Saturday, December 22, 2012

Mint 13

I'm installing Mint 13 on my desktop.  This will be my third Mint 13 install.

The default marco window manager does not work for me.   Symptom is windows have no decorations, all appear in the upper left corner and can't be moved.  In other words, the window manager is not running.

The first time this happened, I thought it was just my incredibly old laptop, but this happens every single time.  Does the default marco work for anyone?

Same thing with compiz.  Mutter and metacity work, but I had huge problems with the workspace switcher.  I initally (under marco) set my workspace switcher to 3x6, but when I switched to mutter it appeared as 2X2, and the workspace switcher preferences offered no way to change it.  This behavior is similar under metacity.

I tried using the 'Additional drivers' drivers (ATI/AMD proprietary FGLRX driver), also manually downloading and installing the proprietary driver from, still couldn't get compiz or marco to work.

Here's what finally worked for me
  1.  Install and run gconf-editor
  2.  Navigate to /apps/metacity/general, set num_workspaces to whatever you want
  3.  Run mateconf-editor
  4.  Navigate to /desktop/mate/session/required-components, set windowmanager to metacity
Here's how to switch to  Focus follows mouse, sloppy, autoraise:

As above, run gconf-editor, go to /apps/metacity/general, check auto_raise, set focus_mode to sloppy.

Heh, cool, Quake 3 Arena works.  What a blast from the past.  There's no master server anymore, though.  I found a couple of places saying to use a different server browser to get multiplayer to work.  Xqf works.

Steam for Linux works.  I had to do this manual step:
sudo apt-get install libcurl3-gntls:i386
to get it working on my 64 bit hardware.  See Steam Available in Linux through a Workaround

Ubuntu Tweak for Mint 13 
Google Chrome

(1/1/2013) Hibernate didn't work at first.  I tried pm-hibernate.  Then I installed and tried s2disk.  S2disk works.  Also now when I run pm-hibernate, the output messages indicate it is using s2disk.

I used these instructions to get the 'Hibernate' button back on the 'Shut down the computer' menu.

Intermittent problem with hibernate.  Sometimes I have to try more than once to get it to work.

(1/20/2013) I had no sound for Quake 4, Doom 3 and Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory.

Fixed for Quake 4 and Doom 3 by editing these files:


Look for this line:
seta s_driver "oss"
and change it to this:
seta s_driver "best"
See also Doom 3, Quake 4, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars sound delay fix.

I couldn't find a comparable setting in the Enemy Territory config file, etconfig.cfg.

This solution worked for me.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Oracle 11g XE on Mint 13

I switched from Ubuntu 10.04 to Mint 13 in July.  The new Oracle 11g XE is only available in RPM format, and there are other problems, and I'm not using Oracle DB at work these days, so I didn't get around to reinstalling Oracle.

I had some time today and following this:

Installing Oracle 11gXE on Mint and Ubuntu

was able to get it working.  Cool, thanks Mike!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Installing Java EE 6 tutorials on Linux Mint 13

In the good old days, all the Java tutorials could simply be downloaded as a ZIP file or compressed tar file.  But somewhere along the line Sun/Oracle decided to make us use the Glassfish updatetool instead.

I tried this today and had several problems.

(1) Error:

The software needed for this command (updatetool) is not installed.

If you choose to install Update Tool, your system will be automatically
configured to periodically check for software updates. If you would like
to configure the tool to not check for updates, you can override the
default behavior via the tool's Preferences facility.

When this tool interacts with package repositories, some system information
such as your system's IP address and operating system type and version
is sent to the repository server. For more information please see:

Once installation is complete you may re-run this command.

Would you like to install Update Tool now (y/n): y

Proxy: Using system proxy settings.
Install image: /home/lmulcahy/java/netbeans/glassfish-
Installing pkg packages.
Downloading 2 packages.
Downloading pkg (511 files, 6,237,937 bytes).
File 4/511#
# A fatal error has been detected by the Java Runtime Environment:
#  SIGSEGV (0xb) at pc=0x00007fdaaf95e3ef, pid=8767, tid=140576351434496
# JRE version: 7.0_07-b10
# Java VM: Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (23.3-b01 mixed mode linux-amd64 compressed oops)
# Problematic frame:
File 7/511[thread 140576350381824 also had an error]
File 44/511*** glibc detected *** /usr/local/java/jdk1.7.0_07-x86_64/bin/java: invalid fastbin entry (free): 0x0000000001502d50 ***
[thread 140576349329152 also had an error]
[thread 140576348276480 also had an error]
# [ timer expired, abort... ]
Aborted (core dumped)

Fixed by: Enable the proxy server:

export http_proxy=http://localhost:3128/

(And of course you need to have an actual proxy server.  This is Squid running on port 3128).

