2009-10-07 Java Update

I am a day late, but here are my updates, and they are all Java related.

I am now the president of CJUG (Chicago Java Users Group). I am compiling a list of other Java user groups, and I will contact them to ask for some advice on running a JUG. I am also in contact with some past CJUG people, but I think more perspectives would be good. I also have a list of questions that I will be asking. I will first contact the JUGs that have web sites. Some of them only seem to have mailing lists (usually a Yahoo Group or a Google Group) and not actual web sites.

I also won an IntelliJ license a few months ago at a CJUG raffle. I got the key just a few weeks ago. I have not spent a whole lot of time with it yet. I just got my desktop in order, and I am still looking for a job. I need to decide what Java projects I will do, and what I will study. I may get more involved with James, I have not decided. There is another Apache project that looks interesting.

I also have not done much with Shelf Unit. I may give that a go with IntelliJ. I am also thinking about doing a few apps with Google App Engine. Someone presented on that a few months ago at CJUG, and it was pretty interesting.

 Image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use. Illustration of Anna the Prophetess from Alexandrian World Chronicle, 5th century Greek chronicle.

2009-10-05 Update

I have not posted in a while, so I will give an update on what has been going on.

A few weeks ago, one of my cousins got married, and my mom was in town for that. So I spent some time with her and a few other relatives.

The next week (last week), my desktop PC died on me. I turned it off one night, and the next morning it rebooted after 15 minutes, and kept rebooting during startup until I turned it off. If I leave it off for a day, it will stay on for 15 minutes, and then go into the reboot infinite loop. It is a Linux/Windows dual-boot, so I doubt there is something wrong with the registry. I cleaned out a lot of dust with some compressed air, so dust is not the issue. There is probably some component that is having problems.

I did not want to be short a PC for a few days, so I went out and bought a new system. I am only running Linux on it. My older system only had 1 GB of memory, and the new one has 8 GB. I was going to buy a new one soon anyway, but I am a bit depressed about spending money sooner than I intended.

I spent a few days getting some important stuff that I backed onto DVD, including some that I burned to DVD during the 15 minute window I had on my old system. I forgot to get the OpenCMS database, so I may have to recreate all the static content on this site from scratch. I will wait a few days and see if I can ftp some more stuff from Brigadoon.

There are also some Java updates, but I will post about those tomorrow. And I am still looking for a job.

 Image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use. Illustration of Macedonian Kings from Alexandrian World Chronicle, 5th century Greek chronicle.

Hosed my hard drive

I have a dual-boot desktop, and I usually run Linux on it. I tried to boot into Windows today for the first time in a long time, and Windows did not boot up. I booted into some “safety mode” which restored Windows, but wrote over the master boot record. I guess it is “safety” from Microsoft’s perspective, not necessarily mine. So now I cannot access Linux. I have backed up the important stuff recently, so I am not totally up a creek.

I am trying to follow some online tutorials on restoring GRUB to the MBR via a live CD. So far none of them are working. I may have to reinstall Linux. I would lose a lot of stuff (mostly mp3 files of podcasts, although I could re-download those). I am not too happy about this, but I guess I have to do what I have to do.

Image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use. Illustration of Spartan Kings from Alexandrian World Chronicle, 5th century Greek chronicle.

Another CJUG Update

There was another CJUG meeting last week. One of the current acting officers was not there, so the handover did not happen. So I will have to wait another month. In the meantime, I will contact some other Java user groups and get some input on how to run a group.

At one meeting I met a recruiter who says on his Linked In profile that he has a copyrighted class on how to interview. One idea that I have is getting some people to speak about “getting to know the business,” as people say.

Image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use. Illustration from Quedlinburg Itala fragment, a 5th century Latin manuscript.

Another Update

The CJUG election has not happened yet. Only myself and another person were up for the four positions. But I spoke to a couple of people afterwards, and they agreed that a regular mailing list might help bring some publicity to the group. One said he never checked the Yahoo Group.

Also, I am still working on Shelf Unit. I am testing out the Struts and JSF versions. I am also looking into JUnit and adding some tests. It looks like unit testing database operations is a big pain. I asked a few people at CJUG last night about this, and they mentioned Hypersonic, DBUnit and JMock. So it looks like I have to learn five things just to do one thing.

Image from Wikipedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use. Illustration from Codex Washingtonianus, a 5th century Greek manuscript.

President of CJUG

The Chicago Java Users Group is having board elections. I put my name in for president.

I have been going for a few years. For a while there were a lot of people. They had some pretty big names come in: Gavin King, Martin Fowler, Marc Fleury. Then for a while it was pretty bare. Sometimes it was just me, a guy named Rakesh (the acting president) and the presenter. Now there are 20 people or so at each meeting. So Rakesh has done a good job of building it back up.

I have a few ideas about building CJUG up. I would contact other Java Users Groups for some ideas for one thing. I would move the mailing list from Yahoo Groups to a regular list. I spoke to someone who spent a year in Salt Lake City. He told me that he got a lot of reminders about presentations in Salt Lake City, and not much from CJUG. I know you can have Yahoo Groups messages emailed to you, but I still think that the site and the list should be connected. Making the list more accessible might bring a few more people in.

Image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use. Illustration from Charioteer Papyrus, 5th century book fragment.

Joining Apache James

 I decided to become involved in an open source project: Apache James. The goal is to make a mail server in Java, as well as provide some supporting libraries.

I will have to learn some more about Maven and svn. I think that my first contribution will be to the documentation. It is a bit hard to get started, both as a user and as a contributor.

Image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use. Section of a fragment of 2nd century Greek manuscript of an unknown romance.