Kit-kat Upgrade

One thing about having a Nexus 7 is that new versions of Andriod come to you quite quickly. I was quite interested to see what the new KitKat version would do to the tablet. I wasn't so impressed: suddenly it was glitchy and unresponsive. Given the whole release was about improving memory usage and performance I thought it was odd. I couldn't see that KitKat should break the tablet even though it was the first edition.

Rooting the HTC Wildfire

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The HTC wildfire isn't known for it's memory capacity, and recently this cheap little phone has been complaining that it's short on memory. So I decided to delve into android and replace the firmware with something a little newer and slimmer.

There's a lot of conflicting advice out there about what to do and when so this is what I did:

  1. Changed and unlocked the boot-loader
  2. Wrote a recovery image to the phone for manipulating roms
  3. Backed-up original firmware, just in case
  4. Flashed new ROM based on Ice-cream sandwich

Gource: Turning project history into art

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There's an interesting project on google code that lets you generate pictures the history of software project.

Bansky on Advertising and Modern Art

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The thing that I hate most about advertising is that it attracts all the bright, creative and ambitious young people, leaving us with the slow and self-obsessed to become our artists. Modern art is a disaster area. Never in the field of human history has so much been used to say so little.
--- Bansky

The importance of sleep

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There's an interesting blog post about the importance of sleep. Not only does it report how sleep is more important for wellbeing than food, but also for some types of skills sleep is key to improvement. All the more reason to make effective use of your time while at work as staying longer consistently won't get you ahead at all.

Rick Sammon talks at Google about photography

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Rick Sammon intended to talk a about HDR but talks generally about photography:
Including:

  • Sports photographers that shoot with both eyes open, not just the eye looking through the view-finder.
  • Daylight flash fill article.
  • Best time for night photography is near dusk with a little ambient light.
  • Eye-to-eye is better for portrait.
  • Using a colour checking passport for white-balance, or an expo-disk.
  • Drinking Coffee and Alcohol changes colour perception: don't drink and print.

Linux paging and the Java JVM

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I read something interesting recently when looking at BASE databases implemented on the JVM. The linux kernel will quite aggressively swap out pages from processes when they are not being used. This can conflict with the way that generational garbage collection works in the JVM: garbage collection in particular can cause a lot of page faulting. Here the heap will be scanned for objects to be freed, however linux may have already paged out that memory making collection more expensive.

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