hopdoddy burger bar

hopdoddy next to precision camera

What is it? A burger bar. A hipster haven. In Austin Texas. Next to Precision Camera. And the burger’s are pretty good. This is a Classic Burger. With a bite taken out of it. That fits my mouth. Would I go back there? Sure.

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time marches on, especially for dogs

the two charactersI spent the day working and getting ready to catch my flight out to Austin on Thursday. I’m facing another two-plus week in Killeen, just an hour north of Austin. I’ve been watching all the weather reports coming out of Texas and following the forecasts on my cell phone via Weather Underground. Looks like tomorrow will be partly sunny, enough for me to fly into Austin around 10am local time without running into any bad weather. But after that, looks like lots of rain for me to face. I’ve even packed two umbrellas.

I grabbed this frame of the two Labs with my old original E-M5 (I now have two) and the 15mm body cap lens. Just because. I exposed it using the Gentle Sepia art filter, but when I got it out of the camera and into Lightroom, I decided to crop the original raw and then run it through Silver Efex Pro 2. Again, just because.

I’m going to miss those two. Especially Max. This is Max’s last hurrah. His evening walks are limited to the local cul-de-sac right across the street from my home. We take it at his pace. His hips are giving out on him, and it’s not unusual for me to go back and give him a boost back up on his feet when his rear end collapses. What’s startling to me is how quickly this has taken hold of him. Back in February (was it just three months ago?) he was still going on what I’d call a regular, if slow, walk. But these days he picks the cul-de-sac every time. Even he has come to recognize his limitation.

What hits me so hard is his mind is still there. And he knows.

More Fun Now!This is what the two of them were like back in 2008. Ruby is four months and Max is just seven. This year, if Max makes it, he’ll be 15 in August and Ruby will be seven herself. And just to show how far I’ve come with cameras, that one was made with an Olympus E-300 FourThirds DSLR and the original 40-150 f/3.5-4.5 Digital Zuiko. I’ve used a lot of Olympus digital cameras since 2006, or nine years. I bought that E-300 in March of that year.

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alternative calculator updates

I spent a bit of time this weekend working and learning more about Android via Alternative Calculator. These are screen captures from the current implementation running on my Galaxy S4 and Android 5.0.2.

I’ve changed the colors a bit. I got rid of the red display color and picked a dark cyan background. The upper menu bar is an Android blue. These colors will probably change yet again.

I added logic to change the 2nd key and all other affected keys to a dark orange when active. All the keys that are the same color as the 2nd key above will work accordingly. Thus we have the pi constant, the root key, the exponent key, and the inverse trigonometric keys. Once complete the keys revert back to their primary functionality and the key’s background color reverts back to its original color. Or if that’s not what you intended, just press the 2nd key again to revert.

The Deg(ree) key toggles between degrees and Rad(ians). It’s sticky, in that it stays that way unless pressed again. Not even Clear or Clear Entry can change it.

The main algebraic keys now change color to indicate what the last key was pressed in a chain of calculations. I wrote before that one of my biggest pet peeves was being interrupted and when getting back, forgetting where I was at. Hopefully this will help address that problem. Other calculator apps get around this by actually ‘writing’ the full equation as you type it in the display. I personally am not crazy about that, at least now how its implemented. This is, again, something of a compromise.

Finally, I discovered how to set the keys as borderless by setting my custom style parent to “android:Widget.Material.Button.Borderless”. Looks great, but it breaks my current ability to change the key’s background color as I do above. I need to further investigate how to programmatically change the color of a borderless Material button.

Behind the scenes I’ve implemented code for store, recall, and sum, although I’m not so sure sum will last. I’ve never used sum for any reasons. The current number of storage registers is an arbitrary 100 (00-99). I’m also looking at making the registers store imaginary numbers and vectors (both two and three dimensional). Since an imaginary number is usually part of a complex number (two values) it fits within the idea of vectors. For those of you who are wondering what I’m talking about, complex numbers are used in electrical engineering and circuit analysis (among other things).

EE (exponentiation) and the use of parenthesis and algebraic notation are in progress.

There’s also been a bit of refactoring going on. Hard-wired constants, especially strings, are now in strings.xml. That allowed the Java code to be greatly simplified. Hopefully this is a bit more idiomatic Android coding that what I had before.

