Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Making BlackBerry Apps

People think that making BlackBerry apps is hard. It's not.

There are loads of helpful resources over at the BlackBerry Developer site. You can download the SDKs, sample code and all sorts of useful resources. But what if you're not a developer? What is you don't know your difference between Object Oriented and Spaghetti Code? Fear not. Help is at hand.

If you have an RSS feed on your website. That that can easily become an App thanks to the BlackBerry App Generator.

Register on the site and click Create App. You will be asked for various bits of information, such as the obvious ones like the RSS feed itself. You can include up to 4 feeds in your app. You can then upload a banner, an application icon and set all the necessary colours etc. You can even give it a price and then submit it straight into App World. In true Blue Peter fashion, here's one I made earlier.

(NB. This is a sample app only. The content of the site does not belong to me so I cannot submit it. However since I am an admin on the site, I can get download previews of my apps to be able to show them to people.)

This app is based off the excellent photo site JungleDragon.

Photos here are shown in blocks. However you can change the layout to include text. All you need to do is give the app generator your RSS feeds. These then become selectable options...

Simply click on a photo to open up the actual page with the title and description...

You can even share the items with social media...

I pinched some graphics off the site to use as the Banner headline, and as the icon for the app itself...

Of course this is only a sample app. It took all of about 5 mins to create - and most of that was stealing the graphics off the site. If this really were to be made public then Ferdy will have to register and do all the work himself.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

A nasty infection

I have had my fair share of infections. But I have never had a computer infected.

But I went out last night to the local chippy for food and bumped into a friend who owns a local shop. He was rather frantic as he had been fighting a computer virus for most of the afternoon. But there is a problem... He's not too technical. So he asked me for help.
Now I don't have the time to hand-hold him through clearing out his system. Especially when I have a bag full of Cod & Chips. So I have to fall back and a trusted method. Cue the Kaspersky Rescue Disk.
It can't be simpler. Simply download, burn to a CD, then boot it on your infected computer and follow the instructions.

Anti-virus and malware is a huge problem. However it seems it' only a problem to the "unwashed masses". It's been my experience that people in the industry never seem to have problems with viruses and malware. It's the people who aren't as sceptical who have the issues.

I have no idea how much is lost to malware per year but it must be billions. I don't work in this industry so I don't have those facts to hand. But there are a lot of companies around who deal in this arena. There are a lot of good free products out there which do a good job. At home I use AVG on my Windows machines. But there are a few paid-for products which don't do as good a job. I've lost track of the times I've had to disable the anti-virus on my company laptop due to the issues it causes me when I am trying to work. Just don't tell the IT department. They'd try and get me arrested in Guatamala if they knew that I prefer to configure my own secure computers. Wait until they read what the audit reports is telling them. They might wonder why I have so much security software on my computer. But then again, you can never have too much protection and security... so long as it doesn't interfere with your work.

(Oh, and has anybody else noticed the typo on that download page? "Kasperksy")