Friday, December 23, 2011

Dbms_xmlgen Convert Error

When running through a large amount of data stored in clobs, I was doing
to first truncate my clob and make it into a varchar, then convert xml/html entities to regular characters.  This was throwing
    ORA-06502: PL/SQL: numeric or value error: character string buffer too small
when I got to a value which was actually more than 4000 characters long.  I didn't realize that xmlgen.convert can work on lobs though, so just reversing the order of operations resolved the error:
and it's good to go.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tax Credit Idea

A credit for parents who take a class about how to discipline kids might help reduce child abuse.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

JSR 303 Validation Question

I don't know if anybody has asked this before, but I can't find it on google.  I have a class with two fields (username,email) and need to validate that the email starts with the username.  Can I do something like this?

private String username;

I'm guessing not.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Software which is Done

Some things are done. They met the requirements and the only changes
ever needed again will be if the requirements change (which is
unlikely) or there is a bug. Subversion and tortoisesvn for example.
They were done. They're still actively developed. They're being
changed all the time to introduce new features and unneeded
complexity. TortoiseSVN abandoned the requirement that it be simple
and instead crudded up the GUI. It must take a great leader to say
"ok, lets shelve our best work and find something new". Cause that's
what they should have done.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Dear Groupon/LivingSocial/Any Coupon for Sale Site

Your confirmation emails should come in the form of an outlook
invitation so that people can add the expiration date on these things
to their calendars easily.

Get on that already.

Undocumented Processes

When a process is complicated and undocumented, your users are
basically being blindfolded and set loose in an electric fence maze.

Note to Self

Learn this tomorrow:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Garmin 205

That battery in the Garmin 205 is a 3.7V Li-ion 750mAh battery.  It is approximately 34mmx38mmx6mm

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I just thought of a solution to a very small part of the texting while driving problem.  Everyone complains that doing something dumb like disabling devices moving over a certain speed will screw with passengers or people on buses or trains, but if the phone is the key to the car (like the GM commercial where the guy's wife starts and unlocks the car from an airplane w/ her iPhone), then you can just disable text/data on the phone which started the car.  It'd only be a useful solution for parents who want to give their kids smartphones (and newish cars), but in 10 years, that will be a lot of people.  And if your kid's phone battery dies, then they can't get home.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Flickr + Android

Flickr finally has an Android app!  Except, it has no real awesome features.  Other free alternatives are better.  Flickr Companion in particular rocks the official app's socks off.  It has no batch uploading and no automatic uploading,  I couldn't even figure out how to edit the titles or permissions on already uploaded photos.  I'll stick to the better options, but I'm going to keep an eye on this.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

TrixBox HowTo Ring Phone First, Then Forward

Probably not the only or best way

1. Create submenu "ext123specific"
2. Set extension 123 to forward to submenu "ext123specific"
3. Set the steps of submenu "ext123specific" to ring extension 123 w/ no forward (duration 5 seconds got us two rings), then to forward to the external number
4. Test it out

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

IIS 7 Bug

You cannot run the Siteminder ISAPI filter on a request which you are going to reverse proxy using their built in reverse proxy, apparently. 

Really Sick of Trixbox

Next time I'm going with PBXInaFlash and maintaining control. 

TrixBox cannot do this (according to the support ticket I filed):

9 out of 10 of my support requests get a response that can be summed up as "nope, can't do that"

Friday, June 17, 2011

Active Directory Domain DNS headaches

If your users in the domain are having DNS trouble outside of the office, maybe you did something careless like somebody at our organization and set the DNS servers in the group policy.  Edit the group policy to remove this option and let client computers revert to using the dhcp configured DNS servers and their vpn will work again.

See for more

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tomcat Caching Argh

If you're wondering why your files won't refresh unless you restart tomcat even if you delete the work folder, maybe you were a dummy like me and set antiJARLocking and antiJARLocking to true a while back and forgot about it.  And then proceeded to suffer slow crappy development times.

Friday, June 10, 2011


Sick of this.  Their phone support (ha) is horrible.  The guy repeatedly whined (yes, it was very clearly whining) "could you just email the problem" offered zero help and was just generally useless.  The email support guys are equally horrible and close tickets as soon as they send you a tangentially related FAQ response.  Seriously, my issue was "I don't want dialing my own phone number to use a trunk" and that was interpreted as "how do I setup a virtual extension for conference calling?"


