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So where have I been?

July 9th, 2009

Any regular readers of this blog probably took not that I went from posting one of two things here a week to posting nothing for about two months. Maybe I cursed myself by writing the article Why do our time estimates suck, because I am finally wrapping up a project where the estimations just went down the crapper. I did learn another lesson though about why estimations suck, and that is being on a project that its entire life cycle (IE, planning, development, testing, regression testing, etc) is a massive discovery phase.

This basically boiled down to those who were in charge of pulling the data down were not aware that what the client was asking was either a)something different or b) next to impossible given the dataset. No one knew it at the time, so everyone just found out as the project progressed. Luckily the blame of that was not on our plate, but it did affect our ability to get the job done in a sane manner. However, the project is “done”, so hopefully my schedule will go back to something more reasonable and I will be able to contribute more.

In the mean time, I did end up picking up a palm pre and actually got invited into their pre SDK development program. I have been messing with that and I have started working on a game called 5 or more. The gray pieces are “open spots” where you can move the colored pieces to. You have to have a clear path of open pieces when you move a piece from one place to another. Each time you move a piece, 3 more pieces will drop. Once you line up 5 or more of the same color, they will change into open (gray) pieces. Here are some pics of it so far:

5 or more picture 1
5 or more picture 2

Its pretty close to being completed. Once it is completed, I will be submitting it to the app catalog, so hopefully I will be able to be part of the initial wave of new apps :) .

In the future, I would like to start posting articles about developing for the pre, but I would like to get some more experience with it first.

java, Random Notes

Generating PDF’s within java using iText

March 23rd, 2009

With PDFs becoming more and more prevalent in todays world, if you are doing any sort of exporting or sales, generating PDFs is probably going to find its way into your program. Using iText, you are given a large amount of functionality in order to create custom PDFs on the fly. This article will be focusing on how to generate an PDF for a sales receipt. With this, I will show how easily you can setup tables, images, barcodes, and links.
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