Tuesday, 28 December 2010

adding google bookmarks from ipad/iphone safari

Just worked this out based on the tweet this options in tweetings for tweeting from inside safari.

if you create a new bookmark to any page then edit the address of the bookmark to contain the following:


change the title of the bookmark to something like "add to google bookmarks"

now when you want to add a page to google bookmarks you can just press the new bookmark and you will be presented with the add a google bookmark form, complete this and press add and you are done.

press back a few times to get back to the page you were viewing.

update: just found a similar way of doing it that was already posted on a forum which works better, see it here

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Of snow and errors

The snow kind of messed up the plan for today so ended up working on my android app.

Released an update to Droid 2 CAD to deal with an error report that came back from marketplace and to make the app more user friendly.

If GPS is disabled the user is now prompted to turn it on as well it some checks are now carried out to make sure required data exists before other functions will run.

I used the code posted on stackoverflow.com to create a dialogue box if the GPS is disabled. The dialog code is posted here

Friday, 17 December 2010

GPS Android Application

Finally published what was GPS2CAD to android marketplace. I had just pressed publish when i googled gps2cad and found there a is commercial application already called this. So i have renamed my app to Droid 2 CAD. Unfortunately the android app sites seem to still have the record of it's earlier name but hopefully these will drop of shortly.
Chalk that one up to experience I guess.

Apologies if this has caused any confusion.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Autocad WS

you cad now download autocad WS from apple's app store for the ipad. this can read DXF files that are witten by gps2cad which can be transfered to the ipad via email or dropbox.

time for some more work on gps2cad i think.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010


A few weeks ago I released my first Application onto the Android Marketplace. I thought that i would get a few downloads but not many, the application I published is a very basic calculator useful only to RF aerials engineers. But at time of writing I have had 98 downloads with around 50% of those still installed and active.
This does make me want to carry on writing apps and releasing them. I have a few tweaks to make then i plan to release my GPS2CAD app and see if anyone can make use of it. it is based on the google notepad tutorial code but allows you to take points and then then export them as a dxf file for use with CAD software. I have posted about it before, i when i wrote it i was excited about using the GPS to create CAD data but over estimated the accuracy of the GPS in the phone, so i will release it and see if i get any feedback if i do, i may carry on working on it.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

A month of iPad

I have been the owner of my iPad for about a month now and thought I would share a few thoughts on it after a months use. I bought the pad with the view that I would be travelling about a lot and so did not want to be carrying a laptop around for what would really be tweeting,checking email and a few hours reading websites or ebooks.

It has been quite an eye opener how little I have used my computer when at home. Routine tasks like checking email and reading news have now been done using the pad, if I am at home it picks up my wifi network and away somewhere the 3G connnection was been good enough to do what I wanted.

One of the things that i have really enjoyed using the pad for is reading books, I have just changed job so i am reading about a lot of new systems and to be able to get PDF copies of the support guides and easily read them has been a big bonus for using the pad. Work has access to books247.com meaning that as long as I can access the net I can read quite a selection of tech manuals and such.

Some of the games available for the pad are quite cool, I quite happily lost track of time playing plants vs zombies for most of the night. The whack a mole style level is really cool, This has also lead to a friend noting that it is to easy to spend a lot of apps with the thinking 'it's only 59p'. It all adds up.

So far my favourite Twitter app has been tweetings, this is largely due to it's filter feature which is a godsend on a Saturday night when every other tweet seems to involve xfactor.

If you are a guitar player then tab toolkit when used on iPad is a really good experience, a friend said it was good on his iPhone but with the extra screen space it is really good. Tabs can be searched for and played back all within the app and it is compatible with guitar pro tabs.

One of the things I did miss was flash video it was not a huge thing but I enjoy watching zero punctuation and safari was unable view the flash video on the site, this is an issue that has been the cause of much talk and a some marketing for android in that it does have a flash capable browser. This has changed this week with the release of the skyfire web browser, this has the functionality to transcode the flash video into h.264 which can then be viewed on the iPad. It takes awhile to come through but it does allow me to see the one or two videos that I was missing.

