January 9, 2013

AWS EC2 EBS Partition Resize

I recently noticed I was getting low on space on one of my EBS volumes I mount on my EC2 server. After doing some research (aka Googling) it seemed like a simple procedure: umount, snapshot, create volume, resize, and mount. I even found a concise page that detailed resizing an EBS volume with sample commands. However when I got to the resize step I ran into an error along the lines of "The filesystem is already XXX blocks long. Nothing to do!". Turns out I didn't mount the complete EBS volume as a drive but instead partitioned it. The snapshot and create volume steps had increased the size of the EBS volume but not my partition. Without a graphical interface the prevailing recommendation to use gparted didn't help. Thankfully I stumbled upon another blog posting about resizing partitions using fdisk without losing data. While that post dealt with another virtual server service the same basic principles applied. After carefully deleting and recreating the partition on my EBS volume keeping the starting sector and file type the same resize2fs finally worked and I was off to the races. In retrospect the partition table hacking makes sense that it would work but isn't something I would have thought to try.

Tags: aws ebs ec2 neophi

April 18, 2010

BarCamp Boston 5

Had a blast at BarCamp Boston 5. Learned about some new technologies and topics that I'd love to play with and learn more about. Some of my favorites Cooking for Geeks, OpenFrameworks, Wolfram Alpha, and Introduction to jQuery.

I threw some slides together and gave a talk about Agile Programming Methods since there looked to be a bunch of interest. Kind of hard to compress everything cool about agile into 25 minutes, but hopefully I got a couple of points across.

What I was more excited to talk about was my continued sleep tracking with Zeo. I'm not quite ready to release a version of the software (still in prototype phase) but I've got an updated set of slides and screenshots. Thanks to those that attended and gave great suggestions on data that I could pull in and plot against.

Tags: barcamp boston flex graph sleep zeo

March 14, 2010

Ideas for Adobe Flash Platform

Got an idea for an Adobe product in the Flash Platform that isn't quite a bug? View and rate ideas at:

Tags: adobe ideas

March 13, 2010

Programming Language Trends

One idea that "The Passionate Programmer" recommends that I've always been intrigued by is the idea of mapping hot technologies along an early, middle and late adoption trend and seeing where the technologies you work with fall. It is a subjective exercise but does help you think about what is out there. Turns out for programming languages (not frameworks or toolkits) TIOBE Software has for some time now been producing a Programming Community Index that ranks programming languages. They have a methodology that I'm inclined to call good enough for most cases.

Tags: data programming

March 12, 2010

NoSQL Live Boston

Yesterday I attended NoSQL Live Boston and participated on the NoSQL in the Cloud panel. During the day I captured some notes for myself which are after a brief recap of some of the points I tried to make during the panel discussion.

Q: What benefits and pitfalls have you found with your use of NoSQL in the cloud?

Based on having used Amazon's SimpleDB service over the past 18 months.

Benefits: pay as go is great for starting off, zero maintenance, zero setup, scaling by spreading data across multiple domains, SimpleSB manages data replication and high availability

Pitfalls: new mindset required to use eventually consistent model, increase impact of network latency, keeping SimpleDB's limitations in mind (size of domains, attribute count, etc.)

Q: How viable are these solutions and what is hampering there adoption?

Viability: SimpleDB has a 2 year track record and recently added consistent reads and conditional puts/deletes opening up new classes of application possibilities.
Adoption: Need body of knowledge, best practice patterns and use cases are still emerging

Continue reading "NoSQL Live Boston" »

Tags: nosql notes

September 8, 2009

RIA Unleashed Boston November 13, 2009

I just wanted to recommend to anyone who will be in the Boston area on November 13, 2009 that you should head to RIA Unleashed. Formerly called Flex Camp Boston this is one the lowest cost highest content conferences I've attended. Tickets for this year are going for $60 or less depending on how early you register. Not being above a little self promotion, when you register let them know I (Daniel Rinehart) sent you :) For those that weren't able to attend the last couple of years, a list of talks is below.

Continue reading "RIA Unleashed Boston November 13, 2009" »

Tags: flex riaunleashed2009

March 24, 2009

HP SWF Decompiling and Security Analysis Tool

HP has released a tool called SWF Scan for decompiling and looking at SWFs for security issues. Available from

Tags: flex swf tools

November 7, 2008


With the election of Obama as the 44th president the transition process has begun. In continuing his use of new technology and grass root movements the new administration is looking for your ideas. Read about what Obama's plans are and contribute at

Tags: obama

July 25, 2008

Antennae 1.2.1 Released

Antennae version 1.2.1 has been released. Grab it from Highlights of this release include:

  • Support for AIR based FlexUnit testing, including a project template
  • Other minor bug fixes

For anyone not familiar with Antennae here is a brief description:

Antennae is an open-source project designed to automate the building and testing of Flex applications. It uses Ant and Java to provide cross platform utilities to compile Flex libraries, Flex applications, generate FlexUnit TestSuites, and run FlexUnit tests in an automated manner. Antennae also defines a framework for building complex projects with multiple dependencies and intelligently handling recompilation.

