Repair Your X10 Android

Yes, I broke mine. Good and proper. Hey, I’m a mobile dev. If I don’t get to break a phone once in a while, I’m not doing my job properly 😉 Problem is, the X10 I have (had?) has only a virtual keyboard :/

So the first thing you need to do is install the PC Suite from Sony Ericsson. And then it’s straightforward: Tools > Phone repair. Simple.

The app will prompt further instructions; follow those (yes, you actually have to read the screen). And remember to press the BACK key while connecting the USB cable to the phone.

Of course, that doesn’t always work or solve ALL your problems. Sometimes you just brick it real good- like mine.


zaFin Data Update

If you’re using zaFin on your BlackBerry or using any of the published data via webfeeds, you should note that the data has been updated to reflect the latest changes in the prime lending rate as well as the most recent CPI figures (still waiting for August to be released which should be fairly soon).

On your BlackBerry, click on Update and then *Fetch Latest CPI Values and *Fetch Latest Lending Rate Values.


When It Does Work

There are too many reasons why I Love My Mac. And I’m not an Apple fanboy mind you. The iPhone? No way, hose. BlackBerry all the way otherwise, Android or bust. Noooo, the reasons I just simply love my Mac is because it just works (like the brochure says).

Took a new entry-level MacBookPro and swopped in a SSD. Whooaaa. Speed. Seriously. My SSD Rocks. The daunting problem was getting up and going again with all my applications, emails, developer configurations, blah, blah, blah…

Hello, Time Capsule. Hello, Migration Assistant. Hello, Joy. In less than an hour, I’ve got my “old” machine back, on a brand new harddrive, on a brand new spanking machine. And it just works!

I’m so happy right now


ADSL Upgrade

There’s been a lot of excitement in the local ADSL market with prices getting better and better and now with the lines being upgraded to 10Mbps, things are getting even better. If you need to check wether your line is eligible for a 10Mbps upgrade, check here on Telkom.

I once read the question that asked wether the bandwidth limitations do in fact impact on our behaviour (and hence performance in the education/business world).

For example, at the time of writing, a 5GB cap on bandwidth “seems” like a lot of bandwidth for home (or small office) users; and let’s say that’s on a 1024 kpbs line.

Now would getting 15GB (for the same price and maybe bump up the line speed at the same time) really make a difference to how you use the internet? Surely if you get by on what you got, getting more is not really going to affect you? Well, to argue by hyperbole, how would “no cap” change the way you use the internet?

Would it make you more productive?
Would your (small) business benefit from the boost- in a measurable financial way?

Or what about on the negative side; would it syphon time away from “real” world activities into the virtual world of increased time spent on social networking and virtual marketing. Is that so bad?

Whatever answer you come up with, the boost does impact on your home (or small business) at least in the short term. Think of a toddler who has been denied Smarties only to arrive at a birthday party with a bowl full of Smarties in the middle of the table (within easy reach) for everybody to snack on. And for one thing, it makes the cellular provider data bundles an absolute joke, trying to “sell” you increments of 10MB. But that’s a different rabbit hole..

programming Technology

BlackBerry Security

It’s not uncommon when moving across to the BlackBerry platform, to get a little confused or even frustrated. It’s a “who moved my cheese” series of moments because in reality, “we” tend to expect that BlackBerry will do things in exactly the same way as “our” previous handsets. And when it doesn’t, “we” might think it’s broken. Truth be told, BlackBerry does do a lot of things a little differently and IMHO those differences are what make it great.

I see the same kind of frustration when users migrate from Windows to Ubuntu or Mac.
I see the same kind of disappointment when users switch from Symbian to BlackBerry.
I see the same kind of disillusionment when developers switch from [insert-language-of-choice-here] to Ruby.

Security prompts on the BlackBerry platform are one of those areas that come up for discussion quite often. To understand “why” it does things the way it does things, here’s an 8min video clip which is extremely useful in explaining that. You decide wether that’s good or not, but whatever conclusion you come to, remember, it’s just the way it is.

Personally, I think giving the user (or the BES admin) the final say and control is the better policy when you start examining all the other options available.

