Saturday, April 28, 2012


Busy busy busy with uni life nowadays. Will only have time to properly write reviews after the 12th. I am currently working on three important courseworks:

1) Android group project; an app where you can track your friends (after they approved you of course), chat, share points of interests, keep your timetable and the locations of your classes(you have to manually set this) and also view others' timetables. Ambitious project, but so far I am enjoying it. For the server part, we used JSONEngine deployed on Google App Engine so that we do not have to code any servlet ourselves :) Worth 100% of the module.

2) Writing a 'simple' compiler using ANTLR. At first I was struggling to see how to do it but fortunately as I work more on it, things started becoming clearer. TBH, I find it quite fun :) Worth 60% of the module.

3) Designing and implementing a database system (using ORACLE) for a hypothetical any hobby related forum. Reading the requirements makes it looked like its a lot of work. After spending a day on designing it, and of course learning how to use triggers and sequences, it looks very doable. Haven't actually started making queries on it though, hopefully I will finish the compiler first and then I'll work on this.

I know readers wont be interested on reading this, I am just posting this for myself :) I tend to forget things very easily so if next year I have to juggle doing multiple coursework at the same time, I can read this again and at least remember that I have been through this before :)

Anyway, as I need to use Android 2.3.3 on my Touchpad for the Android project, I cannot fully review the HP Touchpad under 4.0.3 and compare the SOC (Qualcomm APQ8660) to the other two I have used before. However, once all the datelines are done, I plan to do the following reviews:

  1. Since I have to revert to older versions of Android on the Touchpad, I was thinking of comparing the performances of all the different Android versions available on the Touchpad  so I can compare the performances between Gingerbread, HoneyComb and ICS. This should be fun. 
  2. Once thats done, I would like to post the long-due HP Touchpad review :)
  3. Review webOS on TouchPad.
  4. Review (and buy) Blackberry Playbook. Why? Because I heard the speakers are awesome :D
  5. Review (and buy) Ainol Aurora 2 tablet. It uses AmLogic AML8726-MX. I am really curious about the SoC's performance and searching online doesn't help. There is no (none that I can find anyway) proper reliable review on it. It would be nice to compare budget dual-core SoCs from China to other mainstream SoCs.
  6. Review (and buy) Brainwavs HM5 headphone.I love good quality headphones! I used to be a bass-junkie. My first speaker was the Altec Lasing VS2521. God, I used to love that speaker! The bass is good (considering the small subwoofer size) and the mid range is warm and rich. Over time, I wanted to hear more details. As the VS2521 have no dedicated tweeters for producing higher frequencies, there is a certain loss of realism when watching movies and listening to classical musics. Sopranos sound unusually warm so over time I started buying other speakers and testing them. After getting bored with trying out speakers, I settled on Harman Kardon Soundsticks speakers and then my obsession with headphones started. Didn't get to try many though as I was about to start my first year back then. Now and then when I am bored, I usually go to electronic stores trying out headphones. Right now my preferred brand is Sennheiser as they tend to sound neutral and balanced (moved on from that bass-is-everything stage). Read reviews of the Brainwavz online and it sounds like a headphone that I would like. 

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