Apple MacBook Pro Memory Upgrade

Posted in: System Administration

When I buy a tech gadget, whether it be a cell phone or a laptop for example, it always costs me twice as much as everyone else. No matter how good a deal I try to find, it always ends up costing me exactly twice as much as everyone else. Does this happen to you?

It is caused by Geek Wife Gadget Purchasing Syndrome, wherein I cannot buy any cool technology without also getting the same thing for my wife because she also covets cool gadgets.

We had planned to update to the latest MacBook Pro this coming January, as that would mark 3 years since we purchased our current identical in every way MacBook Pros. However, in these turbulent economic times and because of the syndrome mentioned previously, we decided to explore alternatives.

In the end we decided the laptops were not too bad and we could probably squeeze another couple of years out of them, but we had to do something about hard drive space and RAM. So this post details the RAM upgrade and I will detail the hard drive upgrade in another post.
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Microsoft Hates Testing … Um, No Surprise There

Posted in: Software Development Best Practices

A colleague of mine forwarded an article to me during this last week, which he prefaced with the following statement …

guys, I’ll write it in all caps and bold:

I AM NOT PROMOTING OR IN AGREEMENT OF ANY OF THE POINTS THE ARTICLE MAKES.

… which begs the question, why did he send it not only to me, but an entire team of people? I choose to believe it was because he is an enlightened soul that understands that the best way to reinforce your own beliefs is to read more of the opposing point of view, not more of the view you already have. I am lucky to have a few of these souls working for me right now.
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Twitter Recap for Week Ending 2009-06-15

Posted in: Social Networking

Get Your Firefox Add-Ons Under Control

Posted in: Software Development Best Practices

Firefox add-ons can be hard to manage – for me, mostly in terms of finding quality add-ons that do something you find useful.

There is a new feature available called Add-on Collections. The name is helpfully descriptive – basically people can now group related add-ons together, give that group (or “collection” if you will) a name and list it on the site. So if you are on every social network, there is a collection of all of the add-ons that allow you to stay connected with those networks from the browser. If you like to travel, there is a collection that pulls together all of the add-ons that will help you do your thing. You get the idea.

Read more about Firefox Add-on Collections here.

So, if you consider yourself a web developer of any kind, please take my recommendation and install the Web Developer’s Toolkit collection right now, today, without delay. Hopefully you are already using Firebug, but there are a bunch of other add-ons in this collection that you might not be using already and you really should be.

And if I can provide one more piece of advice today – learn to use the tools you have available to you. Every day I see software developers doing things the hard way, particularly when it comes to debugging issues. There is a cornucopia of tools out there to help you do your job and if you know how to use them and you know what issues they will help you solve, you will instantly become a better developer – more efficient, more productive, more reliable, more dependable – perhaps, dare I say it, a craftsman.

Imagine an Electrician who carried around a whole toolbox of tools, but only knows how to use a screwdriver and a hammer – he can probably complete most tasks with those two tools, but he is probably going to disappoint his customers and not make much money as a contractor.

So, in summary, get some decent add-ons for Firefox to help you be a better Web Developer, and then actually take the time to learn how to use them. Easy.

QOTW for 2009-06-12

Posted in: Quotable Quotes

While real people will use your really bad product because they are paid to use it, if it is a good product with decent behavior, productivity will climb. You can walk into any organization and spot the SAP users – they are crying in the corner. You can’t tell me that that’s good for business.

- Alan Cooper
(from “An Insurgence of Quality”)

Success Guide For Sun Certified Enterprise Architect Exam

Posted in: Enterprise Java

After upgrading my SCEA certification recently (see this post), I have summarized some key pieces of information and the resources I used to pass the exam below. I hope this helps others pass as well.

The Basics
The place to start is the main SCEA exam page on the Sun site (http://www.sun.com/training/certification/java/scea.xml). You will find a description of the exam objectives as well as plenty of plugs for Sun’s own training courses to help you pass the exam (I have never taken any training directly from Sun, so I cannot speak to their value).

Certification Structure
Remember, the certification is made up of 3 parts.

The first part is an exam and is the hardest part, this is the part you are really doing all of the study for. The exam is a computer administered multiple-choice style exam (the same as the SCJP exam if you have done that one).

