The New Beast!

Recently I have been looking around trying to find good touchscreen smart phones. Now to tell you the truth this has been a hard search for something that fits my needs. I’m no just talking about the OS here I’m talking hardware man! That’s right! The glorious pieces of goodah that make up the phone. I have found it!

For the most part this is coming from personal experience. I have owned several phones in my day and found some good ones and crappy ones. Over the years I have started to realize that certain companies have trends in what they do for phones. Like lets take LG for instance, they are a very interesting company who has its ideas every once in a while. But for the most part I have never been satisfied with their phones at all because they make cheap phones. Now one of my favorite phones has been the iPhone. I know, I know.

“iPhones are horrible! They are completely locked down and only available to AT&T!”

And then after that people say:

“Blah blah blah blah blah blah”

I don’t care! The iPhone has one of the most accurate touchscreens ever and who cares if I had to hack it? Plus the simplicity of the OS is very refreshing. I loved my iPhone. While I had an iPhone everyone else still had a shitty ass piece of junk prepaid looking cell phone. While they sat there texting. I was twittering, checking facebook, instant chatting, looking up things on the web, and writing emails. But the bill could not be paid for the service after a while which meant iPhone had to be sold. Anyways…

Now there have been several other interesting phones especially recently. Motorola is one of those companies that made a good phone still being used today. Motorola’s track record has been nice. Every Motorola phone I have owned has been reliable and did very well against my day to day poundings.

I know your wondering,

“Why is he blabbing on about this?”

Well I’m building up to what I wanted to talk about ok? so just calm down and be patient. So through the last few years I have owned some good phones. But I am always on the look out for a better phone. And despite my seemingly endless love for the iPhone I have found the one to replace that wonderful machine. Now you wonder why I have been talking about companies and how some make good phones and others make bad right? Well this new godly phone is made by and interesting company. Nokia.

Nokia has an interesting track record when it comes to phones. Their history of successful devices has fluctuated. Nokia has a tendency to make 20 crappy phones in a row and then come out with a really nice one! but then they fall back into the hole again. One of the nicest phones that I really liked was the Nokia N9000. It was a nice touch screen phone with one of the best slide out keyboards I have ever used. But I did not get it for one reason. Its a touch screen/keyboard combo.

It’s one of my biggest pet-peeves. If im going to get a touch-screen phone it is not going to have a physical keyboard which is why I have been so picky about the touch screen phones. I have to be able to type fast on the virtual keyboard and it has to be large. The accuracy of  touch screens has irritated me to no end for the most part. This is one reason why I liked the iPhone. The touch screen was super crisp.

So recently Nokia made a ph0ne that is wonderful! This is the new phone that I adore. It’s called the Nokia N8. And this is what it looks like:

This thing is Godly! So now to elaborate on why this phone is my new baby.

It has as you can see a pleasing form factor. Smooth and slick.

Here are the actual physical properties:

  • 12MP camera w/flash
  • 720p HD camcorder
  • 3.5″ touch screen
  • HDMI out which means I can put stuff up on the big screen in HD quality
  • FM radio
  • FM transmitter
  • 5 colors to choose from
  • 1/2 inch thick

These are the things that really attract me! It also has a new hardware element which makes it more universal than any phone. It has a 5-band 3G. This allows it yo be used by multiple carriers because each carrier uses different network frequencies for their connections. It uses GMS technology which means it uses SIM cards. AT&T and T-Mobile are the proposed outlets. The N8 is also running the new Symbian^3 OS. This operating system was just released to open source. Symbian^3 or just Symbian 3 has been improved upon greatly!

The new OS has lots to offer. It now has integrated social media like Twitter and Facebook, Free GPS navigation, Music player, and stream free Web TV. This means you have a choice of popular channels to choose from like NBC news and also you can tune in to local channels. Three main home-screens which are completely customizable. The OVI store offeres apps and is growing larger.

Now that Symbian has been redone and opened up it should improve upon greatly. It also has video and photo editing abilities for quick optimization.  If however I do not like the OS I will simply dual boot it with a customized version of Android OS.

Overall this thing has HUGE potential! You can currently pre-order it in some places. It is also available for direct purchase. These direct purchases would be for imported units. prices ranging from $600 – $950. I’ll just wait till it comes out though.

Thats all thanks for reading!

