Monday, October 29, 2007

Setup gmail IMAP account on E61i

To configure IMAP for your Symbian S60 device, just follow these steps:
  1. Enable IMAP in your Gmail account settings.
  2. Select 'Messaging' > 'Options' > 'Settings' > 'E-mail' > 'Mailboxes.'
  3. If you have never set up email on your phone before, select 'Yes' to define a new mailbox. If you already have other mailboxes, select 'Options' and then 'New mailbox.'
  4. Select 'Start' to begin the setup wizard.
  5. Select 'IMAP4' and then 'Next.'
  6. Enter your Gmail username (including '') as the email address and select 'Next.'
  7. Enter '' as the incoming mail server and select 'Next.'
  8. Enter '' as the outgoing mail server and select 'Next.'
  9. Select the appropriate access point and then 'Next.'
  10. Enter a descriptive name for the email account mailbox name.
  11. Once your mailbox is set up, select it from the email mailbox settings screen.
  12. Select 'Connection settings' > 'Incoming e-mail.'
  13. Enter your Gmail username (including '') and password.
  14. Select 'SSL/TLS' for your security (ports) and define your port as '993.'
  15. Select 'Back.'
  16. Select 'Outgoing e-mail.'
  17. Enter your Gmail username (including '') and password.
  18. Select 'StartTLS' for your security (ports) and define your port as '587.'
  19. Select 'Back' and change any other settings according to your preferences.
This is from the gmail help but I just want to make sure I have it when I need it next time.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Biting off more than I can chew

This idiom sums up whats going on in my life these days. I have started more projects than I can handle. And instead of focusing on completing the ones I have started I end up taking every new idea that comes into my head. In the end I have tons of half finished projects with great potential (at least I would want to think that way). But nothing much to show. Recently I bought a domain I have no idea why I bought it. I had no real plans for it, but without thinking I started developing the idea around it. It has evolved into something big, if I can ever complete it. I have the very basic thing up in minutes. If nothing else I could use it on my own for looking around places in Chandigarh.

Getting back to the point, this weekend I thought about this domain and what I would be doing with it. But 'cause of that my comics project and other projects were hanging in a limbo. Since its nearly the end of the day I can't help but thing how the day/weekend seems to have been wasted.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The mystrey "Free Public WiFi" is all over

What exactly is the free public wifi? At first I thought it was some government funded project but its a lot more weirder than that. It seems to be everywhere I go, and to top it all its all over the town/country/world. I am not sure if the IP remains the same but if it does, there is something really awesome that can be done using it. Wait and watch this space for more details.

I am just hoping that we can somehow get a DNS system in place and you would be able to connect back to your computer at home without using any ISP. All your traffic would be Peer-To-Peer and way too many things and plans are going on in my head. I can just visualize the whole town connected using WiFi and you can watch streaming media and transfer files amongst your computers without wires and any ISP.

Well I need to come out of the dreamworld and need to figure out if its a virus or something even more weird.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Challenging myself for a month of work and results

Over the last few months actually 2 years I have not been able to develop things I really wanted to or to be more precise finish things that I've been developing. The main reason seems to be that whenever I start anything I never finish it and somehow move onto the next project. Due to this I have loads of ideas but nothing that is finished. Since this is not really my job and its more of a hobby these projects seem to linger on for ages without any concrete results.

So to challenge myself here is a list of tasks I plan to finish this month. Not sure if I really stick to it, but if I say it here on the blog and there are enough people to push me around about the list I just might finish them. So here goes the list in terms of priority.

  • Work and make the Comic Reader generic, so that anyone can add other comics that they like

  • Finish off the mystery project. Its been a few months in development and redevelopment and have been going back and forth a couple of times without actually launching anything online. Its nothing big but still something I and a few other people might use. This is the first priority and needs to be finished.

  • After this post was on slashdot I realized I had to develop a project for the mobile platform and I have zeroed in on a J2ME project. This is just to prove that I know a little bit about programming and not making things up. If nothing else this would be a good answer to people who thought I did not know about what I was talking. I will be working on an IM product. I am not doing anything from scratch but will be taking in some Open Source projects and combining them to make something useful that I can use. And in the end if it works out maybe other people can also use it. Stay tuned for information on this project.

