Wednesday, December 23, 2009

ubuntu gmail imap thunderbird lightning google calendar etc etc etc

I thought I'd post this because I handlessly failed to get it sorted 1st time, and that ole internet didn't have nice how to for n00bs.


Ubuntu, install thunderbird
sudo apt-get install thunderbird
sudo apt-get install lightning-extension
sudo apt-get install calendar-google-provider

will install thunderbird and the lightning calendar extension.

this guide will get you started with imap

NOTE: don't use the "gmail" account type, as this will only set up a POP connection, not IMAP.

This guide will get you started with lightning, the crucial paragraph is this: NOTE: ignore the installation instructions, you've done that using apt.

Install both plugins, and restart Thunderbird, you will then be shown, a Calendar in the left pane, this calendar has 3 tabs Agenda, Todo and Calendars. To setup Google Calendar, click on the Calendar tab.
Click on the New Button, in the Calendar Tab, and you will be given a choice, you need to select, On the Network. Click on Next, there is an option for Google Calendar, select this.
In the Text bar under the Google Calendar you will need to enter the Link URL which allows you to write to your Account, you can find this, buy logging into the Google Calendar account you created earlier.

Create a new Calendar, or if you already have a celedar created, click on the down arrow next to the calendar. And click on Share this Calendar.
You will be taken to a new page, where you will need to click on Calendar Details on the top of this page.

Then Select the XML button, next to the Private Address, this will allow you the read/write access to the calendar, if you need read only access, or wish to share calendards with read only access, use the XML button next to the Public Tab.

When you click on the XML button a URL will be displayed (i’ve edited the whole strin below for security reasons) Copy this URL , and paste it into the Thunderbird Text box, then click on Next.

Give the Calendar a name which you will use in Thunderbird to identify this calendar, and choose a colour, this is the colour which will identify your Google Calendar, if you are using multiple calendars. Then CLick on Next and then Finish.
You will then see your calendar listed as available. you should now be able to add an event in either Thunderbird, or the wEb Interface, and both will update to show the events. You can set reminders, repeat events, and all the usual type of Schedule details.

Monday, November 30, 2009

concordance of inanity (How many monkeys?)

A while ago I published  a concordance of the words used to search this blog Which really only highlighted the fact that people who like to search for "penis" and "secretary sex" were probably quite disappointed when they came here.

However another day another list. According to my tweet cloud these are the most popular words in my tweets, arranged in order of popularity.

time home world blogged
w00t using night google
power people trying office friends hell
start apache anyway
phone mysql client week
android mini-note
hello theres stuff yeah apparently
help london
Seems to me that they make more sense as tweets than some of the nonsense I take time to write. What's that you say about monkeys and typewriters?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Apache James is 10 years old too.

Happy Birthday Apache!

I was checking out the 10th anniversary press release

Several Apache projects also celebrated their 10th anniversary
and realised that Apache James is 10 years old this year as well. Way to go James Team, 10 years and we still haven't resorted to physical violence. Check the wayback machine if you don't believe me.

The top level project was established by the Board on January 22, 2003, with these ugly dudes on the 1st PMC:
Serge Knystautas
Danny Angus
Peter Goldstein
Noel Bergman
Charles Bennet

And I read the two documents The ASF was sent, I think I'm going to move to Oakland, or at least adopt their public holidays.

The Mayor of Oakland's proclamation that november 4th is Apache Software Foundation day wierd, but cool.

The Letter from Arnie. Question: Will he be back?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What people are saying about Apache James

Here are some links I found for James related things,

Most notably I found this site JavaEye I can find a few mentions of James but the content is in Chinese. This really begs the question how can we encourage Chinese, Japanese, and people from other cultures who are not as likely to communicate in English as Americans, Europeans, and people from India, to engage with our projects?
I would love for the people who are writing on JavaEye to make themselves known to the James community, we'd be happy to help spread the word about James, and are always grateful to people who can help us to get in front of a non English speaking audience.

"James is a very solid and reliable piece of software" Thanks Ant, nice of you to say so.

Niall Commiskey wrote EMAIL notifications with Oracle SOA Suite 11g which illustrates nicely what a useful role James can plan in enterprise systems. Even if it is only used to provide a development or test environment for email, James gives java developers standards compliant protocols *and* full control over the message content and routing, you can create testing stubs, reports, and integrations into other systems that will fully expose the output from your system.

