For the past few days when I went to look at my blog I was greeted with a message telling me that the software was being updated. Actually, since I'm on the inside of IBM, I knew that was going to happen and was not surprised, though I was a little impatient.
The developerWorks community runs on IBM Connections, formerly Lotus Connections, which is an application to design your own community site with, well, all the stuff that's here. (Is it just me or does IBM seem to have a lot of things that were "formerly known as..."?) The down time was to process an upgrade to the latest version of Connections. That is a massive undertaking, much like moving Joomla from 1.x to 2.x.
I'm really intrigued to see how these updates affect things. The previous site had a good deal of customization to make up for the demands of a public-facing community and the unique needs of developerWorks. As everyone who develops and integrates knows, those kind of customizations can create a lot of pain when you move into updates. It's one of the dangers of customizing, but sometimes you need to do it anyway to get what you need.
So far the site seems a lot more efficient, which is good. The editor I'm using to write this is much better than the previous one. We'll see how it goes.
Congratulations to the team who made this transition happen. You made it look easy, even though I know it wasn't.
Favorite free video editors
I'm working on a project to help people learn about doing video blogging and such. Because it's the way I am, I'm encouraging do-it-yourself (DIY) techniques which includes free and open software. On LInux I tend to use Cinelerra for my editing, though I've recently been playing with OpenShot and even Blender. Unfortunately, of those three only Blender is multi-platform. The others are currently Linux-only. (You can get a live CD/DVD which boots Linux with the software for editing, but that's suboptimal for most people.) avidemux is multi-platform, but I haven't really used it. Seems good for some general cleaning and trimming but doesn't have anything I've seen in the way of multi-track editing. I've also noted that YouTube now has a video editor, which has a similar philosophy to avidemux.
In general, I suppose I would point a complete novice who just wanted to cut out the whoopsies to the YouTube editor. But I'm curious about what others have found. Please don't bother with commercial software. It's not hard to find things to buy. It's trickier to find ways to learn.
Blender is awesome
I've been working with Blender a lot more to do some title kinds of work. I haven't done too much with it, but it's extremely powerful once you build the skills. I've been working on adding titles similar to how they did it in the series Fringe-- live 3D elements that are part of the setting. Here's one that I managed.
I haven't written here for a while. A lot of changes have been going on behind the scenes for me. Around the time that I wrote my last entry I was brought into a new team within ISV Developer Relations at IBM. As a result, I am no longer editor for the Linux and Open Source content on developerWorks. This is bittersweet for me, as I really enjoyed helping authors to shape their information to share with people who want to learn. In my little intro on this blog I mention that I am really passionate about Linux and Open Source. This is not hyperbole. I've run a Linux desktop for more than ten years. We have no Microsoft Windows or Mac OS in my house. Personally, I don't find this a hardship. I do pretty much what I want and need on my computers and don't seem to have the struggles that others do. (I'm hearing a story by one friend who has been through ten different Microsoft tech support people over a period of days still trying to get his Windows 8 activated. Bleh!)
I've always found that it wasn't that Linux and open source couldn't do things that people needed, but that they just weren't aware of what was available or how they had become tool-bound. Perhaps a Linux environment tends to provide the most benefit to a technical person with a sense of curiosity. In any case, it was a joy to help provide a variety of information to help people try things and broaden their horizons. I got to work with some really talented authors and make a difference to hundreds of thousands of people. Wow!
My new role is going to take me more behind the scenes. I'll still be enabling people to get their messages out, but in a greater variety of ways. It's all fairly new, so I don't really have stories to share. I have no doubt that I'll get food for blogging in my new role.
I will continue to use this space to talk about technology and social issues that I think make a difference. I'll continue share things that I do with Linux and open source so that others can explore them as well. As my activities become more varied I may have even more to share!
Along those lines, I recently had to put together a booklet for a non-IBM project. I had done the writing in a word processor, but when it came time to generate the final format I decided that I really wanted to work with a publishing tool rather than a word processor. In a previous role, ages back, I did a lot of work with Adobe PageMaker. I remember renting time on Macs at Kinko's to create signs, fliers and such. Once I designed a set of sample pages for an elementary level math book using PageMaker. The pages were being shown in an editorial meeting for a major textbook publisher and it was the first time they had gotten a printed mock-up as opposed to a literally pasted page. (That sounds ancient doesn't it?)