Thursday, June 09, 2011

Cheap PBX w/ TrixBox

Relatively easy to setup, but trixNet is unsupported and softphones and virtual extensions use licenses.  Stick with PBX In a Flash.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Gotomeeting or one of their competitors needs to create a gotopresentation box that just outputs hdmi dvi or vga to a projector while connecting to a wireless network so that people don't need to use dongles or whatever and they can just make their chosen conference room a participant in their meeting to get it to show up on the big screen.  Seriously, this needs to happen yesterday.  Wimedia connectors (warpia, iogear, imation) just aren't up to snuff.  Then they could also integrate the software package into IP connected TVs for more brand propagation.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I'd like to see universal country of origin labelling on Amazon product pages.  Mostly for the musical instruments where it can affect the kind/quality of the wood, but it'd be neato for other stuff too.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Remote Controls

There are a hundred remote control programs for Droid and iPhone and some of them have the ability to learn remote codes.  I'd like the option to take a photo of my real remote and map the buttons in the image to remote codes that the phone learns.  Then just use the photo of the remote as the interface.  Include the fact that the program will consider learned remote codes and photos of remotes as public domain data and you could have a nice IR-remote wiki too.

Washington Gas Customer Service Issue

If you have tenants move into a house you own and they crank the heat to 80 like dummies, Washington Gas won't read the meter when the account is transferred.  They'll wait till the end of the month and then when you complain that your bill should be ~$30 like it has been for the past months while the property was unoccupied, they'll concede and do a simple pro-rating where they take off a percentage of the bill for the amount of time that they overbilled you for instead of adjusting to the real much much lower amount that you would have owed if they had done their job in the first place.  Then they'll disable your ability to pay through their website just to add an extra hurdle 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Netflix Pain in the Butt

Netflix streaming is failing more and more in Windows 7. Windows Media Center shows a login page instead of a movie when you hit play (despite signing out/in repeatedly and uninstall/reinstalling the netflix plugin) and now boxee is just showing a blank screen instead of playing movies.  At least XBMC and the Wii still work, although the Wii isn't HD.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Time and Upgrades

I feel obsolete because I haven't had the time to migrate from Liferay 5.2.3 to 6.0.x.  The custom theme changes are still just too involved for the little blocks of time I have.  I dearly want a lot of those features, but consistency is more important at this point.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Distributed service + browser plugin for streaming video where users hit mute when commercials start nad unmute when they end.  If enough other users hit mute, send a message to other people's browsers to mute them and unmute them accordingly. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

flickr hates android

The flickr mobile website sucks for uploading photos.  The email function is a dumb workaround.  Why did they bother developing an Apple app but not android?  The free apps that are available stink and don't integrate well with android.  I'm not going to use facebook for my photos.  I don't want to pay more than the pro fee I already paid.  What a bunch of maroons.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Microsoft Online BPOS Tech Support

I rue support tickets with these guys.  It's like talking to a ghost standing on the other side of a long hallway who is also unwilling to open their mouth more than a millimeter to let the sound of them speaking get past their lips unless it's quieter than a feather falling onto fresh snow in the Himalayas.  I swear I don't answer the phone with them because out of 4 or 5 support tickets, I have never once understood anything they said without three or four clarifications.  I need one of those old people mega-blaster amplifiers for my phone or something.  Or they need to SPEAK UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I don't care what kind of wonderfully peaceful quiet office you guys are in.  I CAN'T HEAR YOU!  THIS PROBLEM IMPEDES YOUR ABILITY TO DO YOUR OWN JOB! 

