Subscribe: Andy Johns' Blog
Preview: Andy Johns' Blog

Andy Johns' Blog

Andy's twisted brain....

Copyright: Andy Johns

Opinions wanted - Roku Netflix player

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 21:16:30 GMT

Originally posted on:

I'm thinking of getting a Roku to stream netflix to the bedroom wirelessly (802.11g).

The Xbox360 works great in family room, but the bedroom is on edge of my routers range.

Opinions? Any Roku competitors I should be aware of?



iPhone presentation options == few

Sat, 07 Nov 2009 19:43:12 GMT

Originally posted on:

I gave an iPhone app presentation yesterday. It turned out well, but I wasn't pleased with my projector options. I went with the webcam aimed at the device solution. Glare sucked, my fingers got in the way, but it was generally viewable and allowed me to show iPhone features that are not supported on the simulator. Still it lacked the quality and polish I was looking for. When I do this presentation to a group of 100 or 500, or to the CEO or the founder of my company I'd prefer something slicker.

Sure, there's a few "unofficial" solutions out there, but they involve jailbreaking your iPhone. Not something I want to do with my company development phone, especially when you work for a Fortune 500 company. We need quality and polish, but also I need it to be above the board.

So Apple, what gives? We've seen that the iPhone is capable of displaying it's screen for projection, we know people have done it. Why won't you release it?



Surface/Win7/MacBook Pro

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 05:49:15 GMT

Originally posted on:

I'm lucky enough to get to dabble with the Surface SDK, so I figured, let's try and install it on my MacBook
Pro running Windows 7..... Very simple install. No tricks needed and now I have the Surface simulator running on my Windows 7 MacBook. Very nice.

A laptop is great for running the Surface simulator since to simulate two touchpoints you need two mice. The trackpad is one, and you only need to plug in an additional USB mouse to get the other. The trackpad as a second mouse for Surface work seems easier. When using two standard mice my left hand (I'm right handed) always has trouble with the mouse. It's hard to hold and seems unnatural. In contrast, a finger on the trackpad is ok with my left hand.

The only thing that would make this setup even better would be if Windows 7 and the Surface simulator could take advantage of the multi-touch capabilites of the MacBook Pro trackpad. I figure this is a driver issue, and I'm sure Apple is in no rush to write a driver for the tracepad that exposes its multi-touch capabilites to Windows 7, but still I guy can dream... ;)



Tale of Two installs – Windows 7

Mon, 12 Oct 2009 17:00:07 GMT

Originally posted on:

So I’ve had a few Windows 7 VMs I’ve been playing with, but I wanted to put the new OS on some real hardware and experiment with the install process, so this weekend I had some time and gave it a whirl. I did two installs, one an upgrade process, the other a clean install:

The upgrade was a upgrading a Vista Home Premium system to Windows 7 Ultimate. Besides testing the install process, the goal here was stability. The Vista system was problematic, gave me BSOD almost daily (Nvidia driver issues, but nothing could resolve them.) The upgrade process was smooth, REALLY smooth.  I generally avoid upgrades, as I prefer clean installs, but I wanted to give it a try in this case and wow was I impressed. The upgrade took quite a bit of time, hours in fact, but when it was done the system has been complete stable, and all users, settings, and programs that had previously been installed on Vista were working without a problem on the upgraded OS. And after a couple of days of use I haven’t encountered a single BSOD or any other problem. Very nice job Microsoft! I’ve been installing and supporting Windows OS’s since Windows 3.1 and I have to say this was the smoothest I’ve ever done.

The clean install was on a MacBook Pro. I’m taking it to PDC next month and I figured I can’t show up with only Mac OS at PDC! J I used BootCamp to partition the drive then installed Windows 7 clean. I figured I’d have some issues with drivers, or incompatibilities, but again I was pleasantly surprised. The MacBook comes with a disk with drivers for Windows (Vista drivers I assume) which got me halfway there. I also installed an updated multi-touch trackpad driver from the Apple site, and two Nvidia drivers, one for the display, one for some motherboard components. After which the system just worked. I didn’t even have issues with the sound that I’ve heard reports of from Windows 7 beta. Afterward, Windows 7 did tell me my video driver was out of date, and suggested I “upgrade” to an older version of the Nvidia driver. I assume this is just a minor versioning issue, or the driver I picked (the latest available) is not fully Windows certified yet. I simply told the OS to ignore the message and it hasn’t bothered me with it again. After the hours-long upgrade process, I was expecting the clean install to also take considerable time, but it did not. It was very fast. I wasn’t timing it or anything but I’d guess at considerably less than an hour.

The installs are only a few days old, so I need to give them both a longer shakeout period, but so far they seem stable and solid. Window 7 has so many polished edges it’s really nice after the roughness of Vista. I look forward to using this OS for some years to come.



Election Results

Wed, 05 Nov 2008 16:31:50 GMT

Originally posted on: The Obama landslide was just what we needed; finally after eight long years of poor leadership we have the potential to make progress once again. I have high hopes for Obama and the Democratic congress. At the same time we raise our glasses in celebration of Obama's victory, I must pour off a few drops of wine in sadness for the behavior of my fellow Californians. I cannot understand how every major elected leader, Republican and Democrat, Schwarzenegger to Pelosi can urge us to vote no on Prop 8, and still, flush with money from out of state sources (mostly from Utah) Prop 8 can still pass. So while it's a happy day for civil rights in that we have our first black president, it's also a sad day when the most populous state in the country chooses to amend their constitution to specifically discriminate against a group of people. -Andy [...]