I’m a Software Engineer based in London. This is my blog about life and the technology I use and work with.
Recently Google Glass came to the UK and I’m lucky enough to work for a company who have purchased a pair. I found them slightly odd at first but they are definitely interesting and I’ve gone ahead and started to try and develop some Glassware (what Google are calling the apps that run on Glass.)
Google have kindly supplied some sample projects which you can find links to over at the Glass Developer website: https://developers.google.com/glass/samples/index
The guides they supply to set up the samples sadly use Eclipse rather than the far superior (in my opinion anyway!) Android Studio. I had a couple of problems setting up the samples to build for Glass so thought I would share how to get it done if anyone else out there is stuck.
First things first and you have probably already done this, but make sure you have downloaded the SDK Platform and the Glass Development Kit Preview. Right now the most recent of this is API 19, although depending on when you read this there may be a later version.
Once they are downloaded you can open up the sample project you’ve downloaded, I downloaded the Stopwatch live card example. If you already had Android Studio open then go ahead and restart it to ensure that it will pick up the SDK you just downloaded.
The project showed up with a lot of errors for me, and this was because Android Studio needs you to set the SDK you are using, opening up File –> Project Structure you’ll see under the SDK section a whole bunch of android SDKs you have installed, sadly Android Studio doesn’t show us the Glass Development kit SDK though, so you need to manually add that.
Click the ‘Add New SDK’ button at the top of the project structure window and select ‘Android SDK’. Android Studio will want you to point it at your SDK folder, mine for instance is currently at ‘C:\Users\Will\AppData\Local\Android\android-studio1\sdk’ but yours will obviously be different.
Once you hit OK you should be able to select the Glass Development Kit Preview from the build target drop down, hit OK on that and you will now have access to the Glass SDK for your project.
Still in the project structure window, select ‘Project’ at the top and from the Project SDK dropdown you will now be able to select ‘Android 4.4.2 Glass Development Kit Preview’ for the sample project.
You may now be able to build the sample project, but I also found that I needed to make another change in the project structure. Go to the ‘Modules’ section in the project structure and make sure you have the module SDK set to ‘Android 4.4.2 Glass Development Kit Preview’.
Hopefully now when you build the sample project it will succeed. If not please post a comment if you need any help.
Have fun making some Glassware!
As you can see if you browse back to my posts from 2012, I challenged myself that year to read 50 books, and I’m proud to say I did it! It did however leave me with reading burn out, there was no way I was reading 50 in a year again straight away!
Seeing as a catalogued my 50 book challenge here I feel I should post a quick update of my more recent reading exploits over the last couple of years.
Song of Ice and Fire
I read the last 2 books of the song of ice and fire series, meaning I am currently up to date with George R.R. Martin’s epic series. Its just a shame the TV series is catching up too quickly as well!
I read Veronica Roths trilogy off the back of having liked the Hunger Games books. Whilst it was similar I felt like maybe it was a bit too much Twilight influenced as well! My girlfriend really enjoyed them at least 🙂
Peter Grant Series
A fun light series by Ben Aaronovitch about a London police officer who’s also a wizard. I liked the series and hope he continues it, it was interesting having a police wizard turning up at placing I go in my day to day life.
A good fantasy trilogy by Robin Hobb, the first book was the best but the last two did do it justice and I’d recommend it to fantasy lovers.
I’d already read the first of this series in my 50 book challenge, but I’ve now read the final two of Margaret Atwood’s trilogy.
I’ve really enjoyed the new Hannibal TV programme so I decided to read the 4 books with Hannibal in by Thomas Harris. I loved the books too and am currently making my way through their film counterparts.
I’ve read other books here and there but the above are the highlights.
This year I have started to learn French! In school I did a GCSE in French and just about scraped a C, not my finest grade ever. I never found learning foreign languages easy (I could however communicate to you in C#, which country speaks that?) but at the start of the year I wanted to try something new and figured it was about time I had another crack at it.