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Gnome Global Menu (GN)

Gnome-Global Menu (GN) is an applet available for Linux (Ubuntu) that will give you a Mac styled menu bar that replaces the file bar for most programs. It is a single File bar that adapts to which ever program is selected or “focused”. There are some programs that aren’t affected and you will have to use the default bar. A major one would be Firefox which doesn’t work because it does not comply with GNU specifications. (For those who don’t like me calling it a Mac menu bar deal with it cause Mac was the first to incorporate it)

Using the PPA to install GN

  1. Open SystemAdministrationSoftware Sources
  2. Pres the Other Software tab
  3. Press Add to add a new repository.
  4. Enter the APT line for the extra repository.
  5. After adding source close out and it will ask you to reload software
  6. You will have to download the GPG key so that you can download the software. Here is the key: Global Menu GPG Key
  7. Open up Software Sources again and go the Authentication tab and click “Import Key File…”
  8. Click the GPG key you just downloaded and then close out.
  9. To install GM start Terminal and type:
  10. sudo apt-get install gnome-globalmenu

  11. After installation right click on the desired bar and add Global Menu Applet
  12. Log out and log back in and you should have you bar ready to go.

The advantage to using the PPA package is that you will get automatic updates and the program is handled automatically. This makes uninstalling just as easy. Now i will show you how to use the source files (*.tar.gz/*.tar.bz2) to install/compile them yourself. The Advantages of managing a program yourself is that you can change it to your needs. You can also use source files to test betas and variants.

Source Install

  1. First download the source file. Which is in a *.tar.gz or *.tar.bz2 archive
  2. Extract the folder inside to a directory that you want to manage from
  3. Look inside the folder for installation instructions to install and/or compile, which are contained in a simple .txt file usually called “INSTALL”
    • Some programs do not have the option to compile into a *.deb package and only do a direct install
    • First to make management of your programs easier we will use a program that will compile the files, keep track of the files, and install the program while still giving you control over the program and packaging.
    • This program is called checkinstall
      install using:
      sudo aptitude install checkinstall
  4. With checkinstall the install will become easier. Open Terminal
  5. We need to mount the globalmenu folder to access the files in Terminal using:
    cd /home/user/documents/globalmenu-0.18
    cd is used to mount the directory. make sure to include the program folder last so that you actually mount into it. Don’t use that exact directory it is only an example.
  6. Then enter in the command:
    ./configure
    This step will find all the dependencies and make sure you have the needed files to make the program work, *At the end it will tell you what files you are missing. Make note of them and I will explain what to do. You will not need to complete this until you have the dependencies.
  7. Assuming you have all the dependencies you will now enter:
    sudo checkinstall
  8. It will ask you to type in a description for the package. Follow all the instructions that will be shown in the Terminal. It will ask you various things like seeing a list of all the files. If you notice it doesn’t give you a [y/n] option. it only shows one letter. that because it’s the recommended action. if you just press enter then it will take the default action and continue with the compiling and installing. I suggest that you take the default actions because all those options are asking you is if you want to see all the files and dependencies that were extracted installed.
  9. When it is finished it will show you a command to uninstall it and give you various commands on making short cuts for easier access. Unless you are compiling a library or dependency then it will only give you the uninstall command

*If you had dependency problems download the source files for the dependencies that you were missing and use this same tutorial to install those using the same steps. If possible try finding the .deb packages or PPA for the dependencies to make installing them easier. After installing all the needed files go back to the beginning, Mount the folder, configure, and checkinstall. If you have any questions just leave them in a comment below and I will answer to the best of my knowledge. Good luck!

NOTICE: I will be adding screen shots of the terminal and examples of codes. Later I will do a screen-cast on this and add to the post.

Weekend Venture Into The Labyrinth

So this weekend started off pretty decent. Friday I wake up feeling awesome! Get to my engineering class about 9 and then run over to a gas station to buy something to drink. I see it! Thats what I want! Oh yah you know what it was! 32 oz of pure deliciousness!! The BFC of RockStars! Quadruple shot of energy baby! I looked at the price and see “2 for $3.24”. OMFG!!! I was ecstatic. I run back to class and pound those flippin suckers! first one was down in about 20 seconds. second one right after that! I was off the walls till like 5th period. hit 11:45 and I crash…. I was dead. lol felt like shit and freakn’ had a huge headache. I dealt with it for the rest of the day. got home early cleaned the kitchen installed Ubuntu on my parents computer for them to try.

