Archive for December, 2007

It’s Christmas!

Friday, December 21st, 2007

It's Christmas-time!

Wow, that’s not a sight I see very often.

No upcoming meetings. An empty inbox. A task list under control (well… more or less!).

It can only mean one thing – it’s time to eat, drink and be merry.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Mobile computing… using USB keys

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

071219-bagIt’s probably not a big shock to those who know me if I say that I have an interest in mobile computing.

But since getting a 1 GB USB key as a Thanks! Award last week, I’ve been playing with some alternative approaches to mobile computing that’s a bit different to my usual PDA, smartphone or laptop.

I’ve been setting up my USB keys for use when I want to do some work that isn’t best suited to a Treo, HTC Advantage or EEE PC. There’s nothing very new here, but I thought it might be interesting to share.

071219-usbkeyUbuntu on a USB stick

I’ve put Ubuntu (“Gutsy Gibbon”) on the 1 GB USB stick. It means I have a bootable drive with a full Linux installation that I can use on pretty much any computer. I’ve set up the preferences the way I like to work, and installed the apps I normally like to use for coding, Internet, and office work. Other than the (admittedly important) need for a processor, memory, keyboard, monitor and so on… it’s a full computer you can put in your pocket.


Going to visit King Tut

Monday, December 17th, 2007

O2 DomeTypical. I finally get to do something interesting that I could tweet about, and Twitter goes and falls over for the day! 😉

We went up to the O2 Dome in Greenwich to visit the Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs exhibition. It’s the first time the exhibition has been in the UK since 1972 apparently. That’s a bit before my time, but I did see some bits in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo a few years ago.

O2 DomeIt seems to be very popular (we couldn’t get tickets for a weekend – despite trying almost as soon as they went on sale) so your tickets have quite a precise entry time – a half-hour window when you are allowed in.

Once in, you get a two minute introductory video (narrated by Omar Sharif – which brought back dozens of films that I remember watching with my mum as a kid!) which sets the scene of the boy prince who became king, spent ten years trying to undo some of the radical and unpopular changes made by the king before him, before dying from an unknown cause at the age of about twenty.


A plea to Upcoming

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

Upcoming doesn’t seem to like me very much at the moment. Not sure why… I’ve tried emailing them (several times!) but no reply. I thought I’d try putting something here to see if anyone knows why, or can suggest what I can do to fix it.

I’m not sure how long my Upcoming account has been broken… cos it all looks fine to me. Look – this is what I see when I logon:

screenshot of upcoming

Look – see? I can logon fine. I can see my upcoming (no pun intended) events, and those from my friends. I can see recent comments, changes and news from friends… all looks fine.

So what’s the problem?

This is what everyone else is seeing

screenshot of upcoming

User account not found? But… how? Why can’t you find me? 🙁

It doesn’t end there…


Explaining PowerShell for WebSphere MQ

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

I’ve made a start on a series of posts designed to introduce how to use Windows PowerShell for WebSphere MQ admin. There is a bit of a learning curve for people new to PowerShell, so rather than try to explain everything in one go, I’m planning on breaking it down into bits, covering one topic a day.

If you’re curious to see all this PowerShell stuff I’ve been working on for months, head on over to the WMQ blog:


Sunday, December 9th, 2007

Yesterday was PlugLondon – a developer meetup held at Skype’s offices in London.

It was different to the geek meetings I’ve been to before… for one thing, I didn’t bring a laptop or write a line of code!

The focus was slightly different – the idea seemed to be to bring together developers with companies who produce API’s. People came from a variety of tech companies (such as PayPal, eBay, skype, BBC, Yahoo!) to give presentations on the API’s that they are responsible for, either to introduce it or explain some interesting or novel technical aspect. I’ve played with many web services and APIs, but I definitely learnt a few things.

It was a chance for them to get feedback on their API’s from the developers that they’re trying to encourage to use them. It was very interactive – they seemed keen to find out who had tried the API’s, what people thought of them, what people would like to see added or changed, and so on.


PowerShell for WebSphere MQ

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

This has been far too long coming, but finally you can administer WebSphere MQ systems from Windows PowerShell. An extension for WebSphere MQ containing thirty-eight new PowerShell cmdlets is being released as “MO74: WebSphere MQ – Windows PowerShell library“.

I’ll write a more technical blog post that describes what sort of stuff you can do with the SupportPac. That might have to wait till next week – as is unfortunately often the way the WPS day-job is taking up a lot of my time! But in the meantime, I just wanted to write a quick post to say “I finally finished version 1, and got it out the door”! 🙂

Update: Want to see what it can do, but don’t have time to try it out? Download the zip file and take a look at the doc “A cookbook for ‘PowerShell for WebSphere MQ'” (powershellcookbook.pdf) that is in there. I’ve put a bunch of examples of commands there with sample output.

Update 2: I’ve made a start on describing how the PowerShell stuff can be used on the WebSphere MQ blog

Upgrading T-Mobile Ameo to Windows Mobile 6

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

Wow. I really didn’t see this coming: T-Mobile offering upgrades for Windows Mobile phones.

After months and months of “no”, “we can’t do that”, “we won’t be doing that”, and “no, that’s not a good idea”, they started making Windows Mobile 6 upgrades available! Either they sneaked this out quietly, or I just completely missed the lead-up to it (to be honest, entirely possible). First I heard was when Jason Langridge blogged about it yesterday.

I upgraded my HTC Advantage last night, and have been playing with Windows Mobile 6 for a day now.

It’s very sweet.