December 10, 2009

A dream come true?

It is one of my dreams to see the teacher evaluation app we've developed for our school as our thesis project be implemented and used. I had almost given up on this... Now, it is almost a reality...

Manual teacher evaluation in our school normally takes a lot of time and effort. It is one of the reasons I chose to develop a software to help in the evaluation processes. We developed a teacher evaluation app using Java for this.

I had always wanted for our app to be implemented. Thus, I gave my all in that endeavor. We finished developing it after almost sleepless nights and sacrifices. The app we made is still not perfect but it can already be used.

After graduation, I have no idea if they will use it or let it rot along with our thesis documentation. I am not the type of person who would insist to ask them to use it for their own good. After all, there are still some persons who still prefer manual processes over technological advancements right by their sight. So, I just let them do what they want with it... They already have the required files and the user manual to use it anyway.

I had been surprised when my former thesis adviser sent me a message a few days ago. It seems that our school is now interested in using our app but it must be presented to and approved by the Administrative Council first. That actually made my day.

However, they are having problems in setting it up. They want me to help them out. I already have a detailed explanation in the user manual so I don't understand how the error happened. But I am still looking on the positive side of the story. Our app is so close to implementation now.

So on December 11, 2009, I will be going back to my Alma Mater. I am hoping I can set it up properly and wishing it will be approved for implementation next year.

Deployed PRESS

Last November 28, 2009, I was able to finally deploy version 1.0 of PRESS (Payment Records System for SPF). It is a simple Java-based records management app I made for the student publication of my Alma Mater. I had finished developing it almost two months ago but time did'nt had the time to deploy it then.

During the deployment, I had discussed the basics of the application and demonstrated how to use the application. The app itself is so simple and easy to use.

The first version of PRESS has only basic capabilities. It allows adding, searching and updating of payment records, aside from adding courses and changing passwords. The next feature that needs to be worked on is the addition of a reports feature that will allow the user to have printable copies of the records.

As of now, I am yet to start on it. I am hoping I can do it before the year ends (probably during the Christmas break...)

November 18, 2009

GTUGPH meetup (November 17, 2009)

I attended another meetup of the Google Technology Users Group Philippines last November 17, 2009. It was held at the office of Orange and Bronze Software Labs, Inc.

There were three guests from Google. Christine Songco discussed Google and Open Source). Nikki Bui, Search Quality Manager for Southeast Asia, explained iGoogle and gadgets. Diana Skaar, new Business Development Manager, gave GTUG stickers and informal talks and Q-and-A's about Android.

The event was a great success. Some pictures of the meetup are available here and at the Facebook page of Orange and Bronze Software Labs.

October 28, 2009

PinoyJUG Meetup (Oct. 27, 2009)

As a member of the Association of Filipino Java Developers(PinoyJUG), I had received an e-mail and a Facebook event invitation on a PinoyJUG activity on October 27, 2009 from 7 to 9 in the evening. I decided to participate in the said activity.

There were three good topics discussed. Melvin Vivas provided an overview of Google App Engine for Java and showed a demonstration of an app using Eclipse and Google App Engine. Deng Ching explained Maven and Releasing Projects using it. Finally, Franz See discussed Automated Testing in Java and testing techniques like Test-First Development, Test-Last Development, and Test-Driven Design.

That night was wonderful. I had gained more knowledge and learned new things in just a small amount of time.

The PinoyJUG meetup was held at the TechBar of G2iX on the fifth floor of Orient Square Building (at F. Ortigas Jr. formerly Emerald Ave., Ortigas Center).

October 7, 2009

Finally! A Google Wave Account

I got my Google Wave developer sandbox account, jomartigcal@wavesandbox.com on August 24, 2009. I even made a blog article about it.

On October 7, 2009, I opened my sandbox account and found an invite for the Google Wave preview which has been sent last week. I have been waiting for an invite through my mail and I did not realize they would simply send a "wave" on my account.

