Friday, December 02, 2011

Nexus S echo problem - a dead simple solution

The Nexus S can have a slightly annoying echo problem during calls.

It's really easy to fix, I'm kicking myself I didn't try this earlier...

  1. take the back off your phone
  2. grab some printer paper, (a slightly heavier weight is better)
  3. cut out a piece which is big enough to wrap around the battery
  4. fold this piece over three times
  5. place on top of the battery
  6. replace the cover
  7. enjoy!
I used the same trick with my N95 when the battery used to come loose

Saturday, October 01, 2011

There's so much Astroturfing Down Under, it's un-australian

Just a quick post, my friend Tom who is a passionate anti-pokies blogger and campaigner wrote a great piece
over on ABC's The Drum about how Poker machine reforms won't work? Don't bet on it

Reading his piece, I was reminded of this video which puts it all in perspective

Monday, August 01, 2011

How I got started in ColdFusion

Just a quick post, on today's Coldfusion meme - How I got started in ColdFusion

I first started with Coldfusion 2.0 back in 1996 whilst working in my first IT job
at a recruitment agency. I had been playing with assembler, basic, html and C on all sorts
of platforms from CP/M, SunOS, Linux and PC's.

I was tasked with developing a website for the company, to post available jobs and allow
candidates to upload resumes. I had started working with Perl, but soon was getting
annoyed at Perl as it wasn't a great solution for building websites.

One night I was at home, surfing on dialup and I found a link to Allaire Coldfusion 2.0
on a shareware website. It was amazing stuff compared to Perl. Wanna send an email,
wrap it in CFMAIL, wanna do a query, wrap the SQL in CFQUERY. I was sold.

After I left that company, I signed up for an Advanced Coldfusion course which turned
out to be more like a Coldfusion 101. I filled out the feedback form afterwards with some
pretty strong but expletive free language.

About a week later, the Australian Distributor for Allaire, called me up while I was at a friends
place and told me I had been given a full refund and the offered me the Job as the Australian
ColdFusion Trainer. I contemplated it for a while and decided I'd rather cut code and build
apps than train people.

I'm still using it all these years later! 

Update: I just remembered, Google even evaluated CF back in the day,
but didn't like the <CFELSE> tag coz you couldn't parse CFML with an XML parser...

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Tony Abbott supports a Carbon Tax!

Say Yes Rally 5 June 2011

Sydney: Prince Alfred Park, 11 am
Melb: Outside the State Library, 11 am
Adelaide: Victoria Square, 11 am
Brisbane: Riverstage, 1pm
Perth: Perth Cultural centre - Wetlands stage, 11am
Hobart: Franklin Square, 11am
Canberra: Regatta Point
(near the bridge), 1.30pm

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Coldfusion: Slow ImageResize problem SOLVED

Sometimes, the built in Coldfusion Image functions can take a very long time to resize a jpeg image, like 20-30 minutes.

This is caused by ICC colour profiles, which really should be supported by an Adobe Product.

The quick solution is to use Imagemagick to strip out the ICC colour profile.

It's also a good idea to force the RGB colour space, as CMYK is also not handled.

C:\Program Files (x86)\ImageMagick-6.7.0-Q16\convert.exe
src_with_icc_profile.jpeg -colorspace rgb +profile 'icc' icc_stripped.jpeg

You can also use identify.exe with the -verbose option to detect ICC profiles, although it is a bit slow, 2-3s.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Adobe Coldfusion Builder 2 pricing down under is a JOKE

Adobe announces they have released Coldfusion Builder 2 today, but the Australian pricing is a sick joke.

List price in the US is $299, but in Australia for download only is $407 ex GST.

Now I'm not sure if the Adobe folks realise, but our dollar is worth more than USD!

Today, via  USD $299 is actually only $274 AUD

Adobe has a loyal group of Australian CF developers, treating us like this is a sick JOKE

MapGuide 2.2 has been released

Just a quick post, Trevor announced on the MapGuide-Users mailing list that 2.2 has been released.

