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: Miscellaneous
- Published on Monday, 05 August 2013 09:00
I received a surprise Amazon shipment the other day. SAP recently released a product SAP Mobile Documents and as its standards-based I wanted to learn more about the underlying technology so I ordered a copy of CMIS and Apache Chemistry in Action. When the package arrived, there were two boxes. I was expecting one box, so the second one surprised me.
I opened both and one was my copy of CMIS and Apache Chemistry in Action and the other contained Guitar for Dummies. I don’t play guitar, so that particular book surprised me a bit. I hadn’t ordered the book and I wasn’t expecting a gift from anyone. The packing slip didn’t have much on it except for an order number, so I looked up the order number and couldn’t find it. I initiated a chat with Amazon customer service and apparently the order belonged to someone else. I’m not quite sure why they put it in a package and addressed it to me, but there it was.
Even though I told Amazon that I hadn’t ordered it, they took a while and finally determined that it wasn’t mine and I’d not ordered it. No surprise to me, but apparently they had to double verify that the package they sent to me wasn’t for me.
Anyway, I expected that they’d email me a shipping label and thank me for sending it back to them.
Nope, that’s not what happened
They told me I could keep it. Apparently there’s no way for Amazon to generate a shipping label and send it to a customer if the order the shipping label is for is not on the customer’s account.
No, seriously – that’s what they told me.
They have one of the most sophisticated and automated online and warehouse management systems in the world and they can’t fix it when one of their folks ships me something I didn’t order. That’s quite a systems problem they have – rather than simply enable customer service reps to order ad-hoc shipping labels, they let me keep an item they sold for $20 or so.
What’s funny is that this isn’t the only time this happened to me. Last week I ordered some CDs from my wish list (some Dream Theater, Tony Iommi and Ian Gillan) and they shipped it to me, it never arrived and they shipped it to me again. Apparently the exact same thing happened with my order – they picked it, but shipped it to someone else. What’s funny about this is that about a week later I got an email from Amazon Customer Service telling me that they were unable to deliver a package to me. Even though they send me packages all the time and the address they have on file for me is spot on, they suddenly couldn’t find me.
It all worked out, my son’s learning guitar, so I gave the book to him.
- Category: Mobile
- Published on Sunday, 04 August 2013 16:57
I was reading through one of my tech magazines the other day (I can’t remember whether it was PC Magazine or Popular Science, sorry) and noticed this cool charger cable called ChargeCard (www.chargecardproject.com). I used to travel a lot and bring a bunch of cables and so on with me in a little pouch. Over time, the pouch has gotten bigger and bigger and now, with all of the devices I carry with me, it looks like this:
Anyways, the ChargeCard is a single, credit card-sized piece of rubber/plastic that includes two USB connectors. There’s a micro USB connector for your standard BlackBerry, Android device and so on plus there’s a USB Type A connector for plugging into your laptop or PC USB receptacle. The card is about the thickness of two credit cards and looks like this:
The exposed micro USB connector plugs into most any modern smartphone except for any iOS product. The PC USB connector is made of a flexible rubber-like material which allows you to bend it out of the card and insert it in the appropriate USB receptacle on your PC.
It is pretty cool and takes up a whole lot less room than my assortment of cables. It is super small, so I can easily fit it in my bag and take it anywhere with me.
It’s a little pricy at $25, but well worth it when you consider how small and useful it is.
For those devices that don’t use a standard micro USB connector (that would pretty much only be iOS devices, too bad) the ChardgeCard folks also make a ChargeCard for those devices as well. It’s not their fault, but if you carry both an Android and iOS device, you’ll need to carry two ChargeCards with you in order to be able to charge both. Fortunately they’re very small, so carrying two of them still takes up less room than a single, traditional USB cable.
Check them out when you get a chance: www.chargecardproject.com.
- Category: Mobile Development
- Published on Monday, 29 July 2013 17:08
I’m not sure how useful this information is, but I had to test it out to make sure it worked as I expected it to. In the sample application below, I have a simple Apache Cordova application that initializes then displays a page with a button on it. When you click the button, the application registers the deviceready event listener (which has already fired by the time the user can click the button) which causes the myNewFunction() function to fire immediately. Cool, eh?
Here’s the code:
Here’s the application running on an iOS simulator.
And here’s the output from the application’s call to console.log.
- Category: Miscellaneous
- Published on Tuesday, 02 July 2013 15:02
One of my Canadian colleagues was out of the office on Monday and she had the funniest OOO message I've ever seen:
I am out of the office on Monday July 1 to celebrate Canada Day. I will have no access to email or voicemail and will be back in the office on Tuesday July 2.
Here are some fun facts about Canada that you may not already know:
1. The Stanley Cup has its own bodyguard, but that doesn’t mean Canadian hockey champions haven’t put all kinds of different foods and drinks in it (everything from chocolate milk to popcorn and cereal!)
2. British Columbian pioneers made use of the oolichan, also called candlefish, at nighttime. The small fish is so fatty that it can be dried, strung on a wick and burned like a candle!
3. Canada’s name comes from a misunderstanding between Jacques Cartier and some Iroquois youth who were pointing out a village (for which they used the word “Kanata”). They were actually trying to identify the small area which is present day Quebec City, but Cartier used the similar-sounding word “Canada” to refer to the whole area. Oops!
