Eric D. Schabell: January 2009

Saturday, January 31, 2009 - Dutch translations

I have been a long time user of Meebo, almost since their inception. So today when they made a call for missing translations on their wiki, I thought I should help out.

I completed the rest of the missing lines on the Dutch translation wiki page, hope it makes someone out there happy in Cheese land!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Open source kost ook geld

Seems like I am on a roll lately. I am again in the Computable in an article for an Open Source background story. If you are interested in the English translation, just post a comment and I could make the time to put it here.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Never up, never in!

One of the most famous golfing expressions, never failing to get a chuckle out of me. When I hear this expression in the future I will always remember the event I was fortunate enough to witness this weekend. Enough said, check out the video:

Monday, January 19, 2009

2009: Weinig werkloze ICT'ers

I mentioned that I made it into an article on the Dutch language IT magazine Computable website. Today I received the printed version of the magazine dated 16 Jan 2009 - number 3 and the lead article on the front page is leading with my quote.

The title of the article translates to "2009: Very few jobless IT'ers", with my quote being that "Good IT knowledge is and remains scarce." This relates to my belief that experienced IT personnel will always be able to find work, even in these tough economic times.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ubuntu default acpi-support values kills laptops (fixed)

Well, it took awhile but someone finally got around to fixing the laptop harddisk munching bug I ran into in September 2007. It has been released for Ubuntu versions 9.04, 8.10 and 8.04 (LTS).

This fix is not yet in the update repositories, so if you want to run it you need to use the 'proposed' repository, follow these instructions for enabling the 'proposed' repository.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A new bike - VanTuyl VT740

After more than 3 years on my previous VT730c, I was more than ready to upgrade to something nice. I love to climb so the lighter version, with Shimano Ultegra Triple will be just wonderful. As I just turned 40 I thought it would be a nice birthday present for myself. After some birthday fund raising, I ordered my VT740 three weeks ago.

Yesterday I took delivery and today I could just squeeze in a 30km ride before the rain started. It still needs some tuning as the front derailleur is not making it over the middle blade without two shifts, but this thing is very smooth. I didn't push it much, but it really moves nicer over the road and accelerates more easily through the gears that the old bike.

The old bike was aluminum colored, but this was not possible any longer. I choose a flat black like you see some of the retro cars being painted these days. Gives it an 'old school' look I really like.

I am definitely ready for some nicer weather and a trip to some mountains now.

Some cycling inspiration

Friday, January 16, 2009

Vim hints: word completion or line completion

I often missed the IDE {word|command|line} completion short-cuts in vim until I found these:

" Line completion: in 'insert mode' it provides you with 
" a list of existing lines to choose from in your current 
" file. 
ctrl-x ctrl-l 

" Word completion: in 'insert mode' it provides you with
" a list of possible matching words starting with the 
" next word available in your current file.

" Word completion: in 'insert mode' it provides you with
" a list of possible matching words going back from the 
" current word in your current file.

" Searching a dictionary for word completion is done by 
" first setting the dictionary to search:
:set dictionary=/usr/share/dict/words

" Then try to match a word with:
ctrl-x ctrl-k

Thursday, January 15, 2009

jBPM from the trenches - a state proxy for your state nodes

The first post from the trenches in 2009 and the political winds have shifted on our jBPM process rework. Due to decisions outside the control of man, we have been forced to abandon all of our work on migrating the business logic down into the services layer (SOA). Instead, wise men have decided to implement a brand new process in jBPM which could contain the various elements already discussed for the process upgrade. Unfortunately it most likely won't.

There is always a bright side to these events. I have been given plenty of time to work on a state proxy solution. To review a bit, it is a wish to make use of state nodes within our process definitions. This would provide a more secure situation for our processes by persisting data in each process step where business logic is executed. Up to now it has not been possible due to service calls not being able to signal a wait state that the response is ready. Now it will be.

A Java Dynamic Proxy together with a Factory is used to provide access to web services interfaces. Each state node will make a single service call through that services proxy in the state nodes onPerformCall method. Results are serialized with jboss serialization, as the web service interfaces and implementations are not serializable we could not just use Java serialization. Reacting to the results is done in either the onHandleResults or onHandleException methods depending on succes or failure.

The architectural complications that keep us from using some of the nicer solutions available have been covered previously in the above linked posts, but a quick summary might help explain the situation:
  • no upgrades allowed yet from jbpm-3.1.4
  • deployment is on a single jbpm engine
  • no ESB
There are some interesting things in the works to improve the above situation, so stay tuned for more soon.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fixing the macbook "server-error-service-unavailable" problem

With my macbook this was happening any time I tried to add a printer, remote or USB local. The problem was that the cupsd was not running. To start it the following command should be run:

$ SystemStarter start PrintingServices

This was not working so I updated cups from 1.2.8 to 1.2.12 (see sourceforge cups site for the last dmg package available) and modified both /etc/hostconfig and /private/etc/hostconfig to ensure CUPS would start by removing the cups line.

Restarted and all was well again. The Printer Setup Utility auto detects my usb HP printer for the first time after just turning the thing on.

If you want to stop or restart the cupsd nicely you use:

$ SystemStarter stop PrintingServices

$ SystemStarter restart PrintingServices

Friday, January 9, 2009

Saying goodbye to Yankee Stadium

A buddy of mine was in New York over the New Years holiday. He wanted to tour the city but became a bit discouraged by the very cold weather they were having. He made a golden decision to cover it all in a helicopter flight.

For me the most memorable picture he took is this one here. I spent six weeks in NY in 1999, working on a book. I got the chance to visit Yankee Stadium and see a game with my girlfriend (now wife). We saw Monument Park in center field and sat on the railing of the upper deck just past third base. It must have been 100 degrees that day, but nothing is like a walk through the halls in the house that Ruth built, watching Jeter turn a double play, and listening to the bleacher creatures.

The picture is amazing to me for many reasons.