Outlook 2013 + Growl

I recently had some time to work myself around Outlook 2013 and was looking for a way to display new mail notifications via growl, so I get notified when not at my computer (using “Notfiy My Android” in conjunction with growl to forward any messages to my smartphone) –  you might remember that my company shut off the access to the Exchange servers via smartphone. So I don’t get the full mail, but I get a notice that a new mail arrived, including its subject. Pretty neat.

I found a little VB-script that you can use in Outlook 2013 (or any Outlook for that matter) to get notifications about new e-mail arriving. You can find the script including instructions over here:
http://blogs.silicontechnix.com/?p=768

Works like a charm!

Gotham around the corner!

So, with XBMC V13 (alias Gotham) already in feature freeze, we can expect it to drop in a few weeks. I just wanted to bring you up to date on my plans regarding the XBMC Guide for that.

Of course I will be updating the guide completely – giving a new look on the interface, possibilities and updates. I also plan to do the guide way more exhaustive and complete, but I will split it up in multiple versions. This is due to the fact that I still want to maintain a guide for early users, just getting into the gripes of XBMC from the getgo. I will however also try to expand on useful information for the slightly more advanced users, giving insights into XBMC, the way it is built and how to tackle it to get the most from the experience.

I will probably design this guide to be interactive first and static second, changing the priorities of the guide completely – beforehand I fixed on delivering a PDF, now I want to deliver a website which is showing off the information (I’ll still deliver you the PDF-goods, though). Let’s see how that turns out – ’til the next time around!

synqYa!

Just a little advertising here (seriously though – it’s not like I’m getting paid to do this, just wanted to share). Just discovered this neat little service:

synqYa

It is a very free service which allows you to syncronize your Outlook Calendar with your Google Calendar – in both directions. For free. I just needed such an application desperatly, but couldn’t install gsync because my company does not allow for such dll’s to be installed on our work-laptops. So, now I got an easy way to sync up my work calendar to my Google Account, allowing me to carry it around to check for appointments (which I couldn’t do before because my company has blocked the access to our Exchange servers from smartphones…)

Have fun with it! (Did I mention that it is free?)

Google’s update to the services-framework of Android…

…totally screwed with my opinion on Android.

Due to a change introduced for Android 4.2 about two months ago, Android is getting annoying for me to the point of “I do not want to use this any longer”. The change I am talking about introduced a new “feature” for all devices sporting 4.2 . The framework was changed in order to make all notifications, which have a notification-sound attached to them, vibrate when the phone is put in vibration-mode. This renders application-specific settings useless since the OS is favoring itself above anything else. For a little example: You can define in the GMail-Application if there should be a vibration when a new message arrives. Now, assuming you set this up to say that there shouldn’t be vibrations on new mails. Ever. But you also setup a notification sound which makes GMail playback the sound as soon as a mail arrives and the phone is neither in silent- nor in vibrate-mode. Now, in 4.1 and before, you’d get no notification (besides the usual notification in the notification-drawer) when your phone is either in silent- or vibrate-mode (that is the behavior I came to expect). But now in 4.2 you’ll get a vibrating phone when your phone is in vibrate-mode, besides the fact that you disabled the vibrations in the app’s settings. This is highly annoying as every single notification you’ll get with a sound attached to it, will vibrate the phone when in vibrate-mode. This has been mentioned on numerous Google-Code-Issues and Google hasn’t reacted to anything as of yet.

Why does this annoy me so much?
Well, I have a few apps which should inform me about new notifications when they arrive with a sound. But a lot of those apps aren’t supposed to do a darn thing, when I put my phone in vibrate-mode. I only want to be notified with a vibration about specific notifications (i.e. SMS/MMS) or when the phone actually rings. I always took it as a setting between the silent- and the full-sound-modes. With the new “feature” this has become utterly useless. My phone vibrates all the time when put in vibrate-mode (mails, NotifyMyAndroid, …) due to the amount of notifications I get and when in silent, I miss important notifications (for example: My phone is ringing!). The proposed workaround involves setting all those pesky apps to be silent in the first place (i.e. they do not playback a notifications sound when sound is on either) and then move on. Another workaround would be using an application like lightflow (which I already purchased). But those don’t do it for me (mainly because it annoys me that I have to use workarounds in the first place).

I’m currently in the process of setting up my build-env. to build CyanogenMod (my choosen ROM) for my Galaxy Nexus (GSM) myself. In this process I’ll be altering the source back to the point before the change happened, in order to remove this stupidity from the code. I’ll also will dish out only a services.jar for you poor souls who are unable to rectify this issue on their own.  Stay tuned and expect something on the weekend.

XBMC Android-Nightlies Dismissed

Hey there,

due to the fact that I am unable to compile working versions of XBMC for Android right now and the fact that the XBMC-Team has decided to put up their own build-system for android-nightlies (downloads over here: http://mirrors.xbmc.org/nightlies/android/ ), I am discontinuing my service and hence forth will not provide any nightlies any longer – this is also true for the AML-Version (which I wasn’t able to use anyhow ;) ).

This blog will continue to feature my guides for XBMC, with the next update being scheduled for XBMC’s final Frodo-Release.

XBMC Android APKs

Suspending the builds for a while again, until I figure out where the problems arise from. Both, the amlplayer-version and the non-amlplayer-versions, are currently not working due to missing library references. I’ll look into it and let you know about my progress.