Funny thing happened on the way to work today

... I stopped by a VUE testing center to earn the Advanced Certified ColdFusion MX 7 Developer status. On a whim last night I signed up for a test first thing this morning on my way to work.

In 2001 I read the complete ColdFusion 5 Certification Study Guide and completed all 9 test exams in CF Buster before getting the Adv CF5 Cert Dev, but this time I thought why not just take a whack at it to see how I do cold.

This makes the 4th certification this quarter, also including:

Archived Recording: Geoff Bowers of Daemon on FarCry CMS 3.0

The combined meeting of the Boston CFUG and the Online CFUG was a fantastic success due to the brilliant demonstration of FarCry CMS from Daemon, presented by Breeze UberGuru Geoff Bowers.

FarCry CMS is Daemon's flagship offering, an intuitive and extensible Content Management System that puts "controlled power" into the hands of the people who own your site content. FarCry is a cutting edge ColdFusion MX application framework for web based content management that blends the very best of open source development with commercial backing and support.


In Boston there were approximately 16 local members attending at the Adobe office, and 55 online members from Norway to Hawaii and then some. The newly announced ColdFusion Product Manager, Jason Delmore, was generous to stop by to introduce himself to the group and stay around for the event.

[More]

Please welcome Jason Delmore, CF Sr Product Manager!

Damon Cooper has just announced the new ColdFusion Senior Product Manager, Jason Delmore.

Welcome Jason!

I've been told that Jason will be attending the Boston CFUG meeting tonight, where we'll have a simultaneous online presention with the Online ColdFusion Meetup Group.

Free Online Java and J2EE Courses from JavaPassion.com

Sang Shin, architect, consultant, and evangelist of Java Technology for Sun Microsystems offers free online courses in Java Programming and J2EE Development. Fortunately for me, Sang is teaching the Introduction to JSP course at Boston University where I've been taking night classes this year towards a Java and J2EE Certificate.

Sang Shin is presently working for Sun Microsystems as a Technology architect, consultant, and evangelist. He speaks on various Java and Solaris related technologies to worldwide developer audience. He is currently based in Boston area and his duties include evangelizing and consulting on important Java technologies such as Java EE (formerly J2EE), Java SE (formerly J2SE), Java ME (formerly J2ME), Web-tier frameworks and technologies such as JavaServer Faces (JSF), Struts and AJAX, and SOA and Web services technologies. He also speaks frequently on NetBeans IDE and platform. He frequently talks on these topics in various technical conferences.


At Java Passion you can find the course material for his online courses, and instructions on how to enroll to receive personal guidance for the courses. Sang has a fantastic teaching style. He's very articulate, adheres to proper Java vocabulary and nomeclature, responds patiently, and of course, teaches passionately. The free, online course material is highly annotated so they could be used as reading material, and they are based on Sun's Java and J2EE tutorials on Sun's website, such as the Java EE 5 Tutorial, J2EE 1.4 Tutorial, and the JSP by Example Tutorial.

The Long Road to Red Hat Certified Engineer

Linux Pocket GuideIn 1999 I purchased my first PC from a local trade show where small vendors built the PC according to a printed spec sheet where the consumer would check off components that would comprise the final product. It reminded me a lot of ordering sushi.

My friend Ken Sugino, a computational neuroscientist student at Brandeis University, encouraged me to install Linux on it. I had never heard very much of Linux back then, but since Ken and I ordered identical PCs, both lacking an operating system, he recommended we install Red Hat Linux 5. Thus began my fondness for the fine grained control over an operating system and its applications that I never before witnessed on any Windows 98 or Mac OS 7, 8, or 9 system.

I recall that the state of Linux was still pretty raw back then and out of the box support for new hardware was often lacking. For example, when Ken finished examining the motherboard spec sheet and tuned all the jumper switches to provide a custom hardware setup, we moved on to searching the web for a solution to overcome a problem where X would not start -- X is the windowing or graphical interface for Linux -- and soon we found an esoteric hack for the video card chipset settings that did the trick. Much of my early experience with Linux was like that. It was the Wild West of operating systems.

[More]

Geoff Bowers of Daemon To Provide One Hour Seminar on FarCry CMS

Geoff Bowers of Daemon, based in Sydney, Australia, will provide a full hour introduction to the open source FarCry CMS, including a preview of FarCry 3.1. This event will be on Wednesday May 24 for the US timezones, and Thursday May 25 for Australia/Asia timezones. See below for timezone details.

FarCry CMS is Daemon's flagship offering, an intuitive and extensible Content Management System that puts "controlled power" into the hands of the people who own your site content. FarCry is a cutting edge ColdFusion MX application framework for web based content management that blends the very best of open source development with commercial backing and support.

This will be an online meeting in cooperation with the Online ColdFusion Meetup Group which uses Adobe Breeze Meeting software to conduct live, online ColdFusion related seminars. This particular meeting will be synchronized with the local Boston ColdFusion User Group which will hold an in person meeting at the East Coast office for Adobe in Newton, MA.

[More]

Completed Certificate of Java Development at Boston University

This week marks my completion of the Boston University training program for the Certificate of Java Development. This is the first half of a Master of Java and J2EE Certificate Program. The Java program alone consists of three courses at the Introduction, Intermediate, and Advanced levels. Each course ran 3 hours on two nights a week for four or five weeks. This totals about 85 hours of lecture over three and a half months. Here are some key thoughts about my experience in the BUTrain Java Certificate program:

[More]

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?

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.

[More]

Computer Security Program at Stanford

Computer Security, Stanford
Today I was notified by the Program Manager for the Stanford Center for Professional Development that I've successfully met the requirements for the Computer Security Certificate Program, and my certificate is being processed. The online program consists of three courses:


  • Computer Security Principles
  • Introduction to Cryptography
  • Secure Programming Techniques


The Cryptography course was the most interesting, and now I have a better understanding of block ciphers and stream ciphers in symmetric key cryptology, as well as differences between symmetric key standards such as DES, 3DES, AES, and RC4. I also learned more about asymmetric cryptology including RSA, how a buffer overflow attack works and how to code to avoid them, and more about hashing algorithms MD5 and sha1.

The Stanford program built on related knowledge I've accumulated over the years of working with web technology and from other courses including Network Security at Brandeis, Networking and Security Administration at Red Hat, and Intro to Cryptology Bootcamp at BNUG.

Previous Entries / More Entries