Following my Java Masterclass series in APC

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For the last few months, I’ve been doing a ‘Learn to Code Java’ masterclass series in APC magazine – and it looks like a few new readers have been joining of late, given the emails.
The series will eventually hit the APC website, but you’ll be a few issues behind – so grab the latest issue of APC to get the latest!
If you want to get started, all you need is a computer and some free software – the… Read more

Source code for my Arduino Digital Audio Recorder

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One of the most popular (and one of the trickiest) Arduino projects I’ve designed so far is the Arduino Digital Audio Recorder. It appeared in APC magazine issues #403 and #404. It turned an ordinary Arduino Uno R3 microcontroller board into a WAV format audio recorder that can capture 8-bit audio at up to 48kHz and store it on a FAT-formatted microSD card.
I’ve made use of and want to thank the authors of the sdfatlib library, which makes the FAT filesystem possible on an… Read more

So, I upgraded my iPad 3 to iOS 8.1…

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Necessity forced my hand in the end and I had to bite the bullet and upgrade to iOS 8.1.
Now I actually hadn’t ever upgraded this tablet and it was still running the original 5.1.2 release it was bought with, so it was already lightning quick. As a result, I was expecting a pretty significant chunk of performance to go sailing off into the ether.
I’m not sure what the circus of 8.0.x was like (except obviously not positive for… Read more

My new ‘learn to code’ masterclass in APC magazine

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One of my most favourite roles at PC User magazine was developing the in-house apps for the monthly cover disc. Not the stuff that was often unflatteringly called ‘shovelware’, but the PC User-branded apps – everything from the PerfectPC system builder app to various RockPod and TVRip video conversion tools, UserBench benchmarks and the UserOS operating systems.
It was all fun and incredibly interesting because you never did the same thing twice – it also helped me perfect my time… Read more

Should I upgrade to iOS 8?

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The one thing I’ve applauded Apple for that Android device makers have done rather poorly on is the whole continuous stream of OS updates. Whereas Android devices are often abandoned by their makers after two years and rarely see updates after one, Apple is still churning out versions of its latest releases of iOS for quite old devices.
The new iOS 8 is a case in point – you can now install this update onto an ageing iPad 2.
But… Read more

Run KitKat on your PC

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One of the problems with running newer operating systems on older PCs is they just tend to struggle under the weight. Sure, they’re designed to run in the same amount of RAM as their predecessors (at least in the case of Windows), but that doesn’t always help much.
One of the quieter and more interesting OS efforts in recent times has been the Android-x86 project. You might be having trouble getting a KitKat/Android 4.4 update for your phone or tablet, but… Read more