Thule SnowPro Ski/Snowboard carier on a Mini Cooper supplied roof rails

The Mini Cooper parts catalogue details a 2 Board Snowboard roof carrier. I ordered that and thought I could carry my snowboards to some snow covered slopes in the near future. Turns out Mini is not yet manufacturing these things or something. Bottom line, I couldn’t get what I needed.

Next stop Automat, it’s one of those shops where people go to pimp their cars in a very very bad way. They’ve got all sorts of decals, plastic bumpers that would make Dolly Parton jealous, ridiculously over-powered car stereo amplifiers that’ll suck your battery dry and make your ears pop. I should have went there all dressed up in a trenchcoat with a hat and sunglasses like some sleezeball going for a pop at one of the local “ladies of pleasure”.

snowpro746.jpegAnyway, I digress. They’ve got Thule roof carriers too. And I needed a set bad, because it did take a while before word got back that I could not get the BMW part. I ordered a Thule Snowpro, model nr. 746.

The problem is, the brackets supplied with Thule parts only fit they small square bars here in the Netherlands. To make it fit their streamlined bars you need some adapter costing 20 euros. And then it still is a question if these adapters are going to fit my Mini rails. Because the profile on top of my bars are a lot wider. I wouldn’t want my snowboards to go flying of and crash into someone’s windshield, now would I? For the 888 adapters see the image below.

05x_thule_adapter_888.jpg Anyway, I put in a call to my tool-time-Tim super dad. He’s got a garage full of tools and I don’t, so he can actually manufacture stuff. We measured everything and then fabricated 4 little adapters of our own. Made of a solid aluminium bar, 4 bolts, 4 nuts and some locking washers. Total tally at the end of the day 1,65 euro’s. Eat that Thule… Oh, and we the bolts and stuff we used are air service rated, so if you winch my car up by the rails, it wont be the bolts or bolts that’ll break. 😉

I’ll post a picture of the end result when my digital camera is charged again.

Now I’m off to the garage again. 🙁 I was killing time because the garage won’t have service personnel available until 9. Got a flat tire… 🙁 🙁 And I don’t wanna drive 90 kilometers on a flat tire, even when they’re run flats.

I keep forgetting that -u does an uninstall of old macport versions

macports-logo-top.pngAccording to the MacPorts port command man page the option -u: “uninstall non-active ports when upgrading and uninstalling”.

Just running port upgrade all the time litters your systems with lots and lots op old archived versions of installed ports.

To correct this whole mess you could run “sudo port -u uninstall”. This should uinstall any archived versions you might have. You might need to add a -f to that to make it work: “sudo port -uf uninstall”.

You might have some trouble when you force a removal like this when one of your installed ports is linked against an older version of a library. This can be fixed by replaying some steps on this page.

Basically this post is a reminder for myself. But just maybe someone might find this useful too.

Looking into integrating ANTLR v3 with javax.script

I’ve been looking into integrating ANTLR v3 with javax.script. It should all be pretty simple, but I have not implemented a simple mock-up yet to test my conclusions.

Then I remembered a ex-colleague of mine who wrote a Dutch article about integrating a JavaCC generated language with javax.script.

Dutch article about JavaCC and javax.script

Technically that does not look that hard at all.

The hardest thing I’m running into right now is outlining a subject as a little case study. I am also wondering about what problems might arise when trying to integrate a generated parser within the confines of an application. I can think up a number of ways to connect a parser to an application’s in memory model. Should I try to detail logic in my parser grammar or should I unlock my memory model with a bit of dedicated API for the parser as to keep inline Java action blocks to a minimum.

TrueCrypt released for MacOSX, using MacFuse

Yesterday TrueCrypt version 5.0 has been released. Nothing special you might say, but then again, you might not be running Mac OSX. TrueCrypt has been released for the Mac as well. The cool thing about it is that it uses MacFuse.

Download TrueCrypt here.
You will find several options suitable for your system.

MacFuse is a kernel extension for the OSX operating system allowing mounting of file systems in user space. With MacFuse a user can mount a file system dynamically without needing super user privileges. MacFuse is based on the original Fuse kernel extension for Linux based operating systems. With MacFuse/Fuse you can do cool things like an mounting a remote file system over SSH, a screenshot file system dynamically generating screen shots of all active windows on your desktop or just about any other piece of data that can be mashed in to a hierarchical layout or read/write NTFS file systems. You probably think this is boring. But the thing is, it’s all dynamic. Without MacFuse I guess implementing TrueCrypt for Mac would have been a whole lot harder.

With the release of the latest TrueCrypt using a secure portable drive is finally a decent option for me. Sure OS X already has the concept of secure DMG files. But those are kinda Mac only. And I have to be able to carry stuff between my Mac and several Windows machines.

One word of caution though, remember that you do need to make some form of back-up of all your encrypted data. Back-up the individual files or the entire encrypted disk image. Because if only one bit falls over in your encrypted disk, the entire disk will be corrupted. Correction supplied by Honza in the comments. The behaviour of TrueCrypt is more like a real hard drive. If a bit falls over, only the file containing the tainted section will fail.

Interesting course offer by InfoSupport

One in the shameless plug department.

My employer InfoSupport will be offering a very interesting course from the 21st till the 24th of April.

It’ll be a very nice course presented by one of our top trainers. If there are seats remaining I, I’ll sign up for this one. But I’m guessing that the available seats will fill up rather quick. So hurry ad head on over to Java Spring Class 2008 and sign up.

Some cutting and pasting from the above link:


Course outline
Get your hands on JSF, AJAX, EJB 3.0 and Web Beans.
This course provides you with a fair knowledge of Java Server Faces technology and also shows how to combine this technology with AJAX. The ins and outs of EJB 3 Simplified Components and the new persistence API are presented to you. The latest developments on Web Beans, a JSR based upon the JBoss SEAM application framework, are also treated. This specification enables the usage of EJB 3 components as JSF managed beans. All topics are put into practice in multiple hands-on exercises.

This course also looks ahead and presents you the plans for the future.

Course content

  • Java Server Faces and Ajax
  • Session Beans 3.0
  • What is new in Session Beans 3.1
  • Java Persistence API 1.0
  • What is new in Java Persistence API 2.0
  • Tips and tricks for EJB 3.0
  • SEAM
  • Web Beans

NL-JUG J-Spring 2008 preperations

NL-Jug memberLast things I heard, the NL-Jug team is hard at work preparing the next J-Spring scheduled for april 16th. I’ve entered a session proposal. I’m hoping they’ll think my proposal is an interesting one. Right now I’ll keep the details to myself, but hopefully there is more to come.

Also of note is that the conference’s by the NL-Jug are getting more popular every time.