Shelves ain’t Programming

I spent half of today finishing the prep for my development machine, which was mostly downloading and installing Eclipse and the Android SDK.  My previously-owned MacBook will follow later, since I am going to develop everything in straight Java first and then port the Java basecode to Android and iOS.

I considered going with one of the cross-platform toolkits, but most of these cost money, and it seems that they don’t deliver on all of their promises.  I have also looked at some of the bytecode cross-compilers like XMLVM and it just feels like too much trouble.  Add in that I believe I would not only learn more doing the ports, and I gave up on the whole single code-base thing.  This has certainly been my experience trying to develop cross platform; you end up having multiple teams tweaking the code to work on the different configurations.  Well, that was with C++…Java can be a different story.

The use of Java for my development projects is a major driver for me too.  It really is the closest thing to cross platform, at least from a browser standpoint (the aforementioned different story).  But I don’t want people bringing up a browser on iPhone to use my software.  I am holding out hope that iOS will support some form of Java directly instead of having to go with native development.  There are rumors…

The other half of the day was spent getting my Ubuntu server and my Shoutcast server out of my office.  The Shoutcast server is an old friend running Windows XP in a Shuttle breadbox form factor (much love).  I use it to distribute tunes around the house (mostly streaming with my phone using XiiaLive, an awesome Shoutcast app on Android).

Having both of these boxes in my office added to my normal development machine makes for a lot of heat.  So moving things to the IT room (well, it’s our junk room!) has made for a big temperature difference.  Although I may have to move them back if it gets too cold this winter!

The biggest part of the effort was putting together and installing the Ikea shelf and mounting the new 16-port TrendNet switch that is the new backbone of my network (nearly all Gigabit now, except I can’t bear to replace my trusty router). The shelf ended up going pretty fast…well as fast as an OCD engineer can go. The end result uses three supports and is super-stable, so I am quite happy with how it went.  It is pretty much perfect for putting the server PCs on.

The switch is a slightly different story.  I bought it assuming it had some sort of way to wall mount it, but this wasn’t the case.  Apparently this version is meant to be rack mounted, and so it had the little 1-inch square of screw holes for attaching a 1U bracket.  Well, this doesn’t work when you need to mount to an exposed stud.  I thought about buying something like a rackmount kit made by TrendNet, but I didn’t really want to wait.  And $15 (AntOnline isn’t Prime!) is a little more than I want to spend for a dumb bracket.

So I went out to Home Depot and got four cheap angle brackets.  I have tons of screws left over from PC builds, and I found a set of four that fit the little 1U holes.  A little bit of creative procedure (level, mark, drill, screw) and I got a pretty good result.  The switch is stuck to the wall like a barnacle and it looks alright.  But it’s in an unfinished room…the rough look is trendy for a junk space!

It ain't pretty, but it is born-again hard and ready to push bits.
It ain't pretty, but it is born-again hard and ready to push bits.

I think that’s the last of the infrastructure stuff, except for getting my Sirius radio installed (I need that coax adapter!).  Next step is writing the tool to make the maze layouts for Project Alpha. Real code ho!

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