Wednesday, December 30, 2009

JMS System Module Configuration

This week I've been testing a new editor we'll have for our next release to create JMS system modules.

Here's the links I've been using. The first with all the chapters to configure JMS system resources and the second how to start creating one withing the WebLogic Console itself:

There are a multitude of features and settings when configuring a JMS system module.

Maybe even more so then other deployment descriptors like weblogic.xml, weblogic-application.xml or web.xml there are many subfeatures with many configuration choices.

It can be overwhelming.

Besides testing our new JMS module editor I also created a JMS system module within the WLS console to copy from the config/jms folder back into OEPE and test back in our new editor. I was able to create a new connection factory, JMS queue and topic based off a template, SAF agents too... Everything worked well.

Definitely some cool new stuff coming into OEPE!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Great tools for resolving Java deadlock on Eclipse

We're in the midst of testing OEPE right now.

I encountered a deadlock issue with creating a lot of JSPs in a dynamic web project.

To diagnose the problem further I used 3 tools:

1) JRockit mission control
2) Sun's jstack.exe in the bin directory
3) Microsoft's process explorer

JRockit mission control comes with Jrockit in it's own directory under root. You launch it and can then attach it to a JRockit launched Eclipse instance with -Xmanagement

Jstack.exe is in the bin directory for Sun JDK 1.6. You can launch it on the command line by giving it the process ID of the Eclipse instance; easily gotten with process explorer.

Cool stuff.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

IMapMyRun Nov 11, 2009 12:58 PM in Boulder, Colorado

Went for a mid-day run with colleagues Chris and Carlin from 4001 Discovery Drive.

There are so many great runs from the corner of Colorado and Foothills because there's an abundance of multi-use paths close-by including the Boulder Creek Bike Path.

The weather was great and I was even able to track the run using May My Run software on my IPhone. It's a great piece of software and I can review my run almost immediately after the run. | View IMapMyRun Nov 11, 2009 12:58 PM in Boulder, Colorado

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

copy problems with my Seagate Freeagent pro

I got a Seagate FreeAgent Pro "Classic" over a year ago and hadn't really used it until my other Seagate started having problems (I detailed that in a prior blog post).

I was trying to copy music files from my old drive to my new FreeAgent pro but the copy process would freeze and I'd have to either shutdown the drive or reboot the whole computer.

My motherboard is a Asus P5N E SLI, which I purchased September of 2007.

I did go to the ASUS support site and then also found an account of a user having a similar issue on the Toms Hardware boards:

After upgrading with the JMicron SATA driver I didn't experience the issue anymore; although my drive isn't recognized anymore as a FreeAgent drive when I open up My Computer or the FreeAgent software. Oh well, small loss.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Mount Zirkel - Labor Day Weekend

Last weekend I went to climb Mount Zirkel.

Attendees - besides myself included: Dave, Emily, Tanya and Dave's college friend Colin.

The trip basically lasted through Monday and besides climbing Mount Zirkel we were also able to hang out in Steamboat and go to a local hot springs Sunday night.

For my future notes I did fail to bring some items for the trip that would have made it a little nicer.
  1. Binoculars
  2. Higher ankle support boot although my Keen shoes worked quite well.
  3. Video camera bag since my Canon HV20 seemed to stop working completely due to excessive jostling.
  4. Other snacks besides Clif shots and Clif bars
  5. Blow up pillow
  6. A reminder to myself not to by Backpackers freeze dried Pad See Yee again

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Saving my Seagate External Hard Drive

I've had an 200GB Seagate external hard drive (ST3200823ARK ) for over five years. Its worked great.

Three weeks ago it failed to turn on completely. The power light went on but the disk drive light failed to turn on. I thought I was in dire trouble since the drive had lots of music on it; in addition to other documents.

I'd never abused the external hard drive and it had always stayed on my desk. Unfortunately, it had been over five years since I purchased it, and it had fallen out of warranty. Taking it to a repair facility or using a data recovery service would have been very expensive. Seagate would have charged between $1700 to $3500 and a more local shop would have charged from $500 to $1700.