Yes, it can be argued that it does demand a level of sophistication on the user’s part, but like anything out there (be it a carving knife, a phone, an OS, an application, a motor vehicle, a bank account or a piece of sports equipment) your understanding of that “thing” is directly related to your proficiency and enjoyment in using that “thing”. A phone, even a BB, is no different.

programming Technology

Javascript Jasmine

If you know me (or have worked with me) then there’s one thing you’ll be quickly become aware of with regards my coding behaviour: tests. I love tests. More importantly, I love meaningful, passing tests that validate my sanity and check my logic in critical areas.

And Javascript is no exception. I’ve run with jsUnit for quite some time now (because it just worked). Subsequently though, I got my hands dirty with it’s upgraded re-written cousin: Jasmine. There’s not much I can say about getting going with Jasmine since, to be fair, it really is so simple and well documented on the site already, needless to say:

1. Don’t Panic
This useful bit of instruction should be mandatory on every new piece of technology and before you take on any new learning. Don’t you feel better already?

2. Download the archive for standalone javascript projects
The primary folder of interest is the aptly-named lib folder which is, well, the core library.

3. Prepare a test runner
You need a test runner (test harness, if you like) for actually running the tests and a demo has been provided for you in the form of the included SpecRunner.html

4. Write tests
The included ‘src’ folder is the sample functionality under test. This is usually your own code. The ‘spec’ folder contains sample test code. I say -test- but when you start moving into proving behaviours, -test- seems such a dry word, and so the word -specification- is born, but that may sound too technical and daunting (until you become used to it). The two are, for all intensive purposes the same to the newly initiated, but quite different once you start grokking the subtle differences.

5. Have fun
Now go get on with doing something awesome.


Building For BlackBerry

A suggestion for all budding (and current) BlackBerry developers out there. When you purchase your signing keys, be sure to NOT use your regular email address. Instead create an account like [email protected] or [email protected] to receive all the automated emails you get when signing.

For example, on one project, I have a build process that signs about 30 .cod files per build. But each build has specific builds for different OS levels, as well as different builds for testing, staging and production.

Add that up and you get 30 .cod files x 3 (one for each cert) = 90 x 3 (for each build type) = 270.
270 x 2 (for each platform) = 540. 540 x 4 (one for each white label) = 2160 emails!

For a daily build… and then adhoc builds. And not including any other projects. And you cannot get rid of the automated emailing. Standard RIM policy.


Through The Magnifying Glass

First off, thank to readers who gave me feedback on this site/blog. The single most important issue raised was readability: “Bryan, my eyes hurt. Please increase the font size.” Sorry.

Being a pure techie-hacker, I get used to reading print so small (and hence writing) that it breaks every law in the how-to-improve-your-website-guide (pick one of a dozen or so). Funny enough, I spot this trend quite quickly in all my clients’ work (but ignore it so close to

That said, the font has improved; things are a little clearer and easier to read. This is good.


When It Doesn’t Work

So, I’ve recently come into “loanership” of a brand new box for a specific project and it was loaded with my most favourite of favourite operating systems (not). Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit edition. Wow. After rolling that out my mouth, I have installed on it (stock standard next, i agree, next, next, finish) Microsoft Sql Server 2008 R2 64-bit edition. Wow again. There’s a lot of editions and bits flying around here quite casually.

And to boot, there’s Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010. Oooo. The joy.

First development-related task on shiny hardware (with an OS that is probably a tribute to Timothy Leary) is … wait for it … really complicated … so i need you to focus now … import a flat file (a CSV or comma-seperated values file) into a brand spanking new database as a table. Without writing a single line of code and using all the tools provided by all the spunky long-winded monikers. Tricky? Apparently.

You Kidding?

The real joy came in when clicked retry. Phooof!


bodyCircuit Goes Touch

Having had a look at jQTouch, it was time to see what you can and cannot do with the framework.

First guinea in line was the popular online >_bodyCircuit tool created for did you?.

A screenshot is worth a thousand words so here are a thousand words:

Get Going with bodyCircuit

So this is what it looks like in Safari (don’t bother with any other browsers really since it’s not really targeted for anything else than the Apple family). Pretty neat. And in action:

Huff! Puff! Don't give up!

And it ticks along nicely, better ui framework and better looking than it’s original cousin :p

So, naturally, how does it function on the smaller devices? Well, it looks pretty much the same on the iPod Touch and I did get it to tick over smoothly… but…. some intermittent success. Will have to look more into that.

Otherwise, it’s all yours to test-drive here.

UPDATE: just finished testing it on my new android browser (which i’m also busy writing from at the moment) and it works super nicely 😉