Doesn't matter if I'm on a landline or a cell, you guys are way too quiet.  I can't even understand the voicemails when I turn my computer speakers up to full volume because you're averaging the same decibel level as the noise floor on a typical phone line.  And I know it's not always the same guy (although it was at least the first two times).  I'd open a ticket about it but that would make my head explode.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thorn in my Side

It is a constant headache that Microsoft's own email service, Microsoft Online, uses Exchange 2007 instead of 2010.  The whole lack of search folders until you connect exchange to the email service is a major detriment to my own ability to work.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Self Funding Cloud Apps

Cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft could let customers host a web application and limit the available cpu and bandwidth based on current ad revenue.  Put in seed money to get your initial hits, then turn the site into an Ouroborus (self feeding/eating monster).  If users really like the site they can contribute directly or via subscriptions.  Probably not a great idea, but a decent one best suited to not for profit websites.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Just a heads up since this information eluded a lot of web searching, the ATI HD DVI Component Out adapter (the one w/ al the DIP switches) does NOT work with embedded ATI HD 3300 graphics.  At least not on my Biostar TA790GX XE mobo.  Too bad my older hdtv doesn't have HDMI inputs.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

IIS Authentication Error

Pro-tip: If you can't get into an IIS website without valid NTLM credentials, maybe somebody decided to check the box for the IUSR_machinename (Internet Guest User) Account that says "Require User to Change Password at Next Logon".

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Bad Ant Build Script Leads to Doubled file size

I couldn't figure out why my war file was so damn big, until I realized that by specifying the webinf folder in the war task, I was compressing/including it twice.  Since my  fileset already included WEB-INF, I didn't need to specify it twice.  Just deleting the <webinf/> element fixed my problem and I no longer have files which are twice as big as needed.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fixing a Screwed Up Full Duplex scan

I scanned a two sided document and every other page came in upside down.  Thanks to pdftk, I fixed this in short order.

I ran
pdftk A=messedup.pdf shuffle A1-11odd A1-11evenS output fixed.pdf
which means
  1. use A as shorthand for messedup.pdf
  2. shuffle the following pages:
    1. the odd pages in A
    2. the even pages in A, but rotated so that South is Up (flipped)
  3. Write it out as fixed.pdf
Easy peasy.  Great tool.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Verizon Droid Pro versus Droid 2

This review hit the censorship filters on the Verizon Wireless review thingy because of the word "crap".

The screen doesn't work if you're wearing gloves.  When you turn the phone on, it bleats DROID at you in a voice that makes you want to throw it at a wall and there's no apparent way to disable it.  It needs a trackball or optical mouse of some sort because zooming in the browser is a pain in the butt and the screen is small.  Applications besides VZW Navigator (like google maps or GPS Status) don't appear to work with the aGPS only.  The keys take a lot of getting used to.  Using the voice dial function still requires you to look at the screen and tap it sometimes.  The 5MP camera on my Samsung Omnia (winmo 6.5) phone was higher quality.  There's no built in flickr integration.  It's polluted with Social apps.  The encryption feature isn't available yet.  The software update fails repeatedly despite restoring all the verizon crap software on the phone.  It still suffers from the problem of trying to make calls and just giving me two minutes of silence then failing fairly often which isn't much better than a dropped call in my book.

It's better than any other Android phone.  I tried the Droid 2 Global and this is lighter and the keyboard is better.  There's no flickr integration, but you can work around that.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Unanet Timesheet Works on Glassfish

I just had to wrap unanet.xml into the war as META-INF/context.xml and point it at my file's absolute location on the server and put my config from jaas.config into /opt/glassfishv3/glassfish/domains/domain1/conf/login.conf and it worked with no apparent problems.  I'm pretty psyched.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Odd NumberFormatException w/ Halogen eAppraisal

Halogen suddenly stopped working for us recently with tons of errors in the logs saying stuff like

[ERROR] [TP-Processor23] (108) EXCEPTION java.lang.NumberFormatException
java.lang.NumberFormatException: For input string: "jsp1.2"
[ERROR] [TP-Processor26] (113) EXCEPTION org.apache.jasper.JasperException
org.apache.jasper.JasperException: org.apache.jasper.JasperException: Unable to load class for JSP

Not sure what caused it.  Either the latest version of tomcat somehow or having Jasper Server on the same tomcat.  Jasper and Halogen have been coexisting happily for a while though.  Neither was upgraded recently and it's not like I put the jasper jars in the global lib folder so I'm really not sure. 

Anyways, the solution was to edit WEB-INF/*.tld and change all occurrences of "jsp1.2" to "1.2" then restart tomcat.  Good as gold.