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It’all about YOU!

Today I wanted to watch the latest Motorola Droid review video, stuff that I got on twitter marked with #android hash tag. However on the very beginning of video I noticed very effective Yahoo! commercial … it’s something about YOU!

Since I recently became HTC Hero owner and watched plenty of their stuff, immediately got “Deja Vu” effect. It didn’t take me long to find this page, which represent the latest HTC ad campaing.

Although it is great to know that both Yahoo and HTC are following recent trends so they threat YOU (us) as important guys, I really wonder how come they come up with almost the same message and logo at the same time? Please let us know who was stealing from whom?

HTC Hero USB Tether on Mac OS X

Recently I got brand new HTC Hero – great android based phone. Since my previous phone (Nokia N73) has been working with Mac without any problem I was very disappointed to figure out that I have to deal with Windows for syncing my phone with computer and firmware upgrades.
After I upgraded it to latest official 2.73.405.4 ROM, I used Google Contacts/Calendar apps to sync my previous Nokia 73 stuff with Google and Hero, so having laptop<-->mobile connection to Internet (tethering) really sounded like something possible to achieve. A friend of mine with HTC Magic told me about way to connect to Internet with Wifi Tether application, which works on root-ed devices only. So after I passed trough complete rooting procedure explained here and here, I gained root access but still wasn’t able to make Wifi Tether work with Mac. Hero was visible as another AP, and even thought Mac was actually able to connect to it, I never got “outside” access to the Internet and eventually gave up. I found some threads that modaco custom ROM might be solution but figured that for newbie in android world like me, chances to brick brand new device while doing unsupported ROM upgrade are not so low so eventually I gave up.

Unlike for wifi tethering, USB tether for Hero and Windows comes “Out of the Box” (all you have to do is to turn on mobile sharing) but unfortunately it doesn’t work with a Mac. When you connect Hero to Mac, instead of new network device Mac see it as modem, but if you try to dial (like with *99#) you obviously get an error.
After I spent several hours reading endless discussions on various forums, today I finally managed to connect my MacBook Pro on the Internet with my HTC Hero mobile Internet (EDGE/GPRS/3G/HSDPA) connection.

Before I delve into instructions, please bear in mind that although this tutorial is based on HTC Hero and Mac running on latest (10.6.1) Snow Leopard, as far as I can tell it should be working with any other Android device or older version of Mac. I assume that you have MacPorts installed and that you are able to connect to Internet with your Mobile Phone.

Prepare your phone
————————–
You are going to install azilink on your phone. Since all tether applications are removed from Android Market, you have to download it directly from site. But before you do that, you have to make sure that installing applications from unknown sources is allowed. So Press Home, then Menu->Settings->Applications and make sure that “Unknown Sources” is checked. Also in Development menu make sure that “USB Debugging” is checked.

Now on your phone open browser and go to http://azilink.googlecode.com/files/azilink-2.0.2.apk , download file and follow install instructions. Once azilink application is installed start it and make sure that “Service Active” option is checked.

Prepare your Mac
————————–
Step1: TuneTap App
Download and install tuntap for Mac OS X (http://tuntaposx.sourceforge.net/) on the Mac and restart your mac.

Step2: Android SDK
Download Android SDK (http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html) for Mac and unpack it somewhere on your machine. I used my $HOME dir (/Users/dinke) so I unpacked whole folder and named it android-sdk so full path is /Users/dinke/android-sdk. Since you are going to call tools from that folder, we have to put it into our $PATH variable by editing $HOME/.bash_profile file. I assume that you don’t have UNIX experience so this is step by step guide :

1) Open Terminal Applications
2) Type:

cd

and hit enter
3) You are now in your home dir (ie. /Users/dinke). Now you are going to edit .bash_profile file with pico editor :
Type:

pico .bash_profile

4) Add this line to last line of file:
export PATH=/Users/dinke/android-sdk/tools:$PATH
(replace /Users/dinke/android-sdk/tools with actuall path on your system)
5) Hit ctrl-x then answer Y and hit enter

Now you should be ready to call android tools (like we are going to do later) without specifying full system path.

