I am an Android Developer! I can kill my Activity if I want!

This week I finally committed myself to publishing my GPSMap application on the Android Market, so I obtained my Android Developer's license. If you are interested in an application that will let you create Placemarks that you can save on a map, edit, or navigate to easily, then you might want to check out my website for it: http://wrightrocket.appspot.com/gpsmap.

I'm giving my applicaton away for free right now, but plan to add mobile advertising to the free version in the future. I'm also looking at adding the ability to plot your contacts on the map alongside of the Placemarks, as well as how to add proximity alerts in a paid version. Right now, I'm getting the motivation by having it public to work out all of the bugs, and to make it run more efficiently.

The nugget of knowledge that motivated me to make this post right now is that I finally found out how to really kill my Android Activity! Calling the finish() method was not doing the job, but I stumbled upon this extra addition after the call to the super in the onDestroy() method of the activity:

protected void onDestroy() {


Mobile Twitter 40404

I can't believe I just found out about sending tweets to 40404 on my phone!
Wait there's more! Here's all you can do once you get your phone verified on twitter:

Twitter commands

Do more than Tweet! Send these commands to Twitter:

FOLLOW username
Start following a user
UNFOLLOW username
Stop following a user
Turn all Tweet notifications on or off
ON/OFF username
Set Tweet notifications for a user on or off (you'll still be following them even if you set it to off)
GET username
Shows you the latest tweet from any user
RT username
Retweet a user's latest tweet
FAV username
Favorite a user's latest tweet
D username your-message
Send a direct message to a user


Java Alternatives

Last night I decided to try to get App Inventor for Android to run on Fedora 14. Although Google only officially supports running App Inventor on Windows, OSX and Ubuntu, I wanted to give it a try.

The blocks editor was horribly slow using the IcedTea java that was installed by default, so I downloaded Java from Oracle and installed it. Then, I had to configure Fedora to use it with alternatives.

Here's how I installed it as an alternative to the IcedTea java:
alternatives --install /usr/bin/java java /usr/java/jre1.6.0_20/bin/java 120 \
--slave /usr/bin/keytool keytool /usr/java/jre1.6.0_20/bin/keytool \
--slave /usr/bin/rmiregistry rmiregistry /usr/java/jre1.6.0_20/bin/rmiregistry

Then, I configured Fedora to use it by selecting it using the command:
alternatives --config java

Wow, what a difference. Oracle's java was much faster and App Inventor for Android runs great on Fedora.


App Inventor for Android from Google

Earlier this week, I received my invitation to App Inventor for Android from Google. This web based tool makes it easy for anyone to create Android applications without having to know how to write in a programming language. Instead of writing code, you design the application visually. If you would like to have an invitation, or would like to learn more about this tool, then complete the form at http://appinventor.googlelabs.com/about/.

About Me - WrightRocket

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I've worked with computers for over 30 years, programming, administering, using and building them from scratch.

I'm an instructor for technical computer courses, an editor and developer of training manuals, and an Android developer.