All entries for August 2005

August 31, 2005

Busy busy

Writing about web page http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/kieranshaw/gallery/kitchen_renovation/

I've not had much of a chance to write much recently as I've just been really busy. At work it has been non-stop new Single Sign On (SSO) for far too long…but it is soooo close now…more on that later (hopefully).

Then at home I've been busy with the DIY as usual. Mostly I've been turning this…

This is the back of the garage. There is a stupid wall built into the garage that we need to get rid of. This isn't a completely before picture because before this was actually full of our junk. The door and shelves are all gone from this stange cupboard thingy and the wall is on the way out.

…into this… (not a top quality finish…but it is still a garage after all)

I've also spent way too long pointing the patio :( 4 hours so far and probably another 3/4 to go :(

Of course I've not been working non stop and have actually managed to enjoy the garden occasionally over the last couple of weeks. Unfortunately I'm finding that I'm really rubbish at winding down and relaxing, it's a real struggle to sit down in the garden and not be thinking…I could just be going x or y. I dread to think what I'm going to do with myself once all the house DIY is finished (if ever).

The other main stress has of course been getting enough work done so that I can actually go on holiday to South Africa in 9 days time with a clear conscience. I think I am pretty much at that stage now (pending a successful new SSO launch this week).


August 25, 2005

GMail public sign up…by text message

Writing about web page http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2005/08/sign-up-for-gmail.html

Looks like Google has had another bright idea…what a surprise. They are now allowing sign up to GMail to everyone, not just by invitation. However, the twist is that they are going to make you put in a mobile phone number and they will send you an activation code. Genius. Not only do they take a huge step towards preventing account abuse through spammers signing up for masses of accouts, but they also manage to get their grubby little hands on your mobile phone number.

You’ve got to hand it to them, you really do.

Google blog and GMail


August 24, 2005

Google Talk

Writing about web page http://www.google.com/talk

Looks like Google has rolled out yet another service…there really is just nothing slowing them down.

They have released in Beta a service called Google Talk which is basically their take on IM'ing (MSN,AIM,ICQ,etc.). It's based on the Jabber protocol so that you don't even have to use their client if you don't want to, but judging by the usability of their other products, you may as well.

You can login with your GMail account (which I just realised is still invite only…although everyone has millions of invites) and start IM'ing straight away.

It's hard to tell what affect this is going to have…are people really ready to move away from MSN, AIM, Yahoo, ICQ and co.?

I won't go into it's features because I've not even tried it yet, but you can find out more here on their Getting Started page


Finding classes in jar files

Writing about web page http://www.jarhoo.com/

Ever get a ClassNotFoundException and didn't know where the hell to find the elusive jar file that contained that class?

Try out Jarhoo a search engine for java classes :)


August 19, 2005

Google Video and Warwick 40th fireworks

Writing about web page http://video.google.com/videopreviewbigall?q=warwick&page=1&docid=-2757775609055171471&urlcreated=1124438207

Some techy soul has been good enough to upload their video of University of Warwick 40th Anniversary Gala Concert fireworks display to Google Video

For anyone who wasn't their and doesn't believe how great the display was…take a look. If you've got any videos of your own you want hosted for free and want the world to see, just upload them. Warwick Shootout entries anyone?


August 18, 2005

Log4j SMTPAppender

Today I had to get some messages sent to an administrator from within the new SSO system. The old way of doing it would be to put in some emailing code to send the email wherever it was needed.

However….I'm lazy. We use log4j for logging without our java applications. The theory is that you can send your logging messages to any number of Appenders. Usually this is just to a file and to the console 99% of the time. With a little bit of magic though you can get certain log messages sent via email:

<appender name="WsosEmailLogger" class="org.apache.log4j.net.SMTPAppender">
     <param name="To" value="someadminemail@test.com"/>
     <param name="From" value="someadminemail@test.com"/>
     <param name="Subject" value="SSO alert"/>
     <param name="SMTPHost" value="mail.warwick.ac.uk"/>
     <layout class="org.apache.log4j.PatternLayout">
       <param name="ConversionPattern" value="[%d{ABSOLUTE},%c{1}] %m%n"/>
     </layout>
   </appender>
   
   <appender name="AsyncWsosEmailLogger" class="org.apache.log4j.AsyncAppender">
     <appender-ref ref="WsosEmailLogger"/>
   </appender>

These are the appenders. Notice that there is an extra org.apache.log4j.AsyncAppender at the end. This is the actual appender you want to log to because otherwise you'll be waiting to send an email whenever you log something!

   <category name="WsosAuthLogger">
      <appender-ref ref="AsyncWsosEmailLogger"/>
   </category>

By default the emai logger will only email ERROR level or above messages. Now you just need to log something to this category:

private static final Logger AUTH_LOGGER = Logger.getLogger("WsosAuthLogger");
...
AUTH_LOGGER.error("Auth failed!");

August 17, 2005

40,000 entries!

Writing about web page http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/

Not much more to say really except that we've hit a couple of nice little landmarks recently.

As of right now:
Blogs: 3511
Posts: 39999
Comments: 93828

And with a bit of luck this is 40,000 :)

I'll publish some up to date stats soon too.


Advantages of working at home #12

Eating lunch on the swing seat this afternoon…with Maggie.

The final touch at the back of the garden is our new swing seat. Pleasingly the lawn is now well on it

This picture also shows that the garden is really coming to life now, especially now that the lawn is growing back and the plants are starting to establish a bit…oh, and the water feature now works (on remote control :)


Cooper gig

Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view

I was going to write something about this anyway, but Leighton beat me to it.

Leighton's band, Cooper, had a gig at The Lounge last night which went really well. There was a great turn out, including a bunch of people from work. I've not got any pictures, but Peter Marsh (of Warwick Shootout fame) was filming the whole thing…so I expect the first Cooper music video very soon!

Cooper website


August 05, 2005

Warwick News & Events RSS

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/insite/newsandevents/

You can now get RSS feeds for any Warwick news page.

At the above news page, you'll see a nice big RSS button at the top, subscribe to that feed and never miss out on any Warwick news.


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