Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Google chic

I remember when GMail came out. All the cool kids wanted it, at least if you define "cool" as "envied by other people who think three computers is too few." I avoided it for a while because I didn't think I needed to prove my coolness, but then it became freely available to anyone who wanted to sign up and I thought accepting someone's invitation to the service would help me get in her pants. Anyway, now that I have a smartphone too, I want gmail on it. Not just the mobile web page, now that I know they have a client program. The whole enchilada.

Google Labs doesn't support smartphones. However, it's a Java applet, which means it should be able to run on anything with a Java virtual machine. Problem #1: I didn't have a JVM. Google recommends one from IBM. Check out WebSphere Everyplace Micro Environment. I had a bit of a false start installing it - look for another zipped file in the directory structure it puts on your disk. That's where the actual runtime version lives.

Next, I had to download a copy of gmail mobile. Unfortunately, it's supposed to be something you download via mobile phone, and Google automagically recognizes your phone model and gives you the appropriate version of the app. Since the Explorer version I have doesn't play nice with Google, it wouldn't give it to me. I managed to find a link to within Google's file structure on the 'net. I don't feel like re-finding it for the purposes of blogging, so it's left as an exercise to the reader.

Once I got that, it was no big deal to install and run it within the JVM's launcher program. However, I'm not really interested in having to open File Explorer and find the JVM "emulator" program to launch gmail every time. I found syntax for having the JVM launch directly into the Java program, but I can't figure out how to apply it - like make a shortcut or something. Seriously.

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