Using Maemo specific widgets with Qt

September 9th, 2010 by Zoran

Maemo custom widgets with QtThe N900 is a piece of work. A smartphone running Linux. What more could a geek want? Well, for one thing, leveraging an existing application framework (Qt… wink, wink) for developing cool applications. And we would also like to be able to use platform specific widgets and whatnot. Well, duh. Read the rest of this entry »

On happiness by the Zappos CEO

September 7th, 2010 by Merlin

Tony Hsieh, the CEO who had led Zappos from a small start-up to a 1 billion dollar company sold to Amazon last year, recently wrote a Delivering Happiness book. In it he tells us about his entrepreneurial ventures, but mostly about Zappos, its world famous company culture and first class customer service.

One thing he mentions are what he thinks of as four pillars of happiness on a workplace, but also in life in general. For a person to be happy he or she must have:

  1. Perceived control – A person has to have a certain level of autonomy and a right to make a decision, even a small one.
  2. Perceived progress – A person should be able to see progress of its skills, positions, levels of autonomy, etc. The workplace should be arranged in a way to provide a regular feedback.
  3. Connectedness – It is much easier to work with people who are treated as peers and friends, not as company’s resources.
  4. Vision/Meaning – Nobody likes to work on something and than never to see it come to life or just watch it getting discarded without an explanation. A goal or at least a direction is something that can be a much stronger motivator than a paycheck.

Custom push buttons on the N900 with Qt Style Sheets

September 3rd, 2010 by Zoran

QSS Custom buttons flowStandard push buttons on the N900 are functional and look good to boot. But let’s say you need something different for your next “instant-hit” app. Is there a quick and (relatively) painless way of getting that extra shine. Drumm roll, please. Enter the Qt Style Sheets… Read the rest of this entry »

Pre-autumn news

August 30th, 2010 by Merlin

Hi everyone!

There hasn’t been much activity here during August except for the few funny charts and posters. It isn’t because we were on a vacation (although we would like that was the case), but because we’ve been working hard on two things.

The first one is our website. We have been in a beta state for too long now, but have finally found the time to finish it. The biggest changes are the texts on the pages and some visual improvements in services and people sections. Be sure to check it out and leave a comment (especially if you find some bugs and errors).

GOM screenshotThe second thing we are working on is a Nokia N900 application – a simple and powerful reminder system. The concept name was Ginkg-o-minder, but we decided that the production name will be simply – GOM Reminder. It will be finished very soon and published to the Ovi store at the end of September. The GOM website and more information will soon be available is available.

the Tardigrada team

Location-based social networking

August 23rd, 2010 by Merlin

Foursquare in the Red Light District

Image source

With the ever rising usage of location-based social networking services like Foursquare, Gowalla and, a very recent newcomer, Facebook Places, our own behaviour could be changed in a subtle, but dramatic way. If you don’t think so, you should check out Seth Priebatsch’s short TED talk about a closing social decade and a coming gaming decade where our own behaviour will be directed, if not controled, with these kind of services.

The poster above does not promote adultery. It merely points out that our privacy and casual everyday organization could be coming to an end. I’ll leave you with two examples:

  1. If you live alone and publicly check-in 200km from your home, is your home empty and unattended?
  2. When you politely decline an invitation from your friend to a party because “you have some important work to do for tomorrow’s meeting” and then, without a second thought, check-in two hours later at the cinema, how will your friend feel about it? How will you feel about it?

Do you have what it takes to start a business?

August 9th, 2010 by Merlin

Of course! Sure. Probably … Maybe?

There are many questionnaires that can help you answer this question. They all test your skills, some of them ask you if you’re ready for low and unstable paycheck and long working hours. But many of them fail to show you what will you be really working on. And it’s probably not what you expect :)

I have created two pie charts to show you some common misconceptions people have when starting a business and the things you’ll be juggling a few months into the venture. For this example I have taken a very small IT company that is totally unrelated maybe a bit similar to our own, but the core business can be from any other industry. Have fun and leave a comment at the end telling us if you’ve found a way to run a business as the first pie chart shows.
How a novice entrepreneur sees a new ventureAt the end … is it worth it? Oh yeah!

The mobile browsing experience

August 4th, 2010 by Zoran

Once upon a time I thought that the desktop browsing experience on the mobile phone is a possibility. And then I noticed… Read the rest of this entry »

Epic celebration

July 28th, 2010 by Merlin

Motivational poster - Epic celebration: When IE6 finally dies.

Photo by williamcho.

RSS feed back-end change

July 21st, 2010 by Merlin

We have to inform you that we did some changes to our RSS back-end. Those who have used FeedBurner’s URL for their feed agregator are advised to change it to or follow the link on the right to the new URL. The old URL will be closed on Saturday.

Tardigrada team recommends the first method because it adds layer of indirection (removing you from the horrors we can do in the future) and you’ll show good programming practices :)

Flowella – rapid prototyping tool for mobile designers

July 19th, 2010 by Merlin

Flowella is a simple but powerful tool by Nokia that lets you create application prototypes directly from design suites or even scanned hand-drawn sketches. Read the rest of this entry »