Step3: OpenVPN2 App

Download and install openVPN2 . We will use MacPort’s port command for doing that. So again open terminal application and type:

sudo port install openvpn2

Now application will be automatically downloaded and compiled. This will take a while, and if this end without any error message you are good to go further :)

Step 4: azilink.ovpn file

1) Download http://azilink.googlecode.com/files/azilink.ovpn file
2) Create folder openvpn in $HOME/library folder (so you have new folder in for example /Users/dinke/Library/openvpn
3) Edit file azilink.ovpn and comment out line 8 with TCP_NODELAY (so it may looks like this):

dev tun

remote 127.0.0.1 41927 tcp-client
proto tcp-client
ifconfig 192.168.56.2 192.168.56.1
route 0.0.0.0 128.0.0.0
route 128.0.0.0 128.0.0.0
#socket-flags TCP_NODELAY
#keepalive 10 30
ping 10
dhcp-option DNS 192.168.56.1

4) Save file in new created in new created openvpn folder

Step 5: Modem script

1) Download script from http://pastie.org/405289 (there is download link on top right) and save it somewhere on your system. I assume you saved it under our home dir as modem.sh (/Users/dinke/modem.sh)
2) Give that script executable privileges. So open terminal application and type this:
chmod 777 /Users/dinke/modem.sh
(change path and script name according to your system)

Now we are almost done and we are ready to test actual connection. So connect your phone with Mac with USB cable, open terminal app and type this:

adb devices

You should get something like this:

dragan-dinics-macbook-pro:tools dinke$ adb devices
* daemon not running. starting it now *
* daemon started successfully *
List of devices attached
HT9FSL901734    device
dragan-dinics-macbook-pro:tools dinke$ 

If you get error (like command not found) check path setting for android sdk tools. If your device is not listed check that it is connected properly. If everything looks ok (you get device id listed) then we can connect our phone to Internet and run actual connection script. Make sure that your phone is connected to Mobile Internet (go to Menu->Settings->Wireless Controll and check Mobile Network checkbox), and then assuming that you’ve saved modem script under /Users/dinke/modem.sh you can run it by typing absolute path in terminal:

/Users/dinke/modem.sh

and you should get output like this:

dragan-dinics-macbook-pro:~ dinke$ /Users/dinke/modem.sh
Tue Nov 10 03:33:53 2009 OpenVPN 2.0.9 i686-apple-darwin10.0.0 [SSL] [LZO] built on Nov  9 2009
Tue Nov 10 03:33:53 2009 IMPORTANT: OpenVPN's default port number is now 1194, based on an official port number assignment by IANA.  OpenVPN 2.0-beta16 and earlier used 5000 as the default port.
Tue Nov 10 03:33:53 2009 ******* WARNING *******: all encryption and authentication features disabled -- all data will be tunnelled as cleartext
Tue Nov 10 03:33:53 2009 gw 0.0.0.0
Tue Nov 10 03:33:53 2009 TUN/TAP device /dev/tun0 opened
Tue Nov 10 03:33:53 2009 /sbin/ifconfig tun0 delete
ifconfig: ioctl (SIOCDIFADDR): Can't assign requested address
Tue Nov 10 03:33:53 2009 NOTE: Tried to delete pre-existing tun/tap instance -- No Problem if failure
Tue Nov 10 03:33:53 2009 /sbin/ifconfig tun0 192.168.56.2 192.168.56.1 mtu 1500 netmask 255.255.255.255 up
Tue Nov 10 03:33:53 2009 ./modem.sh up tun0 1500 1502 192.168.56.2 192.168.56.1 init
add net 0.0.0.0: gateway 192.168.56.1
add net 128.0.0.0: gateway 192.168.56.1
Tue Nov 10 03:33:53 2009 Attempting to establish TCP connection with 127.0.0.1:41927
Tue Nov 10 03:33:53 2009 TCP connection established with 127.0.0.1:41927
Tue Nov 10 03:33:53 2009 TCPv4_CLIENT link local: [undef]
Tue Nov 10 03:33:53 2009 TCPv4_CLIENT link remote: 127.0.0.1:41927
Tue Nov 10 03:34:03 2009 Peer Connection Initiated with 127.0.0.1:41927
Tue Nov 10 03:34:03 2009 Initialization Sequence Completed

If you get some errors make sure that you’ve passed correctly trough all needed steps. If no errors found, it is good time to test your new internet connection. You can do so by trying to ping some site or simple opening browser and visiting some Web Site. It should be working just fine!

