Home | February 2009 >>

Browser Wars Vs Solitaire Wars

I read with despair that yet again the EU seeks to penalise Microsoft for having the apparent gall to include some additional software (Internet Explorer) with Windows, based on the objections from a competing company (Opera).

I mean WTF.

What about all the other software that ALL operating system manufactures have ALWAYS included with their systems.

Imagine if there was a lawsuit or EU injunction against Microsoft or Apple because they included a game of Solitaire with their operating system, or how about a lawsuit because Apple included Finder and Microsoft included Windows Explorer so that users could perform operations on files.

I personally have written two a GUI based file manager (FMan for DOS and AFCopy for the Amiga) and you don’t hear about me filing lawsuits about loss of business.  Granted in my case no one uses DOS or the Amiga anymore, but there’s plenty of alternatives for Windows Explorer – Windows Commander, Directory Opus etc.  How many different versions of Solitare game are there for Windows and OSX, are the authors of those going to be able to get the EU to make Apple or Microsoft remove them from their Operating System?  No,  so then why the hell should Opera be given the privilidge.

Instead of hiring lawyers the company that builds the Opera browser should spend their money making better software that people actually want to use.  If it’s good enough people will install it!

Lego Power Miners!

What /will/ they think of next?

You have to hand it to Lego, they make some seriously cool products that I find impossible to resist.  Even the new bionicle vehicles are cool.  This time though lego have out-done themselves with their new Lego Power Miners range!

Here's a wallpaper I found on lego's site.

Lego Power Miners

And check out these cool minifig's:

I for one can't wait for someone to do some stop-motion animation with them in! heheh.

Power Miners!  What a concept!  Nice job Lego d00ds!

Click here to visit the power miner's mini-site on Lego.com

Configuring TomCat and Pebble

In order to setup this blog I needed Tomcat, I'm well versed with IIS and Apache vhost configurations but it took a little bit of research and fiddling to get vhosts up and runnign with tomcat,  the only reason I had such a problem was that I wanted my tomcat data on a different partition instead of having all my data in the tomcat installation directory.

I found I had to adjust a "Java Options" setting from it's default of: "-Dcatalina.home=C:\Program Files\Apache Software Foundation\Tomcat 5.5"-Dcatalina.home=C:\Program Files\Apache Software Foundation\Tomcat 5.5 to "-Dcatalina.base=D:\Data\Tomcat"
Here's the relevent bits from my server.xml in case you're interested:

<Engine name="Catalina" defaultHost="default">
	<Host name="default" appBase="default/webApps" unpackWARs="true"
		autoDeploy="false" xmlValidation="false" xmlNamespaceAware="false">

	<Host name="localhost" appBase="localhost/webApps" unpackWARs="true"
		autoDeploy="false" xmlValidation="false" xmlNamespaceAware="false">

		<Valve className="org.apache.catalina.valves.RemoteHostValve"
			allow="localhost," />

	<Host name="dominicclifton.name" appBase="dominicclifton.name/webApps"
		unpackWARs="true" autoDeploy="false" xmlValidation="false"


Then I had to move the conf directory to d:\Data\Tomcat and also create "d:\data\<hostname>\webApps" for each vhost.

The next problem was the ${user.home} setting for Tomcat, on windows this defaulted to "C:\Documents and Settings\Default User". Apparently you can override this in the Catalina.properties file but I've not tried it, instead I point each app that needs it to a specific directory, e.g. in Pebble.properties i set "dataDirectory=D:/Data/Tomcat/<hostname>/data"

The above method works fine for me, but if anyone knows a better way of doing this please comment below!