Windows XP Drivers for NVIDIA Geforce GTX 970, 980, 980 TI and Titan X, say what?!

I recently built a new computer to better accommodate the forthcoming line of resource-intensive tech products, namely the Oculus Rift and related VR devices. While my old computer was nothing to shake a stick at, its hardware was not satisfactory enough to produce a consistently smooth experience on the Developer Kit 2 (DK2). The second iteration of the developer headset kit requires rendering a 1920x1080 display (960x1080 per eye) 75 times per second or else latency and lag lead to a jittery and nauseating experience. When the consumer version drops next year the hardware demands will be even greater.

With my latest PC upgrade (Geforce GTX 980 TI, MSI Z97 Gaming 5 motherboard with an Intel i7 4790k CPU, 32GB RAM, Samsung SSD 840 Pro, Sound Blaster Zx) I made the sudden, albeit fully expected observation—none of these new components provided any Windows XP support by the manufacturers. After all, Microsoft itself ceased mainstream support for XP way back in 2009 and officially declared it to be 'end of life' and fully unsupported in April 2014.  It makes zero sense for any manufacturers to waste additional developer resources maintaining support for such an archaic and unsupported operating system, even as millions of diehards still cling on. Read Full Article

SAMSUNG Remote Test Lab: Test Android Apps on Real Devices for Free

For the past couple of months, I've been working on a much-delayed update to my Android application Scribblify.  The original Android version was released back in early 2013 and hadn't been updated on Google Play since then. Although it paled in comparison to the iOS counterpart, the first Android version still received positive reviews and was downloaded 200,000 times. Having released a major 4.0 update to the iOS version earlier this year, it was time to bring the Android version up-to-speed.

One of the greater challenges experienced with Android development occurs when it comes time to test. I previously wrote about the increasingly fragmented iOS platform, but even with a handful of different iOS devices sporting different resolutions and technical specs, nothing quite compares to Android device dispersion. In my updated Android app, for instance, I support all Android devices from API Level 15 (Android 4.0.3) up. According to Google Play, this makes the app compatible with 9,098 Google-certified devices. This list encompasses at least four years of devices including phones, tablets, phablets and more. Understandably, with such a large range of devices comes an equally large range of technical specs. Read Full Article

Fastest Way to Delete Large Folders in Windows

How to Speed Up Folder Deletion Times by 20x or More!

The common way of deleting files and folders in Windows is via Windows Explorer (a.k.a. File Explorer). This method is perfectly acceptable under normal circumstances, but becomes a real drag when dealing with large and complex folder structures. There is, in fact, a significant amount of of overhead when you trigger the standard delete action in Windows including when either emptying the Recycle Bin or directly deleting files via Shift+Del.

Upon flagging a folder for deletion in the traditional fashion, Windows begins by calculating the total folder size, number of items contained within it, and the estimated completion time. This "Preparing to Delete" phase can consume a sizable amount of time itself depending on the contents being deleted. During the actual deletion process, Windows continues to query and report various statistics about the process including how many items are deleted per second, how many remain, the current item being deleted and so forth. You may also be prompted via the Windows dialog if any conflicts arise during the process. Read Full Article

Steam Greenlight: Game Submission (Ballastic)

In the not-so-distant past, I participated in a sequence of Intel-sponsored global app development competitions. Each of the competitions focused on rapidly developing applications for new and forthcoming technologies that Intel and partners were promoting. In fall-2012, I developed a casual coffee-break style game as part of the first App Innovation Contest, hosted by CodeProject. The competition was to help showcase cutting edge features of Intel's Ultrabook line of laptops.

The game that I developed in a very short window of time, Ballastic, utilized many of the Ultrabook's sensors for various creative purposes including touch, accelerometer and ambient light detection. However, the core game itself was equally fun on a standard mouse-controlled computer. Apparently the judges liked it, as it ended up winning the grand prize for the gaming category. Intel conducted a case study with me and this little app even made its way to some part of the Consumer Electronics Show the following year. Read Full Article

Using Bluestacks for Fast Android Emulation

Testing Android applications on PC or Mac without a physical device can be quite a burden. The configurable Android virtual machines in Eclipse/Android Studio are notably sluggish and don't work well with many third party frameworks, especially those powered by C++. If your development machine has Intel-based hardware you can accelerate the emulation process by using Intel® HAXM technology, but AMD users are not yet so lucky.

The fastest and easiest way I've found to test Android applications is via the BlueStacks app player. BlueStacks is a free, ad-supported product for PC and Mac that enables you to download and run Android applications from your PC, as if using an Android device itself. BlueStacks isn't the only product on the market of its kind, but it does boast higher compatibility and a greater feature set than the competitors. According to BlueStack's feature chart, it supports up to 96% of all apps and 86% of all games on the Android market. Furthermore, BlueStacks offers streamlined emulation of the Android device's camera, microphone, multitouch and more which makes it ideal for testing in-development apps. Read Full Article