Android Curtain Call

I spidered my D2 a handful of weeks ago. The replacement phone I received shipped with Gingerbread…which with my previous version of CyanogenMod was built on top of. I rooted the new device immediately, and dumped all of the garbage apps. My thought was to keep the stock ROM on the device, in order to have a stock testing device once I moved on to a new device.

Well, even stock Gingerbread is borderline useless by comparison. The most annoying tic that developed was with the camera…the flash stopped syncing with the camera shutter, rendering the flash useless.

Change of plans…dev device will run CyanogenMod 7.1.

android screenshot

I falsely assumed that flashing a ROM would work the same on Gingerbread as it did on Froyo for the Droid 2. Way wrong…I honestly thought I had bricked the phone. I ended up having to get creative with ADB and flashing an older firmware version, and standing Froyo back up on my device. From that point, it was the same old song and dance…testing ROMs, pulling batteries, hanging out on the recovery screen.

I wound up settling on an old nightly build of CG7.1. I am due for a phone upgrade right now…my wait for ICS is way more tolerable with a usable phone.

Android IP Webcam Screenshot

I have to admit that I’m pretty impressed by the Foscam’s IR capabilities. I snapped a screenshot on my Droid last while we were getting the princess ready for her bath…

android night vision
samurai dude says hi

The lab was light-free, and I was connected to the camera’s web server via my 3G connection. Controls are fairly snappy, and the image looks good even when pushed via cellular. Response time is very quick on the network itself…but remoting in to the router does the trick nicely.

I’m keeping my eyes peeled for a second cam…set designated choppable. We’ll see…I’m growing attached to this guy, but really want to get into its guts.

Upgrading DC Motors to Servos

A whole bunch of Dremel work and some hot glue…

The Clocky conversion to servo motor control is mostly done.

clocky with servos
getting close

I still need to make the servo mounts more secure, but the initial test runs look promising:

Getting close. I determined that the IOIO board will not fit inside the casing, so I will have to come up with an external mount. Which will change the balance, so I might end up having to add some counterweights for balance. It should shape up, mechanically, in another garage session or two. The UI work will be another session, thereafter, but look for a finished product within the next week or so.

Google Plus Instant Upload Settings

I am still horsing around with Google+ on my Droid 2. A few posts back, I lambasted the Instant Upload feature. The whole idea of tossing geo-location-having pictures onto Google’s servers seems awfully odd to me.

As this feature is ‘featured’ in Google+’s Android app, I figured I would play around with it some more, in order to gauge its evilness. The jury is still out.

It does work as intended. I snapped a few pictures of my fancy breakfast in my cubicle, with the Instant Upload activated, with the Battery Uploads selection…

cubicle bacon via instant upload
+1 delicious

Surely enough, once I plugged my D2 into the charger, it began to sync/upload. Within several seconds I was notified of my complete upload to G+. So, while I am still unsure of the impacts of this feature, I am impressed by its function. Google’s devs hit the ball out on the park with this one, in regards to pure functionality. Especially, as the Android Facebook and Twitter apps are rough at best. Hats off.

Expect a full review of G+ in the near future.

Android GPS Test

As I type this, there are over thirty satellites blasting around geo-sync orbits transmitting GPS data. As luck has it, my battery-ass-draining phone has a receiver built-in GPS receiver, of which now I am a master.

Not really, but I can read the info…

Boring, FTL

Location, time, velocity, etc. Not sure how to tune this yet, as the above was done via an emulator. Since my Studio 15 doesn’t exactly (read: at all) have a GPS receiver or accelerometer, I’m working somewhat blindly. I did have some luck when I dropped my app on the Droid 2…

'Lab' is too cold, FTL

…but that screen cap does a better job of showing the MLB Network reflection than the info on the screen. Sweet Lou should be in the top ten list of managers, FWIW. Glad he could make an appearance.

Back to the GPS stuff. Cross referencing the data that I managed to pull in from the SDK library info, I was able to verify that the elevation was fairly accurate (w/in a hundred yards of Bozo Wikipedia listing) and the latitude / longitude was functioning well to several yards accuracy, relatively speaking. Not too bad.

The next step would be to figure out how to put this to use. A ballistics chart would be pretty cool (read, profitable) if the elevation info could be read in automatically along with weather conditions. I’m not really sure…this one was more of an exercise in reading sensors and tossing out output. The accelerometer is next…I’ll shoot to provide a better write-up at that point. Less bonus baseball footage…or far more bonus baseball footage. Stay tuned.