Monday, November 19, 2012

Donate Idle CPU Time to Rosetta@Home

If you have a idle compute or idle CPU time, consider donating that CPU time to a good cause via distributed computing.  I donate my CPU time to Rosetta@Home.

Rosetta really needs your help.  They recently started the Institute for Protein Design that aims to design new proteins to fight diseases. Due to overwhelming needs, it's taking 10 days for single protein fold to be computed (about 3,000-5,000 work units) and there is a huge backlog.

My ultra fast 8-core Intel i7 at 3.4Ghz can only chomp through about 18 work units a day on average.  Your help is needed so join Rosetta@Home today.

More info on Rosetta and the good they are trying to do here:

Rosetta@home needs your help to determine the 3-dimensional shapes of proteins in research that may ultimately lead to finding cures for some major human diseases.

By running the Rosetta program (BOINC) on your computer while you don't need it you will help us speed up and extend our research in ways we couldn't possibly attempt without your help. You will also be helping our efforts at designing new proteins to fight diseases such as HIV, Malaria, Cancer, and Alzheimer's.

Please join us in our efforts! Rosetta@home is not for profit and a program of the University of Washington.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Grails48 Hackathon - Minneapolis Team Meet'N'Greet - Sun, 11/4 from Noon to 2p


The Minneapolis Team is having a pre-hackathon Meet'N'Greet to talk about the hackathon and organize for the event. I'm relatively new to the Grails community here in Minneapolis (coming from other languages) and Kurt, Jacob and myself thought it would be great for a meet and greet to talk about EnlistApp.  We'll discuss what the app will should do, plan out tasks, talk about GitHub and more.

Date: Sunday, 11/4/2012
Time: Noon to 2p CT
Where: Bob's Java Hut - 2651 South Lyndale Avenue, Minneapolis, MN

Hope to see you there!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Grails48 Hackathon - Nov. 9-12 - Join the Minneapolis Team

I want to invite you to join the Minneapolis Team for the Grails48 Hackathon that is occurring November 9-12.  It's easy to join at

You don't have to be there the whole time -- even part of a day would be helpful.

Our project is EnlistApp. Enlist is an open source and free application that aims to help non-profits organize volunteers, track volunteer hours and management volunteer rewards.  This application will directly benefit Team Ortho -- they put on running races in the Twin Cities. They support research, education, and advancements in orthopaedic technology; and to promote good muscular, skeletal, and joint health by encouraging an active lifestyle including training for and participating in amateur athletic events.

We already have a start on it here -- uses Grails, Twitter Bootstrap, JQuery, etc in case you want to check it out:

I'm working on a location.  Doug Sabers has offered ReachLocal's offices (below where we have the GUM meetings) and I'm waiting to hear back from him to confirm.

In the meantime, come join the team for the hackathon.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Road to Getting Your Digital Life Together

Maybe this will be a bit morbid, but I've heard of nightmares when it comes to somebody dying and not having access to their digital life afterwards. Here is my list of things to do to get your digital life in order.  Not only will it help those that you leave behind; it will make your life easier while you are alive!


So don't think you'll get a jump on those dice of life. Snake eyes will come someday -- whether it's death, theft, flooding or fire.

  1. Use a Password Manager

    Don't use the same password everywhere.  That will lead to your digital life being hacked.  Use a unique, strong password for each service and website you use.  I like to usethe open source KeePassX which is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iPhone. You only have to remember one password to unlock your database (make sure it's a good -- it's your master key). I keep my password database synced between my phone and my main computer using a file sharing service (Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc). You can even periodically print out your passwords and put that in a safe place (like a fire safe).

  2. Get Your Backup in Order

    Now that you've made your life more secure, be sure to backup all those important documents, photos, and music.  Backup never seems important until you actually need it.  So don't mourn the loss of your prize MP3 collection or your kid's baby pics.  Easiest option is to buy a large external hard drive and use backup software.  Space is cheap so consider 1TB of space or more. Consider getting a disaster proof backup drive. ioSafe makes drives that are fireproof and waterproof.

    Don't rely on remembering to backup.  Set your software to backup on a schedule and prompt you if your backup drive isn't connected to your system.  I'm paranoid and I backup daily. Also any good backup software should be encrypting your backups in case your drive should get stolen or go missing.

    Alternative, you can use a cloud based service however you need a good internet connection and I can only assume it's only so secure.  I mean I know it's not public access, but somebody would have to steal your external drive.

    I use DejaDup on Linux which allows you to backup to local drive or cloud services like Amazon S3, Rackspace and Ubuntu One.  I love it -- just set it and forget it (thanks to Ron Popeil for that line).

    Alternatively for music / photos, there options from Amazon (CloudDrive / CloudPlayer), Google (GoogleDrive/GooglePlay) and Apple.

