Living Without Flash, Java, And Other Aging Technologies

Chris has expressed his dislike for using Java in no uncertain terms throughout his social media holdings. And with the Mac moving away from another aging technology known as Flash, one can only wonder if this is progress or, instead, killing the messenger due to poor over use of a technology.

Speaking for myself, I will admit that it is difficult to say that Java and Flash haven’t been abused to the point of shunning people away from them for ever. Then again, I can think of two programs that use Java that remain unmatched in the non-Java world and how Flash/Shockwave games remain untouched on the PC for addictive casual gaming.

Any Flash/Shockwave game will suffice in showing off what is possible and how it has not been matched (yet) outside of iOS devices not using Flash just yet. As for Java, I stand by an old favorite of mine known as DVArchive. While outdated now due to the death of ReplayTV as we once knew it, the software is still being used today by die-hard ReplayTV owners who refuse to simply “move on to Tivo.”

The second Java app that, in my own biased opinion, blows anything on Windows or OS X out of the water, is WebcamStudio. AnyWebcam and CamTwist have nothing on WebcamStudio when comparing features side by side. I mean, if something is missing from it, one can create it and add it as a widget! You can learn more about WebcamStudio from this interview with its creator on Floss Weekly.

So there we are. Two Java apps that demonstrate the technology’s value. While Flash may, indeed, die an eventual death, I simply don’t see the same thing happening for Java just yet. While it’s not an experience worth using in a browser for any reason, I would not rule it out due to a few dated, unpleasant experiences that happened however many years ago. Java, for Linux users anyway, isn’t all that bad at all.

What Is The Fastest Way To Get A New Personal Computer Up And Running?

[I am posting this so that I can refer people to this article when they ask how to set up a new personal computer system. I also hope that it helps others who read it as well. Please add your comments and contribute to this piece. TIA, Ron]

You have just brought home that brand new personal computer system and you want to get your new system up and running as fast as possible. This is actually a lot faster than it was several years ago. There are a bunch of free programs that anyone can use to not only clean the gunk off of a new system, put to also install software and quickly with little user intervention.

First you need to get rid of the ‘crapware’ that comes installed on your new personal computer. This includes all of the trial ware programs that you may not wish to use. The first thing you need to download is a program called PC Decrapifier linked below. This free software program will remove most of the junk and gunk for a user automatically. Here is how it works.

Running the Program

After you run the EXE you will be guided through the process with a “wizard” style series of questions. You will have the choice to pick and choose what you want to remove. It will not begin removing anything without prompting you first!

Next follow the onscreen instructions from the images below:

Next, create a Restore Point by clicking on the Create Restore Point button.

Next select the programs that you wish to uninstall:

If you are not sure which programs should be uninstalled ask someone before you leap into the uninstall process. May I suggest you ask your question[s] over at the Help forum for Lockergnome located here.

You will now want to update your system with some of the best free software you can get to protect your personal computer and to enhance your overall computer experience. Over at Ninite Easy PC Setup you can select programs that you wish to install on your new system. Just check the programs you want to use and let Ninite do the rest for you. If you are not sure which programs to use, ask over at the Help forum for Lockergnome.

Here are some of the programs I recommend you try:

Web Browser: Firefox

Messaging: Thunderbird, Google Talk

Media: iTunes, Hulu

Imaging: Gimp, Picasa

Documents: Open Office, Foxit Reader

Security:  Avast, AVG, Malwarebytes, Spybot [caution – use only ONE anti-virus program]

Runtimes: Flash, Java

Other: Google Earth

Utilties: ImgBurn, CCleaner, Defraggler, Tera Copy,

Comments welcome.

Download PC Decrapifier from here.

Download Ninite Easy PC Setup from here.

Programming Scala

There should be an image here!Learn how to be more productive with Scala, a new multi-paradigm language for the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) that integrates features of both object-oriented and functional programming. With Programming Scala, you’ll discover why Scala is ideal for highly scalable, component-based applications that support concurrency and distribution.