It's certainly possible to do a booklet in a word processor, and LibreOffice works fine for that. (Have you downloaded v4 yet?) However, a desktop publishing tool is designed for a greater degree of precision in layout. If you can get your head wrapped around the different approach to thinking you really get a more finished product. The most popular open source publisher project I am aware of is Scribus, and the last time I used it was to do an 8-page, full-color mini-magazine for a convention. I know that many will consider Scribus to be lacking as compared to a PageMaker or a Quark, but the $850 price tag on Quark makes it a little out of my reach, and it's not available for Linux. Scribus is free and available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux. I essentially had to wish for it and it was installed on my system. Here's a sample from their sourcforge gallery.
Of course, working with page layout is different from other kinds of content editing. Publishing programs are much more concerned with controlling how things look than helping you to write. It's literally like having a lot of little pieces of paper that you are going to paste onto a blank page. You assign what is on each little piece of paper, a graphic, some text, etc. Some of this is handled by "frames" in a word processor, but in layout software it just seems to be a little easier somehow... at least to me... depending on the project.
Because of the "pagey" nature of this application, it was easier for me to set up something to be how I wanted it and not have things move around on me when I changed something. I had a few challenges with setting up a dynamic Table of Contents, something that is almost magical in LibreOffice. I will probably review this tutorial by Bruce Byfield before my next document.
If you want to play with layout software, Scribus isn't a bad place to start. It will acquaint you with the basic concepts of layout, primarily separating your design concepts from your content. For a big project it might still be worth using a commercial product, but for a little newsletter, booklet or other projects where you are assimilating various elements into a single document, Scribus might do the trick.
Now, when I'm designing a single page, like a sign, postcard or flier, from scratch, I will tend to use Inkscape. I've even done large, full-color banners with this and enjoy it very much.
More adventures later. I'm tinkering with Blender, the free, open 3D modeling/animation/compositing software. If you think moving from word processing to page layout is mind blowing you just wait 'til you see what happens in this paradigm! I used Blender to create the header graphic for this blog. Everything is composed of 3D elements which were lit and moved around, then "photographed". It's pretty interesting stuff.
For everyone who contributed to the Linux and open source areas on developerWorks for me, you have my sincerest gratitude. It was an honor to work with all of you. For the readers to gave feedback, sometimes in the most forceful ways, you have my gratitude as well. It's hard to function in a vacuum and your input constantly shaped my approach to what we covered and how. I look forward to my new adventure.
OK. I'm a little more caught up after the holiday. I'm pleased to announce that the Learning PHP series on developerWorks has gotten some updates (Part 1 was done earlier. 2 and 3 updates just got published.) If you want to dive in and start making use of this popular language this is a great way to do it. I'm actually going to roll up my digital sleeves and walk through the tutorials myself as a coder rather than as an editor. I need to tinker with PHP a lot more and this will get me going quickly.
There's lots going on with the changing of the year, however. Here are a few things of interest.
Linux: 2012 was a very good year
I came across this article from PC World, a publication that is not necessarily known for pushing Linux. There are a lot of interesting points in there. Linux is making money. People are getting stuff done with GNU/Linux. Gaming companies are starting to turn their eyes to the platform. For myself, 2012 was the year where had had less confusion than any other time in my life when I told people I ran Linux. Nearly everyone I spoke with about it had heard of Ubuntu and many said they were considering loading it up themselves if they hadn't already. I know that for many things Linux still makes up a small percentage bump on the user map, but it is going gangbusters in the background and it just isn't going away!
Of course, it isn't always pretty in Linux land. I don't know if it speaks to passion or just poor socialization, but a recent blog post in the Real World Linux community discusses the heated exchange with Linux Torvalds and one of the kernel maintainers when a patch broke something in userspace. I've heard a lot of discussion about whether or not professionals have exchanges like that. They may not where you have worked, but I've witnessed some pretty strongly worded conferences in my career. It's probably not something recommended in the people management handbook, but it does happen. Hopefully everyone will make nice and move on. Of course, ten years ago that exchange wouldn't have been any kind of news whatsoever.