My Google wave account is jomartigcal@googlewave.com. As of now, I only have 1 contact and hopes to add more friends soon.

I have already tried using Google Wave using my developer sandbox account with some of the people from Google Technology Users Group Philippines.The persons who I had time to try out Wave with are Aileen Apolo, Marc Lester Tan, Roger Filomeno, Alvin Gamboa, Nikki Ramirez, and Randell Benavidez. Randell posted it in his Dev Blog.

However, the real Google Wave is very much different from the Wave I had experienced trying out with my developer sandbox account. I am hoping to see more of Google Wave and try out if I can make a Wave gadget or robot in the near future. I am keeping my fingers crossed...

September 14, 2009

PRESS release

As an associate editor of our campus publication and a senior BS Computer Science student last school year, I promised the staff members of our student publication that I will make a simple software application for them after my graduation. I decided to develop a simple one that will aid them in adding, searching and updating records of SPF payments.

As a software developer engaged in the Java language, I made the program using J2SE (Java Standard Edition) and the javax.swing package. For its database, I chose MySQL 5.0. I gave the project a code PRESS (Payment Records System for SPF).

I coordinated with Abigail Ribleza, the managing editor then of the publication to finalize the specifications of the program. The actual designing and coding started May 1, 2009. If I have ample time at home and I don't feel too tired and stressed out, I spend my time coding and planning for PRESS. After a long time, I finished the program and started testing it.

The developed application had not only fulfilled the approved specifications, I had also added in it some of my future recommendations and included some new features. It will be installed in the computer of the student publication soon. I will personally install the application and the database and train some would-be users on its proper use and maintenance.

September 3, 2009

Ready to Plurk

After having my personal blog, I started to try out microblogging. I have already heard microblogging before, especially Twitter. So, i signed up for an account in Twitter and started to tweet.

However, most of the persons I know also use Plurk or use it instead of Twitter. What is it and why do most prefer plurking over tweeting? My curiosity led me to check it out. It has a very nice user interface plus the timeline thing is so cool. The plurks are also threaded conversations and you can even add emoticons. It took me a while before creating an account there. I regret that I did not sign-up early. I realized I should have done it before. Now, I have just registered the username jomartigcal.

August 25, 2009

Ready to Wave

Since I had learned about Google Wave, I immediately read about it and eagerly signed up while wishing for a Wave account. However, I did do not get one that easy, maybe because there were too many people who requested for accounts.

Last August 24, I just got my Google Wave developer sandbox account, jomartigcal@ wavesandbox.com. This was because I registered to attend the second meet-up of the Google Technology User Group Philippines which will be about Google Wave.

The Wave meet-up will be held on August 27, 2009 at the Tech Bar of G2iX Inc. in the fifth floor of the Orient Square Building in F.Ortigas Jr. Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

I am hoping to see and experience Google Wave and at the same time, learn more about it.

August 7, 2009

Going Groovy

I have started studying Groovy by reading articles, slides and the book Beginning Groovy and Grails by Apress and of course, browsing the official homepage at http://groovy.codehaus.org/.

I have already read some of the basics of the Groovy language. As I study it, my interest and urge to study it intensified and I will continue to do so in the coming days.

July 24, 2009

Self-studying

Even before I graduated in college, I know there are a lot of things I do not know in the IT field. The university would not be able to teach me them so I decided to study them on my own.

I started to self-study Java, the open-source, cross-platform language. It was the programming language I opted to use in my thesis. Still, I only managed to study stuff about J2SE (Java Platform Standard Edition). There are still 2 editions, the J2EE (Enterprise Edition) and J2ME (Mobile Edition). I had insufficient time to study them because of time constraints. I planned to study them after graduation.

When I graduated and got a work, I had my Java Boot Camp training where I heard more about Java. It refreshed my mind about Java. It also made me realized the truth about Object-oriented designing and programming and Agile practices. I also learned best practices in using Java, Version Control System, Trac, Design Patterns, Unit Testing, TDD (Test Driven Development) and J2EE stuff like JSPs (Java Server Pages) and Servlets.