And finally this Yet another email client – Apache James Hupa from Sree Balakrishnan, talking about the latest James sub-project Hupa (IMAP-based Webmail written in GWT) If you're interested in Hupa check out the site first but you may want to read this, if there haven't been any releases yet.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Penis seen from space III

Yet again the guardian spots a penis from space. This time on the roof of a house in England.

Penis seen from space II

I totally forgot to post this when I found it, whoever long ago that was.
In 2006 The sun spotted a penis from space.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Looking through a glass onion

In recent days it seems as if the BBC have hired someone from the news desk of the Onion.

In the words of the famous saying I rolled on the floor and laughed my ass off when I read this gem:

Paperboy offered £6.93 redundancy

I got this piece of paper and I didn't really understand all the words.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Exposed, the GPL's fatal flaw

Thanks to a tweet from @wrowe I read this post and this open letter fromRichard Stallman to the European Commission opposing Oracle's acquisition of MySQL (via their acquisition of SUN).

The thrust of the argument is that MySQL is currently licensed under the GPL.
The GPL denies anyone apart from the rights holder the right to sell the product or a derivative of it.
Therefore if Oracle become the rights holder they have an exclusive right to sell the product.
They are, for the same reason, under no obligation to feed their changes back into the open source code base, and have no commercial incentive to do so.
Likewise the opposite is true, Oracle's competitors will gain no commercial advantage from taking a fork of the GLP'ed code and developing it, because the GPL forbids anyone from selling that derivative or from distributing closed-source enhancements.

On the other hand the Apache License [sic], does allow companies and individuals to redistribute for profit, and to redistribute closed source product based on the open source code.

It would seem, then, that had MySQL been licensed under the Apache License Oracle's competitors (whoever they may turn out to be) could have competed from an equal position, by taking a fork of MySQL and developing it, or developing new products derived from it.

This is an approach taken by may, and these days, most of us will benefit in some way or other from products which have benignly licensed components within them.

Could this, then, be the long awaited moment when the aggressive social evangelism encapsulated in the GPL tests capitalism in the ultimate showdown?

I think that a lot of people have been waiting for that, but sadly for them it looks like their champion has taken a fatal hit in its Achilles heel.

Wear it pink day

Today, Oct 30th is Wear it pink day, and to show our support we're all wearing it pink, as these photos show.
Thank god the photo's aren't any clearer!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Kevin pointed out that my tweet which said:

According to national geographic this mth, "average american car gets 21 mpg". Omg, my 2L clio sport gets 31, and I drive like an idiot.".
is misleading.

According to this authority (picked at random from the net of nonsense and with no check by me) what we're saying is the US cars average 25.219946996999997 UK MPG. [1]

And my clio only gets 25.812901195923956 US MPG. Not so smug now, am I?

[1] How precise! But don't forget kids, as Uncle Danny never tires of saying, precision is not the same as accuracy.

Android's Elephant in the room, and the its-not-an-iphone award

The elephant in the room for Android, from my point of view as a G1 user, is the woeful bluetooth support.
My previous phone, a w810i, supported a bewildering array of bluetooth uses, but the ones I found most useful were push/pull of my contacts and using the phone as a presentation tool.

Well hallelujah, android 2 platform highlights are saying that the new major version will contain

New BT profiles: Object Push Profile (OPP) and Phone Book Access Profile (PBAP)
OPP is the one I want for managing and exchanging contacts, PBAP is for integrating with my car. Although I have to say it does this already.

I'm also pleased to see that there are a number of usability improvements, in particular for the soft keyboard, which I can't really use very well because of my phat phingers, contacts, email, and a digital zoom on the camera.

Oh and in case you were wondering, I think the ring volume is too quiet, and the battery life sucks. But since those are hardware issues I guess that after a couple of months of living with it Android gets a big thumbs up from me, and so is the recipient of the its-not-an-iphone award.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

qr code

At work we already make good use of onscreen barcodes for use in fulfillment processes, but I hadn't really thought much about putting anything like it on here.

However inspired by google's logo the other day I realised that it might actually be useful to put a link code on my blog for phone users who may want to subscribe.

So thanks to this great site you can now subscribe to this blog by scanning the QR code below (also in the left margin).