  3. Digitize Your Music and Photos

    Unless you're in the Millenial generation, then you probably have CDs and printed photos.  Theft, flood and fire are all possible. I've spend many an hour ripping CDs to OGG format and uploading to GooglePlay.  Nice side effect is that I can stream my entire collection from my phone / computer and they are backed up!

    I like to use RipperX for Linux which has CDParanoid built-in.  CDParanoid is great for ensuring great rips since CDs that are scratched etc.

    If you don't want to scan your prints in yourself or do not have equipment, you can take prints or negatives to places like Costco and they have services that will do that for you.

  4. Get a Will and/or Living Trust

    Ok, I know this isn't part of your digital life, but your Last Will and/or Trust dictates what happens to your stuff -- including your digital life such as music, photos, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. No Will means those that you leave behind will have a hard time cleaning up your digital mess especially if you are more technology savy than your next of kin.  Make sure your Will or Trust states what your executor or trustee should do with your digital life.

    One option is Nolo WillMaker which will create Wills, Power of Attorney, Healthcare Directives and Living Trusts.  Not bad for $42 or even less if you look for Nolo promo codes on Google.  WillMaker works like TurboTax -- you are interviewed and the software walks you through the process.  It even comes with 100+ page eBook to help you decide what options are best for you.

Friday, August 24, 2012

PyCharm - Initial Setup - Don't use OpenJDK

I installed PyCharm today and for the life of me couldn't get it to run right.  Don't use OpenJDK.  There is a check in the to check for OpenJDK and warn...but I didn't see it because I didn't launch it from terminal.  I launched it from Nautilus.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mutiple Clipboard Plugin for Eclipse

If you don't have a multiple clipboard on your system and use Eclipse, check out Multi-Clipboard from the EasyEclipse project:


It's as easy as punching ALT-V and then press number of the item you want in the clipboard.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Mach-II Moving to GitHub

Mach-II is moving to GitHub. We're in the process of migrating the wiki, but the code has been mirgrated from SVN already:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Windows 7 - How To Fix Laptop Battery Won't Charge Issue (Plugged In,Not Charging)

We have a new HP laptop at work that is our audio recording and video production rig.  For some reason today, it would only run on AC and not the battery.  The battery indicator in the tray indicated:
Plugged In, Not Charging

Strange for a new laptop to have a bad battery especially when HP Support Assistant indicated a good battery.  After some searching, here a possible the fix that worked for me on Windows 7.  This may or may not not work if you.

  1. Go into Control Panel

  2. Go to the System category

  3. Select View Advanced System Settings

  4. Go to the Hardware tab and click the Device Manage button

  5. Under the Batteries section right click on the "Microsoft APCI-Compliant Control Method Battery" and select "Uninstall"

  6. Agree to the warning to uninstall

  7. Perform a Windows Update. If you don't this, your next update will probably break this fix

  8. Shutdown your computer

  9. Remove the battery for 1 minute

  10. Reinstall the battery

  11. Turn on your computer with your AC adapter since your battery is probably dead

  12. Windows should automatically recognize the "new" battery hardware and reinstall the driver for you

  13. Your battery should start charging again

If you have an HP laptop and this does not work for you, there have been reports that certain HP laptops need a firmware update.

Edit January 26th, 2014: Sadly I have had to disable comments since people have chosen to post hateful comments if the a solution did not work for them.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Dynamically setting up a H2 datasource on OpenBD

<cfset DatasourceCreate("enlist"
    , {
        drivername: "org.h2.Driver"
        , hoststring: "jdbc:h2:" & ExpandPath('./') & "/WEB-INF/bluedragon/h2databases/enlist;AUTO_SERVER=TRUE;IGNORECASE=false;MODE=MySQL"
        , initstring: "RUNSCRIPT FROM '#ExpandPath("../docs/sql")#/mysql_createDB.sql'\;"
        , databasename: "enlist"
        , username: "enlist"
        , password: "enlist"
    }) />

Thursday, May 17, 2012

cf.Objective() 2012 - Speedy Websites Presentation with Speaker Notes

My cf.Objective() 2012 presentation is now available including my speaker notes on my presentations page.

Check it now out.  Also, please don't just give my presentation without permission. I spent a lot of time working out all the details.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

ACF8 - The Cron service is not available.

I'm blogging this because I get this error occationally when I restart Tomcat with ACF8 deployed as a WAR:

The Cron service is not available.

This happens because the neo-cron.xml file in /WEB-INF/cfusion/lib has been corrupted. You can replace it with the neo-cron.bk file however in my case that file is always corrupted as well.

Here is a basic cron file if you have an empty backup file as well:

Download this file

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Calling All Devs: Mach-II Work Session - Saturday March 3rd, 2012 via Google Hang-Out - Mach-II

Matt, Kurt and Peter are leading a Mach-II Work Session in March via Google Hang-Out. If you're interested in helping out on the project - coding, documentation or even have a question drop on by.