This book clearly explains the advantages of Scala as a JVM language. You’ll learn how to leverage the wealth of Java class libraries to meet the practical needs of enterprise and Internet projects more easily. Packed with code examples, this book provides useful information on Scala’s command-line tools, third-party tools, libraries, and available language-aware plugins for editors and IDEs.

Programming Scala will allow you to:

  • Learn how Scala’s succinct and flexible code helps you program faster
  • Discover the notable improvements Scala offers over Java’s object model
  • Get a concise overview of functional programming, and learn how Scala’s support for it offers a better approach to concurrency
  • Know how to use mixin composition with traits, pattern matching, concurrency with Actors, and other essential features
  • Take advantage of Scala’s built-in support for XML
  • Learn how to develop domain-specific languages
  • Understand the basics for designing test-driven Scala applications

Programming Scala

There should be an image here!Looking for an edge? If you program in Java, you’re spending a lot of effort working for the language. But with Scala, the language works for you.

Scala is an exciting, modern, multi-paradigm language for the JVM. You can use it to write traditional, imperative, object-oriented code. But you can also leverage its higher level of abstraction to take full advantage of modern, multicore systems. Programming Scala: Tackle Multi-Core Complexity on the Java Virtual Machine will show you how to use this powerful, functional programming language to create highly scalable, highly concurrent applications on the Java Platform.

Award-winning author Venktat Subramaniam tells us, “We live in a world where hardware is getting cheaper and more powerful. Users now have devices with multiple processors, each with multiple cores. Although Java has served us well so far, it was not designed to take advantage of the power we have on hand today. Scala lets you put all that power to use to create highly responsive, scalable, performing applications.”

Programmers in today’s world are facing a whole new set of challenges — although you can enjoy true concurrency, you’re now faced with higher contention and synchronization issues. Deploying an existing application on a multicore processor may bring out previously hidden concurrency issues. Java’s multi-threading facility by itself isn’t enough; it’s a very low level abstraction. Instead, you need a paradigm that provides a higher level of abstraction to deal with concurrency. It’s time to embrace Functional Programming.

Programming Scala will show you the fundamentals of functional programming using Scala. Very quickly, you’ll learn how this statically typed language can give you dynamic capabilities to create concise, scalable, highly capable concurrent code.

Modular Java

There should be an image here!Building and deploying monolithic Java applications is a thing of the past. Applications that are composed of several smaller, well-defined modules are the way to go in the 21st century.

Modular Java: Creating Flexible Applications with OSGi and Spring shows you how to attack complexity in your Java applications using OSGi and Spring Dynamic Modules, two of the most compelling frameworks for Java modularization. Driven by real-world examples, this book will equip you with the know-how you need to develop Java applications that are composed of smaller, loosely coupled, highly cohesive modules.

Author Craig Walls says, “Unfortunately, as of Java 6, Java’s built-in facilities for modularity are severely limited. That’s where OSGi steps in. OSGi is a framework specification for developing highly modular, loosely coupled applications.” Modular Java is a pragmatic guide to using OSGi, the framework for dynamic modularity in Java, and Spring Dynamic Modules, an OSGi extension to the Spring Framework.

You’ll start with the basics but quickly ramp up, creating loosely coupled modules that publish and consume services, and you’ll see how to compose them into larger applications. Along the way, you’ll apply what you learn as you build a complete web application that is made up of several OSGi modules, using Spring-DM to wire those modules together.

Modular Java is filled with tips and tricks that will make you a more proficient OSGi and Spring-DM developer. Equipped with the know-how gained from this book, you’ll be able to develop applications that are more robust and agile.

Java Is Far From Dead

There should be an image here!Any thoughts of Java being killed off or toned down have been snuffed out recently as Oracle has made it clear that they intend to provide heavy investment into Java technology. And believe me, this is important on many fronts.

So while Sun’s hardware business seems to be pretty much up in the air, it appears that there is no question that Java is going no where but up. It’s safe and then some.

