Category Archives: Personal

The LG Watch Sport Review I Couldn’t Find

I’m sure you too have seen all of the other reviews, so I won’t go over what most of those have said. Nor will I tell you to buy the watch or not. Why? Because many of the reviews said to not buy the watch and I did anyway. I’ve had my LG Watch Sport for a week.

LG Watch Sport

LG Watch Sport

So how is it? Pretty good. As a prior iPhone and Apple Watch user, I know I’m not using it to its full potential yet. The Apple Watch pretty much needs to be tethered to the iPhone to be functional. The plus side to this anchor is that phone calls and text messages automagically get routed to the Apple Watch. I was expecting the same experience with the LG Watch Sport on AT&T. Not so. Well, maybe for you. Not for me.

I watched AT&T’s promotional videos for the LG Watch Sport, and when some showed up in stock locally (3 stores in our state), I bought one after waiting a couple of days (and about 90 minutes in the AT&T store). I bought the watch outright for $349 so I would not be under contract. You can save $100 and enter into a 2-year contract. However, if you do that, you’ll end up paying more ($249 + 24/mo at $10 = $489). I told the representative that I didn’t need to set the watch up there, but did want to make sure it booted. Most electronic devices come with some kind of charge between 30% & 80%. Not this time; the watch was dead. The employee took the watch & charger to the back of the store and charged it for a couple of minutes to make sure it turned on.

I slowly started setting up the watch while I was out to dinner (rude much?). The Bluetooth connection was simple and so was syncing over settings. Then the frustrations began. Later that evening (at home), I could not figure out how to set up AT&T number sync. AT&T number sync makes it so when your phone gets a phone call, your watch also rings. The same for text messages. The watch has its own sim card & its own phone number. I called AT&T, and long story short, since my Nexus 6P was not purchased at an AT&T store, they would not activate “number sync”. So now I have my phone with its phone number and my watch with its own phone number: never the twain shall meet. Notifications do still come over to the watch via bluetooth, but no texts nor calls.

After doing some research, I found people on Verizon had the same issue. The solution is fairly simple but slightly inconvenient. Did you know Google Voice is still around? I didn’t. It’s still free unless you’re making international calls. One of its features is ringing multiple phones at the same time. Sign up for Google Voice (and get another phone number!), add your cell phone and your watch phone numbers, and choose to ring simultaneously. Problem solved in spite of AT&T’s obstinance. Well, mostly. You will have to start distributing your new Google Voice phone number so people will call or text it instead of your phone’s number. I had one more issue. Google Voice would not send texts to my watch. I was unable to check the checkbox to allow it. This is because there is a bug in the new user interface for Google Voice. Switch to classic/legacy mode in your web browser. There you will see the watch marked as something other than mobile. Change it to mobile and check the boxes. You can then switch back to the new interface.

Tips & tricks & battery issues… in all of the reviews, everybody complained about the battery life. I did have a similar issue if the cellular network was turned on. I have been turning it off when at the house. However, an update recently came out and after 10 hours, with LTE on, my watch is still at 34%.

Software updates have been pretty steady. The watch will eventually do them (if you have auto updates turned on). If you want to force the issue, like myself, open the Play Store, swipe down from the top of the screen, tap the app icon on the left, you will see a list of apps that need to be updated as well as apps that have recently been updated. Sweet.

WiFi. The LG Sport Watch does have WiFi, but not 5GHz. It is 2.4GHz only. For the first day or two I didn’t realize I was not on WiFi at the house. (I have separate network IDs for 5GHz and 2.4GHz so when my phone synced over the WiFi settings, the watch couldn’t connect.)

Getting Android Pay to add cards on the watch was painful. But again, a recent software update fixed this. Before the fix, I could add one card, but not a card from another bank. I was stuck in a he said / she said moment between Google & the bank and gave up. A couple of days later, I saw Android Pay had been updated so I tried to add the second card again and it worked flawlessly.

The step counter has been wildly inaccurate. It counts steps while you’re in a moving vehicle. Hopefully they’ll fix that in another update.

Another quick tip I found: When looking at the watch face, swipe down from the top of the screen. You’ll see shortcuts for airplane mode, mute, theater mode, do not disturb, and the Settings app.

A Future For Elastic Window / Elastic Web Page?

