Where The Heck Is Java Web Start?

So you have a from-the-browser Java application that requires Java Web Start to load on your beautiful Mac, and that Java application is named something crazy like:

What do you do? It doesn’t open automatically, and when you double click the filename it just asks you what application you want to use to open the file.

Well I will tell you what you do!

  1. On the “Launch Application” dialog that opens when you double click the filename, click “Choose…” beside “Choose an Application”.
  2. Navigate to Macintosh HD > System > Library > CoreServices.
    /System/Library/CoreServices/Java Web Start.app
  3. Choose “Java Web Start” and click Open.

There you go. A post like this would have saved me 15 minutes anyways, hope it helps someone else.

Sony Blu-Ray Players Don’t Play NetFlix in Canada

The bad newsI was somewhat frustrated this evening to find out that despite NetFlix being available in Canada now, Sony devices such my new Sony BDP-S370 blu-ray player will still not allow me to connect to NetFlix. So if you were holding out to find that perfect device to connect to the newly available NetFlix Canada service with, Sony devices are definitely not an option for you at this point. I’ve attached a Sony eSupport chat transcript for you to wallow over. Boooo, back to the store you go blu-ray.

Life Changing Experience

I almost have to laugh when I think about how much I have changed over the last several years, and one of the biggest changes in my life has been my views about having children. I used to be under the impression that having a child would prevent me from doing the things I really wanted to do, and I was convinced I would somehow lose my identity and become a standard complacent father figure shell of my old self.

I now know that what my old self failed to realize is that this scenario is not an inevitability, it is a choice.

Karla and I feel like the two luckiest people in the world right now, and it is my pleasure to introduce Mr. Declan Simpson, an 8lbs 14oz bouncing baby boy. I have spent the past few weeks at home getting to know Declan, and watching him explore the big new world around him. This has been a truly indescribable experience that I will no doubt treasure for the rest of my life. Welcome Declan, enjoy life my son.

Bitnami Redmine Stack

I ran across Bitnami today, and they have some really great software stacks with flexible install options (i.e. Native / VM / Cloud), including PowerPC support so I can put some of these older G5 Powermac’s into use again.

I downloaded the VM of their Bitnami Redmine Stack and it was so quick to get up and running, but here’s a tip to save others some frustration perhaps:

Despite the README.txt stating the default Redmine username and password is the username and password you entered during setup, it is actually (as of 0.9.4) Username: user | Password: bitnami

Scheduled Replacement of websrv02 Hardware

This is an important notice to inform websrv02 users that we will be replacing the websrv02 server hardware on Friday, February 19th, 2010. The current hardware is about four years old, and while it has not given us any problems we like to make sure our hardware is always in tip-top shape.

The websrv02 server will be unavailable for a short period of time while we shut the old system down and bring the new one online (approximately 20 minutes). This downtime is currently scheduled for:

Friday, February 19th, 2010 around 1:00PM EST

Important Website Warning: While the server downtime itself will be short, we will be starting the data transfer between the old server to the new server at approximately 10:45AM. It is important that you *do not make any changes to your website* between 10:30AM and 2:00PM EST on Friday or your changes may be lost once the new server is brought online.

Important E-Mail Warning: We will be shutting down incoming mail service on websrv02 at approximately 11:00AM EST to prevent any e-mail loss. If someone attempts to send you an e-mail on Friday between 11:00AM and 1:00PM EST the message will stay in their servers mail queue and will automatically resend once the mail service on the new server is brought online again.

We do apologize for any inconvenience this may cause; however we feel that this is an important upgrade to ensure the long term quality of service you have come to expect.

IE6 Is Almost Dead, Really This Time!

Google really knows how to make me happy on a Tuesday morning:

In order to continue to improve our products and deliver more sophisticated features and performance, we are harnessing some of the latest improvements in web browser technology. This includes faster JavaScript processing and new standards like HTML5. As a result, over the course of 2010, we will be phasing out support for Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 ?as well as other older browsers that are not supported by their own manufacturers.

We plan to begin phasing out support of these older browsers on the Google Docs suite and the Google Sites editor on March 1, 2010. After that point, certain functionality within these applications may have higher latency and may not work correctly in these older browsers. Later in 2010, we will start to phase out support for these browsers for Google Mail and Google Calendar. …

So now that Google is finally getting rid of IE6 support, the rest of the net will cave (if they haven’t stopped already) and if all goes well by the end of the year IE6 will be nothing but a story us geeks can tell over pint…

[joe] Oh, remember that time when I had to spend 3 days rewriting that great Javascript tool so that Neophyte Bob wouldn’t have to upgrade his nine year old web-browser?

[steve] 3 days! Meh, that’s nothing, try 5 days trying to get basic CSS2 to function properly.

[joe] Yeah, wasn’t there some sort of library we used called ie7.js to give it basic support?

[steve] I don’t think so, why would someone have to write a Javascript library for that?

[steve] Oh wait, yeah… that’s right, they did.

Because Everyone Has To Rant Once In A While

As a web developer in a graphic designers body I spend a lot of time making what I consider to be very usable and “pretty” interfaces, so I truly resent when Neophyte Bob arbitrarily and publicly posts something like “this interface is too techie” when what he actually mean is “this interface is not completely idiot proof”.

Come on Neophyte Bob it’s a blinkin’ select box, and by the way… stop using IE6.

Apache and PHP Upgraded: websrv01

Just a quick note to inform websrv01 users that I have upgraded both Apache and PHP on websrv01 this afternoon. This server is now running PHP 5.2.12, and previous pdo_mysql issues should now be resolved. Our next PHP upgrade (likely the end of February) will be into the PHP 5.3 branch, so please ensure any PHP applications you may be running are ready for this.

Scheduled Maintenance on websrv01

Update: 9:29AM EST
Dell has successfully completed the maintenance work and replaced the failed hard drive on websrv01. All services are currently online; however, the server will be a little slow until it fully syncs the newly installed hard drive with its mirrored drive. We expect that this will take another few hours to complete. If you have any trouble, please let me know.

Original Post: Oct 27 @ 8:02PM EST
I confirmed earlier today with Dell that a service technician will be on-site in our Montreal data centre on Thursday, October 29th at 8:00AM EST to replace the failed hard drive on websrv01. While this maintenance is taking place, all services on the server will be unavailable. We expect that the downtime will no longer than 1 hour; however, your patience as we replace the failed hardware is appreciated.

Just to confirm, all services on websrv01 will be unavailable:
Thursday, October 29th, 2009 @ 8:00AM EST

Unscheduled websrv01 Downtime

Update: Oct 21 2:24AM
websrv01 is currently back online. Diagnostic tests are currently running on the server as we speak (thanks to Greg), but initial reports indicate that 1 of the 2 hard drives on websrv01 has died. Luckily we run a RAID 1 (mirror) configuration, so the other drive is picking up the slack (whew). Dell is aware of the issue and will get back to me later in the day to schedule a time for them to visit the data centre and investigate further. I will post more information as it becomes available.

Initial Report: Oct 20, 11:03PM
websrv01 is currently off-line. It is highly upsetting to say that; however, we are currently experiencing some major hardware issues / failures. I am currently working with Dell and our co-location provider to resolve the issue; however, we expect that the server will be down most of the day on Wednesday while we recover service.