Renderings of Concord Center and the Hartwell House

Photo gallery from an early morning in Concord including Concord Center, the Unitarian Church, The Colonial Inn, and the Hartwell House in nearby Lexington. These are renderings of Concord taken with a Canon EOS D20 and enhanced with Adobe Photoshop CS 2 to give them a hand drawn ink and watercolor feeling.

I'm still learning about printing techniques, but I've already learned how to upscale photos so that I can make larger prints without significantly reducing image quality. Just for fun, I ordered the first rendering of Concord Center in a 20" x 30" size from Shutterfly. The upscaling and posterizing enhancments caused the filesize to increase from about 11MB to 61MB, and Flickr won't accept files that large, so I had to use Shutterfly. Photos of that size are done in matte paper only, although it looked more like semi-gloss to me. Aside from the glossyish paper, the photo came out great at that size. I'd like to do a custom print on watercolor paper on a professional printer and then matte and frame it for my home.

These photos were taken during a 1 day workshop of personal instruction from Bill Claybrook of New River Photography. It was just Bill and I, so the workshop was definitely worth it just for the personal attention alone. Bill and I made our paces through Concord Center on a Saturday morning, and then at the Hartwell House on Battle Road on the way to Lexington. Then we spent a few hours at Bill's house where he showed me his techniques for printing, and then we went back on the road for more photography at the Shaker Village in Harvard, MA. Oddly, Bill's primary occupation is a Linux industry analyst and currently works for Novell, maker of Suse Linux. His articles can be found on the web including at Linux World Magazine on Sys-Con.com.

www.flickr.com


My other photo galleries of Concord, MA:
- Autumn in Concord, MA
- Snow Storm in Concord, MA
- Concord on Forth of July

Installation and configuration of CFMX 7.01 on RHEL 4 with Apache and MySQL

This meeting of the Online ColdFusion Meetup Group has been recorded and is available for viewing here:

http://adobe.breezecentral.com/p15449246/
The subject of this meeting was installing ColdFusion MX 7.01 server application on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, configuring it for the Apache webserver, and connecting to and using the MySQL 4.1 database. I tried to cover everything you need to know to get started while demonstrating the range of problems that some users encounter and then showing the solutions.

The topic list includes:

  • Installing ColdFusion MX 7.01 Server Configuration
  • Usage of Red Hat System V "boot scripts" with the service command.
  • Identifying and fixing CFMX problems due to missing X libraries
  • Identifying and fixing SELinux security context problems the right way. Security Enhanced Linux is now ACTIVE by default in Red Hat 4 and Fedora Core 4
  • Configuring Apache webserver and adding the CFMX connector module to the same SELinux security context as Apache.
  • MySQL 4.1 commandline usage to create databases and assign users in a secure manner
  • Configuration of JDBC driver for CFMX to connect to MySQL 4.1 (rather than 3.2x)
  • Demonstration of Linux user and group management for web application development


  • Installation of the CFEclipse plugin, a free and alternative IDE to develop ColdFusion applications while working on Linux or Mac OS X workstations, rather than using Homesite or Dreamweaver.

After watching the recording you'll be able to set this up for yourself at home all for free. Apache, MySQL, and Eclipse/CFEclipse are free products for home use, and rather than using Red Hat Enterprise Linux you can use its little brother Fedora Linux instead.

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ColdFusion MX and Database Design at Harvard

Proper Database Design remains a weakness of mine when considering my web application development skills, so this semester I've decided to cross that one off my list by enrolling in the Harvard Extension School class:

CSCI E-253 Developing Web-based Database Applications
Web-based applications offer the advantages of workstation productivity and ease of use together with the power and sophistication of relational database servers. This course provides the concepts and skills necessary to design and develop web-based database applications. Students build a working database application using Oracle and a client application using ColdFusion to serve the information needs of an enterprise. Through hands-on projects, students will build, populate, query, and write transactions for a relational database using SQL and then develop a client application to access their database. As a final project, students will build a prototype client/server application.


We've only met one week so far, and tonight will be the second class. I'm thrilled to know that the instructor is not only very articulate when conveying technical ideas, but she professes to be very passionate about both Oracle and ColdFusion.

