Leopard Day 0: A Day in the Life a Mac Fanatic

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7:00 AM
Wake up early (yes, 7AM is early for me) to prepare to go to the Apple Store opening at 9AM


7:10 AM
Check the Apple website and find that the countdown still reads 11 hours. By 10/26 they didn't mean morning of 10/26. Back to bed.


4:45 PM
Leave work to head over the Apple Store at the Natick Collection Mall


5:30 PM
Join the line camped outside the locked doors of the Apple Store. A kid in front of me walks the line, returns to his father to report that they are #38 in line.


5:35 PM
The frumpy old guy next to me starts chatting with about Macs. Says that he's a web developer that works at home and uses Dreamweaver and Flash on PCs and wants to trash them for Macs instead.

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CDIA Introduction to Lighting Theory, Its a wrap!

This week we wrapped up another great photography course at CDIA, Introduction to Lighting Theory DP114.

This module will explore and demonstrate the use of light so that students of light will be able to recognize the physical properties of light: direction and quality; hard vs. soft; and that they be able to modify light to suit the needs of their photography. Students will also learn how to identify and work with varying color temperatures.


Of most practical value to me was learning how to use a light meter to measure incident light (the actual light hitting a subject), whereas the camera's TTL metering measures reflected light (the brightness of light reflected off a subject). We also learned how to use light glass and metal and work with their reflective properties using diffusion screens, reflector discs, or gobos, and either natural ambient lighting or photoflood (constant) lighting indoors. Before moving on to indoor settings with artificial lighting, we initially honed our skills with portrait shooting outdoors using ambient lighting combined with the tools mentioned earlier. My favorite part of the course was learning how to do Black Line and White Line Photography with glass, also known as Bright Field and Dark Field.

The strength of the class was the actual instruction of lighting theory, lessons which I found highly valuable. The weakness was we were expected to peform all our shooting in groups of 3 or 4 during short bursts of time in class when we'd have to set up tables and lighting and later break them down, and I felt unable to achieve a satisfactory level of quality in my photography because I felt rushed.

Halfway through the course I realized I needed to set up a home studio where I could spend longer periods of time and have the freedom to play around and test various lighting scenarios. To that end, I spent a day running errands to Home Depot for clamps and extension cords, to JoAnn Fabrics for inexpensive black cloth to line the walls and velvet to shoot small objects on, to Staples for black and white foam boards, and finally to Hunts Photo and Video in Melrose to purchase a Smith-Victor 4 Light Photoflood Kit. Total cost for the whole basement studio was close to $600, not including the ping pong table already in the basement.

Next week we refine our lighting skills and learn to use strobe lighting or flash in course DP111 Introduction to the Studio.

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An Experiment with Improved File Upload Handling in CF 8

ColdFusion 8 Application Server offers an important improvement regarding memory utilization during the uploading of large files via the CFFILE tag. This entry will offer an experimental observation to demonstrate the improvement in CF 8, but first I'll expand upon each of the related settings and provide some usage scenarios.

Request Throttle Settings
The ColdFusion 7.01 Administrator introduced new file upload settings to better control file uploads. The broadest setting is called Request Throttle Memory, with a default of 200MB, where its purpose is to regulate the cumulative impact of all concurrent large file uploads on the ColdFusion server. The adjacent setting for Request Throttle Threshold, default of 4MB, is the minimum size of file uploads for which the throttle should regulate, anything below the threshold is ignored by the throttle. Further up on the Settings page is also the new field Maximum Size of Post Data, with a default of 100MB.

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Linux Magazine on using Flex with PHP

In the August 2007 edition of Linux Magazine, the editor contributes an article about the usefulness of integrating PHP with the free Flex SDK to achieve a Rich Internet Application (RIA) in a Web 2.0 world.

Flex and PHP
by Martin Streicher
Linux Magazine (full article available online with free registration)


The author begins by a short comparison of the RIA technologies of AJAX vs. Flex, and goes on to suggest that while AJAX is touted as an alternative to Flex UI's, AJAX suffers from a lack of rich media integration such as video, music, or animations and carries the risk of varying JavaScript behavior across different browser implementations.

The article does a great job describing architectural differences between classic web applications and RIAs. In a multi-tiered Rich Internet Application the application server technology such as PHP, or better yet ColdFusion, acts as the controller to implement business logic and interacts with deeper service layers that interface with the database. However, on the client side, Flex runs in the browser to perform data input validation, displays data visually via drill-down charts and graphs or via paginated data grids, and provides real time updates to changes in data (via Live Cycle Data Services a.k.a. Flex Data Services).

Furthermore, Flex provides a smart looking user interface and seamless user experience akin to typical desktop software while lacking the notoriously painful white screens of death during page refreshes that are commonplace in the Web 1.0 world. In effect, more work is done in the browser as a means of distributed computing, leaving the application server to focus on business logic and freeing it from having to generate the UI again and again across requests.