 (2) Error:

WX import error.  Verify the WX widgets are in the PYTHONPATH.
The following can be reported to GlassFish Update Tool 2.3.5 Development Team .

Traceback (innermost last):
  File "/home/lmulcahy/java/netbeans/glassfish-", line 283, in init_app_locale
    import wx
  File "wx/", line 45, in ?
  File "wx/", line 4, in ?
 ImportError: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

Fixed by: (Credit to Scott Dunbar) Install the 32 bit version of libjpeg62:

sudo apt-get install libjpeg62:i386

Interestingly enough, libjpeg62:i386 didn't appear in Synaptic, but installing it this way from the command line worked.

Hope this saves someone the hour or so it took me to figure this out.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The 6-week cure for the middle-aged middle

I've always had a tendency to overeat and get overweight.  In 1997 I hit 190 lbs.  I went on a diet consisting of only eating 1 meal a day 6 days a week, plus heavy exercise and in about 3 months managed to get down to 175.

In 2008 my weight reached 195 and I developed high blood pressure.  Over the course of the next 9 months I managed to get down to 165 (mainly cutting out carbs, sugar, fast food) and the blood pressure issues cleared up.

I was pretty happy with that for a year or so, but my weight still kept trying to creep up.  If I got over 170 or so then my blood pressure would start to rise.  I was in a pattern where every week my weight was fluctuating between 165 and 170.  I had still had love handles and a slight paunch.  I came to the 6 week cure with the idea of just a quick, one-time fix to lose 5 or 10 lbs and get a buffer zone between my top weight and where it started to elevate my BP.

This diet is not for the faint of heart.  I almost walked away when I saw the words 'no alcohol whatsoever for the first 2 weeks'.  It may as well say 4 weeks.  Given the tiny amount you are allowed to drink in weeks 3 and 4 I didn't bother.

For the first four days I felt like I was fasting.  The muscles in my legs ached.  I felt weak from hunger.  One day I had cold symptoms.  A couple of times I had migraines, which I never get.  It was difficult to concentrate on tasks at work.  I felt cold.  The book didn't prepare me for any of this, though from the reviews at Amazon I learned others had a similar experience.  My usual jogging routine went out the window.  I absolutely didn't want to do anything that would burn calories and make me feel even hungrier.

On day 5, something clicked and I started to feel better.  On day 8 I felt well enough to go jogging.  After that I more or less resumed my regular jogging routine (3X a week), though I did not fully recover my normal strength and didn't attempt the longer distances I usually run on the weekends.

Throughout the first 4 weeks I felt hungry a lot of the time.

Constipation was a constant problem.  Towards the middle of the second week my bowels started moving somewhat normally again.  When I switched from shakes to meat it took about another week to start getting 'regular' again.

At the end of 4 weeks of almost constant hunger, weakness and the other symptoms mentioned... the grim, sober weekends... the sacrifice and self-denial... my weight was down a disappointing 5 lbs.

In week five I went back to a diet of mostly meat and salads, plus the occasional shake.  I ate a few things I hadn't eaten for a while like (home made) chili and actual condiments (mustard contains sugar) and beef jerky (ditto contains sugar), as well as liquor.  Weirdly, eating a salad almost every day, yet another episode of constipation strikes.  My weight still declined a bit in week 5.

Week 6, pretty much the same as week 5.  The constipation pretty much cleared up.

Here's my weekly weigh-in leading up to, during, and after the cure:

2/11   166.4
2/20   168.6
2/25   166.8
3/3    166.0    (0)
3/11   166.6    (1)
3/18   164.2    (2)
3/25   163.0    (3)
3/31   161.6    (4)
4/7    160.8    (5)
4/14   161.2    (6)
4/21   159.0
4/28   160.6
5/5    159.6

Total weight loss was about 7 lbs.  I'm more or less keeping it off although there's no magic and you can see there are episodes of my weight creeping up again.  The thought of possibly going through this torture again motivates me.