Sadly for me it opens in the browser and doesn't get anywhere near a feed reader, but you may have more luck!

I guess I should do something work-related with this idea next..


Monday, September 28, 2009

Lucky Firefox!

Some folks were discussing the application of the "ribbon" to firefox the other day.
More on that here.

One thing that came out was the notion that the ribbon is a tool best suited to document production.

If that's the case, and I am in no position to doubt it, please can UI designers allow us to move it to the side.

The screenshot graphically demonstrates the problem I have on my 11" widescreen laptop. The ribbon eats valuable height for lunch, while two whole football pitches of space exist at the side of my document.

I could probably get more buttons into that space than I would ever need, and I'd get the height back.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Stepping down

Today I indicated to the Apache James project management committee (PMC) my intention to step down after managing the process of electing a successor.

I'm very proud to be associated with The ASF and the James project, and even more proud still to have served as the project's second chairperson, and wish my successor all the luck in the world.

I also took the opportunity to stand down from the Jakarta PMC, another project I am immeasurably proud to be associated with, which I haven't contributed a meaningful iota to for a couple of years other than to clog up their decision making process a tiny bit.

So it seems like an appropriate moment to pause and reflect nostalgic-ly on the times shared, the problems solved, the achievements and the failures, friends made and lost, arguments lost and won, flame-wars, troll-baiting and so on.

But I can't be bothered with all that! And to be honest I'm looking forward to a refreshing lack of commitment, no more nagging guilt at not making enough time, and above all the chance to pick and choose how and when I contribute in an arbitrary and selfish way once again.

I hope that this means that I can spend what little time I do have poking about in code, (I have long envied those who have time to experiment in the labs), arguing with my peers and not trying too hard to keep up with mailing lists.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Load Balancing Apache httpd 2

Yes.. hear it here last!
I've been telling everyone I meet about JimJag's stupendous presentation at Apachecon US 08, in which he showed us, in glorious detail, how to use mod_proxy properly and mod_proxy_balancer.

I was impressed, and so have those who've also seen the slides.

Now its your chance, I recommend reading Jim's slides here.

If you have real life experience of using mod_proxy_balancer, let us know if he oversold it, or if it rocks your world. I *still* haven't had time to use it in for real yet.

Father Spodo Kommodo

Eternal Thanks are due to this site for reproducing the list of names that Mrs Doyle guesses in Father Ted (possibly the best comedy every to have been shown anywhere in the multiverse) , in the episode I have come to know as the "Father Spodo Kommodo" episode!

That List in full then..

Fr. Andy Riley,
Fr. Desmond Coyle,
Fr. George Byrne,
Fr. David Nicholson,
Fr. Declan Lynch,
Fr. Ken Sweeney,
Fr. Neil Hannon,
Fr. Keith Cullen,
Fr. Ciaran Donnelly,
Fr. Mick McEvoy,
Fr. Jack White,
Fr. Henry Bigbigging,
Fr. Hank Tree,
Fr. Hiroshima Twinkie,
Fr. Stick Bubblecart,
Fr. Johnny Hellzapoppin' ,
Fr. Luke Duke,
Fr. Billy Ferry,
Fr. Chewy Louie,
Fr. John Hoop,
Fr. Hairy Cakelinum,
Fr. Ebula Conundrum,
Fr. Peewee Stairmaster,
Fr. Tight Head Lips,
Fr. Jemima Racktouey,
Fr. Jerry Twig,
Fr. Spodo Komodo,
and of course Fr. Canabrana Lammer.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Get this thing to market.. NOW please, I'll buy one!

In the many years between the Mongolfier brothers and the Wright brothers people speculated about a world with aeroplanes, inventors fell over each other in an effort to make this world a reality. People waited for an invention that, although seemingly impossible and often dismissed as fantasy, they felt was inevitable.

The inventors succeeded, and in the century that has passed their work has indeed transformed the world.

So let me introduce you to the invention I'm waiting for, and I'm sure you are too.

Wireless power transmission.

First I want to clear my home of power cables, but why don't you take some time to imagine what else will be possible.

Its easy to dismiss this idea as impossible, reasoning that anyone who stood between power source and destination would be zapped by all that power, but seemingly not so.

