Product Review

A Review of a Product

Hands-On Motorola Droid OpenGL ES Specs


The nice people at Verizon let me borrow a Droid for a few days so I'm going to take full advantage of this opportunity to bring you developers some specifications on the 3D capabilities of it. First of all, this phone is fast. How fast? It loads Light Racer 3D in 1/3 the time of my G1. Not only that, but it has a PowerVR SGX530 GPU in it (14 MPolys/s). Hello fast gaming! That's very close to the same chip used in the iPhone 3GS. Not only fast gaming, but all SGX series GPUs supposedly exceed OpenGL ES 2.0 specifications. Android doesn't currently support OpenGL ES2.0, but I have to imagine that with hardware like this on the market, it will soon. I tested Light Racer 3D on this phone and it works extremely well. 45-50 frames per second at 569x320. I have to imagine that it'd run at 60FPS if the screen were HVGA which would make it twice as fast as the G1. Read on for a list of supported OpenGL extensions and other specifications.

Android App Review - FaceIt


Upon last check of the Android market, there are over 4000 applications and games in total. One strange and interesting app that I've come across lately is called FaceIt. FaceIt is an app which listens to sound from the phone's microphone and shows a mouth which opens based on how much sound it's hearing.

Qwest DSL: Cheap, Quick and Easy wireless upgrade


If you're fortunate (or unfortunate as the case sometimes is) to be a Qwest DSL user with an M1000 DSL modem and you don't currently have Wi-Fi in your home, there is an excellent upgrade option for around $30 that works very well and is one of the few upgrades I've ever seen that quite literally takes a few seconds to do.

Google Android 1.0 API: Great Architecture but Short on Sound

The Android API is very well designed with regards to application integration and general mobile use.  I think google did an awesome job with the architecture.  The Activity/Intent/Application model is very well though out and allows for some nice "piggybacking" of one app onto another for extended functionality.  I like the layouts and views a lot.  They gave us a SurfaceView to do double-buffering of drawable area on screen and they even gave us an OpenGL 1.3 implementation.  What about sound?  The Android sound API seems to have taken a back burner for the latest 1.0 release.

Vista Business 64 in the Workplace

After reading about the numerous problems with Vista, I was quite hesitant to try it in the workplace.  I work off a laptop at a client site as a software engineer for a major consulting company.  My job demands that I have 100% uptime with all applications and software development tools.  I can not afford to have stability issues or any kind of OS incompatibilities.  To make matters worse, we use 2 VPN clients, 4 different large software development tools and a suite of other smaller applications.  After installing Vista Business 64 on a new Lenovo T61p laptop, I was pleasantly surprised with the results.

Product Review: Roku Netflix Instant Movie Player

Following and complimenting the Netflix instant streaming video service for the PC, Roku has produced a Set-Top Box offering instant streaming of Netflix video to your home television set.  This concept sounds simple:  Just play the netflix movies over the internet to your television.  Unfortunately, this concept just hasn't been implemented well in the past.  Even the movies-by-mail business hasn't gone over for others as well as it has for the online rental king and that seemed rather straightforward.  Fortunately for us and in the Netflix tradition, the new service was implemented with a simple and straightforward interface which does one thing - plays video over the internet to your TV.

Guitar Hero III on PS3 has Severe Playability Issues

As the latest in one of the most successful video game series today, Guitar Hero III offers the same rhythm-based game play as the previous releases.  It is available for PS2, PS3, Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360.  So far as I have read, the game runs very well on all platforms except the PS3.  Playstation 3 users are plagued with issues including controller problems and strange game behavior.  I was one of the unfortunate ones to have excitedly purchased this game for PS3 only to find out that it's very difficult if not impossible to have a positive gaming experience with it.  I spent some time researching the problems and my conclusion is that the PS3 version was rushed and absolutely not ready for market.

Review: Netflix Instant Streaming Video Service

Netflix has dominated the internet DVD rental market since its inception and until recently, that has been their only service.  I've had a Netflix account for years now and have been quite satisfied with their service.  I was especially happy when they introduced Blu-Ray and HD-DVD as options.  More recently they have upped the ante with their instant video service, which allows users to start watching a video instantly using a PC.  This review will go over technical problems, selection, video quality and overall user experience with this new Netflix service.

Product Review: Netgear WGR-614v5 54 Mbps Wireless Router


Despite warnings of DOA units, overheating and range problems, I decided that I'd give the Netgear WGR-614 a shot.  I was replacing a Linksys WRT-54GS router that was set up in a friend's place.  All I needed the router to do was bridge the existing wired network with wireless.  All other NAT and routing functions aren't that useful to me for this set up, which is fairly common these days because of integrated DHCP/NAT routers that come with the DSL/Cable hardware.

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