I began to have a look into my different options; I could go to classes of which their are numerous adult language learning schools but I wasn’t sure heading back into the French classroom was the best shout for me! I’d heard of Rosetta Stone before but £200 seemed quite pricey for what could just be a whim (I wasn’t sure if I’d just give up after a week!)
Out came my phone and an app search was started. The following where the best options I found.
My first thought, “Free? I bet its terrible, or maybe its all about in app purchases”. But surprisingly Duolingo is actually very good! The app is a joy to look at and use, and the ‘quiz with 3 lives’ style that it uses makes the learning quite fun. Even more surprising is that at no point was it prompting me to pay for anything in app, its quite literally free (not like most ‘free’ apps on the app store these days!)
I found using duolingo really helped me start getting going with French (there’s plenty of other languages on it as well) but at times it did feel a bit like being thrown in the deep end of the grammar pool without being given any instructions on how to swim! Being just expected to understand and work out the different suffixes on the words was particularly tricky, I think in a way that’s just Duolingo’s style of learning. Learning by failing until you work it out for yourself.
P.S. For those of you interested I found out how Duolingo plan to make money – they plan to sell translation services to businesses/websites by getting their students to crowd source translate the documents/website text etc. Its a pretty clever idea but I cant help but wonder if they are going to get enough people getting good at the languages in order to do the translating! It looks like they have started to do this now with their ‘immersion‘ section on their website.
Price: Free App – Subscription for content – £53.40 for a year
Now I know above I was complaining about ‘Free’ apps on the app store which actually aren’t free, but I guess in a way they kind of work….
Babbel falls into the not so free category, the app gives you the first lesson for free, but then from then onward you are expected to pay a subscription fee. Babbel was just as easy to use as Duolingo, but what I found really added benefit to me was its more structured lesson format, certain parts of the lesson even explain the grammar to you and more. I felt like this taught me more than Duolingo and I enjoyed the lesson so much that I decided to go ahead and pay for a subscription.
At £53.40 for a year Babbel is a much more accessible price than Rosetta Stone, but as I still wasn’t sure how well I would keep up with my language learning I decided to opt for the 6 month subscription at £29.70.
Almost 6 months down the line and I’m still learning, maybe not as fast as I first planned, but each day I complete the revision Babbel prompts me with via the ‘Review Manager’ and I will do 1-2 lessons a week – often repeating past lessons. Foreign languages have always been difficult for me, but using Babbel and a bit of Duolingo (I still use it, but not as frequently) I am finding myself getting to grips with French. When I was in France recently I even managed to put my beginners French to good use.
I will definitely be buying a longer subscription for Babbel and would recommend you do to, but if you don’t feel quite up to paying just yet, get Duolingo, its free and you have nothing to loose 🙂
A slightly odd book, but interesting enough. Essentially a glimpse into the mind of a mentally deranged person! Pretty hard to describe it, but it was a decent read. The first Iain Banks book I’ve read, I’ll have to read some more of his stuff soon.
Recommended by Cesca, this book has a quite different premise; a boy gets stuck in a life raft with a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena and a tiger. Its just been made into a film and Cesca recommended I read it before we went to see it. After reading the description of the book I was expecting something quite different to what it was, its a good book with some very clever elements to it. I really enjoyed reading it, then seeing the film in 3d almost straight after.
So I’ve read 50 books in a year! Its been a good challenge and I’m happy to have completed it, the books have ranged from really long, to short, to boring, to really amazing. Its been a good year of reading… why stop at 50 🙂
Since reading the House of Silk I’ve wanted to read all the old Sherlock Holmes books, luckily they are free on the kindle book store! Once again I really enjoyed the story and loved the introduction to Sherlock and Watson in this book. If you haven’t read Conan Doyles classics yet then I highly recommend you start, its never too late!
Another good one with surprisingly heavy use of a cocaine solution by Sherlock! So this is why people always say he was an addict, its an interesting element to the character so its a shame that popular opinion/time have made it so when Sherlock is shown these days that side of him isn’t. Whilst this is my last book of the year, I’ll definitely be carrying on with the rest of the Sherlock stories in the new year.