In July I began shopping around Elastic Window & Elastic Web Page to see if any developers were interested in buying and maintaining them. Elastic Window has a special place in my heart & I would hate to see them abandoned. I had the idea to build Elastic Window ever since I saw something similar done in Visual Basic. I had discussed its development with some of the REALbasic “old guard” who provided pointers on the architecture. I even went in to the labs at REAL World in Austin for pointers on building the Elastic Canvas aspect of Elastic Window to make it easier on users. A lot of love has gone into Elastic Window over the years.

I loved REALbasic since the early days. I was happy that I had found a VB for Mac. I think my first version was 2.1, all the way through the 2005 IDE change, the rebranding from REALbasic to Real Studio, and again the rebranding to Xojo.   At one time I was the biggest proponent of REALbasic that I knew. I promoted it at the VB6 shop where I used to work. I even mentioned it at other programmer meetings & conferences. I’ve been a customer for over a decade. I was part of ARBP, used to help people on the NUG & the forums, and I’ve attended and spoken at REAL World conferences. I remember hanging out at a REAL World conference saying “why would anyone use anything else?”

So what’s changed? Mostly it’s been death by 1,000 paper cuts if you will. Most of the problems I dealt with in stride. I did blog/complain about bugs and other issues not getting the attention that was important to me as a professional developer. (See this post, this post, this post, this post and this post in which I took a lot of flack! OK, this post and finally this post.) In the early days of the NUG I had some mildly offensive “turn or burn” taglines at the end of my e-mail signature. One actually was “turn or burn”. The NUG members didn’t like that and voiced their opinion. I was threatened with removal from the NUG by REAL Software. Interesting times. To help my REALbasic consulting service search ranking, I bought a few domain names with “realbasic” in them. I was threatened with lawsuits which never came about because I was not infringing on their copyright or trademark by explaining what my business was doing.

The final 1 2 punch came early last year after beginning my RS to Xcode tutorials (now Xojo to Xcode after their name change). First the Xojo IDE makes coding not fun anymore. When the first edition of Xojo came out I would literally yell at the computer screen because of what the IDE was doing. Second RS banned me from their social networking “groups” on LinkedIn & Facebook. And I received the following email:

“Your recent blog posts comparing Real Studio with xcode/Obj-C have come to our attention. Since your blog posts are suggesting people use tools other than Real Studio, we have decided that we can no longer support your third party tools in our store. Per the agreement, “Real Software Third Party Sales Agreement” (section 16a, which I pasted below for your convenience), your products will be removed from our store in 5 days.”

They were hoping to strong-arm me into changing one sentence where I state to only use their product for cross-platform & to use native tools when not targeting multiple platforms. After some semi-heated discussion and condescending responses from RS, I went ahead and pulled my products from their store… not waiting the 5 days. (I was actually thanked by them for that, no, really!) When I mentioned to them all the things they had done to me over the years (above), the response back was

“I can’t think of anyone who has been the target of so much. You should ask yourself why that is … The thing is Christian, we almost never have had to take this kind of action because the vast majority of our users are reasonable people.”

I told them if this was a relationship I’d be an abused spouse. I could go on (I have 15 pages of saved emails to refer to), but I won’t. Simply, I’m done doing business with them.

So how did this post come about? After shopping Elastic Window around I had mentioned that I hadn’t been to the Xojo forums in months. Afterwards, without signing in, I began looking around the forums and saw a post that pointed to another blog post titled Xojo Considered Harmful. The original poster on the Xojo forum reminded me of me years ago. The blog post referenced is sort of how I feel now.

Five years in the making, this battered spouse left last year. Since my Xojo subscription has expired and I don’t intend to pay for it again, at this time I won’t be fixing any Elastic Window nor Elastic Web Page bugs caused by Xojo updates. I have received exactly 2 customer support requests since Xojo 2014R2 was released. One bug having to do with a WebTimer when using Elastic Web Page and another odd-sounding resizing issue when using Elastic Window.

If you would like to step up & take over Elastic Window & Elastic Web Page development, please contact me. If no one steps up, they’ll either collect dust or I’ll open source them where they may collect dust anyway. Until then, you’re a programmer. You have the source code if you have a recent license. Figure it out. 😉

 

 

Omega Bundle 2012 for Real Studio

Bundle Saves 89% on Best Professional Development Tools

Omegabundle for Real Studio returns to provide the very
best professional development tools for developers that build
solutions using Real Software’s Real Studio. The full package value
for the suite of tools is $3754, but with a bundle price of $399 for a
limited time. Real Studio is a complete development tool set for
developing cross platform applications for Windows, Mac OS X and
Linux, using an advanced language.

