All posts by Eric at Ebscer

BlackBerry OS 5.0 adoption rates

On October 26th Verizon made OS 5.0 officially available for the Storm 9530. Simply having the a newer and better operating system available however does not mean that people will actually use it.

Given that we had a large amount of data available from users who downloaded the popular Pixelated application, this was used to analyze the uptake of OS 5.0 among this population.

A few notes on the sample set. Only Verizon customers using the original storm 9530 were looked at so that different roll out dates from other carriers would not affect the data. OS 5.0 had already been out a full work week before the start of this data to give a reasonable amount of time for those who wanted to upgrade to have that opportunity. Pixelated had already been available for the Storm for awhile at this point so these numbers are not skewed towards early adapters nor are the numbers skewed towards those that don’t know how to use their phones as all, as this population has gone and downloaded a third party application. Data from the beginning of the month and the end of the month were treated the same.

The findings showed an OS 5.0 adoption rate of 61% on the BlackBerry 9530 over the month of November. While this is well over half, given the many noticeable improvements on OS 5.0 it is surprising to see the number of users still on 4.7

Hockey Scores BlackBerry App


Now available for free in BlackBerry App World is the Hockey Scores app that is the quickest and most effective way to get NHL scores from across the league straight to your phone.

This is done in a simple and efficient way so that the scores can be updated as quick as possible, and require no effort your part.

The application is now available through BlackBerry AppWorld and supports most devices running OS 4.6 or newer. Supported devices include the Pearl Flip, Bold, Tour, Storm, and most Curve models. The full list of supported devices include the 8220, 8230, 8350i, 8520, 8530, 8900, 9000, 9500, 9520, 9530, 9550, 9630, 9700

BlackBerry App World – Hockey Scores

Pixelated Updates in App World to version 1.2

Pixelated, a simplified but free version of Pixelated Plus has now been updated to version 1.2 in BlackBerry’s App World.

This update expands the number of supported BlackBerries to include the 8900 Curve, the 9700 Bold, the 9630 Tour, and the 9500, 9520, 9530, and 9550 Storm.

Pixelated is a game of colour in which the object of the game is to change the colour of the squares until the entire screen is a single solid colour. This is done by using the coloured buttons on the bottom of the screen to change the colour of the square in the upper left hand corner and those surrounding it. Changing this square to the colour of those around it, allows it to slowly grow until it fills the entire screen. The ultimate goal is to do so in as few moves as possible.

While Pixelated lacks some of the advanced features found in Pixelated Plus, such as stat tracking and additional playing modes, Pixelated is still a fully functioning game with no limits on it’s game play.

Pixelated Plus adds support for the BlackBerry Curve 8900 and the upcoming BlackBerry Bold 9700

Pixelated Plus, one of the top rated puzzle games for the BlackBerry Storm and Tour, is now also available for the BlackBerry 8900 Curve and the upcoming Bold 9700.

Pixelated Plus is a game of Colour and Strategy. The newly released version 1.2 adds support for the 9700 and 8900. This update now displays the instructions when it is run for the first time and also addresses some font issues.

About Pixelated Plus. The object of the game is to change the colour of the squares until the entire screen is a single solid colour. This is done by using the coloured buttons on the bottom of the screen to change the colour of the square in the upper left hand corner and those surrounding it. Changing this square to the colour of those around it, allows it to slowly grow until it fills the entire screen. The ultimate goal is to do so in as few moves as possible.

The game has two grid sizes for varying the strategy of play. Win/loss percentages are calculated for all difficulty types and grid sizes, as well as for the all time best scores.

OTA AppWorld Link

AppWorld website

Pixelated Plus adds support for the BlackBerry Tour 9630

Pixelated Plus, one of the top rated puzzle games for the BlackBerry Storm, is now available for the BlackBerry Tour as well.

Pixelated Plus is a game of Colour and Strategy. The newly released version 1.1 adds support for the 9630 and also addresses an issue with large font sizes.

About Pixelated Plus. The object of the game is to change the colour of the squares until the entire screen is a single solid colour. This is done by using the coloured buttons on the bottom of the screen to change the colour of the square in the upper left hand corner and those surrounding it. Changing this square to the colour of those around it, allows it to slowly grow until it fills the entire screen. The ultimate goal is to do so in as few moves as possible.

The game has two grid sizes for varying the strategy of play. Win/loss percentages are calculated for all difficulty types and grid sizes, as well as for the all time best scores.

OTA AppWorld Link

AppWorld website

Pixelated releases in BlackBerry App World

Pixelated, a simplified but free version of Pixelated Plus, is now available through BlackBerry’s App World.

