Community Blogs

The possibilities of Servlet 3.0 and JavaEE 6

Explore the different implementations of developing with Comet. See how popular Java Web servers like Jetty and Tomcat have enabled Comet applications, and learn how to program with each server. And finally, learn about the standardization proposals for Comet in Java that are part of the upcoming Servlet 3.0 and JavaEE 6 specifications.

Google Chrome

I still do not understand why Google does not provide Linux installers for this browser. I am using it under  Win XP (in a VM of course) and pretty happy with the performance. I am not a programmer but if they can make Picasa to run under Linux (with WINE), they could do the same for Chrome. Then they could release the Linux-native installation files.

I really want to use Chrome under Linux and try the Wave but I do not want to boot the virtual machine and switch back and forth.

Anyway, I hope it will worth the wait.


Media Center Issues...

I do not understand why this common commercial operating system is trying to trick the users as if the only Media Center is available for Vista and 7. There are a lot of Media Center programs for Linux, from Live CDs to full-fledged home automation systems. I spent a weekend going through MythTV, XBMC, eAROS and Linux MCE in detail and I absolutely saw nothing less than the Windows' Media Center. In no way, XBMC or MythTV falls short; if you want to discuss about Linux MCE,  Microsoft needs some more years to do the half of it.

So, in this perspective I wonder if the distributions and their communities are falling short of advertising the media center capabilities? Just think about a new convert from Windows to -say openSUSE: how will he know that a media center program (or programs) is available for his computer.

Why did I point to this issue: I am putting my hands on any device I see here in my country and always media center capabilities are in the top displayed features. Think about HP, Sony, Acer and all the big guys showing how elegant their media centers are. In fact they are not showing the Windows' native media center but rather their own. I know it is not more than eye-candy but in terms of this "eye candy" that the end users value, Windows has a long way to go, considering at least the Compiz Fusion.

I wonder if the developers or the foundations/companies can also put a media center in their default installations and advertise this with the screenshots and other media? I think this will close another gap (which is unexistent by the way) which users ask "can I do everything in Linux that I can do in Windows?"


Mailspect Joins Forces with Gen8 Solutions to Extend Archive Import


Gen8 Solutions' Emailchemy and Harvester technologies vastly extend and improve the email import capabilities of MPP Archive's MPP Green architecture.


New Rochelle, NY - June 1, 2009- Mailspect Inc. is pleased to announce a new partnership with Gen8 Solutions, the creator of the Emailchemy and Harvester email import and migration technologies to better support legacy email formats such as PST files.  With this partnership, Mailspect is extending the benefits of the MPP Green architecture to unify email stores of virtually all varieties into web accessible, searchable and optimized archives   MPP Green can now unify email formats like Microsoft's PST, and many other proprietary and outdated formats.


MPP Archive offers a comprehensive email archive solution that is ideally suited for environments that have strict archive and discovery requirements but want an open and cost-effective Linux based solution.   MPP archives, indexes and optimizes real-time email streams from MS Exchange and popular MS Exchange replacements like Zimbra, Zarafa, Scalix, Open-Xchange and others.    With the recently announced MPP Green architecture, MPP Archive intelligently imports proprietary and standards-based mail stores such as IMAP and GMAIL and provides efficient single instance storage and cross-mailbox searching.  It de-dupes emails, strips duplicative attachments, scans based on content inspection rules as well as cleanses and purges long-dated emails.  MPP Green converts fragmented mail stores to indexed, full-text searchable, centralized archives.  As such, MPP Archive can serve as the basis for email lifecycle management.


Using the Harvester option, MPP Green can automatically find and import private PST folders stored on end-user desktop and laptop disk drives.   These capacities will enable mail administrators to centralize disparate mail stores into a single, searchable email archive.  Aggregating email stores improves compliance with corporate and government email retention and retrieval rules and regulations.


In addition, the new MPP Green extensions can  import email from  all of the following  email servers: AOL for Windows ("PFC" files), Claris Emailer for Macintosh, CompuServe Classic for Macintosh (aka "MacCIM"), CompuServe 2000 for Windows, Entourage (Database, .RGE Archives and cache files), Eudora, Mac OS X Mail, Mozilla, Mulberry, Musashi, Neoplanet, Netscape, Opera, Outlook for Windows (.PST and .OST files), Outlook Express for Macintosh, Outlook Express for Windows, Outlook Express for UNIX/Solaris, PowerTalk/AOCE for Macintosh, QuickMail Pro for Macintosh, QuickMail Pro for Windows, Thunderbird, Yahoo! Mail and any UNIX-style or mbox-format mailbox.