One of the interesting side effects of tools like Twitter is that it gives you a view of the information pie that is hard to get any other way. So much information comes from so many people with tags identifying groups and trends. Twitter has provided a 2012 retrospective page showing what was hot in a variety of topics. My stuff hasn't bubbled up to the top so far, but it's interesting to see who has. It's also interesting—and sometimes aphaalling—to see what people have found important enough to share and discuss. This kind of data is going to become more robust as we go.
Of course, the new year is not all about looking back. It's also about looking forward. This slide show from InfoWorld has their picks for what is "highly anticipated". I'll admit that some of them don't especially grab me. (Let's see if you can figure out which ones!)
I'm intrigued to see the future direction of Android, though the way providers tend to implement it I won't be able to enjoy it with my existing device. I really wish I could handle Android like I do installing Linux on devices!
The pending evolution of wireless protocols is also intriguing. Wouldn't it be amusing if we eventually fix the high-speed everywhere questions with wireless rather than running cables?
The flexible displays are also pretty interesting and could show up in some surprising areas. Imagine touch interaction that doesn't need to be flat anymore.
I'm also curious to see what happens with the new innovations in energy usage that are evolving. I'm sure there will be more on that later.
Happy New Year, all. I hope you got some kind of a break and are ready to start making a difference with all that you do.
From: Scam Mail
DO YOU NEED A LOAN, IF YES REPLY FOR MORE INFO.
At least they are honest about scamming you.
IBM Linux on POWER
I think Linux and the POWER architecture are an outstanding combination. I would really like to see a new POWER laptop to load Linux on. (Apple used to be a good source for that until they decided to go Intel.) POWER servers are competitive in price with el-cheapo models, especially when you factor in consolidating services into a single box. I came across this video which talks about Linux on POWER.
Steve Southworth is funny
Steve Southworth posted this picture with the caption: "The original camera phone."
New VoltDB article in developerWorks/opensource
How many databases do we need exactly? When are we going to have enough? If you have a shop where you are able to support a single database, say DB2, then that's great! However, it's likely that you need to have flexibility in your database, either because you can't always get what you need from the administrators, or you are dealing with customers who have varying situations, or some other unexpected situation that you can't predict. It's always good to have more tools in your toolbox. Talke a look at VoltDB and play with it. Here's what author, Simon Buckle, had to say about his article:
"Having problems scaling your relational database? Thinking about switching to a NoSQL datastore in order to scale but you need your data to be consistent at all times? These are the kind of tradeoffs that you would normally have to consider when deciding whether to go down one route or the other but it is possible to have both scalability and data consistency. Introducing VoltDB.
"VoltDB is an in-memory database written in Java with the scalability of NoSQL data stores, but without the consistency problem; it is ACID compliant. VoltDB is queried using SQL, so it will be familiar to those who have worked with relational databases before. This article will cover the basics of how to install VoltDB and how to use it, so you can integrate it into your application(s). Finally, it will also discuss VoltCache, a scalable key-value store with a memcached compatible API built using VoltDB."
The VoltDB developers tout their project as revolutionizing your application design methodology to get things out fast! Check it out, play with it and you'll be the smartest one in the room when someone brings it up!
Open Source alternatives
Ages back, I wrote a popular blog entry called "Start your learning with Open Source." It must have struck some sort of a chord because it's gotten more than 15K hits since 2009. One of the most common conversations I have with people about open-source software is about subsitutes for the current software that they are using. I reference a few sources in that blog entry, but there is also an evolving Wiki in the Real World Open Source community with a list of open source software. You'll find some handy suggestions in there. You can also add your own. It's just getting started, so we've barely scratched the surface. Take a look and contribute.
Don't forget that there is a discussion board there as well where you can bring up your questions and problems. Have another place where you do those discussions? Tell me where and I'll add them to the bookmarks or feeds in the community.
