Sony S Table - Plating Playstation games

sony logoFinally, I took the dive in to the works of Tablet computing with the Sony S Tablet. I was wanting something that I could use for testing websites on, as well as the multiple features available to android. I opted for the Sony S because of some of the Sony specific features (Playstation gaming, remote control). After testing most of the features, and downloading many apps, I decided to test Crash Bandicoot. Its the free playstation game you get on both the Sony S and the Sony P tablets.

I will not be going in to any details about the graphics, sound or gameplay. This detail has been covered many times before, and from what I can see, it works identical to the original. What I will be speaking about is, how this game controls on a touch screen tablet.

The first and main thing that is apparent when holding the tablet and trying to play is, you cannot rest your thumbs on the controls. This might not be a new this to people who has an iPad, iPhone or an Android phone, and have played games on the (at least platform or adventure style). It is people like my self that think, 'ah, I will buy the Sony because I would like the option of playing PS games'.

For a moment, I want you to think about playing a playstation game, either on a Playstation or a PSP. You are holding the controller, and you position your thumbs so that they rest on the + pad and action buttons (△◯ ⃤╳[action symbols]). When you want to control a particular element of the game, you press down on the button. All the while, you are still able to feel the buttons, you never look down at your hands because you know from the feel where to move your thumbs.

With the S Table, you cannot rest your thumbs on the controller. I guess this rule applies to all touch screen devices. So, because of this, there are 2 ways to control Crash Bandicoot (or any game):
  • guessing where the directions and buttons are.
  • quickly glancing down at you fingers from time to time.
However, you will have to hover your right thumb over the action buttons, and if your coordination is off, you will strike the wrong button or nothing at all. It is not an ideal playing environment, but is fine for 30min of recreational time.

Sony s 1The default set up for playing Playstation games is in wide mode, with the controls on the screen. I have seen a videos of people playing Playstation games in book mode, with the top half of the screen reserved for the visuals of gameplay and the bottom half for you controls. This for me would be the ideal way to play, but from the options it was not immediatey present how to alter this, so I thought I would just add this extra section for anyone not sure. Don't try turning the tablet just yet, it does not auto-rotate.
Sony s 2
Press the options button (it looks like six square boxes). Then choose Controller setting (yes, this is not under 'Screen mode'). In Controller settings choose 'On-Screen controller settings. It is here where you will the option for Landscape or Portrait. You can also position the controls on screen here and adjust the size.

Firefox 4 5 6 now 7?!

So I just opened Firefox, for what must be the first time in a few weeks. Upon opening, it asked if I would like to update to the latest version. Version 7!?

To start off with, my understanding of versions is as follows:

A full version number (1.0, 2.0 etc) determines a new piece of software, similar from the previous with the majority being new e.g. Police Academy, 'version' 2,3,4,5 and 6 are bran new films, but each one essentially follows on where the last one left off.

A partial version number (3.1 3.11 3.2 etc) determine changes to a current software, same as the previous with slight changes (security updates, bug fixes, user feature, etc). with this in mind, my assumption along with many others is that a full version takes a year or two to produce, where as partial versions (fixes) are produces as soon as a problem arises and implemented as soon as possible.

With this kind of understanding, if a full version is therefore release within 6 months, the belief is that there is something terribly wrong with the previous one that it had to be re made and release as soon as possible. This is how I felt with Firefox, especially with 4 transitions since March.

At the point is asked to update to 7.0, I was a tad suspicious. After a quick internet search, I found the reason. From wikipedia:

Rapid release
A draft roadmap indicated that Mozilla hoped to release several versions in 2011, but despite incrementing major version numbers of subsequent versions, these versions would be smaller incremental updates, primarily focusing on improving speed, stability and security.

Its all ok when it makes sense, but I feel that, not everyone is fully aware of Mozilla's toad-map.

Problem viewing troublesome... had been causing trouble for a while. It was not showing on any browser (Safari,Firefox and Chrome). I couldn't fond any details on how to resolve this, mainly as I was not searching for exactly the right thing. Though, there is very little information on this, I only finally came to the solution when I searched for the term "Firefox can't establish a connection to the server at". I did not search this as Firefox is not my main browser.

The solution was to do with "/etc/hosts", but I could not find any such file or directory. The entries in the hosts file were disabling practivate.adobe tpractivate.adobe.newoa practivate.adobe.ntp practivate.adobe.ipp

All these and more.

So after doing a bit more searching, I found that these entries had to be deleted, (or just commented out with # to avoid problems [#])
Even though there were explanations on how to do so, I am no Apple Mac expert and had no idea what to do.
Then there was one post that just happened to mention some software called GasMask that would hope the host file which can then have those troublesome lines removed or #-commented out. I put an hash(#) next to each one referring to adobe, then saved it.


Disabling swipe in Safari

I do like the swipe feature of the Magic Mouse, especially while looking through photos in iPhoto. But when it comes to safari, it can mess things up. I had filled in may online documents or processed many payments. Whit it comes to selecting something else with the mouse or just clicking next (or even writing on this blog and using the mouse to move up and down the page) is when the problem strikes.

It can be a very sensitive mouse at times, if it feels the slightest notion of a swipe (generally to the left), it may navigate away from a page you are browsing. So the solution I was looking for, was to disable the swipe in Safari.

There is nothing to so this in the system preferences, nor is there anything in the Safari preferences. I could not find any possible plug-in or extension for Safari, but finally came across MultiClutch. This is a System preference for 32bit systems. So as the majority of people may now be using 64bit systems, there is someone under the name of Prashant who had made this software workable.

View here to learn how to make it workable for 64bit applications.
Getting to the point, this software does not disable it for Safari, but you can change what the gestures do in Safari (or any software). When you open MultiClutch for the first time from the System Preferences there will be nothing assigned. You will need to add an Application first, I added (clicking +) Safari. Then I added the two gestures I wanted to change in Safari (clicking the + on the right), first the swipe left I added key command "shift" + "ctrl" + "tab" keys (select previous tab), then the swipe right I added key command "ctrl" + "tab" keys (select next tab). See the image for what you set up should look like if you are following my route.

Once all is set up, restart your computer to make sure all is in order. Once your are back on, the swiping in your web browser should no longer navigate away from your page you are viewing.

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Adding your own customer sounds to iCal

For a while I was looking for how to add custom sounds, but all I was getting was results on how to add sounds to appointments in your schedule.
I did eventually find some that said you would need to edit the registry of iCal to add new ones, and then the sound could be put in a particular folder.

Well the solution for this, is that you need not edit anything. You just need the sound file in aiff format.

Now the sound file needs to be in aiff format, otherwise its no good.
A great free program is Max.
If you don't need to convert your file, skip to the bottom.

If you are using Max to convert the audio file to aiff then there are a few things you will need to configure in Max first.
Max1Firstly open up the Preferences and then click on the Formats button. From the bottom list of "Available output formats" double click format required.
As iCal requires them to be in aiff format, that is what we will double click in the list. I chose AIFF (Apple/SGI). It will no appear in the top part "Configured output formats". Now put a tick in thebox and you can close the preferences. Max2
Max3Now clike File > Convert Files...
[I was converting the Mac Install Complete as its a a nice loud sound to alert me.]
Now choose the file you want to convert.
Then click "Convert".
So the jobs done, well I did not know straight away where the file was save to, but I did find it. Its in Music/Unknown Artist/Unknown Album/00 Unknown Track.aiff. Max4

Rename the file and copy it to the folder: Macintosh HD/System/Library/Sounds/
Now the next time you run iCal, you will be able to select the custom sound you chose as an alert.
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