Michael Dorf

Michael is a professional software architect, web developer, an open-source enthusiast, and more recently, a WordPress addict. He has been creating software and teaching courses in Java and J2EE development for a dozen of years. Michael blogs about Hadoop, Java, Android, PHP, MySQL, and other cutting edge technologies that define today's web. He is also (and most importantly) a father of three little angels, Katya, Sasha, and Nadia and a husband of his beautiful better half, Simona. When his four princesses are not at his side, he enjoys playing a game of Soccer, Ultimate Frisbee, and Volleyball. Michael holds a M.S. degree in Software Engineering from San Jose State University, a B.S. degree in Computer Science from San Francisco State University, and a B.A degree in Political Science, Public Service from UC Davis.

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Improving Android Battery Life – 5 Tips

January 25th, 2012 Leave a comment
Improving Android Battery Life - 5 Tips

This article is a bit uncharacteristic of our regular developer topics, but you might still find it useful since developing on Android also means owning an Android device. Running out of battery on your Android device can be frustrating. Often, we find ourselves wishing we could get a little more juice out of our devices. If your battery life is getting the best of you, here are some tips that you can use to help keep the party going a little longer. Task Killers Don’t Help Task Killers have been a strongly debated topic for Android owners and unfortunately a necessary… View full post »

5 Easy Java Optimization Tips

January 24th, 2012 Leave a comment
5 Easy Java Optimization Tips

When writing Java code it can be easy to make simple mistakes that seem harmless on the surface but, as our applications grow larger, they can show themselves to be slow, resource intensive processes that could use a tune-up. Luckily there are some easy ways to optimize your Java code that you can begin using today. Here, we will introduce you to five of them. 1. Avoid unnecessary casting Casting, for the new developer, is a way of converting between reference data types. Most casting is done to allow a more generic form of programming where your code will… View full post »

htaccess for PHP Error Logging – An In-depth How-to

January 11th, 2012 Leave a comment
htaccess for PHP Error Logging - An In-depth How-to

For PHP users running Apache, we often want to be able to suppress our PHP errors from visitors so we can protect and handle those errors. We also want to log those errors since error tracking is an excellent way to troubleshoot potential problems. Catching these errors and monitoring them is a better solution than trying to catch and handle them during the user’s session. This tutorial will show you how to enable PHP error logging and error handling via .htaccess. For Developers New to htaccess If you are a developer that has never used the .htaccess file, here… View full post »

Why Use PHP Caching?

January 10th, 2012 Leave a comment
Why Use PHP Caching?

In the beginning, when the Internet was new, it was easy to create fast HTML web pages that could load easily on a dial-up modem. Once a page was requested, the browser would create a cached version of the site on the computer in a temporary directory and later, should that page be requested again, it would simply serve the cached version instead of making a request to the server. This made everything much faster! Then dynamic pages came onto the scene and messed that idea up. Now we must make requests to our server every time the… View full post »

Unit Testing: Worth the Extra Effort?

January 5th, 2012 Leave a comment
Unit Testing: Worth the Extra Effort?

In the realm of computer programming there are several ideas involving the testing and vetting of code to make sure it is ready to use. Many of these ideas are evolutions of previous methods or are new ways that people have developed to test code while it is being developed. One of these methodologies is called Unit Testing. Unit Testing is part of a greater software development methodology called Test Driven Development. In Unit Testing, the code is broken down into to small sections or sub-sections called units. These units then have independent tests created that… View full post »

Software Development Teams – How to Work with Other Developers

January 3rd, 2012 Leave a comment
Software Development Teams - How to Work with Other Developers

You can’t have great software without a great team, and most software teams behave like dysfunctional families. – Jim McCarthy Let’s face it. Today, most software is not developed and written by one person but is a product of a team effort. Learning to work with other developers is a difficult step for some people. The key to a good software development team is not only understanding how people work together but the understanding that software teams go through phases of development. Just like the above quote, each member of your team may be in a different development… View full post »

Optimizing jQuery – 10 Ways to Write Better Code

December 29th, 2011 Leave a comment
Optimizing jQuery - 10 Ways to Write Better Code

Most of us that began writing jQuery started because we heard how awesome it was and we were frustrated at JavaScript. jQuery is awesome, but like any programming language, there can be problems and pitfalls we want to try to avoid. This article talks about ten common better uses of jQuery that will help you get your job done right. They won’t make you a jQuery expert, but they will show you some best practices and better ways of using the library. 1. Make Sure Your Version is Up-to-date Why: jQuery is constantly changing and updating. Improvements to the… View full post »

Scriptin’ with JavaScript and Ajax: A Designer’s Guide Book Review

December 28th, 2011 Leave a comment
Scriptin' with JavaScript and Ajax: A Designer's Guide Book Review

