My opinion about last Intel MacBooks is not quiet favourable. For 5 years I was using the MacBook Pro 15″ (2018). The laptop was powerful and smoothly runs everything I wanted like Android Studio or xCode… during first year of using. After a few updates of the OS, problems that were previously minor, now began to disturb my work. The battery time and the temperature of the bottom of the MacBook were unacceptable. The noise from the fans was a problem even with the headphones on. After replacing the battery after some time the Mac started occasionally powered off and that was enough for me. Now I am a lucky owner of brand new MacBook M3 Pro and after one week of working with it, there is a huge improvement comparing to the 2018 model. Some quick pros and cons:
chassis, screen, keyboard, cam – still top quality
forget about the fan noise or overheating, this MacBook is damn cool and quiet. Didn’t use so pleasant computer so far. Compiling projects in Android Studio and xCode are so quick (2 times faster than before) and most important that the laptop is not even warm. Simulators and emulators of mobile devices start after few seconds
battery life is astonishing – I just did 8 hours work on it – 3 or 4 hours more than on the 2018 edition with Intel.
Accidentally I turn on the TIDAL on the internal speakers and I was shocked with the quality of the sound which is clear with a small bass – best speakers in the notebook I used so far.
no support for VirutalBox on the ARM Apple cpus – tested qemu with utm ended with crashes of the windows 11 vm.
heavy and bulky, if you look for more mobile laptop, maybe 13″ is better option
My spec is:
12 CPU/18 GPU
Of course, these are the impressions after a short period of use, let’s hope it will stay like this for a longer than after switching to 2018 edition.
After using some time my SMSL SA300 it is time for change. Not because I’m not satisfied what this little SMSL is offering, but I was quite curious how other cheap class D stereo integrated amplifiers works in practice and what is the progress on the market since 2020. I listen to music every day but I am not an audiophile – the music plays often in the background, Internet radio and Tidal Hifi are my main source of the audio. I am using my setup with ELAC Debut B5.2 and Tannoy SFX active subwoofer for watching movies. Basing on my experience during last year I’ve made a short list of 'nice to have’ features of a new amp:
more power to be better suited to my ELAC Debut B5.2 speakers
out for active subwoofer
more inputs (optical, HDMI)
no more than 300USD
ability to return after testing
First try was a mistake, there was a quite good offer on Amazon for SMSL AO200MKII. After reading first review I quickly bought the unit, but… Remember check the review in min. 2 other sources. The unit is powerful, when played my favorite CDs the sound was better, more power and details than on SA300. When I connected the Bluetooth and tried my Tidal playlist, the low quality of music surprised me. The reason is support of Bluetooth codecs only SBC is supported by AO200MKII. Fast return and again…
A couple of days later I read a news about new SMSL AO300. Looks really promising! More power, out for the sub, HDMI Arc, optical input, coaxial input, all Bluetooth codecs including LDAC, 270 USD. The delivery was quick and I was able to test newest all in one solution from SMSL. After taking off the package the built quality is on top level – the unit looks great. Everything was great until I … used the remote. The remote has very narrow angles of work. I was unable to operate from 5m at 30 degrees of the amp, but it is not the end of the inconveniences. My subwoofer did not work with the amp, the sound was muffled, I needed to go max on the subwoofer controls to hear something. The last thing is the HDMI Arc which is good in the theory, but in practice some of the apps on my Android TV like Hbo Max and Disney do not cooperate. After choosing the movie with the multichannel audio there is a cracky sound from the speakers and I didn’t work out what is wrong. After all I returned also this unit, it was so close but the remote and sub are very important for me.
Last week of the November I read on the Loxjie website an announcement about a new amplifier for 2024 – Loxjie A40. I wrote a message to the shop I returned the previous units and they told me that there is a chance to get one before Christmas. As they told, the Loxjie A40 was added on Amazon after couple of days and about 4-5 days was with me. Very smooth delivery and support, thanks.
