Long weekend in Zion National Park

This past October my wife and I had the opportunity to vacation in Zion National Park in southern Utah, following the Adobe MAX conference in Las Vegas that month. This was my first time in the Southwest USA, and while I'm not inclined to return to the Las Vegas Strip, I would love the opportunity to spend at least a couple weeks visiting Bryce, Arches, and the Grand Canyon. I've been very satisified with the photos I've taken in Zion over the brief three day immersion, so I anticipate photographing much more from that region.

The Wikipedia article on Zion National Park begins with the following:

Zion National Park is a United States National Park located in the Southwestern United States, near Springdale, Utah. A prominent feature in the 229-square-mile (593 km≤) park is Zion Canyon, 15 miles (24 km) long and up to half a mile (800 m) deep, cut through the reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone by the North Fork of the Virgin River... A total of 289 bird species, 75 mammals (including 19 species of bat), 32 reptiles and numerous plant species inhabit the park...

Human habitation of the area started about 8,000 years ago with small family groups of Native Americans; the semi-nomadic Basketmaker Anasazi (300 CE) stem from one of these groups... The Kolob section was proclaimed a separate Zion National Monument in 1937, but was incorporated into the park in 1956.

The geology of the Zion and Kolob canyons area includes nine formations that together represent 150 million years of mostly Mesozoic-aged sedimentation. At various periods in that time, warm, shallow seas, streams, ponds and lakes, vast deserts and dry near-shore environments covered the area.


We rented a Chrysler Sebring convertible at the Las Vegas airport, and made the trip to Springdale, Utah in just 3 hours. The highway from Vegas to St. George is largely desolate and uninteresting, but as soon as you get past Hurricane the scenery begins a dramatic change. I won't be renting the Sebring again because my eye level was the same height as the visor and the top of the windshield, forcing me to turn my neck and slouch down in the seat in order to get a good view, and even with the top up I couldn't get past the visor's annoyance factor.

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CFMX 7.02 on WebSphere: Unable to register Flex Assembler Service

The switch titled "Enable Flex Data Management Support" in the ColdFusion MX Administrator under Flex Integration menu is automatically enabled in CFMX 7.02. When installing on IBM WebSphere Application Server on Windows, this switch may produce an error when starting such as:

view plain print about
1Unable to initialize FlexAssembler service: coldfusion.server.ServiceException:
2Unable to register Flex Assembler Service in RMI registry: java.rmi.ServerException:
3RemoteException occurred in server thread; nested exception is:     
4java.rmi.UnmarshalException: error unmarshalling arguments; nested exception is:     
5java.net.MalformedURLException: no protocol:
6Files/WebSphere/installedApps/server1/ColdFusionMX7.ear/ColdFusionMX7.war/ WEB-INF/cfusion/lib/ant-launcher.jar.



Notice the last line after the java.net.MalformedURLException that begins with "Files/WebSphere/installedApps/...". Since WebSphere installs by default into "C:Program FilesWebSphere" on Windows, the space in Program Files triggers the error when attempting to enable Flex Data Management support.

A workaround for this is to redeploy the ColdFusion MX 7.02 EAR such that you select a "Directory to Install Application" that has no spaces, and that you remove the spaces in the Application Name "Macromedia ColdFusion MX" to form just "MacromediaColdFusionMX", or choose any other alphanumeric name of your choice.

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My Second Cover on New England Printer and Publisher Magazine

November 2006, NEPPApril 2006, NEPP
The trade magazine New England Printer & Publisher has once again selected one of my photos for its cover. The November edition bears an image of a long exposure over Memorial Drive, taken in September from the Long Fellow Bridge as part of my Boston at Night set. The April edition of this year featured my photo of Concord Center at night.

This November cover makes a great addition to my growing collection of references while I pursue my interest in photography.

Saving costs in Linux environments while still using a stable server platform for ColdFusion

I began this as a comment to Matt Woodward's blog entry on ColdFusion start scripts on Ubuntu Linux. I just wanted to add some links, but it became lengthy and is better suited as a blog post of my own.

I'm not a Ubuntu user, but strictly Red Hat, Fedora, or Red Hat clones. I just wanted to post some related links for Red Hat users.



On the topic of running ColdFusion on "unsupported" Linux distributions, I recommend using Red Hat clones such as CentOS, rather than bleeding edge distributions if you absolutely cannot run a distro supported for use with ColdFusion by Adobe.

Fedora Core Linux, for example, is a bleeding edge distribution and is not appropriate as a production server even though it is sponsored by Red Hat. For a server you want stability with a well tested suite of packages rather than a distro that has all the bells and whistles but hasn't been put through its paces or tightened up as much the stable commercial release.

CentOS is built from the same source as Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Effectively CentOS is RHEL, except that CentOS is free and supported by the community. This is possible because under the GPL, Red Hat must make its source available, and CentOS takes advantage of that. I'm not bashing Ubuntu or other distros here, but CentOS is a recommended stable OS that is appropriate as a production server, and I've had some Red Hat instructors tell me so off the record.

Since ColdFusion is QA'd on RHEL you can feel confident that a Red Hat clone will be as reliable as RHEL itself, even if that OS doesn't show up on the ColdFusion System Requirements. Still, however, should anyone using a clone need to seek ColdFusion Support from Adobe, you may be asked to first reproduce the problem on RHEL itself.

