Fire HD Computer

I synced the bluetooth keyboard and mouse that I had for my Google Nexus 10 to my little Fire HD tablet, and they work perfectly. The system now has a screen, an OS, a cursor and keystroke entry. That’s a computer folks, and the whole set-up is smaller than my old trusty Acer netbook.

I also installed an app called EverNote which lets me create documents on it that are transferred to the cloud as soon as internet is encountered, which then become visible on my desktop. That means I can blog from my bus :-)

Categorized as Android

Fire TV Stick

I ordered the Fire TV Stick on the day it was announced about a month ago. Amazon offered it at half price ($19 vs $39) for Prime Members so I snatched it up and it arrived yesterday. This thing does the same thing as my Fire TV box, which I love, but it’s just a stick that plugs into an HDMI, with a remote.

The goal is to replace the big old standard TV out in the family room, with a flat screen, and then plug this stick in so Steph can watch Amazon content along with Roku.

You know, I really do try to buy local around here but trust me, there is no Stick for sale in Teton Valley. In fact, I was in ACE Hardware the other day trying to find a female HDMI to RCA converter so I could plug it in to the old box, and was staring blankly at the electronics section, not finding one. A clerk came up and asked me if she could help me find something and I said I’m looking for a female and then paused…

Five seconds later, without missing a beat, she smiled and said maybe you should try the internet. I think that moment made both of our days :-)

Categorized as Android


After that sweet Rav4 EV visited our driveway recently I’ve been interested in the refueling issues that owners of these cars face, so I did some research. I’ve discovered a U.S. government agency called NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) that provides an API (Application Programming Interface) which presents a current data set of the locations around the country with electric vehicle recharge stations, by State.

I signed up for their API and then developed this new mobile app called Charge, based on their data. I have to say that not every location is represented as I know there are some in Wyoming but they’re not showing up here. That said, the number of locations in this live data-set is impressive. It takes a bit of time to load up California :-)

I’ve also implemented smart-caching into the app so that once you load a State it stays in memory. When you click on a location within a State it shows the specifics of the charging station. You can launch a Google Map to the place by clicking the address and if you click a phone number it will open your phone app so you can call them.

You can run the app Here.

Categorized as Android

Mobile Apps

Over the last few months I’ve been writing state of the art mobile browser apps using JQuery Mobile and HTML5. If I’ve made your eyes glaze over when referencing these terms and you really just want to see cool photos from around the valley, I’m sorry. Photos should be back tomorrow and I’ll see you then. No offense, I understand :-)

Now, if your still here, I’ve put together a montage of my recent Mobile Apps, wrapped up in frames that you can play with. Click on the Title of an app to open the full browser page and then run it on your smart phone or tablet to see it in action.

You can also access the montage by clicking Mobile Apps under Functions, anytime →

I’ve isolated the Mobile Apps link here if you wish to continue…

Categorized as Android

State Government

Here’s my latest government app. It uses an API from to present the members of a particular U.S. States Congressional delegation. Their API is under development so States are being added continually…

This is really a holy grail for me. I’ve been creating mashups based on the U.S. Congress for years now and finally I’m able to deal with each State’s individual members.

There’s a lot of complicated parsing going on here. I know it looks similar to my previous U.S. Congress app, but click on your State and dive in if you wish…

A lot of folks don’t have photos yet, but a surprising number of them do, depending on the State. This is a mobile app, available here.

Categorized as Android


Here’s my latest app. It uses my state button template to load up members of Congress by State. The two Senators for each State are presented first followed by the House members in sequence by last name. Click on a name to access info about that member of Congress.

This app uses the Sunlight Foundation API which unfortunately is out of date while they wait for new members to get sworn in. I placed second in their first nationwide Sunlight API contest a few years back and I’m still in contact with the developers. When their data goes current, I’ll be right on top of it. This is a mobile app, available here.

Categorized as Android


By definition, changes to code style or structure that result in an improved (or simply different) implementation without changes to the external behavior is a refactor, not a rewrite. Such is the case with my latest project, States. I’m now on my third version.

This is the app that I’m pushing forward as my first published project. I’m installing mobile development tools on my desktop today to facilitate that transition.

It’s a simple little app that presents the fifty U.S. States as buttons that allow you to drill down to individual cities, or pick a city at random.

On the first screen I selected [ ID ] which presented the first letter sets for cities in Idaho. I then selected [ D ] which showed all cities in Idaho starting with D, and then I chose [ Driggs ] from the list. Informative links are provided for each city…

Here you go, try it out! (Click with your mouse, don’t press your screen :-)

Keep in mind that this app is running in your browser, mobile app available here.

p.s. Click the [ ?? ] button to select a totally random city in the U.S. The randomness is quite unique! It incorporates the Fisher Yates Shuffle, an algorithm for generating a random permutation of a finite set…

Meditate on your next life changing destination and then press [ ?? ] – If the city you land on doesn’t resonate, click Home and try it again.

Categorized as Android


I was involved in the Internet before it was… I remember clearly the moment when a fellow member of our elite club connected with another computer and announced he had seen the future! He had left his static world with a click of his mouse…

Well here I am, still alive, and playing with the latest stuff. Damn if this isn’t fine!