Tags: ant antennae flex

March 31, 2008

Adobe AIR Linux Alpha

Adobe has dropped the first public bits in their effort to port Adobe AIR to the Linux platform. You can download them from Adobe Labs. Keep in mind this is an alpha release and everything definitely isn't there, yet.

Tags: air linux

October 24, 2007

Adobe Offers Flex Builder 2 to Students and Faculty at No Cost

Adobe announced today that beginning in November qualified education end-users will be able to get Adobe Flex Builder 2 for free. I think this is another good move on Adobe's part to help open up and promote the platform.

Full details here.

Tags: flex

September 26, 2007

OLPC Give 1 Get 1


Starting November 12, One Laptop Per Child will be offering a Give 1 Get 1 Program for a brief window of time. For $399, you will be purchasing two XO laptops—one that will be sent to empower a child to learn in a developing nation, and one that will be sent to your child at home

Tags: computer olpc

September 6, 2007

Ignite Boston

Tonight I attended Ignite Boston. This was the first "the attendees make the conference" conferences I'd been to. From a single stage, a wide variety of short (5 minute) technology focused talks were given (full speaker list from the above link). The majority of speakers had their talks geared towards the format. Taking place at a bar was good for the social aspects, but the resulting background chatter overwhelmed some speakers that were not as adapt at speaking into the microphone.

Continue reading "Ignite Boston" »

Tags: boston ignite

June 28, 2007

MAX Talk: Continuous Integration with Flex, FlexUnit, and Ant

I'm going to be speaking at the upcoming MAX about Continuous Integration with Flex, FlexUnit, and Ant. The talk description is:

Learn about tools and techniques needed to get continuous builds, integration, and testing running with a Flex project. I'll cover the fundamentals of build and test automation, the popular open-source Ant build tool, setting up and running FlexUnit tests from the command line, and integrating the entire process into an automated build system. I'll also demonstrate Antennae, a publicly available set of templates for building even very complex Flex applications using Ant.

If there are particular topics that you'd like to see covered let me know.

June 21, 2007

Antennae: Ant Templates for Flex

I'm pleased to announce the release of Antennae version 1.0000. This is the first release since Antennae was migrated from Joe Berkovitz's blog up to Google Code. You can access the project at This release includes a bunch of tweaks and new functionality. For those that are not familiar with Antennae it covers:

  • Macro tasks for invoking mxmlc and compc
  • Ready made templates for application projects and library projects
  • A robust system for importing and exporting assets from one project to another
  • A solid way to compose projects inside container projects
  • Dependency checking on sources and libraries to avoid unneeded recompilation
  • Handling for HTML page token substitution and web app deployment
  • Automated unit test suite generation and command line integration with Flexunit

This release is primarily aimed at getting the tools out there for public consumption. Future releases will focus on additional documentation and other ways Ant can help automate your Flex builds. Please let us know what other improvements you would like to see.

Tags: ant antennae flex

June 13, 2007

Flashforward Boston Ant Talk

I'm going to be speaking at the upcoming Flashforward Boston about Automated Flex Building and Unit Testing. The description hasn't made it up onto the site yet but is roughly something like:

A talk focusing on tools and techniques needed to get continuous integration running with a Flex project -- that is, ensuring that at any given point in time, your application is buildable and free of errors. I'll cover how to automate the build process with Ant, setting up and running unit tests both interactively from the command line, and integrating the entire process into an automated build system. All tools used are open-source and publicly available.

If there are particular topics that you'd like to see covered let me know.

Tags: ant flex

December 31, 2006

Comment Spam

Over the past couple of days my blog has been heavily hit with comment spam. In the last 10 hours I've gotten more than 100 spam message attempts posted to my blog. I moderate all comments so none of those messages saw the light of day but I still have to deal with them. I've never really tuned the comment spam features of MT and I still haven't. Instead I installed a CAPTCHA system. Previously I had required TypeKey in order to leave a comment but that felt a little to draconian. Not everyone has a TypeKey account or wants to create one. Email whitelists are another option but that still requires that I approve or junk email addresses when they are entered.