Here are two articles from the BBC, the first[1], from 2006, talks about research into a possible means of transmitting power without wires, the second[2], from earlier this year, demonstrates a working prototype.

Hurry up Witricity the world is a-waiting, and when I get one there'll be an award in it for you.

[1]Physics promises wireless power
[2]Wireless power system shown off

Best error message of the [specify timeperiod]

I suppose the svn logs would allow us to discover exactly who should get the credit for this, but this morning I was privileged to witness the first application error message ever to offer me any signs of shame or contrition.

Vista had summarily decided to die during the night, which it does now and again and I think is just an excuse for installing the updates that I've *chosen* to not bother with for now, and when I restarted firefox it showed me the error captured below.

By contrast see the second image, which represents the way we are more usually treated.

Mozilla Dude, whoever you are, have an award for expressing your human emotion, and making me feel valued in the teeth of failure. I hope you start a trend.

(this isn't my screenshot I found it here, but its the same screen)

And now the shamless norm..

Friday, August 28, 2009

Don't invert your security!

The most striking lesson I think that anyone can take from the recent apache compromise is this:

The more secure zone should have credentials for the less secure one, not the other way round, and the more secure zone should be responsible for controlling the processes that it is involved in.

This way the less secure zone doesn't have any influence over your more secure stuff.

If you, like me, spend your days making systems interact with one another this is reasonably fundamental stuff. But for those who aren't so paranoid its a lesson well worth heeding.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Danny strengthens in the Atlantic

Danny has maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph) early Thursday with slow strengthening expected over the next few days.

Its weird seeing your name used this way, but a great opportunity for toilet humour.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Use http AUTH for control of read and write access to multiple svn repos

I figured this out, and thought I share it, as I couldn't find anything remotely similar on the interweb.
OTOH I'm sure you all know all about this, and there are articles everywhere and I'm just being dumb.

I wanted a password protected svn, with some people read only and others read-write, across multiple repositories.

## your svn url is .../svn/repository/reponame
## first set up the /svn part
## enable DAV svn and require any user from the password file for any action
## this will allow everyone who logs in to do anything

<Location /svn>
DAV svn
SVNParentPath /wherever/svn/repository
AuthType Basic
AuthName "Subversion Repository"
AuthUserFile /etc/httpd/dav_svn.passwd
Require valid-user

## now for each repo appy a stricter constraint

<Location /svn/infrastructure>
# only members of sysadmin group can access infra repo
AuthType Basic
AuthName "Subversion Infrastructure Repository"
AuthUserFile /etc/httpd/dav_svn.passwd

## create a groups file
AuthGroupFile /etc/httpd/dav_svn.groups
## the only people who can acces this one are the group members
Require group sysadmin

<Location /svn/projects>
AuthType Basic
AuthName "Subversion Projects Repository"
AuthUserFile /etc/httpd/dav_svn.passwd
AuthGroupFile /etc/httpd/dav_svn.groups

## only members of commiters group can commit
## but any valid user can checkout and browse
## because we're using limit except to narrow
## the restrictions

Require group committers

Or weel kent?

Friday, August 07, 2009

at the third stroke it will be 123456789 o'clock

Yes folks, earlier today (I meant to post this then, but you know how it is) it was
12:34:56 7/8/9

this will happen again in 1000 years,

but we can look forward to
6:5:4 3/2/10
5:6:7 8/9/10 next year.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Failed to open the relay log

We moved some hardware about last night.
Well actually Jim and Marcin did.

This AM I got to the office to discover everything apparently working (its early days yet!) apart from one mysql replication.

Now; we've set up this replication to replicate one db using replicate-do-db which has very many of its own crazy gotcha's that I'm not going to get into here.

We also set the slave params by executing a command, rather than in my.cnf.
This allows us to meddle without having to restart mysqld, and protects us from accidentally reverting the settings if mysqld should require a restart.

my.cnf only contains the id of the slave, skip-slave-start, and replicate-do-db that affect replication.

This morning, h'wever, the slave was compaining that it couldn't open the relay log, which was annoying. I found a post here which suggested flush logs that didn't work. The next suggestion is reset slave.

Now I'm afraid of reset slave, but I didn;t think I had many options, so I forged ahead and here's how I got the job done.

NOTE-- I take no responsibility for anything misguded and foolish that you may choose to do in the light of reading this, or any other, bit of misleading nonsense on the internet.

