Sunday, October 18, 2009

New hardware

A while back my system started crashing. It would just lose
power. I determined that the CPU was overheating by looking
at the temperature in the BIOS. I checked the CPU fan and it
was turning. I took a closer look and found that the fan was
wobbly. It needs to be securely attached to the CPU. There
are two little plastic posts on the motherboard which the fan
needs to snap on to and I found that one of them broke off. So
I started researching.

Goals: I want something that can keep up with DOOM 3 and
Quake 4 (Linux) at my monitor's maximum resolution (1680 X 1050).
My old card is an nVidia GeForce FX 5500. It's an AGP card with
256 MB RAM. I can bring up Quake 4 at 1680 X 1050 but it's like
a slide show. Best playable resolution is 800 X 600. My buddies
tell me AGP is the bottleneck... you need PCI Express for the
higher res games.

My old system has 2 GB of RAM which isn't quite cutting it
anymore. (Is Eclipse a pig these days or what?)
so I want more memory, but that is pretty easy
these days.

Generally I want to build a pretty high end system that will
have adequate performance (or be upgradeable to have adequate
performance) for some years to come, without spending for the
absolute top of the line latest-and-greatest.
  • GIGABYTE GA-MA790FXT-UD5P AMD 790FX AM3 Phenom II/Athlon X4/Athlon X3/Athlon X2 Socket AM3 5200 MT/s PC3-10600 (DDR3-1333) ATX Motherboard
  • AMD HDZ965FBGIBOX Black Edition 3.40 GHz 4000 MHz AM3 4 x 512KB Desktop Processor
  • HIS H487FN1GP Radeon HD 4870 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express x16 (2.0v) Video Card
  • OCZ OCZ3OB1600LV4GK 4GB PC3-12800 (DDR3-1600) Dual Channel Memory

I priced this on ZipZoomFly and Newegg and ZipZoomFly came
in about $5 lower.

Since Intel still has not apologized and made restitution for its
impertinent prosecution of Perl guru Randal Schwartz, my CPU choice remains AMD. Plus AMD just seems to offer better

Here are some of the articles that helped me reach this decision:

I was a bit surprised to see ATI graphics cards getting
these glowing reviews. The last time I researched a purchase
nVidia was the hot card and ATI was viewed as kind of an
also-ran. The HD 4870 is not the absolute hottest card
available but it is a Crossfire card and my
motherboard choice has a second PCI-E slot, so I can add
a second card if needed.

Memory-wise I'm getting 4 GB RAM plus two open slots, seems
like enough for the forseeable future.

I settled on the 790 FX chipset. I knew I was going to
buy a graphics card separately so it didn't make sense
to get something with an integrated graphics processor
like the 785. Of the four 790FX motherboards reviewed
in the article, only the GA-MA790FXT-UD5P had a legacy
parallel port allowing me to continue using my 15 year
old HP Laserjet 6, so I chose this one.

Monday, October 12, 2009

AppFuse, Grails and Rails

Matt Raible on AppFuse, Grails and Rails

I was actually googling 'appfuse grails' wondering if Grails used AppFuse internally.
The answer is 'no'.

JBoss web sites down again

Argh. I surf to the Drools documentation and get

You caught us doing a little maintenance. We're sorry
that you can't access your community right now. We
promise to be back up and running soon. Thank you
for your patience.

JBoss people, this is not OK.

Earlier this year I was doing something with Hibernate
and it was like this for weeks.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I posted some comments (scroll down to 10/6/2009) about the book
JBoss Drools Business Rules and its examples.

If you subscribe to Books 24X7, you can find this online here.

PS great book, I've spent a lot of time with it, just a couple of little
nits to pick.

Free Maven book

Maven, the Definitive Guide

A couple more days have gone by and I'm not constantly stuck waiting
for Maven to download plugins. I guess it has most of what it's going to
need by now. Here's what my repository looks like:

$ du -sk /home/lmulcahy/.m2/repository/
171408 /home/lmulcahy/.m2/repository/

Monday, October 5, 2009

Tapestry nostalgia

I just spent about 4 hours helping a co-worker debug a problem
in my 4 year old Tapestry 3.03 code. That was a cool framework.
Too bad it's kind of on the fringes today.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Lately I've had the Maven bug, but I'm starting to feel skeptical about
this design where you start out with only a small core and auto-download
plug-ins as needed. It's a regular occurrence that I try some new
command only to get stuck for 10 minutes waiting for it to download plug-ins.