Getting Started With PhoneGap

In this post, I’ll describe how to install both PhoneGap and the Ripple extension for Chrome and then fire up a “Hello, World” app.  As mentioned in an earlier post, there are two versions of PhoneGap, PhoneGap Desktop (GUI) and PhoneGap CLI (command line).  Here, I’ll be installing Desktop.  First, it’s easier to use and second, from reading the documentation, I get the sense it’s where Adobe will be putting its future efforts.

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The Sieve of Eratosthenes

Yesterday, I reviewed The Music of the Primes: Searching to Solve the Greatest Mystery in Mathematics, a book by Marcus du Sautoy.

In the book, du Sautoy explains the Sieve of Eratosthenes, an algorithm for finding all the prime numbers under a given limit.  The concept is surprisingly simple – for a set of numbers less than N, begin with the first prime number (2) and throw out all of its multiples (4, 6, 8, etc) up to N.  Then start over with the next number remaining (3) and throw out all of its multiples up to N.  Some multiples of 3, such as 6 and 12, will have been thrown out in the prior step.  Keep repeating the process until there are no numbers less than N left to be thrown out.

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Book Review: The Music of the Primes

I just finished reading Marcus du Sautoy’s “The Music of the Primes: Searching To Solve the Greatest Mystery in Mathematics”.  If a book about a subject as dense as the Riemann Hypothesis can be described as a page-turner, this is the one.  Using analogies and metaphors, du Sautoy enables the reader to appreciate the difficulties, as well as the successes, mathematicians have experienced in trying to prove a conjecture that has defied proof for almost 200 years.  The book’s audience is the lay reader and thus, does not delve too deeply into zeta functions, imaginary numbers and quantum chaos theory.  In other words, after reading, you still won’t be equipped to find a proof of the Hypothesis and claim the $1 million Clay Millennium Prize.

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Evaluating Adobe PhoneGap

In evaluating multi-platform development tools for mobile, I came across PhoneGap, Adobe’s entry into the marketplace.  What makes PhoneGap unique is that apps can be developed using standard web development technologies, such as HTML, CSS and javascript.  What surprised me was the access PhoneGap provides to device-level features, such as the accelerometer, camera and GPS.  I thought that level of access required Xcode, or at least a multi-platform tool like Xamarin, with its reliance on C# and Mono .NET.  PhoneGap apps will even handle push notifications.

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