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yosemite is better for android development than windows 8.1

Android Studio on Windows 8.1

You’re looking at Android Studio version running on Windows 8.1 Update 1 with all patches on top, and then running on Yosemite 10.10.3 (Mac OS X) at the bottom. It’s opened on the exact same project. And when I say exact, I mean the project was copied between the two systems without any intervening edits or changes. My biggest complaint is in how the Design tab renders my application design: it’s broken under Windows and looks perfect under Yosemite.

There are other little differences between the two editors that are too minor to note, but that still give the edge to developing Android in Android Studio on the Mac Mini better than developing in Android Studio on my Samsung Windows notebook. But I will call out that it’s easier to attach my Samsung Galaxy S4 to the Mac Mini than it is to connect it to the Samsung notebook running Windows 8.1. As the slogan goes, with the Mac Mini It Just Works.

There is a certain irony (to me) that I have a better overall experience developing with the mortal enemies tools (Android) on Yosemite. If I were really into conspiracies it would make me wonder if Microsoft is up to its old shenanigans to make sure that such-and-such a competitive application (Android and Android Studio) doesn’t work well on the latest OS platform (Windows 8.1 in this case). Except I know better. I attribute this to sloppy implementation and testing on both Google and Samsung’s parts; Google has morphed Jetbrain’s IntelliJ into Android Studio and is thus responsible for making sure it works the same across all platforms (which also includes Linux, specifically Ubuntu) and with Samsung I lay the blame on its driver implementation for Windows (which I keep getting a patch for every once in a while). In any event I’ll continue to use my Mac as the center of my creative universe for mobile development, which is probably a good thing, as I’ve started to ease more and more into Swift and iOS.

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more alternative calculator tweaks

Know how you can tell when I’m really into writing software? When I dream about it (literally); when I wake up the first thing I do is head to the computer to perform some development activity before the dream/idea fades. That’s what happened this morning. It’s been years since I was this intense, and I think I may get even more intense about it. When I spend a full 24 hours in front of the computer without sleep or much food, then I’ll know I’m truly back in the groove. At least for this.

In less than five minutes I added the final row of keys/buttons on Alternative Calculator. They’re the trigonometric keys, and the DRG (degree/radian/grad) selection key on the far left. Nothing tied to them yet, but it should be in about a day. The 2nd key will select the arc sine, cosine, and tangent keys. And perhaps the 3rd key will select the hyperbolic trigonometric functions.

Other minor tweaks this morning include:

  • Changing the horizontal and vertical padding on the outermost LinearLayout from 16sp to 8sp. As you can see in the Design view, the keys/buttons are of equal width across the screen. This doesn’t work quite as well on the Samsung Galaxy S4, as the top screenshot shows.
  • Locking the orientation to portrait only. This was done in the AndroidManifest, activity ┬átag, with the android:screenOrientation=”portrait” tag attribute.
  • The DRG selection key can one of two ways: either display a ‘D’, ‘R’, or ‘G’ letter in the display, or else make the key display the state (Drg, dRg, and drG). I have to think about this a bit more. This also is leading me to create a configuration page for the app. And one of the configuration options is how to display the what angular mode D/R/G you’re in.
  • The possibility of adding graphing. You’d get to the graph by swiping from left to right. This also backs me into some sort of programability where equations are stored. Which means I better get on the stick and finish the algebraic engine and enable the parenthesis keys/buttons. And the exponential entry key.

I’ve transferred my Android development from my Windows notebook to my Mac Mini. No real reason except it’s easier for me to just leave my notebook packed for the evening. I can get out of the house and head into work just that much faster when I don’t have to put my notebook back into its bag.

I’ve also noticed that the Design matches the app running on hardware. For the longest it was white-on-white, and it annoyed me no end. That’s one of the reasons I test constantly on hardware, the other reason being far, far better performance than using an emulator. The change is most welcome. I don’t know if I should attribute it to my better understanding of Android app programming, or a bug that was fixed in the latest Android Studio release. Android Studio is now at

From a personal perspective I’m using my calculator for day-to-day quick number calculations. It’s functional enough that I no longer use anything else but. It’s still early days for this app, a good 30 days before I think about releasing it in Google Play. But after all my “toy” apps, this one is going out into the world. Finally.

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