HomeDigital EditionSys-Con RadioSearch Java Cd
Advanced Java AWT Book Reviews/Excerpts Client Server Corba Editorials Embedded Java Enterprise Java IDE's Industry Watch Integration Interviews Java Applet Java & Databases Java & Web Services Java Fundamentals Java Native Interface Java Servlets Java Beans J2ME Libraries .NET Object Orientation Observations/IMHO Product Reviews Scalability & Performance Security Server Side Source Code Straight Talking Swing Threads Using Java with others Wireless XML

Since I'll be presenting sessions throughout the week, I should really be reviewing them to make sure I have my message straight or at least make sure I don't goof up too badly. I'm still trying to live down that episode when I credited Sir Francis Bacon, of all people, with the invention of Java. (Sorry, Dr. Gosling!) It's just that kind of faux pas that can affect a person's technical credibility!

Actually, I have the sessions down pretty well, I guess, though I won't know until I'm standing in front of the audience. It's rarely the case that any Java presentation can remain unchanged from conference to conference; so many things change so quickly that bringing the information up to date is always a concern. While I'll be talking about our iSeries JVM, another project I work on called Remote AWT, and some JNI topics, I think the most exciting subject is the new content in version 1.4 of Java: the new I/O, assertions, regular expressions, and logging, to name a few very cool new stuff in an already cool language.

I arrived in Denver last night, and it was my only "free" night here, so naturally (instead of reviewing my sessions or getting a good night's sleep) I had to seek out some local foosball. I happened to find a wonderful Web site dealing exclusively with Colorado foosball that listed a half-dozen or so likely foosing venues in downtown Denver. After a nice dinner (on the company, naturally) I took my little hand-scrawled map and struck out on my own to find just the right table.

Since my foosball Thread last year ("Ahh, Youth..." [JDJ, Vol. 6, issue 12]), I've been getting a bit more serious about the game. I have my own table now and have been practicing on a fairly regular basis, so naturally I like to think I'm getting pretty good. After all, my foos team was runner-up at the site-wide foosball tournament at work, so I figured I must be nearly unstoppable.

Oh, I knew I might run into some talented foosers, but I fully expected to be among the better players. I even envisioned returning to my hotel a wealthy foos king, having been showered with the undying admiration of the entire Denver foosing community. "Look out Denver foosers!" I thought. "I'll just go downtown and give these local foosers a taste of truly sophisticated Minnesota foosball."

Yeah, right. Either (1) there are a lot of talented foosers in this town and a few of them happened to stop by the table at which I chose to play, or (2) there are only a few talented foosers and they all happened to show up. Either way, I'll be looking for the shards of my shattered foosball ego for the rest of the week.

Many of my colleagues at work are taking to the game with a lot of zeal. Last year, I was on the team that won the site-wide foosball tournament, albeit barely, but there frankly wasn't a lot of competition. Only a couple of teams were in any position to seriously compete for the title. This year, it was apparent that lots of people have been practicing; any number of teams could have taken the coveted foosball title, complete with T-shirt and all-important bragging rights.

Of course, I've been doing some foosing "on the town" back home, as well, but the results have been mixed. (The eternal question: Is it "success" to beat someone so badly that they throw a cue ball at you? Yes, it really happened.) With the onset of Old Man Winter in Minnesota, I'm hoping the extracurricular foosing opportunities increase (though I might have to borrow my son's football helmet if we go back to that place).

What if programming language dominance were as simple as foosball dominance? "I happen to know a little language called Java that'll kick...." (Just look out for flying cue balls!)

Author Bio
Blair Wyman is a software engineer working for IBM in Rochester, Minnesota, home of the IBM iSeries. [email protected]

All Rights Reserved
Copyright ©  2004 SYS-CON Media, Inc.
  E-mail: [email protected]

Java and Java-based marks are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries. SYS-CON Publications, Inc. is independent of Sun Microsystems, Inc.