Converting MIDP threading applications to Sidekick

September 12, 2008

While porting to the Sidekick platform one of the most mysterious issues I was fighting with were massive application slowdowns. What was most interesting they happened e.g. on the menu screen which, after it’s initialized, is basically a static screen. After trying various approaches I started to think 😛 and remembered I read something about threading issues in “Java ME Applications on the hiptop Platform” document (available from Danger’s developer site).

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Automated News Crawling Evaporates $1.14B

September 11, 2008

It’s just too good not to mention it 🙂 I just checked calendar… no, it’s not April 1st but if it was it’d be my 100% candidate for a hoax 😉 Here’s a Slashdot article:

“The Wall Street Journal reports that Google News crawled an obscure reprint of an article from 2002 when United Airlines was on the brink of bankruptcy. United Airlines has since recovered but due to a missing dateline, Google News ran the story as today’s news. The story was then picked up by other news aggregators and eventually headlined as a news flash on Bloomberg. This triggered automated trading programs to dump UAL, cratering the stock from $12 to $3 and evaporating 1.14 billion dollars (nearly United’s total market cap today) in shareholder wealth. The stock recovered within the day to $10 and is now trading at $9.62, a market cap of $300M less than before Google ran the story.”

I’m surprised it’s not on Revealing Errors yet 🙂 (update: submitted the article) Full story here.

Sidekick coding: sick Pen API

September 6, 2008

Sidekick has a powerful API but it has this feeling of in-house development where not enough thought has been put into making it clean and well designed. Instead it sometimes feels like methods has been added on an ad-hoc basis whenever someone felt like something is needed. Then there’s really a lot of deprecated/unused methods and constants. Generally it’s not a bad API at all it just feel a bit random at places 🙂

But there are places that are really bad. I know I’m not the most experienced Sidekick programmer out there but I can tell bad API when I see one and one of the things that frustrates me most in Sidekick API is danger.ui.Pen class.

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A month with no net connection

August 24, 2008

How crappy a net connection must be to call it ‘no net connection’? It must be unreliable, slow and with horrible lag. Just like mine for last 3 weeks. And when I say ‘unreliable’ I mean ‘it is there for several hours then gone for two days’. Meaning — very unreliable 🙂 Anyway, today I bought a mobile broadband modem from 3uk and things are back to normal. The signal is very weak where I live so while it does connect to HSDPA network speed is not very impressive but having a permanent connection again is like breath of fresh air 😉

Since this is the first time I’m using mobile modem I was a bit unsure how to actually use it with Linux. Various HOWTOs on the net suggested wildly different things, ranging from installing special hotplug software to upgrading Network Manager to manually configuring wvdial. Fortunately it turned out to be much easier.

3UK mobile broadband Huawei E220 modem Ubuntu Linux HOWTO

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breiPott: Free (as in Freedom) music party in Berlin

July 26, 2008

I just read an exciting post by Robert Schuster. I’ll quote Rob’s words:

Yesterday I learned about a club in my city that exclusively plays CreativeCommons-licensed music. According to their website they also make sure that only those variants of the CC-licenses are used that free software people would identify as ‘free’ 🙂

Damn, I find it so cool when people combine all those free as in freedom things! In my opinion this is exactly the goal we wanted to achieve with the free software movement and which many of its naysayers and opponents did not get. 🙂

Well put and thanks for posting about it! 🙂 I don’t know about you but I find this kind of news very exciting and encouraging 🙂

A case for free/open source software

July 22, 2008

Recently I started to experiment with Sidekick development. All nice and fine, Danger Developer Zone provides reasonable documentation, nice SDK with a complete, cross-platform ant-based build system along with a decent emulator and a number of examples. That was the good part.

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M3G export from Blender — strange texcoord problem

July 19, 2008

So far during development of a 3D game for JME-enabled mobile devices I’ve been using simple theme — single texture in each image. It worked but inevitably I hit texture memory limit on some devices. It turns out that merging several textures into one image (as shown below) indeed reduces memory usage but while doing so I hit an interesting problem with M3G models using such textures. Namely, if mesh is uv-mapped only to a part of texture image it is rendered with different part of texture. Here’s full story and a fix to M3G->Blender exporter.

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