Saturday May 09, 2009

To-Study List for this Summer

Our open source university meetup probably won't be meeting through the summer (we may actually have one meeting if I can find enough people in town who can come), so I must ensure that I spend my summer wisely. This semester has been crammed-full with classes, work, projects, volunteerism, leadership, and more - so I hope to catch up on things I need to learn throughout the summer. Here's what I hope to do:

  • Complete more of the learning modules from the Sun Academic Initiative
  • Learn more about Java EE
  • Setup a practice Glassfish server 
  • See if there's any Ruby on Rails-like framework that I like for Java (I've seen talk about things that are very similar... but they don't follow the easy-to-setup paradigm of Rails).
  • Practice Ruby on Rails and finish some of my bigger projects.

 Wish me luck, and 36-hour days!

Saturday Apr 25, 2009

New Meeting for May!

We've decided to hold another Open Source University Meetup meeting this year! Due to the popular demand and desire of our membership, we've added a meeting for May 6, 2009. Join us to learn about Open Source Software, learn a little about what we do, and help us spread the word of Open Source. (More after the jump). [Read More]

Wednesday Apr 08, 2009

OSUM next Wednesday

Come to our next OSUM meeting on April 15th at 6:00pm!
[Read More]

Friday Feb 27, 2009

Next Meetup is March 11th

The next Open Source University Meetup meeting will be happening on March 11th at 6:00pm in 3 MLH. This time we should have a great presentation about using Netbeans with Ruby on Rails, along with the usually free pizza and more. Join us to get all the great benefits of our OSUM!

Sunday Feb 15, 2009

Open Source Meetup Notes

I've posted the minutes from our latest meeting. Overall, the meeting was rather small, but we made some great strides towards increasing long-term attendance and working towards encouraging more open source use at the University. We decided that we should pursue some big events to get increased membership and interest, while also working hard to manage all current people in our list of members and potential members. We also had new members attend this meeting, which was great!

Tuesday Feb 03, 2009

JRuby Talk Examples

One of the three things we talked about at the last Open Source University Meetup meeting was JRuby, the fully Java implementation of the Ruby virtual machine. I demonstrated a program that uses Java Swing in JRuby showing a temperature calculating application. Users could, in example3.rb, enter a temperature and press a button to convert it from F to C or C to F and get the response back, demonstrating a program that could be useful to people.

Download the demonstration files.

Wednesday Jan 28, 2009

Java, JRuby, and Netbeans Talks!

We had our first OSUM meetup for the semester, and it went very well. With plenty of planning and advance notice this time, combined with the power of Facebook and, we had nearly a dozen members come to this meeting. At this rate we might double each meeting. Minutes will be posted on  after I get them processed and finished.

Our talks were actually really awesome today - I feel like I could be a nice professor or lecturer. First I demonstrated Java using the Sun Java Tutorial in the NetBeans IDE. Then I gave a talk about Netbeans, and finally concluded with a demonstration of the mix of my two favorite languages (Java and Ruby) in JRuby. I demonstrated how to make a temperature converter in JRuby, which everyone really seemed to appreciate.

OSUM Meeting Open Source Tech Talk

Tuesday Jan 27, 2009

Student Organization Fair

We had the student organization fair today at the University of Iowa - and OSUM had it's table near one of the entrances. Although the fair did not seem to attract that many students, we still made a positive impression: we projected slides about OSUM onto the wall above us, and had the best display of all the groups attending. We even handed out information to a handful of people about our open source university meetup (next meeting is Wednesday, January 28th, 6pm, 3 MLH). Below are some photos.

Student Organization Fair - Open Source Table

Student Organization Fair - Open Source University Meetup OSUM Table

Tuesday Jan 20, 2009

Full OSUM Schedule

I've got a full schedule ready for OSUM at Iowa! We have five meetings scheduled, for now, although I hope to add more as we get the ball rolling. Topics are still to be decided on, but I believe for the next couple meetings we will focus on things like Java. I may try to get everyone learning JRuby as a fun group meetup that I think everyone would enjoy a lot. The meetings are on Wednesdays at 6:00pm, or Saturdays at 11:00am. They'll be held in the Muhly Lounge, which is on the ground floor of McLean Hall (on the Pentacrest).

Hope to see you there! Plenty of fun stuff to talk about, lots to learn, and plenty to do.

Saturday Dec 06, 2008

First OSUM Meeting & OpenSolaris InstallFest

We had our first Open Source University Meetup today in the Iowa Memorial Union's River Room. It was great: we choose OSUM officers, getting a President (myself), Vice-President (Mike), and Secretary (John). We also decided to have our next meetup on December 13th, hopefully in the same place, at 10am.

We talked about how to access the Sun Academic Initiative Learning Connection to get free training and discounted certification, and we decided on 5 goals for the group. (I'll try to post full details on the iowa osum website). One of our goals is to have each member complete an SAI learning module each month (decided by the group), sort of like a book group chooses a book to read each month. Then we'll be able to discuss at each meeting.

Thanks to all attending, and I hope to see even more folks next weekend!

Tuesday Nov 25, 2008

Calling JRuby in Java

We all know that JRuby can easily use Java classes, but did you know Java can call JRuby scripts? An excellent but relatively underutilized feature of Java and JRuby is the ability to call JRuby scripts directly from your Java program. Consider the possibilities of loading a JRuby script, from possible a text file or a database, and having it execute within your program. It could be an excellent method of installing on-the-fly system updates or modifying variables that you never thought you'd need to touch. Always, of course, be careful not to execute malicious code, as your JRuby script can do anything your Java code might.

Friday Nov 14, 2008

Installing Xen on OpenSolaris (dom0)

I just purchased a new piece of hardware to try to learn some of the latest pieces of software that I've been learning about. One of the first things I've wanted to experience was Xen, an open-source hypervisor that I've heard a lot about. Unfortunately, finding all the information I needed hasn't been easy. But I determined that I should be able to get it to work after following this guide. The key is to download the pre-built version of Xen, then try following all the steps in that guide. I'll be posting results here soon.

Tuesday Nov 11, 2008

Try JRuby on Windows

I just created a nice tutorial for installing JRuby on Windows. JRuby is great because it combines the power and features of Java, with the strength and elegance of Ruby! JRuby can also run Ruby on Rails, and is very nicely integrated with Java, giving you access to Java excellent resources, such as Swing.

Tuesday Nov 04, 2008

Todays Actions, Tommorrow's Thoughts

After nearly finalizing the location and date for the first OSUM meeting, I have more to do.

[Read More]

Monday Nov 03, 2008

Getting Work Done

As promised, I would keep this place up to date on my accomplishments this weekend. I'm pleased with what I've gotten done so far, although I would have liked to have done a little more. I believe I'm on pace for what I need to do though. What I accomplished this weekend:

  • Attended four meetings on Saturday, and took notes as necessary
  • volunteered four hours for Mindbridge on Sunday
  • completed 2/3 of a Java learning tutorial
  • finalized a poster for my first open source meetup (in the Iowa Memorial Union)
  • mailed fliers for Gamicon to by put up in the Cambus buses
  • did a little to advance a couple of my ruby on rails web programs
  • ran another meeting of the L club
  • went to the theater
  • Finished my Japanese homework
  • Did most of my Computer Science homework
  • Probably some other things I can't remember at the moment.

Now, I've still got more to do, and hopefully I'll get a bunch done tonight.


Ryan Kopf


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