This Site & Me
I'm a technologist, mobile specialist, experienced software developer, author, public speaker & an SAP employee. My thoughts, ideas, rants, comments & most of the code you'll find here are my own. Feel free to use any of this, but be sure to identify the source.
Topics You'll Find Here
This site contains content on a bunch of different topics including Mobile, Mobile Development, IBM Lotus Domino and other topics that strike my fancy. I've written a couple of mobile development books, so mobile and mobile development tend to dominate.
- Category: Mobile
- Published on Friday, 04 October 2013 08:32
Last week, colleague Ian Thain and I got together for a Google Hangout to talk about open standards and mobile; you can watch the video below. We're meeting this morning to do a hangout to talk about Kapsel, the set of SAP Plugins I'm working on. Stay tuned for a link to that recording.
- Category: Mobile Development
- Published on Friday, 27 September 2013 08:08
I was trying to test a Kapsel application yesterday on my Nexus 7 and was having some problems (Kapsel is a set of SAP plugins for Cordova that I wrote about on my SCN Blog here http://scn.sap.com/blogs/johnwargo/2013/09/22/sap-mobile-platform-and-apache-cordova). Essentially, I was trying to install the application on the device via a USB cable, but my Windows system wasn’t recognizing the device. The device saw that it was connected to the Windows system and prompted me to enable USB debugging, but Windows was ‘seeing’ the device, but couldn’t really talk to it.
I’d encountered this problem while working on Apache Cordova 3 Programming and figured it out, but for the life of me I couldn’t remember how I’d done it. I of course grabbed the manuscript and looked to see if I’d documented the solution to the problem and of course I hadn’t. So, I thought I’d write about it here then I’ll put a link in the book that points to this article.
OK, so when I plugged the device in, Windows twirled and whirled for a while trying to install the appropriate device driver. After much work, it finally decided that it couldn’t do so and displayed an error message. When I looked at the Windows Device Manager, I noticed what is shown in the following figure, that it recognized the device, but simply didn’t know what to do with it. Notice under ‘Other devices’ that the Nexus 7 is listed.
So, I knew that Google provides special USB device driver as part of their SDK, so I fired up the SDK tools and made sure to select the Google USB Driver as shown in the following figure.
With that in place, I was ready to fix this problem. In Windows Device Manager, back in Figure 1, I right-clicked on the Nexus 7 entry and from the menu that appeared I selected Update Driver Software. In the dialog that appears, I selected Browse my computer for driver software as shown in the Figure 3.
Next I was prompted to identify where Windows should search for the driver. I could have let it search the whole drive, but I knew that the driver I wanted was likely in the folder where I’d installed the Android development tools (ADT), so I simply pointed it to that folder then clicked next to begin the search.
After a while, it found the driver, installed it then displayed the results screen shown in Figure 5.
Closing the dialog and looking again at the Windows Device Manager as shown in Figure 6, you’ll see that the Nexus 7 is now recognized by Windows as an Android Composite ADB Interface device.
With this completed, I was able to install the application onto the device using the Android command line tools.
- Category: Mobile
- Published on Monday, 23 September 2013 08:05
A few months back I was looking at some marketing material for one of our competitors (I don’t really remember which one, but I think I have an idea) and noticed the following graphic portraying a day in the life of a mobile worker.
What struck me as interesting is how they portray the different systems this mobile worker uses throughout the day. I understand having a laptop, smartphone and tablet. I expect the smartphone to be used while in motion, the tablet used when more time is available or when more ‘stuff’ needs to be done and laptop when heavy typing, creative work or just high quantity of mail filing (iOS is horrible for enterprise mail use simply for that reason alone) is needed.
So the worker starts the day on his or her Android smartphone, switches later to a laptop, then tablet, then a desktop? Really? Desktop AND laptop? Next they fire up a Windows 8 device then wrap up their day with the Android smartphone again?
