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03 April 2011

Winter lingers around

Can't wait for spring finally

While I was sifting through pictures to find what to post next on the imagelog, I noticed all those pictures I took during spring and summer last year on Naxos. Man, it's time this winter starts to move out of here, I'm tired of running around in a sweater. This winter arived late but it does not seem to want to leave now.

Another reason I'd like some warmer weather is my throat: After being OK for all the winter, last week I finally got my Faringitis / sore throat, which turned into the obligatory cold. So today I was sitting inside, going through the Pyramid tutorials (and setting up mod_wsgi), taking a break looking through pictures and watching what is hopefully the last of the cloudy days battle it out with the sunshine coming along.

Posted by betabug at 17:51 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
04 April 2011

Tethering the Nokia e71 to OS X 10.6

Better with the cable

Over the weekend I tried out tethering the e71 to the Macbook again. Well, it's not the first time I'm doing this. I've been tethering and getting my fix of the 'net through the phone for years. The difference is that so far I was on 10.4 (Tiger). On 10.4 I used to tether through bluetooth. It worked, but it sucked up a lot of battery on the phone. The reason that I used bluetooth was that hooking up the phone with the cable did not work for me on 10.4. Along came 10.6 (I skipped 10.5 and was pretty late to go to 10.6 on my Macbook).

So I gave the cable another try and it works now. When hooking up the phone it asks me with what mode to connect. I set it to "PC Suite". On the first time, the Mac informed me of 2 new network connections. I set them up similar to how I did with bluetooth... and off I went. Another advantage: The cable connection is less likely to get disrupted. Speed also appears to be better, but no scientific data there.

Posted by betabug at 09:51 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
08 April 2011

The Unicode Saga Continues

Hey, it does not bomb anymore... so it must be fine, right? right?

So, the saga continues for transitioning one of my oldest Zope applications to be ready for passing the Zope 2.10 unicode breakpoint. For now I've reached the point where all the existing tests pass again. When I removed sys.setdefaultencoding it was feeling like a minefield that was being overrun by a horde of toy robots.

Playing through the app in Firefox is no problem, but Safari sure brings out the UnicodeDecodeErrors. I think it's something in the headers that Safari makes different, where Firefox shows the unicode just right and Safari brings out the errors. So I do my manual testing with Safari now and things still blew up for a while, while I continued fixing and applying my conversion method.

Now I'm preparing some automated testing to go through all the UI and play with every form. This is done in the functional doctest style (there are links to examples on that post). Since I want to populate a "sample site" with all the various content types, I'm following a suggestion from a plone documentation page and I'm using a method to setup all the site. I'm pushing a lot of UTF-8 encoded strings into places where they wouldn't really belong - but that's what the transition will have to deal with.

I also added a little method to my app that allows me to run that "setup" method through the ZMI, so I can check manually if my setup is complete, works and looks good. Might come in handy for showing off the app too. Even while setting up everything in that method I came across 2 or 3 areas that I had forgotten in my "manual" test drive.

Next step will be to write the "walkthrough" of the UI, using 4 kinds of user roles (admin, 2 level of staff users, client users). I know of 2 places where pages should still give UnicodeDecodeErrors, so I will know that my test setup works. I guess it will mostly be a boring and repetitive job, but once it's done I will be more confident to place the app into the "new world" it's been lacking behind and then put it into "maintenance mode" again.

Posted by betabug at 11:21 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
09 April 2011

Postfix: Upgrading to Snow Leopard, User+Group Changed

I'm a bit late to upgrade, so everybody else probably already knows

My MacBook has a local postfix setup with a smarthost that I use to send out mails written in mutt. When upgrading from Tiger 10.4 to Snow Leopard / Mac OS X 10.6 (a long time after that came out, skipped 10.5 entirely), the setup failed with the error message:

postfix/sendmail[13601]: fatal: file /etc/postfix/
parameter mail_owner: user postfix has same user ID as _postfix

So I went and edited to fix mail_owner to be _postfix. After that I got:

postfix: fatal: file /etc/postfix/ parameter setgid_group:
group postdrop has same group ID as _postdrop

So I had to change also for setgid_group the group postdrop to be _postdrop.

With those changes, my smarthost setup worked again without problems.