In spite of my complaining I don't really regret doing this.  The benefits weren't as great as expected.  The cost was greater than expected.  Still, I never would have lost even this modest amount of weight just continuing on the way I was doing.  I suspect if I had done this when I was 30 lbs overweight I would have lost 20 lbs instead of 7 or so.  I think I'm just at a point where my body is fighting tooth and nail to hang on to those last few extra pounds.

My current thinking about losing weight and keeping it off follows:

(1) Avoid sugar.  This includes high fructose corn syrup.  Also note that some fruits are loaded with sugar.  Check the ingredients label; this is present in a lot of stuff where you might not expect it.

(2) Avoid carbohydrates, which your body metabolizes into more sugar.

(3) Exercise.  The benefit of this is not as great as you might think because exercise gives you an appetite and you wind up eating more.  But I still think there is a net benefit.

(4) Mostly eat meat, eggs, cheese, fruits and vegetables.  Limit fruit intake because of the sugar they contain. 

(5) It's useless to go on a diet if you can't stick to it.  Occasionally going off your diet for a day for a birthday or a holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas won't kill you.  So think about 3 or 4 special days a year when you are going to relax or celebrate something.  But if you are making little exceptions every week, you might as well not bother dieting.  If you screw up, it's important to limit the damage and get back on the diet right away.  Each decision you make about eating sets a precedent for the next decision.  You're not just making isolated, individual decisions, you're cultivating a habit. 

(6) Think in terms of a permanent lifestyle change where eventually your new lifestyle will feel enjoyable and not sacrificial.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Uberconf 2012 themes, trends, observations

What's hot:

Mobile.  This market is growing explosively.  My dabbling in Android programming is OK for a hobby, but to seriously compete in this space you have to cover at least Android and IOS, IOS being the more important.  Solution is either stick to HTML5+CSS3+Javascript, losing some performance and device-specific capabilities, or go with a framework like PhoneGap or Titanium.

Javascript.  It's standardized and ubiquitous.  Javascript and AJAX will be the key to rich web content in the post-Flash world of HTML5.  No one wants to deal with the flaws (browser compatibility issues, for one) of plain vanilla Javascript, so there's an accelerating profusion of frameworks.  There's growing recognition that Javascript's lack of multithreading is a problem.

Gradle.  Gradle recently made it to release 1.0.  I have it in mind to learn more about this and start using it.  Too bad Spring is so joined at the hip with Maven these days, but I wouldn't be surprised if that changed soon.

NoSQL databases.

Conspicuously absent:

The big emphasis on concurrency and multithreading.

Book sales.

Round table discussion.

'No Fluff'... There was an actual vendor booth.  Gradleware is definitely one of the good guys, but this was still a conspicuous departure from the NFJS tradition.  Will this be the first step down a slippery slope?

Random observations:

The MacBook Pro is still a popular choice.

My impression was the presenters were more slack than in the past about having their slides ready on time.  Does this have to do with the iPads?  I suppose when the slides were being printed they had to be delivered earlier.  I liked not lugging the binder full of printouts around, but just having everything on the USB drive, on time, would have been fine with me.

Uberconf day 4

Scott Bain "Sustainable Test-Driven Development"

"In TDD, we are conducting an analysis to create the functional specification."

Tests aren't tests, they're requirements.  I agree with this line of reasoning, but non-programmers won't accept requirements that are written in code.

"A good test is a unique test."

"Behavior-based Analysis and Design"

I was a little worried this was going to be all review for me, but he touched on some points I never thought of.  Good presentation.

Oleg Zhurakousky "Enterprise Integration Patterns with Spring Integration"

I like this guy... he's got a MacBook Pro and he put a sticker over the glowing Apple logo.

Great presentation.  I feel like I learned the maximum possible in 3 hours.

Plus another endorsement for Springsource STS.


I sat down next to Craig Walls at lunch and he gave me a Spring Roo t-shirt.  Cool!

Craig Walls "Client-side MVC: Web and Mobile Development with Spine.js"

"Knockout has an awesome tutorial."

"Mobile extension Spine Mobile"

Once Craig got into the details, this was a bit over my head. Looks cool but I'd need to come up to speed on CoffeeScript first.

"REST API follows Rails convention."

Spine apps can be wrapped in Cordova/PhoneGap.


Approaches to Legacy Code
Lean-Agile Resources

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Uberconf day 3

First stop is Craig Walls "Spring Data Workshop".

