Monday, 19 April 2010

Week in Review - 2010-15



There is some great new technology coming:



And the return of a classic:

I'm back playing with virtual machines, trying to investigate a few products that might result in productivity gains. So, I'm using VirtualBox, and here's a couple of must knows:





One thing I'm looking for is a 'network management tool' that lets me configure a set of urls, database connections and sql, and server addresses, to be pinged and notify me if they aren't working. The solutions I know of (Nagios, Zenoss) seem like total overkill. For example, I've found it very confusing and way too hard just to ping a url. I mean, I don't have days to read documentation and play with setting it up. I have a url - just let me enter that!

Next, I need to set up dashboards - by environment (DEV, TEST, UAT, PROD) and project. This way, the users can just see what they are interested in. I'm very tempted to start building this - I've got a simple and effective design in mind, but time is short, and I don't want to build things other people don't want. Arrgh, I wish I had more time!!

Actually, prioritizing projects is a big problem for me. I've got so many ideas that I'd love to realise, I usually end up doing parts of each and never getting anything finished. I'm going to have to let go of most of my pet projects, and focus on one.

I am so keen to get Ubuntu 10 - I am running the Beta on my laptop now, and its all good - it looks fantastic. I've signed up with Ubuntu One and I'll be trying out some of its features. One comment so far, the web interface for editing Notes is a bit too basic. It doesn't seem to auto save, and there is no undo in the editor! Maybe its something to do with the Tomboy notes integration, but I'm sure they could use a better editor and implement auto save.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Getting familiar with Android

I've just started playing with the Android platform, getting going by writing a very simple timer application - the kind thats useful when you are exercising, for example when you want to hold the plank for 60 seconds. Why Android? Well, its all so familiar - Eclipse development environment, Java language,  and zero entry cost. I don't have an Android phone itself yet, so I'm just running on the emulator that comes with the SDK.

It only took an hour or so to put together the application, after working through the hello world tutorial. Here's some screen shots:

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