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November 16, 2007

JDBC and Markdown

One of the disadvantages of upgrading any Operating System is that some applications may have to be updated. Most of these updates are likely paid updates. This isn’t good considering that I am short on cash right now.

As far as I know there’s three applications that I have, that should be releasing a paid update fairly soon:

  1. Textmate
  2. Interarchy
  3. SQLGrinder

I am considering changing the SQLGrinder Application. As much as I like using it, it does seem to be missing lots of tools and doesn’t quiet feel like its an enterprise application. For example, its not easy to manage multiple databases like you can with Aqua Studio.

On a Macintosh, if your using JDBC connections for development, you are probably be using:

  1. Aqua Data Studio
  2. SQLGrinder
  3. SQL4X Manager J

I am just learning Markdown with TextMate, and its a great way to do write blogs without having to use some complex tool. If your doing custom blogging tool and looking for an application to do clean HTML markups, I would suggest looking into implementing Markdown.

November 7, 2007

AirPort problems in Leopard

I was at a customer site earlier this week and was having problems connecting to their wireless network using a Powerbook G4 and Macintosh OS X 10.5 ( Leopard)

When I was trying to connect I was getting time out error almost instantly. As soon as I type in the WEP Password, which was a 128-bit encrypted password, I would get the timeout error.

The following message appeared in the console log:

November 6, 2007 11:18:38 AM SystemUIServer[204] Error joining SITE: Connection timeout (-6 timeout connecting)

I tried this several times and gave up. I check several Apple sites and it appears this is still a problem. I did an update to the Apple Keychain before I went to the customer site, which I think was supposed it fix the problem.

Guess what, it didn't. If your experiencing the same problem, don't bother to keep trying. There's several several postings on Apple Discussion Boards about this. I think the problem is how Apple handles 128-bit encrypt passwords.

I ended up having to connect via an Ethernet cable.

November 1, 2007

Macintosh Leopard

Last Saturday I updated my laptop to the latest version of Macintosh OS X (Leopard). The update took a long time to process, about 2 hours for my Powerbook G4 and it used up a lot of disk space.

My inital reaction of some of the new features have been mixed. Some of the new features are cool, while others I won't touch. The "Time Machine" feature is ok, but a laptop doesn't have that much disk space, so I don't think I'll be using it. (I think it would have been cool to name it "Back to the Future", after all the Movie did show a Macintosh in it.) The only cool feature that I was looking forward to seeing was Fan/Grid display of folders in the Dock. I am not very impress by it. It would be nice if that the Grid icons could be resize.

Also I am now experimenting putting the dock on the left instead of the bottom. I don't like the 3D look and I think the dock is taking up more space than it was before. Having it on the left is a little visual challenge since I am use to it being on the bottom for 4 years.

I do like the new Photo screen saver, it looks pretty cool. I was looking to see what new screen saver was in this build since Apple has done that in the previous OSX builds.

Is this a must have upgrade? I don't think so. I think most users can wait and upgrade when they can afford to or have it pre-installed on their next computer. Goto an Apple Store and play around with it, ask one of the sales people to show you some of the new features.

October 1, 2007


If you are a Macintosh developer and working in a development environment where some developers use dotNet, you should look at using the MonoDevelop. MonoDevelop is a free GNOME IDE primarily designed for C# and other .NET languages.

Keep in mind this is a complex toolset and will take some learning curve to get up and running. But I think if you are a serious developer, you can easily master the toolset over a weekend.

Using MonoDevelop will be significantly faster than Remote Desktop and in some cases using Parallel or Boot Camp. This is because you don't have to open up a separate OS enviroment to create C# or .NET code.

September 28, 2007


Experiencing some problems with the Blogging tool. Will conduct some cleaning this weekend to get things back up and running.

I don't think its anything too serious!

September 26, 2007

Apple Keyboard

Apple Keyboard Review

Apple Keyboard Thumbnail

I got the new Apple Keyboard yesterday at the Apple store at the Natick Collections. Its great because the store is within walking distance from where I work. In some cases, its easier to park where I work and walk over to the store than to park at the Mall.

The keyboard is great, very quiet to type on and has a nice look and feel to it. I am using it as my primary keyboard with my Powerbook G4. I have my Powerbook on a Targus Podium Coolpad and attach the keyboard to one of the USB ports on my laptop.

I was using the MacAlley IceKey Keyboard for many months, it works pretty well, but the Apple Keyboard is cooler looking and has a modern design to it. Nothing wrong with the MacAlley keyboard, I'll probably take it home and use it on my home computer.

One of the disappointing features of the Apple Keyboard is that doesn't hold enough power to charge an iPod. This is supposed to be a USB2 keyboard, but when I connect the iPod it says that there's not enough power to charge the iPod. I know I have a USB2 port on my laptop because I can connect the iPod directly to the laptop.

The software update did fix the ability to power an iPod that is connected to the keyboard. The Apple Keyboard software update is 19.4 MB! Wow! What's in the software update? Also this is the first piece of Apple hardware that I purchased that didn't come with the software. Which is a good idea since most people would just download the latest software online anyways.

