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BeagleBone Black 
REVIEW: Beagleboard (Beaglebone Rev C) Starter Kit--includes Clear Case--Power Supply--Micro USB Cable (Electronics)


We recently (and grudgingly) acquired a BeagleBone Black single-board microcontroller. After exploring the device on the behalf of a client, I decided to post a review on Amazon:

"Let me begin by saying that I have allot of experience & advocacy for the Raspberry PI, Arduino, & other single-board devices. So as an accomplished developer in embeddable C/C++, LAMP, and Java (etc.), I was a bit put off by the idea of having a browser-based / JavaScript / BoneScript (?!) front end to any platform. --What the heck is wrong with the more efficient & machine-language-oriented traditions, anyway?

Well, please allow me to say that after a few hours playing with the BeagleBone Black that not only am I very happy with deciding to take the plunge (`gonna purpose another one to host The Quote For Today's processing!), but that this puppy (pun intended) is rapidly becoming my favorite device.

Indeed, after testing the quite-capable 'specs for the `Black, in as much as my primary client is looking to instantly deploy a MORE RUGGED platform, the `Bone is a natural choice. -With 3 x 128 addressable points (3 x SPI) and a range of -40 to 90 degrees `charley, this platform is a natural choice to support near-field telemetry aggregation, as well as visualization. --Indeed, having an ability to rapidly cobble-together a CGI in C/C++ (or just about anything else!) so as to allow Apache to spew-forth a WIFIed HTML5 / CSS3 interface is making everyone's day. -Even the Java GWT guys!

So sure: Putting a JavaScript interface over the hosting of a discreet set of data-collection devices sounds mega-queer. Yet keep in mind that underneath the `Black Bone's web-presence there beats a standards-based heart of a true-blue, POSIX-Complyant, promise-keeping, set of forever-coolness."

In as much as I use allot of automated devices around the home office (many for temperature logging, roll-up, and visualization) what was most refreshing about the board was precisely what I did not think I would like: The BoneScript in the browser interface. Indeed, within a few moments we were able to attach a USB WIFI to the device, and start the "what if" process.

Of course many will like to know that the 'Bone is a few dollars more than the 'Pi. Yet after comparing the 'specs side-by-side, most will surely come to the conclusion that - as usual - in our extremely competitive world - that you always get what your pay for?

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AboutTime: Maintenance Release 
-Just a quick note to let everyone know that we updated AboutTime.

Lots of minor updates - consider it a "maintenance release?"

The most notable change is in that export-file verbiage: We who are used to exporting our weekly status reports will be happy to note that the "start week" typo has finally been updated to ask us to select the "week ending."

What is it?

For those who have not heard about our free hourly-reporting tool, note that the mission of AboutTime is to allow the technically-inclined to blog and / or create status reports. While not required, lots of us 'geeks like the fact that we also have the option to do so using HTML.

Once any arbitrary list of stop / start logging entries have been created, we can quickly generate a weekly time card for all timed intervals:

While I could 'natter on over the features we have built-into into AboutTime, perhaps the best description about our little tool comes from the project page, itself:

"Having trouble remembering what you did last week? Do you need to create a status report? Surely consultants need to assure clients that they have been earning their pay.

It is amazing how many tasks one can do, yet omit: AboutTime allows us to create meaningful, task-based status reports.

AboutTime also supports troubleshooting & problem detection. By allowing us prioritize, filter, and share log entries, AboutTime can also support "tiger team" troublshooting operations.

No time to write things down? Relax: AboutTime also has a simple voice-note recording feature. Now we can keep track of what we saw and did, as well as when we first noticed. All real-time data-captured for thoughtful review / annotation later-on.

After awhile, using AboutTime encourages us to do more each day, By encouraging us to do more, AboutTime also allows us to become allot more productive. Over time, most discover that using AboutTime will help us stand head-and-shoulders above the competition."

Enjoy the journey,


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The Best Java Developer's Tablet EvER! 
In my personal quest to find the absolute-best portable platform, like others I have stumbled across the Model 100 (two month battery life - I still use it on campouts!), HP-200LX (six week battery life), Sharp Zaurus, Mitsubishi's Amity, Asus's Eee PC, Toshiba's NBs, as well as various Apple and Android devices.

When it comes to developing Java on-the-go however, nothing I have ever come across comes even close to using a Microsoft Window-capable Tablet!

Windows + Java = Nerdvana?

While Microsoft broke it's promise to play fairly with Sun's Java, the fact remains that the new crop of Windows 8 Tablets are truly the very best on-the-go platforms for serious Java efforts.

Having the opportunity to recently acquire a 64 GB ASUS Transformer Book for $250.oo, I would have to sell my trackball & return to working at a fast-food joint if I did not tell everyone how magnificent the new quad-core Atom Processors are!

Truly Awesome

While amazingly responsive when running Java, surely the ability to responsively write + debug code once the keyboard is in-place is the most compelling reason to add a Microsoft Tablet to the geeky arsenal. The full-sized USB port on the removable keyboard also make a leap toward a 7th Haven by allowing us to re-use our host of USB storage devices on-the-do.

.... and do not ever get me started on praising the longer battery lives, as well as faster recharge rates ... While the Model 100 will possibly be forever grafted on my bug-out gear, the T100 is what the TSA scans in the corporate backpack.

Java 'Tech

So what's my preferred R&D Toolkit for the platform?

-Glad you asked: I use Netbeans 8.x, as well as Oracle Java 1.7.x.

Why not use Java 1.8, you might ask?

Because - like many R&D sages - I too have noted that modern software development efforts have rapidly been becoming grossly inferior to what many have been traditionally accustomed to. -So rather than risk bashing an operating environment that cannot be quickly re-installed (yet another tragic use-case oversight!), I keep away from putting software on ANY machine that might cause even the slightest hint of a problem.

Your mileage may vary.

Sharing is Caring!


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