Hecklers in Development
Code, coffee, & camaraderie. Collection, unordered. ;)

At Jfokus this week, I was honored to be interviewed by Stephen Chin of Nighthacking.com. We discussed the Renewable Energy system I built and developed using industrial Internet of Things (IoT) concepts and Domain Driven Design principles. The core of the system is Java SE Embedded on the IoT Gateway device, Spring Boot + Cloud Foundry (CF) for the backend services, and an HTML5/JavaScript frontend application also delivered via CF…all accessible from any device, anywhere in the world. I was pushing code and controlling operations in St. Louis from Stockholm, Sweden – smoothly and speedily.  🙂

 

Anyway, here is the video. Hope you enjoy it!

 

 

Keep coding,
Mark

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JavaOne: I'm Speaking

 

There are some absolutely SUPERB conferences dedicated to Java (the language, the platform, the ecosystem) around the world, and I’ve been privileged to speak at some of them. No two are alike, and that is a good thing! JavaOne San Francisco holds a very special place in that lineup, bringing together a phenomenal mixture of vision, direction, community leadership, and grassroots innovation that is nearly impossible to describe. You just have to be there!

 

This year I’m pleased and honored to be presenting in three sessions, sharing the stage with some of my favorite people from around the world: Jim Weaver, Sean Phillips, David Heffelfinger, Geertjan Wielenga, Jens Deters, José Pereda, and James Gosling. As I said, it’s a genuine honor!

 

Here are the sessions in which I’ll be taking part:


Creating Our Robot Overlords: Autonomous Drone Development with Java and the Internet of Things [CON1863]
Tuesday, Sep 30, 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM – Hilton – Continental Ballroom 4

Who wants a mindless drone? Teach it to “think,” and it can do so much more. But how do you take it from Toy Story to Terminator? This session’s speakers discuss their new open source library, Autonomous4j, for autonomous drone development. Combining this library and some components from their mad science toolkit, they demonstrate how to get your Internet of Things off the ground and do some real cloud computing. In the session, you’ll learn how to write an autonomous drone program with Java 8; deploy it to the drone’s “positronic brain,” an onboard Raspberry Pi; have the Pi guide an AR.Drone to accomplish a task; monitor it via a JavaFX console; and create your own robot overlord. Demos are included: you’ve been warned!

With Jim Weaver & Sean Phillips


Debugging and Profiling Robots with James Gosling [CON6699]
Wednesday, Oct 1, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM – Hilton – Continental Ballroom 4

James Gosling recently stated that “being able to debug and profile robots out at sea is a truly life-altering experience.” He uses a set of tools—consisting of editors, debuggers, and profilers—that are part of the NetBeans IDE. In this session, Gosling and other speakers introduce you to these tools and show you how easily and quickly you can program and interact with devices via Java tools. Come see how well integrated embedded devices are with the Java ecosystem.

With Geertjan Wielenga, Jens Deters, José Pereda, & James Gosling


Java Platform, Enterprise Edition Lab 101: An Introduction [HOL1827]
Wednesday, Oct 1, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Hilton – Franciscan A/B

For anyone familiar with the Java language but without direct Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) experience, the capabilities and APIs in Java EE can seem daunting. Documentation is helpful, and well-written books can make it easier to come up to speed, but isn’t the best way to learn something to actually do it? This session’s speakers hope to smooth the path for anyone curious about Java EE by offering a gentle, yet useful, introduction to four key concepts:

 

• JavaServer Faces (JSF)
• Contexts and Dependency Injection (CDI)
• Java Persistence API (JPA)
• Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB)

 

Using NetBeans and the bundled GlassFish application server, the speakers present each new concept with live code and then help attendees complete hands-on exercises.

With David Heffelfinger (and gracious assistance from Sven Reimers, Josh Juneau, Bob Larsen, & Bruno Borges)


I’ve said it before: There’s no better place to see what’s happening in the world of Java than JavaOne. Hope to see you there!

 

All the best,
Mark

 

Cross-posted from The Java Jungle.

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Renewable energy (RE) has long been a passion of mine, but practically speaking, it simply hasn’t been cost-effective to implement at a personal level. Factoring in credits, location, type of RE, etc. can often tip the scale, but generally speaking, an investment in RE would require more commitment than simply “running the numbers.” No judgment here, I understand and appreciate both sides of that argument.

 

In recent years, though, things have changed. Not entirely, and not across the board even now…but with inexpensive (yet quality) RE equipment being produced in the US, China, and many locations throughout Europe, one can begin to experiment with RE on a much smaller scale and determine if/how it makes sense for your particular situation.

 

As a software engineer, I also work to integrate whatever I build into a more manageable, usable system. Physical computing promises many things, which I’ll coarsely lump into the term “better living” – but to do it right requires more than just assembling some hardware. The intersection of devices with software and the greater internet results in what is often termed the “Internet of Things”, or the IoT…and this is where the potential for “better living” can skyrocket, if things are properly integrated. It’s a small and limited example, but how much more useful is a fully-integrated system that is easily managed from anywhere on the planet than a complex system composed of numerous components…all of which must be monitored individually and manually?

 

For this post, we’ll focus solely upon one small portion of that integrated system: adding PV, or photovoltaic (solar) panels to a functioning small-scale RE system. Before these additions, the system consisted of:

  • Wind turbine
  • Deep-cycle battery bank
  • Arduino to control sensors, radio transceiver
  • Temp/humidity and current/voltage sensors
  • Radio transceiver, primarily for comm link to send readings

Now we’re adding a solar charge controller and initially, two 25W solar panels wired in parallel for a total of 50W maximum.

 

In future posts, I hope to elaborate on the software side because (as stated above) that is where the difference truly lies. For now, here are some pictures (and a very short video) of the PV addition:

Connecting PV Panel

Connecting the PV Panel

 

Assembly Of PV Board

Mounting the PV Panels to the Backing Board

 

Two Panels Mounted

Initial Two Panels Mounted

 

Wire Terminals On PV Board

Simple Wire Terminals on PV Board

 

Charge Controller

Charge Controller Mounted, Not Yet Connected

 

Charge Controller Working

Charge Controller Mounted AND Connected!
The “Sun” light indicates power from the panels;
the “Battery” light flashes while charging attached batteries.

 

And finally, a short video to give a glimpse of the PV portion of the system in action:

In future posts, I plan to provide more information about the “good stuff” (teaser: JavaFX, Java Embedded Suite, more Arduino, BeagleBone Black, wireless management, and more!), but a system must exist before it can be monitored and managed. As we continue to “build out” the system, those opportunities will only increase. Stay tuned, and please feel free to comment below or drop me a line. Thanks for visiting!

 

All the best,
Mark

 

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