Archive for the ‘blogging’ Category

Radio silence….

I’m sorry I haven’t posted anything new in a while. You might think this means I haven’t undertaken any new programming adventures lately, but you would be wrong. Oh, so very wrong. 😉

What’s up is that I’ve been working on a professional product, so of course I don’t have the same liberty to blog about what I’m doing. And it has kept me so busy that I haven’t had time for any projects on the side or even to write any general articles on technologies we’re using.

However the new product is going to production very soon, and at that point I should be able to post again. We’re working with some exciting new technologies that I’m looing forward to telling you about! 😀

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Fun with mobile blogging!!!

I just noticed this past weekend that I can read this blog from my handset!!!

mobile java blog

The cool thing is that if you’re reading this on your handset right now, you can click on this link to my games page and from there download the sample games and programs right onto your handset and try them out!!!

I’ve made a new HTML version of my games page (the above link) since my current handset is capable of reading and displaying html. For those whose handsets support only WML (not HTML), I have two WML pages available that link to the same sample programs: http://frog-parrot.net/hello.wml and http://frog-parrot.net/checkers.wml. Please feel free to link to any of these pages.

Even though I’m now mobile-blogging 😉 , it somehow feels like I’m not getting the complete mobile blogging experience since I’m only reading the blog from my handset (posting from my hopelessly non-mobile PC…)

I could probably remedy this by using some tips from this introduction to mobile blogging article by

I’m a little skeptical of this idea since the most interesting photo blogs tend to be written by serious photo hobbyists (if not professional photographers) who have real cameras. And in my own case, I’ve mostly been posting photos of my handset, which are tricky to take using the handset’s built in camera… But who knows? Maybe this idea will become popular.

Actually I’m tempted to combine this “mobile photo blog” idea with the following handset bug I read about recently:

Q: My Nokia 6131 keep taking photos whilst in my pocket – Why?

A: Unfortunately the camera button is on the side of the handset and there is no lock for this. this cannot be changed.

Lots of handsets have strange bugs, so I don’t know why I find this one so hilarious. “My handset keeps taking pictures of the inside of my pocket!” “Um… There’s nothing we can do about that, sorry.” lol

I think this would make a great experimental / performance art blog: “photosMyHandsetSpontaneouslyTookOfTheInsideOfMyPocket.wordpress.com”

Don’t any of you steal this idea before I get around to doing it. 😉

Strategies and Mobilists

I’ve just added the “Carnival of Mobilists” to my little reading list over on the side there. It’s interesting stuff — a lot of discussions on the different mobile technologies out there and where the industry is going.

The funny thing is that for me, reading about where the industry is going and what various companies are up to has always been kind of like eating broccoli (or whatever your least-favorite-yet-good-for-you vegetable is…). Yet I’ve discovered that for some reason it’s more interesting on blogs. It seems kind of counterintuitive that reading things that random people have posted for free would be more interesting than serious news outlets, but it makes sense: A lot of news in the standard press consists of (maybe slightly modified) press releases, and it’s hard tell anything from a press release except that the P.R. departments of the companies involved want you to think that this new product or merger or whatever is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Whereas the bloggers tell what they think of the prospects of various technologies and why. Plus a lot of them are writers promoting themselves, so they’re skilled and motivated to write something interesting.

I’m not sure I really fit in with that particular blogging carnival since my interest here is more to get down in the guts of new technologies to see on how to apply them in practice, and only occasionally come up for air to tell you what I think of them and how they compare to related technologies. Off the top of my head yesterday I came up with a list of eleven little projects I’d like to try and write about here. So I should probably go find myself a carnival of mobile software engineering blogs. 😉 But it’s good to get some added perspective by reading the higher-level tech business blogs.

I have one little thing to say about macro business strategy though, and that’s that I think it’s cool that mobiles are starting to follow the rest of the Internet in the direction of having a big draw be socializing through content uploading and interacting with other users. It makes sense that a lot of this online interaction would be entirely mobile-based (i.e. there are people you play a game with on your mobile, but you don’t necessarily play a P.C. game at home against the same people). However, I’m more excited about the prospect of mobile applications having a tie-in with existing communities on the Internet.

For one thing, it’s difficult to build a community from scratch through mobile interaction, except for cases like games where the application provides a natural framework/activity. I can’t really see getting hooked on, say, a forum through my handset just because I can’t see that many posts at once, and what’s more it’s a pain to type a post on that tiny keyboard. But people who are already hooked on Internet communities are a great potential market for mobile services.

It’s almost kind of funny that the classic example program for an online service was originally the “real-time stock quotes” program. Probably many engineers (like me!) have a difficult time relating to people wanting such a thing (see above about how fascinated I am by business news). At least since the year 2000 anyway. Whenever I read tutorials implementing that service, I mostly just relate to the exercise on the “sell software to people who have money” principle.

On the other hand, I can easily see wanting to have a mobile client to stay up-to-the-minute on the latest posts on favorite blogs, forums, and wikis. My classic example program for an online service would be one that gives real-time blog stats for those neurotic bloggers who compulsively check their stats every twenty minutes. Not that I know anybody like that. Anyway, I’m totally exaggerating. I mean every five minutes.

It’s not clear how one could make money off such a thing, but identifying the market is an important step. Then comes a fun little engineering exercise known as designing the billing model… 😉

A little fun…

There, I’m finally ready to begin!!!

After more than a month without posting (or even looking at this blog), I was worried I’d find it had been deleted or overrun by blogspam comments, but nope! Here it is waiting for me.

I’d like to work into this whole Java-blogging thing slowly, so for the moment I’d like to treat this almost as a notepad to jot down little notes on my projects rather than waiting until I have a beautiful, finished article worthy of a magazine. Because you can see where waiting for that perfect article has gotten me — just look at my posts here for the past month!

So I’ll just write whatever until I get into the habit. ;^)

Now, my Nokia 6100 that starred so prominently in my book died pretty quickly after serving that role. It developed a problem where it would sponteneously freeze up (not just during Java apps — really any time I had to enter stuff in the keypad there was a freeze-up risk), but since it would correct itself after about five minutes each time, I never bothered to replace it until just now.

Lately, I’ve bought myself a lovely new Sagem myX700!!! I seem to be having a little trouble receiving calls sometimes (perhaps because I’ve switched networks?) but the fun part is the new Java potential!!! My husband took the opportunity to get himself a Java handset at the same time (a Samsung, I think), so I have two new devices to play with.

Now I know I can just go straight to Google to find out all of the details on the specs of these two devices, but for fun I’d like to start by installing some test MIDlets on them to see what they can do.

Stay tuned for results!!! I’m planning to tell you all about it in my next post!!! 😀

A new project begins with a blog…

This blog is intended to be a companion blog for my book J2ME Games with MIDP2 as well as a log of various things I’m learning in my day-to-day experience as a MIDP programmer.

As such, it will probably cover more the nitty-gritty of itty-bitty Java rather than the latest breaking news, but we’ll see how it goes…