Saturday, January 11, 2014

A week with a Pebble

I have been wearing my Pebble now for about a week all the time.  Since I have not worn a watch in a really long time, and this being a smart watch I wanted to see just what it could do for me. I just started a class for work this week, and while we are able to have our cell phones with us, its really not polite to be checking it every 5 minutes.

With the Pebble it was great to have my emails, and texts sent to the watch.  I could look at my watch, see if it was important or something that could wait till later.  Push the button and it would acknowledge the text or email, with the bonus of it looking like you were just checking the time. 

Another useful part of the watch was the ability to change the music on my phone.  Currently I have it setup for Apollo music player but might change it to Pandora.  I tested it in a few different scenarios.  At the gym while it was plugged into the radio, a lot easier to skip a song, or replay a song by the watch then having to walk back over to the radio in the middle of a rep.  

Now the next one might sound a bit crazy, but it was quicker and easier to forward song from the watch while the phone was plugged into the car radio via the aux cable.  This way my hands were on the steering wheel, and just had to move a little bit to push the button to forward or reverse the song.

I know there are a few other apps that integrate with the Pebble watch,  I think there is at least one for Fitness, which I will have to find tonight and get on my watch to check it out.  

With the Glance App there are other things available on the Pebble but so far I have not really found a use for them.  At CES they announced a Pebble App store so this will be interesting to see what other things you will be able to do with your watch.

Mercedes just announced that you can use your Pebble for access to the car, to bad I do not have one of them.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Adventures with a Pebble Watch

I have had my pebble watch now for while probably going on 6-8 months.  But the problem was I was deployed.  Not really any use for it while deployed, did not have my cell phone on me, or even on for the most part of it.

Now that I am back I have charged it, and updated the firmware.  It has only been a little while with it on, so I have not been able to get a real feel for it just yet.  Still trying to figure out what I can use it for.  I have not worn a watch in years, and bought this from Kickstarter on a whim.  

I was able to download a few watch faces for the watch.  And I already knew that I could control music from the watch.  And that is about where my knowledge of Pebble is currently at.

I did find an app called Glance for my Galaxy S III (running CM 11), so I installed that on my phone, and pushed it to the watch. With Glance I am able to get weather feeds, stocks, UK train info (dont have any need for train info where I am from), my cell battery percentage, txt messages, emails, and I guess the same basic stuff you can get with the Pebble Watch.

Photo's of the watch are below.  The first one is a Kickstarter Watch Face, and the second one is from the Glance App.  The pictures are not the greatest, and I have still more to try out with the watch.  Currently stuck on loading something.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

San Diego Maker Faire

Today I brought my daughters to the San Diego Maker Fair at the Del Mar Fair Grounds.   This was the first Maker Fair in San Diego, so I was not sure what to expect as I have not made it to any of the others ones around the US.

To begin the weather was not the best, as it was cold and raining for most of the day, but the event was held in-doors so that was good.  With the lack of known advertisements for this event I was surprised by the amount of people that were there standing in the rain waiting for tickets.  I may be wrong in the lack of advertisement, but I did not hear about this on a radio station, and I don't really pay attention to the news (it could have been on there).  Sometimes I see event notices on twitter, but I found out about it through a friend on Facebook about a week ago. I loved the fact that I was able to purchase the tickets before had on eventbrite and then just show the QR code to get inside.

I think they planners also under estimated the amount of people that were going to show up at this event as it was very hard to move around and get hands on with a lot of the displays.   I was always trying to keep an eye on my daughters, as there was not much walking room between the exhibits. My daughters has a great time walking through and seeing the 3D printers, Laser printers, and even trying to make the derby cars.  I would have liked more stuff with the derby cars besides coloring a block of wood.  There was sand paper but in the end it is still just a block of wood with wheels.  I guess you really can pull out table saws, and the likes at a place like this though.   The quadraptors were also interesting to see but only 1 was actually being flown.  We even saw the air compressed rocket launcher, just like the one I built for my daughters a few years back, and they had folks trying to build rockets for it.

