While the Opera Web browser has yet to conquer our readers' PCs, the browser maker appears to have had more success on mobile devices. Case in point is Opera Mobile, now in version 10, the cross-platform UI framework for Android, BREW, Windows Mobile and Symbian/S60 smartphones. Opera says that Mobile 10's raison d'être is to open up the Opera browser experience to more people, on more devices, allowing “operators and OEMs to implement the same user experience quickly and cost effectively across their entire range of handsets”. Other features include a rich Web 2.0 experience optimized for mobile phones, Opera Turbo data compression technology and the Opera Widgets standalone mini-Web apps.
Following on the success of DeviceVM's Splashtop application, Mandriva has introduced InstantOn, a Linux-based application that brings up a usable interface on virtually any PC in a matter of seconds. Designed to complement a base operating system (Linux or Windows), InstantOn offers a choice of applications for near instant display—that is, less than ten seconds and even less than that for hard drives with Flash memory. Applications include Firefox, Rhythmbox, Pidgin, Skype and Thunderbird. An OEM version will offer a customizable interface and 20,000 applications from which to choose.
Although we failed miserably on getting you this info by Christmas, let us hook you up for Valentine's Day gift-giving (and receiving!). The chicboom Keychain Speaker is designed for the stylish woman who wants a big, mobile sound in a small package. The amplified speaker, which one can attach to any device with a standard 3.5mm stereo jack (MP3s, iPods, laptops and so on), needs only 2 Watts and runs a full four hours on a single charge.
Editor Kevlin Henney has distilled essential wisdom from the programming craft into one concise O'Reilly volume, titled 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know: Collective Wisdom from the Experts. The book contains 97 “short and extremely useful programming tips” from some of the most experienced and respected practitioners in the industry, including Uncle Bob Martin, Scott Meyers, Dan North, Linda Rising, Udi Dahan, Neal Ford and many others. These veterans encourage programmers to push their craft forward by learning new languages, looking at problems in new ways, following specific practices, taking responsibility for their work and becoming as good as possible at the entire art and science of programming. The focus is on practical principles that apply to projects of all types. One can read the book end to end or browse it to find topics of particular interest.
Now in its second edition, Randall Hyde's The Art of Assembly Language from No Starch Press has been updated thoroughly to reflect recent changes to the High Level Assembler (HLA) language, the book's primary teaching tool. The comprehensive, 800-page guide teaches programmers how to understand assembly language and how to use it to write powerful, efficient code. It further demonstrates how to leverage one's knowledge of high-level programming languages to make it easier to grasp basic assembly concepts quickly. All code from the book is portable to the Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD and Windows operating systems.
James Gray is Products Editor for Linux Journal.