Thursday, September 30, 2010

DELL Streak 5" Android Tablet Review

I bought my DELL Streak 5" Widescreen Tablet at Broadway yesterday at $5,499-HK. I played with the demo unit, which was version 1.6, and I was very satisfied with the performance and layout. So, I placed the order. When I was checking the device, I found that the device was equipped with 2.1-update1. Surprise!

I informed the salesman who changed the specification tag at once and he seemed to be very happy with this changes.

Details of the "About Phone"

Firmware version

Baseband version

Kernel version

OEM Version

Build number

After using for a day with this handheld device, I find that it is very good and almost can replaced my Lenovo Thinpad X200 or X100e (which are running Ubuntu 10.04).

It comes with QuickOffice which is compatible with Google Doc. QuickOffice can sync with Google Doc and Dropbox too. I download the Thinking Space app and it is working flawlessly.


- 5" in size, it is portable and lightweight.
- large screen for reading PDFs and webpages easily and comfortable.
- the touch keyboard is suitable for typing but not for fast typist.
- a little bit modified UI. A new look and feel.
- fast and responsive.
- strong and hard glass screen. Not easy to break and scratch. Please refer to this site.
- almost can replace my Lenovo ThinkPad X200 or X100e.
- comes with 16GB SanDisk Class 2 mircoSD.
- free gift - AutoNavi, for driving only, I think.
- another free gift - Toshiba 4GB Class 4 microSD.
- some built-in apps, such as Chinese Calendar, QuickOffice, SugarSync and Chinese dictionary.


- a little bit modified UI. So you need some time to learn it which is differ from my Nexus One.
- no Flash at the moment. However, you can install Flash manually according to this site.
- battery cannot run for long. Similar problem on my Nexus One.
- no tethering and portable hotspot. Version 2.2 have.
- not very suitable for making phone call as it is quiet big.
- redundance to my Nexus One.
- not equipped with Traditional Chinese handwriting IME. Hong Kong Characters not tested at the moment.
- not comes with vehicle docking.


According to DELL, this device can be OTA to version 2.2 which will provide tethering and Flash that I need most. Lightweight and fast handheld device - a very success Mobile Internet Device (MID) in the market so far. I recommend to all who need surfing internet and writing on the road. Great device!

P.S. Service centre in Hong Kong is Kinghill Technology Development Ltd

That's all! See you.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

HOWTO : Building Android Developing Environment Make Easy

If you want to be an Android developer, you need to make your computer ready for the development. You are required to install Eclipse and Android SDK as well as ADT Plugin. The tutorial for the installation is at here. However, it is quite complicated and time killing.

Any other more easier way out there? Yes, there is and follow me.

First of all, you are required to register to MOTODEV. After the registation is completed, you can login to the site and go to "MOTODEV Studio" to download the "Full Installer". The current version at this writing is 1.3.

For 32-bit Linux

For 64-bit Linux

To install, just run one of the following command depends on your hardware.




Follow the instructions on the screen and your Android Development Environment is ready.

To update the Eclipse :
"Help" -- "Check for Updates"

To install SDK and/or Add-ons for Motorola's devices :
"MOTODEV" -- "Download components"

To set to update your developing enviromnent automatically :
"Window" -- "Preferences" -- "Install/Update" -- "Automatic Updates"

Why MOTODEV Studio?

1. Easy - One command to install all required components;

2. Code snippets - Frequently used parts of code as snippets and use them in any number of applications you want;

3. Database management tools - work with SQLite databases using a GUI interface without leaving IDE;

4. Localisation file editor - helps you manage strings to create localised applications;

5. Application creation wizards - quickly and easily to create essential Android classes, such as Content Provider, Service, Activity and Broadcast Receiver;

6. Automated SDK download - automatically download, install and configure the latest Android SDK;

7. Others - application signing, Android Market integration and a built-in emulator.

Sound good?!

That's all! See you.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

HOWTO : Make your Android running more faster by DroidBooster

DroidBooster makes your Android based smartphone running faster than before. Even Froyo (Android 2.2) can boost the performance a little bit. Older version of Android may find the performance increased a lot.

DroidBooster can be downloaded from the Market. You are required to do nothing after installation unless you want to send the benchmark to the official website.

That's all! See you.

HOWTO : Traditional Chinese Handwriting on Ubuntu 10.04

Traditional Chinese handwriting is available in Linux now. Tegaki Project provides Traditional and Simpified Chinese as well as Japanese handwriting input for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. It is developed by Python; thus, it is a cross-platform application.

Tegaki supports SCIM only. Therefore, you should install SCIM on your Ubuntu 10.04 which is iBus by default.