The second part is a take home assignment. This part will take the longest and involves presenting a solution (via UML and other documentation) to a business problem. There is no coding involved.

The third part is another computer based exam, but is made up of long answer questions this time. You should plan to do the 3rd part ASAP after you have submitted and passed the 2nd part. The questions in this part will ask about certain design considerations and other decision points from the assignment and why you chose the solution option that you did.

Obviously it will depend on your level of proficiency as an architect and specifically with the JavaEE technologies, but I think you should plan on 3-6 months in prep for the first part, 1-3 months to complete the assignment and then you should be able to do the 3rd part within a month of submitting your assignment depending on how long it takes Sun to review your assignment and you to get scheduled in to take the exam.

Websites
Below is a list of some websites that contain relevant information.

Books
I have read all of the following books at one point or another. They are all mentioned as recommended reading at various places in the official Sun documentation for the exam.

Some Notes on Upgrading
If you have previously passed the SCEA for an earlier version of the JavaE/J2EE specification, then you can complete a modified version of the SCEA certification to upgrade to the latest version (currently JavaEE 5). The upgrade certification process only requires you to sit and pass the first part of the normal certification – the multiple choice exam. You do not need to re-do the assignment or the long-answer exam.

When I sat the upgrade exam, I noticed that a significant proportion of the questions were related to web services. I suspect that this is because the first time I sat the exam, web services were not officially part of the JavaEE stack and so perhaps the upgrade exam is tailored to cover only the newer parts of the specifications – but I cannot guarantee that this is the case.

Do you have other resources that you would recommend? Let me know in the comments.