Book Author: Charles Wyke-Smith The first thing you will notice about Scriptin’ with JavaScript and Ajax is that it presents a condensed yet thorough overview of JavaScript from the beginner’s standpoint and moves quickly into more advanced topics. The author attempts to present lessons in coding as well as ideas of good application development; addressing ideas of Software-as-a-Service as well as pointing out tips for clean functional programming. His writing style is simple and straightforward, which is great for a book targeted at beginners and puts learning within their reach. From a new developer’s standpoint the concepts of a modern,… View full post »

Best Hadoop Resources on the Web

December 22nd, 2011 Leave a comment
Best Hadoop Resources on the Web

Hadoop is the new word on the market, and everyone wants to leverage it in their enterprise or network. There’s so much information out there about it, however, that finding good resources becomes a challenge: Check out these Hadoop online resources for great sites that will help you know more about Hadoop and learn how to implement it in your applications and networking environment! 1. Yahoo Hadoop Tutorial Website: http://developer.yahoo.com/hadoop/tutorial/ The Yahoo Hadoop tutorial is an awesome place for anyone beginning their Hadoop adventure. It’s a full hadoop tutorial to get you up and running, including Hadoop itself, a virtual machine of a… View full post »

PHP Optimization Tips: Get the Most Out of Your Applications

December 19th, 2011 Leave a comment
PHP Optimization Tips: Get the Most Out of Your Applications

Like any scripting language, PHP can be used in a variety of applications. The down-side for most programmers is that when they learn how to write PHP, they do not always learn how to write PHP with speed and optimization in mind. This article addresses five ways you can improve your code with minor changes that will yield large gains as well as teach you how to become a better PHP developer. One of the most important things you can do when improving PHP application performance is begin measuring your application to find a baseline performance time for different… View full post »

Google+ Pages: A Boon For Small Businesses

December 15th, 2011 Leave a comment
Google+ Pages: A Boon For Small Businesses

Google has recently just announced a very exciting new feature for Google+: the ability for businesses to make Google+ pages. With this new addition, businesses will be able to have a centralized page to disseminate news and features on the company, as well as have a place for customers to talk about their experiences with the company or simply chat about new news or features coming up. You may, understandably, meet this news with some confusion. After all, Facebook has had pages for years now, and the Google+ Pages feature, when viewed in that light, looks less like innovation and more… View full post »

Carrier iQ – What You Need to Know About It

December 14th, 2011 Leave a comment
Carrier iQ - What You Need to Know About It

There has been a lot of hype in the media this last week over the Carrier iQ program that has been detected on Android smart phones. For those of you who are looking to catch up, or maybe get some answers, here is an overview of what Carrier iQ is about and what you should be aware of. What is Carrier iQ? Earlier this month the XDA Developers blogged about a rootkit application called Carrier iQ in this post: http://www.xda-developers.com/android/what-people-arent-saying-about-carrier-iq-xda-tv/. This software is installed as a rootkit in the RAM of the device and runs silently in the background. … View full post »

Google+ for Google Apps: What This Means To You

December 13th, 2011 Leave a comment
Google+ for Google Apps: What This Means To You

Word has just recently come out that Google+ has been released for Google Apps, and that domain administrators can now allow Google+ to be active on Google Apps domains on a domain-by-domain basis. Google+ users can now have profiles on their Google Apps accounts, and Google is said to be working on integration and migration features that will allow you to tie two Google+ accounts together or migrate existing settings and circles from one Google+ account to your Google+ Google Apps account. So what does this mean for you? Well, for one thing, this is going to be a great boon for… View full post »

PHP Error Handling Explained

December 8th, 2011 Leave a comment
PHP Error Handling Explained

Error handling is the process of catching errors and unexpected behavior from your program and dealing with them appropriately. When developers write code they always seem to leave error handling for the end instead of making it part of the development process. Part of being a good developer is setting up your applications to handle errors gracefully and without causing trouble for the user. Developers that are new to PHP sometimes complain that there is no built-in error handling functionality, but what they haven’t learned yet is that the functionality is there – you just have to… View full post »

Creating a Website in HTML5

December 7th, 2011 Leave a comment
Creating a Website in HTML5

Creating a new website in HTML5 can be daunting, especially for those of us with no clue as to what it is or how it’s different from HTML4. Here’s a quick guide to help you get set up with HTML5 and get a valid, compliant site up and running! 1. Get hosting and a domain name This one hasn’t changed since HTML4, but I thought I’d mention it all the same. You’re still going to have to get a domain name and hosting to host an HTML5 site, and the good news is that requirements for hosting providers have not changed with… View full post »