Release notes and download links

Builds are available for Windows 32 bit & 64 Bit, CentOS 5.4 / RedHat 5.4 / Ubuntu 9.10 32 Bit 

It was a very long release cycle, but we wanted to ensure a high quality release.

I encourage anyone using an older version of MapGuide to upgrade.

Also, please don't ask support questions on my blog, direct them to the MapGuide-Users mailing list

Sunday, April 17, 2011

MapGuide 2.3 optional subversion install for web tier (RFC 111)

Thanks to the 25 people who answered the MapGuide Source Control Survey Survey, the results were considered by the last Mapguide PSC meeting where RFC 111 was discussed and voted on. 

RFC 111 was adopted, a subversion checkout will be available as an option in the installer for the next major release 2.3. This allows quick deployment of new features/bug fixes for the MapGuide Viewer web apps.
This will be all managed by the user, so if you don't want to use this feature, you can either simply choose not to install it, or just install it anyway, but never do a subversion update. 

Here are the survey results:

Q1:Which versions of MapGuide are you using in production? 

2.2 (MGE 2011)

13 41.94%
2.1 (MGE 2010)

12 38.71%
Classic 6.x

3 9.68%

2 6.45%
2.0 (MGE 2009)

1 3.23%

Q2:What is you background with GIS? 
I'm a programmer who uses GIS

Other Option

I studied Geomatics

I'm a novice with no programing or spatial background


Q3: What source control systems have you worked with? 


What is source control?


Other Option


Q4:Which MapGuide Viewer do you use? 

AJAX Viewer

Fusion / Flexible Layouts

Other Option

Q5: Have you modified the viewer code in your installation? 




Q6:Would you like to have minor bug fixes and improvements available via Subversion?  


I don't care



Q7:Have you ever manually deployed a bug fix for MapGuide? 




Q8:Have you ever upgraded Fusion using a version from the Fusion Website? 



I wanted to, but it was too hard

Fusion has a website?


Q9:Finally, have you ever avoided upgrading to the latest MapGuide release because of your customised code? 



I have never customised any MapGuide code


Monday, April 11, 2011

Oracle Reserved Words System Table

If you ever need to check if a column name is a reserved word in Oracle, you can get the list using this query

select keyword from v$reserved_words

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Oracle Grant Sequence Syntax

It's dead simple: GRANT select ON schema.sequence_name to schema

Amazingly, Google's results for this are shocking at the moment, dead end unanswered or confusing results

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

MapGuide End User Survey - RFC 111 Subversion

I put forward an idea for a RFC for Mapguide, which involves deploying the MapGuide web viewer apps
(Fusion and AJAX Viewers) checked out from Subversion.

The initial proposal is MapGuide RFC 111 - Deploy Viewer Code with Subversion Attributes
with the follow up discussion over on MapGuide-Internals

There have been some questions over how the end users of MapGuide would find using this
solution. Of course it's entirely optional solution for keeping your MapGuide Server running
with the latest bug fixes / improvements for the web viewers.

So I have put together this Quick Survey to get some background on our user base.
(Poll is now closed)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

SQL Server 2008: ARITHABORT error with Spatial data

This is a nice cryptic error:

UPDATE failed because the following SET options have incorrect settings: 'ARITHABORT'. Verify that SET options are correct for use with indexed views and/or indexes on computed columns and/or filtered indexes and/or query notifications and/or XML data type methods and/or spatial index operations. 

If you get the following error with a SQL Server 2008 database when your trying to update some spatial data, the solution is to check the compatibility level for the database, I was working on an application which has been around for a while and it was set to be compatible with Sql Server 2000, hence the error.

I was a bit stumped initially, as this was my first look into spatial data with MS SQL Server, luckily Jackie Ng sits next to me and he found the solution pretty quickly.

