowerNow! offers performance on demand, so basically when you idle the processor will run at lower cpu speeds and when something processing heavy crops up the frequencies are switched to get more performance. This helps to keep the laptop cool and extend the battery life of the laptop. Now this also means that the fans of the laptop are engaged less and thus there is less noise. But this in turn also

RmClock : Nitro Boost for the mobile cpu’s

Rmclock is the tool that can stop the transitions and keep the CPU at the the mission-ready max frequency level. So in my case it was at 2.2 Ghz level.

Repercussions of using RmClock

While RMClock allows to tweak the CPU to extract maximum performance, it has some side-effects. I found that now my CPU fan would run full-on all the time. Especially when compiling it would literally make a humming sound like the servers racks. I had to get a USB cooling pad as well as make clear out the air-vents to make the CPU cool. This cooling pad was of great help as I noticed that Acer Aspire had this issue of heating up some part of the keyboard while doing cpu intensive tasks like code builds.

RmClock has a free version which can be downloaded from here.

References

Micromax VanGogh x450 looks very similar to LG Decoy!!!

05-Jul-11

A few days back I saw the TV campaigns for the new Micromax VanGogh  X450. The X450 sports a inbuilt Bluetooth headset, present on the backside of the device. This reminded me of something that I had seen earlier, but was not able to really recollect exactly. So after some google searches I got what looks like the original inspiration of the Micromax VanGogh, the LG Decoy!! I am not sure if the designers at LG wanted to give some premonition, but the name is very unsettling. The Decoy was released in 2008 and was a slider as against the 2011 mono block  design of the VanGogh. The design of the VanGogh is quite streamlined and seems more classy and its even dual-sim like all other Micromax offerings.

Here are some images for comparison.

LG Decoy in blue vs. Micromax VanGogh in yellow

LG Decoy in blue vs. Micromax VanGogh in yellow

More information about the LG Decoy : #1, #2.

Specification of the MicromaxVanGogh  X450.

Image Courtesy : PhoneArena.com & micromaxinfo.com

Flaminghorns.com Ovi feeds app published.

25-Jun-11

Now stay in touch with latest flaminghorns.com blog posts from all three blogs in a single app.
The flaminghorns.com feeds app generated using the Ovi AppWizard has been approved.
Just click on the image below to download the feeds app from Ovi Store.

flaminghorns.com feed app.

flaminghorns.com feed app.

Nokia N9 : Meego slab with HW Design awesomeness & sleek UI.

21-Jun-11

Nokia N9 has been announced. The 3.9″ AMOLED Gorilla glass is packed in an awesome design. Nokia’s design capabilities are peaking at the right time. This is the first Meego device and sports the swipe based UI. The package is tempting and if Nokia gets the pricing right, this device can surely kick some butt.

Check the video, am sure you will be impressed.

Check these links:
1. Nokia Developer N9 news.
2. N9 Detailed Specification.
3. Check N9 availability in your area. Update : India is not listed :(.

Windows XP slowdown due to Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery.

15-Jun-11

Problem

There is a very peculiar problem of Windows XP getting slowed down nearly to a halt, particularly on laptops. The OS becomes unresponsive during boot and the only way to get back to normal speed is to remove the laptop battery. But the whole solution of removing the laptop battery is a big fail. It totally undoes the whole purpose of the laptop.

Alternative Solution

If removing the battery is not done for you, then the other solution is to disable the “Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery“. To disable it, follows these steps:

  • Right-click on “My Computer” and select “Properties”.
  • Select the “Hardware” Tab. In this tab select the “Device Manager”.
  • In the “Device Manager”, under the Battery Node, there will be two batteries listed.
  • Now right-click on “Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery” and select the “Disable” option.

Solution side-effects

With the above mentioned steps normal operation can be resumed, but it has a side-effect. Now there is no way of knowing the battery information in anyway. Rather in my case, the laptop was shown running on AC power always, when it was clearly running on the battery. This can be disconcerting as there is no way to know how much juice the battery has left, no low power notifications, nothing.


The above is the screenshot of a third party application,BatteryBar, failing to detect any battery in my laptop.
The biggest problem is that there has been no update to this driver from MS since 2001. So there is no way that updating the driver of the Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery component would fix this issue.

C++0x is ready to rule.

14-Jun-11

In March 2011, a star was born and no one noticed. Atleast, the interpreted types did not. 🙂

The C++0x standard is approved and soon we will see compilers shouting from the top of their roofs that they support C++0x.

I am still reading about it, so here is the link dump of the most important C++0x links:

Also, there is one video which sums up C++0x quite well:

e.ggtimer.com : The best online timer.

10-Jun-11

I use e.ggtimer.com regularly as my egg timer. This site follows google style of minimal interface with just enough options to get you going.

e.ggtimer.com home page

e.ggtimer.com home page


The most innovative feature is having special timers. Timers like the Pomodoro timer(set by http://e.ggtimer.com/pomodoro) is a very thoughtful addition. I hope they add more such special timers.
The use of the URL or the address to set the countdown timer is also cool. It may not be so intuitive to the layman, but still makes great feature and is a unique use of the url/address bar.
So visit e.ggtimer.com and start using it.

Hello, from codekata.flaminghorns.com!!

16-Mar-11

Welcome to my own domain of flaminghorns.com.

I have moved from blogger.com and have setup the codekata blog here at flaminghorns.com. The setup is still underway. The awesome theme is not really for coding blogs, so it needs to be tweaked a bit. This will take time, but as the progress has been till now I am assuming that things will be set and I would be back to blogging soon.