However, instead of feeling happy that I learned more in a short time, I realized there are more things I need to study about and these things didn't even exist in my vocabulary until now. Most of these are Java frameworks like Struts, the Spring Framework, Hibernate and many more. Other things are Groovy and Grails, Scala and others.

Last June 20, 2009 at the UP-Ayala Technohub in Commonwealth, Quezon City, I attended the Globe+Google Developer Workshop. There, I have seen the Google APIs(Application Programming Interface) , Globe APIs, Open Social APIs and other APIs. I also wanted to study and use them.

Now, there are so many things I need to study. I decided to study some of them myself and if time permits, attend trainings on these stuffs. I read and just finished reading the book Head First Design Patterns. (I wonder what book to read next?) On my free time, I also read about the Google App Engine and finished reading the "Getting Started" pages. I already started reading articles and training materials for the Spring framework.

June 24, 2009

Registered Linux User

I just visited the website http://counter.li.org and registered there. Now I am a registered Linux User with user number 492391.

June 9, 2009

Installing Eclipse IDE

Eclipse IDE is an open-source integrated development environment for developin software and applications, usually in Java. To install Eclipse IDE in a computer running on Ubuntu, install first Java Runtime 5(or later). Run the following in the terminal:

sudo apt-get install sun-java5-jre sudo apt-get install sun-java5-jdk

Download the latest release of Eclipse in the Eclipse downloads page.

Extract the downloaded file and move the eclipse directory into /opt/.

Take care of the permissions:

sudo chmod -R +r /opt/eclipse sudo chmod +x /opt/eclipse/eclipse

Create an executable in your path:

sudo touch /usr/bin/eclipse sudo chmod 755 /usr/bin/eclipse sudoedit /usr/bin/eclipse

Copy the following content and save the file:

#!/bin/sh #export MOZILLA_FIVE_HOME="/usr/lib/mozilla/" export ECLIPSE_HOME="/opt/eclipse" $ECLIPSE_HOME/eclipse $*

Let's also make eclipse executable everywhere by creating a symlink:

sudo ln -s /usr/bin/eclipse /bin/eclipse

Create the menu icon:

sudoedit /usr/share/applications/eclipse.desktop

Type in this content and save:

[Desktop Entry] Encoding=UTF-8 Name=Eclipse Comment=Eclipse IDE Exec=eclipse Icon=/opt/eclipse/icon.xpm Terminal=false Type=Application Categories=GNOME;Application;Development; StartupNotify=true

Run for the first time:

eclipse -clean

After following the said steps, Eclipse IDE can now be started by simply typing eclipse in the terminal or from the GNOME menu Applications -> Programming -> Eclipse.

Aside from this, you can download the ZIP file and just extract it. After that, you can create a launcher or shortcut to it.

June 4, 2009

Sharing Folders on VirtualBox

Most of the times, we need to share files and folders from our home machine to the virtual machine. To do this, follow the following steps:

  1. On the main VirtualBox window, click the Devices menu then select Shared Folders.
  2. Click the button at the upper right of the Shared Folders dialog box to add a shared folder. For example, share the /home/username/SharedFolder.
  3. Browse the path to the folder you would like to share.
  4. Type in a folder name for it (like SharedFolder) then click the OK button.
  5. Click the OK button in the Shared folders dialog box.
  6. Go to the virtual OS. On a Windows virtual OS, click the Start button then click Run.
  7. Type in cmd to open up the command-line terminal.
  8. Type net use x: \\vboxsvr\SharedFolder where SharedFolder is the name of the shared folder and x: is the drive name you want to assign to the shared folder.
  9. Press the Enter key and then exit the command prompt. After the above steps, you will see the shared folder as a network drive under My Computer.