Java netbooks. Man, it seems like everything these days is about netbooks in one form or another. And if Oracle decides to go through the process of bringing Java to the netbook realm, we might see yet another option in an already crowded market place.

Regular Expressions Cookbook

There should be an image here!Every programmer can find uses for regular expressions, but their power doesn’t come worry-free. Even seasoned users often suffer from poor performance, false positives, false negatives, or perplexing bugs. Regular Expressions Cookbook offers step-by-step instructions for some of the most common tasks involving this tool, with recipes for C#, Java, JavaScript, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, and VB.NET.

Many books have been published to ride the wave of regular expression adoption. Most do a good job of explaining the regular expressions syntax along with some examples and a reference. But there aren’t any books that present solutions based on regular expressions to a wide range of real-world practical problems dealing with text on a computer and in a range of Internet applications. This cookbook provides more than 100 recipes to help you crunch data and manipulate text with regular expressions.

With the help of this book, you will:

  • Understand the basics of regular expressions through a concise tutorial
  • Use regular expressions effectively in several programming and scripting languages
  • Learn how to validate and format input
  • Manage words, lines, special characters, and numerical values
  • Find solutions for using regular expressions in URLs, paths, markup, and data exchange
  • Learn the nuances of more advanced regex features
  • Understand how regular expressions’ APIs, syntax, and behavior differ from language to language
  • Write better regular expressions for custom needs

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced user, Regular Expressions Cookbook will help deepen your knowledge of this unique and irreplaceable tool. You’ll learn powerful new tricks, avoid language-specific gotchas, and save valuable time with this huge library of proven solutions to difficult, real-world problems.

Firefox To Get JavaScript Boost

The folks over at Mozilla are getting ready to kick Java right in the butt, and add a huge performance boost to the next version of Firefox when version 3.1 is introduced. According to the article at Ars Technica, the performance boost may be in the 20 to 40 times faster on some sites. This will make a huge difference for us web surfers who use the Fox to surf. Mozilla folks are stating that:

 They are “getting ready to take JavaScript performance into the next tier” with a radically innovative optimization tactic called tracing that has already produced performance improvements ranging between 20 and 40 times faster in some cases. They believe that this is just the beginning of what can be accomplished with tracing, and they expect to be able to achieve even better speed as the work continues.

The theories behind tracing optimization were pioneered by Dr. Michael Franz and Dr. Andreas Gal, research scientists at the University of California, Irvine. The tracing mechanism records the path of execution at runtime and generates compiled code that can be used next time that a particular path is reached. This makes it possible to flatten out loops and nested method calls into a linear stream of instructions that is more conducive to conventional optimization techniques. Tracing optimization is particularly effective in dynamic languages and also has a very light memory footprint relative to alternative approaches. 

Once the new Firefox browser hits the street, those of us who use Gmail should also see a big performance boost in using the online email service. Though I use Gmail as a secondary email, the importance of having an increase in performance can not be underestimated. I received about 200+ alerts per day and a Java boost will be most welcome.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.


ActiveX: Achilles-Heel Or Simple-Plugin?

Most of the non-technical people I know use the browser that came with their computer and never give it a second thought. I, like many longtime Windows users, started out with Mosaic, moved to Netscape, and then moved to on to Internet Explorer. Unlike many of my coworkers, IE has stayed my primary browser. I have tried most of the other browsers out there, but so far I have always come back to IE.
Continue reading “ActiveX: Achilles-Heel Or Simple-Plugin?”

Which Browser Is Really Safer?

Was reading an article today with regard to browser security, comparing Firefox and Internet Explorer. After processing the piece, I felt compelled to clarify some things: First of all, any browser can be dangerous, it depends on what you do with it as to how safe your PC is. Having said this, we also need to look at the current threats vs ‘potential exploits’ that have yet to ever really cause an ongoing problem for people. Firefox is simply never targeted with much, regardless of why, the fact remains. That’s not to say that they won’t be as their popularity grows.
Continue reading “Which Browser Is Really Safer?”