We're looking at Spring Data support for JPA, MongoDB, Neo4J, Redis.

Craig zipped up his Maven repository and passed it around the room on a couple of USB drives to address the problems we experienced yesterday.

"Don't use JPA Templates... it's just there for consistency.  Exception translation is not needed for JPA.  Works similar to Hibernate contextual sessions."

"Spring Data = GORM"

This was one of the better presentations so far.  Craig was up all night working on a solution to the previous day's problem which proved effective.

It was refreshing to hear Craig endorsing Springsource STS (Eclipse) and disparaging IntelliJ/IDEA...  quite a change for this formerly IDEA-centric venue.

Venkat Subramaniam "Mastering Javascript"

"Gets are deep, sets are shallow."

I never got past the casual use of Javascript, and that was about 2 years ago, so  good review, plus some off-the-beaten-path stuff I don't think you'd find in the O'Reilly book.

"It's hard to get Javascript right, so don't actually write Javascript."  Venkat recommends CoffeeScript.

Szczepan Faber "Mockito Workshop"

Unit testing is an area of special interest for me.   I would like to learn more about Mockito but this just wasn't an effective presentation.

This guy just started coding like a demon with almost no introduction or discussion.  No one could keep up.  After a while he started pushing to his git repository at regular intervals and the rest of us could keep up doing git pulls.  So this turned into more of a coding demonstration than a workshop.

Even then he was doing a lot of refactoring and seemed to focus on developing his application more than demonstrating the features of Mockito.

I didn't come back for part 2 of this.

Pratik Patel "Mobile Development Options"

Lots more technical detail than yesterday's Nathaniel Schutta presentation, focused on PhoneGap and Titanium.

"Titanium's run-time performance is way better than PhoneGap/Cordova."

Keynote: Matthew McCullough "Adam Smith builds an application"


Infinitest Eclipse or IntelliJ/IDEA runs your unit tests every time you save

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Uberconf day 2

"Effective Spring Workshop" with Craig Walls was disappointing.  The presenter set up an application for all of us to download and work on together.  There were about 100 people in the room all trying to get dependencies for this application with Maven all at the same time.  Apparently it's quite possible for Maven to download the first half of a file, then time out and abandon the download attempt, leaving a JAR file sitting there in the directory, then at the next download attempt seeing that JAR file present and assuming it doesn't need to be downloaded.  You'd think there'd be some logic with checksums or something, but no.

I gained a new appreciation for the shortcomings of Maven today.  My Maven repository was so corrupted after this, I wound up recovering $HOME/.m2 from backups when I got home in the evening.  Everyone was cracking jokes about Maven in the aftermath of Tim Berglund's poem the previous night.

I wish there had been something in writing for this one.  I spent probably 2/3 of the sessions trying to get the application up and thus was only half paying attention to the lecture.

Profiles is a cool new Spring 3.1 feature I had not heard of before this.

"Designing for Mobile" by Nathaniel Schutta: non-technical presentation emphasizing the explosive growth of the market for mobile devices and apps and some special considerations developing for mobile platforms.  This was pretty good, kind of a nice break from all the technical workshops without being a waste of time.

"Building Next Generation Apps" by Craig Walls.  "Next Generation" = mobile.  Due to the technical issues with Maven and the limited network bandwidth already mentioned, Craig did this as a lecture rather than a workshop.

This covered a lot of ground, some of it familiar to me (Spring MVC, OAuth), some new to me (Spring Security and Spring Security for OAuth, Spine.js, CoffeeScript, Spring Data for Neo4J).

"Servlet filters are aspects."
"Adaptive rendering is wasteful of resources on a mobile device."

Venkat Subramaniam keynote

I missed the title of this one and it didn't appear on the schedule.  Something about how computer languages have evolved over time.  One of the points he made was how functional programming was invented in the 50s with LISP, went out of style and is now being embraced again for the sake of immutability in concurrent programming.  "There's nothing new under the sun."  Viewing the languages we use now as 'bridge languages' to the better languages to come.

"Applying Groovy Closures for Fun and Productivity" by Venkat Subramaniam.

I haven't given a lot of thought to Groovy lately.  This language rocks.  Why aren't we all using it?


 All of Venkat Subramaniam's content on InfoQ
Redcar TextMate-like editor for Linux

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Uberconf day 1

This time the James Bond USB drive is disguised as a pen.