My HSDPA connection with USB Tethering
Speedtest of my HSDPA connection with Telenor Serbia

Usefull Links:

http://androidsmartphone.de/apps/g1-als-usb-modem-ohne-root-auf-dem-mac/

http://thinkden.com/index.php/general/admin/75

MySQL – NULL values and sorting

Very often we need to sort some data by specific field in db table but in a way that NULL values goes at the end of dataset. Typical example is frontend which displays data from specific table, with sortable links at the top where you can make asc/desc sorting simple with one click of the mouse.

Since I am mostly dealing with domains, I’ve decided to create one MySQL table with few domains, simple enough to show solution for this problem.

mysql> select * from domains;
+----+-------------------+-------------+
| id | domain            | expire_date |
+----+-------------------+-------------+
|  1 | dinke.net         | 2010-01-17  |
|  2 | lampix.net        | 2009-12-26  |
|  3 | blogodak.com      | 2010-09-08  |
|  4 | maestrodesert.com | 2009-09-11  |
|  5 | unexistant.com    | NULL        |
+----+-------------------+-------------+
5 rows in set (0.00 sec)

So problem is, I want to sort data by expire_data field but in a way that NULL field (ie domain which is not regged yet or has expired) always goes at the end. By default NULL fields goes on the top if we sort by acceding (asc) order or at the end if we sort in descending (desc) order.

mysql> select * from domains
order by expire_date asc;
+----+-------------------+-------------+
| id | domain            | expire_date |
+----+-------------------+-------------+
|  5 | unexistant.com    | NULL        |
|  4 | maestrodesert.com | 2009-09-11  |
|  2 | lampix.net        | 2009-12-26  |
|  1 | dinke.net         | 2010-01-17  |
|  3 | blogodak.com      | 2010-09-08  |
+----+-------------------+-------------+
5 rows in set (0.00 sec)

mysql> select * from domains
order by expire_date desc;
+----+-------------------+-------------+
| id | domain            | expire_date |
+----+-------------------+-------------+
|  3 | blogodak.com      | 2010-09-08  |
|  1 | dinke.net         | 2010-01-17  |
|  2 | lampix.net        | 2009-12-26  |
|  4 | maestrodesert.com | 2009-09-11  |
|  5 | unexistant.com    | NULL        |
+----+-------------------+-------------+
5 rows in set (0.00 sec)

We are going to solve this problem by using MySQL IF function, and solution is:

mysql> select * from domains
order by if(expire_date is null, 1, 0), expire_date asc;
+----+-------------------+-------------+
| id | domain            | expire_date |
+----+-------------------+-------------+
|  4 | maestrodesert.com | 2009-09-11  |
|  2 | lampix.net        | 2009-12-26  |
|  1 | dinke.net         | 2010-01-17  |
|  3 | blogodak.com      | 2010-09-08  |
|  5 | unexistant.com    | NULL        |
+----+-------------------+-------------+
5 rows in set (0.00 sec)

MySQL IF function is similar as ternary operator, it returns value of first argument in case when expression evaluate to true, otherwise it returns value of 2nd argument. So in this particular example it returns 1 for NULL values and 0 for the rest, allowing us to have NULL values at the end of the list.

I know that this might sound little bit confusing so we have to go one step further and add another one field in our MySQL table in order to explain what is exactly going on here.

mysql> alter table domains
add column nullorder tinyint not null;
Query OK, 5 rows affected (0.01 sec)
Records: 5  Duplicates: 0  Warnings: 0

then we are going to update values of nullorder field so they contains values of IF expression above:

mysql> update domains
set nullorder = if(expire_date is null, 1, 0);
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)
Rows matched: 5  Changed: 1  Warnings: 0

mysql> select * from domains;
+----+-------------------+-------------+-----------+
| id | domain            | expire_date | nullorder |
+----+-------------------+-------------+-----------+
|  1 | dinke.net         | 2010-01-17  |         0 |
|  2 | lampix.net        | 2009-12-26  |         0 |
|  3 | blogodak.com      | 2010-09-08  |         0 |
|  4 | maestrodesert.com | 2009-09-11  |         0 |
|  5 | unexistant.com    | NULL        |         1 |
+----+-------------------+-------------+-----------+
5 rows in set (0.00 sec)