That’s not how it works is it? It’s highly unlikely that the worker is going to have access to a desktop and a laptop – I expect that in today’s economy that the user is expected to connect their laptop when in the office to do work, not use a desktop that’s sitting there waiting for him to use it.
From a tablet standpoint, is the employee really going to have both an iOS tablet and a touch-screen Windows 8 device? I think not. Very few organizations are fiscally irresponsible enough to do that.
I understand what they’re trying to do, highlight all of the different targets they support, but highlighting all of them as an example of a day in the life of a mobile worker makes no sense. The same story can be told much more effectively by highlighting multiple employees and showing all of the possible ways these employees will need to work with their productivity applications.
- Category: Mobile Development
- Published on Saturday, 21 September 2013 21:17
I was on the Bank of America web site the other day using my BlackBerry Q10 device and noticed something interesting as shown in the following figure. The web site recognized I was on a mobile device and for some bizarre reason decided to rotate the page sideways.
I’m trying to figure out the user story or requirements that drove them to implement their site this way. I’m not a fan of an operating system or web site making decisions on my behalf. If I was on a touch-only device like the BlackBerry Z30, then rotating it sideways would not be what I wanted, but would at least be useable. Since this was a Q10 and has a full keyboard, rotating the page like they did actually makes the site quite unusable; I won’t be able to read the screen while typing anything.
Now, they know I’m on a BlackBerry device and kindly offered me a link I could use to download their mobile app.
Unfortunately, they don’t offer an app that is compatible with my particular device as shown in the following figure. Why even offer me a chance to download an app for my device when you know what device I’m using AND you also know that there IS NO app for that device?
I was actually using their site because I needed to find an ATM and knew there wasn’t an app for my device, I’d already checked. I happened to be in Akron, Ohio and was looking for an ATM nearby. Here’s the results they delivered for my search:
Now I know delivering no results is problematic, just in case I am willing to drive some distance to find the particular ATM, but looking at the figure, do they really think I’m going to drive almost 100 miles to use one of their ATMs? Paying a $2 fee to use another bank’s ATM would be a much better option for me than to drive 99 miles. In my car, if the trip was 100% highway, that would be at least $12 in gas for me to use that ATM.
Thinking through this, I’m imagining that a survey of their users would tell them that most people probably have a 25 mile or highly unlikely but possible 50 mile distance they would be willing to drive to locate a store, but an ATM? I don’t think so.
- Category: Miscellaneous
- Published on Friday, 20 September 2013 14:41
I spent some more time trying to figure out if K2 was going to be a good choice for my cordovaprogramming.com web site. I had found a tutorial on how to customize views and it basically involved copying a bunch of template files then manually editing the php code to make my own views. Nope, not for me. What I’m expecting is the ability to create my own custom views and specify which fields appear where – just like the Drupal CCK does for me.
Like I said earlier, I’d submitted some forum questions and didn’t get much of a response. It sure looks to me like K2 is dead or near death. Too bad, it’s something that’s sorely needed for Joomla!
- Category: Miscellaneous
- Published on Saturday, 21 September 2013 08:42
A while back, my brother in law gave me the item shown in the figure below. I’ll let you take a look at it for a minute before I tell you what it is.
As soon as he handed it to me, he asked me ‘do you know what this is?’ Of course it did, it’s an F-bomb. Get it?
Anyways, what’s funny about this and the reason for me writing this article is that a quick survey has shown me that some people get this instantly but others simply can’t make the connection. Apparently my BOL asked my brother and he had no clue, his PhD wife walked by and said “that’s an F-bomb.” My wife looked at it and couldn’t figure out what it was and, once she learned what it was, immediately said “I don’t think of a hand-grenade as a bomb” I don’t know what else it could be, but OK.
I tweeted a picture of this last week after I hung it and when I saw one of my neighbors, a very smart neighbor, she immediately said “I give up” – she couldn’t figure it out. Another neighbor walked up and she got it within 2 seconds.
I guess it’s all about how your brain is wired (and perhaps how dirty your mind is).