Twitter Recap for Week Ending 2009-06-08

Posted in: Social Networking
  • Bad sign for attendence @ #javaone. Keynote hall set up much smaller than previous years, definitely fewer seats #
  • Sitting in #communityone keynote session #
  • Wondering if physical disaster recover sites should now be replaced with cloud services #
  • First technical session of the week – Taking Advantage Of Subversion’s New Features #
  • Family Blog Update: insert witty fork pun here… http://bit.ly/b28K3 #
  • 2nd session of the day “Test Your Product On Multiple Machines in Parallel with Hudson” #communityone #
  • @chungsean welcome to #javaone sir #
  • Sitting in “Community Equity: Social Value System for Social Network” #communityone #
  • Just arrived @ pavillion reception for #communityone #
  • @alicia_s is it really small? Stupid fat hobbit #
  • Following semi-naked marching band to next party @ #communityone #
  • @alicia_s we’re talking about whatever you want to talk about #
  • Frankie says relax at #communityone party #
  • @srabon having an OK time. I am carrying some flu symptoms, so taking it easy to make sure I last the whole week. in reply to srabon #
  • Need one more person to use me as a refererence for #javaone registration to get the Flip. Earn yourself some good karma points – W1302019 #
  • In #javaone opening keynote, waiting for it to start, same DJ as last year #
  • Grey foggy morning in SF, will only get worse if Ellison shows up at the #javaone keynote #
  • Some McNealy and no Elison so far. Oh and I caught on on t-shirt. Good so far, #javaone #
  • I spoke too soon, Elison on stage now. ;( #javaone #
  • Elison was doing ok until he dissed AJAX – wrong room for that statement. #javaone #
  • In 2nd tech session of the day already at #javaone. This one on Amazon EC2. Also saw the one on OpenESB and BPEL. #
  • Is #OpenSolaris the product with the most swag and the least number of users at #javaone? Seriously, I do not get it. #
  • Watching JBoss mini-talk on there new ESB in the pavillion #
  • Thanks to @abridgwater for inviting me to the Press/Analyst Reception tonight. Cheers mate. #javaone #
  • Heading to the Java Community Process party at the Intercontinental for more #javaone fun #
  • Family Blog Update: cute of the day… http://bit.ly/PxdvC #
  • Mashed Potato Martinis at the JCP party! #javaone #
  • In a lab at #javaone about building social apps. using Zembly – same tool that @briankous demoed to the Behr team last Friday. #
  • In Joshua Bloch’s Effective Java talk for about the 5th year straight. #javaone #
  • In HtmlUnit session w/ @briankous at #javaone #
  • @briankous the jboss party is tomorrow night @ jillian’s, not tonight. how about a team dinner instead? in reply to briankous #
  • Netflix just sent me Weeds: Season 4: Disc 1 #
  • team dinner @ Magnolia, 1398 Haight St (Haight @ Masonic) 7:45pm – meet in lobby of my hotel 7:30pm to share taxi, or see you there #
  • Having dinner w/ @briankous @chungsean @michaelpallas and @tshumaker @godfather #
  • BTW, what kind of douche uses @godfather as their Twitter handle? Freakin’ Vito #
  • Sitting in a restaurant on Haight St in San Francisco and they are playing The Grateful Dead – is that just gratuitous? #
  • #JavaOne After Dark moved to the Marriott (4th & MIssion) because of probable bad weather tomorrow (actually later today really) #
  • RT @ABridgwater: Adrian on ZDNet.co.uk “The view from the floor at #JavaOne” http://bit.ly/3gb6d #
  • Urgh, the OpenSSO lab I am in is full of problems. #javaone #
  • FYI, if your English is not so good, strapping on a mic. and yelling and speaking really fast is not going to help the situation. #javaone #
  • #JBoss Party is starting. Free beer and a front row seat to watch the Lakers on a 20ft screen. I love Java. #javaone #
  • Damn, @briankous just broke a beer glass. Half a beer and we are going to have to cut him off already. #javaone the corruptor of innocents #
  • @gorkeyv are you high? #
  • @chungsean and I have moved on to the After Dark Party @ the Marriott #
  • I am watching the original lead singer of Toto sing Africa. i think I have slipped into a totally awesome alternate dimension @ #javaone #
  • @gorkeyv since when do you get so sticky over the Lakers? #
  • If there is any actual original member of Skynyrd on stage, is it OK to scream for Free Bird? #
  • I just saw any original member of Skynyrd play a 10:30 version of Free Bird – all bets are off for the rest of the night. Fuck yeah! #
  • Last keynote at possibly the last #JavaOne has just started – probably a few teary eyes in the room by the end I expect #
  • Today’s #javaone keynote, no emotion expressed, no acknowledgment of the end of JavaOne in this form, and also no “see you next year”. #
  • 2nd to last #javaone session about to start. Hopefully Mr Galbraith will be as interesting as usual and will keep me awake #
  • #javaone we are off to on on good start – Ben just slammed SAP user interface :) #
  • @jazzlifejunkie and if that all goes well, red eyes in the morning #
  • Beer Log: Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA #
  • #Beer Log: Rogue – St Rogue Dry Hopped Red Ale #
  • @jazzlifejunkie touche sir #
  • #Beer Log: Rogue – Hazelnut Brown #
  • #Beer Log: Rogue – Anniversary Charlie – Dry Hopped American Strong Ale #
  • #Beer Log: Moylan’s – Hopsickle Imperial Ale – Triple IPA #
  • Family Blog Update: He’s coming home today… http://bit.ly/Dnuoo #
  • @gorkeyv thanks for the balanced well thought out reviews. you realize that it is #apple that has cult like followers , not #palm right? in reply to gorkeyv #
  • Maybe that should be the #pre tag line “Guaranteed to be really a lot like an #iIPhone since we used the same people” #
  • Adelaide Crows def. Essendon Bombers, 130 to 114 #
  • Family Blog Update: Back From San Francsico http://bit.ly/bZJhT #
  • Family Blog Update: Birthday Present http://bit.ly/Om85e #
  • Family Blog Update: Certified : Totally Nerdy http://bit.ly/sc7nF #
  • Family Blog Update: Are You Going To San Francisco? http://bit.ly/rAjbc #
  • Family Blog Update: Fog In San Francsico? http://bit.ly/2A6nBL #
  • Forgot my camera cable. Finally able to post my #javaone photos. http://bit.ly/KjZTE #
  • Everyone expects the new #iPhone to be announced tomorrow at WWDC, but will it also be available in stores tomorrow? http://bit.ly/t1U6e #
  • Family Blog Update: Stayin’ In Touch http://bit.ly/gyyGb #