  • Once I am done with the first two projects I need to get a common template for, and and combine them to form a link in all of them. I am still not sure how this one will go.

  • There might be others but for now this is what needs to be finished in a months time.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The best mobile development platform for hobbyist programmer - Final words

Finally the frenzy had ended and no more than 5-6 visitors online at a time :), never thought I would be happy about the fact that hordes of people are not visiting the blog. I was about to shift my blog to and in a way it was good that I did not. In the last 2 days more than 10K people visited the blog. That site would have collapsed within the first 20-30 minutes.

I got all sorts of comments, some good, some bad and a few ugly ones. I've still not gone over the comments on slashdot and probably will not go through them anytime soon :P

After all the frenzy I realized that even though I like .net as a platform for development but the fact is that it is expensive to buy the development platform. Given these circumstances Java ME (The platform formally known as J2ME), it almost sound like "Symbol," "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince" wins hands down. Putting BREW in there made no sense 'cause its almost impossible for a hobbyist to get their applications on a BREW phone without going through the carriers. For most people it would be impossible to get their applications on the phones.

Blackberry uses Java so no point in thinking of it as another platform. Though again you would have to pay $100 for a key. Just got that as a comment I have not confirmed it and if you think its wrong just leave a comment.

That was more or less it, and now I should better get to work with the other projects. Will be writing about them soon. Its got to do with AJAX, HTML, CSS and caching. Incase you are interested don't forget to subscribe to the feed.

UPDATE: Since the last time I wrote this things have completely changed. As of January 2011 here are the new contenders.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The best mobile development platform for hobbyist programmer - II

Just did not realize that the post would be on slashdot, and now I am scared to go though the comments there.  I was looking for 5-6 comments on my blog but I've got a lot more than I wished for. There was quite a lot more that I wanted to add in that post, but that would be for some other day. Since I saw a lot of people visiting the blog I wanted to know a little about what you guys think about the best mobile development platform. Also are there any more crazy people out there (besides me)  who even think about programming their mobile phones?

Just to answer a few comments on the blog post I missed out Maemo 'cause I was talking about software development on the mobile phone. And as far as comparing iPhone which is supposed to be "hardware" I meant the OS on iPhone as a platform for development.

"You forgot Nokia's Python implementation for their Series 60 line of phones. As far as joy in programming goes things won't get much better than with Python. Besides, you don't need a huge SDK like Visual Studio to get started, any text editor will do."

I have used Python on Symbian and it is quite interesting. Its great to get going on the Symbian but again its not the easiest thing to start with if you have no idea about Python.

Let me give you a personal perspective on the mobile development scene. I bought my first phone in 2002-03 and the only reason I bought it was 'cause it had J2ME. I even got the whole environment setup and after dabbling in it for a while I soon realized that I was trying my hand at MIDP 2.0 while my phone was MIDP 1.0, after a few hiccups and not being able to transfer the final jar file onto my phone I gave up on the idea. At that time there were hardly any phones with MIDP 2.0, the same thing is with the Sun Java Wireless Toolkit 2.5.1 for CLDC today. I have no idea of any phone that supports it but that the one on the top if I want to download the toolkit today. But the scene is quite different today and the Java ME platform offers quite a lot of things today, and its easy to startup and deploy things.

The second phone I bought was the Motorola A780 and it had Linux so without looking for a SDK or tools I bought it for $550+ the moment it was launched. When I finally got the phone I realized there was nothing much I could do with it. There was no easy way to develop a native application. The only supported platform was J2ME and that made the whole experience a little crippled. I never went beyond the "hello world" applications. Though it was easy to develop using J2ME but still not something what I was looking for.

Finally this year I bought a Symbian S60 3rd edition based E61i, and realized no easy way of developing for this platform either. The whole certificate clamp down was enough to scare me. I finally settled with python for a few quick programs but bundling a 2+ MB runtime with a 100Kb script seems like an overkill.  I again looked at J2ME, the development platform is good and I don't think I had anything to complain about.