Apple System Profile Confirms this isn't a USB2 Keyboard:

Apple Keyboard:Version: 0.67
Bus Power (mA): 100
Speed: Up to 1.5 Mb/sec
Manufacturer: Apple, Inc
Product ID: 0x0220
Vendor ID: 0x05ac (Apple Computer, Inc.)

The keyboard has a 1 meter cable attached which is a perfect length for me. In the box there's a cable extender which doubles the cord length. So if you need a longer cable you could attach the extender. The MacAlley IceKey has a long cable which is pretty annoying.

March 14, 2014 Update: If your looking at any Targus products you should first visit the official Targus Coupon page for outstanding deals.

September 25, 2007

MacOSX Database Clients

If you are evaluating on what Database client application to use on Mac OS X. Here's some things to consider between SQL Grinder and Aqua Data Studio.

One nice advantage that SQLGrinder has over Aqua Data Studio is that it can keep the SQL color syntax between applications.

So if I have a SQL Query and copy it to Word/TextEdit/Pages the color syntax stays the same. Aqua Studio just copies the text unformated.

SQLGrinder handles Oracle connections better than Aqua Studio. Not sure the reason, but I am unable to make connections to Oracle using Aqua Studio. I believe that JDBC connections are managed better in SQLGrinder

I did have SQL4X Manager, but the version I have is old. (Purchased July 18, 2004) At some point I plan to test the latest version.

September 19, 2007

Update BBEdit?

Should I update BBEdit? What are the new features?

I am thinking this week of updating my BBEdit to the latest version 8.7 from 8.2. The upgrade only cost $30.

Since migrating to Textmate last year, I have been using Textmate for all my initial web development. Textmate is an awesome application and I would highly recommend it! However there some features in BBEdit that are pretty cool and worth keeping , here are some examples:

  • If I open up multiple documents from an FTP application, such as Interarchy, BBEdit opens one window and puts all the selected files in a Drawer, which makes it easy to move around files. Thus making it easy when editing multiple files.
  • The color syntax seems to be better in BBEdit than Textmate, the color tones are easier to read.
  • After many years of using BBEdit I am very familiar with all the keyboard shortcuts.

The question is are the new features in BBEdit worth the upgrade? My initial reaction is that there isn't any must-have feature that I should upgrade for. So, for now I'll just use BBEdit 8.2 and Textmate 1.5.6.

To simplify matters, I have two FTP clients in my dock. When I want to use BBEdit, I use Panic's Transmit, when I want to use Textmate I use Interarchy. I think Interarchy and Textmate combination works really well.

I will be checking into Coda, the new application from Panic, which is supposed to be the latest and greatest FTP/Editor tool all in one.

June 28, 2007


I use the Kensington #72123 Mouse-in-a-Box as my computer mouse on my Powerbook computer every day. At home I use Logitech MX518 Gaming Optical Mouse. The Logitech is a great mouse, just seems a little "over powering" at times.

What amazes me is how simplifies the Kensington mouse is compared to the Logitech mouse. I really don't need a fancy mouse to perform simple tasks, clicking, right-clicking and scrolling. The Kensington mouse performs the task very well and a good mouse to have.

I purchase Apple's Wireless Mighty Mouse when it first came out, thinking it would be cool to have a wireless mouse. Today, the mouse is sitting on a shelf on my desk at home. Why? Well I had some problems with the mouse loosing the Bluetooth signal even thou it was inches away from the computer. I do bring it with me on business trips but very rarely do I use it.

This got me thinking about Apple's new iPhone that is going to be release this week. Sure its cool, got the latest technology, awesome graphics, and probably the best sound in wireless phones. But, is that something I really need? Am I better of just using a simplified solution? Earlier this year I got the LG VX8300 phone, and signed up with Verizon for 2 years. So I won't be jumping ship just yet to get the iPhone. However, I'll be checking out the phone the next time I goto the Apple Store.

In the meantime, if your looking for a good mouse, goto eBay and pickup a Kensington #72123 Mouse-in-a-Box. Currently you can get one for around $25.

June 14, 2007


To add content to this Blog, I am now using Journler, By Philip Dow, as my primary writing tool. Journler has a great writing environment and sophisticated tools that I need, such as tagging, organizing content by categories, custom labels, and a pretty good search engine.

I also like the default font that Journler uses: Cochin Regular 14n. However, sometimes I'll switch to Georgia Regular 14. If you use any Journal tool, try using Cochin or Georgia. When writing code I find that Monaco Regular 9 is better font to use, this is due to using BBEdit so much.

I still use TextMate to clean the code prior to going live since it has excellent HTML tools such as Google linking capabilities and entities converter. TextMate has quickly become an important part of my application development.

My day-to-day note-taking tool is still DEVONThink. I use this to store my source code examples and code references. All my personal and business documents are stored in Journler. This decoupling my personal life from my work life.

If your undecided between various Journal/Notetaking applications, I would encourage you to consider using more than one application. Consider one application for you business needs and one for your personal needs.



A Mac veteran since 1989, I'm here to share my experience with tips and tricks every Friday. Witnessing the evolution of Mac software and hardware firsthand, I've gained a deep understanding of how these machines work and can help you troubleshoot any issues that may come up.

Check out all the blog posts.


WednesdayNew England
ThursdayGluten Free
SaturdayInternet Tools
SundayOpen Topic
MondayMedia Monday