Codeacademy Beginners Insight !

16 08 2012

As I’ve stated before on this Blog, I love Tech, but I am a complete Novice when it comes to developing and coding.

http://www.codecademy.com/

Today I came across this website whilst having a look at some Kickstarter pages.

I am a complete coding beginner, absolutely no knowledge whatsoever so this website was the exact kind of thing I’ve been looking for to help myself out !

I’ve seen websites similar to this before but none that have lessons and a community quite like codeacademy. I registered today and completed some of the lessons, these are great and you work on a command prompt built into the web page with hints and tips and thorough guides showing you how to build and create your own code as you progress.

Each individual excercise doesn’t need to be completed before moving on and you can jump right into the more difficult stuff if you please but with each lesson when the correct code is enterred the website will tell you and let you know if it isn’t completely correct to allow you to edit it and correct it before progressing.

Codeacademy can also be linked into Twitter and Facebook, this was an easy way to me to make an account and took literally a minute maximum to do, this can also be used to keep tabs on any friends that use the website and ensures you are one step ahead of them with any lessons!

As you can see, I’ve completed a few lessons today and I’m very impressed.
As well as having numerous lessons, there is also a forum where questions can be asked if you are having any specific issues with a lesson in particular or can’t seem to find the problem with any of the code you have created, this was unbelievably helpful on a few circumstances as you can find yourself stuck for quite some time as the ‘hints’ section on the lesson can only get you so far.

Having completed 9% of the lessons, I’m not in a position to say how the rest of the lessons are but as a complete beginner I have been impressed with the depth of each lesson and the hands-on experience gained by writing your own code as well as editing and fixing pre-made snippets of code.

If your as much of a beginner as me, this is a great place to start !

 

 





Chirp iOS App Review

8 08 2012

Chirp is a free app on the iOS store, specifically for iPhone but can also be downloaded for iPod Touch and iPad with no real effect on the user experience.

Its classed as a ‘social networking’ app by iTunes, but isn’t your usual Twitter or Facebook, although it does include integration with both of these services.

This app uses sound to send data from Phone to Phone. I had this set up with 2 iPad’s in my house and used it to send notes, links, pictures etc. When you open up the interface you can choose what your looking to send, the app then changes this information to a sound wave and plays the ‘chirp’ through the devices speaker, the other device picks this noise up via the microphone and translates it back into what it should be, i.e a picture or a note. For the devices to register and translate the chirp, the app its self must be open, so it will not translate chirps if the app is open in the background.

Of course there are numerous advantages as well as disadvantages with this,

This could be used on a large scale e.g played through the speakers at a local supermarket giving shoppers voucher codes or special offers, or it could be used in a room full of people to quickly send and share photos or links with everyone.

On the downside, playing chirps as a way of sending messages in a public place means anyone with the app open can intercept the message and have a nosey into your conversation or steal your images !

This, I see more of an innovative creative kind of new tech. This shouldn’t have holes poked in it due to its lack of security in public places, it should be praised as somebody thinking outside the box and not making another repetitive ‘freemium’ game. This app may be the first of this sort of technology but could become mainstream with numerous applications outside the app world being possible..





Dead Trigger Review IOS Android , Is Piracy killing the industry ?

5 08 2012

Dead Trigger is a first-person shooter for Android and iOS and has recently became Free to download! This is a free to play app, and does not require In-App-Purchases to provide you with a high quality of gaming!

The game follows a character as they try to work their way through a Zombie infested city, shooting as many as possible on the way !

The graphics on this game are massively impressive for a mobile game, both versions on iOS and Android look equally as good, my preference being for iOS on this instance due to seeing it on the larger screen of the I-Pad in comparison with my G-Nex.

The game-play of the game is good, and the main mode doesn’t suffer from as much lag as I would have expected, especially due to the enormity of the maps and the details that are put into each and every aspect of the game, from characters to weapons to scenery.

This game used to be $0.99, not a massive cost, but changed to being free due to the massive amount of piracy mainly on the Android platform, but more recently too on I Tunes. The game is quite lengthy, and even at its older price of $0.99 You would be making a wise purchase as it gives a pretty lengthy campaign and very high quality gaming.

