Authorized trash… MacBook Logic Boards.

August 29, 2007

After my MacBook was repaired, because it was defective as described in MacBook kaput, I attached my iPod…. and was greeted by the following dialog:

NotAuthorized

Some of the items in the iTunes library…not copied… not authorized…???? Ever since the iTMS sells DRM free music I buy a lot of DRM free music (EMI) and I always made it a rule to never buy DRM’ed music….Almost. I made some exceptions: “Getting Things Done” and some children’s music. Thus this was a good reminder why DRM sucks so much. They (briefly) locked me out of music I legitimately bought and owned(?)

So I needed to Authorize Computer.. from iTunes. Hmm I don’t know, sounds a bit techie.

Apple Speaks

It just works.
How much time have you spent troubleshooting your PC? Imagine a computer designed by people who hate to waste time as much as you do. Where all the hardware and software just works, and works well together. Get a Mac and get your life back.

I think this is a different experience.

After I selected authorize, the following dialog popped up:

Authorize

Ok, but what is this 3 machines thing?
Twice Apple replaced the logic board in my MacBook, so I think there are 2 broken logic boards which are authorized…

Well I read somewhere that when I get to 5, a button appears in iTunes with which I can deauthorize all computers. But that button only appears then. How’s that for context-sensitive menu items?

If this happened to a certain family member, I’m not sure if she knew what to do.

So this just hurts the experience, but more important it just feels not right that they just locked my(!) music from my computer unless I showed them that I am authorized. Compare that with the CD’s in your cabinet which you are not allowed to play, because you moved..and you need to show the receipt again.


Digital Dutch Treasures ride the Long Tail.

August 22, 2007

I have always been a huge fan of the Dutch band Daryll-Ann, which broke up in 2004. I fondly remember their concert in LVC Leiden.

Their albums released on Excelsior are still available and the one album released on Hut is readily available on eBay and 2nd hand Amazon.

However their debut album Renko I found impossible to find on eBay or Amazon. And bol.com does not sell 2nd hand albums (yet).

Until I discovered Fonos….

Fonos

It is a bit embarrassing that I only recently discovered Fonos, since it started in 2003! At Fonos you can order Dutch albums which are not for sale anywhere. They have a catalogue of about 20000 albums. Mostly vinyl. If it is vinyl they digitise the music and the covers and sent you the CD, otherwise they just copy the CD. It is completely legal since they got permission of the labels and Buma/Stemra.

Digital world… Everything available…the Long tail…..(no body though).
Kunt U mij de weg naar Hamelen vertellen meneer? No problem.


MacBook Pro quality sucks, Apple service does not.

August 16, 2007

My MacBook Pro is now 13 months old.

When it was two months old the hard disk died. Fortunately I’m real anal about backing up and I had a day old image on my Maxtor One Touch. My local reseller Mac House replaced the hard disk under warranty.

Four months later my firewire ports were not working. Again I had a recent image, which was fortunate since I need my FW800 to back up. My local reseller Mac House replaced the motherboard under warranty.

And now after 13 months (and no Apple Care of course) I cannot start my MacBook unless the power adapter is attached. The battery is no longer recognised. Again I went to my local reseller. Replacing the battery did not do the trick. So they need to investigate.

It seems like I need a new motherboard. Mac House advised me to phone Apple to discuss this with them.
Apple listened to my story and extended the warranty.

Perhaps there is some truth in this year old article Quality control problems or growing pains at Apple?. I for one am not to convinced about the quality of their hardware.

Customer care however is excellent.

Oh and always backup. I use SuperDuper.


ATG 2007.1 on Mac OS X with MySQL

August 13, 2007

For some weeks now ATG 2007.1 is available. My entry about installing ATG on Mac OS X explained how to install ATG 2006.3 on Mac OS X Tiger which is not supported by ATG . It got a few hits, so perhaps an update is needed.

