Monthly Archives: February 2002

Puzzle Pieces

This is kind of what I mean when I talk about there being a set of puzzle pieces out there for software development. These days you see more and more things and it just boggles my mind at the ways you could connect them. For example, if you took:

Well, one thing you could quickly build is a digital orrery that showed the relationship of the planets to one another at any given time. Or you could use the map to build a world clock or automatically find place names in news items coming over the wire and color them on a map to see world hotspots where events are happening. I’ve got no idea what you might come up with but the toolbox only seems to grow.

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Linux (Oh, and HotSheet Too)

I spent a goodly amount of time Sunday in Linux. This is actually an event for me as I usually only run Windows, and I’m thus a little behind on my shift off of Windows. But yesterday I made up for a lot of that. I spent quite a bit of time under Linux, installed Ximian Gnome, patched patched patched, and got that about 90% working the way I want it to.
Then I tackled Java, Java Web Start, and even NetBeans. That all went very very well except that HotSheet isn’t running under 1.4.0 on Linux. It dies without any exceptions being thrown and in fact it looks like it may be throwing some kind of signal at the lowest level (i.e. Java itself is crapping out while running my app). When I installed 1.3.1 and ran HotSheet under that, there were no problems. Sigh…

Card Models

I couldn’t talk about it before Valentines Day because I wanted it to be a surprise for Rockelle but I built a model of cupid that flaps its wings that I downloaded from this website. You print it out on a heavyweight cardstock (regular office supply stores are carrying 110 lb. (!!) cardstock these days) and then cut it out and paste it together. I won’t try and make it sound simple, it wasn’t, I probably spent five hours working on it in total but I wasn’t working like my life depended on it that whole time.
If you are interested in more material on card models I would direct you to the awesome Card FAQ. It collects tons of information about acquiring models to make and techniques for making them.
The other thing I worked on for Valentines Day was my first book. I’ve done a lot of paper projects and I’ve thought about doing a book before but this is my first attempt to actually do one. It has stitched signatures, paper covers, endpapers, the works. I’ll scan and photograph it and the really cool Valentine that Rockelle gave me and put both up on EphemeraStudios.com sometime soon. That’s the site that Rockelle and I intend to use for our various art projects.

SQLJC

Along the theme of database tools, I thought I’d also mention SQLJC. It is a command line oriented tool to run scripts against a database or let you interactively work with databases from a CLI. I found it very helpful the other day when I wanted to do some automated testing because I could use it to run scripts which cleaned out a database and prepared it for a run, then our application was run. A batch file looped that sequence over and over again and we could see the failures much more easily than my repeatedly trying to do the same thing over and over again without making a mistake and forgetting a step.

Database Tools

OK, it’s not DbVisualizer, but the Squirrel SQL Client has a new version out and it has one big advantage over DbVisualizer. It’s open source. DbVis is free but you can’t add to it and improve it so ultimately we can hope that Squirrel will overtake it in features to give us something where we can make improvements, even little ones, ourselves.
If I could tackle the source to DbVisualizer the one thing I would change about it is to allow you to copy column names when you copy a bunch of data out of a table and also I’d put keyboard accelerators in there for a lot of functions.