One of the gripes I have is the controls, I don’t see how these can be improved but there are definately some issues. Your left finger controls looking around whilst your right does the walking, coupling this with the shoot button being right above the right analog stick and you have some issues. This same fault also effects games such as Grand Theft Auto, and with the lack of physical buttons on most devices recently, it seems a difficult problem to work around.

The piracy issue may seem great for gamers at first, games becoming free because the developers would rather you play them legally than steal them, but this in fact carries a lot of major issues and worries along with it. Games may become filled with a ridiculous volume of ads or developers may move away from the Android or iOS market completely. This game along was thought to have a 90% piracy rate before the price drop.

Mad Finger boss Marek Rabas explained in a post on Gamezebo”Our main goal is not to make lots of money, we do not want to be the second Disney or sell out the company for millions of dollars. Also, we do not have to please investors each financial quarter with better results on their profit. We just simply enjoy making games.”

Although this supports the view of “oh great we will get more free games”, this statement will not reflect the views of all app-developers and gaming companies.

Since the game is now Free! I’d urge you to atleast give it a go and show a bit of respect for the work of Developers.





Dinosaur War IOS Android Free App Review !

23 07 2012

Dinosaur War is free on Android and IOS

This game involves building up a Village, a Dinosaur army, and using each of these for domination!

I play a lot of these kind of games ! Usually I get a lot of game play out of them before getting the gaps between levels getting too lengthy, becoming bored and losing interest.

Usually the basis of all these games are the same, build a village and troops, whilst using up resources and having to wait a set amount of time for troops and builds to be completed (unless using premium paid for items such as crystals to eliminate the wait)

There are a few differences in this game that have kept me involved for a lot longer than the usual ones. Usually during the wait for resources to recupperate, or to be able to battle again there is little to do in these sorts of games.. effectively most close them down and re-open in 30mins/ an hour/ etc. In Dinosaur War there are a few additional options such as Card games and ‘wheel of fortune’ type activities that can keep you amused during this wait to make it pass a little quicker, which although are fairly small things, they make a massive difference and keep you coming back.

All of these games, as mentioned usually involve premium add ons, either removing the wait for buildings to complete or to buy special items usable in the game. This is the reason a lot of these games are free, with rumoured that the Ouya will probably adopt the same approach with a lot of its games, its obvious to see why this is popular with these premium crystals starting at $1.99 and ranging up to $29.99 . This isn’t as steep as some games with these sorts of items reaching over $100 in some instances.

There are a lot of games similar to this one, possibly not having Dinosaurs as there focal point, but using something else ! This is one of the better ones i’ve played and its been keeping me going for over a week now, definately give it a go if this is your thing, after all.. its free !





Clockwork Mod Recovery CWM 6.0.0.5

18 07 2012

http://www.clockworkmod.com/rommanager/

Most people know that if your into flashing your Android device a decent recovery is essential.

Clockworkmod is by far one of the most widely used recoveries, and with a recent update its easy to see why.

A recovery, to anybody who is non technical or familiar to flashing is the program that can be used to install, back up and restore files, or your entire phone. You can make Nandroids using this program, a Nandroid is a complete back up of the entire phone, effectively meaning that if the ‘you know what’ hits the fan and you mess up your phone, you can boot to Clockworkmod Recovery and restore your Nandroid, bringing your phone back to the state it was in at the time of the backup.

I’m currently running version 6.0.0.5 . In comparison with versions <6.0 the differences are night and day. The new recovery backs up files in a different way so that it uses less space, and takes less time.. the 2 improvements you would like out of any recovery.

The decrease in the both of these go hand in hand. Each backup folder is of a smaller size, but this only makes up part of the backup as with the new version of CWM their are 2 folders which contribute to the backup. Essentially when backing up, the system makes a back up file, then makes a secondary file with different aspects of the backup in it. These are parts which are unlikely to change, system files, APK’s etc so that when the recovery tries another incremental backup, it does not need to re-do the backup for these parts and simply backs up the other section meaning it takes far less time and uses far less space.

The downfall of this method is that if you are running a completely different ROM e.g Jelly Bean stock or AOKP Ice Crem Sandwich then some of these overlapping files may have to be backed up again making the backup process slightly longer than incremental backups and again using more space.