Pre installation

  • Have jboss-4.0.5GA ready. This is the only version supported by ATG 2007.1.
  • Have MySQL ready. Only 5.0.20 is supported. However I have used 5.0.45 and so far it seems to be working fine. Make sure you use the InnoDB engine instead of the MyISAM.
  • Create an ATG user on MySQL in a way you seem fit
  • Add export JBOSS_HOME=<your JBOSS 4.0.5GA path here> to .bash_login. If you use another shell, you know what to do.
  • Take care of your permissions.
  • Download ATG2007.1 for Unix

Installation and configuration

  • Run ATG2007.1.bin
  • When asked to enter the path where to install ATG, remove the space. It will make things easier.
  • When asked for JAVA_HOME use /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/ 1.5.0/Home or your preferred version.
  • Drop your license files in <ATG folder>/home/localconfig
  • Add the following line export ATGJRE=/System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/ Versions/CurrentJDK/Commands/java to dasEnv.sh
  • Copy MySQL JDBC driver (mysql-connector-java-5.0.7-bin.jar) to <JBOSS_HOME>/server/atg/lib
  • Add a mysql-ds.xl to <JBOSS_HOME>/server/atg/deploy and fill in the correct database name etc.
  • Create a file, like this: /home/localconfig/atg/dynamo/service/jdbc/JTDataSource.properties
    The ATG documentation states to create a jbossconfig folder with a change to a manifest to point to that path. I skipped that.
  • Edit this JTDataSource.properties. It should contain:
    JNDIName=java:/MySqlDS
    and
    $class=atg.nucleus.JNDIReference
  • Run datascripts:
    • /Applications/ATG2007.1/DAS/sql/install/mysql/das_ddl.sql
    • /Applications/ATG2007.1/DPS/sql/install/mysql/dps_ddl.sql
    • /Applications/ATG2007.1/DSS/sql/install/mysql/dss_ddl.sql
    • /Applications/ATG2007.1/DCS/sql/install/mysql/dcs_ddl.sql

    I used mysql -D <dbname> < /Applications/ATG2007.1/DAS/sql/install/mysql/ das_ddl.sql --user=<username> --password=<password>

Some notes

Adding Darwin to <ATG folder>/home/bin/DynamoEnv.sh is not something I use anymore as I did in 2006.3. I will assume Solaris. This will make patching easier, as Robert Hellwig found out.

Unlike ATG 2006.3 ATG2007.1 JTDatasource.properties can contain $class=atg.nucleus.JNDIReference

The executing of the SQL scripts was not correct in the previous Blog. The user and password command was wrong. Why didn’t anybody tell me?

On the previous blog entry, I got some questions on how you can tell MySQL to use InnoDB. Check your my.cnf or my.ini file. It’s in the ATG documentation:
ATG Doc


Custom Divers Sportster

August 12, 2007

Recently I bought a Custom Divers Sportster Wing. There is hardly any information to be found on the web. I could not find one review. The Custom Divers site or the Owner’s manual (which is not on the Custom Divers site) does not contain a lot of information.

Even Scubaboard does not have an opinion on this wing. Perhaps starting a discussion would be nice, since this will probably evolve in a backplate discussion. Since the Sportster has a small backplate of synthetic material instead of steel or aluminium it does not cater to the BP/W folks.

So I decided to put a few of my experiences here. I’m just a recreational diver and sometimes assist at a diving course. So don’t take it too seriously

I have a SeaQuest Pro Unlimited vest. This vest is, at least for me, a nice vest. Even after dozens of swimming pool sessions (chlorine) it is hardly faded, and I don’t rinse it every time. It’s stuffed with options, buoyancy is good …..but it’s heavy (about 4.5 Kg) and especially bulky, and thus takes a lot of space in the travel-case.

Size and weight

The Custom Divers Sporster weights slightly over 3 kg, which is more “travel friendly”. But even more travel friendly is that it folds into a nice little package.

Cdvssq

Inflator hose

The BCD inflator unit is rather heavy. It really tugs at the wing, so the hose retainer becomes necessary. For a travel wing, perhaps the use of less metal would have been better. However underwater it is fantastic. The hose is much longer than I’m used to, but it operates nicely. The inflator is also a pull dump valve.

Dump valves

There is one attached to the inflator and one in the lower back. I was used to dump valves on the right. Left is fine too. However I find the lower dump valve a bit tricky to find. I liked my two dump valves on my SeaQuest where the cords were lead to the front. Hose pull dumping is not something I use.

Back Comfort pad

The optional Back Comfort Pad is sucking up water like a sponge. After a day of drying the wing is completely dry, but not the comfort pad. A slight press on the comfort Pad and water pours out. The use of some quick drying material would have been better.

