Enjoying my PowerMac G5 with 30 inch HD Cinema Display

At long last, my dream machine has arrived. I've been blogging about it in anticipation, but what a pleasure its been now that its found its home on my desk. Colleauges have been popping in just to take a turn sitting in front of it. I love having so much information in front of me at one time... 2 browsers, chat, stickies, terminal, file system explorer, and more... all visable at the same time.

I've installed Tomcat and JRun with ColdFusion MX 7, but look for ongoing blog posts about my experiences as a Mac OSX newbie. With a very strong Linux background, I've got a head start with the commandline, but I'm still kind of awkward with all the new applications, the single button mouse, and the menu bar at the top instead of on the window.

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)
  • One big-ass lock on the back of G5 and display!

I've also rearranged my office since you've last seen it to make more room, and added a lamp instead of using the overhead light. It makes a big difference and feels a lot more comfortable.

Breezo going on now! Tim Buntel and Simon Horwith!

Two 15 minute "preview" talks from CFUNITED speakers. They will provide an brief introduction to their topic during these sessions.

Part 1) Tim Buntel - What is cool in CFMX 7 - Tim is the Macromedia Sr. Product Manager for ColdFusion and will talk about what his favorite CF MX 7 features are.

Part 2) Simon Horwith Design Patterns and CFML. Design patterns are a way to making architecting your apps easier and to reuse common software designs.

Archived Meeting: http://macromedia.breezecentral.com/p14693917/

ColdFusion Live! MeetingSteven Erat moderating a Breeze Live meeting

Yes, that's a Fedora Core 3 server behind me and new Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0 box of CD's on the side :)

RHEL 3 Update 4 w/ 2.4.21-27 kernel - Kernel Panic - process cfusion

A strange report recently came in for which I've found no precedence in ColdFusion's history. A system adminstrator installed Update 4 for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 (v3.4) with the 2.4.21-27 kernel, and 2.4.21-27.0.2.ELsmp and now after 1 or 2 days of uptime the system encounters a kernel panic and stops, where the ColdFusion MX 6.1 U1 cfusion process is highlighted at the console:

Process cfusion (pid: 7392, stackpage=df8df000)
Stack {...bunch of hex values here}
Call Trace: [] __free_pte [kernel] 0x242
Code: 0f 0b e1 00 a7 ....
Kernel panic: Fatal exception

I've not found any past case of kernel panic for ColdFusion anywhere, and even Google turns up empty, so this looks like a first to me.

If the sysadmin rolls boots an older kernel then the system is stable. The sysadmin reports that Red Hat recommends the new kernel to them.

That's all I've got right now, but just thought I'd share in case a CFMX/Linux user runs into this.

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)


Seeking Mach II Presenter for May 12 Online ColdFusion Meetup

The new Online ColdFusion Meetup Group has hit the ground running with a few successful meetings so far, including Webapper's SeeFusion, a talk on CFForm Enhancements by Simon Horwith with follow-up by Mike Nimer, and the first talk on CFMX 7 on Unix/Linux by me.

While there are some additional special events in the works in cooperation with the mangers of physical CFUGs, I'm trying to build the speaker series for the regularly scheduled OCFMG talks and keep the momentum going.

The Meetup polls taken so far indicate that after the rich forms, the most popular topic is Mach II.

If you have indepth Mach II experience and would like to share that information with a group of online attendees via Breeze, please let me know. I'd like to secure a speaker for the May 12th meeting (time negotiable) to discuss an introduction to Mach II. At a later date, it would be great to have a higher level presentation, too.

Please contact me offline or post a comment if you're interested, and I'll follow up. Thanks!

Getting into podcasting

Not long ago I decided to take the plunge and buy an Apple iPod. It was a great decision and now I love having all my music and photos on one small, portable device that I can take with me walking, running, and driving (while using the iTrip attachment).

One of the best advantages to the iPod is being able to listen to Podcasts. Podcasting is to Radio what blogging is to Publishing. Many individuals and organizations are now providing audio programs as attachments to blog entries. The programs might be a live interview, a tech show, a recorded keynote speech, a short newscast, or even a couple just hanging out.

There are several podcast directories where you can search categories and topics of interest. The two that I use are PodcastAlley and iPodder. PodcastAlley for example even has a Linux podcast category where my favorite there is from Linux Questions.

The convenience of listening to podcasts comes from blog aggregator software that is podcast aware. I use used Feed Demon ($29) from Nick Bradbury, maker of the Top Style CSS editor. With Feed Demon you just configure it to add the podcast channels that interest you and add specific podcasts to queue for download. Feed Demon can then synchronize podcast downloads with your iPod. Another popular podcast aggregator is the freely available iPodder, by Dave Winer and Adam Curry. I've just switched to using iPodder because I find it easier to use than Feed Demon, and I like its scheduling service a lot.

