My quest for knowledge ( and work avoidance so it would seem ) has lead me to ebookee, so recently I’ve started learning Java. It seems that society is embracing E-Books in a similar way that the  MP3’s and iPods led the music industry to an  epiphany a few years back. It’s like the wild west of Warez again  at the moment and I’m not talking torrent sharing either…  These sites are openly linking to thousands of books and not all of them are ‘free’ .. if you downloaded from  them you would be ( unknowingly )  breaking the law ! So far as I can see, for the publishers and writers this  is way out of hand.  The popularity of iPads has lead to a surge in demand for eBooks, which must be what is fueling the situation, so perhaps it’s not a problem after all,  more a symptom of success ? Making paper books is going to cost a lot of  money and if you can sell an electronic copy of your work for the same price then you’re onto a winner.

I am learning Java and there has been more written about that,  than you can fit on a 2006 Mac Book Pro( I must get me one of those 1TB drives! !)  I am working my way through a  great 1500 page course book and am relishing the opportunity to become an expert in Java ! Luckily I do have some experience with programing C and have already read up on Javascript and PHP too. I’ve been 20 years working it ITand  you can’t help but build up a bit of a background knowledge ! It’s amazing what I  remember from my days as a C programmer . Java, along with a lot of modern languages inherit  Syntax from C whilst at the same time making life a lot more structured and hence easier and safer for the programmer.

My challenge today is with moving from ‘learning’ to ‘doing ‘ I’ve installed all  the IDE’s, JDKs and JVM’s what have you and bookmarked the API documentation…  and I’m working through the exercises in the Dietel book.. ‘Java: how to program’ When I was a programmer we used VI on tty terminals connected to a mainframe like Unix server ( which was the size of a small car) These were serial connections BTW too, ethernet had not really been invented ! OK so I’ve since grappled with Visual Basic so the concept is not new to me.. suffice it to say that an application like the Eclipse development environment takes a bit of learning .

It’s funny but as I said before I really like to have a physical book to work from too sometimes. It’s so  nice to just head off into the New Forest and find a nice car park to use as an office location ! OK so I can take a laptop with me ( I’ve collected 4 laptops over the years LOL !) But I still get the sense of physical connection from a book and like how I can measure my progress by the thickness of the pages . I guess it makes more sense to have the laptop handy any way since then I can code the examples at the same time as having the book available.  It’s easily possible to have a complete development workstation and documentation resource on a corner of your laptop drive these days, which is quite a remarkable thing when you think about it.


Another miracle of IT came to my attention yesterday in the form of Dexpot. This great little freebie adds to Windows 7 most of the functionality that OSX Launch Control has, whilst restoring some of what it lost with the demise of spaces and expose ( IMHO)  and then some ! I have not been totally happy with Lion dual sceen support, as luck would have it, I already have a native Windoze 7 installed on my ‘left’ iMac.. ( OK why have one 27″ iMac when you can have two and share the screens 🙂 ) The trouble now is that ‘target display mode’, which is what enables the iMac  to perform as a stand alone monitor will only work if the iMac is currently booted up and running OSX. How sweet life would be if it worked in Windows as well I could have one running Windows all the time, surely this is just a case of creating the appropriate driver in Windows ? Come on Apple !




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