BlogicBlog: View from the trenches

The blog about Java and XML with focus on troubleshooting issues and tools.

Monday, January 01, 2007

The blog has moved

Permanent article link

I have blogged here about Java and tech support issues since September 2004. Initially, the blog was anonymous as people were worried about negative repercussions from their workplace. Eventually, Sun and IBM and BEA (who I worked for at the time) saw the benefits and I have gone public.

After a year or so of blogging, I realised that I want to blog about more than just Java. Unfortunately Blogspot did not support the categories and I did not want to pollute JavaBlogs syndicator (where I am a member) with irrelevant content.

So I switched to the hosted WordPress account for my other topics some months back. And boy! was it nicer. Google is trying to catch up now, but it is too late for me.

The free WordPress account had one major disadvantage though: it had limited customization of the layout and plugins, something the original Blogspot provided for.

So, as part of the New Year resolutions, I have decided to consolidated the blogs into the new one at the personal domain. I have moved entries from both blog there, but not without some lost comments. Hopefully, I will figure out how to get them across eventually.

I will still be a member of the JavaBlogs, since the new installation (also a Wordpress) allows to syndicate on the category level, rather than the full blog level.

Happy New Year and I will see you at the new blog.

BlogicBlogger Over and Out

Monday, December 25, 2006

Ouch: Thinking about hiring an offshore team?

Permanent article link

Check who they are training with. Yakov Fain's notes from an offshoring training presentation are scary, and not in a good way.

BlogicBlogger Over and Out

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Microsoft's way of fixing a security issue with a feature

Permanent article link

... is dropping the feature.

I have an iPAQ rx3115 with a built-in WiFi. I had it for a while and it is a nice unit, if one forgives Windows Mobile 2003 (this is possible on a good day). I also have a wireless router, so can download books and generally browse internet from anywhere in the flat without turning the main computer on.

One of the other benefits of the built-in WiFi was synchronization over IP, which for me was specifically over the WiFi. This feature is no more.

Microsoft decided that this feature is a security risk because people's email, files and notes were transmitted unecrypted and could be snooped upon. So, with their new focus on security they had to fix this problem and fix it urgently.

So they dropped the feature in the update.

I am not sure what more to say. They decided and they executed. They did not bother mentioning this in the release notes, they did not provide it as either a disabled-by-default option or even as a registry setting. Nope. Just gone! And to make sure I don't endanger myself, they removed all old versions of the ActiveSynch as well.

One brave engineer decided to explain the reasoning behind the feature drop in his personal blog. Whatever! I can't say it any better than multiple comments on his blog already did and a fat lot of good it did to anybody.

One thing for sure - this does not bode well for Vista, where such changes don't even require people installing the updates.

BlogicBlogger Over and Out

Monday, November 13, 2006

Java has gone open source with GPL2

Permanent article link

A great news all around.

I hope Sun will also host a public cross-referencing source code navigator for the code, rather than just a subversion directory. Something like Sorcerer might be a good start. We know the idea is good, because Linux had one for ages.

Oh, and a new line in a resume to strive for: Java source code contributor.

BlogicBlogger Over and Out

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Example based code quiz from O'Reilly Labs

Permanent article link

O'Reilly labs have created a quick, but addictive code quiz that tests programmer's knowledge based on him being able to look at code example and figure out which book it might have come from.

I run through it in one breath and did not do too badly (280 points). I mostly had troubles with VB/ASP (no surprise), but also with some examples that were ambiguous.

O'Reilly is going to do some serious data mining from the game results, but I wish they would also provide the dataset to the public, obfuscated or otherwise. It would be interesting to play with it, a la Netflix Prize. And/or they could allow the results to be embeddable in the page for the brag value.

BlogicBlogger Over and Out

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Obscure bulk format converters of

Permanent article link

I needed to convert multiple MSWord documents into the format and then later to convert those documents further into HTML. How to do it with a single document is obvious; it took some searching to figure out how to do it for multiple documents.

The magic menu turned out to be File/Wizards (Document Converter and Web Page correspondingly). In a retrospect, it is not unobvious. The only reason it took time is because I very rarely use wizard interfaces of any software.

Be that as it may, the wizards themselves are quite powerful and useful and work just fine on large file sets. The Web Page wizard's actual purpose is to generate a pretty table of content for the documents, but it will convert all the documents into HTML as a side-effect. So, I just deleted the generated TOC files and kept the converted HTML documents.

BlogicBlogger Over and Out

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Online typing speed test

Permanent article link

Nice, simple typing speed test page. Even with tired hands, I managed to pull good 86 wpm with only a 3 mistakes.

I remember buying the TypeQuick software long time ago to learn touch typing, when it still came on floppies and had some really strange copy protection. I remember the pain it was to uninstall the application back onto the floppy disk to make sure the license could be transferred over to the new computer.

At least, I could transfer the license back then. This days, Windows will not even let you do that legally. Talk about monopoly abuse.

BlogicBlogger Over and Out