A good use of Red Hat clones for a small shop would be to use the clones for development and staging/QA of ColdFusion web applications, then host the final application on a paid RHEL server. This way you can save costs on non-production environments.



The same argument applies to clones of SuSe Linux Enterprise Server as well, although since I'm not a SuSe fan I can't name any of their clones.

ColdFusion MX 7 support for 64-bit platforms

A clarification has been made to this ColdFusion technote. The current support policy can be summarized as

  • ColdFusion MX 7 is supported with a supported 32-bit Java VM running on supported operating systems on 64-bit hardware.
Although, you should read the technote for all the details. Previously, the technote generalized incorrectly that ColdFusion would not run at all on 64-bit platforms.

See also:

Performance Considerations for Running ColdFusion MX 7 on 64-bit JVM

Tales told by Simon Brooks

Simon Brooks, a former coworker of mine at Allaire and Macromedia, has become an innovative storyteller and launched the business DiamondScree. Simon's a very nice guy with a great imagination. Check out his website:

Simon began spinning yarns and telling tales in 1991 when he would perform for school groups and families at Youth Hostels in the United Kingdom before moving to the States. In 2003 Simon became a Children's Librarian and freelance storyteller. He has performed for libraries, schools, and private functions and festivals telling to young children and adults. Combining his passion for children's literature and folklore, Simon creates a fun program for all ages. His repertoire comes mainly from European folk and faery tales, but Simon also includes stories from South America, Africa, China and Japan amongst other countries and cultures. All these stories are given life and animation by unique voices, as they are acted out in front of a captivated audience.

Simon Brooks performs tales with energy and wit. Telling folktales, myths and legends from all over the world, he brings characters like Ananzi the Spider, the trickster Raven, Wayland Smith, Merlin and Dionysus vividly to life. From the world of stories Simon captivates his audience with unique voices to animate characters and with expressive body language, he truly brings the stories to life.


Simon made his first CD over the winter of 2005/6 which was released to great applause in June 2006. "Second-hand Tales" To find a copy of his CD, please visit cdbaby.com Here you will be able to hear his storytelling at his finest.

Visit DiamondScree today!

Adobe Contribute 4 Adds Support for Blogger, Typepad, and Wordpress

Adobe Adds Sophisticated Blogging Capabilities to Contribute 4

Adobe Contribute 4 makes it easy for web designers and developers, as well as web administrators to help their users get started with blogs using the same familiar environment they use to update Web site content. Contribute also supports the most popular blog servers -- Blogger, Typepad, and Wordpress (but not ColdFusion-based BlogCFC unfortunately)-- and gives the option of connecting to in-house blog servers, straight out of the box. Rich media support has been enhanced in Adobe Contribute 4 enabling users to drag and drop images, movies, and now Adobe FlashÆ video files into their Web pages or blog entries. In addition, users can publish content from a browser to their Web site and blog. Contribute maintains the original formatting and automatically posts the source for the content as well as a link.


With AdobeÆ ContributeÆ 4, anyone can quickly, easily, and safely update existing websites and blogs.
With Adobe Contribute 4, anyone can update website content or create blog entries using a single application. True WYSIWYG authoring capabilities let users edit any website or blog in three simple steps, dramatically reducing editing time. Simply browse to the website or blog entry, click Edit to make changes, then click Publish when ready to post the new content. Alternatively, authors can publish directly from within Microsoft Office applications including Word, Excel and Outlook with the click of a button. Just open the document that contains the content to publish, click Publish, and select the target website or blog.


Read more about Adobe Contribute 4, available from $179 US.

Calling all ColdFusion Enthusiasts: Go Offline at Adobe MAX!

As a vibrant, active online Community of ColdFusion developers who largely interact online only, lets get together at Adobe MAX in Vegas to chat and network in person.

Members of the Online ColdFusion Meetup Group can meet at the MAX Community Lounge. If you're not already a member then join us! We could either have a free form networking meeting, or better yet, I'm thinking that we could do a type of speed-networking type of meeting where we'll seat people in two rows (or something similar) and each pair of people will talk for 5 minutes and then we'll all shift seats by one position to speak for 5 minutes with the next person, and so on.

I first saw this speed-networking idea on Alan Williamson's blog entry Do We Still Need Conferences? where Stephen Moretti linked to this site that contains a Google video of how it works: http://www.dott07.com/go/dott-blog

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ColdFusion 10th Birthday Event on Google Video

Take a walk down memory lane with the founders of ColdFusion and Allaire Corporation on the occassion of ColdFusion's 10th Anniversary, July 2005 in Newton MA.

JJ Allaire, Charles Teague, and Sim Simeonov

Watch on Google Video

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Two day seminar in the Boston area: Deep AJAX

At this week's Boston CFUG presentation of AJAX by Rob Gonda, a new member informed us of an upcoming, comprehensive seminar on AJAX sponsored by the Greater Boston Chapter of the ACM. At Harvard University's Maxwell Dworkin center, this two day conference Deep AJAX will feature speakers from Yahoo!, the Dojo Toolkit, and the Django Framework, running the weekend of October 14th at a cost of $495. I won't be able to attend it unfortunately, but just wanted to get the word out if you're in the area.

Deep AJAX
A two day deep dive into developing real world applications using AJAX
AJAX - more an approach than a technology - is one of the hottest topics for Internet developers. AJAX builds rich interactive applications using standard browser technology, enabling delivery of sophisticated user experiences without the problems of distributing and updating client software.

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