Pixelated is a game of colour in which the object of the game is to change the colour of the squares until the entire screen is a single solid colour. This is done by using the coloured buttons on the bottom of the screen to change the colour of the square in the upper left hand corner and those surrounding it. Changing this square to the colour of those around it, allows it to slowly grow until it fills the entire screen. The ultimate goal is to do so in as few moves as possible.

While Pixelated lacks some of the advanced features found in Pixelated Plus, such as stat tracking and additional playing modes, Pixelated is still a fully functioning game with no limits on it’s game play.

Pixelated Plus


Pixelated Plus is a game of Colour.

The object of the game is to change the colour of the squares until the entire screen is a single solid colour. This is done by using the coloured buttons on the bottom of the screen to change the colour of the square in the upper left hand corner and those surrounding it. Changing this square to the colour of those around it, allows it to slowly grow until it fills the entire screen. The ultimate goal is to do so in as few moves as possible.

The game has two grid sizes for varying the strategy of play. Win/loss percentages are calculated for all difficulty types and grid sizes, as well as for the all time best scores.

OTA download.

Acid 3 on Blackberry


Research in Motion’s BlackBerry Browser scores a 54/100 on the Acid3 test. While not perfect this is respectable as it actually beats out Firefox 2 and IE8. In comparison to other phone browsers, it beats out Opera Mobile, but is right behind MobileSafari and Opera Mini.

Worth noting is that the BlackBerry Browser doesn’t actually even fully pass the Acid2 test, but comes close, and due to the limited spacing is likely to intentionally not be fully compatible.

Version 2.0 of EBU

Ebscer Batch Updater has reached version 2.0 along with a few new features. This is a tool which will automatically update a whole collection of files for you at once. You simply select the files that you wish to update, enter the text you want replaced, enter the new text that you want in it’s place, and all of the files are automatically updated in one go.

New features added to version 2.0 include remembering what folder files were last pulled from using the program, and remembering the size and location of the program on the screen. It also includes the ability to create file lists so that groups of files that need to repeatedly be updated together can be quickly accessed. Also the program now includes an update function, so that any future advances to the program can be easily added.

*Download here
*Former versions found here

Ebscer MovieData (Version 1.0)

MovieData is a program that helps organize everything that you would ever need to know about your favorite movies and tv series. MovieData allows you to create your own custom lists, and to keep private ratings about your movies while also seeing what others think of them. Additionally it provides you with all of the background data for your selected movies, and tv shows including cast lists, plot summaries, and writers, directors, studios, as well as runtimes and release dates.

Get it from CNET Download.com!

Plans are in place to release a version 2.0 of this program around Christmas time. As such any requests for additional features are more than welcome. A new version of Ebscer Batch Updater is also in the works.

Ebscer MovieData (beta)

Finally working on a new piece of software. Ebscer MovieData is designed to give you information about movies from a number of online sources (mainly imdb.com) and allows you to store and compare information about movies on your computer or a local server. The current version is still very beta with version 1.0 expected to be released in early July. Download the beta version here. As it is a beta, please feel free to note any noticed problems in the comments here.

Known issues include

  • Will crash if not connected to the internet
  • Save functions not yet implemented
  • Sort functions not yet implemented

Other improvements scheduled for version one include

  • An options menu
  • Multiple movie choices will be moved to a popup
  • Improve ratings information (especially for tv)
  • Better tab ordering on controls

Su (version 3.0)

After a longer than expected wait, version 3.0 of Su is finally available. Download the latest version here.

  • Download Su (3.0)
  • Version 3.0 of Su adds numerous features to the program such as advanced options, and the ability to undo your most recent solve. The new features for version 3.0 include reorganized windows, to better handle the default appearance of the help and about screens, including fade effects for XP users (every program already fades in Vista). The program also cleans up the default save folder of My_Documents/Su if it detects that it is not being used. Additionally there are more keyboard shortcuts, and an option panel, to allow you alter parts of the default behavior, such as turning on or off the new error alerts that warn you against giving the program bad input. The program also remembers it’s location on the screen, and gives options for the pattern used for tabing through the boxes. The default tab order is horizontal, to change to reflect the default tab order in versions 1.5 and 2.0 change the tab order option to “boxes”.

    Former versions of Su are still available here. If you enjoyed this program also check out Ebscer Batch Updater and Desktop Running Back.

    Update to EBU

    Officially announcing version 1.1 of Ebscer Batch Updater. A new version of EBU is available for download.

    Download

    Although no future versions were ever planed, a bug has been found and fixed in EBU that prevented the delete key from working as expected inside the text fields. The delete key now works fully in version 1.1 of EBU.

