Tuesday April 23, 2013

Swampcast features Jonathan Schwartz, former Sun CEO

Filed Under: Podcasts — Sandymountster @ Apr 23 2013, 05:43:18 PM EDT

Join Michael Levin in this video interview with Jonathan Schwartz, former Sun Microsystems CEO. Jonathan discusses his tenure at Sun Microsystems and his current role as CEO of a startup called Carezone. He describes Carezone as a tool that compares to Facebook and LinkedIn, but is aimed toward private circles like family. He also discusses web security, gives advice to people in developing countries who aspire to become entrepreneurs and much more. Enjoy, and please let Jonathan and I know what you think by leaving comments.

Here's a link to it. It's the first video Swampcast interview. Enjoy, and please let me know what you think!

Thursday December 22, 2011

Swampcast and Craig Newmark of craigslist

Filed Under: Podcasts — Sandymountster @ Dec 22 2011, 10:13:51 AM EST

Craig Connects!
Here's a new Swampcast MP3 (20.8Mb)

Thanks to Tod Maffin for the lead-in magic!

Michael Levin talks with Craig Newmark of craigslist.

This episode of Swampcast features Craig Newmark of www.craigslist.org. What's Craig up to these days? Mostly philanthropic activity. Tune in and find out how Craig is helping out.

Podcast Alley has a wonderful index for each and every podcast registered there, including Swampcast! My Podcast Alley feed! {pca-0356783a83b0c1e558ccfceed68434d0}

Enjoy! and, please let me know what you think...

[Valid RSS]

eXTReMe Tracker

Wednesday July 27, 2011


Filed Under: Java — Sandymountster @ Jul 27 2011, 09:12:22 AM EDT

This just in from Luis Espinal of MJUG:


The EasyB syntax for writing stories and specifications is a lot more succinct than the one provided by Specs, the Scala BDD framework (at least when looked upon from a 10K foot view)
It also got me to think why TDD and BDD is not so common with plain Java. Java's atrocious verbosity makes it very hard to write tests and specs. At least superficially, it looks like a pleasure to use EasyB to write specs for Java and Scala programs.


Luis Espinal


Scala appeals to developers because it's a functional language and not as verbose as most languages. You can see examples of another functional language, Clojure, in Contest Town. Eric Lavigne wrote an instant runoff election and a Wari program using Clojure.

An interesting discussion is going on in the MJUG mailing list. Thoughts?

Tuesday July 26, 2011

JCertif 2011 : Java is on! Rockin' in the Congo-Brazzaville

Filed Under: Java — Sandymountster @ Jul 26 2011, 09:51:52 AM EDT

JCertif ::: in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo
Hi All,

As some of you already know. The next edition of JCertif is coming.
This year again the JCertif Conference will bring together developers from across Africa to learn, collaborate, and inspire each other.
This year, we're happy to announce 3 days of Java and Android training and 2 days of great talk, focusing on key areas where Java and open source are driving innovation: Java, Android, HTML5, JavaFX and JavaME.

If you feel like living a bit of an adventure, get acquainted with a different culture and meet great people, during an event other than the “classic” ones, then this is for you!
JCertif 2011 will take place in Brazzaville, Congo :
- JCertif Conference (2 days) : September 3-4, 2011
- JCertif University (3 days) : August 31 to September 2, 2011

We’re expecting 800+ attendees, based upon our previous events and several hundred people who are already registered.
Many of the African groups are represented on Codetown - www.codetown.us Still hesitating to join JCertif 2011 ? There are a few names of great confirmed and to be confirmed speakers :

- Arun Gupta (Oracle). Yes! Arun will be the keynote speaker !
- Bruno Kinoshita (SysMap - Brazil)
- Douglas Mbiandou (Objis France)
- Horacio Lassey-Assiakoley (Atlantique Telecom TogoJUG)
- Michael Heinrichs (Oracle, Prague)
- Mike Levin (Cambridgeweb, OrlandoJUG)
- Roger Brinkley (Oracle)
- Van Reper (Google)
- ...
- ...
- And more....http://www.jcertif.com !!

The final list of speakers will be published in few weeks !!

BTW : The Congolese beer is KITOKO ! Mike Levin and Alexis Moussine-Pouchkine should agree with me :)
http://blogs.oracle.com/alexismp/entry/back_from_brazza or http://www.jroller.com/Sandymountster/entry/notes_from_jcertif_in_brazzaville

Want to learn a few phrases in Lingala, the Congolese language? Click here: http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/language/about/lingala.html

There are links that can help you to know more :

Photos from JCertif 2010:
JCertif 2010 University : https://picasaweb.google.com/bonbhel/JCertifUniversity2010
JCertif 2010 Conference : https://picasaweb.google.com/bonbhel/JCertif2010

Here is the website where you can get more info about call for papers:
PS : We're still looking for one more speaker for HTML5 (contact us : info@jcertif.com).