A lot of the booths had lines waiting for people to build what ever they were offering, and some ran early in to the day.  I did not really have a chance to hear any of the speakers talking, nor take part in any of the classes.   Overall I had a great time even though it might sound otherwise.   I just hope that with the great turn out this year they will have it in a bigger area, so they can have bigger exhibits, and more hands-on at the booths.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

San Diego Mini Maker Faire (DEC 7)

I must be late getting to the party as I just found out about this about a day ago.  I have been wanting to go to one of these for a long time, but there have never been any really close to San Diego that I knew about.   I guess that is about to change.

I already got my tickets for my daughters and I for December 7th, and have been telling them all about it.  At this point I don't know what to expect, except that it will probably be really cool, and hope that my daughters have a great time and see what people are making.

Maybe they will find something they would like to try and build or do.   Well this is just a short post to tell you all about the Maker Faire on December 7th over at Del Mar Fair grounds.

The website is San Diego Maker Faire
Also they are still looking for volunteers, so if you are interested hit up the website and help them out.

Hope to see you all there.
I will write a review of the day after the faire next week.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

App Review: CyanDelta

After installing CM10 on my Galaxy SIII, I wanted to check out the newest app out there called CyanDelta. Basically this app is used to download CM10 updates for your phone, but unlike ClockWorkMod, or BBQTools this only downloads what is called a Delta file.

A Delta file is just the changed files in the ROM itself, and it averages about 10 megs, unlike the normal rom which is around 160 megs.  This cuts down on the bandwidth used, and the space used on the phone for updates.

From what I understand CyanDelta creates a file based off your last known good ROM, and from there daily it downloads a Delta file.  From there it recreates the ROM from the one last night adding the Delta file information.  Now that you have a new nightly ROM, you reboot into recovery and start in the install.

Now I have the unlimited plan on my phone so data usage is not such a big deal for me, but for others this is a great app to use.  It is very simple to install and was able to get it up and running in seconds with no problems.

The one question I have about the program is that it shows that you can add a second zip file to the program to install on reboot.  I tried to add the Google Apps but it would not let me.  I may have been doing it wrong as the GAPPS was in my download folder, maybe it needs to be in the CyanDelta folder, will try that next time.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Google Apps for Domains: For the Family

I was thinking of setting up a new email account, and possibly one for my oldest child, but have been trying to figure out which service to use.  I currently use Gmail for my mail, and figured that might be the best to use for children setting up with auto forward all incoming emails to mine.

I wanted to take it one step further and setup a domain for the family, and then use Google Apps for Domains.  Currently stuck at trying to figure out a good domain name and then seeing if its available.    I think  Goggle should have a "Google Apps for Families", it would probably be the same thing as domains.

Once I figure out if and what the domain will be I will write up how I went through setting up the domain, and the accounts if I make them for my children, still not sure on that just yet.  It is/was a part of another idea for that I am not sure that I am going to follow through with.

CM10 Install on SGS 3: Part 3

After re-doing the ODIN for the stock ROM, I was ready to hit the ground running with installing CM10.  I installed ClockWorkMod, and then added the recovery for the SGS III on my phone.  

Next I downloaded the newest CM10 nightly 11/06 and the Google Apps which I think is 20121001 or something close to that. I was thinking of getting the 4.2 Google Apps, and I still might but for now I will stick with the 4.1.2 Google App.

After they all downloaded, I rebooted my phone into recovery, I did a factory reset.  Next I flashed the CM10 rom, and the Google Apps and the rebooted my phone.

The whole flash, reboot and setup process took about 5-10 minutes and from there I was up and running with CM10 on my phone.

I now have CM10 or a variant of it running on my Captivate, Kindle Fire, and Galaxy S3.  Overall I think they process to get CM10 has been made easier then when I first started using CM7.