Things have been pretty weird around here. I went and spent a week in Dallas learning about mainframes to support an upcoming project. If you've always been curious about the mainframe but not had the opportunity you're going to love it. I'll have more for you on that later... like later in the year... so you'll just have to be a little patient.
This week began with the US holiday, Labor Day. That rearranged the article publishing a little from Tuesday to Friday, but we'll give you a little extra with two articles for the price of one. Shekhar Gulati has produced a lot of information about working with Spring Roo. In his latest installments he combines the adds MongoDB and Cloud deployment. But don't take my word, read them for yourself: "Develop Spring MVC and GWT applications using Spring Roo 1.2 and deploy them on Cloud Foundry" and "Develop Spring MongoDB applications using Spring Roo".
Going boldly where none went before
I know this makes me an old guy, but I grew up watching reruns of the original Star Trek series. I didn't watch them first run, so that makes me slightly less old, I suppose. Today, Google included a tribute to the original series.
It's interesting to me how much I was influenced by the ideas on that early program. It provided such a positive view of how technology and society might evolve. It's amazing how close we've gotten. Here are a few things that jump out at me:
- The computer had the answers to everything. It doesn't talk to me, but with the Internet there's an awful lot of information at my fingertips with more of it becoming interconnected, interactive, and intuitive.
- Tricorders could tell you all kinds of information about your location and local conditions. My smart phone has a GPS and through the network can tap into lots of other information. It also has sensors that can be be used to detect magnets, measure velocity and more. (There was actually very cool program that applied several of these sensors in a mock-up of a Star Trek the Next Generation. Unfortunately CBS decided that this was an infringement on their intellectual property so it is no longer available. I will try not to digress about how this attitude is potentially stifling to people who are trying to turn science fiction into science fact.)
- Everyone talked to each other through video phones. Yesterday I had a video call with an older (read retired) friend. He is unable to leave the house because of his health, but we were able to have a face-to-face conversation... me on my laptop and he on his tablet.
- People had these flat panels of information that they could use to read or sign off. We have a number of options. A giant library of books can all be held in a small device.
- They had massive ammounts of data stored on little plastic cards, including video. They got this wrong... it's all actually smaller.
Depending on your situation you might argue with me that we are intergrated between races and cultures. I work regularly with people from all over the world. I don't have any colleagues from other planets yet. Star Trek was the first thing I ever saw that showed this as a natural environment.
Star Trek taught me that curiosity and exploration were good things. Honor and duty mattered. You could not judge things simply by their appearance and differences were things to be worked through. Yes, there was some pretty heavy-handed storytelling and the special effects are no match for today's standards. However, Star Trek put me on the road to wanting to make a difference in the world in ways that nothing else did. It is worth celebrating.