Posted by betabug at 10:41 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
12 April 2011

I'm a Freelancer now/soon

Python, Zope, Pyramid, whatever comes along

After 6 years at the Graphics Garage, my big projects there seems to be done. I've written three big systems there: Two of them to administrate every bit of the company, including organizing all the communication with the clients into an Extranet solution. It's time to move on... I'll start working on my own as a freelancer now.

I have on and off worked with Python and Zope since 2002. I've also worked with other web based systems of all kinds (and some not-web-based ones), so I guess I'll stay in the web based programming area for now. I've worked on big and small projects, in teams and alone. Some of my stuff is open source and can be admired from my pro page (with links to my resume too), some is proprietary client stuff and will stay hidden in their code vaults forever.

With all that Zope experience, I'm obviously there for any ol' Zope site in need of an overhaul or extension. For the "new" stuff that's not Zope, right now I've started a little fun project with Pyramid and I've got some Django and Ruby scheduled too. Whatever comes along though, if the tool does the job, it's fine for me.

For starters I continue supporting the projects of the Garage of course, putting my projects there into "maintenance mode". I also have the first project coming along from a customer in Switzerland. I've got some leads from France, so I might be having fun soon as an "international enterprise".

I don't want to hurry it in the beginning (starting too many things at once is as bad as starting nothing), but I've still got some capacity free. So, service announcement: If you need some good programming done, drop me a line!

Posted by betabug at 10:09 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
13 April 2011

Early Morning Tourist Walk

... and the trees have flowers too
Detail of flowers in a tree in Athens

This morning I took a little detour to get off at the Akropolis Metro station and walk to Petralona from there. I took the nice pedestrian area that passes by the Akropolis and the ancient Herodion theatre. This is really tourist area and having my Firstflex with me, I took some pictures and in any way was not distinguishable from any random tourist (assuming that a tourist would carry such an old, beaten up camera).

The morning is definitely the right time to take pictures in that area, very few people around. The light was nice too. Only when looking at the Acropolis from Thision I was looking into the sun.

I also enjoyed the flowering trees on the way. I didn't really take any pictures of them, as the Firstflex was loaded with Tri-X (which is black+white film) and as it can't focus close enough to show flowers in detail. The picture you see here was taken with the mobile phone, which is always at hand these days.

Posted by betabug at 13:09 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
20 April 2011

Rainy Naxos

Anyway, work

This week I had the luck to be able to spend on Naxos. I'm working on the laptop, as usual, connecting to the net through the tethered phone. Last year the phone got a nice, little 3G signal, this year GPRS is all it gets. Still, as I don't have to do much web browsing, I'm fine. IRC and mail, a little browsing with lynx if I really need to - it doesn't use much bandwidth and it doesn't need much speed. Instead, work comes along really well, I already have reached my target for these four days - one day ahead of schedule.

Something else is different: So far this has been the rainiest and coldest week ever on Naxos. It's like winter really hasn't left yet. We have an electrical heater on, we wear thick clothes. I have brought the Arca, but haven't taken it out even once. Monday late afternoon would have been possible with some nice sunlight under the clouds, but I was dog tires and slept instead.

The weather is supposed to turn on Thursday evening. As the Easter weekend is ahead, a rainy weekend would ruin many people's party, so lets hope for the best.

Posted by betabug at 17:58 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
23 April 2011

Easter Eggs

Weather improved to almost suitable levels too
Easter eggs, hand painted

Good luck, the weather finally turned on Thursday. It's not raining any more and most of the time it's sunny. It's still windy like crazy and large clouds drift across the sky. And it's cold. Never mind though, we're soaking up all the sun we can get.

For example yesterday, on the "big" easter Friday, we went into town to do the shopping for our easter meal. After shopping we found a nice, classical cafe with some places in the sun, but sheltered from the wind. There we drank a fresh, mixed juice and talked about how funny this all will seem in summer, when every bit of wind will be a relieve and a place in the shade a must.

For food we've got some "katsiki" (goat kid) to make in the oven. No family here, so no need to roast a whole lamb! R. also painted some eggs - see pic, which go very well with the newly discovered sun in the grass. Everything is ready for the big feast on Sunday then!

I've also took two photo walks with the Arca, discovering new (to me) paths. Since I went after work, I missed the sun on one of my subjects by a hair. Will go back to that place again. It's good to be out with the camera again.

Posted by betabug at 09:28 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)