Disaster Recovery

Reality check: Does your disaster recovery plan defy the laws of physics?

Sure, it's always a middleware problem.

Working as a middleware admin? Then you should really check out t-rob’s latest post. This post works for any middleware you’re working with, not only MQ :-)

A Scalable Application Placement Controller for Enterprise Data Centers

Want some more insight into the magic that goes on inside of WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment’s dynamic clusters? Then check out the paper about A Scalable Application Placement Controller for Enterprise Data Centers.

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WAS V6.1 EOS

IBM United States Software Announcement 212-417:

IBM extends the end-of-service date for IBM WebSphere Application Server V6.1 from September 30, 2012, to September 30, 2013.

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Project Jigsaw

Jigsaw will most likely be delayed again. This time until Java 9. The goals are ambitious, but given a first demo of this was shown at JavaOne three years ago, this is pretty disappointing. You can find the FAQ on Mark’s blog and join the discussion there or send your feedback directly to the Java SE 8 Comments List.

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Amazon Glacier

Amazon yesterday released their latest Amazon Web Service called Amazon Glacier, a remote archiving/long-term storage service. The downside is that Amazon can take several hours to make your data available for download after you request it, but that’s not too bad when used as an archive or backup. You also can’t arbitrarily name objects stored in Amazon Glacier, as objects are named by the service when you store data there, so you need to remember which object is which after you store it.

Apart from the obvious use as a remote backup, which is kind of boring, this might be interesting for use as an archive storage to store things “just in case” for a limited period of time. I got really used to the Tivoli Storage Manager archive feature on servers. You just put something in the archive that you would rather delete, but don’t know if you might need it back in the next few months. It gets stored in the archive for later retrieval and if you don’t need it anymore it just vanishes from the archive after 90 days, or whatever timeout you set when storing it in the archive.

Wouldn’t it be awesome to have something like this without the hassle of having your own tape library? Amazon’s cost model even seems to favor this use. You don’t pay for incoming data transfer, monthly storage costs are rather low, and you only pay a penalty if you remove data earlier than 90 days.

Google Nexus 7

A few weeks ago after Google I/O 2012 I played around with my brother’s N7 he got there and now I need one too :)

It’s said that it will be released in Germany in September, so I still got a few weeks to go, but there is still one question open: 8GB or 16GB?

I think I should be good with 8GB, but who knows… :-/

Nokia Lumia 800

I’ve now used my Nokia Lumia 800 for the last four months and I must say I’m impressed. It’s not only the hardware design itself, which is excellent, but it’s the compact design and the simple software interface that I really like.

Everything I wrote in my post about choosing a new smartphone still holds true, but given nothing is perfect, I’d also like to report a few annoyances I have with this phone:

  • Nokia Maps and Bing Maps don’t show a compass because apparently there is none. - why nobody mentioned this in their reviews is beyond me.

  • Even though Bing Maps understands coordinates, Nokia Maps doesn’t. And Google Maps links sent from Android need to be copy & pasted as they’re not understood and linked to Bing Maps. This makes sending/receiving a location much less convenient than on Android.

  • Nokia Drive maps work offline, but Nokia Maps don’t.

If you find iPhones too gimmicky and the high-end Androids too large and hate Android fragmentation and its update craziness, this might be your perfect phone too. Play with it at a store and see if you like it… they don’t bite, even though the software is from the northwest. :)

Firefox Awesome Bar no longer awesome?

For quite some time I was wondering why my Firefox’s awesome bar wasn’t showing bookmarks. I knew they were there, given that I was able to find them in the bookmarks menu, but I wasn’t able to find them through the awesome bar. Was it not so awesome after all? Or maybe the places.sqlite of my profile was corrupt?

The debugging instructions on bookmarks history and standard diagnostics weren’t really too helpful.

I finally found the root of all evil that explained this behavior on the MozillaZine Knowledge Base Talk:Changing autocomplete behavior - Firefox page.

The reason that the bookmark I was looking for wasn’t found was that the bookmark was imported into this Firefox profile from another one of my machines, and was therefore an unvisited bookmark. The places.frecency.* config settings cause those not to be displayed.

Now I understand why this happens; a feature, not a bug. Unfortunately I don’t know how to best fix this without annoying me even more. Increase the number of hits shown? Change the places.frecency.unvisitedBookmarkBonus? I’m now even more confused than when I started, but thanks for joining my journey down this Firefox rabbit hole.

btw: Should you really happen to run into a problem where it turns out your Firefox profile is corrupted, then check out the new Firefox reset “feature”.

Ant String manipulation

When recently working on some Ant scripts I really needed some string manipulation to make a string uppercase/lowercase. Turns out that’s not that easy to do with the built-in tasks and most of the solutions I found on the web weren’t really to my liking as they were more complex than it should be. To fix this I created my own Ant String Utility Library. It’s not perfect, but if you have some improvements, please fork and share them on github.

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