Sunday, October 30, 2011

Road towards sense-less-ness

When I migrated from Huawei U8150 to HTC Desire Z I was spellbound by the sheer awesomeness of HTC "Sense" UI. Sense is HTC's way of enhancing the android experience. But as the hours passed and I stuffed my  device with a plethora of apps and games, the Sense started to act more senselessly than even Amsterdam may have foreseen. Random hiccups while loading menus, insane loading times when accessing contacts / dialer or even settings. This is when I gave up on being sense-abled.

I was not new to Android hacking and had been using CyanogenMod 7(CM7) a gingerbread based Android ROM on my Huawei U8150, so I decided to bite the bullet and root my few days old Desire Z.
I downgraded > rooted > flashed
Lo and behold, the speedy , stable , efficient CM7 was now running through my device's veins. It was minimalistic , uncluttered and was totally sense-less. I used it for a couple of weeks and I submitted my will to the Cyanogen (all hail the CM devs !!!). 

However, my road to smooth user experience on CM7 was not a very straight path. 

  • CM7 offered a very basic dialler with no T-9 contact lookup
  • Rather flat looking UI (but very responsive)
  • Stock messaging app sucked holy pot
  • Calendar offered very basic functionality
  • Stock gingerbread keyboard is rather ummm... lets just say "below par"
  • No built-in notes 

But at the same time, I had enough free RAM and free space to paint it my own way. So I decided to explore.
Here is a compilation of some software that I stuck to after exhaustive testing of gazillions of apps.

Predictive Dialer

Touchpal Dialer

Gallery App

The default gallery makes you wait ages before it can load images if you happen to have hundreds of them. Here is an excellent replacement app which IMO should be the default gallery for android.


Jorte Calendar
With its simple and intuitive interface and ability to sync with google calendars and being absolutely free, this has to be the best calendar app on the market.



Go SMS delivers a complete package for a messaging app very intuitive user interface, support for custom smily sets, emoji sets , themes ,threaded view, and is ultra responsive and is absolutely Free.


ColorNote Notepad

Color Note is a notepad app which give you a better note editing experience.
Color Note is a simple notepad app. It give you a quick and simple notepad editing experience when you write notes, memo, email, message, shopping list and todo list. Color Note makes taking a note easier than any other notepad and memo apps.

Friday, October 28, 2011

How to Break Into a Windows PC (And Prevent It from Happening to You)

If you're trying to break into a Windows computer—whether you've forgotten your password or are hatching an evil plan—you have quite a few options. Here's how to do it, and how to keep your own computer protected.
There are a few methods to breaking into a computer, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.  The article at Lifehacker explains three of the best among them.

Full article @ Lifehacker

Motor drivers: half h-bridge with brake and more

Here’s a nice little circuit that will drive a motor and allow you to stop its rotation, giving your robot a set of brakes. It’s part of [JM's] post about the in’s and out’s of building microcontroller friendly motor controllers (translated).
This particular setup is a half H-bridge. It allows you to drive the motor in one direction only. The MOSFET used on the ground-side of the motor doesn’t actually need to be there. This is the brake which let you electronically stop the motor from spinning. Without it, the motor will keep turning under its own momentum when the half-bridge is shut off. Depending on the application this can be a big problem. There’s a great demonstration of the circuit braking a fast spinning motor in the video clip below the fold.
Full article @ Hack a day

What Is Google Ripples?

Google released a bunch of new Google+ features yesterday, including "What's Hot" and Instagram-ish photo filters—those weren't big surprises. But Google Ripples? We didn't see that one coming. It's weird, it's interesting... but what exactly is it?

Google Ripples is a new graphical component to Google+…

Full article @ Gizmodo

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Espier Launcher transforms your Android Homescreen into iOS Springboard

Being an Android fan and a geek, I would never praise Apple for their uberly expensive media device cum phone an iPhone.But even the likes of me would not disagree to the fact that Apple offers the best user experience among the competitors. Though it takes a lot of courage to say this but I publicly agree that Apple iPhone iOS has superior UI to any other mobile platform.

Having said that, I recently read about this new Espier Launcher from Addictive Tips. Though I am pretty much tired of trying different Homescreens and launcher apps and have finally settled on "Go Launcher" ( I may add a review for it if time allowed), this new Launcher could convince me to try it, You'll be surprised at what you get out of this nifty little app.

Follow the link below for full article about Espier Launcher

Full Article @ Addictive Tips

Winamp for Android Updates, Now Syncs with Macs Wirelessly

Winamp for Android unveiled a number of updates this morning, including a new Winamp for Mac Sync beta app that extends wireless music and video sync to Mac users, access to Spinner's MP3 of the day from your Android phone, and a new premium version of the app with extended features.

Full article @ Lifehacker

How to Sound Like You Know What You’re Talking About (Even When You Don’t)

We can't all be human encyclopedias, and once in a while, you're bound to stumble upon a conversation on a topic you know absolutely nothing about. To avoid being left out or seeming ignorant, here are a few tips for "tricking" people into thinking you're well informed. Full article @ Lifehacker