“I started with realbasic and the Omegabundle 2011. Created my first
office-app, a hour/project logging system. Now, more or less the whole
company (80 employee) use it for logging hours. With the Omegabundle
2011, I got an all-in-one startup package. Perfect”, said Helge Tjelta
– Gyro™ MEDIAPRODUKSJON of the previous release of Omegabundle for
Real Studio.

The 2012 release include most all new products as well as substantial
upgrades over previous years. Omegabundle for Real Studio 2012
includes

-App Wrapper. Much more than a GUI front end to Codesign and
ProductBuild, it features high quality icon generation, visual Sandbox
Entitlements, Help Validator & insertion, Zip compression and more –
all the requirements for deploying applications on the Mac App Store.

-Arbed – The Advanced RB Editor. Arbed lets you inspect, compare and
edit projects. It can synchronize code you want to share between
multiple projects, show your changes between saved project versions,
convert your strings into localizable constants, perform complex
search and replace operations by scripting them, and much more.

-Elastic Window. Using Elastic Window, developers can design windows
with a particular look in mind and ensure it will maintain a uniform
look no matter what size the user makes the window. A key tool for
application usability.

-Valentina Studio Pro. Available on Windows, Mac OS X or Linux (select
one), Valentina Studio Pro is a powerful administration tool and
report design studio for popular databases such as MySQL, PostgreSQL,
SQLite and Valentina DB.

-Franklin 3D Professional for Real Studio. Franklin 3D is a
multi-platform cross-platform 3D engine for building games,
simulations and 3D applications using your favorite RAD tool on
Windows and Mac OS X.

-MBS Complete. The Monkeybread Software Real Studio plug-in collection
is a big toolbox to help you solving your problems. Thousands of new
functions will help you developing better applications using 50
plugins (10 more than the last time MBS was offered by Omegabundle).

-MBS DynaPDF Starter Edition. Work with PDF files on Mac, Windows and
Linux. Support of 60 character sets, including 17 CJK character sets
and Unicode; Font Subsetting; Text formatting, output of multi-column
text; Multi-page TIFF support; Color spaces DeviceGray, DeviceRGB,
DeviceCMYK; Native PDF for vector graphics and images; Vector
graphics, Line Dash Patterns, Shadings, Patterns; Custom Page
Templates; Web links, File links, Page links, Bookmarks; Named
Destinations. No differentiation between client and server
application. Unlimited Delivery.

-RS Developer Magazine. The only development magazine devoted
exclusively to Real Studio development. This package includes all
previously published issues plus a one-year subscription, for a total
of 71 issues in digital format (PDF).

-TT’s Zip Package. The Zip Package is a set of classes for reading and
writing .zip files on Mac OS X, Windows and Linux.

-Turner Icon Set. IconPeople Turner Icon Set Professional Edition
provides you with a complete matching set of icons for your
applications. Turner is a beautiful, cost effective and versatile set
of 80 icons for your development projects.

-Valentina Office Server (Unlimited Connections). Valentina Office
Server makes your business data more accessible, more usable – more
valuable, with its advanced, blazingly fast object-relational columnar
database and integrated professional reports server. Build your
business around a database server that serves complex queries hundreds
of times faster than the competition. Your choice of Mac OS X, Windows
or Linux. Free iOS clients available!

-Valentina Reports ADK for Real Studio (Mac OS X, Windows, Linux).
Valentina Reports for Real Studio is the best way to build business
reporting right into your application – for Windows, Linux and Mac OS
X. Supports grids, groups, sub-groups, charts, graphs, pictures,
embedded web pages and more. Valentina Studio Pro. Manage all popular
databases, such as MySQL, SQLite, Postgre and Valentina DB. Powerful
SQL builder and visual reports designer. Do advanced administration of
servers, and 12 months of free upgrades, including to the forthcoming
Valentina 5.

Additional information about Omegabundle for Real Studio 2012 and
purchase information is available through the Omegabundle website at
http://www.omegabundle.com.

Should I get an iPhone 4S?

Yes, if you can afford it. It is twice as fast as an iPhone 4.