Recently I got a WM6 based phone and just to start with it I played around with the compact .net framework. The first concept application was ready in less than a hour. It was nothing big just fetching information and displaying it. The whole experience was amazing and fast. Not that this is the best way of developing applications. But the fact that I could run the application on the mobile unmodified was amazing.

Let me take some more comments. The more I read these comments on my blog the more scared I am to go through comments on slashdot.

"regarding JavaME and the wireless toolkit 2.5.1 (wtk) I have to point out that before writing about the tool author should've read at least users's guide. He would find out that wtk2.5.1 allows to develop for all phones with java. Even if the main feature of wtk2.5.1 is support of MSA (jsr248) it allows also development for JTWI based phones or plain CLDC 1.0 MIDP2.0 based phones. And where did you find swing for Java ME in wtk?"

After going through this comment I really felt like an idiot but could you please run this sample provided with the the WTK . This is first sample I started with this time around.

// Source File Name:

import java.awt.*;
import java.awt.event.ActionEvent;
import java.awt.event.ActionListener;
import javax.microedition.xlet.*;
import javax.swing.JButton;

But I do see javax.swing.JButton in the profile I had chosen. This demo is meant for a mobile phone but I was not able to run it on any of my phones. I eventually got a sample running but the whole experience was not something I liked. Plus its not my job its just my hobby so no point in RTFM. Though eventually I had to go through the manual :P. Let me go to the next comment.

"Typical of most Indian "developers" I know -- thinks he knows everything, in fact knows nothing."

I have no idea how I should answer this one. This is the kind of comments I am scared of on slashdot. Again this is not my job I am just looking for a platform where I can work on as a hobby and learn something new.

"You might want to double-check your facts about the Motorola A780. It only supports third party Java apps, but Moto is happy to provide both a Java SDK and the Linux source code for the phone."

They do provide source code to the Linux kernel under GPL but they have no SDK to develop native Linux applications, and if I remember clearly they released the kernel code after a few people persuaded Motorola to release the code.

"You can not use the Visual Studio Express to create Windows CE and Pocket PC apps. You must buy $$$ at least the Standard edition to use the Windows Mobile 6 SDK.
In contrast, you can download the Netbeans 5.51 IDE for free and start programming J2ME CLDC and CDC mobile apps

This is the inconvenient truth and I hate saying it, I did have access to Visual Studio so it was easy for me to develop the application. If I just had the SDK and had to use another editor to develop the application it would take a lot longer to develop it. For someone new Java ME with Netbeans wins hands down. Earlier Microsoft used to bundle up a special VC++ and VB Embedded IDE in the SDK but I could not find any such thing online now (Correct me if I am wrong on this one).

"...or want to develop for the huge installed base of the Palm OS?
For that matter, if you're a hobbyist programmer, why would you develop for anything other than the one you have? Are you looking to buy a platform to do mobile computing? Or seeking to develop an app that you hope "just works" on a platform that you *don't* have?

Yeah! you are right about this :), but lately I've not seen too many people with Palm OS based mobiles.

It's been around since 2006. I can say I've seen 700-series Treos running this."

This comment left me thinking for a while if I really had made a blunder and Plam had already launched their Linux based platform. But this next comment answers the question.

"Ummm... Where the heck did you see a 700 running ALP? As a palm developer I can say this as a fact:
ALP doesn't run on the 700 or any 7xx :-) Are you thinking of Hackndev linux? (
Furthermore, Palm will NEVER run ALP. Palm and ACCESS are on rought terms at best.
Palm is developing its own LinuxOS, which accordingy to Ed Colligan (CEO, Palm Inc) will be available by the end of the '08.
Seriosuly, if you show me a 700 running ALP, i'll lop off my arm.

"Blackberries are programmable in Java , beside J2ME it has its own GUI API. RIM has a full development environment that you can download for free from their site, that includes emulators etc.
I programmed blackberry for almost 2 years and I have to say their developer support is fantastic.

Thanks for the insight.

And now for the final word on this topic.