Archive for November, 2007

Andoid Hello World in Under 10 Minutes

I started to write my first simple Google Android app at 10:30 tonight and was done by 10:45.  This included installling the SDK, installing and configuring the Eclipse plugin, coding (okay it was one line), and running the application in the emulator.

Android

So, big deal you say.  Well, I can tell you it is a big deal.  Try to do a similar feat (configuring an IDE, coding Hello World, and emulator execution) in the land of Symbian C++ and it will take you a day if you’re lucky.  A Java ME Hello World app from end to end will take at least an hour and more likely two.  The only mobile dev environment that is in the same ball park is Windows Mobile and building a .NET Compact Framework application.  I’m not making these numbers up; this comes from first hand experience. 

This is a great start… Android you got my attention.

Here is what you have to do run Hello World Andoid style (this is for a Windows machine w/ Eclipse installed):

Install the SDK - (http://dl.google.com/android/android_sdk_windows_m3-rc20a.zip)

  1. Just download the package and extract to your file system… i stuck mine in c:\program files
  2. Set your path variable (Windows) - right click on My Computer, and select Properties. Under the Advanced tab, hit the Environment Variables button, and in the dialog that comes up, double-click on Path under System Variables, and add the full path to the tools/ directory - it’ll look something like C:\Program Files\android_sdk_windows_m3-rc20a\tools
     

Install the Eclipse Plugin (excepted from http://code.google.com/android/intro/installing.html)

  1. Start Eclipse, then select Help > Software Updates > Find and Install….
    In the dialog that appears, select Search for new features to install and press Next.
    Press New Remote Site.
    In the resulting dialog box, enter a name for the remote site (e.g. Android Plugin) and enter this as its URL: https://dl-ssl.google.com/android/eclipse/. Press OK.
    You should now see the new site added to the search list (and checked). Press Finish.
  2. In the subsequent Search Results dialog box, select the checkbox for Android Plugin > Eclipse Integration > Android Development Tools and press Next.
  3. Read the license agreement and then select Accept terms of the license agreement, if appropriate. Press Next.
    Press Finish.
    The ADT plugin is not signed; you can accept the installation anyway by pressing Install All.
  4. Restart Eclipse.
  5. After restart, update your Eclipse preferences to point to the SDK root directory ($SDK_ROOT):
    Select Window > Preferences… to open the Preferences panel.
    Select Android from the left panel.
    For the SDK Location in the main panel, press Browse… and find the SDK root directory (installed in step 1 above)
    Press Apply, then OK

Code Hello World and Run in the Emulator

  1. Modify the XML based layout file
  2. Open main.xml in res/layout and modify the attribute as needed …something like so: android:text=”Hello Kevin”
  3. Run and your done!

November 15th, 2007

Debating Intensely

A few weeks ago Seth Levine sent me an invite to check out Intense Debate… it is a blog commenting solution and a product of the local Tech Stars.  David Cohen and company have done a fantastic job of bringing together some brilliant young whipper snappers and providing them with the resources they need to build some great companies…
Anyway, I had Intense Debate up and running in about 5 minutes.  The install was painless, and I was amazed when I fired up my blog and the WP commenting system was automagically replaced with Intense Debate and it works great… ah, job well done grasshopper!

Today, one of our design gurus, TD, was searching on Open Social and came across one of my posts.  He tried to access the page but was getting prompted for creds and couldn’t get access.  I took a look, and it turned the prompt was being thrown by Intense Debate.  I turned off the service, sent an email to the crew, and within 10 minutes and a few email exchanges all was fixed and happy again. That is pretty sweet!

I don’t mind when software stuff breaks, in fact I expect it to happen from time to time.  I write software and know how this stuff can go. But I WAS very excited to see Josh and crew get on it and get it fixed so quickly.  Excellent job on customer service as well fellas… David has taught you well ;)

November 14th, 2007

Android SDK Available - Grab a Chunk of the $10 Million

Google Open Social… Huh?  What?  To heck with that noise.  The hottest thing to come out of Mountain View is Android.  OMG, this is looking so good!

Take a look for yourself - and take a peek at the vids.

Sergey and company are ponying up $10 million to give to the best Android mobile apps. That is pretty sweet incentive.  Google will have no problems getting developers to build android apps (even without the $10 million).  The sticky point is going to be getting phones in the wild that run the Android stack.  That is the big challenge, and I hope they pull it off because if they do this is a game changer!!!

November 12th, 2007

Android - Google Becomes a Man

Android

Although, Google’s announcement of Open social has gained all the press as of late, the Android announcement is much more exciting to me:

  1. Open Social - don’t believe the hype
  2. Unlike the hurried, half-baked Open Social thing, Android has been in the oven for quite a while (@ least in our sense of time) - Google acquired the company in August ‘05 and at the time the company was 22 months old
  3. Android will be available for ANY phone manufacturer to install and build on top of - not just one - take that Apple ;)
  4. The phones should be affordable and the power of mobility can be shared amongst all
  5. It will allow for extensive use of third party apps - developers, developers…
  6. Apps will in time live on portable devices other than phones like car navigation systems
  7. I heart mobile

The SDK will be available soon - I’ll be taking a look. The only funky thing is that apparently the VM will not be Java ME/MIDP-based but some kind of C-based SDK. That is not necessarily a bad thing but it does mean that the existing suite of Java ME apps may not just work on Android powered devices.

November 9th, 2007

Bode Miller

I am indifferent on Bode Miller.  I know the media has not exactly put him in a good light, but I don’t know him so I can’t say.

But I love this quote I saw in a skiing mag while I was at the gym today:

“It’s about more than just winning.  You want an inspirational performance.

You always have a chance to win.  I mean if everyone else crashes, you win.”

This applies across many domains… So, the next time you think about putting down the competitor think about this.  Maybe you really should be pumping him/her/it up instead, if you are ready to bring your A game (if you got one) chicken :)

November 8th, 2007

You Drinking the NewsGator-aide

After getting home from the defrag conference tonight, I was psyched to see Emma and Ava still up.  Asher goes like a fireball all day and just crashes at eight.  I took the girls into Ava’s room to read and couldn’t help but muck thru the old clothes in the dresser… (anyone at defrag will get this or take a look here).  I’m serious - I did this and it brought out a mixed bag of emotions.

Anyway, shortly after that Ava (she just tuned 2) looked at me and said.  “Dad you at Denver today… you at Gator-aid”.  You drinking the drink too?

November 6th, 2007


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