Ecosystem

There is so many pieces of software and hardware I use from so many different companies and people – that all make it possible to build the end product. I thought I’d list them today. I am especially thankful for the free software that is available for someone like me – running on a tight budget.

Computers

Workstation – I have my trusty 6 year old AMD dual-core server running linux. We bought it around the time my first daughter was born. I recently added more memory to it to bring it up to 4 Gigabytes, so, it runs Eclipse more or less smoothly now.

Laptop – I have a relatively newer, refurbished dell laptop that I bought last year from Costco for $350 during a sale. It’s not pretty, but it works. It also has 4 Gigabytes of memory. It runs Windows. I use the laptop when I want to work outside the office – on the dining table with the deck door open in the summer, or in my comfy chair by the fireplace in the winter. I also need the laptop for teaching.

Software

Eclipse – On both of the machines, I run eclipse to do development. It was developed by IBM for free for developers and donated to the software community.

Inkscape – For creating most of my graphics I use inkscape – an SVG editor. It is also freeware, and runs on both windows and linux.

GIMP – To make minor adjustments to final graphics, such as changing the canvas size, I use Gnu Image Manipulation Program. It is available on Linux only.

Audacity – I use Audacity to process and create the sound for the apps – game sounds or instructions.

SVNSubversion is used for tracking code changes. Even though it’s just me coding, and a source code control is not strickly neccesary, SVN makes it possible for me to review my changes before I finalize them. I run the server part of SVN on the linux server and the client part on both the linux and windows machine. This way I can share the code between the two machines.

Test Devices

Between two test devices, I cover testing for multiple screen resolution, multiple screen size, multiple app markets and different versions of Android.

Motorola Triumph – My husband bought this phone summer of last year from Virgin Wireless. It got both of us started on phone app development. Him for his work, me for my projects. It runs Android 2.2. He carries my old dumb nokia phone whenever I need to run tests.

Kindle Fire – I bought the Kindle Fire from Fred Meyer around February this year to test my app on a tablet. Since I was already publishing on Amazon, I also needed something to test that app market. It runs Android 2.3. Before we had a tablet, my app did not take advantage of the extra screen space available for it. Now, it expands to take the space available – making the apps much better. Kids enjoy playing the math games on a 7″ tablet.

Conclusion

My fellow developers may laugh at my use of old, cheap machines and devices. But, our apps illustrate that we don’t need the latest and most expensive iStuff to build something useful and successful. Just need purpose and motivation. I have those in plenty.

One thought on “Ecosystem

  1. to that good list I would complement with:
    – Notepad++
    – Far Manager
    – Beyond Compare (if you have to deal with file/folder comparisons, don’t be scarce, it costs 10-15$ only, but IMHO is the best tool ever)
    From hardware, use 2007 built AMD computer, recently upgraded to 6Gb

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