Monthly Archives: January 2006

Today on IBM developerWorks…

Making an early start to my blogging today, I'd like to draw attention to a couple of the latest articles on developerWorks:

  1. Hursley superstar James Taylor has an article on Verifying WebSphere Message Broker V6 without using the toolkit. Thanks for the acknowledgement, James – I checked through some of the scripts included in this article at an earlier stage, it should be a very useful article if you have just installed WMB v6.
  2. Krishnakumar Balachandar has an article on Using WebSphere MQ with WebSphere Application Server Community Edition. This is a topic I've been following for some time, so it is particularly nice to see the labs putting out some material on this. This makes WAS CE an ideal platform for building web applications to interact with an existing WebSphere MQ or Message Broker infrastructure.

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Fedora or SuSE

I went through the Linux Distribution Chooser test. Apparently I'm either a Fedora or a SuSE man – not a surprise since my Linux history started about 8 years ago flipping between SuSE and Redhat, and has progressed to Fedora.

WebSphere Message Broker Toolkit v6 fix pack 6.0.0.1

Just a quick entry to mention that the first fix pack for the Message Broker toolkit has been released.

Playing with Flickr

This weekend I revisited some photos I took last year. I'm really pleased with my winter photography so far, but I decided to liven up my Flickr account with some more colourful photos. If you do go visiting my photostream, do have a look back at the snowy shots from Poland too, I'm really proud of them.

Floral carpet Summer's gone Daffodil on black

Another reason for the flower photos is that I've been reading a book called Photographing Plants and Flowers. It's a nice book about techniques for capturing flowers. Among many other interesting topics, it talks about changing backgrounds digitally, so I've tried a couple with plain coloured backgrounds as an experiment.

As I've blogged before, my RAW package of choice is RawShooter Premium. The image manipulation software I use is The Gimp, which is free and generally very good… However, in creating the plain background versions of my old photos, I did encounter a problem. I needed to create a large (3000px, 300dpi) image. On Windows, this caused The Gimp to hang up 3 times, each of which required a reboot. I tried playing around with the cache and memory settings, but to no avail.

In the end, I switched to my Linux workstation. I had multiple applications running, and The Gimp still flew. Admittedly that box does have twice the memory of the laptop, but I was still amazed. What it doesn't have is any kind of application for uploading photos to Flickr, so I went looking for some. The first option was some scripts for Nautilus in GNOME, but I wanted something a little more sophisticated. I found Glimmr, an application written using Mono. It is small, and looks good – but unfortunately hasn't been updated since the Flickr API changed in the middle of last year, so doesn't actually work. The project looked dead, but then I found the author's blog where he talks about resurrecting the application. Not sure if or when that will happen.

I know that F-Spot supports Flickr upload, but I've never really enjoyed the user experience – although I do know that I need a good photo browser / tagging / cataloguing application. See the Introduction to F-Spot article in GNOME Journal.

Finally I found jUploadr. This is written in Java, based on SWT, and is cross-platform. It could be the perfect application. I'll be giving it a try over the coming week. Initial indications are that it is very nice indeed – and it works.

In terms of GNOME integration, there is also Gnickr – making Flickr a virtual filesystem in GNOME. I've not tried it yet. I found mention of it on this interesting page of Flickr tools – too many to look at in one day.

Whilst I'm recording interesting Flickr articles, I should also mention that I found one about making Flickr work with Gmail and Picasa; tips for beginners on Flickr; and basic guidelines for tagging on Flickr. All worth a look.

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A Wikipedia antidote – and an IBM joke

Demonstrating that I have a sense of humour (and I'm sure most of my colleagues do, too), I'm going to share this link to the Uncyclopedia's page about IBM.

I know that Wikipedia has been getting a lot of bad press lately, but I've personally never had too many problems with it. The Uncyclopedia is a fun parody, though. When you arrive, you are greeted with the message:

Welcome to Uncyclopedia, the content-free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.

… it seems to be rather well put together, so far.

Warning: some of the content may be offensive. I've not dug too deeply, I went straight for the IBM definition. The definition of Linux (or rather, DorkWare for Dweebs) is pretty amusing, too 🙂

(I first picked up news of the Uncyclopedia over on James Governor's blog)

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