When: Saturday March 3rd, 2012 from Noon - 6pm CT (10am - 4pm PT)

Where: Google Plus Hang-Out using SVN / Trac

Just follow our Google+ Mach-II page and join our public hang-out that day.  If you're coming, we'd love to hear from you now in our comments and we'll send you a reminder just a few days before!

No experience with Open Source? Don't worry; we're here to help and guide you through the process. This is a great way to expand your horizons and share what you know -- new people means new ideas!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Logitech USB Headset H530 on Linux (Ubuntu / Mint)

Just wanted to quickly blog that the Logitech USB Headset H530 works on Mint 11 without any additional drivers to install.  Since it's a Debian style OS, I think would on Ubuntu as well. I'm blogging wheneve I find hardware that isn't noted for Linux but works anyways.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Adobe ColdFusion 9 on Mac Lion - Fix for cfdocument and Hanging Admin

First let me start off that I am not a Mac owner and therefore please keep this in mind.

One of the issues with ACF9 on Mac OSX Lion is the use of the java.awt package to get items like the list of available printers.  The AWT package is just a wrapper for a packages that are native on the target operating system.  In this case, there are bugs in the apple.awt.CToolkit class that is the problem on MAC.

We were having an issue with Mach-II 1.9 hanging on MAC Lion recently and we narrowed it done to our use of java.awt.Toolkit.  You can indicate to the JVM that you want to use the sun.awt.* package instead which appears to have fixed the issue for Mach-II 1.9 for Mac OSX Lion users.  The positive side effect is that it fixed the hung "Info" page in the CFIDE as well.

You probably already have headless=true in your jvm.config file, however you need another directive to use a different awt toolkit otherwise the JVM will default the buggy apple.awt toolkit.

Let me know if this fixes other ACF9 issues on Mac OSX Lion like cfdocument.


Update 1: This appears to have fixed generating PDFs using cfdocument as well.

Update 2: I'd like to thank Sumit Verma at Ten24Web for spending 4 hours nailing down that AWT was causing an issue in Mach-II 1.9. This is what led me down the right path to this JVM config argument change.

Update 3: Typically it is "CF9/runtime/bin/jvm.config" where CF9 is the location you installed CF.  Be sure to make a back up copy of the jvm.config in case you foo bar something.

Samsung SyncMaster TA350 - Fix Fuzzy or Blurry Text and Fonts

I recently got a Samsung SyncMaster TA350 for my office.  I was really excited about have a nice 23" monitor for laptop and have a nice dual-head display.

The Samsung have VGA and two HDMI ports.  My laptop has DVI and HDMI so I opted to use the HDMI connection.  I was extremely disappointed to the quality of the image.  Text was blurry / fuzzy and I got it slightly better by changing the subpixel settings in my OS and messing with the options in the OSD on the Samsung.  I confirmed that the output was 1920 x 1080 however things just didn't look the best.

There are two tricks to getting great output to your Samsung.

  • I did some research and opted to buy a DVI to HDMI cable.  DVI is just subset of the features of HDMI so cables are less thatn $10. Using this cable improved things a lot.

  • You need to tell the Samsung that you have a computer connected to it.  It is not intuitative at all but it's simple. (Just be sure that your cable is connected to HDMI port 1).

  1. Press the "Source" button on the remote.

  2. Scroll to HDMI/DVI 1

  3. Press the "Tools" button on the remote

  4. Select "Edit Name"

  5. Scroll and select "DVI PC" from the list of inputs in the menu and confirm

Voila! You should have crisp text / fonts on your Samsung.  I wish that Samsung had this in their manual.

Update January 26th, 2014:

  • If you no longer have the remote, I have not been able to find a solution that works without the remote. You might be able to program an universal remote control unit to work with this device however I have not tried.

  • This probably won't work for the HDMI 2 port. Only the HDMI 1 port is PC compatible (just look on the back of the unit, it even says so).

OpenCF Summit - Schedule

The amazing schedule for OpenCF Summit 2012 is now available! As with last year we had to make some difficult decisions and we still have a couple of surprises up our sleeves we can't announce just yet, but it's a fantastic lineup including:

  • Training on Day 1 from OpenBD, Railo, and Mach-II

  • Fantastic sessions on CFML topics (of course!) in the main conference track from CFML experts and the creators of both the open source engines

  • An unconference track organized on site and starring YOU!

  • Deploying CFML apps to the cloud using Jelastic

  • The fabulous OpenCF Summit Hackfest where you can hack for a good cause

  • The famous (infamous?) "Future of CFML" BOF

  • And much, much more

All that amazing training and content for a mere $72. How is that possible? It's because of our fantastic partners (and we have more of those to announce soon), but instead of pondering life's great mysteries why not go register right now!

Now it the time to register!