Introducing Coded for Windows Phone 8

Sometimes you want to edit a code snippet on your phone.

On Windows Phone, there wasn’t an app capable of letting you get a file made on another device, edit it in a code-friendly environment, and then put the file back where you got it from.

That’s why I made Coded!

Give it a try :)

Coded Editor Screen

Main Screen

This is my first app for Windows Phone, but I took a long time polishing it to make it as usable and smart as possible. There are some text editors for WP, but they lack two things:

Sync screen

Sync screen and menu

A “fixed-width” (or “monospace”) font. Examples are Courier New, Consolas, and DejaVu Mono. Every character in these fonts is the same width, which means that columns line up, making code more readable. It also means that tabs are always the same size, and a predictable number of spaces will equal a tab.

Secondly, the ability to import and export files to a web location is key. It’s no good being able to write a file if you then can’t do anything with it. Coded has SkyDrive integration to let you upload/download files from a ‘Coded’ folder in the root of your SkyDrive. In the future, this path might be configurable.

If many people download Coded, I would like to add more features and configuration. If you have Windows Phone 8, and you feel like it might be useful to you, I hope you try it!

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Graphs

I just love graphs. Today I decided to graph the first year of my mobile phone contract. I used chartle.net which is a frontend to the Google Charts API.
Here are the results:

Phone usage graph

Graph of all services

 

Phone usage graph

Again, with a clearer axis for just minutes and data

“Data” is what my phone bill calls “Mobile Internet”. I think that it is data requests made by third party applications. The set marked as “BB” in the legend is Blackberry Internet Services, which incorporates web browsing, BBM, and email.

Graphs are good for you!* Make a graph today.

*No study was completed to establish the health benefits of graph creation.

Mobile media and more Tron

Quorra Blackberry backgroundI got the opportunity to see Tron: Legacy again, this time in 2D. Seeing the beginning again gives you a much wider view of the cyclical aspects of the film, including the neat little parallels drawn between Kevin Flynn and Clu (“In/out there, is our destiny!”)

I received the soundtrack recently, which is brilliant. coordinated with this delivery was that of an 8GB micro SD for the phone; having a phone for a fixed term of 2 years enforces me into making it a serviceable multi-use device. Combined with my new headphones, the sound quality is, even in my mother’s words: “Flippin’ amazing!” (Note: I played her a bit of Chic, not Daft Punk). I also discovered that I have, like 6GB of music, legitimately(!).

My snow photos are no longer justifiable background images, so today I designed a little phone background to help tide my decelerating need for Tron stuff. The resolution is 320×240, and it is downloadable to the right.

If I find the inclination, I’ll post about a little PHP project that I have on the boil at the moment. Check out my twitter @SteGriff if you think I’m an OK guy.

Bye

Star Trek Bridge Hail

In Star Trek TOS, a boatswain whistle sound accompanies the start of any communication on the ship’s intercom.

“whhhwiiiiwoo… Engineering ta Capt’n Kirk”

Like that, see. Well I thought that would be a really cool — I say “cool”; I mean “neat-o-rama” — SMS tone for my phone. I set about searching the tubes for an appropriate candidate, but even the better ones had a lot of background noise from the TV program in them, like footsteps, tape crackle and talking.

Although I had realised it was a possibility from the start, it took a while before I relented and set about synthesising the original. After some pencil and paper physics to work out the frequencies in the original and a little mockup with the wave generator in Audacity, I opened Psycle, synthesised a whistle voice, put a tiny bit of GameBoyesque square wave in the background, tracked and exported.

I am very, very pleased with the result. It is pitch accurate to the original, and of nice, clean quality. It was, however, mastered a bit quieter than any other tone on my phone, which necessitated turning the SMS notification volume up a couple of notches. It sounds a lot better from a phone speaker than through headphones. I don’t know why, but it works for me. Now, RINGTONE GET already!

Star Trek Bridge Hail

It’s all fixed

So, for a while, I had two phones with the same outgoing number. I could send a message from the blackberry I’m using right now, and the reply would go to the other phone. I think Einstein had a thing or two to say about spooky things like that.
Anyway, ring ring hello Orange. 20 unproductive minutes later, it’s all ASDA’s fault. Ring ring hello ASDA. Impossible you say? I know you’re right, of course, the guy at orange had a distinct air of ‘haventaclue’. You’ll send them an email? Oh how kind and useful of you.
It was fixed about 5 minutes later, so cool. I’m not going to hold a grudge or anything, i’m just pleased to get to use my new phone.
So life’s good at the moment, which makes for boring blog. I will season it with physics and programming and minecraft and all manner of geeky things, as a chef would lasagne with salt and pepper and whatever you put in a lazaggknee nowaday.
As they say on interweb, kbye.

Orange Customer Service

Despite the continued lethargy of my telephone numbers in organising themselves location-wise, Orange have been doing a good job of dealing with my queries. In my 4 support calls, I have spoken to an Indian call centre 3 times, and a nationally based one once. Nevertheless, all of the staff I have experienced were competent and helpful, after you apply a little patience.

My number IS porting, the process should be complete by 1600 today; a prospect which I am cautious to believe with any zeal.

Also, seems the whole world and his dog have heard of Minecraft now. That’s great for Notch! Even though it’s Indie (and Alpha build!) it is one of the top selling games internationally, meanwhile the forums and wiki combined get the same volume of traffic as does slashdot. Madness.

Blackberry!

Your immediate question must be, “Was the exclamation in this posts title absolutely necessary?”. Perhaps that wasn’t your first thought, but the answer is a resounding “Yes!” nonetheless. I have procured (by legitimate means) one BlackBerry Curve 8520. It is highly satisfactory, but seeing as this is one of its first few days in my care, I shan’t infer that it is the ‘be all and end all’ just yet, until its service record can begin to expand with niggles. I am rather chuffed though.

Needless to say, this post comes from the WordPress app. I’ve also had a lot of fun with the voice command system, which is some of the best software of its type. It can – with great precision – comprehend a phone number which I dictate at speed.

For the convenience of my friends and family, I am porting my old number to it, a process which should complete sometime today (though I fear it has gone awry). This, and the delayed arrival of its now-installed case, are the limiting factors on my beginning to use it ‘full time’. Still very exciting to get used to using it though!