A few months ago I wanted to check out Android Studio for developing Android apps. I’ve been using NetBeans with a third-party plugin to make my apps. The best way to learn a new development environment is to start a new project, so I decided to start work on a complete rewrite of Flavordex.
It’s getting close to being ready for release. It just needs some polishing.
Here’s a few of the biggest changes from the original Flavordex:
It’s a single app with categories instead of separate apps for each type of journal
Ability to customize categories as well as creating new categories
Many improvements to the interface, especially for tablets
Here’s a little preview of the app on a tablet.
Android Studio is definitely a huge improvement in the development process. Everything is integrated into the environment and it just works. I’ve also converted my existing projects.
Well, it has been over a year since I last posted so I think it’s time for a new one. Since the year is new, I figured a good topic is new movies coming out in 2015. I’ll just talk about four movies the interest me the most, in order of projected release date.
Avengers: Age of Ultron. Marvel movies seem to always be entertaining, especially when you combine the best characters in one movie. This one appears to have an evil robot voiced by James Spader, so that’s cool. There’s also some kind of super iron man suit thing for some reason, so that will be fun to watch.
Jurassic World. Dinosaurs! This time there’s actually a working theme park with lots of tourists, so that will be an interesting change. There’s also Chris Pratt riding a motorcycle next to a bunch of raptors, which looks pretty cool.
Terminator Genisys. This one has a weird name and seems to have a confusing plot, but it should be entertaining anyways. Nothing can top T2, but this one at least has terminators fighting each other and stuff. They also got the usual catchphrases in there.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. I only recently became interested in Star Wars after watching all the movies in release order. It should be interesting to see what happens after Darth Vader, and to find out who that guy from the teaser is.
So there’s some thoughts about some movies coming out this year. Thanks for reading!
On Thursday I went to see Pearl Jam at the Viejas Arena in San Diego. I went in with what I was sure were unreasonably high expectations, but I was not disappointed. What I got was the best live performance I’ve seen, removing any doubts that Pearl Jam is the epitome of rock bands.
The show lasted about three hours and had a good mix of new songs, old songs, and a few covers, and they seemed to save the best for last. The sound quality was excellent, especially for an indoor arena. Pearl Jam’s sound people seem to know what they are doing, instead of just turning everything to 11. Eddie did a lot of talking and drank from a bottle of wine between songs (he seemed a bit drunk near the end), even passing a bottle to his mom via audience.
They ended the show with The Who’s Baba O’Riley, Yellow Ledbetter with The Star Spangled Banner guitar outro, and then a great cover of Rockin’ in the Free World. Overall, it was a great set. The only thing missing that I would have liked to see was Jeremy, Daughter, and/or Corduroy.
After a long period of almost no sales, I decided to make the Flavordex Android app free. As expected, the number of installs has increased significantly. I do not yet have a plan for how the app will support itself financially. I’ll figure that out if the app becomes popular.
The backend is hosted on my own server, which I use for many purposes. The photos are hosted on Amazon Web Services, so that cost will scale with use. Right now it falls under the free tier limit, so its cost is 0 until that runs out.
I don’t want to put ads into the app, but I might put them on the website if there is enough traffic. Another possibility is to accept donations from the users.
I saw Soundgarden perform at The Wiltern on the 16th. The performance was excellent, the mixing could have been better (the bass drowned out the leads), and the crowd was mature (someone even brought a young child). Overall it was a great experience. I never thought this would happen.
The Wiltern, named after its position on the corner of Wilshire and Western, was a very nice setting. Entering the lobby was like entering a movie theater in the 50’s. The walls and ceiling had lots of fancy carving and molding to admire while waiting for the show.
Here is the set list. It was a good mix of songs spanning their entire career. Matt Cameron’s son played guitar on Eyelid’s Mouth.
Nothing to Say
Jesus Christ Pose
By Crooked Steps
Room a Thousand Years Wide
The Day I Tried to Live
Been Away Too Long
Get on the Snake
Blow Up the Outside World
Fell on Black Days
Searching with My Good Eye Closed
Beyond the Wheel
Here is a video I found from that night. I was right behind the person recording the video, so this was pretty much my view.
I made another app for Android. It’s called Elementary and it’s a periodic table viewer and element reference application. You can zoom and pan the periodic table, and you can see more details about an element by tapping on its block. The details page also has a link to Wikipedia and a video from Periodic Table of Videos.
I decided to make this app free and open source under the MIT License with source available at GitHub. Here is a screenshot:
Preview of the Periodic Table view
I hope it is found useful by someone. I made this because I am interested in chemistry and I thought it would be a fun challenge to render the periodic table, and it was. I also thought it would be handy to have easy access to Periodic Videos, so you can show people why chemistry is awesome.
Since my previous post, I have released the coffee and wine versions of Flavordex, but more importantly I have updated the app to version 1.1. The most significant change is the ability to post reviews online and share them on various social networks. You can see these reviews at flavordex.com.
I think this feature makes the app far more useful and helps promote the app at the same time.
Over the past several months I have been working on a project called Flavordex, which I released Friday. Flavordex is an Android app for beer (and soon wine, whiskey, coffee, tea, and more) tasting. Its most significant feature is the radar chart for visualizing the elements of a product’s flavors. Since this is my first attempt at mobile app development, I want to share the story behind it.
It all started back in September ’11 when I received an electronic letter from Dirty ‘Space Jang’ Dan a.k.a. Robert Watters with some crazy idea about an app. Apparently people taste things and some of them like to take notes, so there should be an app for that. It sounded like a good excuse to get into mobile app development.
The first thing I did was to buy a good book on Java programming, since that’s what Android apps are written in, and quickly learned the language. As soon as I had a pretty good understanding, I downloaded the Android SDK and started learning the framework. Then I spent the last several months writing and rewriting the app with space input from RobDan.
So that’s the story behind Flavordex. If you are interested in beer tasting or know someone who is, check it out at flavordex.com. I’m also working on one for wine, whiskey, and coffee, with more after that…
I got this spam email today and I just had to share…
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Total Area: 95.243m²
Covered area: 30.746m²
Annual Steel Processing Capacity: 20.000 tons / year
Commercial vessel building up to 200 m and 50.000 DWT
Two slipways with 150m, 100m length for new building facilities
Closed production halls and painting hall with collapsible roofs for transferring of blocks: 5500m²
2 lifting capacities gantry cranes: 300 ton and 200 ton
With a strong corporate background and specialist personnel MetalPromExport offers the following services:
Refit & Repair after sales service
At this moment our shipyard has Oil/Chemical Tankers from 3.000 DWT till 12.000 DWT with different level of readiness which can be floated within the few months.
We are looking forward to your response to our E-mail in order to take up the matter further. All our contact details are signed herewith & please do not hesitate to contact us for any further clarifications in the matter. If you ready to discuss our further cooperation that please connect with our representative Mr. Evgeny which will arrive in India from 21th till 27th of January 2012.