Monthly Archives: January 2006

DB2 goes free…

… well… DB2 Express Edition does, anyway.

As reported today on The Register, you can now download DB2 Express-C for free and use it on x86/x86_64/PPC Linux and x86/x86_64 Windows. Combined with the release of WebSphere Application Server Community Edition, this is an exciting step and provides developers with the tools to build enterprise apps for free, scaling up to IBM's full WebSphere and DB2 offerings.

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First outing with the EF 50mm

Church path
Originally uploaded by andyp uk.

We'd been planning to go further afield today, but instead stayed near to home. Might get the chance to visit some gardens or other attraction tomorrow. This is one of the first shots I was really happy with using the new lens. Lots to get used to with the improved aperture and lack of zoom.

Camera goodies

Although I usually try to get a lie-in on a Saturday, the front door buzzer woke me – the postman had a parcel to deliver.

Rewind: Yesterday, I ordered some new kit for my camera from Warehouse Express – a small Lastolite reflector for flower photography, a Canon RS-60E3 remote switch, a Canon EF50mm f/1.8 II lens, and a hood and filter for the lens. About half an hour after clicking submit on the order, I had a call from Warehouse Express explaining that the lens and filter were out of stock – did I still want to go ahead with the order and they would send on the items in about a week when they were due in? I said OK, since the postage costs were not going to change. I understood that there was an extra charge for Saturday delivery, but I didn't pay for that since I figured that I could wait an extra few days.

The upshot is that I was expecting a reflector and remote switch on Monday, and the lens and other bits a week or so later. So I was pretty happy when it all turned up in one package this morning! I also appear to have a Hoya Super HMC Pro filter, which I didn't think was the quality that I'd ordered (I thought I was getting a basic filter). Kudos to Warehouse Express – I'll be using them again.

I'd been looking at getting a lot of this stuff on ebay. The EF50mm can be found for around £60 on ebay, but usually shipped from Hong Kong with another £15-£20 postage and a 7-10 day shipping time – so not much different from the price I paid, and it would take longer to arrive. In the end, I'm happier with the service I got from a UK-based company.

I've not had a chance to give the kit a proper workout yet, but I'm looking forward to going out later to get some shots. I'd read some reviews of the lens, so knew roughly what to expect. My first impressions of the EF50mm f/1.8 are that it is small; much nosier focus than either my existing EFS18-55mm (the kit lens that came with the EOS 350D) or the EF55-200mm; but early results of inanimate household objects suggest that it is very sharp. It is my first prime lens so I guess it will take some getting used to.

Time to change my kit bag. I've been carrying the 350D around in a medium Crumpler Ben's Pizza bag, large enough for the camera body with lens attached, and the second lens. With three lenses and sundry other accessories I may have to move up to the rucksack I bought last year, which I've not had to use yet; or make a tough choice before going out as to which two lenses to take with me.

Java, Eclipse, SWT – a blog

I just discovered that Joe Winchester, of Eclipse Visual Editor project fame, has a blog. I shall have to follow it.

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There's a new article on IBM developerWorks entitled Generic message retry and requeue with WebSphere Message Broker V6. It describes how to use the Timeout nodes in WMB v6 to implement periodic retry for message flows. The article was written by Stephen Cox from IBM Hursley. Well done, Steve – excellent piece. If you are interested in Broker topics, it is well worth your time to have a look.