I'm Still Alive!

Whatever happened to that "Wil" guy that always wrote about ColdFusion stuff?

I'm still here! I've really neglected writing for the past couple years. My last real post (other than yesterdays) was in November of 2015. My excuses are I wasn't 'feeling it', I was too busy working, I didn't care about writing. Whatever. I think some people figured I dropped from the face of the earth. I sort of did in some ways. In other ways I've been doing the same things I've always been doing. WORKING and WORKING.

I'm still with CF Webtools, seven years now, and I'm primarily still doing ColdFusion stuff. I say stuff because I almost never do any actual coding. I'm more or less "The Wolf" aka Winston Wolf and "I Solve Problems". At CF Webtools, we are called in to solve problems for companies of all types. What kinds of problems? All problems whether it's coding, database/performance, web server/performance, hackers (oh my), bugs, etc. We solve problems so you can go about the business of your business. I guess I was so bogged down in the front lines that I forgot to write about a few of the battles and share what I've learned.

What's New?

Well, for the most part I'm doing AWS work. I'm midway through some AWS certification courses and I've been building out 'virtual data centers' for clients. Don't get me wrong, I'm still working with ColdFusion servers, but I'm mostly migrating them from physical iron, or other hosting providers, over to AWS. Some of these migrations are mixed environments and include things like PHP and .NET. They may also include full database server migrations into AWS RDS, DNS migrations to Route53, CloudWatch monitoring and more. For the most part AWS is fun and I like working on the platform. CF Webtools will build and/or manage your AWS solutions. Drop us an email.

The 2017 Solar Eclipse


Customer Service, It Mirrors Your Attitude

I use Evernote to type up my blog posts and as a scratch pad for blog ideas. Sometimes ideas get lost deep in Evernote never to be seen again. Today I was digging through to see what notes I had started and to see if I could put together a blog post and I found this little note. It's a funny experience I had a year and a half ago at the doctors office.

From December 2011: The other day I was at the doctors office to have my pre-surgery physical and blood tests completed. The lab tech was an slightly older woman whom was in a particularly foul mood. The new fax machine was causing all sorts of problems and she was expected to make it work without instructions. She's a nurse, not a fax repairman Jim!

In my youth I was a Navy Corpsman and I have a lot of experience doing blood draws. I know this truth to be a fact, you never want the person with the needle to be mad, upset, angry or whatever. Seeing her mood and fearing for the safety of my arm I immediately employed humor and empathy for her frustrations with technology. Not being a fax machine repairman myself I couldn't fix the stupid thing. But I could joke with her about it and share that with her that I work in the IT industry and I can understand the frustrations of these 'darn machines.' After joking with her for a few minutes she began to relax, smile and laugh thus saving my arm from being a Human Stress Relief Pincushion.

When she was done we were both laughing and enjoying life again. Best of all, my arm survived the experience.

A positive attitude goes a long ways and can be a self-defense mechanism.

ColdFusion Job Opening: CF Webtools

CF Webtools just posted a job opening.

CF Webtools is looking for bright, talented, and motivated developers with high skill sets in ColdFusion, .NET and Mobile development (including IOS and Droid).

OS X Mountain Lion Launches Today

According to an article on Mac Rumors Apple is releasing OS X Mountain Lion today! I don't see it in the App Store yet.

I bring this up because of Adobe and their complete inability to bring current software to the latest OS X version. Will ColdFusion 10 run on Mountain Lion? Why would I expect it to? Adobe could not be bothered to get ColdFusion 9 working correctly on OS X Lion. Most of the work I do is for client on ColdFusion 9 and even ColdFusion 8. Thus upgrading my OS to take advantage of new features and software is always held back by Adobe. Will we have to wait for ColdFusion 11 as Adobe told us to wait for ColdFusion 10 if we wanted to run on OS X Lion.

How about ColdFusion Builder? Will this run on OS X Mountain Lion? This OS version has been in the works for a while and was announced many months ago. Yet Adobe is silent about their products.

The Roaring Apps website is doing a great job in getting user reports on what works with Lion and Mountain Lion. Not many Adobe products showing up as working.

Either I give up my Mac or I give up Adobe. Sorry Adobe, you're losing!

Adobe we are waiting for you to do something, anything correctly.

How I Started in ColdFusion

I missed the official August 1st celebration, but then if you read the "About" section you'll get a glimpse of how I started with ColdFusion.

I've been a geek since I was a little kid. I had home electronics kits and built all sorts of things like crystal radios, buzzers, door bells, simple switching circuits etc. I also am cursed with "The Knack"

I got my hands on my first computer around 1982,it was a TI-99/4A.


ColdFusion 9 on OS X Lion

The Lion Shipped Last Night, or this morning. Today we'll see if it Roars! I am downloading and installing OS X Lion on my older Mac Book Pro. I have ColdFusion 9 Developer edition as well as the rest of my developer tools on there. I plan to use the MBP as the guinea pig and if that works fine then to my main system, a much newer iMac. I'll update this post with details as I have them.

The Install Process

FIRST RUN YOUR SOFTWARE UPDATES! New updates came out for Snow Leopard in the past few days including and update to the Migration Assistant. Next, go the the App store. Lion if featured on the home page. Purchase Lion for $29 and wait while it downloads and installs. This is what's happening right now on the MBP. I hope everyone has a fast internet connection. This is 3.49GB.

The Results

So far I am running into an issue getting CF 9 server started. I don't have time right now to debug.

ColdFusion Builder 2 is running. This was installed already when I did the updated to Lion.

Flash Builder 4.5 is hanged in the install process. I hadn't installed it yet and it seems to be not working. The first issues was it could not communicate with Adobe to verify my Adobe ID. I don't have time to debug this either right now.

