now using BlogCFC 4.0

With some effort, I migrated TalkingTree from BlogCFC 3.5.2 to 4.0 beta, complete with new look. Ok, so today Ray released the final 4.0 version, so I missed the boat on that one ;-). I've given up the Aura skin in favor of something lighter on the graphics and easier to maintain.

Migrating blog versions was slightly challenging since the BlogCFC 4.0 kit comes with a migration tool for verion 3.8, and there were some changes to the tables between 3.5 and 3.8 so I had to figure those out. Specifically, I had to alter tblBlogEntries to add a column for allowcomments, add the tblBlogTrackBacks, add the tblBlogSearchStats, add the tblBlogSubscribe table and then adjust it coz it was missing a blog column, plus a few other small tweaks.

I also integrated my webcam view and HTTP referers view into the blog using a stripped-out stats.cfm page as template.

Creating the new skin was the most time consuming part since I was having lots of trouble with MSIE and CSS. In every case Firefox worked like a champ while editing the stylesheet, but MSIE wouldn't display the style as I expected it to. There's still a couple issues when viewing with MSIE, but the two browser views are largely the same.

I also had to reintegrate Google Adsense with a smaller size since I couldn't force the 728x90 leaderboard into a smaller space, and I didn't like the way the 468x60 leaderboard displayed, so I used two 234x60's instead and put them in table to force a little horizontal balance.

The final work to be done on the new blog set up was integrating Site Meter stats and the Technorati claim code.

I like many of the new features of BlogCFC 4.0, including real support for podcasting via RSS 2.0 and enclosures, automated pings, better search stats, unsubscribe comment features, disallow comments, and printing support.

Good stuff.

Podcasts from a ColdFusion TagTeam

I'm psyched to see that ColdFusion enthusiasts Bryan Kaiser and Michael Haynie have launched, a site dedicated to ColdFusion news and indepth reviews of web application topics. I found their podcast to be very professional, upbeat, and most importantly very useful. The alternating or conversational approach by this ColdFusion tagteam kept me very tuned into the discussion for the half hour duration. Episode 2 ramps up with an overview of recent news from the ColdFusion blogosphere followed by a lengthy analysis of the history and current state of AJAX while focussing on ColdFusion integration, illustrated with a Google Maps use case with free code that you can download and put to work right away. Bryan and Michael present just the right amount of information to consume during lunch or a long coffee break, ... information you can use. is definitely worth your time.

Breaking the silence

Just when I returned from sabbatical and started getting blog-happy, I ran into an error that prevented me from updating or inserting into the blog database. It had stopped me from adding new blog entries this week, and if you had encountered an error recently when adding a comment, please try again. I worked with my ISP to resolve the problem, and I can finally release my blogging frustrations!! :-)

Error Executing Database Query. [Macromedia][SQLServer JDBC Driver][SQLServer]The log file for database 'TalkingTree' is full. Back up the transaction log for the database to free up some log space.

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!


[steven@macromedia /work]$ shutdown -h +360 'Going on sabbatical. Please log off'

Like many others at Macromedia, its my turn for a long sabbatical, although I've been eligible for over a year. For the next six weeks, until September 12th, I'll be out of the office. I suspect that this is the first and the last time I'll be able to take such an extended leave.

I plan to spend the first 3 weeks at home, biking, swimming, reading, and blogging. Some of my objectives include reading parts of several technical books including one on Eclipse which has a chapter on building plugins, one on building Dashboard Widgets on Mac OSX, and one on Photoshop CS. I may take some time to read up SELinux, too.

During this last month I've been reading Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat, which I highly recommend, so I hope to finish that up. I think that Friedman's book is complemented by Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel, and by Spencer Well's The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey, but best if read (or viewed) starting with Wells and finishing with Friedman. If I find a day to spare, I think I'll finally sit myself down to watch the whole 8 hour series Cosmos, by Carl Sagan.

During the second half of my sabbatical, I'll be in Barcelona, Spain and then in the high Pyrenees. My wife and I were married in a civil ceremony two years ago and now we will be having a formal ceremony in a 12th century church in a small mountain village near the border with France, close to Pico Aneto, the highest mountain in Spain. I used Ray's BlogCFC to create a dual English/Spanish informational website to assist the guests.

If you're not familiar with the region, check this out. Its a small Javascript app that zooms in on Barcelona and the Pyrennes, which I made for those who will be travelling from the US. It's a little slow in MSIE, but great in Firefox. This was before Google Earth came out, so I was trying to provide a way for non-technical people to get their bearings.

shutdown -h +360 "Going on sabbatical. Please log off"
Broadcast message from root (pts/1)
(Fri Jul 29 11:56:35 2005):
Going on sabbatical. Please log off
The system is going DOWN for system halt in 6 hours!

Podcast of ColdFusion 10th Birthday Event

Here's the audio track from yesterday's panel discussion from the ColdFusion founders at Allaire Corporation.

ColdFusion_10th_Birthday_Panel_Discussion.mp3 [39 MB]

The chronological annotation for the podcast and the full video can be found here.

Bob Cringely to begin Podcasting and Videocasting NerdTV

Starting this September, technology pundit Bob Cringely will launch NerdTV, a program that will be available only on the internet with a companion podcast for audio only. Ever since I saw Bob's chronicle of computer history in the PBS program Triumph of the Nerds back in the mid 90's I've craved his insightful yet quirky views into the Internet, the Web, and computer technology. Oh yeah, and Bob's weekly column, I Cringely, will start masquerading as a blog, too, but don't tell anyone.

Read about Bob's plans for NerdTV.

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?

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.

Tonight! Leo Laporte on Future of Internet, Doug Hughes on Using Java from ColdFusion

The Online ColdFusion Meetup Group in cooperation with the Maryland CFUG bring you well known tech guru Leo Laporte to discuss The Future of the Internet. Following Leo, Doug Hughes will present Using Java from ColdFusion.

Tuesday, May 10th at 6:30 - 9:00 PM US/Eastern Time. (Timezone Info)

Archived Recordings: Doug Hughes and Leo Laporte

Part 1) Doug Hughes on Using Java from ColdFusion.

Doug Hughes, is the president of Alagad Inc and author of the Alagad Image Component. Alagad, which was founded in 1996, is a successful small business with clients around the world. Alagad specializes in web related services, consulting and development. Thought Alagad and other employers, Doug has spent many years "in the trenches" of web development. He has expertise in ColdFusion and many other technologies.

His work has also been published by Macromedia on Macromedia's DevNet Resource Kits. Previously, Doug worked with multimedia programming, 3D animation, design and illustration. See

Part 2) Leo Laporte on the Future of the Internet:

Currently Leo hosts a radio technology talk show on KFI AM 640, Los Angeles every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 3p (available via podcast every week), and Call for Help, a daily hour-long television show produced in Toronto and aired throughout Canada. He also appears regularly on many television and radio programs including Live with Regis and Kelly. Leo's website can blog can be found at

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