Categorized as Android

BDJ Apps

I’ve been working on my Mobile app today. It’s a development in progress as I explore JQuery Mobile on the HTML5 platform.

It’s actually coming along pretty nice. If you have a browser that renders HTML5 (and why wouldn’t you these days?) you can try it out Here. It’s designed for a smaller screen such as an I-Phone, Android phone or any of the tablets, but it plays nicely on the big screen. You can click the buttons here as opposed to pressing them.

The layout is fluid as I develop each application, but feel free to try them out as they evolve. I’m new to this App World, but I will master it.

So here’s today’s work: When you press (click) Posted it runs through the entire database of Posts on my blog and presents each Category alphabetically. When you click on a Category, all related posts are presented. Click on a post and it will be loaded.

btw: Clicking on the the pictures below won’t do anything, they’re for illustration only, you need to load up the app Here :-)

Let’s select Around The House which has 123 posts (see the count bubble on the right).

All posts related to Around The House are presented to you, and when you select one, the individual blog post is loaded.

Here’s where you would arrive if you clicked through to: Zombie Christmas.

(… looks like that one fell flat :-)

Categorized as Android

jQuery Mobile

Cell Phone/Tablet application development is an amazing complex world with pathways unknown until we happen upon them. I always thought that the Apple and Android world of app development involved exotic platforms and expensive tools.

Today I discovered jQuery Mobile. I’m an accomplished jQuery developer but it just never clicked in my brain that I could write Mobile Apps using skills I already have! This pretty much changes everything…

I’ve put together an HTML5 experiment using the latest jQuery Mobile code along with the current version of jQuery itself. Nothing fancy yet, but please try it out Here

Categorized as Android

Mobile Devices

I’m really enjoying my mobile toys lately. After being the wired dude back in Seattle with cell phones and radio devices hanging from my belt, I chose not to connect that way when I came to this valley. Our land line was just fine for everything…

I watched with envy as the smartphone/tablet evolution arrived and people were downloading apps. Here I am the old programmer guy writing code in PHP and jQuery thinking I was at the cutting edge, while other people were downloading apps!

There is no more envy in that regard. I now own a new Nexus 10 tablet and a Motorola Razr Maxx smartphone. I have apps now, I rule Android and I’m turning Steph on to the New World. I’m also moving my code brain in this new direction!

Transitioning to a small format is interesting. As I use my devices from the field (i.e. the seat of my bus while idle) I realize the limitations. Tonight I wrote a program that presents my favorite creations into little boxes that just fit my finger when I press on the screen. Here’s the link: Try it from your smartphone!

Categorized as Android

Home Screen

I’ve tweaked the home screen on my new Motorola Droid Razr Maxx by installing a solid black background. The three links below the time are my blog functions using the Android version of the tabbed Chrome browser.

It’s now in the cloud, of course…

Categorized as Android

First Nexus Photo

What an amazing convoluted process it took to get this photo onto my blog! Piper sitting at my feet here in the office demanding attention didn’t help…

I took this photo about an hour ago with the N10. I ran it through Instagram, thus the red textures, and posted it to Flickr using it’s social media features. I then went to Flickr, found the photo, and then spent a bunch of time copying code from a previous post and inserting the link data for this photo. Whew!

I’m coming to the conclusion that my Android tablet is not a viable tool for maintaining a WordPress blog of the complexity I have developed. This post is a technological experiment of which I’m proud of, but it will probably never happen again.

There are three tech worlds we live in: Windows, Apple and Android. I’m not an Apple guy, never have been, case closed there for me. Thus, my Acer netbook will be my mobile blog maintainer, as it was all summer, and the Nexus 10 will be my toy!

Categorized as Android

First Nexus Post

This is the first post from my new Samsung Nexus 10 tablet. I’m typing it on my Bluetooth keyboard and I’m really missing a mouse! Fortunately there’s one available from Logitech that syncs perfectly with this keyboard. (On it’s way… :-)

It’s an interesting process bringing an Android tablet up to speed such that it provides most of the basic functions that my Windows 7 desktop provides.

I’m far from doing any programming on this little sweety, or editing photos on it, heck I haven’t even figured out how to get any new camera photos on here other than to use my desktop, which defeats the purpose of portability.

So here it is, the first tablet post, typed out on my little keyboard. Hello World!

Categorized as Android

Nexus Toys

Drove down to Best Buy in Idaho Falls this morning with visions of Bluetooth dancing in my head. There aren’t many connection options on tablets, but Bluetooth solves a lot.

I bought a Logitech keyboard with a case that doubles as a tablet stand. It hooked up flawlessly and integrated seamlessly. I also bought a little Bluetooth speaker with amazing sound. The hardware was rounded out with a car-charger for the tablet and a nice carrying case. Down the road, got a great bag for it all at Walmart.

The next step was to sync my PC desktops music collection to my Android tablet. The solution was Winamp (remember them!). Their player downloaded as an app from Google Store. I then installed it on my desktop and it synced all my music wirelessly to the Nexus in Android format. Sweet :-) Mind blown!

Finally, I need a Bluetooth device that I can plug my camera into for image transmission to the tablet, at which point I could handle my blog entirely from the Nexus 10.

Here’s a video I shot tonight in the comfort of my mancave with the Nexus hanging with the big box, showing off it’s new audio chops:

Categorized as Android