4. The Narcisse Snake Dens in Manitoba have more snakes in a concentrated area than anywhere else in the world. Tens of thousands of red-sided garter snakes gather there every year. On the other hand, there are no snakes on the island of Newfoundland.
5. Canada officially got its own national flag on February 15, 1965 — almost 100 years after it became a country (in 1867).
6. Canada’s official languages may be French and English, but our geese have their own language: scientists believe that Canada geese have as many as 13 different calls for everything from greetings and warnings to happiness.
7. If you visit Dawson City, Yukon, you can join the “Sourtoe Cocktail Club” — all you have to do is finish a drink (of anything!) with a real human toe in the bottom. The club’s motto says, “You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow — but the lips have gotta touch the toe.”
8. In 1962, Pincher Creek, Alberta experienced the fastest, biggest temperature change ever recorded in Canada as a result of a Chinook (a warm, dry wind that comes off the Rocky Mountains). The temperature rose from -19C to 22C in just one hour!
9. Between 1984 and 2008, it was illegal to sell pop (this is ‘soda’ for Americans) in cans in PEI. All carbonated drinks had to be purchased in refillable glass bottles. PEI was the only place in North America to have a “can ban.”
10. Forget the Loch Ness Monster: Canada has its own mysterious lake creature, Ogopogo, who reportedly lives in Lake Okanagan, British Columbia.
And my absolute favourite fact: Canadians consume more mac and cheese than any nation on earth (source: http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/kids/fun-facts/).
- Category: IBM Lotus Domino
- Published on Wednesday, 19 June 2013 21:44
Back in 2010, The View (www.eview.com) magazine approached me and asked me if I was interested in becoming a technical advisor to the publication. Being a long-time IBM Lotus Domino developer (a really, really long time) and a speaker at several View Domino Developer conferences, I of course said yes. We spent some time discussing what they needed from me and we decided that a series of articles on mobile development for Domino would be a great fit for my area of expertise. I was onboard.
I spent some time thinking about some articles I wanted to write and I solicited some articles from mobile developers I knew. Before long its three years later and I’ve published 20 articles for the magazine (the official 20th one was published last week) and advised on some articles from other authors. It was a great relationship and a lot of fun. At times, I’d have multiple articles in a single edition of the print version of the publication. I even got an article into their best of 2011 Anthology which was distributed at Lotusphere 2012.
Over time though, I moved further and further away from the IBM Lotus Domino space. My last real work with Domino ended in 2006 after I’d left Wolcott Systems Group (where I created the award winning Automated Deployment Toolkit for Lotus Notes) and wrapped up a few independent consulting engagements. After that I went to work for RIM (now called BlackBerry) and tinkered a bit with Domino and BlackBerry. At that point any official connection to Domino development ended and it was just a hobby.
When I worked at AT&T, they were kind enough to let me dabble in Domino development and speak at some Domino development conferences (the View conferences of course, plus several MWLUG conferences). Now that I’m at SAP, there’s really no way for me to continue to work with Domino. I can’t justify it in my new role as a product manager for the SAP Mobile Platform (SMP) and I’m simply too busy with my day job working on the platform along with my side job of writing Apache Cordova/Adobe PhoneGap books.
A few months back I had a conversation with my new editor at The View and discussed a few article ideas I had. As we talked about it, I really didn’t have anything new and interesting to write about. They were looking for more stuff on Xpages and I didn’t have the skills (or the time to get them). At the end of the conversation we decided that the final article in the Sencha Touch series would be my last for the publication.
I’d always wanted to see the article series published into a book. Take my articles and add some of the other mobile development articles that were published and make an ‘everything you ever wanted to know about mobile development for Domino’ book, but I doubt that will ever happen. If it does, it’ll make my day (and be my 5th book, my 4th on mobile development)!
I’m beginning discussions with the editors of some of the View’s sister publications on SAP technologies; but who knows where I’ll end up next. I do love to write. I’ll have a new book coming out before the end of the year and hopefully another one early next year.
Anyway, it’s been a fun run and I’ve really enjoyed sharing my Domino mobile development experiences with all of you. Stay in touch!
- Category: Miscellaneous
- Published on Wednesday, 19 June 2013 14:26
You can always tell when I'm busy with something by how long it's been since I've updated the blog. I've got this big list of articles to write, but just can't seem to get to them.
At work, I've joined the Product Management Team for the SAP Mobile Platform, so that's keeping me very busy. I can't talk about what I'm working on yet, but I'll do some writing about it soon.
I learned recently that my PhoneGap Essentials book is the leading book on the topic (as far as sales numbers indicate). That's great to know and prompted my publisher to ask me about doing an update. We decided to do an update to the tools part of the book and I'm about a third of the way through writing the manuscript. I'll let you know more about the update as soon as I have the title finalized, a cover and its available for pre-order on amazon.
- Weird Spamming
- BlackBerry Facebook Application Broken
- What Were They Thinking #13 – VZ Navigator
- The Solution to My Domino Server Configuration Problem
- Update on My Domino Server Problems
- Domino Server 405 Error
- PhoneGap Essentials Korean Translation
- Coolendar - Not Today
- Wi-Fi Only Tablets