I finally decided to disassemble the drive enclosure using an online doc from Here's the link:

Luckily for me the drive was never damaged, but it seems the electronic enclosure used to power it up and interface the Barracuda IDE drive to USB and firewire failed!

Once I removed the drive from it's enclosure I was able to use the drive as an internal hard drive and I was able to get to all my files.

So, if your drive is out of warranty and you feel the drive was fine up until the failure it could be that all you need to do is disassemble the external hard drive enclosure and see if the internal hard drive still works.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

100% return on my last deposit at Full Tilt Poker

January 2006 I deposited 500 dollars in my Full Tilt Account. This last weekend I was up to 1003 dollars and whatever cents. I guess I can celebrate a milestone and accomplishment that I've been meaning to achieve for the last 3 years!

Great day of skiing last day of season at Winter Park

I've been skiing about ten times this year but the last day of season at Winter Park Resort was memorable not only for the skiing but the whole day from greeting the day in Longmont to finally going to bed back in Boulder...

One of things I like to do when I ski is not ski the whole day and preferably the second half! Regardless of which side of the ski day I choose, I can get plenty of skiing enjoyment in three or four hours.

After waking up with Kary I left for Boulder by about 10 AM. After being in Boulder and finally deciding to ski I loaded up the car and left by 11:30 AM.

Since I had gotten some new music I was psyched to listen to that in the car: Prince's new CDs, Joe Bonamassa and John Mayer's Try! I also had a book on CD too: IdleWild by Nick Sagan.

By the time I had gotten up to Winter Park I was able find parking close to the slopes since some people like to ski early and leave by 12:30 or 1 PM. That makes getting on the slope to ski a straightforward affair. I only had to walk 300 feet from the Corona Parking area before I was able to ski down to the base of Mary Jane.

Once on the mountain I took advantage of checking out the new lifts that had been installed since the 2007-2008 season: Panoramic Express and Eagle Wind.

I got in about seven runs and got to experience plenty of powder since it had snowed.

I got back in the car by 4:15 and left to get back to the Front Range. Close to Berthoud Pass I picked up two snowboarders who were doing runs from the top and was able to drop them off back at their truck at the top.

Another feature to late season spring skiing is the lack of traffic. I got to Golden in good time without waiting in stop and start traffic.

Once in Golden I stopped by the Ali Baba Grill and ate Lamb Curry; one of my favorite dishes.

Back in Boulder I took a bath and then watched the Amazing Race and some other tv before finishing up with some reading at the end of the night.

A great day!

Lessons from visiting Rocky Mountain Urgent Care

I went to Rocky Mountain Urgent Care in Boulder last Friday and came back from my visit with a valuable lesson. If you need specialized care then RMUC is not the place for you.

I had a cold about 3 weeks ago and suffered from the symptoms for about two weeks. Unfortunately I had a remaining tightness and discomfort in my throat whenever I swallowed (disphagia) so I went to my ENT doctor's office and saw my ENT doctor's physician assistant.

She checked my out and threaded an endoscope down my nose but didn't see anything besides some minor redness. She offered to prescribe prednisolone and I accepted. I picked up the prescription a couple of days later. Since I still felt the disphagia and wanted a second opinion I went to RMUC on Friday. Unfortunately I wasted time and money since they are a general urgent care practice.

RMUC didn't have a scope to thread down my throat and take another look. If I needed that they said I would have to go to a specialist or the emergency room at a local hospital.

More to come later...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Shorting in a real world example

There's been a lot of shorting of stocks this last month.

It's the opposite of what you'd normally do with a stock, which is go long. You buy a stock at a low price in hopes that you can sell it in the future for a better price, and make a tidy profit.

I thought I'd put shorting a stock into something a little more visually aiding since most of the trading we do with stocks these days is in electronic format.

The two principal ingredients to shorting are being able to borrow an object from someone and being able to return an equivalent/equal object back to them.

Say I have a neighbor across the street that has - for some inexplicable reason - 5 brand new Toro lawnmowers. He's not using them since it's late winter early spring and won't need to cut his grass for another two months.

