iPad 2 :Makes it up for its cons

16 07 2011

So purchased a iPad 2 last week, and had been playing around with it. Since my main requirements was taking notes and making models. Did a quick search and came out with Bamboo app for note-taking. I find Bamboo a normal note taking tools with better UI, doesn’t seem to have anything to make note-taking better.

But few apps were just amazing to play with,

Flipboard

FlipBoard

This is all in one app for news, brings all the news you would need to read into one single app and also makes it easy to read format using flip screen. Easy to customise too.

National Geographic

NatGeo

This is another well laid out App. Amazing image resolution, and easy to ready, but its not a free apps costs 5$ for each magazine.

Readers Digest

This is one app which is fun to read. But might get lost with the navigation in the start. Needs some practice just to make sure you can get back home every time.

NFS

With iPad packing loads of GPU power, it would be a shame not to put it to its use.

NFS

NFS

NFSInfinity Blade

I was eager to try out this game, as the graphics are said to be stunning, and yes they were amazing. But the game was too repetitive. It’s more of same level again and again. Starts to feel bored after few bloodlines.

IB

IB

IB

IB

IB

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Tablet War

16 07 2011

Ipad, Xoom, Flyer, Transformer.. Man! Competition on mobiles have now shifted towards tablets now. Tablets are not something which came to market lately, they have been in market for very long. But no one seemed to care much for them in those day, now its such a craze for these, that people are actually selling body parts to lay their hands on one. Come on guys is it really worth your body parts??

Only reason which i could come up with for this madness is the second generation of tablets. Previous generation were bulky, runs desktop OS which are not optimised for tablet use, poor performance, and low battery. All these have now been fixed, tablets comes out with OS which are designed just for touch, loads of apps just for tablets, good battery life and compactness.

After all the tablet talk, i was finding them a useful tool for my projects. Since had to keep track of data, make notes, design models etc, and tablets seem to make the perfect tool for it. With so much tablets on the market it was time to pick the right choice. After a quick research came down to 3 tablets

HTC Flyer

Pro

  •  It is excellent as a tool for note taking with its stylus.
  • Compact 7 inch size.
  • Runs Andriod.

Cons

  • Extra bucks for the stylus, damn! come on guys you advertise along with it and ask ppl to shell more money for it.
  • Note taking app does has no handwriting recognition.
  • Runs Gingerbread. Even my phone runs tat, makes me realise its again a blown up version of my phone.

Motorola Xoom

Pro

  • Excellent set of ports
  • Expandable memory
  • Large Display
  • Runs Honeycomb
  • Good Batterylife
  • Dual core power

Cons

  • A bit too heavy for portable use.
  • Runs Honeycomb- i would say that in cons too, since being a tablet OS open to app manufactures, Google actually have no control over the screen size. It runs on tablets from 7 inch size to 10+ inchers, and now sony comes out with a split screen s1. Making it really hard for developers to make an app which would run good on all screen.
  • Not sure why, but it costs more than ipad when it comes to contract.

Ipad 2

Pro

  • Dual core power
  • Excellent screen
  • Light weight compared to its competitor
  • Tons on apps
  • Excellent speed

Cons

  • As usual a closed source OS with Apple having the final say on everything
  • Very bad Camera. 0.7 MP cam, a good strategy to make ppl go for next version of Ipad. Still atleast could have made that a 1MP.
  • No ports, no memory expansion. Dont ask why, you get answer as Apple trademark

 

So atlast decided with Ipad 2. Even though it has a very bad camera, i doubt i would be using a camera from a 9inch tablet to take pics around. Also already have a phone with really good camera for tat purpose. So iPad it is!!!





Ipod Touch – not touchy afterwards

15 02 2011

Its been quite a long time since i had purchased a gadget. So decided its time to burn my pocket on it again. With no idea on what category of gadget to go for and which one to buy, its was research time. After a considerable time spend on that, the final decision came to MP3 players. So now for the next round of research on which MP3 to go for. Should it be just a player with has no other options than playing songs stored in it, or should it be something that i can experiment and crash :P.

So the decision was taken to go for ipod touch. Its one player which is cheap for its features and also has the option to do few experiments on. With its current generation supporting for camera and video, its a pretty good choice for a regular use. So goes another 300$ to Apple.

This being my second ipod touch, after my nephew was successful crashing my 1st gen iPod Touch. I would say this has considerable improvements compared to the previous touch both in terms of hardware and software. Its faster, its has a richer display, its slimmer and also the camera. When it comes to the OS its got the most awaited multi-tasking option, Atlas Apple starting to include customer feedbacks to the phone. Although widgets would have been useful, i don’t seem to miss that much in the phone. The other things that made me choose ipod was the good collection of apps. Even though most of the apps are useless to me, its a good time-kill to check out new apps when bored :D.

Still Apple keeps up to its stand of not supporting Flash and Silverlight. Apple webpage boasts about ipod touch having HD video recording capability. The lowest video resolution to qualify as HD is 1280×720. Some how Apple hopes to stick to jus one of the number and still think it is HD video. The video resolution supported by ipod is something like 960×720, No way its a HD video. With video recording feature, next comes the Photos, touch has one of the worst camera resolution for a still camera. Even the still camera resolution is the same as video at 960×720. This makes the camera resolution of touch at something around 0.7Mp. Makes me wonder how the products are still selling as hotcakes.

