Christian Cawley is MakeUseOf's security editor, Android tinkerer, Windows Phone mentalist, and Doctor Who fan. Follow him as @thegadgetmonkey on Twitter.
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Christian's Latest Posts
Over the 15 or so years of owning a mobile phone, I’ve always been interested in pushing the device as far as it can possibly go. In the early days, this would often involve finding ways to add custom ringtones. When Windows Phone 7 was first released, the customization options were limited. Windows Phone 8 takes a whole new approach to ringtones, making the addition of user-chosen audio far simpler. If you own a Nokia Lumia 920, you could have custom ringtones set up by the time you finish reading this page.
I’ve just about filled the 32 GB internal storage on my Nokia Lumia 920. Initially, I was surprised that it only took me six months, until I realised that I’ve been recording videos in HD. When you consider everything that relies on internal storage, it certainly seems like a complete removal of personal storage is required. There are several options. Backing up data can be performed manually, using the Windows Phone Tool via USB and you can rely on native tools to back up your photos, apps, settings and messages.
While building my Raspberry Pi retro gaming centre I ran into some problems with configuring game controllers. The challenges were straightforward. Would I use my Xbox 360 controller, or resort to a pair of basic USB controllers for two player gaming? Establishing a solution was difficult. In the end, despite my preferences, I opted to […]
The Raspberry Pi – a small, compact and versatile computer, capable of processing HDMI and MPEG-2 being the central component of any number of weekend projects from retro gaming stations and media centres to smart TVs, Internet radios and low budget space programs. Since its release in 2012 the Raspberry Pi has proved something of a phenomenon. Costing less than $40, the Raspberry Pi is a hugely successful computer, largely due to its low price.
Having used the Windows Phone platform since 2010, one of the things that has struck me is how difficult Microsoft initially made it to share files to and from your phone. With the original Windows Phone 7 a registry hack was required to use a device as mass storage, but this workaround was soon shored up in a subsequent update. Fortunately with Windows Phone 8, Microsoft has taken a more accepting position on the use of phones as mass storage devices.
Here in the UK, 4G is currently being rolled out across major towns and cities by the EE network (previously T-Mobile and Orange). Where I live we’re stuck with 3G, but I do have a 4G SIM to take advantage of high-speed mobile Internet when travelling. This always comes in useful, particularly if local Wi-Fi networks aren’t doing their job properly.
A few months ago I was playing games on my Nintendo Wii (thanks to the loss of my Xbox 360) and even getting fitter in the process – until I stumbled across the news that not only could I turn my Wii into a media centre, but that I could also install Netflix. Suffice to say, the intervening months have not been kind to my waistline. At times, they haven’t been all that kind to my sanity, either.
My personal desktop setup has changed considerably in the past few months since purchasing the Acer Iconia W7 series tablet, which I use as my primary PC. Gone is the tower of my old self build AMD-powered game station, replaced by far more compact dimensions, a new monitor and an external HDD. This is the main hub of my professional life: a Windows 8 tablet. Yes, you read that right. Let me demonstrate how you can be productive with Windows 8. It is possible, and with the right apps you can get great results.
I recently reviewed Rowi, the Windows Phone Twitter app, for these very pages. Rowi has pretty much decimated the opposition in terms of quality and stability, and has become probably more popular than the official app. So why have I stopped using it? Indeed, you might ask why I have stopped using the official app.
The Raspberry Pi – I just can’t stop tinkering with it. Fresh from setting it up as a media centre and a retro games console, I’ve recently started looking at the possibilities of the device as something more important. You may have seen one of our earlier posts about the unusual uses for a Raspberry Pi. One of these was using it as the computer in a low-budget space program, something that would make the Pi more portable than most computers on earth!
They say everyone has a book in them. The moment of completion brings a mix of immense satisfaction… and a confused, horrified reality: “How on earth am I going to publish it?”
Desktop computer, media center, an integral part of a budget space program – is there no end to the versatility of the Raspberry Pi? Seemingly not – because it also does games.
Perhaps the best way to stay informed of special offers online is to embrace IFTTT, the popular data combination service that allows you to process data from websites and RSS feeds into something useful for you. Did you know that IFTTT can also help you to save money, and even make some extra cash?
Enthusiasm radiates from Eben Upton. He’s the driving force behind the Raspberry Pi, that small computer that has been revolutionising hobbyist computing since its launch in 2012. Tall, and dressed casually, the founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation is explaining to me the background to the amazing minicomputer. But Upton isn’t your usual computer designer. He and his team didn’t build the Raspberry Pi to retire on. What they planned was something audacious, something fantastic.
Facebook Home is the highly-promoted new Android app from Facebook that unifies messaging and socializing with a single view and launcher, a sort of home screen replacement. Meanwhile Windows Phone users have People, the contacts/social networking hub that is integrated into the platform. We thought it would be interesting to see which of these approaches to integrated social networking is most effective.