Hope to see you in Brazzaville !


Max Bonbhel - http://www.bonbhel.com/
Congo JUG Leader - http://www.congojug.com/
JCertif Founder and Manager - http://www.jcertif.com
JUG-AFRICA President - http://java.net/projects/jug-africa/pages/Home

Java.net Blogger : http://weblogs.java.net/blog/bonbhel/
Ora*Gec member (http://www.oragec.org/)
LinkedIn : http://ca.linkedin.com/in/bonbhel

Twitter : http://twitter.com/bonbhel

Tuesday June 07, 2011

Cornbread and Contracting

Filed Under: Java — Sandymountster @ Jun 07 2011, 02:14:28 PM EDT

Cornbread and Contracting

Cornbread and contracting. They have a lot in common. What do I mean?

Well, you never go in empty handed. That's for starters. How did this come up? I'm headed to my favorite bike and coffee shop this morning to do some fancy computin'. I'll be sure to bring something with me to the show. Whats my fav? Cornbread!

I looked in my cupboard to see what I got. I got some cornmeal. Yeah! I got some baking power. Bingo. Salt. Check. Eggs? Yup. Milk/Soy milk? Uh huh. What else? Well, I got some notes. Lessee.

Cornbread and Contracting

My trusty cornbread box has a faithful recipe. I don't commit it to memory because I forget a lot. But, I try. So, that was it. What did I forget. Flour. Uh oh....

What am I gonna do?

Like what you've read so far? Read the rest here in Codetown. Keep checking back too, because the story's not over...yet!

Friday February 25, 2011

The Making of Swampcast

Filed Under: Java — Sandymountster @ Feb 25 2011, 10:58:54 AM EST

The Making of Swampcast ::: A video documenting the history and production of Swampcast, a podcast about "Software development, emerging technology and everything else!"

Contact Mike at http://www.codetown.us/profile/MichaelLevin Subscribe to Swampcast at www.swampcast.com and on iTunes at at http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/swampcast/id283428946

Saturday August 28, 2010

Notes from JCertif, in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo

Filed Under: Java — Sandymountster @ Aug 28 2010, 09:25:13 AM EDT

Brazzaville, Republic of Congo

I've blogged a lot about this place and why I am here, so I'll summarize (read www.facebook.com/mikelevin
http://jroller.com/Sandymountster ;
http://www.codetown.us/ and
(maybe a bit off topic ;-), but follow link to
http://www.elephantjournal.com/author/mikelevin to see other off topic
fun stuff... and look for a {BotD} Bike of the Day from Brazzaville
very soon! They are amazing and used for every imaginable purpose

I am here because I gave a keynote for the JCertif conference.
http://jcertif.drupalcafe.com/node/1 It was featured on national TV (I
hope to get a copy) and my talk and the others were also covered by
national and local news.
Talks ranged from Alexi Moussine-Pouchkine's (SUN/Oracle) Glassfish to presentations from Horacio Lassey-Assiakoley of Atlantique Telecom Togo, Stanyslas Bweta's description of an application he's written for the UNHCR to track money contribited to refugees over the works. I hear Stanyslas app has gotten lots of press, even on CNN.
I can tell you because I talked a lot about Craigslist in my
presentation that the Congolese would love to have a Craigslist slot
here. It is important to note that even though many people ask why
Craigslist is all text, that it's smart because in many places the
internet connection is very slow, so text loads much faster, especially
on mobile browsers.

We spent an evening at the national TV station being interviewed. I took lots of photos, but will post later.
The internet connection here ranges from .04 to about .5 MBPS, and
Skype works remarkably well. Much better than in many places I've

We've met with ministers of technology and information at the very friendly Alliance Francais, eaten local fish, delicious
cassava called saka-saka
, and lots of cooked bananas, the rice is delicious, the spicy relish
is to die for, a steak I was treated in the House of Congress employee
cafeteria was amazing, drunk N'Gok (good beer) and another beer not
worth mentioning.

I'm told that a Congolese web portal is planned, so there's an opportunity for enterprising programmers to
contribute. Though, from what I have learned from talking to and
questions from local developers, there is no shortage here of high tech
talent, only a shortage of work.

Age structure:

0-14 years: 45.9% (male 927,599/female 915,540)

15-64 years: 51.2% (male 1,021,975/female 1,034,119)

65 years and over: 2.8% (male 46,687/female 66,889) (2010 est.)

