So I was working with an array of ImageSurface that after doing a shuffle procedure, once displayed, the images of the ImageSurface overlapped incorrectly.

I mean, when I created each ImageSurface at startup and added them to the view, it displayed correctly, overlapping each other sequentially in the correct manner.

However, once that shuffle procedure happened the overlapping got messed up. I did not understand what was happening until I came across a post in the StackOverflow forum that said when you instantiate an ImageSurface, regardless if you had not added it to the context or view, it is automatically added in the rendering tree.

So if you do this:

And add these ImageSurface objects to a view like this:

The surface2 object will always be below surface1. So since my case had to do with shuffling the ImageSurface, the solution was to call the setOptions() method and set its z-index order like this:

In this example, surface2 will then always be on top of surface1.

I came across a lightweight and simple solitaire app in the Google Play Store called DroidGOX Solitaire Card Games. It is an app that is still growing as the developer adds new games from time to time.

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What I like about this app is that while some of them features well known solitaire games like Pyramid, Tower of Hanoi and Clock Patience Solitaire, there are also other unique card games that are simple to play yet quite interesting in some ways.

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Even better is the fact that the game integrates Google Play leaderboards so you can challenge your score and time against other players around the world.

A very simple game app that does not use any complex graphics engine to play. Give it a go with the free app. Although the paid version removes the ads, the free version alone is not bad since the ads do not overlap the game area that sometimes can hinder players from having a good time playing.

Its compact user interface enables users to easily switch to a new game in just one screen. What’s more. To keep you occupied and playing the variety of solitaire and miscellaneous card games, there are also achievements to be unlocked if you accomplish some goals.

Nearly all businesses today need to integrate information technology (IT) into the structure of the company.  The traditional method of building an in-house infrastructure is no longer the only option.  Managed service providers can take on all or part of the role of an IT department remotely.  While hiring a managed IT firm is a good alternative to an in-house IT staff, it is important to understand the pros and cons of using an outside service provider.

Pro:  Lower and More Predictable Overhead

One of the main advantages of manage IT is that it lowers overhead.  An in-house IT department requires a full staff, expensive equipment and constant maintenance.  Costs can rise or fall unexpectedly depending on hardware and software issues.  Managed services usually cost less than in-house departments.  Many even charge metered or set rates that are easier to budget because they are predictable.

Con:  Potential Security Concerns

A drawback of managed IT is potential security concerns.  The employees at the service provider have full access to business systems and data.  This can raise concerns about the security of financial or proprietary information when using the service.  Additionally, some businesses might have issues with security when managed IT is delivered through the cloud since data could pass through public networks.  It is a good rule of thumb that if you decide to use a managed services firm to do your research. It is important to verify that they are a reputable and well established company.

Pro:  Faster Problem Resolution

Managed IT provides faster problem resolution.  The constant monitoring of systems and servers allow providers to catch many issues before they become serious problems.  Additionally, any problems that do occur can be addressed fast by the professionals at the service.  The result is better reliability and more consistent uptime.

Con:  Vendor Lock-In Becomes Possible

A potential disadvantage is vendor lock-in.  This means a business becomes reliant on the proprietary systems or software used by the service provider.  Vendor lock-in can make it difficult to switch providers or migrate to another framework.  Vendor lock-in can actually be very costly to overcome if the service provider does not assist during migration.

Pro:  Information Technology Expertise

A difficulty that many companies face is finding new employees with the right type of IT expertise.  The labor pool in an area might contain no experienced database managers or network engineers.  The advantage of using managed IT services is that the expertise is already in place.  The service will have all the employees and knowledge necessary to start handling IT functions for the business right away.

Con:  Lack of Industry Knowledge

A final disadvantage is that a managed IT provider might not have any knowledge of the particular industry of a business.  This can happen with businesses that deal in industries like healthcare, law or logistics.  The lack of specific knowledge could make maintaining industry compliance very difficult.  It could also result in long delays when requesting service since the provider needs to learn about the industry.  Fortunately, many managed IT services do specialize in different industries.

Our outstanding team can be found enjoying the sights and sounds of Austin, Texas, when they’re not helping our customers with trouble shooting their IT issues.

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