Thursday, December 21, 2006

Move to

Wordpress is a way better blogging tool than this Blogger stuff. Blogger isn't bad, but man I'd love to see some stats. Then I could be sure that nobody is reading this :)

If nobody is reading this, then moving to Wordpress is no big deal :) Though I gotta figure out how to move the old posts over easily.

I've already created it, I just need to make up my mind

Using 'screen' on Linux

A friend of mine at work, Greg Fast, introduced me to 'screen' while we were locked away in a conference room for 3 weeks. We took over the conference room to do a "Lan Party" of sorts. The idea being, you get a few dedicated developers in a room and we all work together, without interference, to accomplish the mission. But I digress...

Screen is very cool, especially if you're ssh'd into some remote server for a few hours and can't pop up new terminals all willy-nilly. The simplest use of Screen is to have a few terminals going inside one shell.

To get the most use out of screen, it's best to have this config setup (I stole it from Greg):

vbell on
#escape ^ww
deflogin off
startup_message off

#screen -t "random" 0

hardstatus alwayslastline
hardstatus string '%{= KW}%-w%{= gW}%50> %n %t %{= KW}%+w%< %{= kG}%-=%{-}'

Save this little snippet as ~/.screenrc.

What does this config do you ask?
Well it puts a bar at the bottom of the screen that shows you how many 'screens' you have going. You can rename them and switch between them using ^A0 ^A1, or just ^A^A to cycle through (the ^ meaning CTRL).

That string full of goofy characters and symbols? Well that's a typically Linux pile of undocumented gibberish that only the most uber of geeks will ever know to use. Passed down from generation to generation...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

On my way to Spring Experience '06

I'm stuck in O'Hare...
My flight was supposed to be at like 7:30 CST. It's been delayed twice. I'm not scheduled to fly until 9:18.

So I try and pick up a wireless network. I see a solid connection to the 'concourse' network. It is the in-house wireless network available. Well, of course, it's not free. Luckily I know how to use my blackberry as a modem and can get a connection through that. Thanks Vinay! It's not a bad connection 100k according to the excellent speed test at InternetFrog.
So, now, I'm scheduled to depart at 9:18 and arrive in Miami at 1:18. The plane is pulling into the concourse as I type this. So, as my new favorite video blogger - Zefrank - says, "It's fire eagle danger day"...

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Spring 2.0 property shorthand

It turns out that with Spring 2.0 XSD support there is a fancy little shorthand for setting properties on a bean.
Read More

XML Example from Rod's post...

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<beans xmlns=""

<bean class="com.interface21.spring2.ioc.Person"

<bean class="com.interface21.spring2.ioc.House"
p:name="10 Downing Street"

Now that's cool

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween to me!
I lost my Windows drive last night. That really sucks. I managed to boot into Ubuntu and copy off my resume and some other important docs, so that's good.

Check out some great pumpkins at

Monday, October 30, 2006

Fedora Core 6

I tried installing Fedora Core 6 this weekend. The install itself went without a hitch, which is usually the case with Fedora. The problems came when I tried to boot into it.

My computer at home is setup with two drives. The primary being Windows XP, and a secondary drive that install random Linux builds to. I had no troubles with Ubuntu 6.06 on that drive. Fedora begins booting (and looks really cool doing it), then it hangs at one of two points. Either "Starting sendmail", or "Starting yum-updatesd". Well I re-installed a few times (to mess with the grub setup really). And no luck, same result.

I was truly disappointed by this as the Fedora distro has been decent in the past, and Core 6 looks really exciting with the built in AIGLX Compiz stuff.

Well, I burned Ubuntu 6.10 "Edgy Eft" last night. I guess I'll install that next and wait for some update from Fedora.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Happy K-Day (belated)

Yesterday was K-Day!
At one of my previous gigs I was introduced to K-Day by our CTO, Joe Sturonas. Joe is one of the biggest geeks I know (and he knows that's a compliment). Yesterday being October 24th means it's K-Day. October 24th as in, 10/24, as in 1024, as in 1K :)

Like I said, Joe's a geek. As a proud geek myself, I proclaim "Happy K-Day"!

What do you do on K-Day? Well, as Joe introduced it to me, I followed the tradition. You go out and you buy one dozen longjohns from Dunkin Donuts, and one dozen donuts from Dunkin Donuts. The longjohns and donuts represent ones and zeros. How's that for geeky?

