Home Monitor on a Cell Phone
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Writing From Scratch is Noble, but . . .

JavaOne 2001 was the usual circus. I ducked away from the hoards of Java developers, into the room where the challenge was being held. It was hard to take six hours out of my frantic conference schedule, but I was ready and willing.

It began without much fanfare. I and 24 other programmers wandered around, like dogs sniffing for their sacred spots. The feng shui felt good in one corner, and there I sat.

The first half hour or so was spent getting familiar with the territory, tools, and techniques. The machines were set up with the Java Micro Edition of Metrowerks Code Warrior, which seems by all accounts to be a good development tool. But I was used to WordPad along with a quick and simple J2ME Wireless Toolkit from Sun -- nothing more than a console that let you compile, pre-verify, and package your MIDlet files and then test them out on various emulators. The files are called MIDlets instead of Applets, by the way, because the phones run a special form of J2ME called the MIDP (Mobile Information Device Profile).

Although writing from scratch is noble, time was short. It made much more sense to take a good, working piece of code and use that as the framework. I scanned the various sample applications available for us to look at and stole one. I tore it apart until it was nothing more than a glorified "Hello World" program. But I knew, at least, that I had something workable.

Before going too far, I also wanted to play with the