Secure Android Development, project preparation, a cold and a new year

It’s been a mixed start to the new year. Watching what I eat for the rest of January, damn you Christmas. Back at work after three weeks off, achieved nothing and left by eleven. My ego got the better of me and I went for a run despite having a cold, so am now suffering. Need to shift it with the first cross country league race on Wednesday. I can’t help wondering why generic medicines are so much cheaper than brand names.

Finally got around to ordering a replacement Acer V3-112P screen. Replacement was straight forward. Like most avionics technicians, I breathed a sigh of relief when the LED panel lit up proving the fault. The old girl is now sitting running a million updates courtesy of Microsoft.

While many Linux advocates eschew Microsoft, I prefer Office (Home Use Program). Like current, I take the path of least resistance and I use Word and Excel so often I know them inside out. Linux is an outstanding development platform, I’m using it for TM470.

TM470 project preparation continues, reviewing both TM353 and TM354. FutureLearn is a fantastic resource with a course on Secure Android Development. Delivered by the University of Southampton, it started last week. I haven’t decided the tool chain yet, particularly versioning. I have used SVN and Bazaar, which I prefer as it integrates well with Launch Pad. I won’t be using LP though so should investigate Mercurial and Git.

Read Original Sin too – best Marvel I’ve read in ages. Like Murder She Wrote in space. A real page turner, I read it in one sitting.

Something that didn’t grip me was the Assassin’s Creed movie. It starts off quite well, with a similar story to the games. It suffers the same problem as earlier games though – the present interrupts more interesting stories in the past. What I don’t get though is why option a game as a property then try not to appeal to that market?

What I haven’t made time for though is the Nintendo Classic Mini. I played a little Ghosts ‘n Goblins – damn I forgot how hard games were then. I always thought as a kid that I’d somehow be better at them as an adult but I guess I didn’t factor in reactions.

Problematic licensing arrangements

I have a license for PGP Desktop software through work. When I’m away, I need to use Windows for work and whole disk encryption is essential when you’re travelling. I just returned from several months abroad, I re-installed my laptop including PGP Desktop 9.9 as usual and ran the licensing agent. There was an error message:

An error has occurred: bad parameters.

Super descriptive. I Googled it and learned a couple of things:

  • Symantec now owns the software and the only advice online is that a firewall is probably blocking the activation.
  • Rather than a firewall blocking the connection it appears that this version of PGP’s update and licensing server is no longer active.
  • The open source alternatives will accept my PGP keyring but not decrypt a virtual hard disk.
  • PGP 6.02i is still available free from this site. It doesn’t play nicely with 64 bit Windows and it can’t decrypt a drive from a newer version of PGP.
  • As it’s a corporate license, my employer didn’t tell us (or doesn’t know).

Fortunately, the licence is valid for Symantec PGP Desktop 10.2.1. Its just a shame you have to register to download the trial copy to enter your license agreement again.

Samsung NP-RV511-S02UK

I bought a new laptop the other week, a Samsung NP-RV511-S02UK. I have been using a Samsung NC10 dual booting Ubuntu and XP. An NC10 is a wondrous thing but when push comes to shove, a 1280×600 resolution is too small for Visual Studio work – especially when you want to see a PDF at the same time.

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Advocacy by not advocating

We have Ubuntu installed on two of the machines at home and recently, after losing a Windows restore disc, I suggested installing Ubuntu 10.04 on her Dell 1545 after my suggestion.

As installations go, it was relatively painless – certainly better than reinstalling Windows. Don’t get me wrong, Dell is better than most in this respect as they gave us OEM install discs for Windows Vista, bundled software and the drivers.  As strait forward as this is with Dell’s resource CD (it mostly tells you what you need), it doesn’t know any more than what model you own. This is problematic with the wireless card for example as there are two revision states and the drivers are incompatible with each other – one crashes Windows.

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Samsung NC10 – a pleasant Ubuntu experience

It’s another year and I’m deploying next week. One of the few perks that entails is VAT exemption at PC World. I had decided some time ago to retire my Acer Aspire One A110L, this seems a sensible opportunity. I need the following:

  • Very good battery life
  • No solid state disk (SSD) – they’re too small and were a bottleneck on the Aspire One
  • Under £300
  • Must have a microphone, web-cam and reasonable speakers – Skype is an essential

Continue reading Samsung NC10 – a pleasant Ubuntu experience