It's a bit hard because my Congolese is only slightly better than my French which is more popular than Congolese, and what I've learned
makes people constantly ask me if I'm from Pointe Noir! Word of the Day
{WotD} ::: Keetoko (key-TOE-koh) means the ever popular "Niiiiiice!",
sure to bring a smile! There are two indigenous languages here: Ningali
and Kituba, which the guard I interviewed upon arrival was obviously
using and must have been from Pt. Noir, because everything I know is
Kituba. I am determined more than ever now to learn French. Especially
also because of my connections in W Africa. In fact, to say thank you
in Kituba is "matondo mingi" and my response has often been "matondo

There are people at the JCertif conference from Nairobi, Togo, and all over. I don't have a count, but it's very well attended.

I can in fact wander around but it's a large city and I've been taxi-ing
with friends because I am afraid of the remnants (and ongoing) war. So
far, my fears have proven totally unfounded, but I remain vigilant, "to
be sure to be sure". The conference ends tomorrow and I'll be here
until Wed, so my wonderful hosts Max and Abena promise I'll get to see
some sights after the conference, and go to their home, etc. See photos
at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikelevin/ and especially this one
I've posted at the top of this article http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikelevin/4932912129/ which shows the view
from a window of a local tech firm I visited on which you can clearly
see bullet holes and a oil lantern on the table because there are both
planned and unplanned electricity and water pressure outages. In fact,
the house of congress is where the keynote day of the conference was
given and some of the time there was no electricity. Our hosts
thoughtfully brought trash bags full of toilet paper and bottled water.
A very beautiful venue, nonetheless.

I checked in with the local US embassy using their online portal, which is very handy and allowed me to tell about why I am here, where I'm
staying, and emergency contact info. It gave confirmation of rec't too,
which was very comforting

My encounters with locals have been superb. It reminds me of how Prague was right after the
Velvet Revolution. People seem jubilant, even the military, who are all
over, are cordial, but if you think Shaq is imposing, think about
meeting many of these guys in less friendly circumstances. I am very
careful, though, because English isn't widely spoken. As I said, my
French is weak, so I am being patient and taking it in slowly. I've
learned in my travels that attitude accounts for much in an encounter
and I don't want to appear frantic, trying to get where I am going. I
just found reasonable exchange rates, and until yesterday had very
little local currency. Ever the budget traveler!

I am staying at a very over the top place called the Olympic Palace, which my hosts
most kindly acquired for me. It's a very far cry from my usual hostel
accoms. http://www.hotel-olympic-palace.com/ If you do any Google Earth
flying about, just fly to Brazzaville and you'll see the whole thing.

This WikiTravel guide http://wikitravel.org/en/Brazzaville is proving
quite accurate, so I am planning to visit as much, esp the river and
markets, cathedral and overlooks as possible.

I suffered some stomach upset day before yesterday and took some meds that made me
sleep luxuriously 18 straight hours. Now all is well and I am equipped
for any other distress of that nature, including insomnia. FYI - it's
Diphenoxylate/Atrophine (the atrophy part the name Atrophine reminds
one of is accurate)

So, that's it to date in a nutshell. Stay tuned - much more to come...and let me hear from you!

Wednesday August 25, 2010

JCertif is on! Rockin' in the Congo...

Filed Under: Java — Sandymountster @ Aug 25 2010, 06:47:15 AM EDT

JCertif is one of the first Java related conferences in the Republic of Congo, Brazzaville. Sponsored by AfricaJUG, CongoJUG, Oracle and Fujitsu and organized by none other than Codetown's own Max Bonbhel.

JCertif consists of several talks by notable speakers on Web2.0, Java and mobile technologies.

JCertif is also hands-on training for both general programming knowledge and certification.

Here's the agenda:

JCertif Conf (1 day):
Web 2.0 for developers and for small businesses : Video, social networks, image and messaging, instant messaging and development platforms.
Mobile phone application development (Tools and Framework) for : iPhone, BlackBerry, Palm webOS, Windows Mobile, Symbian, and Android.

JCertif University (3 days):
Programming courses and workshop for Java Certification (SCJP 6)

I'll keep you posted, so stay tuned!

Monday February 01, 2010

What are you working on these days?

Filed Under: Java — Sandymountster @ Feb 01 2010, 08:58:50 AM EST

Burning Man '09

February 1, 2010 is here. The stock market is better. New projects are in swing. What are you working on these days? Are you fine tuning your existing application and adding new features? Is your day spent building something new? Are you using a new hardware platform? Have you entered a new arena? Looking forward, the things that I find interesting are ideas like Kiva, which lets you make micro investments with entrepreneurs in emerging countries. I love how GPS and Web2.0 are changing our lives. No more paper maps! I still have to think twice when I hop in the car and ask myself if I have a local map. Then, I remember I have Google Maps. How cool is that? I love Street View on Google Maps. I love flying through a virtual canyon in Google Earth... Read the rest here, in Codetown.