I got a message when I tried to run a browser-based application that was truly out of Dilbert:
XXXXXXXXXX is temporarily unavailable at this time for any of the following reasons:
Status and additional information are posted on the XXXXXXXXXX System Status page. We apologize for the inconvenience and will bring the application online as soon as possible. Please try again later.
The status page did tell me what was going on, but the first read was a little silly.
Update to Ubuntu 12.10
The other day I did my update to Ubuntu 12.10 on my laptop. The update went smoothly, though it took a while. The one wish that I had was that there was a way to have it automatically use the recommended response for dealing with config files on the updates. The way it works now I have to hit a button from time to time. I'm sure there is a way to do this, but I haven't researched it. Maybe someone out there can point me.
Overall things seem OK. I'm getting some mysterious system component crashes that seem par for the course with an update on this laptop (Lenovo w500). Whatever is crashing doesn't seem to be affecting my normal activity, so it's not troublesome. I expect the next serious round of updates to magically make all of those things go away. I feel that a few things are a little more spry (especially in the Unity desktop) but I have no measurable benchmark.
I have to say that I really like updating Linux. In Windows and other systems where a major upgrade is actually the purchasing of a new product it always seemd a pain. (I'm seeing all sorts of unrest about Windows 8 and am thankful that I don't have to play there.) In Linux I get a little note saying that there's a major distribution update and I hit the button. It's been very pleasant.
Of course, I have a server at a church that suffered some neglect for a while that needs to be updated by hand because it fell too far behind. That is inconvenient, but workable. If you keep things up to date it generally all goes pretty well.
PDFs on the fly
I use PDFs all the time. I think they are a terrific way to share documents. They save trees but provide a controlled look and feel and their openness makes them easy for anyone to read regardless of tools or operating systems. I trust PDF as an archival format much more than I trust any of the word processing formats out there, even open document, I'm sorry to say.
I started working with PDFs a lot when I started using OpenOffice.org, LibreOffice and the like. It was difficult to convince others that they needed to download software, even if it was free, to read my documents. Then I realized that the vast majority of the time that I don't really need someone to edit the document, just view it. All my open document tools had a PDF button built in so, voila! Easy sharing with no complaints.
Generating PDFs has become more common and there's no reason why you can't include that functionality in your own programs. The developerWorks article "Generate PDF files from Java applications dynamically" has just been updated by the author to include the latest techniques. Take a look and see how you might be able to harness this power for yourself.
I recently had a call with some people who are interested in
contributing to the Real World Open Source and Real World Linux communities here one
developerWorks! Yay! I would like to see a lot more input by people in
these places. As a part of that conversation they requested me to
outline my recommendations for people new to writing in this
environment. I decided that this might be of interest to the general
public, so I'm posting here rather than privately through email.
Writing in developerWorks is not like having your own Wordpress or
other blog. You can do a good deal of customization to make it fit your
own preferences, but you will need to fit into the overall
developerWorks framework. This framework may change around you, so the
general rule of thumb is "Keep It Super Simple". Your content is what
is most important here, not any bells and whistles that you might add,
so write things that do well with plain, clean HTML. I prefer to do my
writing in an HTML editor, actually. I tend to use Kompozer, an
open-source editor. Unfortunately, development on this project seems to
have stalled out, but it's still my favorite editor. It produces clean
HTML with no muss or fuss and allows me to easily put something
together which I can just paste into place. You can use any editor that
you choose which can save HTML. However, bear these things in mind:
Don't use a lot of styles and parameters on the HTML. Sometimes
you need to, but keep it to a minimum. This will make your article
behave better when it's published.
Be cautious about what comes out of a word processor. When I
write something in LibreOffice and them paste it into the blog there is
a lot of hidden style information that ends up in the HTML. This is
ugly and bulky and will do weird things to your entries. Be prepared to
clean up anything that you do.
Including images is good, but you will be working with a simpler
subset of formatting options. You will also need to upload your image
to the developerWorks server or reference the link externally.
Posting audio and video is good, but remember that this can
sometimes be unpredictable. For example, when posting a YouTube video,
you must use the old-school <object>
code rather than a simpler <iframe>.