If you have any doubts about your ability to resist doing this without putting a roll back strategy in place before hand then read no further. You have been warned!

Working completely on the slave:
1/ stop the slave .
2/ show slave status
3/ make a note of Read_Master_Log_Pos, which should equal Exec_Master_Log_Pos, and of Master_Log_File
4/ now execute reset slave
5/ now set the params you noted..

MASTER_LOG_POS= Read_Master_Log_Pos

6/ start slave

Job Done.

You can also use this approach to start a second slave on the same master without having to affect the master's operation:
stop slave one,
note the params,
set slave two params,
export-import the data from slave one to slave two,
start slave two.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

In complete contrast...

A colleague pointed this out to me.
Its an online tool to check contrast for accessibility, and you'll be pleased to know that the old-geek retro colour scheme of this blog is A-OK scoring between 6.5:1 and 7:1 contrast for the various text colours.
It is also (apparently) ok for folks with Deuteranopia, Protanopia and Tritanopia.

Go on, check out your own website, you know you want to.

But if you can't read it you can send always an email to

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Why we don't need a definition of spam

In my last, rather facetious, post I poked fun at John Levine for trying to prevent the ASRG from falling out, once again, over the definition of spam.

The catalyst for the current attempt was a post on the list that took issue with a paper I drew up (draft-irtf-asrg-criteria-00.html) a couple of years ago. At the time I attempted to define spam, but the whole review process became quickly tar-pitted in a debate in which despite the general agreement of the group the detailed differences were irreconcilable.
As one correspondent put it yesterday:

attempting to define "spam" is the very best way to ensure that a document is never finished.
So I plumped for this:
Any Message or Messages of the class of Messages which the Recipient wishes to prevent from ever being presented with. It is implicit in this definition that it is unnecessary to ever transport Spam. Spam in this context can also be defined as Messages which it is never necessary to transport. It is not in the scope of this document to attempt to distinguish or justify any more detailed definition of this term. Nor is it in the scope of this document to analyse the reasons why the Recipient wishes not to be presented with the Message or Messages.

My intention was to encapsulate some of the critieria which the ASRG applies to the ideas with which it is presented, some well reasoned but flawed, many bordering on the insane, a very few containing ideas of real merit. I set out to highlight common pitfalls, and ensure that proposals have a net benefit. Some don't. Go figure! Some would be more expensive to operate than transporting and filtering the spam would be, others appear to benefit someone, but only by passing on the real work to an innocent 3rd party.

So it occurred to me yesterday that the document is also addressing the problem of defining spam.The problem being not that a definition cannot be drafted, rather that no definition is universally agreed, and unfortunately each reason for disagreeing with any definition that I've heard has some genuine merit.

So my approach is this, if we cannot agree an academic definition of the problem, but we agree that the problem exists because we can recognise it when we see it, then perhaps we should apply the same standard to any proposed solution.

If we can agree that it smells like a solution, we don't need to agree about what the problem actually is.

Of course the risk with that approach is that by avoiding defining the detail of the problem we're never going to arrive at a solution that successfully addresses the detail , and not just the big picture, because we don't agree what the detail is.

Then again, anything which improves the big picture is beneficial, hence the success of DKIM and SPF, so this may not be a real concern.

Quote of the [specify period]

This [specify period] sees two quotes, both of them from John R. Levine erstwhile chairman of the ASRG of the IRTF.

The first is redolent of Lewis Caroll:

I think that as soon as you start quoting the dictionary, you've lost
the argument.
The second is priceless given the context:
No, we're not going to define spam
Well done John, you do a great job, keep it up.
Have *two* awards!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Blog Design

Well I've finally got round to creating my own skin for this blog. Its a blogger blog by the way.

It was the new head of creative at work, Dino, who showed us which I used to lay the whole think out by doing little more than setting the class of the blogger "sections" to one of the grid's generated classes.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Marvin the martian

I was accused at Apachecon EU a year or two ago by Steve of relying on "architect tools" i.e. visio, powerpoint etc., instead of programmer tools, (like what? emacs!) For which he proposed a test framework here.

Well today I was discussing some of the finer points of separation of concerns with the guys and had cause to exhume (and re-label for php) a diagram I drew a couple of years ago for a former employer to illustrate the layering in our java systems to an interested, but unenlightened group of Oracle developers.

