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Welcome to my personal hideout
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My name is Tobias and I've always messed or had something going on with computers. I use the majority of my time with computers; mostly invested in programming and trying out new ideas. This site functions as a personal hideout and as a place where I present some of my projects.

News/my blog

Kotori your friend!
22/9/2016 Filed in: News

Some years ago I released the "Kotori Live Wallpaper" on Google Play. At the time called Android Market. The idea behind Kotori was to treat your background on your Android phone with a little Tamagotchi experience. Kotori is a little bird that "lives" on your phone. You need to feed and bath Kotori. Kotori in turn gives you small quotes and ideas; in the form of text on screen. Simulating that Kotori is aware of you and your phone. Your phone is low on battery? Sure enough Kotori will let you know. All kinds of reactions to the behaviors of your phone.

It had its success. First launched as a paid app, later a free version came. All-in-all Kotori Live Wallpaper achieved ~100.000 installs. Paid 5% and 95% for the free version.

 Now I have almost finished a new implementation. The old version was implemented using the Canvas-class and bitmap manipulation. It was a very slow rendering method. Not accelerated by a GPU. Rendered at 1 FPS. Similar to the original Tamagochi experience. The new implementation uses libGDX for the drawing and rendering part. With libGDX all rendering is done wrapped through OpenGL ES 2.0. This means GPU-acceleration. Currently this new version as no limit on FPS rendered. This gives a smoother experience. Sprite animations are used for the different animations of Kotori. All the sprites are reused from the old implementation. These were all handdrawn on paper with a graphite pencil and then scanned digitally.

 The core logic of Kotori is represented in something very similar to a finite state machine. Kotori lives its life in states. Even if you have your device turned off Kotori will still live on. When you turn your device screen off a timestamp is persisted. When you turn on your device again the difference in time is calculated and added to the simulation. Thus the life of Kotori continues even when your device is off in some sense. 

The new version is scheduled to launch the 25th of September on Google Play. There is a trial period of 24 hours. Hereafter you can unlock with a payment of .75 dollars. I'm using the In-app Billing service on Android from Google. This is a first for me using this service. We'll see how it goes. To make things even simpler I'm using this wrapper; https://github.com/anjlab/android-inapp-billing-v3. I discovered some inconsistencies with documentation on how to test In-app Billing. Google provides some SKUs that will return some static responses. These SKUs provided by Google will not have a valid signature though. The opposit is stated in the documentation. This means you can't actually see a purchase the whole way through. 

  

I really like libGDX. Everything is wrapped intelligently and the documentation is pretty up-front. Some inconsistency but that is always expected in some form. What I really like about libGDX is that it makes it possible to target other platforms without much tailoring. I'm not sure Kotori will see other platforms though. The experience is too centered around the Android device.

I invite you to try out the new version of Kotori. Hopefully it can bring you some smiles. If you like the idea behind the Tamagotchi I think you'll find Kotori to be a fun little exprience. Please try out Kotori your friend! on Google Play. Have fun!

i3 tilling window manager; worthwhile additions
26/3/2016 Filed in: News

Here is a couple of extra bits to improve your i3 experience. I use these additions myself.

rofihttps://davedavenport.github.io/rofi/ . I've been using rofi as an alternative to dmenu for about a year now. I love it!

 If you're not familiar with dmenu. dmenu is a keyboard-driven menu utility developed as part of the dwm project. When invoked, usually by a user-configured key combination, dmenu displays a horizontal menu of its stdin stream at the top edge of the screen. It works but feels old. rofi is an alternative with some nice extras. It includes a window-switcher. This lets you search and change windows with ease. It is also easier to customize; both visually and functionally.

The bottom bit is rofi

i3blockshttps://github.com/vivien/i3blocks. i3blocks is a highly flexible status line for the i3 window manager. It handles clicks, signals and language-agnosticuser scripts. In other words it makes it super convenient to customize your i3bar.

The top bit is i3blocks

ionic; hybrid; maybe the new way of doing mobile apps?
5/6/2015 Filed in: Programming

Hello all,

It's been a while since my last post. I'm posting this to tell about my next endeavour. Some of you may have heard about the ionic framework. It is basically a collection of great tools packaged nicely together. Cordova from Apache. Angular from Google. Plus some nice CSS, Javascript and tooling additions made by the ionic team.

Ionic Framework   

My first project will be to reimplement my native Android app TV Lige Nu! with ionic. I will try and steer away from the use of plugins, for utilizing native functionality, although I will need it for stuff like alarm scheduling on Android. Another really awesome adition for CSS and Javascript I will be using is ionic material. This package looks very promising and I can't wait to try it out. It tries, like its name states, to mimic the material design from Google with CSS and Javascript for animations. At last, but not least, I will be using the another webview than what is packaged with Cordova. Crosswalk. A modern chrome webview. This makes for a butterysmooth experience on most Android devices.

This new way of doing apps excites me a lot. Granted for very platform-specific tasks the native way is still, I think, the best way right now. For more basic applications this new way saves a lot of headaches; especially if you are responsible for multiple platforms.

 I will be updating on my progress in the coming weeks. 

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mysteries dot © 2009-2016 design/code Tobias Westergaard Kjeldsen