Someday this may change, but for now it is necessary. Some embeds
simply will not work.
The included HTML editor is decent, but a little thin for me. I
have two browser plugins that I use to help me write entries that I
have not pre-written in Kompozer.
Write Area - This plugin will give you a
fuller editor that you can invoke in any text area with a right-click.
It provides more formatting options for links and images. Unfortunately
it does not include a spell checker, though. so be sure to double-check
your work. I use this a lot! (I'm using it now). It's been a real help
to get around any site that has a limited window in which to write.
It's free for Firefox. I'm sure that people with other browser
preference will find similar add-ons. I'm just telling you what I use.
Scribefire - This plugin provides more than
just an editor. It is a blog management system, allowing you to work
with various blogs on different sites. It will give me a list of the
blogs that I use and let me edit or create a new entry for any of them.
This can be handy, but it sometimes does some strange things with more
advanced formatting. (Remember, I said to keep it simple?) Another
feature is that it will allow me to simultaneously publish the same
thing on multiple blogs at once. I did run into one issue, which I
mentioned in a previous post. Do not use the '#' symbol in your article
titles with Scribefire. This caused it to get lost when trying to
agregate my existing entries. That was very frustrating for quite a
while until I tracked down the issue.
There are other blogging tools which are compatible with
developerWorks, but these are the ones that I generally use.
Any pictures that you want to use need to either live on the system
or be linked with the URL. For some content, especially copywrited
content, I just link to it. That saves some of the usage hassles and
acts as an automatic credit to the owner. For example, Dilbert cartoons
are a great thing to include from time to time and they have a simple
method for linking to their content.
If you're going to do things like this, you should expect to have
to tweak the HTML from time to time. Sometimes developerWorks seems to
alter things that are not entered through the raw HTML view. (That's
the <h> button in your toolbar if you are using the default blog
editor.) HTML is nothing to be afraid of, and many of you are technical
people anyway, so you should feel comfortable with it.
For some pictures, though, it's best to upload them. If you are
using the default editor, uploading is automatic. You click the icon to
insert a picture and it gives you a chance to upload your picture. I
will often use this step just to get the picture up and then go into
Write Area to manipulate it and make it look nice with the article.
Add image tool.
You can also upload an image file directly. Select the Settings
link, next to New Entry. On the Create & Edit tab you'll
find File Uploads. You can manage everything here. Note that
this interface acts much like old-school FTP, so you can't overwrite
If you need to change something you need to delete it and then
upload the new one. That provides a window where the file may not
exist, but it's pretty quick.
Copy the link for an existing file and you can use a conventional <img>
tag to include it.
Bookmarking major links
I quickly got annoyed by some of the steps to getting to areas like
file management. They are easy to find, but require a number of
clicks to get there. This was easily remedied with a few book
marks. I have bookmarks set up for my main blog and the entries
page. These reside in a folder on my bookmark toolbar, so it's
pretty easy to jump right to the spot I want. If I did more file
management I'd probably set up a bookmark for it as well, but it's just
as easy to go to the entries page and then click over to files.
(Two quick clicks versus three slow ones.) It seems like such a
silly thing, but it really helped me a lot.
Contributing to the Real World communities
That should get you started with basic blogging. If there are
questions that I have raised rather than answered I'll be happy to
address them. You can email
me or comment here. I may make this a living document and update it
rather than writing additional chapters. I've set up the Real World Open Source and Real World Linux communities so that any member
can draft an article. Simply become a member and start one. When you
submit it, I'll be notified and can release it. Feel free to use this
to post a great topical discovery or idea without taking on the burden
of maintaining your own blog. If you decide to start your own, let me
know and I'll follow it.
I'd seen some information about how this is done with other sites using a technique called CSS sprites. David Walsh provided the quick and dirty explanation that finally got me going on this technique in his blog entry, "Creating & Using CSS Sprites". Essentially there are two efficiencies that you are using. First, the grapic for the button is designed with all versions together, but the view is framed using the style. On a mouseover event the style sheet will automatically offset the view to show another verion of the graphic. Since the graphic loads up front there is no lag time to get another version. Also, using the style sheet allows you to replicate this technique across multiple buttons of the same dimension without having to replicate the code. You define the style centrally and simply invoke it.