To download a fully configured, VMware-based virtual appliance of MPP Archive for evaluation, go to:


About Mailspect                                                                                        

Mailspect, Inc. based in New Rochelle, New York, is the developer of the Message Processing Platform or MPP.  MPP offers clients a comprehensive and integrated suite used for email archiving, compliance and quarantine, complete with spam filters, email policy management, email import and email retention solutions.  MPP integrates with leading anti spam and antivirus products and currently is installed in client mail systems that process billions of emails per day.



Contact Info:  Paul Sterne, Chief Marketing Officer,



About Gen8 Solutions                                                                 

Michigan-based, Gen8 Solutions was formed in partnership with Weird Kid Software in 2007 to provide technology to the enterprise market segment. Weird Kid Software has been marketing email conversion technology to the consumer market since 2002. Since its inception, Weird Kid Software has sold and supported its products to tens of thousands of clients worldwide.



Contact Info:  Phil Okun, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , +1 248.918.9792


Python Signal Handling

I did a short test on Python signal handling over at my other blog. For those interested...


Ubuntu - Long Term Support - How long is it really?


Ubuntu - LTS

Ubuntu GNU/Linux Long Term Support which are the Ubuntu GNU/Linux versions that are supported for three years for desktop versions and five years for server versions.

The first LTS Ubuntu version that was issued was Ubuntu 6.06 LTS Dapper Drake, which was released in June 2006.  The second was Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Hardy Heron, which was released in April 2004 (per the numbering scheme -- first digit being the issuance year and second being the month number.)  The next scheduled LTS Ubuntu version is Ubuntu 10.04 (which is currently tentatively scheduled.)

As may be already evident, there is no true way to get the full three years (much less five) of support (which is actually just operating system and software security and stability updates -- basically bug fixes.)  You see if these versions are supported for three years but are issued every two years, how is it possible to get continuously three full years or supported use without the need to do a full reinstall or upgrade of your operating system.

You see, unlike most Ubuntu users (most of which are power/geeks users of which I somewhat regard myself), I do not get my "kicks" from reinstalling my operating system and/or performing a version upgrade every six to eighteen months.  (On a somewhat unrelated note, I am rarely impressed by Linux distro version reviews through a "virtual machine" as it seems to me that the only way one can get a true indication of an operating system's performance is by performing a true hard drive install and putting this new install through approximate real world use for a few days -- with the exception of distros which are never really intended to be installed on a hard drive such as Puppy Linux.)  So, I do appreciate the LTS Long Term Support Ubuntu GNU/Linux versions which, at least, minimize my need to perform a major OS upgrade and/or reinstall.

In this regard, I believe I am most like the truly "average" user who want his/her PC to "just work" and does not want to be hassled by operating system upgrades / reinstalls.  I recently read an interesting statistic that approximately 77% of Ubuntu users are currently already using Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope (it is May 28, 2009, as I write this.)  This tells me that 77% of Ubuntu users are truly geek power GNU/Linux users and are not the "average" user Ubuntu is now targeting, for, like me, the "average" user clearly does not want to be bothered with an operating sysem upgrade / reinstall every six months.  (As a side note, I applaud Dell for sticking with Ubuntu 8.04 LTS for their pre-install Ubuntu GNU/Linux sales.)

I do not believe in performing an operating system upgrade / reinstall unless the new version presents a "compelling" reason to upgrade.  As such, I am still running Ubuntu 8.04.2 LTS on our home PCs.  Clearly Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex did NOT present a "compelling" reason to upgrade.  Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jacklope did approach the compelling threshold, but I am still holding out for the next LTS release (frankly, probably the point 2 release in July 2010 for bug fixes.)  (In the interest of full disclosure, I did install 9.04 on my folks PC, but they needed a new hard drive installed anyway so it made sense to install it -- since a reinstall was required anyway.) 

Based upon my peripheral observations, it seems that with Ubuntu's cut throat six month release schedule, new features are introduced in each new release that are far from perfected until at least the next subsequent release.  In support of the preceding statement, consider pulse-audio, ext4, (without an actual file.)

I would much prefer that Ubuntu change to a one-year release cycle for routine releases and three years for LTS releases (not every two years for three year supported LTS releases as it is now so one could actually get a full three years support.)  With a one-year release cycle, ample time would be afforded so new features could actually work properly and bugs could actually be fixed and more and more would "just work" as it should.

Just my two cents for now.  Thanks for reading.

Mark, did you get this?  (Shuttleworth)




NEWB's adventure's in Linux From Scratch

hello again,

 I've taken some time tonight to reflect on where I've been over the past 3 weeks.

   I sparked interest in myself on trying Linux and soon realized that the "GUI" alone would not suffice. I poked around a bit, started to ask questions. Installed Ubuntu on a dual cpu Amd box. It ran fine , was stable and it wasn't Windows. Except  for that hideous brown default desktop all worked fine untill that computer's power supply died.

