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Blue Ink Blue Ink
  • New Gadget

    @Ian2: a word of warning...  I tried the FEZ Panda II with the FEZ Touch. All in all it's a decent playground, but there are a few issues you may want to consider.

    - Memory is scarce. As in really, really scarce. Tens of KB are enough to write a pretty complex program in C#, but if you plan on having an UI you won't be able to fit resources in there. Plan on having a micro SD on hand.

    - Transferring stuff to the screen is slow. If you try to use a font larger than just a few pixels, you will get flickering. It might be possible to write a better driver for the parallel interface, but that will require a professional ARM compiler as the free ones tend to bloat the firmware and further reduce the amount of memory you can play with.

    - The touch screen is nothing to write home about. Aside of the odd spike that it's relatively easy to filter, you also get quite some lag if you happen to be writing to the screen. Workable, but don't expect to emulate a modern touch UI, it doesn't even come close.

    - The GHI assemblies are less than great. Lots of underscores (it's silly, I know, but it really irks me), and poor integration with the .NET MF. Again, it's workable, just not very clean. And the documentation just sucks.

    On the plus side: the Arduino compatibility is good. Lots of hardware you can buy and use, with the only drawback that you may have to write a driver or, at least, a .NET layer to make the device usable.

    Bottom line: it's a decent deal to experiment with the technology. But if you plan to do anything more serious (and you need an UI), find a better device.

  • What's your thought about no more legal medicinal marijuana stores?

    @cbae: I see how local law enforcement could just turn the other way, but I cannot understand how you could keep a shop. How do you file your taxes? Pleading the Fifth?

  • Solving real world problems, a YAGNI warning

    @vesuvius: the Reuters version seems a lot less dramatic. There are several occasions where you may be at more than ten minutes from the nearest restroom, even when travelling on a bus.

  • Only in America

    @ComeOnBeer: "Only in America"... hmm, not really. It's the very fabric that fashion is made of, turning the concept of "you do X because you are Y" into "you are Y because you do X". It applies everywhere, including the programming community.


  • Is There an Afterlife?

    , cbae wrote

    I don't think that there's any evidence that consciousness is anything more than synapses in the brain firing.

    In order to prove anything like that, shouldn't we have a rigorous definition of consciousness first? Barring solipsism (which is just a convoluted way to beg the question) and Turing tests (I wouldn't pass one most Mondays), there isn't much left to work on, I'm afraid.

  • WP7 for beginner developer

    @W3bbo: according to the documentation I could find, the mandatory hardware didn't change, they added support for other stuff like the Front facing camera, but it's still optional.

  • RIP Zune

    @Bass: judging from the fact that it was never released worldwide, it would seem that sales were not one of the top concerns. It did serve as an incubator for WP7; might have been its main purpose.

  • Ideas for Xbox 720

    @cbae: it's interesting... your list of features for a new generation game console doesn't include anything that is even remotely related to gaming. Legitimate, of course, but it sounds like going to a famous steakhouse just to order desserts.

    You have a point, though: the Xbox could be an interesting platform to expand. The problem with most home automation systems I've seen is that everything seems to be incompatible with everything else. Oh, and peripherals cost a fortune. Microsoft has the kind of culture it takes to make a competitive ecosystem grow... sometimes. (other times they just drop the ball until a few years after the release of the iLightbulb in 2020).

  • Anyone with an LG Optimus 7? How do you feel about it?

    @Bas: you may want to wait for the Nokia conference even if you don't plan buying a Nokia: unless they announce a major delay, or a total disaster, it could be enough to make all the existing WP7 devices look "previous gen" and this usually causes nice price adjustments (the fact that the 500lbs gorilla is finally entering into the room also helps).

  • Anyone with an LG Optimus 7? How do you feel about it?

    @Bas: I tried it extensively before getting a Samsung. What I can tell you is that the screen is defintely underwhelming in general and totally useless in direct sunlight (that was my primary annoyance with phones). On the plus side, I must say that I may have misjudged the physical buttons: "soft" buttons look much sleeker, but they are also way too easy to hit by accident. Maybe I'm just holding it wrong™ Smiley

    DLNA is also a big plus.

    As for battery life, I'm not sure it makes a big difference: most phones will get you through one day of casual usage without charging, but as soon as you start playing games or video extensively performance drops dramatically. I don't think a few extra mAh will be noticeable.