I have setup the required pieces to start playing with android development on my personal laptop and desktop. This involved updating the JDK (not strictly necessary but not a bad idea) and ADT. I did have to mess around a bit (copying the tool to a subfolder and such) to get the SDK Manager to start up (though even when it starts up properly it seems to take some time between the launch click and the UI being active). I installed most of the platform versions, skipping only 2.1 and earlier. At this point the eclipse IDE runs and I can ask it to create an android project. Now I’m back to my reading to figure out where to go from here.
I’m on my second read through of the APress Android programming book I’ve got in my library. First pass gets me general familiarity and the lay of the land. Second pass is when I start trying to use things. The Android dev tools and latest JDK are now installed and working on both my laptop and my main desktop at home. Next step is to get a ‘hello world’ type program in place and running. Once that is done I will likely try putting in place a simple RESTful web service front end in PHP on my hosting and see if I can make a simple multiplayer board game work. Lots to learn and lots to play with here. Knock the rust off my Java and get some useful practical knowledge of Android.
I’m seriously thinking of getting my RepRap project moving forward again. I bought the electronics and read through the wiki a couple of years ago. I was hoping to get my teen age daughter interested in working on it with me. She decided it wasn’t that cool and work got busy and the parts I had got shelved. At this point I am likely to have some free time, I know what I need next and money shouldn’t be a serious issue. My next step needs to be the stepper motors and some connectors, wiring and heat sinks (the stepper controller chips I have look pretty good, but I’m uncomfortable running them without some way to pull heat out). There seem to be sources for relatively cheap steppers associated with the RepRap folks. Digikey should be able to supply the other stuff (and I have a few additional bits I need from them anyway). If things don’t get busy again in the near future, I’ll probably start moving this forward.
At this point I have two recruiters working with me and I am waiting to see what they come up with. Plenty of time yet as I still haven’t received my official end date from GE. Rumor says that end dates will be either June 30, September 30 or December 30. The software documentation is in very good shape (proud of the job we did and it makes it much easier to prepare for the transfer of knowledge) so I’m currently using the June 30 date as my working end date. HR has said that the formal dates and packages should be done this coming week. Hoping they are as some certainty on the end date GE is requesting will help me plan better as information comes back from the recruiters.
GE has decided to shut down MRI development group that I work for in Wilmington, MA. The site closing package allows me nearly a year to locate an attractive new opportunity so I have some time to locate a very good match.
It has been a wonderful run and I’ve worked with some great people at SMR (and ONI Medical Systems before the GE acquisition) It is sad to be moving on, but exciting to consider the new possibilities that this opens up.