          I started looking into other distro's and ran into the LFS liveCD.. I booted fast and loaded entirely onto my ram, all the programs were snappy. Something I wasn't used to on an old Pentium4 machine with 256 mg of ram. I soon remedied the ram problem as I was ordering a new power supply for the Amd machine I got 2 512mg stick for this Dell 4550. That is the max this machine takes.   

   Well, curiousity got the best of me and I went and started reading on the LFS site and saw that there were only 3 books needed as prerequisites ???????????? I can do this , I thought to myself. That started my journey. After reading about 1/3 of the  first book and blasting thru the software building book. I tried unsuccessfully  to build LFS. I went into the IRC channel and after 7 pathetic attempts  to build . I realised that I needed more knowledge 

    I went back and started being specific, getting a couple   of notepads to keep notes.  And have I kept  notes !!!  I even made a laminated overlay for Vim  for my keyboard shortcuts and bash. I've used Google alot,  sometimes it helps sometimes not.I've used IRC.... Pastebin has become my friend, I've adapted the  approach that I can write down what I've done first before I go into IRC and document all that I've read and what I've done step by step instead of trying to explain it to someone , and half way into it they interrupt you and assume the wrong thing.

    I as a newb am sure that I speak for all newb's in saying everything is not in the blankety,blank , blank, blank, manual.  Each situation is different, many times even the most experienced guys are not going to have the answers In IRC.   I realize this. That's why it's so important that I exhaust every possible avenue before I go to IRC.  At the same time, It's important to note that many new users like myself are not acedemics, we are blue collar regular guys,we understand regular words, not scientific words. Many of the top notch people in Linux and free software as a whole have a computer science  background , with formal training where they have the interaction with their teacher to reinforce what they've learned. When us blue collar guys learn from a book, we don't know what works until we get some experience under our belts to know  ... build confidence. With experience we will gain confidence in ourselves, but when things go wrong, with no interaction it's easy to lose prospective.

    Case in point, my pata cable incident , the night before I started installing I stayed up and read an online Grub "tutorial" the whole book, drive mapping and all, dealing with windows etc. I get up in the morning (note the drive in question just had windows on it and had no problems). I get the idea that I'm going to put another linux on my second drive, when I try  to reboot it doesn't work. I'm like , I just read that book, I couldn't have made a mistake??? I nuked it off and redid the whole thing.. about 10pm that next night I'm ready to reboot again this time the computer hangs????? oh crap how do I deal with this? I power off and now it won't boot, I thing I've messed up the drive powering off. So, I use fsck. and no errors.  Anyway I'm taking note of specific errors and I get a live cd and boot in and copy mtab, fstab, and grub conf and pastebin the whole thing. While I'm in the room waiting for someone to help I'm talking about the options in grub and here we go again , I'm being accused of not following the install guide and not reading the manual, I'm beginning to think that , it's the easy way of saying I'll talk to you but I'm not willing to invest the time to fix it, or I don't have the answer so, I'll just say you're not following the manual,  In the end it wasn't my lack of knowledge, it was a hardware problem. 

     Oh, and what the heck is this deal where fdisk list hda and when you boot the kernel says sda??, and even grub is getting into the act and wants sda or sdxx whatever and some versions I see used the uuid even? , I've got the system up and running and I'm not quite right yet as there are answers I need but , at this point in time, I'm looking for a local users' group to join as I can do without the accusations. I've worked very hard to learn what I've learned in the short amount of time I've been at it. I'm not going away anytime soon.

    I'm going to say one last thing on this subject and that is a very big Thank You to "Cosmo" on the LFS-support channel for being a great guy and straight forward person. Thanks again for all your help.


NEWB's adventure's in Linux From Scratch

Back from the brink,

  If you've read many of my blog's , you know that I'm one to read whatever I can get my hands on.  I was having issues with grub and went into a chatroom to get some help and got smacked around pretty good yesterday because I was asking alot of basic questions that were in the book. So, if you're pretty good with linux and just read my blog to get a newb point of view then take notice.  When you I the "Newb " read something to learn, I'm not in a classroom, don't have a teacher to ask if I have questions so I have to assume that I've got it right. With that in mind we plod ahead to installing grub on a machine to see if I can get it to work on my machine... well ... of course it didn't or I wouldn't be blathering about my chatroom experience.:)

  Grub complained and wouldn't boot, so I set to work using the freshly acquired knowledge gain from reading the entire grub tutorial and rebooted  this time using "esc" to get to the menu and "c" to get to the commanline and entered "root ( " and then tab to get tab completion and guess what? the second drive is not even on the menu???. Ok , I do "root (hd1)" and enter get another prompt and do "kernel /boot/kernel-x.x.xx.whatever root=/dev/hdb1 <pointing to the kernel> no device found? then I do " map (hd1) (hd0) map (hd0) (hd1) enter  , then redo the root and kernel lines and boot.... cannot mount device...... :((  I go to a chat room for help and get chastised for not reading the manual because I'm asking about root and drives and checking everything. I figure I've done something wrong??? somewhere. Well I assure them that I've been taught well by the books I've read about online etiquette  and wouldn't take their time if I'd not read the manual and they apologized to me.