Sharing the mouse on VirtualBox

When you run the virtual machine on VirtualBox and you click on virtual OS, the virtual machine automatically captures your keyboard and mouse as if it is being used only in that OS. This makes the keyboard and mouse unavailable to any other application on the host machine. If this is not what you wanted, follow the tips below:

To get the control back to the home machine, you can press the host key(Normally this is the CTRL key on the right side of the keyboard). This will return the keyboard and mouse(whatever is already captured) to normal operation. If you want to share your mouse between the virtual OS and your home OS without pressing the right control key, you must install the Guest Additions from the virtualbox menu.

After starting the virtual OS, press the right control key to get the mouse out of the virtual OS control and click on the Devices menu. Select Install Guest Additions. This will install Guest Additions software in the Windows virtual box. Follow the prompts and once installed, reboot the virtual box and login. You'll get a warning message about the mouse control. Click the OK button and continue.

Once you have installed the guest addition, you can now move the mouse in and out of the box without pressing the host key.

June 3, 2009

Installing Guest OS on VirtualBox

VirtualBox will be useless if there is no operating system/s installed in it. To install operating systems in VirtualBox, follow these steps:

  1. Start Sun Virtualbox by going to Applications -> Systems Tools -> Sun VirtualBox.
  2. Click on the New button. A Create New Virtual Machine dialog box will appear. Click the Next button. Enter a name for the virtual machine and select the OS type you want to install. In my unit, I installed Windows XP and I named the virtual machine "WindowsXP" to be descriptive.
  3. The next dialog box prompts you for the memory to be allocated to the virtual machine. After entering the memory, click the Next button.
  4. In the next dialog, you will be prompted to create a new virtual hard drive or use an existing one, if there is already one. Select your choice then click the Next button.
  5. Click the Next button in the Create New Virtual Hard Drive dialog box.
  6. You will then be asked for the hard disk storage type. The first option is to dynamically expand the space and the second one is to create a fixed size. I chose the first option. Click the Next button after selecting your choice.
  7. Now, the disk location will be asked. You can just choose the default filename(same as the hard drive name). Also, you can specify the capacity of the hard disk. After selecting, click the Next button.
  8. In the summary dialog, verify your chosen settings then click the Finish button. In the confirmation dialog, click the Finish button.
  9. Click on virtual machine and then click on the Settings button at the top. Under the General setting, you can resize the RAM and video settings. Click CD/DVD-ROM on the left side. Check Mount CD/DVD drive. Select your CD/DVD drive. If you choose Host CD/DVD Drive, select your drive from the drop down box while if you choose ISO Image File, select the location of your ISO file.
  10. Click on Audio on the left side. Check Enable Audio and select your Audio Driver. Click on the USB option. Check Enable USB Controller. Click on the tiny USB cable icon with small green dot on the right. It'll show you all available USB devices. Add those to the filter.
  11. Click the OK button. To start the virtual machine, click the Start button on the top. Before you can use the virtual machine, you must first install a virtual operating system. Installing an OS on the virtual machine is much like installing on a real hard disk.

Installing VirtualBox

VirtualBox is an x86 virtualization software package, originally created by German software company Innotek, now developed by Sun Microsystems as part of its Sun xVM virtualization platform. It is installed on an existing host operating system; within this application, additional operating systems, each known as a Guest OS, can be loaded and run, each with its own virtual environment.

To install VirtualBox, go to Virtualbox download site and download the binary file for your operating system. My unit runs on Ubuntu 8.10(Intrepid) so I downloaded the binary file for it.

Before you start using Virtualbox, go to System -> Administration -> Users and Groups. Click the Unlock button in the User Settings dialog box. Type in your password then click the Authenticate button.

Click on Manage Groups button. Scroll down until you see vboxusers. Click vboxusers then click on the Properties button. Check the users to whom you want to give access to Virtualbox. Click the OK button and close the boxes.

