on Cocoa programming.

Posted in Commentary, Geekfest on September 7th, 2008 by juan


Still working through the decision process between ecto3 and marsedit.

I’m thinking I’m going to stay with ecto3 for now.

On the news side:

Started working my way through Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X by Aaron Hillegass. I’m about through the first 8 chapters. Things to know if you are going to be doing this:

  • This isn’t like working with Delphi, Visual Basic, Real Basic, or any of the other “object oriented” systems. This is much different.
  • You really should learn Objective-C first. Even though he says you should have a moderate knowledge of Objective-C, you really should spend time learning it well. The examples and “challenges” in this book assume a fair amount of knowledge. Some of the exercises and examples really don’t make that much sense until you spend time learning Objective-C.
  • It really helps if you have access to the Apple documentation. For example, in chapter 8, you go through some really cool stuff on bindings. For me it was completely magical until I went through the Apple “Cocoa Bindings Programming Topics”, “Key Value Coding Programming Guide”, and “Key Value Observing Programming Guide”. Once I worked through the basics of those documents, chapter 8 went from being a really mystical, chant invoking exercise, to more programming with some occasional leaps of faith.
  • Cocoa programming is based on some very extensive frameworks. If you are like me and you want to know how the frameworks work – don’t, yet. Just take some of the stuff as magic and assume that it works. Once I gave in to the “I’ll figure out how that works later” concept, this has started flowing better for me.

I’ll be posting more on this as I go through the exercises on this book. I’ve also started creating side challenges for myself to figure out how some of this stuff works. I’ll post those as well in case you need some additional views. Remember that I’m just learning this stuff so take this material as you would any other beginners: an example of how it possibly works correctly. To get you started, here’s a simple program that I wrote that uses a couple of controls, and a text field. The first one uses bindings to get it’s job done. The second one is the exact same, but uses an Object Controller to mediate the bindings. For me, until I saw both of these simple projects working, I couldn’t really “get” the different between just plain bindings and what an object controller bought for you. Check them out: myBindingsFun and myControllerFun.

Hope that helps someone

Tags: , ,

Open Source SAM/QFS

Posted in Commentary, Geekfest, Storage on March 18th, 2008 by juan

For those of you that have never heard of Sun’s (formerly LSI) SAM/QFS, this is a high performance filesystem that also has high performance HSM capabilities. I’ve installed this and used it in some very large sites. Amongst the many good things you can do: multiple reader/multiple writer clustered file system, dynamic inode creation, dynamic migration and staging (even in the middle of a file when you do a fseek), file size based volume selection (let’s you send large files to volumes optimized for large files and small files to volumes design for them all in the same filesystem).

Now if the SAM/QFS guys and the ZFS guys could merge this stuff together, oh-la-la!

Get your copy here:

SAM/QFS at OpenSolaris.org:

mental sausage

Posted in Commentary, Geekfest, Musings on February 14th, 2008 by juan

Merlin Mann might be one of the funniest, but also most insightful people ever. He recently made available the presentation he gave at MacWorld. In this brilliant presentation, he talks about how to keep our time and attention focused. He also gave me another reason to buy a domain name – mentalsausage.com.

Check out the presentation:

get better at shooting with the wheel (redux)

Posted in Commentary, Musings on February 12th, 2008 by juan

While sitting on a boring con call, I went ahead and re-did the shooting wheel into a PDF. This is a nice big sheet version of this so that you can take it to the range with you. This is a great tool to improve handgun shooting accuracy.

 Shooting Wheel

get better at shooting

Posted in Commentary on February 10th, 2008 by juan

Today I went to the range with my older daughter. We had a good time, but as I was trying to teach her how to improve her accuracy, I kept remembering a chart I’d see years ago. It took me a long time to find this site: http://www.bullseyepistol.com/training.htm that had the chart. I’m including it here to expose it some more.


SSD’s are going enterprise

Posted in Commentary, Geekfest, Musings on January 25th, 2008 by juan

Hot on the heels of Mac announcing that there’s going to be a an SSD option to their Mac Air, comes the news that EMC is going to offer SSD’s on the Symmetrix: StorageMojo » EMC’s new flash drives. Can’t wait to see what a fully loaded all SSD Symm runs for. My guess is the GNP of Guatemala. However, it should smoke just about anything out there. Finally a good use for all those fancy 4 and 8Gb Fibre HBA’s everyone’s been buying.

Going for a free license for a pdf printer appliance

Posted in Commentary on March 24th, 2007 by juan

This is a cool thing to have in your back pocket for the home dcf:

YAFPC-Appliance – the ultimate Network PDF Server Appliance.

macbook pro here!

