Friday, 22 January 2016

MobileFirst Command Line

Whilst GUIs are great and have become the "norm" for most people, inside and outside of IT, there are still some things that certain IT (system admins) prefer to do from the command line.

Mostly, these are repeated tasks that they can script or automate, passing parameter variables as needed.  This means they can spend more of their valuable time scanning twitter or f**ebook or reddit (only kidding, they have much more valuable things to be spending their time VR research!)

With this in mind the question comes up quite frequently: "can we script that?"

With MobileFirst Platform Server, you have the ability to run ANT scripts to manage deploying your runtime .war files into Liberty Profile and even WebSphere Application Server.  This is usually fine for developers to run these tasks when they need to, but mostly they have no real idea of what is happening behind the scenes.  All is great, if it all works fine.  If for some reason you get a BUILD FAILED, error message then things start to get a bit tricky and you usually end up going the manual route to figure out at what part the ANT task is failing.

The above is great if you are just deploying the runtime .war file, but what about if you are now wanting to get more adventurous?

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Virtual Reality for 2016

Apparently, I'm getting an Oculus Rift (again! ....long story...)

Although the docs state that you need a PC to do the development work, I've just found that the Mac OSX SDK and Runtime are still available.. (huh!hum! whilst you can) I'm sure the official SDK will come back in a short while.

After checking out the Mobile SDK, I noticed that there is a Samsung GearVR headset that runs from your Samsung S6 phone, now that's more like it: Android coding!

and here are the instructions to setup your Mac for the Mobile SDK.

It might be time to purchase a Gear VR from Amazon, get my hands on an S6 (I thought I had an S5, turns out it's an S6!!! Woo!hoo!), okay, I have the right equipment.  Time to setup the Mac and see how far I can go with development before having to purchase the actual Gear VR... I'll naturally do a write-up article when I do start this space.

Then it'll be time to test out some apps from the AppStore.  Or, WearVR store, it covers the Rift too.

All I need to do now is to work out, if, my idea from when I had my first developer Rift is still valid and doesn't require me to write a ton of C++ code (I prefer the Android Java code).

Roll on 2016 and Virtual Reality.

Running any app as without GearVR Headset (mine is still "in the post"):

    1.) Install any Gear VR app with your device signature (app can downloaded, compiled, or backed up from an official install)
    2.) Go to your device Settings -> Application manager -> Gear VR Service (usually in the "Downloaded" section but could also be in the "All" section).
    3.) Tap on "Manage storage"
    4.) Tap the "VR Service Version" number six times.
    5.) Wait for scan process to complete and you should now see the Developer Mode toggle on this screen.
    6.) You should now be able to launch your app without the headset and also dock the headset at any time without having Home launch.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Bluemix Demo assets

IBM Bluemix allows you to build all sorts of Mobile apps much quicker and leaner than if you were to start from scratch.

See for yourself what building Mobile Apps using Bluemix is all about.

With a few clicks and some lines of code, you are able to:
  • manage push notification subscriptions
  • authenticate users
  • monitor app usage
  • store and sync your app data (offline to online) from your client code
  • run custom app logic in the cloud
  • get indoor location from beacons, wife and small clients
  • trigger actions with indoor location information
  • gain insights with customer interactions
  • add natural language and image recognition to your app to make it personal

Once, you've got yourself up to speed with the architecture and how you can now call Bluemix Services from your Mobile app, you might want to see some more in-depth examples of how to use more of the Bluemix services.

Fortunately, there is a website that now offers you just that.  Bluemix Demo Assets.  Check it out, if you are wondering how to hook up a Watson Personality Profile service with Twitter or Track the International Space Station using Bluemix... there are many more demo's available covering a wide range of concepts and technologies.

During the coming year, I'll be adding more Bluemix Demo Assets myself, although they may be a little biased towards my Robots and my Hot-Rod...