Sunday, December 30, 2012

IT Conversations - Goodbye

Free Podcasts: it,information technology

Don't recall exactly when, but somewhere in 2003 I bought my first mp3 player (*). One of the triggers were the pod casts of ITConversations. When ITConversations began publishing recordings of OReilly and other conferences, the podcasts were really a joy to listen to.  Maybe not the best pod cast, but one pod cast I recall (**) very well is "The Art of Innovation" by Guy Kawasaki.

The IT Conversations Network was a network of volunteers doing all the interviews, recording, audio processing and publishing. They have decided to stop all activities end of 2012.

The founder of IT Conversations - Doug Kaye - is a really interesting person: journalist, producer, author, photographer and more.  Take a look at his photographs here. His last book -
"Loosely Coupled: The Missing Pieces of Web Services" - was one of the first books in electronic format that I bought.

Many thanks to the whole IT Conversations team!!!

(*) That first mp3 player ended up in the washing machine, followed by many more.  After some time I switched from ear phones to an in-car FM transmitter.  But with built-in Bluetooth and the Listen pod catcher (on Android), these days are luckily over.

(**) There were also pod casts that went much broader than IT: one was the podcast on DayJet about how Edward Iacobucci - co-founder of Citrix - would be launching a new model for flying, whereby flights are dynamically scheduled based on demand.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Laptop upgrade

Just replaced the hard disk of my laptop with a SSD.  While looking a bit around between at all these different brands and types, I went for the Samsung 840 of 250GB at 142€.  The Intel 330 was the runner up.

Because I wanted to replace my HDD, I particularly looked into positive reviews of the migration software. (Intel Data Migration and Samsung Data Migration Tool) The migration itself went very smooth.  Used a USB-to-SATA cable from a friend. Results: much faster boot time, more responsive laptop, less noise and battery that lasts longer.

One thing was very badly documented: how to enable the built-in drive encryption (AES).  It was simply a matter of going into the BIOS.

Why are so few laptops provided with an SSD instead of an HDD?
Big exception of course being Apple.

SAP Netweaver Cloud Connectivity Service

Did some reading about the about SAP Netweaver Cloud, triggered by an article on InfoQ.

Cloud.pngSAP Netweaver Cloud is the new Platform-As-A-Service offering of SAP. It fully supports the Java EE 6 Web Profile etc. This means no limitations on what libraries to use etc. This shows again that SAP likes ABAP most as a programming language, but Java is also a very good friend.

VirgoSAP Netweaver Cloud is based on OSGI whereby SAP has chosen for the Virgo container.

Note: one thing I do not find is the pricing of SAP's PAAS offering.

One of the challenges for cloud applications is how to integrate with on-premise applications. SAP Netweaver Cloud comes with the SAP Netweaver Cloud Connectivity service to allow the applications on the SAP Netweaver Cloud to communicate with on-premise applications. The SAP Cloud Connector is installed locally and makes SSL/TLS connections to the SAP Netweaver Cloud. The bi-directional TCP/IP connections are used to invoke services of on-premise applications over HTTP (using API).

Secure Data Connector ComponentsThe SAP Cloud Connector needs to be installed on a SUSE Linux server (SUSE Linux 11 SP1 or SP2). Setup is somewhat similar to the Secure Data Connector of Google. Google also requires the use of Linux, but leaves freedom on what Linux distro to use.

Congrats to SAP for focusing on (Java) standards for their cloud offering. But it is a pity that each cloud solution comes with its own cloud connector. It would be so much nicer is a single cloud connector/adapter could be used for many cloud platforms!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Remove password from PDF

Christmas time is also time to do some reading or studying. Often I upload the training material or books to my Kindle account and read on my tablet.

One annoyance are PDF files with password protection. So I went looking on how to easily and quickly remove password from a PDF file. Through the article "8 Free PDF Password Remover Tools" I ended up using PDFUnlock. Works very fast, both the up- and download part.
PDFUnlock! Logo

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Network upgrade

A couple of weeks ago, I upgraded my Telenet broadband connection from 30Mbit to 60Mbit (with 4Mbit upload speed). There is also a 120 Mbit option but I found the 20€/month extra just a bit too much, I can also upgrade afterwards. The switch over was easy: drill some holes in the wall to install the modem+router, remove the old modem and re-onnect the cables. And degraded my Linksys E3000 router to become an (extra) access point.

Next I upgraded my old D-Link power line adapter to Netgear 500 Mbit PowerLine adapters (XAVB5602). These adapters have built-in power outlet and come with 2 Ethernet ports.