Database design is a topic not commonly found in ColdFusion FastTrack classes or other CF-related classes from private vendors/instructors. Outside of formal academia, the most comprehensive course on ColdFusion and Database Design that I know of is taught by Adam Churvis and his brother son at Productivity Enhancement. I've often perused the curriculum there, but I find it hard to take time off of work for travel.

Advanced Development with ColdFusion MX and SQL Server 2000
This new version of our ever-popular Advanced Database course is now even better. We took out the Oracle content because only 5% of our students really used it and the other 95% didn't care, plus we removed the data warehousing and load testing content so we could add even more exercises and also spend more time teaching engineering principles, like when you would use one technique for a solution as opposed to another... Now there's plenty of time to explain exactly when and why you would use a correlated subquery versus an outer join, when you should stick with CFQUERY rather than migrate to a stored procedure, etc.

Back in the saddle again

This week I've returned to the office from Macromedia's generous sabbatical program. For the last 45 days I've occupied myself with a wide range of activities, and surprisingly almost none of which had anything to do with ColdFusion. Now that's a vacation!

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Geocities Guestbook - Recovered

Before this blog on TalkingTree.com, and before TalkingTree.com at all, I began a homepage with Geocities back in 1994, my first experience with homepage wizards or any kind of content management. Soon after getting hooked on HTML, I began building a laberynth of photo galleries and personal information, and after a couple of years I had managed to hack together some form of a Guestbook form on my own. Well, I know that Guestbooks are so 90's, but nevertheless I've rescued my Geocities Guestbook off Archive.org and am republishing it here...

Name: Jeremy Reines
Date: April 22, 2001

Hi Stephen: Loved your web. Great photos, I am sure you are going to love my site as well. I have just launched the MOST AMAZING virtual tour of Madrid at www.multimadrid.com and I would love for you to place my mini Java refresh live Plaza Mayor image on your website, if you place it on your links page I will include your URL in on my Madrid Webs dropdown menu, you can see more about htis program I have created at http://www.multimadrid.com/mm_info/madrid_webs.htm

Thanks for your time and I hope to hear from you soon,

Jeremy Reines...
www.multimadrid.com




Name: ylse sanchez
Date: April 19, 2001

Hi Steve,

Hace mucho que no se nada de ti, aunque no nos conocimos personalmente, se que eres un buen chico y espero estemos en contacto. Como sabes, estoy en Alemania con mi esposo y ahora espero un bb, estoy feliz. Recibe muchos carinos y escribeme pronto.

Tu amiga, Ylse


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CFUNITED Day one a wrap: Sessions, BOFs, and Community

Today was seriously intense. The day started at 8am with a Welcome talk to introduce all of this year's speakers followed by a great keynote address by Ben Forta and Tim Buntel, with guest appearance by Simeon Bateman of the CFEclipse proejct (Thanks for the Sam Adams!). At first I tried attending sessions while taking notes which I later blogged, and this worked for a while during Ray Camden's, Nate Nelson's, and Simon Horwith's talks.

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CFUNITED ColdFusion Bloggers BOF Session

The idea first proposed by Joe Rinehart as a bloggers get-together for CFUNITED is officially penciled in for Thursday June 30th at 7:20 to 8:00 pm on the schedule.

For whatever reason, the ColdFusion Bloggers BOF (Birds of a Feather) session is curiously listed as "blog readers/writes", don't ask me why, but that's it :)

The previous session that evening is the CFDJ Panel discussion which runs 6:00 to 6:40. The Blogger BOF is set to begin 7:20, but given the 40 minute limitation I plan to show up ASAP to try to extend it earlier should the room be free. I believe there is to be a very interesting networking event starting at 8:00 PM, so we'll have to be sure to wrap on time so we don't miss out.

Given the communal nature of blogging in general and the altruistic openness of ColdFusion bloggers in particular, I suggest that this BOF not be an event led by any specific individual, but rather a campy, group introduction and discussion. Bring your own marshmallows!

Perhaps there should be a few key questions to catalyze discussion, so please post a comment suggesting a topic or two to get things started.

I'll throw out a few basic topics:

  • Why do you blog? Do you blog for Google? Do you blog for notoriety? Do you blog to relieve stress?
  • Are blogs an effective educational resource, or better suited for spreading news and/or industry gossip?
  • What new features would you like to see added exiting blog software solutions?

Movie Meme

Taking a clue from Leslee, here's my own take on the Movie Meme...

