Working with Buttons in Android Studio

While learning to build apps in Android Studio, I would always run into issues when trying to add custom styling to the Button elements.

This is because of the way Android Studio’s new-project wizard works, and the way it sets up the project’s theme.xml file. When you create a new project, it is based on the Theme.MaterialComponents.DayNight.DarkActionBar Android library (see below for more details).

A side effect of this is that any Button elements in a layout will get turned into a MaterialButton widget, and not a regular Button widget. MaterialButton will ignore the android:background tag.

To fix this, we have four choices:

Review: The Last of Us II

Warning: This review contains major plot spoilers. Read at your own risk!

On June 19th, 2020, Naughty Dog finally released The Last of Us II on the PlayStation 4 (after some initial delay due to the CovID-19 pandemic). The irony considering the basis of the story for the game franchise.

I first played the original instalment of the series back in 2013, when it was first released on the PlayStation 3.

After completing The Last of Us, I went on to play the DLC, The Last of Us : Left Behind, which explains how Ellie became infected, and how she nursed Joel back to health after his fall at the University.

Eight years later, in 2021, I replayed both The Last of Us and Left Behind Remastered Edition on the PlayStation 4. I wanted to do this prior to playing The Last of Us II, as I wanted to refresh my memory with both the story and the mechanics of the game.

I can honestly say that after eight years, the game has not aged one bit. It still looks and plays great. A true masterpiece. The Last of Us is, without a doubt, one of my favourite all-time games.

After completing the first instalment, and the DLC (again), I jumped straight into playing The Last of Us II. The story was fresh in my mind, and I was familiar with the game mechanics and weapons system.

I’d waited a long time for this sequel, and I was ready for some more post-apocalyptic adventures with Joel and Ellie.

Egg Timer For Android

It’s official … I am now an Android developer. I have released my very first app in the Google Play Store. A free egg timer.

For a while now, I have been learning to build applications for both Android and Apple iOS devices. I’m currently still working through my online courses, but I wanted to build a simple app for two reasons.

Firstly, how do I put an app in the Google Play Store (what is the process I have to go through)? And secondly, how do I add adverts to my apps?

I used this simple egg timer as a test app to figure out how to do both these things.

I know this app isn’t much to look at, but if you’re looking for a simple, free application to help you make your eggs in a morning, this might just be the app that you are looking for.

Building My First Windows PC

After happily being a Mac guy for the last ten years, I have decided to have a go at building my own Windows PC.

Why, I hear you ask? Well, what I really wanted was a Mac that I could customize. A Mac where I could not only upgrade the RAM, but I could also swap out the graphics card, or maybe even upgrade the CPU. I was hoping Apple would release a new Mac Pro for the masses which would allow me to do all the above, but sadly, this wasn’t to be.

Apple did release a new Mac Pro in December 2019, but the price of the base model is around £5499 and the high-end model, with “all the whistles and bells”, will set you back an eye watering £53,448. Way out of my price range. Seriously though, who is paying £53,000 for a Mac Pro? Who did Apple even build this machine for?

RAF Marham 2019 Tornado Liveries for X-Plane 11

On Tuesday 19th, Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st February 2019, three specially painted Royal Air Force Panavia Tornado GR4’s (ZG752, ZG775 & ZD716) from RAF Marham took to the skies across the UK to say farewell to places that were of significance throughout the history of the RAF Tornado.

Three training variants of the Tornado received special ‘tail art’ markings including a camouflage scheme which the Tornado sported in its early career.

I decided to create these three special liveries for X-Trident’s Panavia Tornado, so simmers can enjoy recreating the fly pasts in the comfort of their own homes.

The X-Plane 11 liveries can be downloaded for free from the store.