    There are still no future version of EBU planned. Version 3 of Su should be released within a week or two (depending on how much hockey I watch…)

    Desktop Running Back

    Officially announcing the release of a new game, “Ebscer’s Desktop Running Back“. The simple (but fun) football game is based upon Mattel’s handheld football game, but for you to play right on your computer.

  • Download here

    Further questions answered in the FAQ. For any comments, further questions, or feature requests for version 2, please leave a note in the comments.

    Also feel free to join the facebook group dedicated to this game…

  • Some XP users will need to download the .net framework from Microsoft.

    FAQ — Desktop Running Back

    Expanded help and Frequently Asked Questions for Ebscer’s Desktop Running Back…

    What is the error about needing a .net framework?
    Some XP users will need this, download it from Microsoft here.

    How do I control the Running Back?
    Use the arrow keys.

    I tried the arrow keys, why is it still not working?
    You have probably worked on something else. Click on the Running Back to re-activate the keyboard.

    I just got tackled, now what?
    Press space or Enter to start the next play.

    No matter how hard I run into the line I can’t manage to break any tackles…
    Nope, and that’s not going to change. The Defence are very good tacklers, I would suggest running around them.

    How do I run around the Defence, they seem to take up the whole screen…
    I would suggest draw plays. Start your turn going lateral instead of charging straight into the line. Patience is critical to success in this game.

    Why can’t I get the Running Back to run backwards?
    The running back only goes left, right, and forwards. That’s it.

    Why are you too lazy to program the Running Back to go backwards?
    It was actually more work to prevent the Running Back from also going backwards.

    So, I’m still not sure why I can’t go backwards…
    It’s against the rules. Live with it.

    How do I throw a pass?
    You don’t. It’s not a running back game for nothing.

    Hasn’t Tomlinson thrown for like 10 TD passes?
    Yes he has, but that wasn’t in a video game now was it? You don’t even have any Wide Receivers to pass the ball to.

    Yea, where are all my Wide Receivers, and Offensive Linemen, and the rest of my team?
    I’m not sure, but it doesn’t appear likely that they will show up to help you anytime soon. Looks as if it’s all up to you.

    Wait, Why am I suddenly running for the other team?
    You turned the ball over and it’s the other team’s turn. Ideally you’ll have a friend take over and play for the other side.

    What if I don’t have any friends?
    That’s ok too. Just play for both sides, trying to pull off the long run is still just as fun…

    Can I kick the ball? Punts?
    No, only noobs punt.

    This is too easy, How do I get more of a challenge?
    Go to Options on the score board and adjust the Difficulty.

    How do I control the Defence?
    You don’t, the computer takes care of that for you.

    Why do all the defencemen look like they are Running Backs carrying the football? Did someone just fumble five footballs onto the field?
    I’m not an artist. At least it’s better then a bunch of little red dashes.

    If I can draw some better graphics for you would this be fixable?
    Yes it would. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some better graphics from somewhere (maybe you!) for Version 2.0 of the game.

    There is going to be a version 2?
    Yes there is. Hopefully featuring better graphics, save/load options, and more difficulty settings, as well as a few other things.

    Where can I get version 2?
    Look for it hear on this blog. Expect it around late January.

    Any chance that version 2 will feature full NFL rosters, realistic physics, a full 3-D environment, and the ability to draft new players?
    No, go buy yourself a copy of Madden 08.

    Do I have to pay money in order to play Desktop Running Back?
    No, but if you want to send me money anyhow that would be cool…

    Is it too cheap to give someone this game as a Christmas present?
    Yes, it’s a free game so it would be. Feel free to tell people about the game though…

    I want to tell all my friends about this game, but I am to embarrassed to actually talk to people…
    That’s ok! I’ve set up a facebook group just for you.

    My computer is telling me the game might be a virus, what do I do?
    This program is safe. Some scanners may question it because it is an executable, but downloading and running this program will not harm your computer.

    Why can’t I play this game on my mac?
    Because the game uses Microsoft’s .NET framework. Do yourself a favour and go buy yourself a copy of XP.

    How about Linux?
    Check out something called mono, supposedly that should work. However, I can’t say that I’ve actually tried it.

    How was this game created?
    I wrote this game myself in C#

    What was the inspiration for Desktop Running Back?
    The game was inspired by Mattel’s Classic Handheld Football game.

    Didn’t Mattel make a sequel that included the ability to run backwards, throw, and other cool stuff?
    Yes they did. Although more realistic, the game wasn’t as fun and actually gave you less options each play. No time will be wasted trying to recreate that version of the game…

    Is there an option to run the game on multiple monitors?
    No, Mike, there is not.

    I still have a question?
    Ask in the comments, I’ll answer it as soon as possible.

    What if I have a bug to report or a feature request for version 2?
    As long as you arn’t asking for the ability to throw the ball, leave a note in the comments.