Understanding HotSpot in Plain English

Not having a degree in Computer Science means that my view of web technology begins at a granular level and necessarily seeps from the top down into the foundations of how software works. For ColdFusion this course traverses the basics of HTTP and CSS, expands into the full range of CFML tags, functions, and architecture, then arcs into databases and SQL, and continues well into the depths of Java and J2EE technology and all that's contained therein. One low level topic that has often piqued my interest has been the question of what exactly is the Sun HotSpot technology for Java Virtual Machines? Sure many ColdFusion pundits share recommendations for JVM tuning parameters, but if you're like me you find it rather superficial and want to know more about this HotSpot black box.

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Cringley Speculates About Apple's Plans to Win the OS and Application Markets

In this week's edition of I, Cringely, Bob Cringely reflects on Microsoft's struggle to maintain dominance in the OS and applications market while the project schedule for Vista withers on the vine. Furthermore, Bob speculates that for Apple to remain competitive, eliminate its vulnerabilities, and even beat Microsoft on technical merits, Apple will have to entice independent software vendors to continue developing applications for OS X. Just how will Apple do that? Bob thinks Apple will buy Adobe.

Killer Apps: For Apple's Windows Strategy to Work, It Must Replace Microsoft Office and Buy Adobe Systems
by Robert X. Cringely, April 27, 2006

Jeremy Allaire Interview on the Charlie Rose Show: Watch the Video

Brightcove logoGuest host Walt Mossberg, personal technology columnist for the Wall Street Journal, interviews Brightcove Founder and CEO, Jeremy Allaire for the Charlie Rose show on April 26. Mossberg's introduction to Allaire and some of the questions posed to him follow:

Tonight I talk with Jeremy Allaire. He's been called a serial entrepreneur. His first venture, the Allaire Corporation, focussed on building internet based applications [ColdFusion]. He later joined [sic] Macromedia as its CTO. There he helped develop the Flash Player into internet's dominant media platform. His new venture, Brightcove, which he founded in 2004, is on the forefront of convergence. Its goal is to bring down the barriers between television and the internet. The company has already attracted major investments from Time Warner and IAC interactive, among others.


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IT Conversations Podcast: Interview with Jeremy Allaire on Video Distribution

As a fan of the high quality podcasts from IT Conversations, I was browsing for other podcasts not in the channels to which I already subscribe. I discovered a December 2005 podcast interview with Jeremy Allaire, the founder of Brightcove, although perhaps better known as the founder of Allaire Corporation and the flagship application server Cold Fusion (Yes, with a space in the name until the late 90's).

While checking my facts while preparing to blog this, I discovered two related podcasts from IT Conversations including another panel interview in 2005 on reinventing media, as well as a 2004 interview with David Orfao of General Catalyst, formerly CEO of Allaire Corportation. (Anecdotally, my introduction to David occurred when he surprised me at my desk one morning. By coincidence, I had dropped my badge at a convenience store near my residence, and David just happened to find it shortly after).

Now, about those podcasts:

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The Real Patriot's Day: Dawn Salute at Buttrick Hill in Concord

This morning I had the opportunity to attend the annual Remembrance Ceremony held on April 19th at Buttrick Hill in Concord, MA, adjacent to the North Bridge. The event heralds the arrival of Samual Prescott on horseback at the North Bridge to warn the hundreds of militia of the pending arrival of British troops from Boston on the morning of April 19, 1775, and the ensuing start of the Revolutionary War.

Its not often that I'm awake at 5am, but I was pleased to find the event well worth my effort. The ceremony lasted about 30 minutes from the cries of "Samuel Prescott" galloping across the bridge until then the end of the dawn salute with blazing muskets by the resident militia.

For some additional photos from another spectator, including some very nice photos of Dr. Prescott on horseback, see these.

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RHCE: Second time's the charm?

This week I'm attending the RH300 course at Red Hat, the "Rapid Track" course for the Red Hat Certified Engineer qualification, named by CertCities.com as The Hottest Certificate of 2006. The course has the recommended prerequisites of RH133 Linux System Administration and RH253 Networking and Security, and the only reason RH300 can be considered "Rapid Track" is that it is a review of the material covered in the two former classes.

Having had both prerequisties over the last five years plus having taken the RH300 course once before last year where I did not pass the six hour exam, I still feel that my head is ready to explode after the second day. The information is being received better this time, and is sinking in deeper, but still the volume of material is massive. My plan of attack includes having a RHEL4 test box and test network setup at home so that I can rush back from class to practice all the labs several times over on the nights leading up to Friday's exam. A misconception that I'd heard about the class is that during the performance based exam there are no man pages nor any documentation available. In fact, the instructor just today noted:

A good System Administrator is not defined by having things memorized but rather by being able to look things up in a reasonable amount of time.


While that's great for the real world, under the pressure and time constraint of the exam, my money is on having things memorized and well practiced.

Update: How did the 3rd time go?

Science Podcasts from Science Friday, but wait, there's more!

This must be the year for science podcasts. Scientific American began publishing weekly podcasts of current news in science, and I've just learned that one of my old favorite radio programs is also available by podcast, Science Friday. The Science Friday podcasts are derived from the weekly science news hour and published as a single podcast of each topic discussed in that hour. I used to listen to Science Friday each week while working the lab, and I hope they consider publishing an archive of the most interesting interviews from way back. One of my favorites was an interview with Carl Sagan from 1996.

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Teye and Belen, Flamenco at Club Passim

Last weekend my wife and I spent a fantastic evening watching and listening to Teye, a dutch flamenco guitarist, and his Spanish wife Belen, a dancer from Sevilla. Club Passim sits unnoticed in a Harvard Square alley, half sunken but with many windows to let in the light on the lower level. The atmosphere was small and friendly as though one were in a living room, and Teye was eager to chat. Belen began by accompanying the guitar while seated on a percussion box - a cajon - where she slapped out the staccato rhythms of Flamenco. From there she leaped into brilliant dance, strutting, twirling, and tapping her way into what seemed like a frenzy. Teye's guitar playing was equally hypnotic while his hands were all a blur as he thrashed the strings. If you have an opportunity to see them perform, you must.

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My First Print Photo Publication is a Magazine Cover

Cover Photo

Shortly after publishing a collection of photos in the online Concord Magazine, the Editor of the New England Print & Publisher magazine contacted me to request that I submit some area photographs for the cover of the upcoming April 2006 edition.

Initially he suggested that I submit new photos of the Spring season, but when I shared some of my existing photos from last fall he latched on this night shot of Concord Center. He requested to crop it down to a vertical shot appropriate for the cover, so I agreed.

Embedding License in Digital Photo with XMP MetaDataThere was no monetary compensation for the use of my photo, although I'm quite happy with crossing the threshold from amateur to professional photographer. I released the photo under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. Here's how to embed license and copyright data into a digital photograph using XMP with Adobe Bridge or Adobe Photoshop CS2.

This photo was one of my three entries in a local photo contest in Concord.

Annotations for ColdFusion Podcast Episode 21: Performance Tuning

I enjoy keeping up with the ColdFusion Podcast whenever I can, but I usually lag behind by a couple weeks until I find the time to listen to a few of them during some downtime. This morning I began listening to the most recent podcast at home, and then continued during my drive to work. The podcast was so interesting that I found that I had to share my right hand between the manual shifter and a notepad where I was jotting down some thoughts regarding Episode 21, Performance Tuning ColdFusion MX Applications.

Here I'd just like to take a moment to annotate some of the bullet points from the discussion while also extending with additional information.

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