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Most Recent Posts
Tuesday, December 9 2014
The difference between my encounters with institute presidents at RPI and Brown were night and day; and both seem to fit with others' experiences.
Sunday, December 7 2014
[18:37:08] matt [wronka.org]/Psi.cor I've switched back to Android 4.4 (CM-11, "Kitkat"). The following were issues I found with Android 5.0 ("Lollipop"):
* fdroid repos don't work, which is annoying (https://gitlab.com/fdroid/fdroidclient/issues/111)
* some Activesync servers don't work—I've only seen this reported with Horde (and I had the issue with both 5.0 and 5.2; https://bugs.horde.org/ticket/13702)
Back on CM-11, using the ART runtime, Firefox Sync (Weave/"Deprecated") also fails, apparently with a Unicode string error. It works fine with Dalvik. I don't know if this would have been an issue on Lollipop as well which uses ART by default. I didn't look for a specific bug for this, but was surprised that this sync was still supported since it was supposed to go away several versions ago (https://bugs.horde.org/ticket/13702). Apparently work on making the new service easy to use by third parties is either hard or just not a priority—the whole issue seems to have been bungled and now everyone's stuck with a mess. (https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=989756#c14)
I also missed some of the UI elements from CM-11, like the circular battery indicator (is this a theme added by CM?) The settings menu was also more usable on CM-11. In general, Lollipop seemed to waste space, although I had mixed feelings about the task switching interface (it did seem to show more options at once, but made the active surface a bit small on a phone screen). A lot of Lollipop was flat, and Apple-like, looking pretty without giving the user any indication of whether interfaces were scrollable or otherwise how to interact with the device.
Unlike other reports, I did not run into any issues with WiFi or battery life on Lollipop—in fact, both seemed to be at least as good if not more reliable than on CM-11 and CM-10.2 but I don't have any objective tests for that. Specifically, I thnk my worst battery behaviour was in part to K9 synching my mail, and I haven't set that back up.
Saturday, December 6 2014
[17:51:38] matt [wronka.org]/Psi.cor Work switched from Zimbra to MicroSoft Exchange some time back, and I've stopped synchronizing my calendar with my Nexus 4 since then (instead using my Handspring Visor Edge). The reason was straight forward: the MicroSoft server wanted the ability to wipe my entire device.
This seemed like overreach, and after talking with people in IT, it wasn't intentional, it was just the default. The changes in the AOSP code are pretty straightforward to disable this. I've posted diffs for both KitKat and Lollipop: http://matt.wronka.org/stuff/projects/icpp/android/cyanogenmod/
The KitKat changes also include some clean-up of CM code I didn't find useful (CMUpdater, CMAccounts), these aren't in CM12 yet. If you'd rather cherry-pick the changes for CM11 or AOSP 4.4 there are two AOSP applications to patch: http://matt.wronka.org/stuff/projects/icpp/android/aosp/4.4/
It looks like a lot of refactoring went into the Exchange services in 5.0, the patchset is smaller, but there's a new issue as reported to horde: https://bugs.horde.org/ticket/13702
I can confirm that this is an issue with Android 5.0—the effect is that the device appears to sync, but when it is about to complete it removes all data it received. I have not looked into fixing this yet but appears unrelated to Horde itself.
For now, full builds are at:
http://hume.matt.wronka.org/~matt/tmp/cm-12-20141204-SNAPSHOT-CNJ-mako.zip (Nexus 4, Android 5.0/CM12/Lollipop)
http://hume.matt.wronka.org/~matt/tmp/cm-11-20141122-SNAPSHOT-CNJ-mako.zip (Nexus 4, Android 4.4/CM11/KitKat)
http://hume.matt.wronka.org/~matt/tmp/cm-11-20141114-SNAPSHOT-CNJ-crespo.zip (Nexus S, Android 4.4/CM11/KitKat)
Tuesday, November 25 2014
Tuesday, November 18 2014
Thursday, November 13 2014
Saturday, October 25 2014
Thursday, September 4 2014
Tuesday, August 26 2014
Thursday, August 21 2014
[12:59:53] matt [wronka.org]/Psi.cor I finally picked-up my Lytro Illum Camera after its shipment delay (due to "technical difficulties at the fulfillment center") and found enough time to write-up my initial impressions after fooling around with it for a short time. Since I haven't really tried to take any real shots with it yet—the camera on paper is about on par for 2-D photographically with a 2001 Canon EOS-1D or a 2003 Nikon D2H. ISO at 2300 looked (subjectively) as good as the 2006 Canon EOS 20D at 1600 as a rough guide at noise control (although the much newer Leica X2 also doesn't like shooting above ISO 1600).
[12:59:58] matt [wronka.org]/Psi.cor The on-camera software is the part of the Lytro Illum about which I find myself most pleased. There are four programmable buttons (labeled for auto-focus, auto-exposure lock, hyperfocal-distance focus, and a generically labeled "function" button), as well as one non-programmable "Lytro" button which toggles—basically—focus-peeking. Of course focus peeking on a Lytor camera is a bit different, but it's still quite nice. Zooming and focusing rotation direction are both controlled by the same setting toggle which is reasonable.
[13:00:00] matt [wronka.org]/Psi.cor The hardware has oddly been compared to—if not called—a "DSLR". I guess in this case that stands for "Digital Single Lens Refocusing" camera. It is much larger than I expected, and it is much bigger than my Olympus OM-D E-M5 set-up. It doesn't feel unweildy, though—in fact I'd have preferred a slightly larger body as my right hand does feel a little cramped. I find it natural to handle the camera as if the LCD were a waist-level viewfinder. The camera feels quite natural.
[13:00:01] matt [wronka.org]/Psi.cor The desktop software is the oddest bit. It's better than the version 1 of the software I last used. It has basic controls for exposure, and exposes tilt-shift dials (although given the Lytro focus on style and integration, I'd have expected something a little fancier than two sliders to control this—I'm not sure if I should be happy or dissappointed though). While the camera looks like it was designed by photographers, the software looks like it was designed by software developers who hadn't developed raw images. There's no way of selecting a custom grey point either on the camera or in the software, so you're stuck sliding the temperature and tent which is an inexcusable oversight.