I need to say, at last I found the successor of the SA300. The Loxjie A40 also looks great and is really all in one solution in small package.
subwoofer out (working!)
sufficient power (165W for 4Ohm)
all modern Bluetooth codecs
USB-C connection works with all devices I tested (Android, iPhone, MacOS, Windows)
Phono input for turntables
outputs for headphones (I don’t have any headphones for testing right now)
After a week of testing including my old Fonica GS 473 turntable I am satisfied with new Loxjie A40, the sound is crispy, powerful. There is more bass heard on my Elacs. The subwoofer works almost as good as a SMSL SA300. I had to turn the knobs a little more on the sub. HDMI Arc has still a problem with some apps but on YT works great (Hbo MAX, Disney still not supported), the optical port works ok with my CD player and with TV as well. The coaxial input was not tested by me. The remote is as good as in SMSL SA300. If you also looking for cheap integrated amp for your stereo (+sub), the Loxjie looks like a good alternative. For detailed specification visit the Loxjie webpage (HTTPS is broken, I know).
If you would like to enjoy typing your favourite keyboard on Ubuntu as well, you need to change mapping on keys like:
Left Control to Left Win
Left Win to Left Control
Right Option to Right Command
First two steps we will achieve using gnome-tweak-tool (how to install, check here). If you have installed successfully, open it, go to Keyboard & Mouse section -> Additional layout options -> Ctrl postion and check as shown on the picture below:
The 3rd step doesn’t work for me while I set up it through tool above. But it is quite simple to use it by one-liner in /etc/rc.local. I had to created it manually and configure permissions to chmod 755
# switch opt with command key
echo 1 | tee /sys/module/hid_apple/parameters/swap_opt_cmd
And that’s all, now you can use commands and diacritics like on your mac 🙂
1 x Arduino (in my case it was Arduino Mega 2560 rev2)
1 x PCF8574 expander
1 x 4 digit display with common anode (my was FJ-5461BH)
1 x temperature sensor MCP9700AE
8 x 220 Ohm resistors
If you want to build your own simple digital thermometer just for fun, this tutorial is for you. All the „ingredients” you can buy on ebay, aliexpress or in your local electronic shop. The temperature sensor can be replaced with other one, but you need to discover how to connect it to the rest (especially check the operating voltage and pins). Different will be also way to calculate temperature basing on the output voltage. Read More →
Would you like to show map in your smart Android app? It is very easy, but after successfully passed some steps. In this tutorial I would like to make these steps with you to make the process faster and in a specific case – we will show our map in nested fragment.
Before funny work with the Android code we need to go through basic checkpoint list:
Check if you have installed a Google Play Services in your Android SDK Manager. If no of course please install it! Second part of this point is to import the google-play-services-lib project into your workspace.
Find your debug.keystore (or other) to list some details about it (like SHA-1 hash which is extremly important to accomplish next step.
Create Google Maps API Key basing on SHA-1 from 2nd step and your application package name.
Insufficient storage for Android apps? Move apps which you think are non-movable to your SD card (like Google Drive, YouTube, Maps, some keyboards like Swype + Dragon) and save space on your internal storage. To do this, you will need to download Android SDK Tools and execute only two commands in Command Line / Shell console. Read More →
During compiling some Android projects using Eclipse I had regular problems with exporting signed apk file. It is a known problem and everyone has his own solution to fix the issue. For my projects where I included many apk libs or jar files (Actionbarsherlock, gson, etc…) every export was finished with result:
Conversion to Dalvik format failed with error 1
or my Eclipse crashed or the package was corrupted 🙂 It was very frustrating. It was not problem with Proguard. The solution is very simple. Before you start to create signed apk file you should:
go to Project menu -> disableBuild Automatically…
after that Project -> Clean.. and clean all yours projects you use to create your apk ( uncheck Start a build immediately)
and now right click on the project -> Android tools -> Export signed application package…
Works for me on my workstations with Windows. And you still have problems with that?