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Quick tip: Select MP3 file from file system as alarm on Android

This was easier in the 90s

The Nexus 4 runs Android KitKat 4.4.2.

Had a stupid problem today. I just wanted to set a certain MP3 file as an alarm on my Nexus 4, but the default song selection box did not include a way to browse the file system. Also, putting the file in the Notifications or Alarms folders did not show the file, not even after a reboot. Then I simply went to Settings → Apps → All → Media Storage and tapped "Clear defaults" under "Launch by default". Now, when I tap to select an alarm sound, I get the option to use the ES File Explorer I happened to have installed. Just browse to the file, done. Any side effects? Possibly. But the only one I have noticed so far is that I can use the file explorer for the ring tones selection as well, which is pretty neat.

New: Responsive image gallery

Form the Anything is Better-dept.

Actually, I haven't tested this on the iPhone yet... please get back to me if you try it and it doesn't work - and feel free provide a bugfix too. ;)

I have been using HighSlide for quite some time for the image gallery now, and felt it was time for an update, especially since it never worked well on smartphones. A quick google didn't immediately yield what I was looking for, so I implemented a simple image slideshow thingy using JavaScript and CSS. It is still a bit rough around the edges - works well on Nexus 4 and most modern browsers though - but should scale better on mobile devices and also look great on a PC. Try it out if you like.

Hands on: Cheap Interchangeable Cell Phone Lenses

That L glass is too heavy anyway

Shooting with a smart phone is fun! As one tends too keep it close at all times, capturing that special moment has gotten so much easier. But what if you are tired of that limiting, fixed focal length lens - is there a way to change it? Turns out, there are quite a few options. Mostly for fun, I ordered a set of three lenses - one which also doubles as a macro lens - and took them for a spin. For less than 10 USD, what can go wrong? Read on for more.

Easy fix for Google Nexus 4 sliding off surfaces and muffled speaker

World's smallest IKEA hack

The Nexus 4 may have been superseded, but anyone still using it probably still struggles with its (great looking) slippery flat back, which makes it slide off most slightly slanted surfaces and also muffling the speaker when placed on its back. Easy fix for that: get a rubber bumper pad - eg. from IKEA - and stick it to the back next to the speaker. The rubber stops it from sliding, and since it's lifted up slightly, it lets more sound from the speaker out (demuffling!). I carry my phone in my pocket and the pad has stayed on for several weeks so it's fairly durable too. Good luck!

Quick Sharpness Comparison

Sharpest tool in the shed

Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 @f/2.8

I was recently asked by a reader if I could do a comparison between the Canon kit lens (EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II), the Canon 50mm "Plastic Fantastic" (EF 50mm 1:1.8 II) and the Canon 40mm pancake (EF 40mm f/2.8) with respect of sharpness. I was a bit curious myself, so I went out and took a few shots. I also included the Tamron 18-270 DI II. Read on for more.

DSLR vs cell phone camera vs digicam

Next up: Apples vs Oranges

Canon 600D, Nexus 4, Olympus TG-310.

I recently picked up the Nexus 4, and it's the first time I find myself really using a cell phone as a camera. Obviously, a DSLR has better image quality, but just how much better? I compared the Nexus 4 to the Canon 600D (AKA T3i) to find out - and also threw in the the compact point and shoot Olympus TG-310 for good fun.

Short review: Logitech K400r vs Plexgear Mediatrack Ergo

Keyboards for the couch potato

The touchpad of the Logitech K400r.

I have just recently hooked up a dedicated PC to my TV to use it as a media center. This obviously calls for a suitable device to operate it with. I am not ready to ditch the keyboard for a "real" remote just yet, so in order to comfortably control the PC from the couch, I looked at two options: The Logitech K400r and the Plexgear Mediatrack Ergo (AKA MCSaite W9710RF AKA Generic Wireless Trackball Keyboard). Read on for a short review and comparison.

Back in Sweden

A breath of fresh air

A Swedish lake.

Been a bit busy lately to post much here, reason being me relocating to Sweden. Moving from one country to another is quite a project, but luckily things went (mostly) as planned. The summer in Sweden is beautiful, but also short. Expect to see articles on my experiences with polar bear photography soon. ;)

Save and Load Your Icons

Also, use quick load - it saves lives

Magic stuff from the magic box... Dropbox apparently, in this case.

The free and hopefully fun to use Shiny Icon Maker just learned a new trick: Saving and loading icons. After creating that super-cool icon, maybe you want to save it on the website for later use. And now you can! You can save up to five icons and load them later. Note that the feature uses the LocalStorage in the web browser, so you need to use the same machine and the same web browser to load them later. Try it out!

Canon EF 50mm 1:1.8 II vs Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM: Which to get?

Clash of the Minuscules

The 50mm next to the 40mm mounted on the Canon 600D.

The Canon 50mm 1.8 "Plastic Fantastic" is an interesting lens. With its sub 100 USD price, basically anyone should pick it up just to see what it's like to shoot with a fast prime. However, since Canon introduced the 40mm 2.8 pancake lens, the 50mm may no longer be the obvious choice for a reasonably priced second lens. I happen to have both now, but which one would I have chosen if I could choose today? Read on for a (subjective) comparison between the two.

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Erik Moberg  2022