Prototyping the Bulbdial clock

Evil Mad Scientist posted a story about what went into developing the Bulbdial clock. We think the Bulbdial is one of the best pieces of kit out there for many reasons; using colored shadows for each hand is a brilliant idea, the design is clever and uses a low parts count, and the concentric rings that make it work also add to the aesthetic. But after seeing the original wood prototype it had crossed our minds that developing those circular PCBs isn’t the easiest thing to pull off. To save on board cost, the first run didn’t have the center routed out, but rather used almost-touching holes drilled during manufacture and finished by hand during assembly. They also go on to discuss the use of Charlieplexing to reduce part count and the search for a suitable diffuser for the clock face.

Top 5 Integrated Development Environments

 

So, you want to do some programming but don’t have the budget of a major corporation? This is just the thing for you because all of these development environments are free of charge! Many Integrated Development Environments are marketed towards companies who have money to pay for such expensive environments. Here are the Top 5 Integrated Development Environments that are most widely used and recognized. Some will be used when programming past and future tutorials. The following are listed in no particular order and all make an excellent development environment.

There are alot more IDE’s out there that were not mentioned but should have been.  We have posed the question at Hack A Day Answers “What are your Top 5 IDE’s?” Give us some feedback and we will be back with a revised list from the comments you give us!

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Android Development 101 – Part 6:Getting ready for Market!

In this tutorial we are going to cover packaging one of our applications into an .apk file and getting it ready for the Android Market.  After we have completed this tutorial you should be able to use the tools provided in the AndroidSDK to sign your application, put the application on your phone and install it or send it to the Android Market.  These will be great assets to have if you decide to develop applications that you may want to charge for.  This tutorial will also be a change from the normal ones because it will include little, if any, code.

Android Development 101 – Part 3:Introduction to Databases

In this tutorial we will be pivoting from our last tutorial on Graphical Elements to start focusing on databases in Android development. The android platform uses SQLite databases in its applications and is one of five data storage options in android development. We will only be focusing on SQLite development in android because it is key to the construction of a workable/functional program. After this tutorial you should be able to implement a SQLite database that you are then able to insert and select items from tables in the database.

For this project we will be creating a Random Quote generator that has you enter quotes or sayings in a textbox and press a button to insert them into the database. We will issue a confirmation toast that allows us to see if the data was entered into the database successfully and the textbox will be blank. If a second button is pressed, the database will be accessed and told to select a random quote from the database to show in a toast on the screen.

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Android Development 101- Part 2:Graphical Elements

In this tutorial, we will be continuing from where we left off with the “hello world” application.  This time adding a graphical user interface (GUI) and a “toast”. The GUI will consist of a button, textbox and a label. The “toast” will be issued onto the screen when the button is pressed.

Some may wonder what a toast is.  Well, for non-programmers, a toast is a text notification that for the most part is used only to display an error on the screen (I am a big fan of using toasts instead of an alert on the screen as its less intrusive).  For this article we will use a toast to display a message on the screen that will take the text in the textbox and issue a “Hello Greg” onto the bottom of the screen.  After this article completed you will be able to successfully make toast commands, design the layout of the hello world program, and pull text from a textbox.

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Android Development 101 – Part 1:Hello World

This article will focus on developing a simple hello world program for android using Java. Google has recently released a “cute and fuzzy” programming environment for beginners to get into but I haven’t had the chance to try it, so we will be focusing on the Eclipse IDE here, which you should have set up in the last post.  When creating a text based project there are two very important items.  It will involve creating an android project, going through the necessary steps to complete both the (1) XML files and the (2) Java file and get this project ready for production and eventually deployment.  The requirements of this project are simple, know the basis of XML (for new comers if you don’t that’s OK too, you will learn) and know Java (very basic knowledge but you will learn as we go and we will modify a few parts of the java file today).

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Android Development 101 – A tutorial Series

Android is the prime OS for developing applications in today for many reasons. The main reasons being that it is Open Source and Intuitive. In addition it uses Java for development, which is quite an easy language to get used to and develop in. This being said, a lot of you have great ideas for Android applications or applications in general but don’t know where to start. This series will take you behind the scenes and introduce you to the software that will be your best friend while developing for android. On this journey we will start with a “Hello World” and move on from there to create a database driven application with a touch and scroll interface. The final result will look something like this:

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