Apart from that I have not had any issues with the pad, until I started this post and it found that the blogger post editor does not work correctly with the iPad's safari browser, I am having to enter this post into the HTML code view, the compose text box would not allow me to enter any text.

So all together a good experience and I am very happy with my newest gadget purchase.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Finally fixed it.......

Today after much head scratching , we managed to sort out why some software licences would not work.The issue has been going on for awhile and we were starting to run out of ideas.

It turns out that if your application is licensed using flex LM or flex enabled, it uses the first local hard disc to get a volume label ID. This is all well and good as long as the first drive that you have is C: drive, but everyone has c: drive first right?

Wrong, if you have tools like Microsoft Application Virtualisation (APP V) that can create virtual drives you can set these to use Drive B, In this case it was APP V causing the issue, once the APP v client was set to use another drive and a new licence file was create and authorised the software installs and works fine.

The error return by the FlexLm software is that the hardware has been changed or the licence file is corrupt. A good indicator is that if you compare the drive ID shown when creating the host file in LMtools (part of the FLEX LM tools) with that returned by typing vol c: in a command prompt, the two values should be the same ignoring a hyphen shown by the vol command.

worth remembering if you use both of these technologies

Thursday, 2 September 2010

GPS 2 CAD & Android

I have recently picked up a project that I started awhile ago (I mention the idea in a previous post dated Jan 2010) when i started to learn android application development, after reading a friends blog on 7cache, a geocaching application he is working on for windows phone 7 it kind of got me wanting to try and finish an app idea i started and never went back to.

The idea behind the app was to use the GPS hardware in a phone to capture points and record them so that they could be used for CAD/mapping applications later on. When I started this I did not realise how in accurate the GPS could be, I knew that you were lucky to be accurate to within 5 metres of the point, but thought that the error would be reasonably constant once the GPS was stable. It would seem that this is not always the case.

The basic application started of life as the android notepad tutorial, the note editor was modified to record the GPS point data along with a title. To try and make the data useful afterwards I added an export to Dxf function (dxf is a drawing exchange format from Autodesk used by a large number of CAD applications). The dxf file contains points located by using x,y,z Cartesian co-ordinates which were converted from the GPS Latitude, Longitude and altitude recordings using some formulas to calculate bearing and range, along with a bit of basic trig (which i actually managed to remember the formulas for even though I have not used them for years).

An view capability was also added to allow the recorded points to be visualised while still on the phone. This was basic on the Open GL ES graphics demo from the android SDK with a zoom in and out function added.

This was where until last weekend I left it, the points plotting was in accurate even for the GPS and it was a bit lacking in other areas and I was not even sure if the app would be useful if I ever did do any more work on it.

I have now added a Map view so that recorded points can be shown on a map using the Google Maps API, this lets you see what you have stored and how accurate the GPs actually is. Adding this has actually made the whole thing feel like it has a purpose or some aim apart form me learning Java and more about android.

My current intent is to spend sometime trying to test if resultant data is at all accurate, the screens below are taken using the DDMS tool within eclipse to drive the GPS co-ordinates and take screen shots of the emulator and so are not really a good representation of accuracy of output.

Future plans are add an export latitude and longitude to file as well as look into a format that can be imported into a desktop application like Google Earth (KML or Kmz maybe).

some screen shots:

Dxf file viewed and lines added using DoubleCAD XT

Sunday, 20 June 2010

android market place

if you are having problems downloading apps from android marketplace and have recently changed your account to a gmail address, change it back to googlemail.com in your gmail settings and the problem with marketplace should be gone.

more details

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Android development

Just started looking at writing Android apps, Ported over my VSWR calculator from the Java mobile version that i did awhile ago and looking into something that uses the GPS and Open GL capability. Also maybe the Barcode scanner. So a few things to look at and to use as learning projects.

Just been reading the market place agreement and i think that will take a few cups of tea to get through :(