Total number of films I own on DVD and video:
Looking at the two bookshelves on either side of the living room TV, Id say there must be over 200 DVDs right there. This includes perhaps 100 movies from the states, and 50 foreign films including mostly Almodovar and Amenabar films, but theres the odd French films in there too including almost all of the Audrey Tautou films and an old favorite Betty Blue. The other 50 DVDs are of the educational variety such as the Carl Sagan series Cosmos, the PBS series on String Theory called The Elegant Universe by Brian Green, a whole bunch of Nova episodes, the 2001 PBS 6 hour series on Evolution, the 4 hour Ken Burns special on Lewis and Clark, several NASA/Space Travel type shows like Origins, and the Revolution OS flick which traces the development of Linux and includes curious interviews with Richard Stallman, Bruce Perens, and of course Linus Torvalds. Among the VHS tapes, I still have my very first VHS purchase, Jeremiah Johnson, and my most recent VHS purchase, the Ernest Shackleton 6 part series starring Kenneth Brannigan(?).

Last film I bought:
Just this week the most recent addition to our DVD collection came in from Amazon... Northern Exposure, Season 3. This television series was a centerpiece to my twenties. The story as a whole further compelled me to travel to Alaska several times, although the filming was done in Roslyn, Washington outside Seattle where I had to stop and have a beer in The Brick,and I did manage to spend a couple days in Talkeetna, AK where the series was supposedly based on. Check out my photos. Only this past year has the NX series been available on DVD. Previously, while fearing that I would never obtain a video archive of the series, I bought a few key episodes that were available on VHS from independent vendors on Amazon. I paid $20-45 for individual episodes that I felt were most memorable, including "Northern Lights" from season 1 and "Thanksgiving" from series 3. The most inspiring character to me was Chris Stevens, the self-taught, quasi-hippi/biker from a wrecked home in West Virginia that elevated himself to the Cicelys poet laureate, DJ, lay philosopher. I remember frantically writing down and later researching all the literary fragments that were used by the Chris Stevens role. There was even a book published containing only the musings, quips, and quotes of Chris Stevens, : Chris in the Morning: Love, Life, and the Whole Karmic Enchilada. By season 5 the NX writers were jumping the shark, and as much as I loved the series I could hardly bring myself to watch with the new doctor and all. I missed the final episode Tranquility Base, which ended with the folky Our Town by Iris Dement, so I guess it will be a year or so before its available on DVD.

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Networking Fundementals - 1 Day Training Class Near Boston

One day training event, Networking Fundementals, sponsored by Boston Network User Group.

To be held Saturday, July 16th, 2005 at Mt. Ida College in Newton, MA. Cost is $100 in advance.

Sign up here!

Topics:

  • The basics of the Internet. TCP/IP. Packets. Terminology. The seven layer OSI model (don't worry if you don't know what this means right now!). How the Internet works. Connecting up. Terminology.
  • Networking topologies, technologies, and equipment.
  • IP Networking. TCP. UDP. Masks. Gateways. Bridges. Routers. Cable. DSL. Fiber. Cat 5.
  • SMB implementations. WLAN. Wireless. Wired. Security considerations.
  • Remote access.
  • Local and Wide Area Networks.
  • Virtual Private networks. NAT. Firewalls. Cryptography. Shared key. Public/Private key. Certificates. Tunneling protocols.
  • Live demonstrations. Chances to ask questions. Chances to get answers to questions. And much, much more.

Power Mac dream machine on its way



I've been comtemplating my jump into Mac OS X for a long time now, and I've recently decided to go for it. My dream machine should arrive this week to the office where I'll use the Power Mac G5 and its 30" display as my principle work station, in between my Windows XP box on one side and Red Hat Linux on the other.

I wasn't planning on the 30" display, but after spending a lot of time in the Apple store getting the feel of the displays, I couldn't get myself to part with the motherload of all displays. I mean, hey, I'm in front of a monitor for the better part of 50 hours a week here, so I'd better start making it a better experience than a 17" CRT on top a Wintel workstation that's bulging under the load.

Here's the full spec:

  • 2GB DDR400 SDRAM (PC3200) - 4x512
  • Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5
  • 160GB Serial ATA - 7200rpm
  • ATI Radeon 9650 w/256MB DDR SDRAM
  • Apple Cinema HD Display (30" flat panel)
  • 16x SuperDrive double-layer (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)

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