Posted in Commentary, Geekfest, Musings on January 26th, 2007 by juan

First of many updates. I promise to do one on the migration process from the PowerBook to the MacBook. That’s an un-believable thing.

However, this update is on a nerd speed thing. I downloaded John the Ripper, my traditional test of speed on new computers. Just wanted to see where the new box stood. Here’s the basic results of three machines I have at home. All three of these are the output of “john –test”:

Test on a MacBook Pro (2.33GHz Core Duo):
Benchmarking: Traditional DES [128/128 BS SSE2]… DONE
Many salts: 1961K c/s real, 1976K c/s virtual
Only one salt: 1628K c/s real, 1635K c/s virtual

Benchmarking: BSDI DES (x725) [128/128 BS SSE2]… DONE
Many salts: 63846 c/s real, 64361 c/s virtual
Only one salt: 62233 c/s real, 62735 c/s virtual

Benchmarking: FreeBSD MD5 [32/32]… DONE
Raw: 6359 c/s real, 6397 c/s virtual

Benchmarking: OpenBSD Blowfish (x32) [32/32]… DONE
Raw: 388 c/s real, 391 c/s virtual

Benchmarking: Kerberos AFS DES [48/64 4K MMX]… DONE
Short: 308531 c/s real, 309770 c/s virtual
Long: 825344 c/s real, 828658 c/s virtual

Benchmarking: NT LM DES [128/128 BS SSE2]… DONE
Raw: 9090K c/s real, 9144K c/s virtual

Test on a Powerbook G4 1.6GHz:
Benchmarking: Traditional DES [128/128 BS AltiVec]… DONE
Many salts: 614247 c/s real, 785738 c/s virtual
Only one salt: 601600 c/s real, 719617 c/s virtual

Benchmarking: BSDI DES (x725) [128/128 BS AltiVec]… DONE
Many salts: 25856 c/s real, 27216 c/s virtual
Only one salt: 20403 c/s real, 26429 c/s virtual

Benchmarking: FreeBSD MD5 [32/32 X2]… DONE
Raw: 4187 c/s real, 4408 c/s virtual

Benchmarking: OpenBSD Blowfish (x32) [32/32]… DONE
Raw: 284 c/s real, 301 c/s virtual

Benchmarking: Kerberos AFS DES [24/32 4K]… DONE
Short: 110284 c/s real, 117825 c/s virtual
Long: 308889 c/s real, 325146 c/s virtual

Benchmarking: NT LM DES [128/128 BS AltiVec]… DONE
Raw: 5263K c/s real, 5551K c/s virtual

Test on PIII 800MHz “server”:
Benchmarking: Traditional DES [24/32 4K]… DONE
Many salts: 65024 c/s
Only one salt: 52434 c/s

Benchmarking: BSDI DES (x725) [24/32 4K]… DONE
Many salts: 1790 c/s
Only one salt: 1423 c/s

Benchmarking: FreeBSD MD5 [32/32]… DONE
Raw: 1450 c/s

Benchmarking: OpenBSD Blowfish (x32) [32/32]… DONE
Raw: 92.1 c/s

Benchmarking: Kerberos AFS DES [24/32 4K]… DONE
Short: 56941 c/s
Long: 130843 c/s

Benchmarking: NT LM DES [32/32 BS]… DONE
Raw: 805506 c/s

So – the basic math works out to what Apple claims. MacBook is roughly 3X speed of PowerBook. And roughly 30X the speed of the PIII server! F’ing cool.

As an aside – I remember being extremely proud of at one point around 1991 making a Sun Sparc1 workstation run the Crypt routines at roughly 1,400 crypts/second. New MacBook is … 1,400 times faster. What 15 years gets us, huh?

this is the end

Posted in Commentary, Fanboy on June 16th, 2006 by juan

The Mac is back! I’m working on it, and the screen is beautiful again. The SuSE laptop is going to stand by mode. Total elapsed time, 1 week calendar time of no Mac access. Painful, but livable. Apple did this right. They want to keep me as a customer. Well done.

experiment (post 2)

Posted in Commentary on June 15th, 2006 by juan

So, things are moving along. Apple now says that the laptop is fixed and should be shipping back in the next 24 hours. Interesting that it would happen this way because I just:

  • figured out VPN to work for Linux
  • started feeling comfortable with KDE/SuSE
  • started getting my work mail via IMAP to both Evolution and Pine
  • figured out that the exchange connector for Evolution uses WebDAV (which makes it shit)
  • did my first presentation to a customer with OpenOffice (it imported a PowerPoint presentation perfectly)
  • have my winblowz vmware image running perfectly

The good news of this is that Apple is good to the customer, and that if needed I have a backup plan now.

More to come once the PowerBook is in my hands.