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Thursday, March 31, 2005

JDatastore: A Small Footprint Java Database

My DBA, Tim Caylor, recently started a blog about his DBA experiences called The Trenches. If you're interested in a small footprint pure Java SQL database take a look at his post on JDatastore.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Open Source RSS aggregation Classes

A few months ago my team was approached by our president to develop a website that would serve as a aggregation for employee blogs. While working on this project, I came across Informa...a set of open source Java objects for aggregating RSS feeds. I used their classes to develop the prototype. My team, working with our web designers, did a much better job developing the full site which should be live soon.

If you're looking for a decent set of Java tools for RSS aggregation , you should take a serious look at the Informa site.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Less Java Media Framework

After a few frustrating weeks spent playing with the Java Media Framework (JMF), I give up. It's not that the player doesn't does. It's not that you can't stream can. It's just too much trouble.

Tonight, I spent about 30 minutes installing Apple's Darwin Streaming Server (an open source implementation). It can be found here. The only drawback to Darwin is that it requires Perl. Since I'm running a Windows server, I chose the ActivePerl implementation found here. Over the next couple of days I'll provide a link to my streaming server so you can test it yourself.

Now for the reason I needed a streaming server in the first place. In my spare time I'm working on a little experiment involving Java, a microcontroller, servo motor, and a webcam. Assuming that everything works out like I think it will, you will be able to remotely control the webcam's direction via a web page. Why you ask? Because I can.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Even More Java Media Framework

I'm taking the week off to spend Spring break with my family. Hopefully as you are reading this, we're tooling around the Indiana countryside on dirt bikes, fishing, exploring caves, or just hiking in the woods.

I'm also working on a little Java project while I'm out of the office. I can't tell you much about it yet (don't want to spoil the surprise), but it involves JMF and other Java APIs. By the way, I discussed this project with my wife and kids and they think it is really "geeky".

More about it later this week. Until then have a great week -Rick.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

ComputerWorld Article on VB6

Carol Silwa, an editor at Computerworld contacted me to participate in a quick survey regarding Microsoft's decision to drop support for VB6. This is her article: Update: Users push Microsoft to extend VB6 support.

One of the points I made in my comments to her was that Microsoft's history of not providing backward compatibility (within reason) helped drive our decision to use Java as our primary application development language. We also chose Java because we're a multi-platform IT shop and Java plays well in our environment. We're running cross-platform Java applications in our production environment, not only as our front-end B2B apps, but also as an integral part of our back office processing.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Running IT Like a Business

A few months ago I blogged a little about IT Metrics. While searching for information about IT metrics, I ran across this Computerworld article: Running IT Operations Like a Business Not So Easy, Execs Day. It makes some good points about chargeback systems. Over the course of my career, I've worked in chargeback and non-chargeback environments. Personally, I think having a chargeback system in place helps make everyone more accountable and aware of real IT costs.

IBM's Frustration at the Java Community Process

An interview with IBM's software chief Steve Mills on Java and IBM's direction What's Wrong with Java. I found the comments about IBM focusing on small to medium sized businesses interesting since small and medium sized businesses have been steering away from IBM.
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