Month: February 2003

  • Is Infopath the Future of XML?

    Clemens “Neo” Vasters:

    Ladies and Gents, it seems like XML is growing up and is getting all dressed up for prime time — get over it.

  • Airport Extreme Alien Autopsy

    Via MacNN, Constantin von Wentzel posted a dissection of his Airport Extreme base station.

  • Sync Two Websites with Perl

    Linux Journal has a great article up that deconstructs a sweet little perl utility to sync local and remote web sites via ftp.  It is explained well and taught me a thing or two about perl in the process.  I started reading it yesterday, but Windows Update told me to reboot my computer before I rememberd to post it.  Thankfully, Newsforge picked it up today.

  • To Ensim or Not to Ensim?

    Thinking forward, I’m trying to figure out what OS to run on my 1U server that should be shipping sometime today.  My initial thought is Red Hat 7.x (or 8.x, though I’m not sure how well suited 8.x is to a server environment), as I know it better than any Linux/*BSD distro out there.  (I did install Slackware from floppies on the family Pentium 60 several times, but that’s another story entirely…)

    After a little investigation, I began to warm to the idea of putting Ensim for Linux on the server.  It runs on top of Red Hat 7.2, and would make administering my sites really really easy.  It would also come in handy on the off chance that I managed to sell some web hosting.  I might even be able to partially defray colo costs.

    I took a look at the ensim demos yesterday and I’m really impressed.  The web interface makes administration a joke.  Yes, I’m fully qualified to edit text files and run stuff at the command line.  I do it on a daily basis.  At the same time, I’d like to be able to stow this server and forget about it for the most part.

    I’ve taken a look at the specs, though I have a few questions before I throw my money at them.  It looks like I can run tomcat, which is a bonus.  It looks like Python 2.1.x is installed by default, which is acceptable, but I’ve been working with 2.2.2, which is what I’d like to run.  It appears that at least part of the ensim backend is run with Python, which could lock me into a specific version.

    Here’s my question: does anyone out there have any good or bad experiences with Ensim?  I’m sure some of us in managed hosting land are using a skinned version of Ensim for our control panel.  I have a feeling that it might be a good compromise between what I want and how much work I’d like to put into it.  Of course I can always SSH in and putz around.  It also looks like they make some python command line utilities to administer Ensimland.

    I think it’s the right solution for me, but I’m open to praise, horror stories, alternatives (yes, Webmin rocks, I know), or anything else you’ve got.  Email me, I’d love to know.

  • SimPy and The Quest for self.happy

    Klaus Miller’s article at O’Reillynet covering simulation with SimPy looks like one of those things that I would look into with a 25th hour to my day:

    Simulating complex real-world systems is now possible with SimPy, an open source simulation package. SimPy, originally developed by the authors of this article, has been developed to production quality by a small team of enthusiastic open sourcerers around the world. As far as we know, it is the only existing discrete event Python simulation package. Actually, it is one of a very small number of fully object oriented simulation systems. This article is written with the explicit goal of whetting the appetite of simulation newbies to play with this powerful problem solving technique and to get even more users and developers for SimPy.

    There are hidden truths in this article:

    21         if waitTime < Customer.toomuch:
    22             return 'happy'
    23         else:
    24             return 'unhappy'

  • Matt Croydon::1U

    A little overzealous ebay bidding has landed an Intel ISP1100 in my lap.  I’ve been passively looking for a 1U server for quite some time, but the time has finally come.  It will probably take me another month or two to gather the rest of the components that I need to deploy it. 

    I’ll probably set it up at Coloco.  They offer 1U colocation for $50/mo, which is only $30 more than my current monthly web hosting bill.  And they’re about a half-hour drive from my house.  Bonus!

    Don’t worry, I’ll keep you updated.

  • New Canon EOS-10D

    EOS 10DDPReview:

    The Canon EOS-10D is the direct successor to the EOS-D60, announced a year after the EOS-D60 and two years after the original EOS-D30. The most significant and immediately noticeable differences between the EOS-D60 and the EOS-10D are the new magnesium alloy case and re-styling, a softer, more rounded appearance a bit like the EOS-1D/1Ds. Indeed I’m sure the EOS-10D will be seen as the baby EOS-1Ds. Canon haven’t stopped there however and there are a whole raft of improvements and new features, many of which appear to be the result of reviews like ours and owner feedback. Without a doubt the second most significant thing about the EOS-10D will be the price, this camera is expected to have a (once the mad rush is over) street price of around US$1,500.

    Six megapixels for $1500.  Sign me up.

  • A Really Sad Day in the Neighborhood

    Mr. Rogers and TrollyABCNews:

     Fred Rogers, who gently invited millions of children to be his neighbor as host of the public television show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” for more than 30 years, died of cancer early Thursday. He was 74.

    I grew up with Mr. Rogers.  Thanks for everything, neighbor.

