Isaac Asimov

Caves of Steel (Robot City (Paperback)) by Isaac AsimovI went to a sort of geeky high-school (shocking, I know). Everyone there was pretty smart (I often wonder how I slipped in) and there was the full range of geekdom on display (even the athletes were geeks when you get right down to it, though there were cliques as there always are. I was, even amongst the other geeks, considered pretty damn geeky). The school had a library, which contained a fairly good SciFi section. Since I had a 45 minute commute each way, I needed reading material and so I started to read the entire
collection of SciFi/fantasy books which were available.

Early on in my readings I came across Isaac Asimov (not too odd since
his last name begins with 'A' and I am nothing if not methodical). His books really sparked my imagination. I started with “Caves of Steel”, which isn't his best work; I was hooked.

If someone were to ask me where they should start with Asimov I would recommend the Foundation Series, with a few caveats. His characters tend to be... one dimensional, his writing style is no frills, and his female characters (when one shows up) are particularly one dimensional.

You might wonder why the heck I read so many (and I mean many. The man wrote over 500 books) of his books if I wasn't that impressed with his writing style. Well, you see, he may not have been Shakespeare but his ideas were always intriguing, and his books are good fun.

Anyway, the point of this entry is to share this quote with you:

Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition.

Well, he is awfully fond of wands...

Reverend Graham Taylor was talking to a bunch of 12 year olds and he called  Harry Potter gay:

"As for Harry Potter, well, he's not the only gay in the village," the former Anglican priest told children at Penair School in Truro, southwest England, referring to a catchphrase from the popular British comedy TV show "Little Britain."

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

A spoon full of CFML

Thanks to the wonders of ColdFusion, if someone linked to one of my posts on Blankbaby Media at the old address the link shall still work.


I don't think anyone actually did link to any of my posts there (maybe I did once or twice) but better safe than sorry.

And as an added bonus I now have yet another about page on the web about, well, me.

So here is the code, no it isn't that complicated and that's why I like Coldfusion. This took me all of 2 minutes:

<cfparam name= "p" default = "" type = "any">

<cfif p NEQ "">
<cflocation url = "">

<cflocation url = "">

This would have been much more difficult if Wordpress used static files, thank goodness it doesn't.

Screw you, Eclipse

EclipseTerry likes it.  Ryan likes it.  So do all those hardcore CF'ers out there.  I might like it, if I could get it to frickin' work!  I am talking about Eclipse, more specifically CFEclipse which is an open source IDE (Integrated Development Environment) that all the cool kids are using.  Heck, Macromedia has taken notice and will be using it in some ways.  I would love to use it.

If only I could get it to run on my Thinkpad.  All I get is that stupid error above, and I know for a fact I have the right version of Java installed.  How do I know that?  I spent some of yesterday afternoon and most of this morning installing, rebooting, getting the error, uninstalling, install another version, rebooting, getting the error.

So, dear Eclipse, I say to you: get bent!  Back to Dreamweaver I go.

Ruby on Rails easier to use than Coldfusion?

Michael Buffington thinks so. I was firmly in the camp of Ruby on Rails being a fad (with a dash of Ajax thrown in to make everything... cooler) but it seems I should do some research or something (but I'm a blogger! We just make crap up, like NY Times reporters. Ooooh, snap. No, I didn't! Yes, yes I did!).

The biggest surprise in the whole post was this:

I'm used to rapid application building with ColdFusion, but Rails is more rapid, which was a surprise.

Now, if you didn't understand any of that post, feel free to ignore it.

ColdFusion Report Builder

For a few years of my life I was what is known as a 'report writer.' Data was my stone and Crystal Reports was my chisel. Though the people I worked with called all reports 'lists,' which depressed me, and they didn't want none of them darned fancy graphics, so there was a limit to what I could do.

Anywho, seeing as I am a ColdFusion dude now I am excited about the new ColdFusion Report Builder, and I want to make sure I check out Ben's presentation about it.

Here's how excited I am about this feature, I spent 15 minutes in a bookstore reading the ColdFusion book chapter on it. When I was done I said, out loud mind you, 'That's it?'