Take a look at David's blog to see how this works... and it does very well. I set it up in a WordPress site. Here I'm going to explain the techniques I used to invoke this technique in the developerWorks Community space.
From your blog, select Settings. (You must be logged in to the community.)
Select the preferences tab, then Theme.
Set the theme to minimal and then save. (This changes you to the minimal template.)
Press the Customize button which appears.
Now you are using a custom theme which lets you edit your styles. Click on the Templates link to see these files. It will look something like what you see in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Files for custom theme
Next we need to make our button. You can have your graphics stacked side-to-side or top-to-bottom. It's up to you. What I did was go into GIMP, and double the canvas size along one dimension. Then I copied the picture and pasted it as a new layer. Now I can use the filters to do things to the graphic and easily replicate an effect across several buttons. Figure 2 shows the sprite I created for this demo. The top version will be the normal view and the bottom version will be the highlighted view.
Figure 2. CSS Sprite image stacked vertically
Now, I upload that into my file uploads. This is also done from the Settings. (Go to Settings, Create & Edit, File Uploads.) Once the file is uploaded, you can click it to open and get the URL. Now comes the fun part. Go back into the templates and open the _css file for editing. Go to the bottom and create a new style section for your custom additions. It will look something like the following code:
By setting up a separate section it makes it easy to keep a local copy and then just dump it back if something changes on the server end. Let's look at what I did:
First there is a named style definition called tux-wizard-link. If I apply this to any link it will frame the graphic to be 284x284 and use the defined graphic for the background. I believe that I can leave this out and define it for each individual link to provide different graphics using the same style, but I haven't tried it yet. For now, I'm sticking close to the original concept by David.
Next there is a definition for how this style behaves when a hover (mouseover) event occurs. Here we tell it to shift the image up 284 pixels. That's it for the style. Save that file and you have a new style available to use in your blog. Now you place the link using the following code:
<a href="#" id="tux-wizard-link" > </a>
The ID invokes the style definition and it just works. Here it is live:
The link doesn't go anywhere, so don't be surprised when you click it. The one oddity with using this technique on the developerWorks community is that you cannot see if it's working in preview mode. I actually had to do a publish into my sandbox (a nonpublic group) in order to see it was working. I'm not sure of a way around this. It's great for during design mode, because you can do all the testing before you bring it live. I have my sandbox where I can do my testing. For a live blog I'm not sure how you test it without alerting everyone that you've published something.
So, what can you do with this? Well, you can set up some pretty snazzy tabs and other buttons in your blog that load quickly and work well across browsers. I'm not a CSS expert, but I think you might be able to set this up so that you can define a specific button style and simply crank out buttons with identical dimensions. Even if you have to replicate the code for each button in the style sheet it's not so bad.
I wanted to share a couple of fresh articles that were published on developerWorks this week.
Free remote control
I hear commercials all the time for products that allow you to remotely control your system. They always sound really expensive to me, because I already do that for free, and have for years.
VNC is an open source application that will let you remotely control someone's computer across a network. It runs on different operating systems and is a fantastic way to do troubleshooting, lend a hand with something or do some work remotely. However, it can be tricky to get VNC working correctly in a multi-user environment. Normally it's run from inside a login session. It can be done, however. I know, because I had to do it the hard way, by doing research and experimentation. You get the easy way. You can read Roderick Smith's article: Enable multiuser logins with VNC
Getting the hang of Linux applications
I've been using Linux as my regular environment for a very long time now. It's been amusing how I find myself struggling to figure out how to find and run things when I end up on someone's Windows machine. It's just not set up the way I think anymore. I know that the same thing happens to new Linux users who have a Windows background. You already know how to use a computer. You don't need someone to hold your hand and give you baby instructions, but you need a little guidance.
Tracy Bost has been helping to fill that gap with his Linux for Windows Administrators series. This week he's going to help clarify some of the different ways in which applications are executed on Linux. How can you get going if you can't run anything? You can read the new article now.
