FHU Events Application(s)

by Michael Plyler
March 7, 2013 2:00 PM

After the success of our Annual Bible Lectureship application, demand for other "event" applications quickly grew.

Our development team began work on a basic wireframe to allow easy configuration and deployment of iOS apps for our various campus events. While we have mainly concentrated on iOS, we do plan to implement an Adroid version of this application.

Pictured to the right, is an unfinished implementation of one of our upcoming event apps, HORIZONS 2013. The app contains all of the essential information: event dates, event schedule, session details, a campus map, and a link for video streaming for those events with live streaming capabilities.

Virtual Tour

by Michael Plyler
March 7, 2013 1:51 PM

For the third year, Web Services is collaborating with our senior computer science majors to produce a significant application for the university. Instead of an iOS application we decided to implement our virtual tour as a web application.  

Work on this application began January 24. The project is coming along very well. Here is a screenshot of how our virtual tour is taking shape:

ASP.NET Performance Tuning

by Michael Plyler
December 12, 2012 4:31 PM

As a web developer, from time to time my applications don't work exactly as expected.

Sometimes there are bugs in the development phase that keep my apps from performing the way that I think they should.

Sometimes these are my fault, sometimes I find that these are small "bugs" or items that don't work as expected witin the frameworks that I might use.

After debugging apps, performance tuning is one of the other tasks of optimizing your app that can seem rather daunting.
There are many factors to consider with this task.

Here is an article that deals with .NET performance tuning: http://www.techbubbles.com/microsoft/performance-tuning-for-net-applications

It discusses some of the basics of optimization and gives a few cases of memory bottlenecks that might occur and how to fix them.
There are also a few tools and strategies discussed.

Obj-C for the C# Guy

by Michael Plyler
December 12, 2012 4:25 PM

For those of us out there that are .NET developers, here's a good article to help you get started on Objective-C: lostechies.com
It was a good read. It contained several beneficial tidbits of information.

Windows 7/8 vs Mac OS X

by Michael Plyler
November 13, 2011 6:54 PM


Windows 7/8
by Lance Williams 

When it comes to the debate of Windows 7 vs. OSX, I’m a windows fan all day everyday. Now it is only fair to say that I do have a lot of bias, being an avid apple hater, however having tried both operating systems extensively I must say that I prefer Windows 7 far above Lion (or any version of OSX for that matter.

When I enrolled at Freed I had to join the iKnow Initiative which is basically a program in which all student received a Macbook and their choice of an iPhone or iTouch. The Macbooks came with both Windows Vista and Leopard installed. If you’re the type of person interested in an article such as this I’m going to assume you already know the many criticisms of Vista, and will then understand exactly why I decided to give OSX a shot. 

Let me first say that OSX is a good, stable, and FAST operating system. But first and foremost, OSX has incredible battery life. As I was using Leopard I thoroughly enjoyed the speed of booting up my computer, the ease of searching for files, and most of all the amount of time I could spend without being plugged into a wall. 

My problems with OSX started with Xcode. In my first programming class we were learning C++ and for the life of my I could not get Xcode to play right, so I would begin to boot into Vista for each class, then reboot into OSX after class. Now if you’ve used Vista, you know that the bootup times for it aren’t the most friendly of things, therefore after a few class periods I just decided to stay in my Windows side.

Well about this same time the Release Candidate of Windows 7 was released and anyone was free to install and test out the system. Not exactly being in love with Vista, I jumped on the chance to do this and I was instantly pleased. 

I was raised on Windows, and I know Windows the best. Windows 7 was everything Windows was to me as a kid, with added features and speed, while looking great in the process. And the best part was being on Windows, as opposed to OSX, opened me to the vast library of free programs for Windows computers. The features of OSX which I loved the best (Expose and Spaces especially) were easily added to my Windows side due to free programs that not only copied these programs, but also improved on these programs. 

Pretty much the reason why I like Windows better is because everything I can do on a Mac, I can easily do on my PC. Whether it be through add-on programs or built in features, Windows 7 can match everything OSX brings to the game, while still being the operating system that many of us were brought up using. Now I’ll be the first to say that Microsoft has some serious competition on their hands from Apple, but in my opinion mainly in battery life and marketing. I feel that when features, ease of use, and openness are compared that Windows is definitely the way to go. These are my opinions, and I’m sticking by them. 


Mac OS X Lion
by Zachary Rose

OS X is my primary operating system of choice. I began using OSX because when I joined the iKnow Program, the Windows notebook I had was much slower in comparison, and I have gotten used to it. I must say though that I am impressed by Mac, and I have not had much motivation to switch back to Windows. The improvements Lion brings to the table definitely reinforces that.

Lion’s myriad of new features are pulled off well. Because there are so many great new features, I’ll only discuss my favorites. I encourage you to visit Apple’s site to see the full list. Full Screen Apps do exactly what’s implied; it’s not a brand-new concept, but it is nice to be able to make more than just my browser full screen. Mission Control combines the new functionality of full screen apps with Spaces, Exposé, and Dashboard. Mission Control can be opened with the same shortcut as Exposé. It is convenient having all these available in one place, and helps make full screen apps more practical.

Another great set of features is Autosave, Versions, and Resume. Autosave automatically saves any document you’re working on, so long as it has been saved by you previously. Versions allows you to go back and compare older versions of any document you’re working on. You can also duplicate the document and continue working on it as a template for a new document. Resume restores the windows after you quit a application or even restart your Mac. As soon as you start the application or boot up your Mac, you’re right back to where you were. These three features really make saving and restarting simple. 

Lion does, however, have some pitfalls. First, Lion has much greater system requirements than Snow Leopard. When leopard was released, the Macbooks that shipped with it had twice as much RAM as was required. Then, when Snow Leopard was released, the requirement was doubled to 1 GB of RAM, which was fine-- my white 2008 Macbook had 2GB, and handled that upgrade well. Now, with Lion’s requirement of 2 GB of RAM, my Macbook feels pretty sluggish at times. Another requirement is that Snow Leopard must be installed and updated before installing Lion. This was not a problem for me, but I can imagine the frustration of having to pay for Snow Leopard simply to be able the operating system you actually wanted.

Many of the new features are unusable in older Macs as well. For example, AirDrop only works in certain Macbooks that are listed on Apple’s website. Airdrop seems to depend on the AirPort Extreme wireless card, so if your Mac is not compatible with that, then it can’t use AirDrop; other than that, Apple gives no full explanation on their site why AirDrop won’t work at all with older AirPort cards. 

Of course, some of these setbacks are reasonable; hardware quickly becomes outdated these days. Should Apple necessarily make every new feature work on every Mac ever produced? And in light of all the advancements in Lion, I think this is a excellent improvement to an already great operating system.