Terminology

The site (not the manual) shows an Adjustable anti wing wrap stay. I had no idea what that was. Anti-wing? Wrap-stay? It took me some time to figure out that this is something helping against wing wrap. Fortunately there was one place (that’s all I could find) where this is explained Wing Wrap explained

In short, if the bladder is too big… it floats up and wraps around the tank….. so you then find it difficult to dump.

It would have been nice if this feature was in the manual and explained. And since it is a small single cylinder wing, wing wrap seem highly unlikely…. Perhaps I’m wrong.

Buoyancy

The first dive the wing was tilting me sideways, which was rather uncomfortable. The second dive I moved my tank somewhat higher as well as my weight-belt (I’m still waiting for my weight pockets). This solved the problem completely and it behaved excellent under water. Since then I’ve used it at a PADI openwater course, during the open water sessions, which is fine. In the swimming pool I prefer my vest for now.


Amazon Flexible Payment Service

August 3, 2007

I just got a mail from Amazon saying:

This is a brief note to a select group of AWS customers to let you know that we are beginning a limited beta of Amazon Flexible Payments Service (Amazon FPS).

Amazon is at it again!
So naturally I tried to sign up…
US-based credit card only… Bummer.

Just like the Amazon Visa card they keep pushing in my face which is US only.
Rewards Card 77. V47075815

Or the electronics merchandising rules which do not apply to us Europeans.

They need to tweak their merchandising rules…


Amazon S3 reports

August 1, 2007

I just got the latest Billing Statement of my Amazon Webservices Account (AWS) for the storage service S3.

Unlike the previous statements which were like $1.50 this one was $7.87 (with taxes). A 5 fold increase! So naturally I looked at a more detailed Billing statement. It seems that I downloaded 24Gb from S3.
AWS Billling Statement

I eventually found out what caused this, so no foul play or something. I toyed a bit with the handy S3Browse, when I ran a couple of times in the maximum AWS transfer size (5 GB). I was trying to download photos stored with the excellent JungleDisk.

The billing statement does not give any real insight into where your data is going to, but fortunately you can download a usage report.

AWS usage report

The AWS usage report can be a xml file containing a bunch of OperationUsage tags.

I have a hard time understanding what it means. If anybody can give me some documentation about that I would be grateful. I can not find it here Webservices Developer Connection. The format is:

    1    <OperationUsage>
    2         <ServiceName></ServiceName>
    3         <OperationName></OperationName>
    4         <UsageType></UsageType>
    5         <Resource></Resource>
    6         <StartTime></StartTime>
    7         <EndTime></EndTime>
    8         <UsageValue></UsageValue>
    9     </OperationUsage>

ServiceName

In my case this is always AmazonS3. So this seems the Amazon service. if you use Electric Compute Cloud it will be AmazonEC2??

OperationName

Does not seem to important. My log contains:

  • ListBucket
  • StandardStorage
  • ListAllMyBuckets
  • HeadObject
  • PutObject
  • GetObject
  • UnknownAction

With the exception of HeadObject, UnknownAction I have some idea of what this means.

Usage type

The best I could find was Usage tracking
However that document states that the following usage types are possible:

  • TimedStorage-ByteHrs
  • AverageStorage-Bytes
  • Network-Bytes
  • Request

However my report contains also DataTransfer-In-Bytes or DataTransfer-Out-Bytes is this the Network-Bytes renamed??? Request is now a Requests-Tier1 or Requests-Tier2. No idea what this means.

Resource

The once listed in my case are the buckets. Is this always the case?

Usage Value

What’s this? I assumed it was the number of bytes. However:

    1    <OperationUsage>
    2         <ServiceName>AmazonS3</ServiceName>
    3         <OperationName>StandardStorage</OperationName>
    4         <UsageType>TimedStorage-ByteHrs</UsageType>
    5         <Resource>476de2a71aa5a476f84d48e4d61c980-default</Resource>
    6         <StartTime>07/04/07 00:00:00</StartTime>
    7         <EndTime>07/05/07 00:00:00</EndTime>
    8         <UsageValue>228990865824</UsageValue>
    9     </OperationUsage>

Noticing line 8 it states 228990865824 bytes(?). How this relates to the about 9.1 GB in that bucket is beyond me.

Final remarks

I understand that S3 is for developers and not for end users like me. However if you are giving reports, some documentation would have been nice. It seems that developer information is missing as well. Perhaps my search capabilities (I looked in the AWS forums) was lacking. If there is some information about the OperationUsage I would like to know.