Step 1 - Install SCIM :

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install scim scim-modules-table scim-chewing scim-pinyin scim-chinese

im-switch -s scim
update-alternatives --config xinput-zh_TW

Select SCIM according and makes it as default.

Step 2 - Install Tegaki :

sudo apt-get install python-tegakitools scim-tegaki python-tegaki-gtk tegaki-train tegaki-recognize python-tegaki tegaki-zinnia-simplified-chinese zinnia-utils

cd ~
unzip tegaki-zinnia-traditional-chinese-0.3
cd tegaki-zinnia-traditional-chinese-0.3
sudo make install
cd ~

Step 3 - Create Gnome menu for Tegaki :

sudo nano /usr/share/applications/tegaki.desktop

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Tegaki Handwriting
Comment=Tegaki Handwriting

How to use Tegaki

Step a :
Click on "Tools/Configure" icon on the right hand side panel. Set "Search after (msecs)" to 200 or larger. Then click on "Search on stroke" and "Confirm".

Step b :
Write the Chinese characters in the boxes provided. To clear the characters click "Sweep" icon. If you want to make correction to the character that you just wrote, click on the character on the top bar.

Step c :
After wrote some characters, you can click on "Green tick". Then, go to the word processor or editor. Press "Ctrl+V" or click "Paste".

That's all! See you.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

HOWTO : Microsoft Silverlight on Ubuntu 10.04?

Moonlight is a clone of Microsoft Silverlight for Linux. Ubuntu 10.04 LTS is already have it in the repository.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install libmoon moonlight-plugin-mozilla moonlight-plugin-core

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

That's all! See you.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

HOWTO : Compiling Android-x86 on Ubuntu 10.04 amd64

Android-x86 project ports Android to x86 hardwares (32-bit only). This project is under heavy development. The project is designed for Asus eeePC and Viliv S5.

Step 1 :

Make sure you have enabled the repository of "Partner". Otherwise, Sun's Java JDK cannot be installed.

For amd64 environment :

sudo apt-get install git-core gnupg flex bison gperf build-essential zip curl sun-java6-jdk zlib1g-dev gcc-multilib g++-multilib libc6-dev-i386 lib32ncurses5-dev ia32-libs x11proto-core-dev libx11-dev lib32readline5-dev lib32z-dev vaigrind

For i386 environment (Optional) (not tested by me) :

sudo apt-get install git-core gnupg sun-java6-jdk flex bison gperf libsdl-dev libesd0-dev libwxgtk2.6-dev build-essential zip curl libncurses5-dev zlib1g-dev vaigrind

Step 1a :

sudo update-alternatives --config java

Please select /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-sun/jre/bin/java

Step 2 :

sudo nano /etc/environment

append ":~/bin" at the end of "PATH="

It will look like this :

source /etc/environment

Step 3 :

curl >~/bin/repo
chmod a+x ~/bin/repo

Step 4 :

If you want to compile the Android 2.2 (i.e. froyo), you can do the following :

mkdir froyo-x86
cd froyo-x86
repo init -u git:// -b froyo-x86
repo sync

*this process will take several hours just depends on your internet connection and the power of your hardwares

**If you want to compile older version of Android, please replace "froyo-x86" with "donut-x86" or "eclair-x86".

Hints :
donut-x86 == based on Android 1.6 release (Donut)
eclair-x86 == based on Android 2.1 release (Eclair)
froyo-x86 == based on Android 2.2 release (Froyo)

Step 5 :

**If you are going to compile froyo-x86 for Asus EeePC, this step can be skipped. Or, you can download the iso file from the official website.

Make sure you are still at froyo-x86 directory (or else that you have created previously, e.g. ~/froyo-x86).

nano ~/froyo-x86/device/asus/eeepc/eeepc_defconfig

Make the following lines as is :


** EeePC 701 does not support "CONFIG_X86_PAE=y" setting





















Step 5a :

**If you are going to compile froyo-x86 for Asus EeePC, this step can be skipped. Or, you can download the iso file from the official website.

nano ~/froyo-x86/device/asus/eeepc/ts.conf

Uncomment all.

Step 6 :

cd froyo-x86
. build/
lunch eeepc-eng
m -jX iso_img TARGET_ARCH_VARIANT=x86-atom

*where "X" is the number of core of your CPU and "TARGET_ARCH_VARIANT=x86-atom" is optional
e.g. "m -j2 iso_img" if you have a dual core

the iso file will be generated at froyo-x86/out/target/product/eeepc/eeepc.iso

*the compilation will take several hours just depends on your power of hardwares

Step 7 :

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install unetbootin

Burn the iso file to the USB stick with unetbootin.

