Goals for 2013

Well 2012 was a good year I’d say… in fact with the birth of little Rafferty I’d say it was a great year. But onto 2013; what am I hoping to achieve this year…

Lose a little weight

As per every year I’d really like to be lose a tad more weight. I seem to fluctuate between 11.5 stone and 12.5 stone but I’d to make this more a 11-12 stone window. Hopefully with the Badja being given the all-clear to start excercising again from the doctors in a couple of weeks we’ll start back on with our fitness DVDs. Doing these together is great fun and should hopefully help with this goal.

Give Blood

I know, I know… this has been on my list for the past Lord-knows-how-many years… I must really try to get the ball rolling on this. Bad Todd!

Release a Side Project

Having a couple of side-projects partially designed and developed I really should focus on one and get it released. I already know which one to work on, I just need to spend my time on that rather than being beat by American and French kids on COD Black-Ops II. The side-project I have in mind is an Android app to pair with an existing web service which will also require a web site. This will have a free lite┬áversion as well as a paid version so hopefully this’ll actually give me some insight into what to expect from paid apps in terms of revenue, marketing, support etc.

Run a Code Club

I have been meeting with my local Junior school Cunningham Hill about starting an after-school Code Club. They are very receptive to the idea and hopefully this will all kick-off in the first term or two. I’ve already attended a Code Club workhsop on Scratch and have starting the CRB process by registering as a STEMnet ambassador.

Goals for 2011

Inspired by a few folk around the web I’ve decided to put together a post outlining some of the goals I have for 2011. My thinking was to list here some personal and non-personal goals I’d like to complete and as such set myself up for fall if I fail… hopefully meaning I’ll have more motivation to complete them.

  • Complete work on our house – I’d like for us to complete our intial phase of improvements to our house, this includes replacing all the internal doors, replace all the carpet, fit the new (enlarged) loft hatch, insulate and board the loft and finish making good the works we’ve already started in the kitchen.
  • Give blood – This has been on my long-term list for some years now but I keep chickening out… that has to stop,
  • Slight weight loss – I’d like to get down to around 11 stone, this year I dropped 2 stone but feel a slight further drop would be good.
  • Take up drawing – This is a little vague… I suppose I just want to improve my drawing/illustrating. Perhaps I’ll go on a course or 2… perhaps I’ll just practice more.
  • Release a WordPress theme – Would be nice to have a fully developed theme released into the WordPress theme directory. I have built many themes for projects but all have been bespoke so far.
  • Create another Android App – Following the release (and subsequent lessons learnt) from the development and release of Asssist I’d like to take on a new Android project. I’m still at a loss in terms of what the project could be so please let me know if you have any ideas.
  • Get listsed in the next Web Designer’s Ideas Book – On the face of it this seems a tad vain, and perhaps it is. The core idea behind this is to keep pushing myself to create sites which have that extra punch. To be inspired yourself check out the either volume of the Web Designer’s Ideas Book
  • Get Drafted to DribbbleDribbble is a “show and tell” for designers and I’d just love to be invited into the community… especially as I’ve developed the Android client for the site (Asssist). At present the membership of the site is by invite only. My 1st step to getting drafted is my recently published 3 Pointers page which I’ll keep updated with my latest design snippets which I hope I can share and impress with.

Android – Getting apps to appear on the market

When I first started working on Asssist for Gingerbread Design we all knew that we wanted the app to be available across as many devices as possible. We wanted to cover devices with smaller screens and lower densities such as the HTC Wildfire as well as more advanced devices. Little did I know that being able to do this would take so much searching and trial and error.

And even after trying the app out the on the Android emulator with it’s settings to match the Wildfire (which seemed to work OK) when we came to launch the device in the Google Market it seemed that the device wasn’t being displayed to all users.

We were told our app didn't appear on the market
We were told our app didn't appear on the market

Then, after weeks of searching I came across a little gem of info (sorry can’t remember where)… all you have to do is include the following in your project’s AndroidManifest.xml file.

This seemed to work for me and I hope it does for you too.

Android emulator not installing apps – a solution

During my revisit to app building for the Android platform I started to notice that the emulator (when using Eclipse) was a bit hit and miss when it came to loading the freshly compiled applications onto it. After much surfing on the web I had found that some folk had seen partial succes when killing the adb server. I played with this and I too had some partial success. Then after much trial and error I struck upon a solution that works everytime… it’s not pretty but it does do the job.

The Solution – Installing apps on the emulator

So what I do is this;

  1. Start eclipse
  2. Start the emulator… let it get to the point where it is fully loaded (i.e. at the home screen)
  3. From the command prompt kill the adb server with the command adb kill-server. This adb command is in my C:Program File/Android/app-inventor-extras folder on my windows setup (your may be different)
  4. The above command will cause eclipse to try 11 times to re-initialise the emuulator link. While this is happening (and after) I click the run button… I do this every second until the output in the console tells me that my app is being installed.
  5. Voila!

And that’s it… like I said it’s not pretty but it does mean that my apps install onto my emulator. Note this only needs to be done once, perhaps to set up the link between eclipse and the adb.