Google I/O 2011: Get the info

5 January, 2011 § 2 Comments

I’ve been getting a lot of visits related to Google I/O since my previous post about the announcement of the registration date.

Registration for Google I/O 2011 will be announced very soon and even after the registration there are sure to be more announcements to come.

If you want to stay up to date with the Google I/O news, you should do the following:

  1. Follow @googleio and @vicgundotra on Twitter
  2. Check the official Google blog for any annoucements
  3. Visit
  4. Check out the Code Blog and
  5. Stay connected on Buzz.

Rumors on the internet state that last years conference sold out before the Early Bird registration ended. Attendees got access to Google developers, key announcements, Motorola Droid or Nexus One, Sprint Evo 4G (before they were released to the public), and many more perks.

This upcoming Google I/O is sure to be exciting. I attended my first one last year and can’t wait to attend another.

Anticipating the Google I/O 2011 announcement

2 January, 2011 § 3 Comments

Any day now there should be an announcement for the early bird registration of Google I/O 2011.  Last year I registered on January 17th, and from what I hear online the registration sold out very fast.

To be ready for the announcement, I have set up a Google Alert on the terms “google i/o 2011 registration”. Google Alerts is a system in which Google will email you when their crawler reaches a new item on the internet that matches the search terms you have supplied. This is pretty cool, but what if I’m away from my email when the release happens. How will I know then?

I know, I’ll have it send me a text message! I set up a special filter in Gmail that will forward these Google Alerts straight to my cell phone.

If your cell-phone provider is T-Mobile, you can send an email to <10-digit phone number> and the email will be forwarded to the phone with that phone number. This combination will allow me to know very quickly when the registration opens.

Here is a list of special email addresses to use if you would like to do the same thing but aren’t using T-Mobile:

  • Verizon:
  • AT&T:
  • Sprint:
  • Nextel:
  • Cingular:
  • Virgin Mobile:
  • Alltel: OR
  • CellularOne:
  • Omnipoint:
  • Qwest:


Contributing to Open Source Software

27 May, 2010 § 4 Comments

Last week I attended the Google I/O conference. I went to some great sessions and learned a ton about Chrome, App Engine, and Android.

One of my biggest takeaways wasn’t from the sessions that I attended. I happened to bump in to some other college-aged guys and after some talking learned that they were contributors and committers to the Chromium project (the open source version of Google Chrome).

Now last year (2009) at the beginning of the summer, I wanted to participate in Google Summer of Code, specifically in one of the Google Chrome projects. I followed the steps on their developer setup guide, and kicked off a build on my machine. Hours later I realized that my machine was no match for Chromium.

Too much had to be installed to build the project and the file size of the project was leaps and bounds more than my pesky laptop could handle. I ended up putting away Chromium and focusing on tackling some books I had been wanting to read.

This summer is a whole new ball game. I’ve upgraded my computer and the Chromium project has also shed a lot of dependencies since May 2009. I’m happy to say that I was able to install Visual Studio 2008 Premium, SP1, a few hotfixes, and was off to building. An hour of waiting and I had my own build of Chromium running.

Today I can now say that I am a contributor to Chromium. I am proud that my name now resides on the AUTHORS file of Chromium, and I want to take this opportunity to pass-on some motivation for contributing to open source software.

If you’ve got an open source program that you use daily and get a lot out of, return the favor to the authors and help them out. Most open source software is free, so they’re not making money off of you using the software. It’s just kind of the fair thing to do.

Not to mention that there are tons of benefits that you will gain by contributing to an open source project. Let’s run through a list:

  1. Experience working with different code (paradigms, styles, patterns, algorithms)
  2. Get to work with developers located all across the world
  3. A great opportunity to learn more about a programming language
  4. A feeling of ownership of the product that you enjoy
  5. and so many more…

So take a second right now and think of the programs that you use and love. Are any of them open source? Do they have a list of bugs that could use some help? You could even take this opportunity to fix anything that you don’t like about the application and make a special build for yourself 🙂

Code Jam programming competition

11 April, 2010 § 2 Comments

I found out about the Google Code Jam programming competition this past week through Reddit and registered for it. It’s my first programming competition so I’m pretty excited to see how it turns out.

I’ve started to go through the practice problems listed on the site and completing them as though they are part of the competition. As I compete them, I’ll upload my solutions to the problem. Since these solutions are written in haste and I don’t plan on making the code maintainable, for your own benefit please don’t copy the code and use it in an actual production scenario.

The first problem that I have solved is the Alien Numbers problem from April, 2008.

The decimal numeral system is composed of ten digits, which we represent as “0123456789” (the digits in a system are written from lowest to highest). Imagine you have discovered an alien numeral system composed of some number of digits, which may or may not be the same as those used in decimal. For example, if the alien numeral system were represented as “oF8”, then the numbers one through ten would be (F, 8, Fo, FF, F8, 8o, 8F, 88, Foo, FoF). We would like to be able to work with numbers in arbitrary alien systems. More generally, we want to be able to convert an arbitrary number that’s written in one alien system into a second alien system.

See if you can solve this problem. Then continue reading to see my solution.
« Read the rest of this entry »

Google Charts API and E. E. Cummings

8 December, 2009 § 2 Comments

Today I was working on some charts using the Google Charts API and I decided to take a look at some of the documentation. Many of the X-axis labels on the chart I have are overlapping and I’m trying to fix it:

So in the process, I started looking at the data scaling section of their documentation, and they had a nice graph with a lot of data points but only a couple labels:

I wanted to see exactly how this was done and so I viewed the source of the image, which when using the Google Charts API tells exactly how the chart is being rendered.

That’s when I came across E. E. Cumming‘s poem “i thank You God for most this amazing” embedded in the URL.,y&chxl=0:|Apr|May|June|1:||50+Kb

You can read the poem in its entirety at

A First Shot At Using Google Closure Tools

26 November, 2009 § 1 Comment

Just recently, Google made public their Google Closure Tools. The Google Closure Tools are a set of three tools that can be used to write fast loading and executing JavaScript, animated UI elements, templated DOM structures, and more. The three tools are: Closure Library, Closure Templates, and Closure Compiler.

I recently wrote a Pearson Correlation calculator in Python and decided to port it to JavaScript for use on a webpage. I thought this would be a good opportunity to try out some of the Closure Tools.

I used the Closure Library and the Closure Compiler for this little exercise.

After the development was completed, I used the Google Closure Compiler to reduce the size of the JavaScript. The pre-compiled JavaScript size was 634kb. The compiled JavaScript size is a mere 33.96kb.

I am very impressed with the tools. First, the documentation is superb, and I am amazed at the number of demos that are available for most of the UI components. Second, there is finally a way to evaluate JavaScript in a ‘compile-time’ fashion.

These two alone make these tools worth checking out. I hope to gain more experience with the Library soon, and should have more to post about it.

Ordering of Include Statements to Reduce Hidden Dependencies

23 July, 2009 § 2 Comments

The Google C++ Style Guide says that #include statements should be ordered in the following way (if you are writing

  1. dir2/foo2.h (preferred location — see details below).
  2. C system files.
  3. C++ system files.
  4. Other libraries’ .h files.
  5. Your project’s.h files.

The goal of this is to reduce hidden dependencies within header files. My question is, shouldn’t system files be included after library/project files? I would think that there is a guarantee that the system files aren’t going to include other library/project files, so wouldn’t the following order make more sense to find hidden dependencies?

  1. dir2/foo2.h (preferred location — see details below).
  2. Your project’s.h files.
  3. Other libraries’ .h files.
  4. C system files.
  5. C++ system files.

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