STOP PRESS: ArcGIS Virtualised

Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 12:08:20

Tech support at Kingston seem to have successfully virtualised ArcGIS 10 SP1. This has been a (very) troublesome app for sometime and particularly all the old ugly UNIX code that sits behind toolbox. Just loading Toolbox would cause the app to stall for 1 hour whilst it streamed the underlying code across the network. This has been reduced to about 1 minute which is then cached. Hopefully this will be rolled out on a trial basis side-by-side the installed app for student testing.

Gatewing UAV

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 10:27:14

Nice article on the Gatewing X100. In short:

Wing - fixed wing, 100cm
Weight - 2.0 kg (including payload)
Material - Carbon reinforced EPP structure
Propulsion - Electric, lipo battery
Altitude - 100 m to 750 m AGL
Launch - catpult
Cruise speed - 75 km/h average

Currently equipped with a 10MP camera and can stay aloft of 30 minutes to capture (alot of) stereo imagery. Subsequent processing allows production of orthophotos and DEMs.

Price: a paultry $70,000

Dolphin Browser

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 07:18:04

Dolphin Browser has been released free on Android after an injection of cash in to the firm for developing the product further. Its a feature packed browser thats well worth a try…. webzine, gestures, tabs, side bar etc etc.

Student textbooks on the Kindle

Monday, July 18, 2011 at 17:28:42

Amazon have announced student textbook lending in the US for the Kindle. No detailed pricing as yet, but it looks like they have persuaded textbook publishers to lend by the day (or cumulative units). This could be a book for students, publishers and those on distance learning programmes. No sign of it yet on the horizon in the UK, so it’ll be interesting to see how this develops.

Focus Writer

Monday, July 11, 2011 at 08:49:02

Good writers suffer from the art of procrastination and take it to new levels…. what can you do NOT to do any writing today?? There’s email, IM, Twitter, Skype, Facebook. And that’s before you get on to any of the work related distractions ;) And when you do actually fire up Word or Writer there are a plethora of menus and styles and the such-like to distract you.

What to do??? Well one possible route (besides NOT checking email until after lunch) is to use a word processor that avoids all the bells and whistles to help you focus on just the writing. Focus Writer is one (open source) example of a new breed of “simple” word processors. It eschews the bloatware charge led by Microsoft for a very simple single column pane. It can run by default maximised (so you can’t see anything else) and no tool bars are visible. Move your mouse over the topedge and a single line menu appears; over the bottom edge and a status bar appears. Functions? Its got a spell checker, find and replace and supports TXT or RTF. The latter is handy because you can do basic formatting (super/subscripts, indents, bold/italic, justification. And themes. And that’s it. There is (of course) a portable version as well.

Android: low on space?

Sunday, July 3, 2011 at 22:12:40

I hit the “Low on Space” problem again on my Orange San Francisco…. Ive just ignored this in the past, deleted a few apps on got on with life. This hit just before my bike ride trip and I didn’t want to delete any apps so sat down when I got back to try to sort it out. One problem beset by a few San Francisco’s is the 512Mb RAM being restricted to 256Mb. Not so on mine, so this wasn’t the issue. I could free up a little space as Froyo allows you to move many apps to the SD card which I did, but I still ended up running low on space and couldn’t fathom given why given how much memory there was. It was at that point it dawned on me that the memory is partitioned as:

/system 210 MB - 125 MB typically used, meaning 85 MB free wasted
/cache 40 MB - 2 MB typically used, meaning 38 MB free
/data 210 MB - 200 MB used with only 10 MB free (i.e. space warning!)

What to do? Well repartition the system and cache memory and use it for data to reclaim somewhere in the region of 130Mb for more sensible use. This page over at Modaco runs through various schemes to increase space including partition resizing to give the following setup:

/system 128 MB - 125 MB used - 3 MB free
/cache 4.5 MB - 2 MB used - 2.5 MB free
/data 330 MB - 200 MB used - 130 MB free

And that works a treat!

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