Puakma: Under the hood

I'm Brendon Upson, jack-of-all-trades, master of one or two. I'm talking about life running a small ISV tackling business issues and leaping technology hurdles in a single bound.

webWise Network Consultants is based in Sydney, Australia and develops the groundbreaking Tornado Server technology.

Mobile Internet: Nokia N95

Filed under: by Brendon Upson on 2007-06-26

As a web developer, my life is the Internet. The older I get the more reliant I am on it, not just for work but for general information; look up something on google or wikipedia, get mail, communicate with skype, yellow pages, google earth, read the news, the list goes on. One problem I have had for a long time is access to the internet when I'm not at home or in the office.

For a while I had a Vodafone VMC card (pcmcia) which was OK, but slow and expensive. I few years ago I joined the Three mobile network (24 month contract - ouch) and their marketing propaganada assured me I could use the clumsy Motorola E1000 to do the job. Sadly the moto missed the mark by 200 miles.

But now some time has passed and technology has improved. I have resigned with Three and now have a Nokia N95 on an "X-series" plan (mobile data). The new MacBook Pro connects to the phone via bluetooth and the speeds are really pretty good, thanks to the new fangled HSDPA :-) I had a wee issue getting the right modem driver, but all is good now.

The downsides of the N95 are: cr@p battery life (compared to my old sonyericsson GSM phone), it is the size of a small family home and the UI is a bit garish and clunky. The upsides are: it does EVERYTHING. 

VMWare fusion

Filed under: by Brendon Upson on 2007-06-19

It's true. There is a god :-)

I finally have the holy grail (for me) in a laptop. I prefer to run Mac OS X, but all of my consulting work requires developing applications that run on Windows (Internet Explorer et al). Up til now it was a case of developing the web apps in Firefox while keeping in mind the bits that wouldn't work on IE, then firing up the work XP PC and running some tests. 

All that has changed. Running VMware on the new Mac means I can run a whole bunch of OSes and flip between them. Fusion (beta 4) still has a few bugs but for the most part works asadvertised. Absolutely loving it.

The love affair continues

Filed under: by Brendon Upson on 2007-06-15


WAY COOL. My love affair with the Mac continues. How good is this. I fire up the new machine, it tells me to connect the firewire cable to my old mchine and reboot it holding the "T" key down (firewire target mode). The new MacBook then transfers EVERYTHING (almost... except xcode and x11 - no biggie) to the new machine. INCLUDING A HALF FULL TRASH CAN! After years of swapping Windows machines this ROCKS - As a developer I have a bunch of stuff set up just right a brand new manual set up would be a super pain in the @ss.

Thoughts so far. It's a little thinner and lighter than the 3 year old G4. Natasha says "but it looks just like your old one?!". Screen is crystal clear and sharp :-). It's f-a-s-t :-D Did I mention it's fast? Keys feel a little different - maybe because 3 years of hammering the old ones wore them out. Where's my right mouse button on the trackpad? One or two more USB ports would be good... firewire 800 do these even exist? :-/

So far very happy. I've only been waiting 6 months. I guess this means another 3 years before the next upgrade.... sigh.....

Welcome to another learning curve

Filed under: by Brendon Upson on 2007-06-13

Over the last couple of months I have started the process of refactoring Tornado so we can split off the HTTP stack and embed it inside any Java app. My short term goal is to allow Tornado to be started from a servlet. This has a number of advantages, including better integration with technology other folks are already using. Plus I've managed to clean up the code and include some nice performance tweaks.

I have a test harness servlet running and have been testing it inside Tomcat. All the Tornado goodness appears to work as advertised - although I am only at the proof of concept point. Now I need to load up the logic that goes with processing a HTTP request and somehow find a middle ground between the heavy lifting that the existing Tornado HTTPRequestManager class does and the facilities provided by a servlet. No mean feat! It also means I am now making a huge headlong dive into J2EE, which I guess can only be a good thing as the more we learn the better we become. Would be niceif I could do it in isolation witout all that pesky business or running a business at the same time...

Welcome to another learning curve. My head hurts. And where's my damn MacBook Pro???

Retail therapy

Filed under: by Brendon Upson on 2007-06-08

AWESOME! Apple finally released the Core 2 duo Santa Rosa Macbook Pros. I have been waiting about 6 months for one of these bad boys and yesterday placed the order. Unfortunately for me (and my need for instant gratification) after placing the order I now need to wait ANOTHER 6 DAYS :-( Totally unfair...

On monday I was in Brisbane seeing a customer and hooking up Tornado to an Infra CMDB .NET web service. My poor G4 powerbook nearly choked on the 7.2mb autogenerated source file (created by apache axis). The speed leap in the new MacBook Pro is gonna be waaaaay coool. 

More retail therapy. I bought some Burton Mission snowboard bindings on the young people's internet a couple of months ago and today they arrived. Now I wait for the snow. Sheesh. Seems like my whole life is waiting at the moment :-( The bindings ROCK.