Garnered some odd looks from my fellow bookstore patrons.

Forta on CFPARAM in Blackstone

Now, I am not the programmer that say, Terry or Dan are but I do enjoy playing around with ColdFusion, and Blackstone (the next release of ColdFusion) looks very good indeed.

Ben Forta, the god father of CF, talks about CFPARAM in Blackstone and I am excited about the email type and regular expression support (even though I don't know much about regular expressions [I do have a book though]).

ColdFusion Best Practices for Oracle Databases

I may have linked to this article before, but I don't think so.

ColdFusion Best Practices for Oracle Databases:

One of the most popular large-scale, server-based database vendors, Oracle provides data storage facilities to millions of web applications, including those powered by ColdFusion. This article explores integrating Oracle databases into your ColdFusion applications, from both a performance and development perspective. While Oracle is used as the chief example, some of the concepts apply to other database vendors products as well.

It is chock full of tips for us Oracle luvin' Coldfusion usin' web guys.

All the cool kids are using Stored Procedures

Macromedia has posted an article onUsing Stored Procedures with ColdFusion for the beginner.

The scenario: You are a ColdFusion developer and your boss has asked you to create a simple web-based employee directory using ColdFusion to access stored procedures that the database administration group of your company created. For security reasons, you can only use stored procedures, not direct queries, to access the data from a sensitive personnel database. How do you succeed at developing the application?

Worth a look if you are thinking about using Stored Procedures in your Coldfusion, but you don't know where to start.

I can't believe it is not Coldfusion

Word of BlueDragon Spreads to Apple Developer Community (

If you know OS X developers and administrators who want to serve CFML, let them know they can use our free Server edition (yes, in production) or our Server JX edition (adds the few things held back from the free version, like precompiled/encrypted templates, enterprise database drivers, and integration with JSPs/servlets). They can also use our J2EE edition, deploying it on Tomcat, JRun, or other J2EE servers and servlet engines that run on the OS X platform.

Do I need a better reason to try and get my job to buy several Xserves for me to play with? I think not.

You got error in my error!

Just a little tip from you old pal Scott, it doesn't help track down an error in your application if your error handling routine has an error in it.

My error handling would dutiful send me an email every time I did something that caused a specific error, but the information it sent me just didn't make any sense. Until I realized what was happening:

1. I took the steps required to create the error

2. The error was created and called the error handling code

3. There was an error in the error handling code

4. The error in the error handling code called the error handling code and sent an email to me reporting the second error, but not the first.

Confusing, no?

Cfchart Improvements

Tim Buntel posts about some possible improvements for charting in the next version of Coldfusion:

The data is passed into a chart on the page in the tagset and all the rest of the information in defined in a style elsewhere. For example, Blackstone could ship with several pre-defined styles (brushed metal, autumn afternoon, and other daft names) that you can specify in the cfchart tag. Then you get a professional looking graph with a pleasing color palette in very few lines of code - and all of the charts on your site can have a similar look and feel (be they bar, line, pie, or mixed series charts) without ever needing to worry about the attributes. Customizing or creating your own styles would involve defining this XML based style definition document.

Work and Blogs Coming together

I am very excited. Circumstances have set up a situation where Dave, my co-worker, is getting interested in starting up our departmental intra-net. He designed one awhile back and got alot of good feed back from all the Directors, and they promised to give him content to go along with the intranet. Sadly they didn't give him anything to work with and the intranet withered and died.

This was before I was here, and so in my first few weeks here I suggested we start an intranet with one of our servers we have laying in our office. Dave related his intranet experience and that was that. Until today that is.

It looks like there is some interest, and so I am going to stoke the flames, so I can write my own blogging app in Coldfusion (we just installed BlueDragon
pm the server).

I plan to make it so if has RSS, supports multiple authors, and categories. The jury is out on comments at the moment. I think it might be fun to have them but I don't know. I will have to give it some thought.

I think this will lead to each department having their own blogs and RSS feeds. That would be really cool.