HackMIT – Sep 2015

October 11, 2015

HackMIT was a few weeks back, Sept 19 and 20, and Progress was a sponsor.  Jen, Jeremiah and I went there to encourage the adoption of the Telerik Platform, NativeScript and Modulus.

Attendance was about 1000 students.  The event was 24 hours, from Saturday at 10 am until Sunday at that time; a very civilized approach compared to previous events I’ve attended where hacking starts around 10 pm on Friday.

The event was at the Zesiger Sports center (map link).  Akhil managed to make it to the event (but ended up being too busy for the actual hacking), so he is in some of the pictures (Flickr album and below); a couple of other students friends there were there, sometimes we connected, sometimes we didn’t (reminder to myself – don’t email, IM is the tool of choice for this generation!).


Akhil and me in front of the hacking space


Akhil, me and Jeremiah


Team FridgeBouncer and Jen. Their NativeScript app used Clarif.ai to track the content of your grocery bag and estimate the expiration date for its content.


1000 students buzzing

A great experience.  And I think 24 hours is much better than 36 (hint to other organizers!).  More pictures at my Flickr Album.

Trip to Sao Paulo for CALA Exchange 2015

October 10, 2015


I visited Sao Paulo this Tuesday to attend and present at Progress Exchange CALA.  It was a great experience, even considering that a red eye was involved.  It was very nice to be back in Latin America – I had not been in many years and I’d never been in Brazil.  It was a short visit due to personal and professional commitments but it was totally worth it.

The conference was very well attended; below is a picture of the keynote – in this one the presenter is Kim King; up in the front row are Colleen Smith, Jerry Rulli and Matt Gharegozlou. The pict two below is of Jerry presenting.



I gave two presentations, one on the Market Trends in IT (mostly emphasizing the tech trends), and another on The Impact of IOT.   Nice attendance; the room for the first one was full, the second was about 2/3rds.

Plenty of contacts and good conversations.  I was sad I could not stay longer; I had to high-tail out in another red eye to go to Boston the day after.


Summer 2015 IOT Projects

June 12, 2015

The summer interns are all here in Palo Alto.  From left to right in the picture after me are Jasper, Antony and Shivali.  They will be writing posts and creating open source samples.   I will use this post to collect links to their work TeamPhoto From Jasper:

From Antony:

From Shivali:

The (old, 2010) GlassFIsh GeoMap

March 6, 2015

It seems the old geomap server at maps.glassfish.org is no longer working, so below is a snapshot from March 2010:


We used to regularly provide updates on this via the geomap tag.

Recall that the dots represent IP addresses from the GlassFish admin console.  The usual caveats apply, most notably that a single installation can be shown using multiple IP locations because of DHCP, that many installations can show as a single IP location because they are behind proxies and that not every user of GlassFish had this feature turned on.

Akhil’s HackTrack – A NativeScript App

February 15, 2015

Akhil Nistala was our Winter 2015 intern at Telerik’s most excellent office in downtown Palo Alto.  Akhil is a Sophomore at MIT and he wrote an NativeScript Mobile App that could be used in a Hackathon to set up teams and to keep them connected.   Very good progress, with more features in the planning stage for later in the year.



It was a real pleasure to have Akhil with us, even if for only 4 weeks.  We all learned through his project and we are looking forward to future collaborations.

Akhil has documented his work through this blog.  Check his posts:

You can keep up with Akhil at @therealakhil.

Most of last summer’s projects were captured at Summer 2014 Interns: Node.js, IOT, and more ….  The current plans for this summer are at here.

Trip Report to CES 2015

February 15, 2015

I spent two days in early January visiting the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.  CES is a very large show and 2 days is not enough to cover all of it so I focused on Tech East, at the Sands Expo.  Our group plans to explore some IOT technologies this Summer in our Internship Program so I covered wearables, fitness / wellness / health, and automation, with at few quick diversions through other technologies in that space.

I could only visit very briefly Tech West, which meant I missed the Connected Car and could only skim through key vendors like Intel (they are getting very serious about IOT, the Curie seems very interesting), LG, and Qualcomm, but Tech East kept me plenty busy.

If interested check my report at the progress blog: Part I, Part II and also my Flickr Album.

Summer 2015 Internships

February 15, 2015

The first internship slot for Summer 2015 is now public at the Progress Job Site.  From the description:

The summer internship project will involve software development of different prototypes using NativeScript, Node.js, Telerik Platform, KendoUI, Rollbase and others, in the context of IOT.  Other responsibilities will be assigned as necessary.

The intern position is full-time for the duration of 10 to 12 weeks during summer break.

Candidates from an accredited university and a computer science program will be considered.

The current list of potential project areas includes:

  • Smart Glasses
  • Wearables / Fitness / Health
  • Connected Car
  • Office / Home automation

The opening is for Palo Alto and the interns will work with me and other technical contributors at Progress, Telerik and Modulus.  The exact number of openings is still work-in-progress, but apply to this req and I’ll shuffle when the others come online.  If you want to see work from previous internships check out Summer 2014 and Winter 2015.  More details for our plans for this summer are at Summer 2015.

Getting Started on NativeScript

January 25, 2015

NSLogoOne of the main challenges in Mobile Development is the existence of multiple target platforms (iOS, Android, Windows Phone), each with its own platform and language.  A solution like Apache Cordova is very useful as it leverages the adoption of JavaScript and CSS but some cases require “native” code because of performance, functionality or UX and for those cases Telerik has developed NativeScript.

