Feb 14

Note: I wrote this article at the end of 2011, but I got busy with my RV trip across the western USA, Canada and Alaska and never published it.  Better late than never.  Though publishing this article now in 2013 invalidates the first sentence…


The best thing about making annual predictions is that by this time next year, nobody will remember how wrong we were.  So let’s boldly go where every other tech blogger has gone before, and peer into the future of the tech market in 2012.

The Future. Copyright © Mario Alberto Magallanes Trejo. Image used under license.

1.  Microsoft will release Windows 8 and few will notice

There are 1.25 billion Windows users worldwide, including 500 million people on Windows 7.  And yet, most of the excitement and venture capital seems to be flowing to the mobile platforms of iOS and Android.  Ironically, one reason why nobody will notice Windows 8 is that Windows 7 is actually quite good and reliable.  And like Star Trek movies, every other version of Windows tends to be crap, so many companies will likely to skip the Windows 8 upgrade and wait for Windows 9.  But by then, will anyone be using a PC anymore?

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Feb 14

Theresa and Timm Martin in front of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, California

My wife and I have returned from a one-year RV trip across western USA, Canada and Alaska.  It was an amazing trip, truly the adventure of a lifetime.  Although this has nothing to do with software development, if you are interested, please check out our photo tour at National Park Explorers and our behind-the-scenes blog at TNTRV.

Now that I am back working, I will start updating this DevTopics blog again on a regular basis.  I’ve also turned on the comments again (I had turned off comments to stop the flood of spam while I was on the road).

Please comment below if there are any software development subjects on which you’d like me to write an article.

Dec 27

Here is a handy method to print a directory tree in Windows Explorer.

1.  Follow these instructions to open a CMD window while using Windows Explorer.

2.  Click on the CMD window’s upper-left icon to show the menu.  Click Edit > Paste to paste the following command in the CMD window:

dir /o:gn /s > %temp%\DirTree | notepad %temp%\DirTree

Paste in CMD window

The directory tree will open in Notepad, where you can easily print or save it to a file.

Dec 21

Distimo Report. Copyright © Distimo B.V.Distimo has released its Full Year 2011 Publication on the mobile app market.  This report provides data on how the leading app stores grew in 2011, indicates which store generated the most revenue, and lists the most downloaded apps of 2011.  The free report covers the app stores during the period of January through November 2011 in the United States.

Following are some of the key points in the Distimo 2011 report:

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Dec 20

If you change the nameservers of an Internet domain, it may take a few minutes or even hours before the changes appear in your web browser. 

A brief delay occurs while the new nameserver values propagate over the global DNS.  But typically that happens within minutes.

The greater delay is usually from the DNS cache on your PC and in your browser.  DNS values are stored locally to speed website lookup, and they’re updated infrequently such as once per hour.

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Dec 19
Christmas Gifts 2. Copyright © Wong Mei Teng. Used under license. On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me:

Twelve cores debugging,
Eleven named-pipes piping,
Ten laptops loading,
Nine apps compiling,
Eight mice a-moving,
Seven smartphones syncing,
Six geeks a-coding,
Five I-D-E’s,
Four calling cards,
Three iPads,
Two monitors,
And a cartridge for my H-P.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Peace to You!

(Originally published Dec 24, 2010)

Dec 17

2012 is a great time to be a kid — or an adult who’s a kid at heart.  With computer technology and miniaturization accelerating at an exponential rate, gadgets and toys are becoming more powerful and sophisticated every year.  This is especially true with geek gifts, which tend to exploit the latest technological advances.

Following is a list of our favorite geek gifts, all available now for purchase online:

Rii Mini Wireless Keyboard

This miniature keyboard is a great accessory for your PC, laptop, PS3 or home theater PC.  Only 6” long and 2-1/4” high, this QWERTY full-function keyboard fits in your pocket and works from up to 90 feet away.  The keys are backlit for easy use in the dark.  The touchpad works well when holding the keyboard horizontally or vertically.  It has a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery.  View Product

Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit

Easily download pictures from your digital camera to view on your Apple iPad.  The kit includes two connectors: The Camera Connector features a USB interface to connect your digital camera or smartphone to the iPad.  The SD Card Reader imports photos directly from your camera’s SD card.  Then when you sync your iPad to your PC or Mac, the photos on your iPad are added to your computer’s photo library.  View Product

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Nov 25

True story…  After Thanksgiving dinner yesterday at the in-laws, I was talking with a nice older woman in her 60s.  Eventually the conversation shifted to my favorite subject, computers. 

The woman, whom I’ll call “Helen,” told me that she doesn’t own a computer anymore since her “scare.”

“Did your computer get attacked by a virus?” I asked.

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Nov 11

See you again next century!

Nov 01

Samsung Chromebook. Copyright © Samsung.

Google, in partnership with Samsung and Acer, has announced a radical new laptop where all the software and data is stored online.  It’s called the Chromebook, which is named after Google’s Chrome web browser. 

The Chromebook runs a full-screen Chrome web browser and does everything via the Internet.  Your word processor, spreadsheets, email and games are all web apps.  There is no local hard drive, so all of your data resides in the “cloud.”

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