Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How I resurrected my TomTom GO 920

This stuff probably applies to any hardware TomTom device, including GO 520, 720, 920, ONE, XL, etc

I have owned my TomTom GO 920 since 2007. It worked pretty well, but during the last trip to Spain started failing.

Symptoms included:

  • Doesn't turn on after put to sleep
  • Reset button doesn't work (that hole at the bottom of the device)
  • Hangs during operation, reset turns the screen off, can't turn on anymore

I thought my TomTom was bricked for good - anyway this seems like a hardware problem to me and no solutions on the net helped.

However, after the device was just gathering dust for some months, I have decided to give it another try: I plugged it into the USB and the device turned on again! But only until it hanged again and reset stopped working again.

So, here are the steps I used to resurrect it:
  1. Leave the device laying around without the power source until the battery completely drains
  2. Plug it into USB, turn it on by holding the power button for a few seconds (it should turn on by now if battery indeed was empty - I have tested it several times)
  3. If it asks whether to connect to the computer - choose YES
  4. Start TomTom HOME (yes, that stupid Windoze-only program - I used VirtualBox for running it - doesn't work under Wine)
  5. Go to manage my TomTom
  6. Check The Application (the TomTom GUI interface) and choose to delete it from the device
  7. Close TomTom HOME, restart it
  8. HOME will detect you don't have the Application installed and will offer you to do so
  9. Let it reinstall the Application
  10. Delete and copy the map as well, either with TomTom HOME or just manually

That's it! TomTom will now turn off and turn on again. However, occasionally it still needs the reset button to be pushed after put into sleep - but now the reset button works at least.

I guess the problem was with data corruption: when you turn on or reset the device, the bootloader takes control and tries to run the Application, but it mysteriously corrupted and fails. If the above steps don't help, you can try updating the bootloader as well - there are instructions on the net on how to do it, but you still need the working USB mass storage, so let the battery to drain first.

Hopefully this solution is not too temporary, but it works for 3 days now already!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Java course IAG0040 in Tallinn Technical University

Now is the time to make an official announcement: I am no longer teaching Java to Master's students in Tallinn Technical University (TTÜ).

I have really enjoyed doing it during the past 6 years, and I definitely learned a lot during this time.
Teaching in a university is not something you would do for money and it also eats up a lot of your spare time - I did it because I know I am good at it and I wanted to share my knowledge and experience in the field, especially considering the fact that most university professors/lecturers have little understanding of how software development really works and how to teach it. I did it for those students each year who really had their eyes shining. Because of them, it was worth it.

However, Java is no longer the coolest programming language out there, it slowly dies due to lack of or very slow development. Its features are outdated, it is not as productive as I would like it to be. It's time to move on. Probably Java still is one of the best programming languages to teach in the universities, but students should understand that world software development field is evolving quickly and they need to keep an eye of what is happening in the industry.

I am still a big fan of JVM - it is well tuned for performance and it is cross-platform. .NET/C# is not nearly an option. I really like Scala, Clojure seems very interesting, as well as Vala, Go and Dart. Kotlin seems very promising as well. Sooner or later there will be another popular language on JVM that most Java developers will be able to shift to. Hopefully there won't be too many of such languages and hopefully they will be statically typed. I recommend every Java developer to check the Play framework for a fresh look at Java. Anyway, the current trend in software development is to merge academic computer science and industrial programming together again - you should pay a lot more attention to functional programming in addition to the good old object oriented programming (OOP) now. The concept of DevOps is also becoming more and more important, meaning that soon you will not be able to survive as a developer, if you don't know how to create a software product from scratch until the end, deploying it yourself to the production system.

However, I am not going to leave the teaching 'business'. I will still give talks at conferences, organize trainings, and hopefully contribute to making IT education better with Codeborne Academia, but more on that later. I am still open to offers from universities and colleges as well, feel free to contact me.

Now the important part

All the code written during the course by me and the students during the past 6 years is now available on the Github:

The lastest (2011) lecture slides are available on Slideshare:

Or go to specific lectures using the links below:

  1. Introduction
  2. Java basics, program flow
  3. OOP in Java
  4. Exceptions and Collections
  5. Generics, Enums, Assertions
  6. Unit testing and Agile software development
  7. Text processing, Charsets & Encodings
  8. I/O, Files, Streams
  9. Networking, Reflection
  10. Threads and Concurrency
  11. Design Patterns
  12. Web, Servlets, XML
  13. JDBC, Logging
  14. Java Beans, Applets, GUI
  15. Advacned: Ant, Scripting, Spring & Hibernate

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

jQuery filters out script elements

Sometimes you want to fetch new HTML content with AJAX. You then parse incoming html and insert it into the document:

$.get('/some-content', function(html) {

or just use the load() function as a short-cut:

$('body').load('/some-content #content');

The problem is, this doesn't execute any embedded script tags.
Actually, doing this:


you will get a jQuery set containing two elements, not one DOMElement as most people would expect!
The set will contain the original div as a DOMElement (with all its content except the script) and a script seprately, also as a DOMElement. If there were more scripts in the original unparsed string, you would get all script elements separately in the parsed set.

The workaround would be to execute all script elements manually if you do any DOM manipulation with the incoming HTML:

$.get('/some-content', function(html) {

Sad, but true...

Some more background info from comments on jQuery site:
All of jQuery's insertion methods use a domManip function internally to clean/process elements before and after they are inserted into the DOM. One of the things the domManip function does is pull out any script elements about to be inserted and run them through an "evalScript routine" rather than inject them with the rest of the DOM fragment. It inserts the scripts separately, evaluates them, and then removes them from the DOM.