It would be a good test case for Steve's framework, because it has to be a particular shape, no matter what information it has to convey.

I could plead that I drew it first then recognised the shape, but I won't bother because life's too short.

Colleague Ed suggested it should be recorded for posterity so here is the original Java version...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"write to: Danny Angus, c/o Google, "

Blimey folks,

I use the incomparable feedburner for this blog, and if you subscribe by email you get the posts in your inbox.
Imagine my surprise when I read this at the foot of the mail..

If you prefer to unsubscribe via postal mail, write to: Danny Angus, c/o Google, 20 W Kinzie, Chicago IL USA 60610
I wonder what would happen if I did...

Dunkirk spirit

According to this we brits are going to fight the credit crunch by watching football and going to the pub a little more.

The British economy is also expected to get a massive injection tonight from Brits going out to local pubs and clubs to watch the match on TV.

"Some people may choose not to travel to Rome, but they will generate economic activity at home," Chadwick said."

Sunday, May 03, 2009

xml co-processor

so much of what we do nowadays involves parsing XML isn't it about time we delegated it to the hardware?
Or has someone already done it, or more likely it this a dumb idea?

Thursday, April 30, 2009

There are gypsies on the helipad

I love it when life throws up odd surprises, this morning when we arrived for work we found our helipad (in the centre of this satellite photo) had been colonised by travellers because it give me the once in a lifetime opportunity to use the title of this post!

I believe that the helipad was originally car parking, when this site was a nylon factory, and it has a wide range of interesting uses, not only does the occasional helicopter land on it but also a motorbike stunt guy practices there and the police teach each other how to drive on it.

The gypsies would have got more than they'd bargained for if a helipcopter had come in, but we're more dissapointed that it was the police driving yesterday, I'd've loved to see the faces all round if the travellers had woken to find themselves surrounded by the police driving school .

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against travelling people, I'm just a fan of serendipity.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swings and roundabouts in IT skills demand

I was looking at this while reviewing salaries and found some interesting trends, reproduced here for your entertainment.

A) Oracle DBA's, polish up those Mysql Skills..

Fig 1 Mysql demand last 3 mths

Fig 2 Oracle demand last 3 mths

B) No one wants your java skills, go learn PHP...

Fig 3 Php demand last 3 mths

fig 4 Java demand last 3 mths

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Print to a network printer from Ant task on Windows..

I wanted to print a checklist as the final task in a release management Ant job.
We have a predominantly windows environment on the desktop, so I thought I'd try using the DOS print command, but was initially foiled when trying to use a network printer.
I was then mislead slightly by this: NET USE LPT1: \\MY_SERVER\PRINTER which I found here.
In the end the obvious solution (to use the share name for the device) was the right one.
Reproduced below, it works a dream, now you too can spam your office printers!

<exec executable="print">
<arg value="/D:\\dundonald01\panasoni"/>
<arg value="${doc.dir}\checklist.txt"/>

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Reviewer of the week

Is it just me, or would this book review put you off too?

I loved this book. When I read it again someday, I will do it with an erasable crayon in my hand, marking it up like I do my Bible.
Have an award reviewer!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Imperial War Museum

Coo, we just got back from the imperial war museum where we not only saw a WW1 tank, which was smaller than I expected, a massive and excellent display of all things WW1 & WW2, and an enigma machine,

but also Lawrence of Arabia's Brough Superior. What more could you ask for from an afternoon at a museum?

Friday, April 03, 2009

the innovations of yesterday today!

Go take a look, you'll waste a lot of your friday afternoon..

prog eComm

Ecommerce is the new Prog Rock!
Yes that's right, since I added the mini-note to my desk @work I now have three keyboards, one on the xps m1330, one on the mini-note and a full size one, elderly colleague X likened it to Rick Wakeman.

(if I owe you credit for the picture pls let me know!)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

April Fools


CADIE gets nomintated :-)

But This one from opera gets the award, it had me laughing quietly to myself (the nearest I dare get to ROTFLMAO in a busy office!) I was particularly taken with the "Known Issues" which includes this:

Users visiting Web sites that contain adult content sometimes make unconscious facial expressions.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Helpful Acronyms

Acronyms are SHIT (Sensible, Helpful, Interesting, Timesavers).

