Mateusz Stawecki

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Posts from the ‘Tech Log’ category

I’ve done a tiny bit of research to find nice templates, but the best one I found was by accident, while I was looking for something completely different on iPhone Dev Tips blog. The link was to a Russian redirection service, which took you to a PDF on Google Docs – look here, but if it’s not there anymore, I made a mirror just for you!

iPhone Design TemplatesDownload

My favorite. Simple, couple layouts, I think most interesting are the first one and the last one, which can work as a flow diagram. The original “single” iPhone wireframe picture can be found here.

Android Design TemplatesDownload

The funny thing about Android is that there so many different devices! Well, this PDF covers the most. Grab it while it’s hot. Source: neurosoftware.ro

Mostly Web, iPhone, iPad and many more freebies – See here

10 free printable design wireframe templates. I used to just grab a screenshot of Firefox on an empty page, print it and draw, but this is pretty neat.

Yet another iPhone Design Template – See here

Very nice looking, with extra space for notes, title, page numbers. Probably better, if you want to share your designs and want all the explanations there. Not the best, if you want to draw a lot of different views or you are experimenting – take the first template instead.

Have fun!

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I couldn’t really find any nice RTS games for my android, so I though that it would be quite awesome to run StarCraft somehow. Of course remotely!  The only running PC emulator for android  is currently “aDOSbox”, which is unfortunately really slow 😦 so there’s no way of running the old first version of WarCraft yet. Anyway, here’s my idea.

What you need: Andoid Phone, androidVNC, preferable a GNU/Linux or BSD server with tightVNC and Wine.

You could just run a VNC server on any Windows/MacOSX machine, but what I was thinking about is having a server somewhere that will be able to run StarCraft when I want. I don’t need it at home, where I’ve got a full fledged computer.

Short instructions: install StarCraft with Wine on your Linux machine. You’re gonna have to configure tightVNC to 640×480 – 8 bit resolution, because the program won’t do it for you on a vnc X server (I’m assuming we’re not running proper X session on a server). To do it, find your “tightvncserver” script (e.g. “which tightvncserver”) and edit the variables. Then “wine starcraft.exe” and we’re off 😀

Here’s how it works for me:

Set your androidVNC to fit screen and touch -> mouse click. The screen is a bit crunched to fit the screen, but I think everything is fairly readable, if you know the game. The stretching is not smooth, but it looks alright. It’s good to remember the hot-keys  for most actions, even building, because trying to hit the small command buttons without a pointer or a stylus is a pain. I tested it in London over the Internet connected with Wi-Fi to my server in Warsaw, it was playable. I don’t even want to try over 3G 😛

I don’t really play games on my android, but it’s not what’s important here. It’s the Geeky Time Excellent! 🙂 Cheers!

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Last approach to giving J2ME some delightfulness

I was recently working on a really small set of applications for Java as a part of my University assignment. I managed to set up a simple PHP script on one of my servers to get GameTracker.com data in XML. I first did an ajax-based web service on tomcat, then
a swing application. Both using SAX parser, it worked great. The last step was a mobile application. Building a basic version was almost effortless, because I was using SAX, it was just a matter of generating a table from a set of data. It was nice to see something working, but it was ugly! I didn’t spend too much time on it, so it didn’t seem finished. With some spare time, I thought about taking care of the interface. I used to make some J2ME games, so I knew my way around a GameCanvas. Coding a new cool GUI took me
twice as long as coding the previous basic application, but at last it looked nice.

The mobile application itself is just a tech demo, who the hell needs a game tracking feed on a mobile! However, if I needed to develop a similar tool I’d think twice before using the standard GUI API. It’s just way too old. There are many interesting J2ME applications and in theory, there should be a good market for them, but have you heard anybody saying “Wow! I got this cool Java app on my phone?” – maybe once or twice in life. I’ve tried J2ME VNC by the way and it’s annoying. “J2ME app scene” consists of not so playable games and some strange looking apps that you can find on very dodgy J2ME software sites.

Oh well, can you blame a technology that is about 10 years old? Here’s a shot from MIDP for PalmOS

It’s PalmOS kids! The coolest toy to be around before Windows CE came out (and became useful). I loved the good old PalmOS 🙂 Ahhh… I guess, that’s the price for a “standard” compatibility. Especially the visual part of any J2ME application will be hard to control depending on the device. I mentioned quite popular Java Games, but I’ve seen many of them go wrong!

Well, seven years later we have iPhone, then Android. Making a nice interface on them using standard tool set is really easy. The devices are more powerful, more colors, better resolution. Mobile platforms are focused more and more on design and style, which is nice… apps are for people and if we use them daily it’s good to look at something nice and readable. Obviously it’s quite silly to even compare those platforms, but the general summary is: producing a nice looking app for iPhone or Android is effortless, while J2ME will always look like 90’s.

Enough of this random talk 😉 Here’s my try on adding some style to the great functionality that J2ME still has to offer.

So… which one is more Quake-ish 😉

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