All posts tagged Hints & Tips

Silicon Milkroundabout

Today I went to a very interesting event with a very silly name… Silicon Milkroundabout, held in the Bar Music Hall in Shoreditch.

I’d only heard about the event a couple of days before from a post to the London Android mailing list, and wasn’t really sure what to expect, but as I didn’t have anything much else on I thought I’d pop along and take a look around.

What I found was quite an exciting mix of startups and well established names all pitching to a packed bar, full of developers of all types and skill levels, in the hope of filling a wide range of vacancies. Everyone from Last.fm to MindCandy were there, along with a whole bunch of smaller teams still in stealth mode and there was a really good buzz going around. Everyone was very friendly, and I talked to several others who had just popped along to check it out like me and everyone agreed it was far more exciting than they had expected.

I think it was a great event overall, and I don’t think I’ve been to one quite like it before. It had a real feeling that, after the last few crappy years, things are starting to pick up in the UK tech world and the money and funding (and therefore jobs and interesting work) are starting to appear again.

And possibly the best thing about it… they’d gone to great pains to ensure there were no spiky haired recruitment consultants there, only companies with positions to fill and people with the skills to fill them.

Well done to the guys at Songkick for organising it, and lets hope it’s the start of something regular.

Book Review – Beginning Android Games

Beginning Android Games is a new book by Mario Zechner and published by Apress. Mario is the very clever chap behind the libGDX library I’ve mentioned here a few times in the past, so he knows what he’s doing.

But this book isn’t about libGDX, instead I remember reading Mario saying somewhere that the aim of the book was to enable you to build your own libGDX-like library by the end of it, and that’s pretty much what it does.

Cutting to the chase, I’ve only had the book for a day or two and I’ve only had a chance to really skim it so far, but from what I can see this appears to be the best book available for anyone wanting to get into game development for Android devices.
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‘Send Later’ from Gmail with Boomerang

By default Gmail doesn’t include any way of scheduling your email sends. If you’re a nocturnal coder like me sending clients emails at 4am can give the wrong impression, so I’ve been looking for a way of scheduling them to be sent first thing in the morning instead.

I just found what seems like quite a good one, Boomerang for Gmail, which when installed adds a bunch of handy new functionality to your standard Gmail interface…
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LibGDX & OGLES2 – My First Triangle (pt.1)

I recently bought the OpenGL ES 2.0 Programming Guide, seems pretty good so far. Unfortunately it’s quite iPhone centric, but the basic principles and OGLES2 code is the same for Android. If you’ve done any OGLES1 work before you’ll find a lot has changed, it’s moved from a fixed pipeline to being completely shader based so requires quite a bit of re-learning.

I’m using LibGDX to ease the pain of getting started, but unfortunately the ‘My First Triangle’ tutorial on the LibGDX wiki is still only OGLES1 based. So, after a few false starts (mostly due to being on a Mac, which appears to be the worst platform for learning OGLES on) I thought it’d be useful to re-write the tutorial focusing on OGLES2, so here we go…
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Android Screen Cast Software

If you ever need to capture videos of what’s on your Android screen there’s a pretty nifty little tool called Android Screen Cast available here…

http://code.google.com/p/androidscreencast/