Or, you can burn your iso file to CD-R instead.

Step 8 (Optional) :

For the next compilation when there is any updates of the source, you need to do :

repo sync
. build/
lunch eeepc-eng
m -jX iso_img TARGET_ARCH_VARIANT=x86-atom

*where "X" is the number of core of your CPU and "TARGET_ARCH_VARIANT=x86-atom" is optional
e.g. "m -j2 iso_img" if you have a dual core

Step 9 (Optional) :

If you want to delete all what you have compiled, you should do the following before perform Step 6.

make clean

Remarks :

Android-x86 1.6r2 works flawlessy on Gigabyte T1028X without any modification. You just download from the official site and it works out of box. However, it is Android 1.6 (Donut).

froyo-x86 may work on Asus EeePC as it is designed for this series. However, I tested on EeePC 701 and it cannot be bootup with the captioned compilation.

Known Issues

froyo-x86 also works on Lenovo ThinkPad X100e and Lenovo ThinkPad X200 but the response is quite lag as same as Gigabyte T1028X. Maybe there is a problem on the display driver.

Wifi is not working properly on Gigabyte T1028X unless Ethernet is disabled. It cannot be detected on Lenovo ThinkPad X100e and Lenovo ThinkPad X200. It is possibly the driver problem which is not included in the eeepc_defconfig.

Camera is not working on Gigabyte T1028X and Lenovo ThinkPad X100e.

Volume is low on Gigabyte T1028X, Lenovo ThinkPad X200 and Lenovo ThinkPad X100e.

Bluetooth can be detected on Gigabyte T1028X, Lenovo ThinkPad X100e and Lenovo ThinkPad X200. However, I have not test the connectivity.

No mouse pointer on Gigabyte T1028X. Mouse pointer working abnormal and lag on Lenovo ThinkPad X100e and Lenovo ThinkPad X200.

Ethernet cannot be detected on Lenovo ThinkPad X200 and Lenovo ThinkPad X100e. Possibly the driver problem as they cannot be config at eeepc_defconfig.

That's all! See you.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

HOWTO : App Inventor for Android on Ubuntu 10.04

App Inventor for Android is another example of Cloud Computing. You can build your Android apps from the Java enabled browser and sync to your Android device at ease. In addition, everyone can build Android apps by App Inventor for Android without any deep knowledge of Java and/or programming.

Go to Register Form to register your account for App Inventor for Android. You may require to wait for several weeks in order to receive the access permission email from Google.

On your Android device

Download and install "AppInventor Toggle" from the Market of your Android device.

Run "AppInventor Toggle", press "Menu", enable "Cable Detection" and disable "AppInventor Orientation".

Exit "AppInventor Toggle", Press "Menu", "Settings", "Applications" and "Development", then enable "USB Debugging"

On your Ubuntu 10.04 desktop

Ubuntu 10.04 comes with OpenJDK (open source version of Java) and it is ready to go. You can download OpenJDK at Ubuntu Software Centre if it is not installed. Or, you can use Sun Java instead but you are required to enable the repository at "System", "Administration", "Synaptic management".

Be keep in mind that App Inventor for Android official site recommend Sun Java instead of OpenJDK. If you encounter abnormal behavior on the web application, please install Sun Java instead.

Go to Extra Software page and download the Debian package. The current version at this writing is 1.02.

sudo dpkg -i appinventor-extras_1.02_all.deb

You may encounter "Unable to get SyncService for device" when you are connecting to your Android smartphone from Blocks Editor of App Inventor web application. The following is the procedure to solve this problem.

sudo nano /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rule

Append the following line.
SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTRS{idVendor}=="0bb4", ATTRS{idProduct}=="0ff9", MODE="0666

Create a shell script.
nano android-syncservice

Append the following lines.
# Solve the problme of "Unable to get SyncService for device" while connecting to Nexus One under Blocks Editor of App Inventor
cd /usr/google/appinventor-extras/commands-for-Appinventor/
./adb kill-server
./adb devices
cd ~
exit 0

Copy the shell script to /etc/init.d and make it running automatically on every boot.
sudo cp android-syncservice /etc/init.d/
sudo chmod +x /etc/init.d/android-syncservice

sudo update-rc.d android-syncservice defaults

Or, you may require to reboot your system when need.

Now connect your Android device to your Ubuntu 10.04 desktop with the USB cable. You are ready to go ....

Follow the instructions at Connect App Inventor to Your Phone.

Then, study the Tutorials.

Finally, Live Development, Testing and Debugging.

Known Issue

The size of the apk (application package) is quite large, it is at least about 3 to 4 MB of size for a very simple application, such as tutorial apps.

That's all! See you.