  • 1 GHz Mini-ITX for $170

    My friend Mike pointed out to me today that Fry’s/Output has the Via 1GHz Mini-ITX mobo in stock for $170.  Not too shabby at all.  I was going to buy a case for my poor Mini-ITX while I was at the Fry’s in San Jose over the summer, but they were out of stock.  The salesman was confused that I wasn’t able to go to another one of their locations to pick the thing up.  He understood when I told him that I had flown in from Maryland and had driven more than 3 hours to get to a Fry’s.  🙂

    It is a pilgrimage that any geek should make at least once in their lives.

  • Java Web Services Developer Pack + Tutorial


    Check out Java Web Services Developer Pack and the Web Services Tutorial.

    I’ve only ever used Apache Axis for Java SOAP stuff, but the developer pack is both buzzword and alphabet soup compliant: JAXB, JAXM, JAXP, JAX-RPC, SAAJ, JSTL, WSDP, Ant and Tomcat.  Whew.

  • Inside the RSS Validator

    Mark’s latest XML article is up at O’Reilly:

     In previous columns, I have introduced RSS and explored options for consuming it. Now we turn to the production side. Last month I stirred up a small controversy by suggesting that RSS consumers should go out of their way to consume as many feeds as possible, even ones which are not well-formed. This month I hope it will be somewhat less controversial to say that RSS producers should go out of their way to produce feeds that conform to specifications as well as possible.

    So what’s on tap for next month?

     Next month: something other than RSS.

  • Moblogging HOWTO

    David Davies has set up a moblogging guide:

     Mobile blogging is easy. Don’t let anyone tell you different. All you need is a mobile device such as a mobile phone or a wireless lap/palm top. In fact it doesn’t matter what hardware you’ve got as the important thing is it must be able to send an email message. Most mobile phone service providers will either let you send an email directly from your phone or they’ll operate an SMS > email gateway where you send an SMS message to a special access number that in turn routes your message out to email.

    He covers the basics well, though if you want to add pictures to the mix, you should take a look at Manywhere Moblogger for pictures and text.

  • Python Desktop Server

    Python Desktop Server:

    The Python Desktop Server is a combined Weblog authoring tool, XMLRPC/SOAP server, and news aggregator. It allows one to read RSS news feeds, post to a community server (such as Radio Userland or any Python Community Server installation), and includes tools for Weblog and homepage management. It features a Web interface, a built-in Web server, extensibility through scripts that connect via XMLRPC or macros, and a plugin architecture.

    I found this via freshmeat this morning.  This looks like a great addition to other free tools like bzero and PyCS.  Congrats all around.

  • matt.sleep(many_hours);

    Man, that’s the last time I try reading a comp sci book in bed.  I must have zonked out, cause now it’s 4am.

  • PyPI: Python Packages Index

    Python Packages Index, a sanctioned listing of Python packages is online now.

    Where can I get the recent updates RSS feed?


    Josh, a.k.a. nf0, and Richard both note that an RSS feed was in front of my face.  The ultimate lazyweb in action, I didn’t even have to send a trackback to the lazyweb.  Needless to say, I’m subscribed now.

  • No Time For Websites: Gimme My RSS

    Brad Wilson:

    At this point in my life, if a site doesn’t offer RSS, I don’t have the time to consume it.

    Yep.  Props go out to the people who offer multiple feeds: excerpt feeds for people who like it that way and full feeds for people like Brad and I.

  • Via’s 1GHZ Mini-ITX

    The Register notes that Via has released a 1GHz C3 processor-based Mini-ITX motherboard/CPU combo.  My Via Eden Mini-ITX is still chugging along with Red Hat 8.0, though the built-in nic burned out a few months ago.  For more CPU-intensive stuff I can see the 1GHz C3 rocking.  Of course, for massive horsepower, the Shuttle stuff is top notch.

    It also looks like this version has a heatsink/fan combo, whereas my Eden is silent with just a heatsink.  It doesn’t make much of a difference though, given the drone from other machines running in the background…

  • Jakarta Commons Net


    This is an Internet protocol suite Java library originally developed by ORO, Inc. This version supports Finger, Whois, TFTP, Telnet, POP3, FTP, NNTP, SMTP, and some miscellaneous protocols like Time and Echo as well as BSD R command support.

    It looks like some of the implementations might be a little more low level than some of us might want to deal with, but that’s a ton of protocols to have at your disposal.  Rock on, Jakarta.  Get yer goodies here.

  • PyCon Speakers

    The list of speakers at PyCon DC 2003 has been posted to the PyCon Wiki.

    I’ll be registering when I get paid on Friday.

  • Audioblogging/Moblogging

    CNet weighs in on the audioblogging/moblogging trend.  I had a quick chat over IM with Paul Festa this evening.  He was trying to figure out if this whole moblogging/audioblogging thing is going to be huge or if it’s a passing fad.

    I think we’re all trying to figure that out.