Now when we have nullorder field our first query:

select * from domains
order by if(expire_date is null, 1, 0), expire_date asc;

can also be written in this way:

mysql> select * from domains
order by nullorder, expire_date;
+----+-------------------+-------------+-----------+
| id | domain            | expire_date | nullorder |
+----+-------------------+-------------+-----------+
|  4 | maestrodesert.com | 2009-09-11  |         0 |
|  2 | lampix.net        | 2009-12-26  |         0 |
|  1 | dinke.net         | 2010-01-17  |         0 |
|  3 | blogodak.com      | 2010-09-08  |         0 |
|  5 | unexistant.com    | NULL        |         1 |
+----+-------------------+-------------+-----------+
5 rows in set (0.00 sec)

So as you can see completely the same stuff as first one, except that we didn’t have to create nullorder field.

Of course in similar way you can have NULL fields appear at the beginning of the list (in case of desc order) when you need something like that.

Browser Class by Bluesman

A friend of mine and colleague Goran Pilipović (also known as Bluesman in developers community) recently sent me his own version of mine Browser Detection class.

Practically speaking, it is completely new code, because compared to my rather simple class this one has bigger number of methods. Here is an example with usage:

require_once "class.Browser.php";

Browser::get();

echo "<pre>";
echo "<br />User Agent:      ".Browser::ua();
echo "<br />Browser Id:      ".Browser::id();
echo "<br />Browser Name:    ".Browser::name();
echo "<br />Browser Version: ".Browser::version();
echo "<br />OS:              ".Browser::os();
echo "<br />Device:          ".Browser::device();
echo "<br />Platform:        ".Browser::platform();
echo "<br />Is PC:           ".yesno(Browser::isPc());
echo "<br />Is Windows:      ".yesno(Browser::isWindows());
echo "<br />Is Mac:          ".yesno(Browser::isMac());
echo "<br />Is Linux:        ".yesno(Browser::isLinux());
echo "<br />Is Symbian:      ".yesno(Browser::isSymbian());
echo "<br />Is IE:           ".yesno(Browser::isIe());
echo "<br />Is Safari:       ".yesno(Browser::isSafari());
echo "<br />Is Firefox:      ".yesno(Browser::isFirefox());
echo "<br />Is Chrome:       ".yesno(Browser::isChrome());
echo "<br />Is Opera:        ".yesno(Browser::isOpera());
echo "<br />Is iPhone:       ".yesno(Browser::isIphone());
echo "<br />Is Handlheld:    ".yesno(Browser::isHandheld());
echo "<br />Is Phone:        ".yesno(Browser::isPhone());
echo "<br />Is Console:      ".yesno(Browser::isConsole());
echo "<br />Is Terminal:     ".yesno(Browser::isTerminal());
echo "</pre>";

Class file as well as example file you can download here. In case you figure out any problem or bug please leave your comment with bug description here.

Future of Web Applications, Miami

Tuesday, cloudy day in Miami, not really good weather for the beach, but who cares. Today is FOWA day!

Check in was within 08-09AM in beautiful Adrienne Arsht arena. Checked location on Google maps, it’s just nearby my hotel so no need to deal with car. Arrived just few minutes before 09AM, so after they checked my data they gave me blank pass and pen to write down my name/company on it. As every proud Serb I took the chance to draw Serbian flag there so my geek colleagues knows exactly from where I am :)

Inside of hall there was bunch of geeks from all colors and ages … but most of them have one thing in common. They were all armed with a Macbook. I counted like 50 Macbook (Pro) laptops, with only one sad PC guy. I joined the mass with my Macbook Pro and started with some kind of live broadcasting to well known Serbian Development Forum.

Fowa, Miami

Before he started his intro speech, Ryan Carson asked from us to meet and shake hands with each others. Most of us were doing that … “Hey bro, how yo doin’ …” and suddenly robots becomes a man. Well done Ryan.

First guy on the stage was Jason Fried who were talking about their Getting Real philosophy, without much noise and any presentation screen behind. He mentioned plenty of good advices regarding productivity, sales, future prediction etc. Jason complained about giving away software for free, because food is not free, our cloth is not free, our car is not free … so why in the world software you made should be free?