JRun is running, but I can't control starting or stopping of ColdFusion from CFBuilder or the ColdFusion Launcher. If I kill JRun then use the ColdFusion Launcher, I get the message "Server 'cfusion' failed to start." I'm not seeing anything in the logs indicating why it failed. I'm wondering if the connector to Apache is an issue. I remember that I had to redo that for ColdFusion 8 when I upgraded to Snow Leopard. Otherwise I'll reinstall ColdFusion 9 and see what happens.

  • Flash Builder 4.5 did install finally
  • ColdFusion Builder 2 is running.

There had to be something else wrong with my previous install. maybe I had the wrong connector or installed previously. I am not sure. This is a 3+ year old MacBook Pro that had Leopard installed originally and has had two OS upgrades since. None of these upgrades have been fresh clean installs. Plus ColdFusion 8 prior and now ColdFusion 9. So, I decided to uninstall ColdFusion and reinstall. That only took 5 minutes and now ColdFusion 9 is up and running. The good news about doing this way is we now know the installer works on Lion. Maybe this weekend I'll upgrade my iMac which is much newer and has not had so many previous upgrades. I'm feeling better about OS X Lion now.

Well, I tried to install the ColdFusion 9.0.1 update. That failed. I'm having all the same issues I had when I originally upgraded to OS X Lion. I usually stay up-to-date on these updates and hot fixes so I'm guess this may have been the issue all along. I'm posting the items from log files that may point to a clue. I'm not sure what the problem is at the moment.

view plain print about
1Apache error.log
2[Fri Jul 22 12:01:47 2011] [notice] jrApache[136: 59841] Couldn't initialize from remote server, JRun server(s) probably down.
3[Fri Jul 22 12:01:47 2011] [notice] jrApache[136: 59841] JRun will not accept request. Check JRun web server configuration and JRun mappings on JRun server.
707/22 12:02:08 info No JDBC data sources have been configured for this server (see jrun-resources.xml)
807/22 12:02:08 info JRun Web Server listening on *:8300
907/22 12:02:08 info JRun Proxy Server listening on *:51020
1007/22 12:02:08 info Deploying enterprise application "cfusion-ear" from: file:/Applications/JRun4/servers/cfusion/cfusion-ear/
1107/22 12:02:08 info Deploying web application "Adobe ColdFusion 9" from: file:/Applications/JRun4/servers/cfusion/cfusion-ear/
1207/22 12:02:09 user JSPServlet: init
1307/22 12:02:10 user ColdFusionStartUpServlet: init
1407/22 12:02:10 user ColdFusionStartUpServlet: ColdFusion: Starting application services
1507/22 12:02:10 user ColdFusionStartUpServlet: ColdFusion: VM version = 20.1-b02-383

A huge thanks to Marcin Szczepanski - see his comment below.

I could confirm his findings on my installation also. The new jpedal.jar is different. There are class files in the old one that are not in the new one. By replacing the new jpedal.jar file with the old one, ColdFusion 9.0.1 is up and running. Considering this was part of the update for 9.0.1 I wonder what else will break because of using the old file?

My Secret Life as a CF Webtools Developer

I've spent most of my career programming for individual companies on a rather long-term basis. I've averaged about five years per company and in the web programming business that's fairly long-term. However, last year employment life changed for me when my previous job went away in May. From May until the end of the year I was simultaneously job hunting like crazy and working every contract gig I can find. I would do any contract of any term length; one month, one week, one day or even a couple hours. If they wrote me a check I'd work. It was a rather stressful summer but I was far happier than when I was working at my previous job.


Thanks Alagad

The wonderful folks at Alagad had a promotional give away of three Wenger SwissGear backpacks to help promote TaskForce at CF.Objective(). I won one of them! WooWoo! Thanks Alagad!

CFUnited Voting for Topics Ending Today

This is another shameless plug by someone wanting to be a speaker at CFUnited. In case you haven't been following #CFUnited on Twitter voting for CFUnited topics ends today February 12. I have submitted my Homebrewed ColdFusion Monitoring presentation as a topic. If I get enough votes I will teach you how to write your own ColdFusion based monitoring tools so you can monitor your ColdFusion servers. So head on over to the CFUnited website and cast your votes I hope to see you there.


** UPDATE **

Vote has been extended to February 20th - so get over there and vote...  for me ;-)

Homebrewed ColdFusion Monitor Presentation Files

Recently I presented Homebrewed ColdFusion Monitoring to the Twin Cities CFUG and to the Online ColdFusion Meetup.  Both presentations went well and I've been asked to post my slides and example code. 

Attached to this post is a zip file that contains a PDF version of my slides and the example code plus the CFC I'm using to make a full featured monitoring application.  Please note that the code is for CF9 Enterprise.  There may be some things that won't work in earlier versions of CF or the standard edition of CF.
The recording for my live presentation is at http://experts.na3.acrobat.com/p34004904/
Enjoy and watch RIAForge.  I am planning to release this application to the ColdFusion Community for collaborative development.
Thank you to all that attended the presentations and for your wonderful feedback.

*UPDATE* - I just uploaded a new zip file with corrected code that actually works this time.

*Note: When I write little tools like this I'm usually writing it because there is something I absolutely need to see in order to complete another project. These little tools are not written as projects themselves and therefore may not be very pretty or as full featured as something that I was writing as a complete project. I just needed to get some code running that gave me back the data I needed to see. There are no warranties or promises. If you find is useful then great. If not, oh well. I know the code works on CF8 at the moment. It used to work on CF7, but I do not have a CF7 server anymore so I can not be certain.

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