They're offering a choice of five all-day workshops for the first day.  Big improvement over 2 years ago when it was iPad only.  I'm doing the Android workshop.  Here are the slides and stuff.

Apparently we're going to be issued (loaner) iPads with all the handouts on them.  We'll see how this works out.

" is the official Android support forum".

The Android Sources plugin will organize your Android source code so Eclipse can find it.

James Harmon brought easily enough Android material for 2 days.  I think I could have handled another day.  I feel like I'm at a point where I could mostly work through the rest of this material myself, except where would I ever get that kind of time?

Great keynote from Tim Berglund "Then Our Buildings Shape Us", plus "The Maven".



Monday, June 18, 2012

Twas the Night before Uberconf

I'm going to Uberconf tomorrow.  As usual the schedule poses some tough choices.  I'm going to keep the focus on Spring and mobile where possible.

Some of the presenters are tweeting about a power outage in Westminster.  I presume that's at the Westin. Power is fine here.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

Don't forget to adjust those privacy settings:

"When you begin using Ubuntu 12.04, it starts recording many of your activities. Such as the websites you visit, and the files you use."

There's no 'hibernate' option in XFCE.  Some discussion of this here.  I tried to proceed as described but got errors when I tried to start xfce-power-manager.  pm-hibernate does work.

I was able to get hibernate restored to the 'Action Buttons' by following these instructions.  Power manager still broken, though.

Actually, if you use 'Session menu' instead of 'Action Buttons', it gives you 'Lock Screen', 'Suspend', 'Hibernate', 'Reboot', 'Shut Down' and 'Log out'.  This is the panel item that appears as your userid.

Looks like XFCE has no 'Clean up by Name' to keep your desktop icons neatly arranged... that's a bummer...

I wanted to try some things outside of the VMware environment so I installed Xubuntu to a USB drive and booted it up on my laptop. 

VMware Player 4.02 on Xubuntu 12.04 works with this patch.  (Previously I wrote here that this didn't work but that turned out to be my error, sort of.  At  the download page you might expect the most recent version would be at the top of the list, but instead they have v. 4.0.0 at the top and you have to scroll down to get to 4.0.2.  Anyway, once I figured this out and downloaded the right version, everything worked).

I attempted to install updates, started getting errors about /scripts/casper-functions as it attempts to do the kernel updates.  Casper is part of the infrastructure it uses to boot from a USB drive.  Possibly the answer is just 'don't try to do kernel updates when booting from a USB drive', but I've done this many times in Ubuntu 10.04 without problem.  I googled for this and found a couple of messages saying removing a package called 'canonical-census' would fix this, but it's not installed.  The various versions of Ubuntu I installed in VMware Player didn't have this problem.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ubuntu 12.04 beta

Ubuntu 12.04 comes out tomorrow, weighing the alternatives...

Lubuntu (LXDE): Eccentric selection of packages.  Chromium instead of Firefox, Abiword instead of OpenOffice/LibreOffice.  Of course, they all share the same Ubuntu repositories and you can install whatever you want.

No weather applet.

Xubuntu (XFCE): Can't right click on an application in the menu to create a launcher on the desktop.  (Update: Right click on the background, select 'Create Launcher'.  This 'Create Launcher' dialog is smarter than the one I'm used to.  Enter a partial application name, choose match from the menu and it populates all the fields).

Nice weather applet.

Kubuntu: (KDE): I'm not a big KDE fan but in the interest of fairness I thought I'd give this a try.

I'm testing all of these as VMs in VMware Player 4.  So, it could be some artifact of VMware, but when I installed Kubuntu, the screen was black the whole time.  Yet, it did finally install successfully, but I had no feedback of any kind until it finished the install and rebooted.

KDE has a slick appearance, yet it takes way too long to navigate around in it.  It feels like they're trying to make it easy for beginners?

I wasn't able to install updates.  Error says 'Another application seems to be using the package system at this time.  You must close all other package managers before you will be able to install or remove any packages.'  I don't have any other package managers open.  I reinstalled and tried this immediately after booting from a fresh install and still got this error.

Ubuntu: (Gnome3/Unity): Ubuntu has been disappointing since 10.10 and especially since the advent of Unity in 11.04, but thought I'd give it another try.  Still huge problems. 