Once you attach the Vboxusers group to the users, you need to change the permission to access USB devices. Open a terminal and type:

gksudo gedit /etc/init.d/mountdevsubfs.sh

Add the following lines at the end of the do_start() function:

# #Magic to make /proc/bus/usb work # mkdir -p /dev/bus/usb/.usbfs domount usbfs "" /dev/bus/usb/.usbfs usbfs -obusmode=0700,devmode=0600,listmode=0644 ln -s .usbfs/devices /dev/bus/usb/devices mount --rbind /dev/bus/usb /proc/bus/usb

Then, run the script that you just edited by typing in the terminal:

sudo /etc/init.d/mountdevsubfs.sh start

In order to give users in the vboxusers group write permissions to the devices in /proc/bus/usb, you'll need to edit some rules in /etc/udev/rules.d. Open a terminal and type:

gksudo edit /etc/udev/rules.d/40-permissions.rules

Edit to have the following:

# USB devices (usbfs replacement) SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ENV{DEVTYPE}=="usb_device", MODE="0664", GROUP="vboxusers" SUBSYSTEM=="usb_device", MODE="0664", GROUP="vboxusers"

Then, restart the udev service by typing in the terminal:

sudo /etc/init.d/udev res

Once everything has been done, you can start the Virtualbox by going to Applications -> Systems -> Sun Virtualbox.

May 19, 2009

Now At Real Work

Monday, May 18, 2009 (Philippine time)

After being hired last month and undergoing an intensive training, I am now ready to work. I now assigned to a project team. Starting today, I will be doing real work and related stuff.

May 18, 2009

I survived! ( Or did I really?)

I did it!

After almost three weeks of intensive training, I had finished my "Java Boot Camp." I was a newly-hired Software Engineer Trainee at Orange and Bronze Software Labs, Ltd. Co. and they required me to attend this "boot camp" before assigning me to a project team. I was so lucky I got employed in this company for they take time and effort to train their employees.

The Boot Camp taught me everything I need to know about Java, JSPs, Servlets and the best pratices. It made me realized that what I learned from school and self-study is only about 25% of what I must know. The training was so hard yet it's challenging, especially the Machine Problems we need to accomplish. Not to mention the "code-review" where your supposedly running program was criticized.

May 15, 2009

Naruto Addiction

I am really an avid fan of the anime Naruto and its sequel Naruto Shippuuden. Ever since I the day I had viewed its first episode, I had been addicted to it and I can't help but watch the succeeding episodes.

Naruto is an ongoing Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. The plot tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki, an adolescent ninja who constantly searches for recognition and aspires to become a Hokage. It has an anime adaptation which is what I watch.

Since the anime episodes being shown in the Philippines are old episodes and are always being replayed (maybe because they still haven't bought the new episodes yet), I started viewing the episodes I haven't watched yet in online video streaming websites. I watch the videos with English subtitles since I can't understand Nihonggo. I also watched Naruto and Naruto Shippuden OVAs ( Original Video Anaimation) and movies. The only movie I haven't watch is the Second Naruto Shippuuden Movie ( the 5th Naruto movie) and the latest one which is yet to be shown in Japan this August.

To be really updated, I began to read the Manga versions, from which the anime episodes are being based . This is because some of the episodes in the anime are not relevant to the main theme. These "filler" episodes are just being shown to give time for the manga version so that the anime will not get off-track with the main theme. It is also good to read manga because you can be way too ahead of the story line. However, it requires a lot of imagination for you just look and read the comics and drawings; unlike in the anime where you just sit back, watch and relax.

Typically, there is an anime episode and a Manga chapter being released and made available weekly. As soon as I can, I always try to get updated. I get some sort of satisfaction in Naruto. Even if some say that anime are for kids only, I am proud to say that I am a Naruto fan. A friend once commented that every person he knows who watch Naruto tend to excel in their field. I don't know what the connection is; but modesty aside, I can say that it is true for all the friends I know who are addicted to Naruto.

May 12, 2009

Finally!

Hello World. Hello Blogger!

As of this day, I now have a personal blog. I am intending to post frequently about me and related matters.

Come back again for more.