NativeScript also builds on JavaScript and CSS but it provides 100% access to the Native Platform API and also provides cross-platform abstractions for most common features.  The result is that you can maintain a single code base, with large / most / all of the code being common across all the platforms and only having platform-specific code for the areas where you need to.

NativeScript is in Early Access stage (request access); check out the Roadmap (this is software, so the usual caveats), the FAQ (including a short comparison with Appcelerator) and the articles listed at the bottom of this post.

Key features of NativeScript include:

  • Native UX – your apps have the performance and experience of a native app
  • 0-day support for new platforms – Telerik commits to supporting new features right after they are released.
  • XML UI Declarations – you can program all in JavaScript, but there is also support for CSS and for declarative UI using simple XML
  • Open Source – NativeScript will be released as Open Source
  • Right data-binding – in the declarative XML.  You get an extra benefit via LiveSync.

NativeScript will be supported by the Telerik tools (but you can use NativeScript w/o the tools); check the Roadmap for detais.

There are some examples as code snippets in the NS docs (I’ll add more links to samples as I find them).

Akhil Nistala has been spending time this January helping us put together additional examples, while documenting his progress in his blog.  His posts so far are:

Akhil’s samples will be available at the progress github organization and we are planning to expand on it over the next few weeks as we build towards the rest of the releases; stay tuned.

More NativeScript articles from Telerik

From Valio Stoychev (@valiostoychev)

From Sebastian Witalec (@sebawita)

From Georgi Atanazov (@atanazovg)

From Mihail Slavchev (@mslavchev)

From TJ VanToll (@tjvantoll)

Microsoft Band Does Not Connect to my Phone

January 10, 2015

I got a Microsoft Band this week while I was at Las Vegas for CES; the MS store at Fashion Show had a bunch of them while it is still sold out at the local Bay Area stores.  My initial goal was to use the Band as part of the January project with Akhil this month, but we then found out that the API is not yet open to 3rd party apps so I’m using it as a personal device.

I have the band paired with my iPhone 5s and so far my experience is positive.  The device is relatively comfortable and I’m currently wearing it with the display in the inside of the wrist.  I’m using it all the time, including while sleeping.

Yesterday the Band stopped connecting with my Phone.  This morning I browsed for answers and saw multiple reports of this plus some workarounds like fully resetting the band.  The solution for me was to first reboot the Band (turn it off, then turn it on), then go to the settings tile, swipe to the bluetooth configuration, then set the device on pairing.  Then go to the iOS device and pair with the band, twice.  One connection seems to be the BLE, the other the standard BT.  The Band is now syncing again.



The Impact of Blogs.Sun.Com

January 4, 2015

Recently I was trying to describe the impact that Blogs.Sun.Com had on Sun’s culture.  My note on A Restrospective on The Aquarium has only indirect comments on BSC so I did some digging. Most (all?) of the people originally involved in BSC are no longer at Oracle but people wrote useful material for the 4th (2008) and the 5th (2009) anniversary of BSC.

Note – if you know of other good summary / retrospective posts, add them as comments and I’ll update this post.

The main posts are from Linda Skrocki, who was Engineering Community Manager for Sun’s External Social Networking Sites.  Her posts and others are still available via blogs.oracle.com, which still runs the origina Roller software.  If you want to look at the “old” BSC, you can use the Wayback Machine – for example, here are front pages from 2005 and 2006 and the last one before closing of the acquisition, from Jan 5th, 2010.

Linda’s Sun Blogs Turns 4 – What’s Next? has some nice statistics from April 2008.  At that time over 4700 employees that had collectively generated over 100K entries in over 4200 blogs.  Linda’s had a follow up the year after: Happy 5th Birthday Sun Blogs!

In 2009 Linda also published an interview with Bob Worrall, Sun’s CIO at the time.  As of 2009, there were over 4500 employees blogging (Sun was contracting), generating over 137K entries, and producing over 8.3 million unique visitors over that year.

Also from 2009 are all these posts on the 5th anniversary.

Overall the BSC program was a huge success by any metric.   This was recognized internally early (2005) on with a Chairman Award.   As Bob indicates,  in 2009 over 10% of the company employees were blogging!  Employees blogging came from the product groups and from Sun Labs, from engineers and technical writers, from marketing people and support people, in english, spanish, portuguese, chinese, korean, japanese, french, etc….  It was a global activity.

I believe blogging had many benefits at Sun; the main ones for for were, in no particular order:

  • Timely Documentation, Status Updates, How-To tips
  • Improved information flow that meshed extremely well with the properties of Open Source.\\
  • Increasing the sense of “ownership” of the products – everybody had a voice, everybody could help the products & projects move forward.
  • Building many “grass roots” marketing channels in many geographies, languages and communities.
  • Creating many feedback channels from the wide community; all going through people deeply involved in the projects.
  • Building strong personal relationship across people all over the company
  • Information sharing and conversations that worked very well across Time Zones (I wrote about this here and here).  Much better than email.

Blogging was particularly useful with cross-departmental / cross-geography information flow, but it helped even with information within a building.  Sometimes you would discover what your next-door officemate was working on via a blog post.


Pat Chanezon’s wrote a post in 2005, the Snake Skin Weblog, discussing the relationship of web pages, mailing lists and wikis, from the perspective of an individual that joined Sun via the iPlanet – Sun/Netscape Alliance.


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