I can't move the launcher.  Still can't move things around within the launcher.  This is particularly irksome with the workspace switcher.  This is a frequently used item.  It's not convenient to have to scroll around in the launcher to find it way at the bottom 100 times a day.

Software Center is a real turkey.  Install packages one at a time, really?  Seems like they are just trying to imitate iTunes or Android Market.

Problems resizing windows.  When I mouse over over the corners or edges, the cursor changes, but when I left-click to grab the corner/edge, it doesn't work.

This summarizes many of the flaws of Unity.  Weirdly some people seem perfectly OK with this interface.  I'm not one of them.

All the Ubuntu distros support MySQL 5.5.

I also checked out some non-Ubuntu alternatives:

Mageia 1 (Gnome): "Mageia is a fork of Mandriva Linux formed in September 2010 by former employees and contributors to the popular French Linux distribution."  Sounds cool, but I couldn't get this to install.

Mandriva One 2011: (KDE) Mandrake/Mandriva was my favorite distro for many years.  Mandriva 2007 Spring was a masterpiece.  But after that they were jumping the shark.  By 2009 I was switching my last computer to Ubuntu.

Some needless drama when I went to install updates.  I get an error like 'The following packages need to be removed for others to be upgraded', with a list of what looks like hundreds of packages.  I click on 'Yes', and it says 'Sorry, the following packages cannot be selected' with another list of hundreds of packages, detailing their conflicts with other packages.  But after all this, it seems to come up with the list of packages it can install and gets on with it.

I installed the updates and rebooted.  Desktop comes up but things don't work.  The 'main menu' button does nothing.  I click on the button next to that and it says 'Unable to run the command specified.  The file or folder file:///usr/share/applications/kde4/dolphin.desktop does not exist'.

Mint 12: (Gnome): This is #1 on Distrowatch lately and seems a popular choice for people leaving Ubuntu.

I guess this is the dreaded Gnome 3.  Looks like Gnome but lots of unfamiliar behavior.  Right click on the panels does nothing.

I wanted to try Mate (Gnome 2 fork).  Look for a package installer, bring up GDebi, it seems to just hang.  But good old Synaptic is there and works fine.  Mate is already installed.

OK, I log out, select Mate from the menu and log back in.  Now I can resize the panel and such.  There is a completely different menu. By default you get a special customized Mate menu but it can easily be replaced with the standard main menu.

I bring up Synaptic.  Cool, 56,000 packages.  Ubuntu merely has 38,000.

Can't find a weather applet for Mate :(

I like this look and feel.  It's vaguely olwm-ish.  Nice font, too.

Supports MySQL 5.1.

I also took a quick look at Mint Debian 201204.  This just came out on 4/24, 2 days before the Ubuntu release.  Looks really cool.  People are raving about it.  I like the idea of getting away from the Ubuntu repos and reverting back to Debian.  But, still, MySQL version supported is 5.1, and MySQL Workbench isn't even in the repos.

Viable choices are Mint, Xubuntu and Lubuntu.

Sticking with Ubuntu would be the comfortable and easy choice, but I'm extremely leery of the direction Ubuntu is going and the fact that they are still sticking with Unity after all the negative feedback and the sharp decline in popularity that Ubuntu has suffered since 11.04.  Shuttleworth needs some time to be by himself for a while.

Mint, on the other hand, seems to be trying to give the user lots of choices.  There's yet another tool to ease the pain of Gnome 3 called Cinnamon.  I tried this briefly and prefer Mate, but it shows the Mint developers' hearts are in the right place.

One disappointment though for Mint is MySQL at version 5.1.  MySQL 5.5 has some important performance improvements and was released in December, 2010.  I'm hesitating a bit over this.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Interview tip

Bring samples of your code.  The technical people are
always eager to look at these. 

One of my big problems with interviews is the amount
of stuff you have to just memorize to make a good impression.
If you are constantly getting tripped up by questions about
stuff that you understand and use regularly but don't quite
have memorized, bring an example in your code samples.
Showing that you used a technique to solve a real world
problem is better than just regurgitating some syntax from
memory, anyway.

Monday, March 19, 2012


I downloaded the Android SDK and got the Hello World app
running in about an hour.  This is easier than I expected.
Linux, Eclipse, Java, XML... it's all totally familiar.

I watched Beginning Android Development yesterday and that's
what got me interested.  There are lots of good, free presentations
at this site.  I've been hanging out there a lot lately.  It's like
NFJS is in town every weekend.