Let's say I have a friend who has more winter grass that needs to be cut earlier in the growing season and he needs a new Toro lawn mower. Unfortunately, no local hardware stores have the model that my friend needs yet my neighbor has 5 of them!

I also have some privileged information knowing that one dealer will have some new Toro lawn mowers (the same type my neighbor has) in stock in about a month and at a price of seven hundred dollars.

Here I notice an opportunity and maybe in this scenario it's a little underhanded.

I tell my neighbor I'd like to rent one of his five lawn mowers for 100 dollars for a whole month. My neighbor agrees stating he'd like the lawnmower back in a month's time.

I take the lawn mower and sell it to my friend for one thousand dollars. He's happy.

Now I'm a bit of a risky position since I'm expecting the dealer I mentioned above to have the equivalent mower at seven hundred dollars in about a month's time.

Let's say everything works out. In another thirty days I do go to the dealer and buy the new mower for seven hundred dollars. Since my neighbor wants his fifth mower back after the month's rental period I return the new mower I just bought back to him. He doesn't know the difference.

So, here I sold a mower to my friend for one thousand dollars. Later I got an identical one for seven hundred dollars and gave that one to my neighbor. Minus the rental fee I made two hundred dollars.

So it was profitable being a middle man for someone who was willing to rent to me his item so that I could sell it at full cost to a buyer now, and then, at a later time give him the same "equivalent" item back to him that I bought at a much lower cost.

That's the essence of short selling.

But the risk is if the dealer I buy from suddenly increases his prices to more than I sold the mower to my friend, then I'm out of some money. The short seller gets squeezed and loses a tidy sum! I can't say to my neighbor I can't return his mower right?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

How to win friends and influence people

You've seen this book and maybe like me you've perused it casually, seen it at the bookstore, thought about the title, but never actually read it.

It's also in book on tape format and this was my most recent view of it; and out of all places, a former colleague of mine's car.

I spied it in my former colleague's car on his second to last day at the firm as we drove back from his going away lunch.

The hilarity of it is that the day before I wished him well and complimented him on his people skills as a manager.

Little did I know I'd find the secret to his success the next day.

The irony is that most geeks I work with are not very personable and socially awkward.

So listen here you fellow geeks, pick up a copy of this book and better yet, buy it for your cassette or CD player on your way to work, so you too can be a people person and move into managing your fellow more socially incompetent geek squad members.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Jack McDevitt

Currently, I'd have to say that Jack McDevitt is my favorite science fiction author.

I picked up a novel of his about ten years ago and found it an average read. Since then I took a break from reading science fiction and when I delved back into that genre about five years ago one of the authors I started to read again was McDevitt.

He seems to be quite consistent with writing novels these days and it seems he publishes a new one about once a year. Some are not as good as others, some are more perfunctorily written, but then some really stand out for me.

He likes to take a lot of ordinary 20th and 21st society we find today and just place it a few hundred years or even ten thousand years in the future. The characters that inhabit his novels aren't grandiose or too fantastical. In some ways they live a practical, and non-assuming lives that are a little more than ordinary and where they're surrounded by more interesting technology and greater realms of exploration and adventure. This might be the reason that Jack's science fiction is more accessible to adult science fiction readers and that's why I like reading it.

His last few novels have focused on two timelines with two characters that inhabit those times. One, Priscilla Hutchins, who lives only a few hundred years in the future and two, Alex Benedict who lives around ten thousand years in the future when humanity has occupied a greater extent of our galaxy.

I just read one of his latest Priscilla Hutchins novels, "Cauldron" where she journeys to the center of the galaxy. The novel is broken into three parts and the actual final destination only takes a couple of chapters. It's more of a journey than destination novel. Hopefully, I presume that's what most authors try to achieve, although he might foreshorten the focus on the final destination. I found it a good fast read.

Ultimately though, my all-time favorite of his - and Hugo award winner - though is Seeker. That is a novel in the Alex Benedict series timeframe. I'll have to write about why I have read that book more than once a little bit later.