Month: January 2007

Working through jBPM Process Designer Upgrade

I’m digging in to the embedded jBPM engine in Alfresco. I was using jBPM Process Designer 3.0.8 running in Eclipse 3.1.2, neither of which were the latest releases. Anticipating headaches, I decided to upgrade before moving on.

Eclipse 3.2.1 install is a breeze, including the addition of the Web Standard Tools and J2EE tools which used to be slightly painful. Now it is all automated through the update manager. Same with the Subclipse plug-in.
There was a problem with the jBPM 3.0.12 install, though. After expanding the zip and restarting, I was getting the following “java tooling” exception:

at org.jbpm.ui.util.JbpmClasspathContainer.getJarNames(Unknown Source)
at org.jbpm.ui.util.JbpmClasspathContainer.createJbpmLibraryEntries(Unknown Source)
at org.jbpm.ui.util.JbpmClasspathContainer.getClasspathEntries(Unknown Source)

This post had the answer. One of my old jBPM projects in the workspace was pointing to the old jBPM runtime. I think I could have edited the .classpath file to fix it but it was easier just to move my processdefinition.xml file, blow away the project, create a new one, and drop my processdefinition.xml file back in.

Ooh la la: My new LaCie drive

My Mom got me a 500GB LaCie ethernet drive for Christmas (Thanks, Amazon Wish List!). The LaCie was a breeze to set up–connect the power, connect the ethernet, and turn it on. Now all the machines on my home network can backup and share files in a central spot.

There are a lot of options for connecting to the LaCie. It has a built in FTP server so that’s one option that works with any OS. Windows boxes see the drive in Network Neighborhood. Linux boxes can use SMB.

Although concurrent writes are supported, I seemed to have some I/O trouble when attempting to back up my Ubuntu laptop at the same time as one of my Windows boxes. That’s not a real deal-breaker–I rarely have to write to it from more than one box.

Overall, I’m happy with it so far. My one complaint is the fan. It’s much louder than my Dell XPS tower which really surprised me given the LaCie’s diminutive stature (it’s about the size of a Linksys router). The noise is significant enough that I really only want to power it up when I need to do a backup or restore.

Another VPN client for Linux: vpnc

On a recent project my client issued me a SecureID token to use with their Cisco VPN server. The client has many different types of OS’s in house so I was hopeful I’d have no trouble connecting with my Ubuntu laptop. Unfortunately, the Cisco VPN client wouldn’t build. A co-worker pointed me to a Cisco-compatible VPN client called vpnc. Setup was just a matter of translating the PCF file to the vpnc config. It worked flawlessly for the entire project.

I can now safely say that “Linux-at-Work” is no longer just an experiment–for me it’s now a viable, productive workplace OS.

Thoughts on Atlanta

There’s “busy” and then there’s “five-days-a-week-travel-for-a-project-with-a-hard-deadline-busy”. As is obvious by the dearth of posts it’s been the latter for me the last couple of months. Now that the project is over I thought I’d re-cap my thoughts on Atlanta, my temporary home-away-from-home…

  • MARTA is the only way to travel, especially between downtown and the airport. Departing Delta travelers can save time by checking their bags just as they exit the MARTA turnstyles rather than using the regular ticket counters in the terminal.
  • The bison burgers at Ted’s are delicious. You might think the chicken-fried chicken would also be good but you’d be wrong. You’re in a bison place–eat the bison.
  • Who knew? Chicken and waffles taste great together! Gladys and Ron’s Chicken and Waffles: Best. Cornbread muffins. Ever.
  • The Georgia Aquarium has whale sharks. Whale sharks! But go early–that place gets seriously busy during the day, especially on weekends.
  • In Little Five Points (or “L5P” if you’re into the whole brevity thing) has a great pizza place called Savage Pizza. The “white on white” was close to the ever-elusive “perfect white pizza” I’ve been searching for ever since enjoying one for the first time as a child on a family trip to Winter Park. Plus there’s at least three independent record stores within two blocks of the place.

Aside from the aggressive pan-handling, which is among the worst I’ve ever experienced, my only complaint is the whole sweet tea versus unsweet tea thing. I know Atlanta is a Southern City and serving pre-sweetened tea is part of the kitsch, but as an avid unsweet tea drinker, it’s a real pain. Every time you order unsweet tea it’s like you’re the first person that’s ever done such a thing. It really throws a kink in the works.
Me: “…and an unsweet tea, please.”

Server: “Sweet tea, you got it.”

Me: “No, unsweet. UN-sweet.”

Server: “UN-sweet?”

Me: “Yes, UN-sweet. Not sweet.”

[Server delivers the tea. I take a sip. My head snaps back in disgust.]

Me: “Sorry, this is sweet tea. I ordered UN-sweet tea.”

This scene replayed itself every 8 out of 10 tea orderings. I kid you not. Once, they actually filled my cup from the container marked, “Unsweet tea”, but someone had inadvertently filled the container itself with sweet tea, thus thwarting the server’s valliant effort at serving me correctly on the first try.

I tried to explain to the Atlanta-ites how crazy and inefficient it is to offer pre-sweetened tea. “Can’t they just let everyone sweeten it themselves?” I asked. Apparently they “brew-in the sweetness” and no one could possibly make it taste just right on their own.

So if you’re an unsweet (UN-sweet!) tea drinker, be sure to factor in some extra time for your lunch and dinner outings.