Jason (37signals)

After Jason Ajaxian guys (Dion Almaer from Google and Ben Galbraith from Mozilla) took the stage. Their speech was much more interesting to me, with plenty of effective screens behind, describing what is going to happen with browsers in the near future. In one word – revolution, which is going to get current Ajax based applications even more usable with usability closer with those that we have on OS X (they used Mac examples frequently).

Ajaxian guys

After Ajaxian guys, Dan Theurer from Yahoo took the scene. Unfortunately his presentation file was corrupted so somehow he did his speech too fast. Also without presentation slides behind it was really hard to track his speech so many developers took the chance to play with wireless and at the end it seamed that Dan couldn’t wait to move away from the stage which was kind of shame.

After the morning break there was probably the most effective talk made by Joe Stump, lead developer of Digg-a.

Joe Stump

Joe used ingenious slides with his and his brother pics from their childhood in attempt to present developers as lazy, moody and egocentric guys (come on, we all know that it is completely the true), and how to make compact and productive team from them.

My favorite quotes:

Developers are EXTREMELY lazy.

Jedi are rare guys

(finding senior programmers is not easy – demonstrated by picture of kid with light Jedi like sward in hand).

Kristine Halvorson, related to Web Content. Although I don’t think many guys from audience found her speech really interesting (I don’t think developers really care about content), her speech was really original and effective. Kristine also had problems with her presentation, but unlike Yahoo guy she didn’t want to continue till backed guys didn’t fix the problem (meanwhile she made them look really funny). After her speech Kristine asked audience why do we have so little females in hall, which was introduction to their talk about that “issue”.

After they ended Aza Raskin from Mozilla took the stage to tell us about all those great little things Mozilla Lab is preparing for us. He was talking about Ubiquity, kind of Firefox add on which would allow you to do many things, like changing content on pages you’re visiting often (like you could easily replace Google logo with your own ad), and many other things. Unfortunately backed guys screwed it again so Aza also stayed without his presentation and had to leave the stage and finish it at the end of show.

Aza Raskin(Mozilla)

After lunch break Joel Spolsky made an interesting and funny talk, where he talked about programmer’s efficiency, setting working environment, office stuff etc. Like Jason he also mentioned interruption as one of the biggest enemies of programmer’s productivity. He claim (and I totally agree) that every developer during his working day usually has about 2 or 3 hours of “total focus” in which time he is 100% focused on problems he is solving. During that period developer usually don’t feel a time (2 or 3 hours pass like a snap). Noisy environment, phone ringing, even going to toilet are the worst enemies of every programmer. That’s why big companies that are paying attention to those stuff (like Google) are trying to keep developer’s focus as long as possible with ie. keeping his snack near by, the same with toilet and even shower booth :)

Talent

After Joel, some very effective (but personally not so interesting) talks was made by Dave McClure and Alex Hunter from Virgin. And after pause there was another one “talk show” with Joel, Jason and Caron, after which Francisco Tolmasky from company 280 North took the stage.

Francisco made great workshop with Cappuccino and Atlas tool. By using Atlas – kind of point and click tool started from the browser on local host, he used point and click interface to create an feed reader application in like 3 minutes! After that he did the same for iPhone platform. I liked whole thing except the fact that you don’t have ability to do kind of “synchronization” between iPhone and Web project (things are kept in separate files). I even took a chance to talk with Francisco after the show about that, who was BTW the only speaker I had a chance to meet personally.

Francisco Tolmasky

At the end there was Gary Vaynerchuk’s talk who somehow acted like a Eminem, he talked loud and fast, sometimes cursing, screaming … I could say almost crying :) Don’t have time to repeat here everything Gary said, so if you have a time, here’s video :)


Gary Vaynerchuk at FOWA Miami 09 from DamianVoltes.com on Vimeo.

At the end we were invited to visit the party on Nikki Beach which as far as I can tell many developers did. Free beer provided by Microsoft … you could hardly find something more attractive :)

Me on Nikky Beachu

My Personal pics from FOWA conference

P.S. This is English translation of FOWA Conference report made originally in Serbian. Now when I got back to my sucky homeland, I managed to translate it completely. Hopefully you enjoyed.