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Easy-to-Read Java Memory Management Article

Most Sun articles on Java memory management are dense and hard to read. This month's Better Software magazine on StickyMinds.com offers a 5 page article at a more intermediate level that makes digesting this topic a lot easier. The article, Your Mom Doesn't Work Here - Cleaning up with Java Memory Management, by Alan Berg, provides a clear description of how to look for memory leaks in Java applications and the performance impact for various GC algorithms. It also provides an introduction to the JMeter stress testing tool (with additional information in the print magazine not available online)

Performance Considerations for Running ColdFusion 8 in 64-bit Mode

In yesterday's post about configuration nuances of using a 64-bit webserver and 64-bit JVM with ColdFusion 8 on the 64-bit Sun Solaris OS, Damon Gentry posted a comment that is, frankly, way above my head.

I'm curious about if there are any performance gains by running CF8 with a 64-bit JVM. More specifically, given the CPU architecture differences between Intel/AMD, and Sparc (speed vs. cores), does it make since to stick with Solaris? I know that the Sparc T1 can support 32 cores, albeit at 1.2 GHz, whereas the Intel CPU can support 4 cores @ 3.6GHz. [more]


The short answer is, "I don't know".

64-bit Basics
Ok, so I'm not a computer scientist. I don't even have a computer science degree. However, I do have Google. And Wikipedia. And the rest of the Web. So, I've filtered through a variety of articles and selected the following to help inform me on the topic:



All of these articles are quite long, and I encourage you to read them if this subject interests you. Since I cannot precisely answer Damon's question, I'll try to summarize relevant information that I have gleaned from them about running a Java-based web application on a 64-bit JVM/OS. If you want details about any inferences, you should read the above articles, although I may end up quoting liberally here.

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Photography Club Exhibit Opening and Reception in Concord

First Parish of ConcordThis Sunday on April 22 the Photography Club at the First Parish of Concord will present its fifth annual Photography Club Exhibit. The public is welcome (and wanted) to attend... hey, that's what its all about. I joined the group in 2006, and I've been told that membership has swelled in the last couple years, and we're nearly 50 members.

Come join us for food and drinks this Sunday from 3 to 6pm while you wander the galleries throughout the First Parish, just off Concord Center. Concord Center is usually busy on weekends, and with the first burst of Spring's warmth expected for Sunday the place will probably be bustling. You can find a huge parking lot very near on Keyes Road just across from the Sally Ann Food Shop and behind the Bank of America.

Here's photos on Flickr geotagged for Concord. For my photos of Concord click here, or here on a map.

www.flickr.com

Video: The Streets of Bangalore India

You'll never complain about the traffic in your town again! Driving in Bangalore, India is not for the faint hearted. Bangalore has undergone an extreme population explosion in the last decade with the growth of the IT Industry. In my experience, Bangalore has unparalleled traffic congestion and chaos compared to anywhere in North America or Europe.

The first 3 minutes of this video are the last stretch in our daily commute from the Leela Palace Hotel to the Adobe office on Bannerghatta Road along the IT corridor. Starting at 4 minutes into the video is a backseat view from a ride inside one of those yellow-capped auto rickshaws from the office to the nearby Forum Mall. It was as much fun as an amusement park!

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Spring
Conference 2007

Spring
Conference 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Athens, OH


Join us for our fifth annual event. This year the conference will be bigger than ever. 35 sessions to choose from in 7 tracks, plus three hands on sessions! Ben Forta, Adobe's Chief Product Evangelist will be speaking at the General Session Key Note plus, Ben will be back to give a presentation at the Lunchtime Session as well.

    Choose from session in the following tracks:
  • Design & User Experience
  • Using Tools: Tips & Tricks
  • ColdFusion, Java, PHP & ActionScript
  • Maximum Development
  • Web 2.0: Ajax, Flex & Video
  • Application Security & Performance
  • Vendor Showcase
  • Boot Camp: Beginner Level Hands On


Some of this year's speakers include:
Ben Forta, Phillip Kerman, Joseph Lowery, Chris Bate, Rob Gonda, John Cummings, D.Lee Beard, Bob Paquette, Dan Switzer, Bailey Bruce, Doug Ward, Steve Drucker, James Shore, James Shore, Joshua Logsdon, Scott Cantor, Kevin Hoyte, Jeff Carnes, Joel Stanley, Gary Kraeger, more.

We'll have the Vendor Expo where you can meet with the companies that provide the software and services you're looking for!

Registration Fee: $35 [includes your lunch]

Registration is available at http://www.sbconference.com

We hope to see you there!

Spring
Conference 2007 is presented by the Southeast Ohio Creative Adobe Technologies User Group in partnership with Ohio University, the IT

Verity doesn't work when you run ColdFusion 7 (unsupported) on Java 5 or Java 6

Verity doesn't work when you run ColdFusion 7 (unsupported) on Java 5 or Java 6. The problem is not in ColdFusion or Verity - it is in the venerable old Cryptix Java security provider which doesn't work with Java 5 or Java 6. Fortunately Cryptix is open source so you can get Cryptix and change it as necessary to make it work with Java 6 (or Java 5).

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