The UI was also updated in this build, it is far more clean and a lot more pleasant to look at .. in comparison with the black screen/green writing Matrix effect, some geeks may love that look but to be honest, it just gives me a sore head.

The older version is shown on the left below, with the newer screen on the right.

                

All in all, a great Recovery by Koush who is an unbelievable developer. If your rooted and don’t have CWM installed, I’d highly recommend doing so, easy to use, great features and with increased speed it makes flashing so simple and quick.





Temple Run , Original and best ?

14 07 2012

Temple Run is a massive game across all platforms, with good visuals, adjustable settings and hours of fun, weird considering it is effectively one endless level!

Temple Run is renowned as being addictive and has a ridiculous amount of downloads so it’s more than expected for app makers to make similar apps hoping to jump on the bandwagon and have a slice of its success.
This review is going to deal with 2 of these ‘similar’ games.

I’ll deal with Escape Bear first. Free to purchase from ITunes, and as far as I can see not available for Android.
This tries to be slightly different, the main character is a bear, as the title suggests but can be changed to other characters via in-app purchases or collecting enough coins. The game also adopts a level approach, as opposed to the continuous level format of Temple Run.
One of my main gripes with this game is the inability to change the sensitivity of the game, the tilt sensitivity is absolutely horrendous, it’s extremely sensitive and your character is usually on one side or the other as the middle ground is unobtainable due to the sensitivity.

Again Pyramid Run is free to purchase and only available for IOS. Pyramid Run is slightly better than Escape Bear, I don’t know if it’s personal preference but due to its similarity to Temple Run, it wins the battle of the pair in my eyes.
Although the sensitivity isn’t adjustable in Pyramid Run the issue isn’t apparent in this app and follows a continuous level format just like Temple Run.
This all also has a mode to bet on how successful your next game will be, an attempt to gain some additional features over it’s parent, but to be honest it doesn’t do the trick for me.

In my eyes, if you want to play Temple Run, play Temple Run! If you want a change from the usual game, Buy Disney’s Brave Temple Run. This is available for Android and IOS and is under 70p on both markets. This keeps all of the key gameplay and functionality points of Temple Run, but adds a few different features such as archery. This game maintains the integrity and stability of the original and provides hours of entertainment for under 70p!





Where’s My Perry? Review

13 07 2012

  I want you… to play this game !

Where’s My Perry? is available for Android and Apple devices and comes in at under £1 in both Itunes and the Play Store.

The game is very similar to Where’s My Water? thats main difference is that it involves an Alligator as its main character, compared with Agent P, the Platypus.

This is a game that involves real physics, to people who think that this game is then about science, its not. This purely means that the items in this game obey the laws of physics, i.e if something goes up it will come back down if something is thrown in a line it will ark down etc.

The aim of the game is to get the water, in whatever form it may be in at the time, to a point on the map that will cause Agent P to be released, whilst capturing as many Gnomes as you can in the process. Seems a tad trippy to write about, but in playing the game it will seem a lot more obvious, and a lot less Acid Trippy!

The water can be turned into steam causing it to rise, be frozen as ice or be simple free flowing water. The game also involves a sludge like liquid, this can be made into lava or a super cold like liquid freezing any water it touches with the two of these liquids being combined to cause an explosion! After you get the hang of the main concepts of the game you wont be able to put it down !

There are a lot of levels included that make your less than £1 purchase pretty excellent value for money, with some being easier than others with a guaranteed few brain busters included in the pack.

Having played the game for a good few nights for a pretty long time, i’ve still not even nearly completed it so it does provide a good chunk of entertainment !

The Game is ofcourse designed by Disney, this means that as well as getting a good playing game with little bugs, it looks great, the graphics are well done and the overall look of the game with its cut scenes and levels are top notch, basically what you would expect from company the size of Disney.

Overall I’d definately recommend this game, you lose more money down the back of a couch so if your short I suggest tipping said couch, then buying the game. Its one of the better games i’ve downloaded in the last few months and being addicted to my phone does mean I go through a lot of games and a lot of battery life !








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