Friday, March 30, 2012

To Eclipse or not to Eclipse?

I am starting to study Eclipse a little more. There is a debate as to whether or not to start java programming using an IDE like Eclipse or just the basics such as notepad and java. There are a few good points on both sides of the debate. It's a steep learning curve learning Java and also have to learn Eclipse at the same time but I think it actually helps. Sort of learning one off the other. I'm trying to get a better understanding of constructors and Interfaces, when , where and why I would use them.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Evil App "draw something free"

   A friend wanted me to try a drawing share game app. "Draw Something free by OMGPOP". After looking at questionable permissions such as Your location, your phone calls ( Identity) I decided to install it anyways. After install it asked for my Email and password . I assumed they wanted me to create a password but NO, they wanted my email password or my facebook info!!! They had a short message promising that they would not share that info with anyone . WELL how noble of them! I quickly  uninstalled that app and changed my email password. (Correction: they send  a password to your email for logging in. Something they should mention in the beginning I think. I still don't like all the permissions they want for their app and linking it to facebook)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Errors in books and online

  I think in an age of almost instant information, writers of computer books and web sites are in a rush to get out their work before it becomes irrelevant. In doing so they seem to skip over the important step of having someone proofread their work. In every book about Java and Android I have read, I am finding mistakes. I have noticed it also online . More than  just simple mistakes like  switching "there" and "their". I can overlook postings on facebook, twitter and countless other  sites by "regular" people but I have to speak up  when "professional writers" don't even bother to do a quick re-read of what they are about to post online or at least run spellchecker. Yahoo news posts are really bad at that. I am beginning to think they put the errors in on purpose to see how many people leave a comment.
  Back to computer books. At least they should have someone double check the code written in them. As an example of what I am referring to, in the book "Java all-in-one for Dummies" , page 201 there are two variables (boolean validInput and String answer) neither of which are actually used in the program.
  Now I am of two minds on the subject. First if the information is not correct you might confuse the reader. Learning a programming language or anything for that matter is hard enough without having to decipher what is actually  being explained.
  Now my other thinking on the subject is this. Perhaps the errors force the reader/student to look more closely at the subject. Also the computer is not going to be fooled . If there are errors , it's going to tell you. So you HAVE to figure out what is wrong. As long as it's a minor error such as leaving out a comma or something then I don't think it would be to much trouble and the student might learn it better. I have to admit I get a perverse  pleasure from finding mistakes and correcting them. Although there were times I thought it was a mistake and later figured out what was meant. All in all I get a deeper understanding on the subject.

10,000 hour to mastery.    
10,000 - 39.75 = 9960.25  hours left  

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Android app permissions

   I have been browsing marketplace for apps  and I have noticed how many permissions apps ask for and how many  don't seem to be required for the app (example : a game wanting location permission). When I run across an app of questionable permissions I don't install it. I firmly believe that app developers should explain why the app needs each and every  permission.

A couple good websites :,0&source=fssr

10,000 hour to mastery.    
10,000 - 30.75 = 9969.25  hours left    

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Painfully slow

   I am embarrassed at how slow I am learning Java /Android. I keep avoiding hands on learning like using Eclipse for writing actual code. Tonight though I typed out a few examples from one of the books. Creating a simple dialog box and playing around with options. I was Changing icons , messages and how many buttons it has. I felt good about it afterward a lot like exercise. You hate to start but once you do you feel better. I think I retain more by using hands on learning.

10,000 hour to mastery.    
10,000 - 27.5 = 9972.5  hours left   

Sunday, March 11, 2012

You know but you don't know

  Something happens as you are learning. Your mind thinks you know something. It recognizes the concepts as you are reading a book. As an example, the line in every Java program -

public static void main(String[] args) 

But do I have it memorized? When I attempted to type it in this post I had to look it up. I had typed -

public static void main() arg[]
(which I knew was incorrect but I was not sure how it was wrong)

When you are creating a new program, Eclipse will create-  public static void main(String[] args)  for you.
Which can be a time saver but when you are first starting to learn and  you don't really get to know that part. I am not sure Eclipse is helping me by doing that.

This is where things like this blog help. When I have to explain what I think I know , I get a better idea of what I truly know.

10,000 hour to mastery.    
10,000 - 24.75 = 9975.25  hours left 

As I am keeping track of my time I make use of  letter codes for the type of study I am engaging in. So far I have been doing a lot of Book reading with Videos coming in second. I will be moving more  towards hands on learning as I go along. Concentrating on Java  with occasional looks at Android.

B= Book
P= Programming hands on
R= Reading online ( which is a subtle difference from reading an actual book)
V= Video

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Finished Java book

   I finally finished "Java all-in-one for dummies". A very good book and I think I understand Java more because of it, at least I hope so. Now it's time to do a quick review of the whole book to refresh what I have learned. I will with a highlighter pen mark key points in it this time.

10,000 hour to mastery.    
10,000 - 19 = 9981  hours left
( not to many hours studying  since last post I see)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Today I finished the

Java Video Tutorial 20

from derekbanas
This guy makes some of the best Tutorial videos I have seen.

10,000 hour to mastery.    
10,000 - 15.25 = 9984.75  hours left