   After a good nights sleep and leaving the "beast" till morning , I found that I kept having disk errors , I just had windows on this hard drive with no problems???? well , I couldn't figure out tune2fs so I went and got my system rescue cd and booted it and ran "testdisk" and found two partitions unrecoverable on it???... So, I grabbed another drive and set it up and again I was ( after a few hours of trying) disk errors???

    Something's fishy here I thought to myself, ( not those exact words:))  so I went into my shop and grabbed another pata cable and GUESS WHAT!!!  no more problems!!!! Darn cable.:)) Whew.... If at first you don't succeed , try try again.



Deferred--fat-fingers strike again..

fat finger


Recently at work I have noticed an abundance of customers leaving comments with mistyped--"fat-fingered"--email addresses. We have all seen it "", "","". The problem with these lost souls, beside suffering from fat-fingeritis, is the are paying customers and deseve to be heard; "Forgive them for they know not what they do".   The web interface is not maintained by me and asking "those people" to add more logic to the front-end would take an act of congress. I do have control over the email gateways that send these ill fated emails out. After the magick of Google, I stumbled upon the Levenshtein distance theory.  According to wikipedia, "The Levenshtein distance between two strings is given by the minimum number of operations needed to transform one string into the other, where an operation is an insertion, deletion, or substitution of a single character". ;this might work.  I proceeded to look for some code examples and put this together.(I pieced together a couple of examples to suit my needs)


#include <stdlib.h>
#include <malloc.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <stdio.h>
int levenshtein_distance(char *s,char*t);
int minimum(int a,int b,int c);

int levenshtein_distance(char *s,char*t)

  //Step 1
  int k,i,j,n,m,cost,*d,distance;
    //Step 2    
    //Step 3 and 4    
        //Step 5
        //Step 6            
    return distance;
    return -1; //a negative return value means that one or both strings are empty.

int minimum(int a,int b,int c)
/*Gets the minimum of three values*/
  int min=a;
  return min;
int main (int argc, char *argv[]) {
    int result;

   //used just three top domains for testing
    char *domains[3] = {"", "", ""};
    int SIZE = 3;
    int x;
    if(argc != 2) {
      printf("Usage: [email address]\n");
    char *first, *second;
    second = argv[1];
    //add loop to go through array
    for(x=0; x < SIZE; x++) {
        result = levenshtein_distance(domains[x], second);
     //if the required steps to match is less than two--I feel confident we have it correct       if (result < 2 ) {
          printf("did you mean %s\n", domains[x]);
        } else {
          printf("could not find a match\n");
    return 0;


Obviously this is not a finished concept, but one can see how this would  be useful. One could use this  to give a list of "possibly-correctable" email addresses in a database table. Anyway found this interesting and wanted to share.

Take care.


antiX M8.2 Test 1 now available and looking GREAT!

Here with antiX M8.2 Test 1, running live. Let me tell you why I like antiX so much as a Live CD.

1. Loads, even to RAM, in under two minutes, faster than that to run straight from CD.

2. Recognizes, even on CD, just about any wireless network card you can throw at it.

3. Has a good selection of software, and given that you can run it live, from USB, or install it to disk from the CD, it is easy to install or just use as is (as I am doing right now.

4. It's fast, and I think it is a blend of being easy enough, yet fast enough. You can get smaller Live CDs, but they take more tinkering and they don't have as many good apps. You can get larger live CDs, but they don't boot or run as fast as antiX.

I consider this the #1 top Live CD overall and one of the best systems around. You can run it either as a stable system or you can also customize and build your own system from it. What other system can do all of these things well? Some can do certain tasks better, perhaps, but on the balance this is the best live CD you can get!

The appearance of this version is better than ever - the nicest boot splash screen I've seen yet, thanks to the great artists in the antiX community!


Spanish airline uses GNOME

So recently ive been jet setting around the world and have been lucky enough to sample various airline lounges. Airline lounges are the way to go people, there is nothing like free beer before teleporting yourself at 10,000m and 900 km/h+ to the other side of the world. My blissful amusement soared when I discovered while at Barcelona airport that the Spanair lounge had internet internals running some version of the GNOME desktop. Since this encounter ive also discovered that Spanair are using Red Hat Enterprise Linux for various operations optimization applications.

This makes total sense for an organisation that's operating in a market with such tight margins. Spanair IT, well done.

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