Palm Pre WebOS Development Has Gone Public!

July 16, 2009

palm_preFor the last several months, only a select group of developers were allowed access to the Palm Pre SDK (early access program for developers). All that were accepted in the program had to sign non-disclosure agreements to keep what they were seeing in the beta SDK confidential. Fortunately, I was one of the select few who were accepted into the program about a month ago, so I have had some time working with their SDK. As of this morning, Palm has officially released the SDK to all developers publically, so anyone who wants to create Palm Pre apps can now do so.

Here’s a few comments I have regarding the Palm Pre SDK:

First, Palm was stating that a person with HTML, CSS, and Javascript experience could develop Palm Pre apps. The idea was that a person with web site developing skills could easily create Palm Pre apps. Being a person who has created web sites using HTML, CSS, and some Javascript, I thought I would fit into this category, however, that was not the case. I discovered that creating basic apps that mimic web-page operation is doable, but you do need extensive knowledge of the Javascript Document Object Model (DOM) to effectively use the Palm Pre’s widgets (buttons, lists, selectors, sliders, etc). If you don’t know DOM very well, then you’re in for an uphill battle (as with my case). So for those new Palm Pre owners who are expecting to create these wonderful games and apps using the Palm Pre SDK with just basic web site development knowledge, you’re in for a surprise. Read the rest of this entry »

There is a Mac in the House!

July 16, 2009

apple_macMy wife finally did it… she bought an Apple MacBook Pro laptop. After months of venting how bad/slow/problematic her Windows Vista PC was operating, she decided to spend some big bucks and get a Mac laptop. Her intent is to use the MacBook as her main system, so she loaded it up with 4 GB of RAM, a 500 GB 7200 RPM hard drive, and a WLED 17″ wide screen display.

Because she does book-keeping on the side, she will need to run various versions of QuickBooks Pro. Instead of trying to buy a Mac version of that software package, she decided to get Desktop Parallels (Virtualization software) so she can run Windows XP in a window on her Mac to run a few Windows-based applications (like QuickBooks Pro). Finally, she purchased Microsoft Office for the Mac so she can open/read/create MS-Word and MS-Excel documents.

While she had her wallet open, she also purchased AppleCare (3-year warranty), MobileMe (Internet “Cloud” backup service at $99/year), and one-on-one Mac Genius support (at $99/year). Oh, and I can’ t forget the new case she needed for her extra wide laptop. In all, she spent more money on this single machine than I’ve ever spend on a PC system. In fact, her sister just purchased three (3) new Dell laptops with a wireless color printer for less money than she spent on her MacBook Pro setup! That’s the biggest difference between a Mac and a PC. Read the rest of this entry »

Can Linux Replace Microsoft Windows For Me?

July 4, 2009

linuxLast week, my wife and I had some time to kill before the post office opened so we decided to hang out at the nearby library for a bit. While there, I pursued the various magazine back issues and came across Linux Format, a UK-based publication devoted to Linux information and topics. After reading through two of them, it perked my interest in using Linux on my aged Dell D610 laptop (currently running Windows 7 Beta). In addition, my wife’s recent desire to switch to an Apple MacBook Pro (which is running a derivative of Unix) also got me thinking of possibly using an alternative to the Microsoft Windows OS. Could I switch off of Windows to something else? Would I have everything that I needed to continue working effectively?

Since the various available distributions of Linux are free for download, I decided to take some time and explore two of them, specifically Fedora and OpenSuse. Both of these flavors of Linux were rated highly in the Linux Format magazine, so I thought they would be a good bet as an alternative.

Luckily for both of these distributions, they have a “Live CD” version which allows you to boot up the OS from a CD (or DVD) and test out their flavor of Linux without actually installing the OS on your disk drive. I decided to go this route, since it was the most noninvasive method of checking out the Linux OS without altering my existing Windows OS installation.

Note, that Linux has different GUI environments that you can choose from, which will define the user interface (i.e., windows look-n-feel, menus, etc). I decided to test out the KDE interface for Fedora, and the GNOME interface for Fedora and OpenSuse.

So to start, I simply inserted one of the Live CDs in my CD/DVD-ROM drive and rebooted my system. It took a while for Linux to boot up (since it was reading everything from the CD-ROM drive), but after a few minutes I was up and running with Linux! Read the rest of this entry »