Podcasting was first envisioned by Dave Winer, who added it to the RSS 2.0 specification. In fact, just today I listened to a great IT Conversations podcast interview with Dave Winer where he discusses the origins of RSS, Podcasting, and his vision of how they serve the public by lowering the barriers to publishing so that the little guy can compete toe to toe with large publishers.

If you want to make your own podcasts like I've done, check this engadget blog.

For more on what podcasting is all about, check out the Boston Globe's Computer, microphone, iPod make broadcasting personal, and also Wired Magazine's Adam Curry wants to make you and iPod radio star.

Usage of Verity's rcvdk commandline search utility

One of the lesser know Verity utilities that ships with ColdFusion MX 7, as well as CFMX 6 and CF 5, is the search tool rcvdk. Unlike other utilities such as mkvdk and vspider, rcvdk must be run interactively so you can't script it. Its useful for times when you want to test searching a Verity collection by doing simple and advanced searches, and can be useful to see if the results match the equivalent search pattern in your code with CFSEARCH.

For additional detail, check out the ColdFusion MX 7 Documentation for rcvdk, and didump too.

Usage is a little tricky, and I'll walk you through how to use it from the commandline. In this case, I'm using Linux, but it behaves (almost) the same on Windows.

First note that the default locale is Englishx, for English Advanced, so when creating collections on the commandline with mkvdk or vspider, if you don't specify a locate then the collection is created as Englishx. When creating a collection from the ColdFusion Administrator, the default option is English Basic, which is the equivalent of just English. On the commandline, these options ar specified as either (lowercase) englishx or english.

Here's the contents of a test server having 3 collections already.

  • bookclub - a sample collection shipped with cfdocs
  • macr_verity_test2 - a collection created from the CF Administrator (english)
  • vspidertest3 - a collection created with vspider (englishx)


Usage of Verity's vspider utility with CFMX 7 on Unix or Linux

An article was published today that provides a fix for the Verity spidering utility known as vspider when used with ColdFusion MX 7. That article provides some additional style files will help populate the appropriate metadata fields of a collection such as Title, URL, Size, etc... The article also comes with an example of using vspider on Windows.

ColdFusion MX 7: Additional files for using Verity Spider

It should be noted that when running vpsider on Unix or Linux, that the environmental variable for LD_LIBRARY_PATH must also be set to include the location of core Verity binary files. Its often useful to create a script to set up all the vspider commands, and in that script you can set the LD_LIBRARY_PATH to include the Verity bin directory.


Macromedia Flex for Web Application Developers - A New Course

View Final Project for Macromedia Flex for Web Application DevelopersThis week I've completed a new Macromedia course, Flex for Web Application Developers, recently renamed to indicate the course's appropriateness for programmers from all web application backgrounds, rather than just ColdFusion. The course is designed to be a day longer than the existing Fast Track to Flex course and has a target audience of web application developers that may not yet be proficient with ActionScript 2.0 or Object Oriented concepts and programming.

The Macromedia Training web page has not yet been updated to include this course, but that is expected soon. I was forturnate enough to participate in the course in its final testing stage where the instructor sought feedback from technology professionals, to be used in carefully tuning the class towards the general skill set of contemporary ColdFusion MX Developers. In addition, this week's course in particular was also used to train Macromedia Training Partners who will later be teaching this course as well.

The Flex for Web Application Developers course demonstrates how to easily build robust Flex applications that provide a sharp looking user interface while integrating with ColdFusion components as the primary data provider. Knowledge of Actionscript 2.0 is not assumed, and the progressive use of Actionscript from day one builds fluency in the language through osmosis, so to speak. The course emphasises programming best practices for Flex's markup language MXML, as well as Actionscript and ColdFusion's CFML language.


Integrating Technorati with BlogCFC

About Technorati:

Technorati is a real-time search engine that keeps track of what is going on in the blogosphere the world of weblogs... Technorati displays what's important in the blogosphere which bloggers are commanding attention, what ideas are rising in prominence, and the speed at which these conversations are taking place. Technorati makes it possible for you to find out what people on the Internet are saying about you, your company, your products, your competitors, your politics, or other areas of interest all in real-time. All this activity is monitored and indexed within minutes of posting. Technorati provides a live view of the global conversation of the web.

With a few code changes, BlogCFC can integrate with Technorati so that new blog posts automatically notify or ping Technorati to add your blog to its high-priority queue to be indexed, and so that your blog categories double as Technorati tags which adds semantic meaning to be used as metadata in Technorati searching and ranking.

Here's how to integrate your BlogCFC with Technorati:


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