Friday, October 20, 2006

Ubuntu stuff

Ubuntu and XGL

I'm gonna give this a shot later on my Ubuntu install.
I'm excited :P

Also, fluxbox

Friday, October 13, 2006

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

InfoQ and Advertising

Screencast Gets You Up To Speed With REST on Rails in 90 Minutes

What a crock; get me all excited for an interesting video to watch on the train...
And it's an advertisement to buy the screen cast for $9.99. I hate advertisements masquerading as subject matter.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Great Programmers answer questions...

Great Programmers answer questions...

I'm not a great programmer, I'd like to think that I'm pretty good at it, but I'm far from great. That being said, for my own ammusement, I'm going to answer these questions as well.

- How did you learn programming? Were any schools of any use? Or maybe you didn’t even bother with ending any schools :) ?
I have a sorted past with school. I was never a good student, and I never went to college. I received some computer training in the Army, but it was pretty much all crap. Some day, I'd like to go back and get a degree, but I don't know how useful the degree itself would be. I learned to program by buying books, lots of books. And just doing it, as much as possible for any reason possible. The key is to be around people that can correct you and can correct you when you hack :)

- What do you think is the most important skill every programmer should posses?
I agree most with James Gosling and Dave Thomas here. Motivation and Passion. Without those it's just a job. Communication skills are what leads you beyond that. You can't lead if nobody understands a damn thing you're saying.

- Do you think mathematics and/or physics are an important skill for a programmer? Why?
Physics? No way. Not unless you work for Blizzard or Id. Math, yes, but again that can be very field dependent. I agree with DHH on his point that most of us work on business problems, not math problems. Though, it wouldn't hurt for me to bump up my math skills they do suck.

- What do you think will be the next big thing in computer programming? X-oriented programming, y language, quantum computers, what?
Who knows. I suppose I'll continue doing what I've always done. Learn what is usefull and interesting. Outside of that, what's the point?

- If you had three months to learn one relativly new technology, which one would You choose?
If I had 3 months to work on anything, it probably means I should be working on my resume.

- What do you think makes some programmers 10 or 100 times more productive than others?Again, Motivition and Passion. I'm always learning, always reading, always on the hunt for something intresting. I'm probably not better than most programmers, I just have more stuff in my head to reference.

- What are your favourite tools (operating system, programming/scripting language, text editor, version control system, shell, database engine, other tools you can’t live without) and why do you like them more than others?
Intellij IDEA. It's simply the best IDE for any language out there.
Ruby is the simplest scripting language I've seen, easy to learn and use.
Well, Java and Ruby are my favorite programming languages. It comes down to using the right tool for the job though.
Operating system, well I'm gonna get burned at the stake for this but I have no problem with Windows XP. It does what I want, it almost always works. And I don't have to edit any f*cking text files to make simple changes.
That being said, I like Ubuntu Linux hehe. I'd love to have a Mac to work on, but I'm simply not willing to buy their hardware. I have PC hardware at home, when I can use that I'm all over it.

- What is your favourite book related to computer programming?
Well, I don't have a personal favorite. I think I'll use the answers as a recommendation list. Except maybe "Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid" as I have no idea what the hell that says.

- What is Your favourite book NOT related to computer programming?
Simply can't answer that one.

- What are your favourite music bands/performers/compositors?
Here's where I look like the white nerd kid from Office Space...
I like Pink Floyd, Zepplin, Korn, Eminiem, 50 Cent, Blues Traveler, Flogging Molly. I've gotten into a bit of classical and soundtracks, they're good for reading. I couldn't name a favorite from those categories though.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Bit by SimpleDateFormat

Maybe I'm just lame, but mainly I think I just assumed I knew more than I really did.

Beware of using the following...
SimpleDateFormat format = new SimpleDateFormat("MM/dd/yyyy");

You would think that you are doing yourself a favor and that the above would require a user to enter four digits. That is not true. What happens is that if there is four y's entered the year is assumed to be literal. Meaning that if a user enters 1/1/05, the Date will end up being Jan 01, 0005. Not cool.

So, according to the javadoc...

SimpleDateFormat Javadoc

You are better off using a MM/dd/yy pattern. Why?
Well, when the year pattern only specifies only 2 characters, the 80/20 rule is applied to the year. The 2 digits are considered against 80 years prior and 20 years after the date the SimpleDateFormat was created on. Thus 1/1/05 becomes Jan 01, 2005.

Bass Ackwards I say, but oh well...