The return of the “bicycle for our minds”.
Sinclair Research ZX Spectrum
What happened to the computer? If you are old enough to remember the 1980’s you may recall the explosion of home computers that occured, some of the most popular being:
- Sinclair Research’s ZX80, ZX81 and Spectrum.
- Commodore Business Machines VIC-20, Commodore 64 and Amiga.
- Atari’s 400, 800 and ST.
- Acorn Computers BBC Micro, Electron and Archimedes
- Apple IIe
A Simple Basic Program
Unlike the video games consoles (such as the Atari 2600) not only could these systems be used to play games they could also be programmed, usually in Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code (BASIC). These easy to use computers provided many with the education needed to forge successful careers and build successful businesses in the new Information Technology industry that emerged in the 1990’s as the Internet sprang into life. What was great about these computers was the immediacy, intimacy, responsiveness and quick boot time. It was only seconds from turning the power on to starting to type a computer program. A computer program that could easily access the raw hardware of the computer. Unlike the typical computers purchased on the high street today, which are over engineered, power hungry, bloated and slow booting devices. So despite a quarter of a century of technological advances how did we end up with expensive devices that kids cannot easily program. Continue reading
The success of Android as a mobile device Operating System (OS) has resulted in a large variety of screen sizes and resolutions. Here is provided a list of example devices to show that variation.
In the following table it is assumed that the device is held in portrait orientation. As such the width in pixels is the X-axis and the length or height in pixels is the Y-axis. Obviously that swaps when the device is held in landscape orientation. Android has support for both orientations so that a correctly programmed App will work no matter which way you hold the device. If you need to understand about pixels see the article How Computer Screens and Printers Show Images. The total number of pixels in a screen is the number in the x-axis multiplied by the number in the y-axis. The more pixels for each square inch (or centimetre) of display the sharper any images will be displayed (provided those images are at a high resolution).
For an explanation of the Acronym see the article Screen Resolution Names. The Size column next to each device is the diagonal measurement for the device screen in inches. This table illustrates that screens with the same resolution can be different sizes.
Example Andriod Screen Sizes and Resolutions
||Device Example 1
||Device Example 2
||Samsung Galaxy Fit (GT-S5670 )
||Samsung Galaxy Apollo
||Archos 32 Internet Tablet
||Dell Mini 3ix
||Motorola Pro+ MB632
||Google Nexus One
||Dell Streak 7
||Sony Xperia Ray
||Archos 43 Internet Tablet
||Elonex eTouch 702ET
||Acer Iconia Smart S300
||Sony Tablet P
||Amazon Kindle Fire
||Archos 101 Internet Tablet
||Archos 80 G9
||WXGA720, HD, 720p
||Galaxy Nexus (GT-i9250)
||Sony Xperia S
||LG Optimus PAD (V900)
||Samsung Galaxy Note (GT-N7000)
||Motorola Xoom 2
The iPhone 4S is shown in the table for comparision purposes, see the DVGA line, it is not an Android phone. Note a Full High Definition (FHD) or 1080i/1080p screen is 1080×1920 which is 2,073,600 pixels. Despite the wide variation in resolutions and screen sizes the Android OS and its Software Development Kit (SDK) caters for all of them.