Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bean Scripting Framework with JRuby and Java

I just developed an excellent tutorial for calling JRuby from Java code. Using the Apache Bean Scripting Framework, scripts written in JRuby can be executed from within Java via some simple calls, and my tutorial explains how to install JRuby and BSF so you can do just that. It's a pretty powerful feature that's been around for a while, but never very well documented in an easy-for-beginners fashion. The feature is great, consider the implications for on-the-fly system patching for servers and applications that can't afford a restart, for game development, automated tasks, and much more.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Class Schedule for Spring 2009

All of us have free time, while most of us complain about not having enough of it. But in college, sometimes if you look at it from every angle, that you just might find that less free time now equals significantly better opportunities in the future. I always tend to advocate that we push ourselves to do more and work harder in the time we have, so that we can better ourselves and the world around us. I kept this in mind while creating my Spring schedule. Yes, I could easily get exhausted and worn out, but one semester of some serious hard work can really help me in the future - I'll have less work to do!

Next Semester I'm taking

  • Computer Science 2: Data Structures

  • Discrete Structures

  • Object Oriented Software Development

  • Japanese First Year: Second Semester

In addition, I'm still busy with a number of other groups and events, all of which I consider vital to my success as a University student. The more you do, the more you socialize, and the harder you work then the more likely you'll find yourself enjoying the work you do, or you'll even find yourself with the ability to cut out the things you least enjoy and replace them only with what you like.

  • I am the Associated Residence Halls Associations Director

  • I am in charge of organizing the Open Source University Meetup

  • I am an honors student

  • I organize a weekly movie watching for my friends

In addition, I had a pretty great weekend. Although I always wish I had the opportunity to be more productive, let me highlight one small event. In checking my mail, I had a statement from Citi - it was my credit card bill (I never have a huge balance, don't worry). Inside, though, they increased my APR! What a shock. But, knowing that I've never paid late in the two years I've had the card, I knew I did not have to let this fly, so I called customer service straight away. In only a few moments I had found myself with a 4.9% APR for 9 months, and then a really low rate afterwards, even lower than I had originally. They key here was simple: I was polite and understanding, while still firm (not angry) at the same time. I explained that I was a good customer and that I find myself negative affected by these changes (boosted by my great background and payment history), and said that I wanted to see if these changes could be negated.

So always keep in mind that as long as you're consistent, polite, understanding, yet still firm, but never threatening, you can often make the best out of any situation, even the bad ones.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Free Dr. Pepper Day

Dr. Pepper decided to give away a bunch of free Dr. Pepper if Guns 'n Roses released an album that had been decades in the making before the end of 2008. They did, and now Dr. Pepper's servers are having a hard time handling the traffic. Learn how to get yours!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Going Strong

I've been going strong at all the work I've got to work on, and things seem to be going well so far. I just finished a nice tutorial for JRuby yesterday, and I might experiment with it a little more to see if I can find any nice uses for it. Tonight I'll be attending a presentation in the Iowa Memorial Union about building digital communities, which could be interesting. I also hope to finish a little of my Java studies, while also working on my Python homework assignment. Always fun!

Friday, November 7, 2008

In A Better World

In a better world we will have more fully adopted Open Source as our standard, and we will build our organizations around community and collaboration. Instead of allowing beauracratic leaders make poor choices of paradigm and program, developers and users would be the collaboration that decides what solution to implement. In a better world we will have a President that will know something about technology and would support a revolution in communication. In a better world we wouldn't worry so much about greed taking over people's hard work.

And on January 20, 2009, that better world will come as President Obama takes office. He will fight with the people for network neutrality, to ensure fair and open access to all. He will build a stronger communication infrastructure to facilitate communication and collaboration, and put more pressure on companies to open their networks while preventing illegal spying. We would enjoy a better world, more open, more communicative, and more collaborative. It's coming.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Concept of Open Source

Today is election day, and all across the country people are going to be voting for the type of change they want. But how does that relate to the title of today's post "The Concept of Open Source"? Well, in a way, the correlation is strong, although you can relate nearly anything to the same principals.

By voting, or volunteering for a campaign, a person is contributing a little to society. Input on how the society should be run, on what decisions should be made. Many people even have contributed more, by getting others involved in the process.

Now, open source is a built on much of the same principals. The project evolves around a community, a community with ideas, and input, that guides the direction of itself. People contribute their ideas, their thoughts, and even their work, much like volunteers contribute their time and energy to rally people to a cause or candidate. Each involves a sense of contribution to the whole, a collaboration of ideas and a synergy of work that can help further progress.

Open Source is like Voting. Now vote, today.