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Showing posts from February, 2010

Moving From IIS To Apache: It's Easier Than You Think

I'm in the middle of moving some things from physical servers to a VM infrastructure, and one application makes heavy use of URL rewriting and proxying. This is on Windows Server 2003 and when I first set this app up a few years ago, I used ISAPI Rewrite 2 to handle the rewriting and proxying chores. It's been working fine so when I set up the new VM for this app I got a license for ISAPI Rewrite 3 and started configuring things. I'll spare you all the gory details but yesterday afternoon--a mere few hours before I was set to do the cutover--ISAPI Rewrite started choking hard. I started getting "Bad Request (Request header too long)" errors, but only some of the time even on the same URL, so I hacked the registry as recommended by Microsoft in an attempt to fix it. That was followed with "Bad Request (Invalid Header Name)" errors, which led to another registry hack. This seemed to fix things for a while, but then suddenly IIS would stop responding and t…

Acrobat: Making the Simple Incredibly Obtuse for Fun and Profit

Although PDF documents are usually a finished product that completely embeds fonts and images, Adobe Acrobat Professional has extensive tools that allow you to directly edit and add new texts or multimedia to PDF files. You can not only insert sounds, videos and flash files, but you can also easily add images to any part of your PDF. Here is a step-by-step guide.

Sharing this mostly so I have a convenient place to look this up the next time I need to do this. It is beyond comprehension why such a simple task is so stupidly and unnecessarily obtuse in Acrobat.
The worst part about this is that the default print settings in Reader don't include stamps, so if you send a PDF with images in it, the images won't print by default.
There's gotta be an easier way but knowing Acrobat, there probably isn't.

Changing the Host Name on CentOS

I'm working on a project that is leveraging a third-party Java library to handle payment processing. This library is a for-pay product and the license is tied to the machine name, so the original license was being used on a local development box but now that we want to move things to the production server, the license wouldn't be valid since the production server's host name isn't the same as the local development box. Apparently the company who sells the payment processing library can update the license file, but it seemed even easier to simply change the host name of the production server to match what the license is expecting. This way we can move the payment processing functionality to a different machine as needed without having to wait for a new license key to be issued. The production server in this case is CentOS, so to change the host name you simply update /etc/sysconfig/network with the new host name and reboot.This is slightly different from Ubuntu, which s…

Resolving CSS Issues With Grails UI Plugin

I'm working on another Grails application and am using the fantastic Grails UI plugin for a lot of the UI controls. Grails UI is a really nice Grails-friendly wrapper around the YUI components and includes things like a dialog box, calendar controls, a rich text editor, and a whole lot more. This was my first real foray into using this plugin, so I started with a simple modal dialog box that would show the contact information details for people in a simple list. The main point of this post is to outline the simple resolution to the CSS issues I was seeing because it took me a while to figure out what was going on, but I thought I'd outline some Grails and Grails UI magic along the way. First, in order to use the Grails UI plugin you of course have to install it, which is as simple as:

grails install-plugin grails-ui
Next, on any view page on which you wish to use any Grails UI resources, you have to indicate which resources you're going to use on the page. The nice thing abo…

ThirstyHead: Free Webinar: Getting Started with Groovy, Grails, and MySQL (February 18, 2010)

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010
Free Webinar: Getting Started with Groovy, Grails, and MySQL (February 18, 2010)

On February 18, 2010, join Scott Davis on a Sun/Oracle sponsored webinar: Getting Started with Groovy, Grails, and MySQL. We'll spend some time working with MySQL from Groovy 1.7 scripts (Sql.eachRow(), Sql.withBatch()). Then we'll switch gears and show you how easy it is to skin a MySQL database with Grails 1.2. Hope to see you there!

If you're interested in Grails this would be a great one to attend. Scott's a great presenter!

Windows Server 2003 Security and Files From Other Computers

Another day, another idiotic Windows "security" feature. I'm setting up several new Windows 2003 VMs, so rather than download all the necessary installation files to each machine, I'm copying them from the first one I set up. After mapping a drive and copying some files from the first VM to another VM, I tried to run the Tomcat installer and got the following error: "Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item."Even given Windows' stupid notion of what being an "administrator" means (on GNU/Linux either you're root or you're not, which makes perfect sense to me ...), this was a new error to me. Luckily it's easy to work around. Right-click on the file in question and go to "Properties." At the bottom of the "General" tab you'll see a note next to a "Security" header that reads, "This file came from another computer …

InfoQ: Getting Started with Grails, Second Edition - FREE!

Grails is a Java- and Groovy-based web framework that is built for speed. First-time developers are amazed at how quickly you can get a page-centric MVC web site up and running thanks to the scaffolding and convention over configuration that Grails provides. Advanced web developers are often pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to leverage their existing Spring and Hibernate experience.
"Getting Started with Grails" brings you up to speed on this modern web framework. Companies as varied as LinkedIn, Wired, Tropicana, and Taco Bell are all using Grails. Are you ready to get started as well?

The second edition of "Getting Started with Grails" in now available for free on InfoQ, or you can buy the print version for only $22.95. The first edition was great so I'm really looking forward to reading the update.