Turn your Android phone into a steering wheel

I was looking on Amazon over the weekend for PC steering wheels when I remembered that my phone could do the job! Install JD SimWheel from the Play Store, grab the device driver and server from here for your PC and you’re 90% of the way there.

It might take a few minutes tinkering with the settings in-game but Euro Truck Simulator 2 works fine with it. I still can’t reverse properly but now I can take corners smoothly and two of the buttons on-screen are already configured for left and right indicators!

Here’s a howto video and demonstration using the game GRID created by user MyHD2AndOthers on Youtube.

Next on my todo list is using a WiiMote as a steering wheel as I already have the steering wheel adaptor for it and it should be more comfortable than holding a phone!

Cat saves boy from viscious dog

Well, you’ve probably seen this already but it’s still worth posting here because it’s so amazing. A cat defended a young boy from a viscous dog that was attacking him by ramming the dog and chasing him off. It’s incredible to think the cat flew at the dog like that.

I read last night that the dog has been put down but can’t find that information anywhere now. That was one lucky boy, it could have been so much worse. More on the story here.

BAKERSFIELD – A cat came to her best friend’s rescue Tuesday when a young boy was attacked by a dog in his driveway in Southwest Bakersfield and it was all caught on video.

The surveillance video shows the boy, 4-year-old Jeremy, playing on his bicycle. He was coming home from school when he wanted to fly a kite. Jeremy has mild autism.

The neighbor’s dog, an 8-month-old labrador/chow mix, sneaks up behind him and bites his leg.

The family’s cat, named Tara, rushed the attacking dog and chased it away.

(Quoting the news story because I guarantee the link will die and in a few years time I’ll be wondering about it.)

Amazing Android Audio with ViPER4Android

If I was in any way skilled at writing prose I’d continue the alliteration in this post but alas I’m not so you’ll have to make do with the amazing ViPER4Android that makes Android devices sound absolutely amazing.

Their about page says that “ViPER’s Audio is an audio enhancing software to provide everyone with better audio experiences in various platforms such as smartphones and PCs.” It has a graphic equalizer and controls for changing surround sound, bass, treble, clarity and gain settings in the driver. I mostly used the default settings but pumped the clarity up to 12dB. There are different settings for headset, phone speaker, bluetooth and USB/dock. Music and voice sources sound so much richer, even through the phone speaker. I have yet to try the “sound of the kettle boiling” vs podcast test but hopefully it’ll help.

What first led me to try ViPER4Android was “Adapt Sound” on my Galaxy S4. The difference when using Samsung’s stock music player was like night and day. Unfortunately it didn’t change the sound out of any other player like Google’s Music Player. I needed an alternative.

You can download the apk file here. I installed the FX apk for the extra settings and installation is straightforward if your phone is rooted already. It may ask you to confirm a change to core configuration files that can cause damage. It warns you to make a backup first but I allowed it to do so and the phone rebooted without a hitch. I chose “Super Audio Quality” which the app warns might drain battery more quickly but I’m at home 99% of the time anyway so that’s not a major issue for me.

If you need further help, there’s some good illustrated installation instructions here.

Kerbal Space Program: The Minmus Space Station

Just over a year ago I docked two space ships in Kerbal Space Program for the first time. It was extremely difficult. The first time you do it it’s like balancing a full cup of tea on a 1m pole while cycling down the road on a unicycle. With the pole standing on your nose. It’s something I’ve mostly shied away from as it’s so frustrating.

However, after watching this video I tried again. Balancing my craft is made a lot easier by “hacking gravity” to test that the RCS ports are in the right place, setting the camera mode to chase, and the docking alignment indicator makes final approach more manageable. It’s still not easy but it’s not impossible. So I went a little overboard..

Space Station around Minmus

This is my space station around Minmus. It has a portable laboratory for processing science experiments brought up from the moon’s surface and plenty of fuel for refuelling. It’s also made up of space craft from 3 different launches all docked together. The capsule on the surface side of the station can be detached and can fly back to Kerbin with any valuable science. As you can see, Kenlorf Kerman is overjoyed with his new space station. He better be, he might be there for quite a while!

OK, so there aren’t any spare docking ports. I’ll, umm, have to send those up on the next launch. It’s lucky that Jeb is a competent pilot and can manoeuvre his craft around with ease when a new section arrives. Nothing scares him.

Jebediah and Kenlorf

Update! The space station has progressed. It’s longer after I sent up more rocket fuel and RCS monopropellant. My lander has been down to Minmus twice collecting science and I sent one command module back to Kerbin brimming with science. I then added a new section to the space station with 4 new docking ports. Getting them there was hair raising. I nearly ran out of RCS propellant. Gulp.

Minmus Space Station

Cork City on a Saturday Night

This is a not-so flattering look at Cork City on a Saturday night, but it’s probably repeated most everywhere where drink is served.

I like the music though. Could this be a sneaky attempt to make a viral video for the musician? Bet there’ll be an exclusive interview with thejournal.ie or The Examiner in a few days time. Or, as one Reddit user said,

obvious propaganda from the government in Dublin who want to annex our republic.

Of course.