Friday, October 29, 2010

HTCIA Atlantic Canada Chapter Conference 2010 wrap-up

Last week I attended the High Technology Criminal Investigation Association Atlantic Canada Chapter conference for 2010 here in St John's. The conference was widely attended by representatives from the local telco, government agencies, the RNC, RCMP, and private industry.

The keynote addresses this year were particularly interesting. Richard McDonald, from IBM, talked about Cloud Computing ("Safe and Secure?"). Earle Crane, from the Department of Homeland Security, discussed security and advanced persistent threats. Jim Robbins, President of EWA Canada, discussed trusting the code in the software and devices we purchase. And finally, John Weight, Microsoft, discussed building confidence in the Cloud.

The conference provided several streams of talks, including discussions of Privacy, Cloud Computing, Threat & Risk Management, and Law Enforcement/Forensics. I attempted to sit in on as many different streams as I could but such is the nature of these kinds of gatherings - you can only absorb a small fraction of the talks.

If you missed the conference, and are in the St John's area, you may be interested in a security related seminar next month at Memorial University. Sgt. Jacques Boucher will be presenting "The Internet Made Me Do It" at the Department of Computer Science, Memorial University (Room EN-1052 @ 2pm) on November 22, 2010. Please see the linked page for the talk's abstract.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Apache Karaf roadmap

To help illuminate where Apache Karaf is heading over the next few months I thought I'd write up a brief post on our current roadmap. We are planning to have at least two more releases before then end of 2010.

Apache Karaf 2.1.1:
A maintenance release which will only include bug fixes to the 2.1.0 release. No new features should be included.

Apache Karaf 2.2.0:
This release will include all the new features, fixes, and other improvements introduced to trunk since the 2.1.0 release. 

We have not set target dates for each release, so I can not comment on what specific fixes or features will appear in either. However, I can indicate that work is underway :)
If you have particular issues discovered in 2.1.0 that you'd like to see addressed in 2.1.1 please feel free to vote up issues in our project issue tracker.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I'll have to start icookbythesea soon...

The key to maintaining a healthy build environment, really any systems infrastructure, is in keeping your systems admin contented. The best way is to keep their stomach happy, and to provide them with plenty of bandwidth ;) So I present this week's dinner - Rosemary/Thyme Lamb chops, lemon potatoes, and BBQ Na'an bread with Tzatziki yogurt. The dessert was a simple too tall strawberry short cake with vanilla frosting.
The clean up work at home is still going... seems to never end. Working now on figuring out how and what will need to be remediated. Fun times. Any who, will keep posting pics from the road until I get back to some normalcy.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Newfoundland based Game Company releases new title "ProtoGalaxy"

Source Studios, a Newfoundland based Game Company, released their first title today on the Steam online store. ProtoGalaxy is a sci-fi action game for the Windows platform. From the game's website:
"Earth is under siege!
A mysterious and powerful alien race has come to enslave the entire galaxy, and your fleet is humanity's last hope. You must put an end to the attacks and rebuild a home for the survivors. With the invaders in hot pursuit, and the dangers of the unexplored at every turn, do you have what it takes to forge a new galaxy?"
Images curiosity Source Studios.
For more details on the game and system requirement please visit Source Studio's ProtoGalaxy homepage.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Building a custom Apache Karaf distribution (a start)

Building a custom Apache Karaf distribution is a topic that hasn't really been explained in full anywhere, but has been asked by quiet a few people. Since I'm playing around with a small personal side project that reuses Apache Karaf as the platform for a Rogue like text game I thought that I'd make a few posts about the process. I'm not going to be able to explain all the various details involved here, and this certainly isn't a best practices guide, however you may use some of the posts following this project to help start your own efforts.

To start, obtain the Apache Karaf source tree from svn. Please see the Apache Karaf source documentation page for details on how to go about this. For building your own distribution I would recommend checking out a tagged version of Apache Karaf, as latest from trunk can not be guaranteed to be stable at any one point in time. Once you have obtained a copy of the source tree we can start the customization process.  Please note we won't be modifying the Karaf source directly, we just obtain a copy for future reference. The actual distribution modifications will take place in a new project pom, more on that later.

Let's tackle the low lying fruit first by following the instructions found in my rebranding post. Since this is a Rogue like text game I decided to name it "KarHack". I don't intend to build a full Java version of NetHack/Rogue here, I just want to mock up a quick & dirty demo. To generate the cool ASCII banner in the figure below I used the following site Starting up Karaf with the custom branding presents the user with the following welcome screen:
Now that we have a custom branding jar we're going to want to include it in our distribution automatically. This will be covered in the next KarHack entry where we will begin writing up our custom assembly pom. We'll also return to the start by crafting a simple project pom to house the branding and our assembly modules :)

Resources for System P (AIX) learners

Something I've encountered only in my working career has been System P machines running AIX. Their not the easiest platform to develop, especially if you don't have local resources to learn upon. I earned my experience the hard way by attempting to resolve issues on production systems with just google searches, luck, and determination on my side.  So with this in mind I'd like to share some links to resources that System P learners may find helpful.

Power Systems Community - lots of links here:

PSeriesTech - A System P support forum:

AIX Articles:

AIX Tutorials:

IBM Rational Cafe:

Friday, October 1, 2010

Upcoming local events and seminars; October 2010

Continuing the pick up of events from last month, October will see a nice variety of tech related meetings.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010, 2:00 PM @ Bella Vista St. John's, NL.
NATI-OCIO Information Session

Friday October 8th, 2010, 12:00AM (Application Deadline).
2010 Regional Awards for new Technology - call for Applications

IEEEXtreme 4.0 is going to be held 23 October 2010, starting at 00:00 GMT and ending 23:59 GMT. This is a world wide event for IEEE Students, so see details here. To my understanding there will be several groups attempting the challenge from Memorial University.
IEEExtreme 4.0 Programming Competition.

High Technology Crime Investigation Association, Atlantic Canada Chapter:
October 20, 2010 @ Delta Hotel, St John's NL. 
8th Annual Conference.

Nomadic Programmer

Well it's been almost two weeks since my basement flooded and we're still dealing with the clean up. So I've been spending a lot of my time drifting around town working where I can until I can reset up my work space. As such I've been humbled by the comforts a proper work space provides. A good chair, and desk adjusted to a proper height makes so much difference to one's general comfort. Finding stable internet is also more of a challenge than I thought it would be. Our local coffee shops definitely have steady connections, but are not meant for people whom use Maven ;)
Luckily I've been able to avail of some space where I have my build environment hosted. As thanks for allowing me to continue my open source work, I of course went to work in the kitchen and whipped up the following dinner:
The grade AAA steaks were coated in a mixture of peppers, Panko & Dijon Mustard.
Grilled on high heat for 11 minutes to preserve the juices.
Caramel Pecan Chocolate dip cookies with coffee.
I'm not sure how much longer my nomadic work will continue, hopefully the main clean up tasks will be completed before it starts to snow. In the mean while I guess I'll have to keep on moving along.