Tuesday January 12, 2010

Java EE 6 Codecamp

Filed Under: Java — Sandymountster @ Jan 12 2010, 08:47:05 AM EST

The Java EE 6 Codecamp has begun. If you haven't coded enterprise Java in a while, this is your chance to get your feet wet again. Lots has changed, and you'll discover this quickly. It's an online course, and it's free. To join, you just subscribe to the mailing list and get started. If I remember correctly, to subscribe, you send a blank email to javaee6-codecamp+subscribe@googlegroups.com.

The mailing list is super active. Most of your questions are going to be answered before you ask them!

It's an enjoyable way to learn the ins and outs of Java EE 6 among a talkative crowd. Your questions will be answered! That's a good thing.

Tuesday January 12, 2010

Programming Bluetooth

Filed Under: Java — Sandymountster @ Jan 12 2010, 08:36:14 AM EST

The Vtech DS6322 digital phone I just got is Bluetooth-enabled. In fact, the Bluetooth feature is what led me to choose it from the huge number of choices on the market.

My little biz has been a Bluetooth Corporate Adopter since the program started, so I have kept up with the technology from somewhat an insiders viewpoint.

Several features of this system work very well. The most important is tethering your Bluetooth enabled phone to the VTech. It works well, and works all the way in the next room, nearly 30 feet away. To be clear, this means you can walk in your house with your Bluetooth-enabled phone (mine's an iPhone) and it will hook up with your VTech landline. When someone calls you on your cellphone, the whole place rings with the Vtech bell.

The VTech software is clunky. Yes, it lets you download your phone numbers from your cellphone using Bluetooth. That feature works perfectly. But, it doesn't have a favorites list so you have to go through 10 keystrokes to find a number in your directory.

Also, it obviously was a problem to code the new message alert, because half the time there's an alert but no message.

Basically, I got the phone because I liked the Bluetooth tethering feature. That works perfectly. Voila. The rest of the features need to mature.

Of course, now I will look around and see what components have come out recently to let me use Bluetooth with Arduino, Sun Spot, etc. Maybe even to mod this phone.

Saturday October 31, 2009

Notes on Brion Vibber's recent Wikipedia Talk

Filed Under: Java — Sandymountster @ Oct 31 2009, 04:47:17 AM EDT

Please join this developing discussion on CodeTown for details about Brion's recent talk: http://www.codetown.us/group/orlandojug/forum/topics/brion-vibber-wikipedia-cto

Tuesday October 20, 2009


Filed Under: Java — Sandymountster @ Oct 20 2009, 10:54:05 AM EDT

I got the domain PingMe dot org. I thought I'd try asking what people thought about building it out. I've had several ideas, like making bumper stickers for cars and putting PingMe and a icon indicating interest on it, and mapping the id to a license plate. I've talked to several of you about that idea. Another idea follows what I talked about yesterday on Codetown: building a better mousetrap. It could be along the lines of clearinghouse like Grand Central with some discriminator. Some twist. So, I'm brainstorming.

Ping me if you have any ideas. ;-)

Tuesday October 13, 2009

Meet your Java neighbors in W Africa!

Filed Under: Java — Sandymountster @ Oct 13 2009, 12:20:52 PM EDT

Interested in meeting some colleagues in West Africa? SeneJUG is the West African Java User Group. Members come from Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, Guinea, Morocco and many other countries in Africa. France, too! Many of our group already live in Dakar, Senegal's beautiful capital, because of the stellar Polytechnic University of Dakar. Our advisor, Alex Corenthin, is the chairman of the Comp Sci dep't and the registrar of the .sn domain.

There's a Senejug Group at Codetown, if you'd like to reach out to one of our colleagues in Africa.

I visited Dakar for the SeneJUG kickoff. It was fascinating to become involved with a group of students at the university whose lab runs nearly entirely on open source software. The grad students majored in topics like IPV6. There are a bunch of startups in Dakar. The Chamber of Commerce is busy with people meeting others excitedly describing successes in the marketplace. Although PHP is the most popular language used in Dakar on the web, Java is very common.

Since most of the SeneJUG members speak French (and Wolof), it may be useful for you to use Babelfish, the brilliant translation service written by Henry Story, to go from French to your native language.

I visited Kaolack, south of Dakar and worked with a group there called 10,000 Girls Their mission is to give girls a well rounded education when these young ladies might otherwise be constrained to working at home. They learn math, language skills and sewing among other subjects. I coached them on entrepreneurship and the Web2.0 phenomenon. Click on any of these photos I took to see the set.

I am so happy to say that now the 10,000 Girls organization has an online store!

Check it out: http://10000girls.org/dolls/index.html

Tuesday September 29, 2009

How to use Delicious on an iPhone

Filed Under: iPhone — Sandymountster @ Sep 29 2009, 02:02:59 PM EDT

Ever want to bookmark a website while browsing on your iPhone? It's easy. First, just bookmark the "Post to Delicious" link on your iPhone browser. Then, select that bookmark to save the URL of the website you're currently browsing. Sweet!