That's all for now, but there are several things floating around. I know I'll have something tomorrow.
I recently bought a Kindle. I had a Sony book reader that I was pleased with for quite some time. I still like it, actually, but it was starting to feel slow to me. I also wanted to be able to take advantage of some of the Kindle features that I get with my Amazon Prime subscription (like book borrowing!). So, I went for it.
My favorite tool for working with book readers is Calibre. Some time back developerWorks featured an article on this incredibly useful program. It seems to consume just about any ebook format I care to throw at it. It allows me to organize my library, convert from one format to another and update the metadata of everything (even pulling covers and publication data off of the Internet through sources like Amazon). It talks to the book reader, and lets me load and remove items easily.
Recently, I've been working more with the news feature. It has about 1200 preloaded feeds covering every type of interest. You can also add your own, using what they call a recipe and an RSS feed. Essentially, the reader will pull down the feed and format into an indexed magazine, then upload it to your device. It's wonderfully consumable and a great way to catch up on bits of specialty news.
There was not an existing news source for developerWorks, so I created one. Here's what the raw code looks like:
title = u'developerWorks'
oldest_article = 7
max_articles_per_feed = 100
auto_cleanup = True
feeds = [
(u'Agile Transformation', u'https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/mydevel...
(u'AIX and UNIX', u'http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/views/aix/rss/li...
(u'Business Process Management', u'http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/v...
(u'Information Management', u'http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/views/...
(u'Open Source', u'http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/views/opensource/...
(u'SOA and Web Services', u'http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/views/we...
(u'Web Development', u'http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/views/web/rss...
(u'WebSphere', u'http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/views/websphere/rss... (u'XML', u'http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/views/xml/rss/libraryview...
I had to truncate the long lines here, but you can download a copy of the full thing. I add this recipe to my subscription list. I've set it up to download on Wednesday morning, since most items will publish on Tuesday. Now, I will get an automatic weekly download of these items to my Kindle. I still have to connect it to the computer to get them, but it's pretty handy!
I looked at some of the other recipes, like the BBC, and they get pretty fancy. There is a lot of tweaking that one can do. The manual page explains it all in detail, but I don't have time to comb through it right now. Maybe I'll enhance this one later. If so, I'll share it here, or may try to share it through Calibre.
Please note that while I'm using a Kindle, this should work with any book reader. Calibre really is the Rosetta Stone for ebooks. I love it. I may go make a donation right now.
New articles on developerWorks! Watching them publish is like that first time that you open a bag of coffee, so fresh, so new, so invigorating.
If you've been following our Spring Roo series then you are undoubtedly looking forward to the next installment, which is "Part 5: Write advanced and wrapper Spring Roo add-ons". Shekhar's series has been very popular, each article getting tens of thousands of views and high ratings. He continues to push forward, guiding you through creating a template for advanced add-ons and then extending it to add your own functionality.
This series is extremely hands-on and I imagine that anyone who has been following it already has functional items. I think people are inspired when the read what others are doing. Take some time to share what you're doing with Spring Roo in the Real World Open Source group. If there are some really good entries maybe I'll come up with a way to highlight you. It won't be an official IBM recognition, because that involves many lawyers and such, but maybe we can do something fun. Maybe I'll design a cool T-Shirt or something.
I'm afraid that I tend to hack my stuff. I root my phone; I mess with my laptop and try to connect things in weird ways. I hack my home router. I just love exploring ways that I can make things work differently than they were intended. I also enjoy taking existing hardware and software and using it to take the place of expensive commercial options. I seem to have a kindred spirit in Carla Schroder.
This week, Carla walks us through using hostapd, a strong security solution that can take the place of a complex RADIUS server for WIFI in locations that don't need a full-on Enterprise solution. Like most open-source infrastructure solutions it is elegant and easy, with a little know-how. Carla gives you the knowhow to get started. I'm actually thinking of applying this in a church network that wants more control over their wireless.
I have some compulsory tasks to complete after being away from the office for a couple of days. After that I want to share a couple of technical adventures I've been having with phone rooting and URL shortening. I'll tweet when I do that update, so you should definately be following cmw_osdude on Twitter.