I was curious about my upgrade option from my iPhone 4 to the iPhone 4S. Usually AT&T will graciously allow you to extend your contract another 2 years after you’re 18 months into your contract. The problem with this is AT&T’s math, which seems to be completely random. But first, I think AT&T should simply allow someone to extend their contract another 2 years at anytime if you want a new phone. It seems silly to require 18 months to have gone by.

Now, AT&T’s random upgrade math:
I bought my iPhone 4 in July of 2010. I can’t get the “good” iPhone 4S price until March of 2012. OK, 18 months.
My wife bought her iPhone 4 in September of 2010. AT&T says that she is eligible NOW to get an iPhone 4S. Huh?

And this is not the first time I heard of this. I was talking to my friend on Twitter today, who said this about upgrading from an iPhone 4 to an iPhone 4S:
I waited in line for 11 hours on release day; don’t qualify for subsidized pricing. My wife went next day, 1hr wait, she qualifies.

A Van For Joanne – Help a paralyzed woman return home.

I will be completely honest. Joanne is my wife. That said, this is completely factual.  If you have been following along in my life, Joanne’s health has not been great for years. However, this year has been devastating. You can read more by clicking on her image, but I will provide you with a quick summary… In February she had a number of strokes, but was recovering well; the cause was unknown. In April, she had “too numerous to count” strokes and we discovered that she has a rare autoimmune disease. The doctors told me that she would never recover. In May we were expecting to go to a funeral. However, Joanne did not die, but she was unconscious for months. She has slowly been getting better. First I could get her to chew some ice. One day she had her eyes open. A few weeks later she began to talk. She is still paralyzed, but there has been a slight movement in one elbow the other day. It takes her brain a while to process what she has heard. Thankfully she has been able to come off quite a bit of pain medicine, but she is still on a bunch. Right now she is living in a nursing home & I go and spend a few hours with her every day. She wants to come home, and I’m trying to get that accomplished. However, she is going to need a van that has rear wheelchair access since her knees will not bend. Frankly, we don’t have the money to buy a van. So this is my plea, please help Joanne get her van; help my wife to come home. On her web page, Van For Joanne, you can find her story and pictures of her progress in the nursing home. I did not take any pictures of her when she was unconscious or suffering. We have been extremely blessed by those generous enough to send a few bucks. My company, Pariahware, is covering all of the PayPal fees & Pledgie fees. To convert a van to have wheelchair access starts around $14,000, that does not include the van. The van will be used. I encourage you to read her story and see if you are led to donate. Whether it is $5 or $100, it all helps. Thank you.

(Donation link removed.)

(Removed image as the web site no longer exists.)

Elastic Window v2.0 includes new features and controls.

Elastic Window v2.0 includes new features and controls.

RALEIGH, NC, USA (July 15, 2011) — Pariahware, Inc, consulting firm and
shareware developer, announced today it is shipping Elastic Window v2.0,
a popular GUI resizing tool for Real Studio developers which allows
controls and fonts to be resized proportionally with the window at
runtime.

“With version 2.0, we are happy to announce lower pricing, new features
including the Elastic Canvas Control, as well as Label support” stated
Christian Miller, president of Pariahware, Inc. “With these improvements,
as well as the other exciting new features, Elastic Window is more useful
than ever before.”

New in v2.0:
– Added support for Label control
– Added a new Elastic Canvas control
– The ability to Ignore controls
– Find out which controls are being ignored
– Speed improvements

Using Elastic Window, developers can design windows with a particular
look in mind and ensure that look will be maintained no matter what
size the user makes the window.

There are a number of reasons why Elastic Window should be used:
– Making your application more user-friendly for the visually
impaired or for those whose eyesight is weakening with age.
– Full-screen kiosk applications.
– The window must maintain the same aspect ratio no matter the size.
– Avoid having to manually adjust controls.

Pricing and Availability

Pariahware’s Elastic Window uses a royalty-free, per-seat, licensing
mechanism for the base product. This means that each developer using
the Elastic Window in the Real Sudio IDE needs to have a license. There
is no fee for applications developed with Elastic Window. The list
price for Elastic Window is $100.00. A source code option is also
available for $150.00.

A free demo version of Elastic Window v2.0 is available at
http://pariahware.com/elastic-window/

About Pariahware, Inc.

Pariahware, Inc. provides consulting services for those wishing to have
cross-platform software developed for iOS, OS X, Windows and Linux.
Pariahware, Inc. was founded in 2001 and is based in Raleigh, NC. For
more information visit
pariahware.com.