Monthly Archives: December 2006

Pentax ME

Pentax ME

Originally uploaded by andyp uk.

A teaser of some of the “classic” camera equipment that I’m playing with at the moment. I’ll post more soon. In the meantime, here’s more on the Pentax ME.

Happy New Year…

Adobe Reader 8 is out

I only just noticed this, so I’m not sure how long it has been public – you can now download Adobe Reader version 8 (for Windows and Mac, anyway… Linux is still at 7.0.8, it seems).

It’s quite nice. It seems nippy. The user interface has had quite a facelift, with floating buttons along the left hand side of the screen that pop out dialogs for comments or sidebars for page selection as appropriate, causing the main view to dynamically resize itself when needed. It is very clean, clear, and (on my system) fast. The one thing I definitely don’t like is that if you open the full search, it now opens a separate window alongside the main Reader window.

Of course, one of the first things I have to do when installing a new application is to check out the options or preferences. Reader 8 has a lot of them, including a bunch of options around identity and “online services” that want my email address. I haven’t looked at these too closely yet, and will probably avoid them.

One of the particularly interesting features appears to be the Adobe Connect integration – there’s a button on the toolbar (highlighted in the screenshot above) which should enable you to “Start a meeting and share documents”. I haven’t tried this yet – it seems like something you have to subscribe to, although a free trial is available. We have similar functionality in some of our internal applications at work, I’ll be interested to see how this compares with what I am used to.

Footnote – looks like it has been out nearly a month.

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WMB Toolkit 6.0.2

Several people have already mentioned the pre-Christmas release of WebSphere Process Server, WebSphere ESB and WebSphere Integration Developer 6.0.2.

There was another 6.0.2 release at the same time, too – the latest version of the WebSphere Message Broker toolkit (NB the runtime is currently at, which was released a while back). I installed it via the Rational Product Updater.

I hope to add some thoughts on why you should care about the 6.0.2 toolkit release to the SOA Tips’n’Tricks blog over the coming weeks, so make sure that you’re subscribed to the feed – and check out my recent post about Java 5 in WMB v6 🙂

Trying to make a start with libsecondlife

One of my diversions today has been investigating the use of libsecondlife. I’ve got quite a specific use case in mind at the moment – automation of some administrative tasks for a project I’m involved with – but it was interesting to dig around in the code in general.

First of all I have to say that the project website is kind of short on help for beginners… there is no obvious starting point, and little or no documentation on the API. I downloaded the latest build, which gave me some interesting GUI and command-line demos to play with that enable you to look at group memberships and so forth. In order to really get to grips with it, I had to take the source out of SVN and look through the C# code – reading the comments and code is far better than playing around with binaries that don’t do what you want in the first place.

If you are coming at libSL new, it may be useful to know that if you have SharpDevelop, the whole of the source tree can be opened very easily as a single solution, and I had no problems building some of the examples. I did have some issues trying to run them, though… but maybe I’m just driving them wrong. So far, I’m still at a bit of a loss as to exactly how it all hangs together – but some of the examples look very useful.

Via the forums, I did discover that there’s also a Java implementation. I think I’ll take a look at that too…

The aftermath

Several people have started to comment on the Christmas goodies they received, and at least one person has asked me directly… so, among other things:

  • some CDs, which I’ve not had a chance to listen to yet (owing to our current lack of CD player / stereo) – Oasis, Queensryche, Ben Folds.
  • some DVDs – Pirates 2, Ice Age 2.
  • a great book – What No One Ever Tells You About Blogging and Podcasting (I will blog more on this soon) .
  • a fantastic box to store photos / camera equipment.
  • money and vouchers, which will go towards something camera-related. I can’t decide between a 430EX flash, a Lensbaby 2.0, or some other lens (and then I have to decide on something wide, telephoto, macro, or covering an existing range but at a higher quality than the 18-55mm kit lens; and Canon vs. Sigma/Tamron – gaaah – it’s all too hard!).

I also came home with some rather nice “vintage” camera equipment, which will also have to wait for another post.

Back at work. More (on all kinds of topics) soon.