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Installing Image libraries in mac

7 01 2010

Mac does come with OpenGL and GLUT preinstalled, But when it comes to Image processing libraries , they rely on mac specific libraries. Since my project requires a cross platform structure, i had ignore the preinstalled libraries and search for cross platform libraries. When it comes to Image Procession the most popular library is OpenCV by intel

OpenCV

OpenCV logoOpenCV is very popular and it is has the similar features of image processing as Matlab Image Processing toolbox. Installation of OpenCV is pretty straight forward. There are few binary available in the net , but most of which work only for the sample program attached in the binary. So its better to compile the framework from the source.

Installation:

Step 1: Download the Source from sourceforge

Step 2: Extract the package

Step 3: Remove the spaces present in the extracted folder name (ie rename the folder to some simple name , I use OpenCVsrc)

Step 4:Open Terminal and go to path where the OpenCV is extracted

>cd <path>/OpenCVsrc

then run the shell script

>./make_frameworks.sh

Step 5: Once this is done , a new folder is created under OpenCVsrc with the name OpenCV.framework. Copy this to the framework directory.This directory is under /Library/Frameworks.

And now the framework is available under xcode frameworks to add and compile. OpenCV for mac is available only in i386 architecture. So the architecture in Xcode needs to be changed before compilation. An alternative method to install OpenCV is to use cmake.

CImg

CImg LogoCImg is a opensource Library which provides simple classes and methods to Load/save various file formats, access pixel values, display, resize/rotate/mirror/filter and draw primitives. There are loads of classes , which makes programming with cImg easier. Buts its not as powerful as OpenCV.

CImg needs no installation, just needs ImageMagick to run. Image magick takes care of the behind the scene operations on CImg.

CImg can be downloaded , the header file can be directly used to in programs. No compilation necessary.

Program Compilation

>g++ -o <Executable name> <Program name> -O2 -L/usr/X11R6/lib -lm -lpthread -lX11

ImageMagick

ImageMagick LogoImage Magic, another opensource image processing library . This is required by CImg for compilation. This has variety of features like

Format conversion, Transform , Resize , Transparency, Draw, Animation , Special effects etc.

The installation is as follows

Step 1: Download the Binaries from imagemagick or from the ftp site

Step 2:Create (or choose) a directory to install the package into and change to that directory, for example:

$magick> cd $HOME
Step 3:Next, extract the contents of the package. For example:
$magick> tar xvfz ImageMagick-x86_64-apple-darwin10.2.0.tar.gz
Step 4:Set the MAGICK_HOME environment variable to the path where you extracted the ImageMagick files. For example:

$magick> export MAGICK_HOME=”$HOME/ImageMagick-6.5.8″
Step 5:If the bin subdirectory of the extracted package is not already in your executable search path, add it to your PATH environment variable. For example:

$magick> export PATH=”$MAGICK_HOME/bin:$PATH”
Set the DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable:
$magick> export DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH=”$MAGICK_HOME/lib”
Step 6:Finally, to verify ImageMagick is working properly, type the following on the command line:
$magick> convert logo: logo.gif
$magick> identify logo.gif
$magick> display logo.gif
Program Compilation

g++ -o <Executable Name> <Program Name> `Magick++-config –cppflags –cxxflags –ldflags –libs`

OpenCV is in i386 architecture while CImg and ImageMagick are in x86 architecture. OpenCV is dependent on third party libraries like libjpeg etc for handling various file formats, so have a backup of the libraries before modifying these libraries.

Reference:

OpenCV

CImg

ImageMagick





Snow Leopard arrives

30 08 2009

Just received my copy of the apples latest OS Snow Leopard

SnowLeopardThere was a lot of expectation for this OS , as its making in competetion with the MS windows 7. So was eager to see what it hold and started with started up the DVD. Well i was disappointed with this build.

  • Installation was pretty simple , Just a confirmation is asked and the process starts. First the open applications are closed and the installtion takes 50 mins to complete. Then started the computer and there were few thinks that i liked       >The new OS ran on my setting and nothing was changed except for the logon screen wallpaper all other setting were same.

>The Stacks are made scrollable , which is a pretty cool featur.

>Quicktime is now more powerful than ever. Starting with the cool borderless player , its also able to record videos , record screen , edit movies on the fly

>Realtime Icon preview, Icons can be resized in realtime and the content of the file can be viewed , even the movies can be played as they are icons. This is a neat feature for people with loads of files .

> Considerable faster application loading.

Even though theres loads of improvement , the main feature i was looking out for in this build was the exchange support. I not been able to configure the Exchange . Even the import mailbox option does not do good work in importing the mailbox from my other mail clients. Never expected such a failure from something which was advertised as the main achievement of this build .

What problems i faced after installing snow leopard

> amsn not supported in this build and it crashes.

>Yet to figure out a way to connect to exchange.

>Webcam was not detected after the install.

Some how there is no backward compatibility for amsn . it works fine with leopard but crashes on start with snow leopard. Next is the webcam . Was in for a complete surprise when the ichat couldn’t detect the webcam. At last had to reset the mac to enable cam again

To Reset the mac

>Switch off the mac

> press Shift+Alt+Control+power button  just once

> wait for 5 seconds and then power up the mac

Overall its a good build  if you are not expecting for the exchange support.