Microsoft did a good thing. Released Microsoft Mathematics 4.0. It is free! Available for Windows (both x86 and x64). Download it here. This is what is left from Microsoft Student and Encarta. Now it is a standalone application. Great tool and easy to use. I’m glad that Microsoft did not phase it out. The tool supports symbolic math, integration, differentiation, solve equations, and has a graphing calculator and unit conversion tool. It solves problem and also shows how it solved them. I wish it offered an interface to develop plug-ins. That would attract some of R, MATLAB, and Mathematica users.
I have not been posting anything recently as I was going through a change. After working 8+ years at one company, I joined today another company to continue to create great things. But the change did not end there. At the new place I got a Mac. I have been a “die hard” Windows user and developer since early 1995 knowing many Windows internals and was exposed to a Mac (v 8.6 or so) in 2001 briefly to test my application. This particular change I guess is long overdue since many of my former colleagues jumped on the Apple bandwagon. I was one of long standing skeptics. Nonetheless, I am embracing the challenge and want to make my environment as much productive as I used to have it on Windows. It includes so many different things – getting fingers hitting right buttons and combinations, getting used to the trackpad (I used a mouse even with a laptop – I just find it more efficient!), and tools. Thanks to a former colleague of mine, who happens to be my opposite in terms of OS preferences and is a “die hard” Mac fan, recommended me a link and another link.
But I still want to do things I used to do where shortcuts do not quite help. I’m talking about tools. For example, I use FAR Manager to copy and move files around, view files, FTP and so on. I know Mac OS is not designed with this kind of freedom, but still this tool is more productive to do many things.
The next tool is Entourage. I do not get it why Microsoft does not allow to run a rule in Entourage against already received messages and in Outlook does. Am I missing something?
The next tool is Remote Desktop Connection. I know there is an option to have a VNC session. Need to explore more.
The next tool is SyncToy. This is a kind of my first Mac gotchas. It does work, in some cases. If you need to synchronize files between Windows and Mac, you can follow these steps.
- Open “System Preferences”.
- Open “Sharing”.
- Turn on “File Sharing”.
- In options select “Share files and folders using SMB (Windows).
- Pick shared folders.
- Pick and account you plan to use. (Mac may need to store your password, which poses some security risks, even the password is encrypted).
- Select users and their access permissions (You cannot get rid of ‘Everyone’, but you can give them ‘No access’).
- On your Windows computer in the Explorer type something like \\ipaddress\shared-folder-name. When asked to enter credentials, enter ipaddress\username and the password you specified as the password.
- Now you can map that folder as a network drive and you should be ready to use the SyncToy.
I did find a problem that SyncToy fails to synchronize an Entourage script if you chose to synchronize your home directory. I do not have an explanation for that yet.
I saw an ad on LinkedIn “We’re all in.” (cloud) today. Microsoft started offering the following applications in the cloud:
- Office (Microsoft Office Live Meeting, Communications Online, Web Apps including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote)
- Dynamics CRM
- SQLServer (Microsoft SQL Azure)
- Windows (Windows Azure, Windows Live ID)
If Microsoft moves its Office into the cloud, that means desktops are dead.
I wrote about issues with Tomcat 6.0.20 and Tomcat 6.0.24 on Windows x64. I have got good news. Today Apache released Tomcat 6.0.26 skipping version 6.0.25.
It has a lot of bug fixes including memory leak detection. And yes, now it is easy to download the right package for you CPU architecture. The issue with binaries for Windows x64 is finally closed.
I wrote about issues with Tomcat 6.0.20 on Windows x64. I have got some good news. Apache quietly released Tomcat 6.0.24 on Jan 19th skipping versions 6.0.21 – 6.0.23. But it still takes a while for owners of x64 to get what they are looking for. Binaries available only from the archive. This is the exact binary for Windows x64. 6.0.24 also has fixes for long-lived bugs.
Update (Mar 12, 2010): This problems is over with the release of Tomcat 6.0.26.
The U.S Department of Defense made another contribution to the open-source community. I think this trend will continue since most (if not all) of DoD systems are not commercial, i.e. DoD does not sell them and, hence, does not get any revenue from them, only spending on maintenance and enhancements. Economically, the DoD move makes total sense.
And another news, Microsoft extends Windows 7 to open-source developers. This news is interesting to me in light of my quest to gain in productivity while working on multiple tasks. Microsoft is working with Tasktop Technologies, the primary developer/contributor of Mylyn. Mylyn is a task management system on steroids. I wonder if Tasktop can take the most out of this opportunity with Microsoft and enhance its software to drive user experience for task driven users to the next level.
Installing a Apache Tomcat 6 on Vista x64 is not a straightforward task especially if you use 64-bit Java. This was the most painful experience I have had so far on Vista.
Below is a list of steps to help anyone who runs into these problems. I was installing Tomcat 6.0.20 to be running using JDK 18.104.22.168.
0. Prerequisites. You installed 64-bit JDK/JRE for Windows from Sun (http://java.sun.com)
1. Download apache-tomcat-6.0.20.zip from http://tomcat.apache.org/download-60.cgi. Do not use the Windows Service Installer.
2. Unzip it into your installation directory.
3. Having set JAVA_HOME system variable does not help. You should also define JRE_HOME pointing to the JRE. Otherwise you will get the following when trying to run startup.bat:
The JAVA_HOME environment variable is not defined correctly This environment variable is needed to run this program NB: JAVA_HOME should point to a JDK not a JRE
4. Make sure you can start and stop the server using startup.bat and shutdown.bat.
5. You will need to get the 64-bit version of tomcat6.exe. It is in the Subversion repository at http://svn.apache.org/viewvc/tomcat/tc6.0.x/tags/TOMCAT_6_0_20/res/procrun/. But here is another obstacle. Apache disabled the ability in the ViewVC configuration to download binary files from the repository. So you need to use another location: https://svn.apache.org/repos/asf/tomcat/tc6.0.x/trunk/res/procrun/. Please note, that the SVN repository has both tomcat6.exe and tomcat6w.exe for each architecture (ia64 and amd64), while the location to download only has tomcat6.exe. The choice of architecture is also confusing (Intel Itanium or AMD). So what am I supposed to download if I have Intel Core i7 (Nehalem/Bloomfield)? AMD64. Also, there is a ‘FIXED’ bug with a request to make this less painful.
6. Copy tomcat6.exe in the installation directory to something like tomcat6.32.exe. Overwrite tomcat6.exe in the installation directory with the 64-bit version. If you do not do this step you will get this message in the System event log (after you successfully install the service and try to start it):
The Apache Tomcat Tomcat6 service terminated with service-specific error 0 (0x0).
7. Install the service by running the following command from the command prompt with administrative privileges (see the previous post how to do this):
service.bat install Tomcat6
You should be running it in the installation directory. Tomcat6 is the service name, spaces in the service name do not seem to be supported. Installation will fail if you have the User Access Control enabled.
8. Now you should be able to start the “Apache Tomcat Tomcat6” Windows service.
1. Do not forget to check where you log files are stored. If the UAC is enabled, you may not even know that your logs are not stored.
2. JConsole will not detect your Tomcat instance if you are running the server as a Windows service.
3. (Not related to Vista, but still worth to mention). There is no admin application in Tomcat 6.
I hope experience with Tomcat 6.0.21 will be better.
Update (Jan 24, 2010): This problems should be over with the release of Tomcat 6.0.24.
Update (Mar 12, 2010): This problems is over with the release of Tomcat 6.0.26.