Tag Archives: Linux

Google and its mobile strategy …

Well, it's not A gPhone.  But it IS a free SDK for anyone who wants to develop applications for mobile phones.  AND they're asking for input from developers that they will use to further develop their product.  The SDK will apparently be available on November 12! 

They have developed a new mobile operating system, based on Linux.  Java already has a large percentage of the mobile device market, but this lets Google build a mobile-specific platform that developers can use.

And Google apparently thinks that this is even bigger than the idea of a single gPhone.  Rather, any manufacturer can build a phone with a platform supported by Google. 

Verizon hasn't jumped on board yet, but there's speculation that Sprint and T-Mobile have.  I'm really hoping Verizon does, as well.

 For more information, see:



New Month, New User Group Meetings

It's the first of the month, do you know which user group meetings you're going to yet?  Here are some to choose from.

I believe that tonight is the Ruby MI user group meeting, but their website doesn't seem to be responding, so I can't check for sure.

You may recall that the Java User Group is moving its meeting to later in the month to avoid the first week, when so many meetings get our attention.  Keep an eye on their website for an announcement (and here, too).  Instead, hit High Tech Tuesday at SPARK, where Scott Johnston (product manager for JotSpot) will talk about the future of Google apps.  That event costs $25 for non-members and is held at Ann Arbor SPARK, 330 E. Liberty (lower level).  More information and registration at http://annarboritzone.org/eventlist.asp?EventID=1227.

Wednesday is the Ann Arbor Computer Society, where we will once again here a "non-Microsoft related talk".  For those of you who thought the group was Microsoft-centric, pay attention!  Now that there is a .NET developer group in Ann Arbor, many of the Microsoft talks are featured there and Jay Wren has been working hard to attract speakers from other languages, platforms, technologies.  This month (Wednesday) features "Experiences in  Wireless and Network Access Control @ Oakland University", by Chris Chamberlain of Oakland University.  November's talk is from John Hickey (of Apple) on the Mac OSX 10.5 Leopard release, what is new, what is old, and general mac desktop AND server things.  And December's talk is on Ubuntu Linux, the new release, what is new, what is old and general linux desktop things, presented by Kevin DuBois.  See, no Microsoft in sight!

Thursday's Michigan Python User Group (MichiPUG) meeting brings out Jay Wren, talking about the Boo programming language.  Boo, in case you don't know, is a statically typed language built with Python-like syntax (for .NET). 

The following Wednesday (October 10) is where you will find Microsoft content at the Ann Arbor Dot Net Developer group meeting (AADND).  Martin Shoemaker is going to talk about "Dee Jay: A Voice-Controlled Juke Box for Windows Vista".  Sounds interesting, but that's NEXT week.

The Ann Arbor Computer Society, MichiPUG, and Ann Arbor Dot Net Developer Group meetings are all at SRT's offices.  That's at 206 S. Fifth Avenue, Suite 200.  It's at the corner of Fifth and Washington in downtown Ann Arbor, across the street from the Blue Nile and directly above the Linux Box.  Entrance is from Fifth, take elevator to 2R or stairs to floor 2. 


Why I May Have to Start Using Linux

It’s the little things …

If Windows Update asks me one more time if it can restart my computer, I think that I may snap. It’s going to ask me, in just a few minutes. Unfortunately, there’s no way to STOP it from asking except by rebooting the stinking computer. I need to be able to tell it that I will reboot when I’m darned well good and ready.

Bill tells me that he was in the middle of a presentation once, when the incessant bothering started. That’s even worse than someone IM’ing you in the middle of a presentation (at least you can turn IM off!).

Seriously, it’s putting me over the edge, and I may well grab that Ubuntu install CD before the night is over.

Why I’m the Company Curmudgeon

Why does SRT have 2 resident Microsoft experts and a non-Microsoft holdout?

SRT Solutions consists of 3 partners: Bill Wagner, Josh Holmes, and myself. Together, we mentor developers, working with them on projects so that they become self-sufficient in new technologies. Bill and Josh are particularly adept at Microsoft technologies, while I have made a name for myself embracing the “other” camp: Java, Unix, you name it. While we are all quite capable in both arenas, we clearly have our own pet languages, utilities, and programming environments.

Bill and Josh anxiously await the MSDN updates and install the latest and greatest betas of tools, languages, etc. I seek out alternate utilities, like Mozilla’s Firefox (web browser) and Thunderbird (email reader). I rarely use the DOS prompt, preferring instead the MKS Korn Shell and the Unix utilities that ship with MKS. I’ve been known to freak out my business partners a bit by editing something quickly in “vi” instead of notepad or another Microsoft utility.

I’ll be the first to admit that Microsoft has wonderful tools. They have the insight and the resources to put together a group of tools, especially for programming, that work great and make coming up to speed with their product very easy. This relieves their developers of having to choose a development environment. The Unix/Linux world does NOT have the same mentality. Instead, “you can use anything” is seen as an advantage. In truth, it may yet lead to the downfall of the “other” side. Programmers scramble to find tools to use together, and team discussions about “standardizing on tools” often turn ugly. Microsoft programmers who might be doing a simple project in Java, for example, are turned off by the whole thing and often never write another Java program. On the other hand, I have also been stuck using Microsoft tools, where the tools do some “black magic”, generate code, and it’s hard to know what they did or to undo it. This is not as much of a problem in the “do it yourself” camp.

So, are those small incidents why I persist in my quest for good Unix/Linux/Java tools rather than “joining the Dark Side”? Not really. The truth of the matter is that our clients are diverse. Sometimes a Java solution is what they want, either because of legacy issues, or because their application has a particular need that warrants something other than a Microsoft solution. In striking a balance between Microsoft technologies and non-Microsoft technologies, SRT Solutions can choose the right programming language for the client based on business needs rather than shoe-horning every problem into a Microsoft-based solution.

Also, it’s good for someone to remain Unix/Linux-literate, since we do have clients that are multiplatform. And if you look deeper, you will notice that at the core of every decision that we make in staying on top of technologies, Bill, Josh, and I are more alike than different.

Of course, it IS fun to tweak Josh and Bill every once in a while.