March 28, 2006

Java Technology Is Pretty new to me

I have to admit that as a Java EE developer I came in pretty late in the game. Considering that I wrote my first line of Java code less than 1 year ago on my home computer that I had been using to develop small business web-apps. I'd been trying to get a job writing C# for companies around Oklahoma City, but was coming up empty handed and noticed that there were a lot of Java jobs that I wasn't applying for (mainly because the closest I ever came to Java was a paper I wrote in college comparing Java to C++). So one day I decided to buy a Java book (Java 2 Complete, Sybex) and wrote my first "Hello World!" program in Java.

I can't say I got started writing code in my bedroom as a young lad. No, admittedly I actually tried convincing myself that writing code wasn't for me and I wanted to be a wire monkey and do some networking. But one day in my last semester I was taking Software Engineering at SOSU and something just clicked in my head. We had one major project to complete over the course of the semester. An online candy machine. Real basic. A catalog of 6 choices of candy, shopping cart functionality, you know typical simple online app. Well, everything we did in the way of actual locical, business programming was C++ since the professor didn't have time to introduce any other language and C++ was the only language really covered. I decided after a little research and talking with a friend that C++ wasn't really a good language to use when writing a simple web app. So I decided to do a little research in a language called PHP and I was hooked. I wrote my candy store in PHP with a MySQL database. At that point I decided that writing software was a good path for me.

So I started writing web apps in PHP. Then I started dabbling in ASP and from there I got into C# by way of ASP.NET and I thought I wanted to write C# software, but since the job market was pretty tapped in this area.... and here we are full circle.

So now I've immersed myself in Java and Java related technologies. Now maybe someday I'll be a programmer.

Until next time.

March 10, 2006

More on Google

Perhaps you have noticed that Google seems to be a bit of a favorite topic on this blog. Thanks to Les, our handy tech news watcher, you learned about Gmail's new group contacts feature, their integration of Google Talk with Gmail, and various other cool new snippets of web beauty coming out of the Silicon Valley giant. The thing you might not have noticed, however, is that it's no small coincidence that their name keeps coming up so many times on so many different sites. They are actively working on enough different Ajax-enabled web technologies right now that I'm really not sure how Misters Brin and Page are keeping up with their company.

There were vicious rumors a few months ago about Google planning to enter into the productivity software market. Rumors which were promptly swatted down by Google itself. But Sunday, the Official Google Blog told us the news that Writely, a web-based word processer, was absorbed by the software company. Then there's also the new CL2 calendaring application that is now in a limited Beta, but will more than like likely be a part of Gmail soon. And the list goes on: Google Page Creator, Google Base, Google Buy, Goobuntu (a potential future Linux distribution), and even more nasty rumors of Google offering a free online storage database. Needless to say, they are on the move.

It is going to be interesting to see the things that will stream out of that place in the near future. Despite their bouts of legal trouble, Google seems to keeping their developers happy and motivated (I know I dream of a job where 20% of my time could be spent on personal software projects). In the meantime, I will continue to love my Gmail account and the ease with which I can find information using their stuff. We'll see if their "Don't be evil" motto is something they stick with, and that they truly can turn out to be "A different kind of company."


Break for a smile.

I'm not really sure where this originated but I received via email from friend/colleague. Enjoy:
If Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were alive today, their infamous sketch,
"Who's on First?" might have turned out something like this:

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: Thanks. I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinking about
buying a computer.


COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou.

ABBOTT: Your computer?

COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.


COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.

ABBOTT: What about Windows?

COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?

ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?

COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look at the windows?

ABBOTT: Wallpaper.

COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.

ABBOTT: Software for Windows?

COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write
proposals, track expenses and run my business.? What do you have?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?

ABBOTT: I just did.

COSTELLO: You just did what?

ABBOTT: Recommend something.

COSTELLO: You recommended something?


COSTELLO: For my office?


COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!

ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.

COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, let's just say I'm sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal.? What do I need?


COSTELLO: What word?

ABBOTT: Word in Office.

COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.

ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.

COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?

ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue "W".

COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue "w" if you don't start with some straight answers.? What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?

ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.

COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?

ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.

COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?

ABBOTT: One copy.

COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?

ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.

COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?


???????? (A few days later)

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?

ABBOTT: Click on "START".............

March 8, 2006

Do you Wiki?

If you've never witnessed the incredible power of Wiki, honestly, you're missing out. Wikis are most well known for their use as a collaborative tool, but many are discovering that the ability to easily write complicated html markup coupled with the ability to organize information in a non-linear way is extremely effective for personal use. I must confess, I'm one of them. I recently discovered TiddlyWiki, a robust Wiki implementation that requires no setup or installation. You simply download a single html file and open it with your favorite web browser. You can get started with it immediately by clicking the hyperlink above. When you navigate to that page, a copy will be downloaded to your browser's temporary folder just like any other web page. There's also a nice tutorial on how to effectively use TiddlyWiki. Give it a try. It's really useful for keeping notes, keeping track of your bookmarks in a central location, writing a journal, or just organizing your thoughts. You can even keep the file on a USB stick and take it anywhere you go.


March 5, 2006

Not much to report

Well, not a lot going on right now. Although the past week I have found time to read again. Decided to get back into Tom Clancy (the "apostrophe" books anyway). I like the quickness of the serial novels at times. Most recently I grabbed the second Splinter Cell novel off the shelf at Books a Million; Operation Barracuda. Not a bad little read, I finished it and decided to read the first one. I haven't played any of the video games that these books were based on, but I think I may get the first one for PC. Sam Fisher is definitely b.a. I look forward to seeing new books in the series (and there is supposedly a movie in the works).

I've been doing a lot of front-end work (web stuff: JSP, Struts, the works) lately and things are getting a bit monotonous. We are about to start a new use case so things will get a little more interesting.

Not much else to report, Lost is definitely keeping me coming back week to week, I just wish they'd stop breaking for reruns ;-).

Until next time.