Matt came over and hung out for a little then we headed out just as all my sister’s friends showed up for her birthday party. We went and picked up Rowdy and headed over to Matt’s house. I brought my 360 so we could all play the Halo Reach Beta. We played Reach for a long time! and we hung out and played on our computers. lol about 10:00 pm we decide to get dinner and head out to Windy’s. I still had a bad headache. After we got back tried watching Inglorious bastards but it was having troubles playing it. So we searched for a while and found Labyrinth. Now Rowdy said we should watch it. I remember watching this movie when I was like 6 or 7. You ever have those moments where you remember a movie you watched when you were a kid? In your mind you remember it as funny or awesome and can still see it as you did when you first watched it in your childhood. Lol then you watch it and the graphics are lame and the movie was totally stupid and your like “wtf? that just ruined my childhood memory of that show!” yah well this movie is different.

I remember vaguely that it was about a girl who was mad and wished her brother would be taken by goblins so she could have a perfect life. And then they do and she has to travel through a labyrinth to get to the castle to rescue him right? All other details I couldn’t remember. Now I’m not sure what I was thinking of when I watched this at 6 but I must of been out of my mind!!!! I was tripping off this movie so bad at 1am that it fried my brain!! I was laughing the whole time out of sheer consternation. My mind was in such a state of perplexity that it seriously just when Poof! It broke my mind thats how crazy that movie was. My mind  was broked. If Steve Ballmer could somehow travel backwards in time and jumped into the scene yelling “WAHOOOOOOO!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOO!!!!!! DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS!!!!” My mind would have exploded!

So now here I sit on my bed and my mind is pretty much like this:

I’m not sure what I’m going to do right now but I can’t stop laughing.

Android Developer frustrations

Android has been a huge hit for phones and the platform launched with out a hitch really. The purpose of Android was what? To take down Apple and their godly iPhone. This was to be accomplished through Open Source! but many developers complain about having troubles with porting their apps from phone to phone and how employees of the “Open Handset Alliance (OHA) are micro managing the code base.”  Many are now seeing that this project has been split into tiny subsections. Who is to blame? Some say Google who controls the OHA, while others say it is the companies who are making the phones who implement proprietary  features.

People are now saying Android as a fraud and not open source at all, but if you look at what these people are meaning when they say open source they are really talking about the type of license. When the mass says open source you think of what for examples? Linux! Ubuntu, Red Hat, and others that are similar are perfect examples of what people think of when they say “open source”. As one article puts it:

“Open source does not mean complete compatibility. Under a BSD-like license such as the Apache license preferred by Google, it doesn’t mean all code must be contributed back, or that those who use a project’s code can’t add proprietary extensions.”

So to really say Android was a fluke try at open source is not quite true. There is still plenty of time for adjustments and Google has had to take all this in a short amount of time. Over the next couple of months we will wait and see what happens.

New Intel Processor Series

Well Intel is going for a new area of processing. The mobile/hand-held device arena. A crowded market to be sure. With ARM as the definite standard in architecture for phones it will be hard. There are a few companies who also have their own stand in this market: Apple with their own chip, Qualcomm with their Snapdragon, and Nvidia who has dabbled in this area. This new Processor series is a new smaller Atom. The Atom Z6xx series will be for smart phones and tablets. Though there being tough competition Intel has proven its worth before. These Atoms will cut down on power consumption which will allow it to be used in handhelds with out affecting the battery. These new CPUs will bring to the table these features:

  • supports multitasking
  • 1080p video
  • 3D graphics
  • 1.5 Ghz (phones)
  • 1.9 Ghz (tablets)

With all this Intel might have a chance. The problem is trying to get developers to tweak their systems from ARM to Intel’s. Of course Intel might give an alternate choice as all those ARM compete with each other. The Atom was sported at the CES in a new phone by a company called Aava.

The Aava Touch Screen Phone

This is a new phone using the Intel Atom Z6xx Processor series

The Aava touch screen smart phone was freakn’ fast! it could even play Quake on it. fps (frames per second) was clocked at 30! this processor holds a punch! Coupled with this new company Aava this combo should make an impact. Scheduled for the third quarter of 2011 to be released. It has a micro sd card slot for memory expansion and charges via mini USB. I can’t wait to see this phone! This might end up being better than the iPhone which I adore. lol ;)

Well for those reading, signing out now from the Trash Can.