Overall, my initial impressions of the Spatial support in SQL Server is that it's pretty basic compared to Oracle which is a much more complete implementation, but I'm glad spatial is finally a standard feature. I am rather surprised that re-projection is not part of the standard feature set.

I really loathe Oracle for it's recalcitrant attitude to Oracle Spatial licensing, but having seen what Sql Server offers, I understand why Oracle still does what it does, as SQL Server is not nearly equivalent.

Of course, IMHO anyone starting out on a new project requiring a spatial database should use PostGIS period.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Some Android Market Improvements I'd like

I just this story Hands on: Android Market website a step forward, still lags AppBrain and it's a pretty good review.

There's a few basic design things I'd like to see changed on the Android Market.

  1. Use a different colour for the INSTALL and INSTALLED buttons, while your at it, pick another word, it's too confusing only differing by '-ED'
  2. Offer list views with more content per page,  paging 12 apps at a time is very 1990's
  3. Allow users to filter out installed from the listings
  4. Continuous scrolling rather than tired old paging
  5. The ability flag individual apps to be hidden from the listings, i.e. hide this app
Other Android observations ...

I've had a Nexus S for a while now and I'm really enjoying it as a phone, it's much smoother than my previous N1.
Battery does take ages to charge, thankfully I got two (more) chargers when I bought the phone.

Alas, the Gingerbread phone reboot bug has occurred a few times, otherwise the phone is really sweet.

The Gallery app is still a bit slow and the amount of time it takes to open a photo straight after taking it is a joke.

Tweetdeck is great, but it's started crashing all the time. The fancy scroll to the
top animation will crash it every time I jump back into the app after a few hours.

Perhaps a long press on the title bar bypass the scroll animation?

Monday, January 10, 2011

MapGuide 2.2 RC testing with PostgreSQL (Success)

I tried out the newer FDO PostgreSQL driver for PostGIS in the latest MapGuide 2.2 RC2 beta
with a local PostgreSQL db on Windows 7 64-bit (32-bit version of MG),

result? it works really well

Just make sure your not using version 9 of PostgreSQL , FDO 3.5 doesn't
support v9 yet, FDO 3.6/ MapGuide 2.3 will

I ended up downloading and installing the db twice as I forgot about
the lack of support for 9.0 with FDO 3.5

Remember! you need to make sure the libpq.dll's are in your system path

My testing was with some OSM (openstreetmap) data for Victoria, Australia
which I downloaded and loaded with osm2pgsql (use -s if you don't have lots of ram)

IMHO, the OSM shapefile's have a nicer data structure than how the
OSM files get imported by default into PostgreSQL

Alas, the shp files have ":" in the column name which breaks SHP FDO,
PostgreSQL FDO works fine with these, translating them to _

but you can load the shape files easily into Postgres

lack of ordering support in MapGuide does still leave proper road rendering
rather inanely complex,

PostGIS rocks, faster than Oracle and free! Oracle's spatial licensing is so like 1990's

I wrote this, coz I figured it's important to tell some software success stories,
often people only post about problems, which can be depressing when your searching

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

New Explore Australia website with expanded content

Explore Australia recently relaunched their website with a new design (by Thirst Studios) and heaps
of new content, including Fishing Spots, National Parks, Campsites and Caravan Parks.

So next time your going travelling anywhere around Australia, remember your Explore Australia Travel Guide !

Behind the scenes, the website was developed by Ennoble Consultancy Australia. It's powered by Coldfusion
and Oracle, with Maps produced via MapGuide Open Source and statically served using Amazon Cloudfront
and Openlayers.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Firefox Page Zoom problem with the Numeric Keypad Solved [Ubuntu]

Ubuntu by default doesn't work with the numeric keypad because of
n annoying system default. So in Firefox, page zoom using Ctrl-Plus and Ctrl-Minus with the
numeric keypad doesn't work. Grrr

solution: under System, Preferences, Keyboard, Mouse Keys (tab)

simply uncheck the "Pointer can be controlled using the keypad" checkbox (i.e. like the above)