Friday, March 27, 2009

php ws-*

We're looking around for a good means of implementing ws-* services (& clients) in php.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the guys at WS02, weel kent in Apache circles thanks to Paul Freemantle, have a PHP Web Services Framework.

Not only is it reassuring that folks who are instrumental in pushing Java implementations of these standards forward are re-purposing their expertise into php, but also it appears to be well documented too. Here's hoping it live up to its promise.

thrift is the new black

Save money at home. Don't buy expensive whiteboards, write on your fridge.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New map == Older map

Google maps have replaced a fairly recent but poor quality satellite image of my home with one four or five (or more?) years older.
Its like looking back in time to my (comparative) youth!

Happy Birthday Apache!

The Apache Software Foundation celebrates its 10th birthday today!

Since I became a commiter (on Wed. 26th Sepember 2001) we have weathered a few storms, and there have been more than a few changes, but today the ASF seems to be well set up to face the future, and a future that encourages participation by more people than ever.

Happy birthday ASF, have an award.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Eclipse Oracle 11g

Oracle have released a plugin for eclipse

This certified set of Eclipse plug-ins is designed to help develop, deploy and debug applications for Oracle WebLogic Server. It installs as a plug-in to your existing Eclipse, or will install Eclipse for you, and enhances Eclipse's capabilities for Java, Java EE, Spring, ORM and WebServices.

Make use of the tools we like to use, sounds like the Right Thing Oracle. Though I'm surprised and intrigued that they claim it will enhance "Eclipse's capablities for Java", frankly I find it hard to imagine what else Eclipse could offer for JSE development, unless its UI stuff. I must investigate.

Anyhow, nice to see Oracle following through on their promises and joining in with the rest of java-world.

This sucks...

Google Mail voice and video chat is not yet available for Linux.

What more need I say... :-(

In the event of a crisis Strike Fear into the hearts of your users

I quite like this simple statement from the WASP framework docs;

Every framework needs an error screen. Pink is used in WASP because it is especially frightening
I don't think it's very wise to make your error screen frightening, but boy is it ever tempting, and because they have had the balls to do it they get an award.

I wonder what ever happened to the project? Their latest release was in 2006.

Perhaps the idea of making PHP more like Java didn't catch on! No award for that I'm afraid.

Friday, March 20, 2009

New Online Store

Today's big news is that REISS UK online store has gone live with little or no unnecessary fuss.
Sadly for my foreign friends it uses geo ip to filter out non-UK folks.
However if you do appear to be in the UK, go mad, buy yourself a cardi

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Most amusing task description ever to cross my desk

In our task management system today, under the excellent heading:

Photoshop Thongs - URGENT
We find the even more excellent description:
Please remove the "camel toe" (sorry I don't know how else to describe it) from all womens thongs appearing on the site as a matter of urgency
Colleague X, Have an award :-)

Friday, March 06, 2009

Quote of the [specify period]

As you can see from the photo I have now got Ubuntu 8.1 and Compiz running on my HP Mini Note. You may also recogise Eclipse as the window on the front left face of the cube.
Whilst getting all this stuff in place I came across this quote (Found here)

This is due to a bug in the "workaround" plugin
Fantastic, you couldn't make it up, and I'm sure you'll agree its a worthy winner.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Spring Summer 09

Allsaints launch SS09 today, reported here Which is nice :-)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

lights camera action

Just a quick note b4 I go home, but thatks to the guys at I've managed to install ubuntu 8.1 on my mini-note and it gives all the appearance of actually working.

It was a little nervewracking as I downgraded the firmware and formatted the whole hdd in the space of a few minutes! But fortune favours the brave.

Average time to first failure, or, What does Oops ... #500 mean?

(I've phrased the title of this post as a question[1].)

Is it just me or has gmail been experiencing problems recently? Over the past few days I seem to get this message much more frequently. In fact until a few days ago I only really ever saw any error messages if I lost my connection.

I wonder if they've been trying something new? If so hurry up and iron out the wrinkles, what has happened to your QA? Or perhaps its infrastructure, it must be a barrel of laughs keeping all those servers working.

At Apachecon US in New Orleans last November I heard the employee of a Big Name make the self-evident but not so obvious point that if a hard drive has an average time to first failure of 3000 hours and you have 3000 of them then you can expect one an hour to pop its clogs. If you have 300,000 thats one every 36 seconds.

"So," we acolytes asked, in awe, "do you have a guy on rollerblades with a messanger bag coasting the asiles of the datacentre, with his ipod on, replacing these drives?"

"No" our guru responded, "when a certain proportion of the drives in san cabinet fail they switch the box off, and when a certain proportion of the cabinets in a rack fail they toss the whole rack"

Blimey. So if I need a new hdd I guess I need to go skip (dumpster) diving round the back of that datacentre, might pick up a whole san cabinet

Anyhow. I'm having to use the vanilla HTML version more and more, which is a shame because the ajax one is really pretty good, and genuinely useful, not something you can often say honestly about web applications in general or ajax in particular.

On the other hand you get what you pay for, and I can always ask for my money back ;-)

[1] Its an experiment because I read a post[2] by I forget who (sorry!) saying that this was one way to improve search engine rankings. I'll let you know if this post sees any more traffic than any of the other pointless drivel on this blog.

[2]The post was syndicated either on planetapache or on Sam Ruby's excellent planet intertwingly (Great feed Sam, have an Award) possibly both.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Ipod ssh

Request from Jim (See This previous Post)

Does anyone out there know if you can use one of those gprs/3g USB modem dongles with an Ipod, and if so how?

If he could get it to work he could base himself in the pub and eschew the office altogether, which could only be a good thing for everyone ;-)

teeny weenie server WLTM teeny weenie client

Hi all, it was my birthday the other day & my nearest & dearest bought me an HP mini note 2133. Linux version which comes with SUSE 10.

Then colleague X (call him Jim) came to work with an ssh client on his Ipod, so we had to do it.
The photo shows a user on the ipod logged into their account on the mini note.

I suspect this is far from the most compact client-server set up ever seen, but we think its cool.
(note to self, expire Jims account, this whole thing could just be a ploy to circumvent my security arrangements ;-)

I'll probably blog more about my frustration at not being able to install ubuntu without downgrading the firmware, my inability to downgrade same, and the pain of trying to get enlightenment DR16 working (themes don't render) in the fullness of time.

But lets end on a high note. Its very cool looking, even the mac fanboys in the office were impressed, the screen and keyboard are honestly useable, Gnome is friendly, having many viewports (using the cube, which I also like) is a great boon on a small device.

Monday, February 16, 2009

psst ... php contract in london if you're interested?

My Sis & her partner are looking for an experienced PHP programmer to complete a contract, having been let down by a supplier. They're based in London, you should be too. Rates are likely to be standard, the projects they do are interesting.

This one is related to diffusion shareables They say that the person will be...

building a WSIWYG interface for inserting text and images and sending the content to the FPDF (or similar) PDF generating software to impose the content correctly and generate the shareables.
The deadline is the end of March so if you're interested you'd better let me know ASAP.

Leave a comment with you email address if you're interested, alternatively email me if you can find my address :-)

note to self.... evaluate this says..

CubicTest is a graphical Eclipse plug-in for writing Selenium and Watir tests.

Which sounds cool. As I'm using both eclipse and selenium at the moment I must remember to try it out.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Birthday Bowling

Birthday Bowling
I just like this one.
It was taken last September.
We went bowling for his birthday.
I took my camera.
The place was big and gloomy so that any flash made it look like a cave.
I turned it off, and the pictures came to life.
I have some more to upload.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

antidisestablishmentarianism award

The Church of England Synod voted the other day to ban priests from belonging to the british national party.

I would hate to think that any would be able to reconcile their christianity with an organisation predicated on prejudice, however that aside it does represent the involvement of the Church in secular politics.

For which they receive the antidisestablishmentarianism award.

I wonder if there's an award for using the English language's longest word properly?

I know nothing, I'm not a fortune teller, and you'd be insane to think that I am. This disclaimer was cribbed from an email footer I once received. It is so ridiculous I had to have it for myself.

Statements in this blog that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements including, without limitation, statements regarding my expectations, objectives, anticipations, plans, hopes, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward looking statements include risks and uncertainties such as any unforeseen event or any unforeseen system failures, and other risks. It is important to note that actual outcomes could differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements.

Danny Angus Copyright © 2006-2013 (OMG that's seven years of this nonsense)