I'm all about not even having to look at the spam. While this may mean I automatically trash some important comment or email, I think most people are coming to realize that when 90% or more of all email is spam, people will take drastic measures and at some point a message will be lost. As such I'm now running the SCode plugin. The usability of CAPTCHAs is a concern but unless I go back to TypeKey only comments I don't have another good solution at this point. In fact the use of TypeKey on my system just means that your comment will automatically be posted but you still need to enter the security code in order to post.

Tags: links mt spam

December 12, 2006

Architectural Blueprint for Flex Applications (MVCS)

If you didn't catch Joe Berkovitz's talk at MAX 2006 about an architectural blueprint for Flex applications, it is now posted on Adobe's Flex Developer Center. Joe is the Chief Architect of Allurent, where I work. It is a great read and introduces the concept of Model, View, Controller, and Service (MVCS). Best of all it comes with a sample application that embodies all of the principles outlined in the article.

Tags: architecture flex links

December 7, 2006

Developer Tools

I'm sure many other people already know this, but up to this point I've mostly been using my Mac as an end user. dmg or zip files were the most complicated thing I had to deal with. Today I came to want some of the standard development tools (like make). For Mac OS X 10.4 Apple provides all the goodies in a package called Xcode. You can grab it from their Apple Developer Connection site.

Tags: apple macintosh tools

November 12, 2006


Getting junk mail? Want to stop it and save environment at the same time? greendimes is a new company that takes care of contacting junk mailers on your behalf to remove you from their mailing lists.

Tags: links spam

August 13, 2006


I finally got around to upgrading the version of SpamAssassin that I use. I was previously running 3.0.2 and am now running 3.1.4 I also spent a bunch of time installing a optional Perl modules to enable additional features of SpamAssassin. Boy am I glad that I did. Prior to upgrading I'd say at least 20 spams were getting through a day. In the last 24 hours I've only see one spam that didn't get flagged and it was as close as you can get to not being considered spam.

This makes me happy. I've never been that good with email to begin with but having to spend most of my email time filtering through my inbox only made matters worse. The few times that I've checked email since upgrading I've almost not known what to do. It's sad, but spam in my email has become so common I've almost forgot what it's like. This is a good problem to have to readjust to.

I do have to say that the documentation that I've come across so far for SpamAssassin has been pretty disorganized. I find this really odd since it seems to be under the Apache Software Foundation, which having used many of their other projects, I've usually been happy with the documentation. I suspect that the SpamAssassin wiki holds the knowledge I'm seeking but damned if I can find it. In any case, less spam is good and AFAIK no false-positives.

Tags: spam

June 28, 2006

Flex 2 / Flash 9 Released

Adobe is now shipping Flex 2 and Flash 9. Get them now!

The best part is that the Flex 2 SDK is FREE.

Check out the new site for everything about Flex.

Tags: flex links

June 14, 2006

Flag Day

Urgent Action: Free Speech at Risk!

As Secretary Powell wrote in 1999, “The First Amendment exists to insure that freedom of speech and expression applies not just to that with which we agree or disagree, but also that which we find outrageous. I would not amend that great shield of democracy to hammer a few miscreants. The flag will be flying proudly long after they have slunk away.”

Tell your senators that the flag amendment would betray the very principles the flag represents.

Tags: aclu

May 24, 2006

MBTA Fare Increase

The MBTA is planning to do another fare increase. Some people are unhappy about it. If you are one of those people, you will be interested in the upcoming T Boycott.

Tags: mbta

May 22, 2006

DVR and a Mac

Lately I've been playing with what can be done with my DVR and my Mac. It turns out the firewire port on the back of my Motorola DCT6412 III can be easily used to pipe video to the Mac. There is a great step-by-step manual at macteens. The only problem is that I can't seem to find a way to capture a program that I've already recorded. I start the playback and see the traffic on the Mac but nothing gets recorded. I suspect that some special flag is being set that prevents recording the program. Which is a bummer since I wanted to extract a news segment that a friend asked me to record. If you have any ideas, let me know.

Tags: mac video

May 21, 2006

New England Smokehouses

I picked up vast quantities of meat from Blood Farm for a BBQ we had at Gilman Manor today. It was all very good. For other New England Smokehouses, check out Yankee's List.

Tags: bbq gilmanmanor life smokehouse

May 9, 2006

Flex Beta 3

For anyone following Flex, beta 3 is now available.
From my experience, Flex Builder is much improved but there are still many quirks with it. There were quite a few Actionscript 3 language changes, but the documentation on them is good. My biggest complaint so far is that many MXML files in a Flex library project are not being handled properly by the MXML Editor which results in a complete lack of code assist. The same MXML file in a Flex Application works fine. I've not completely figured out why some of the files are so broken, especially when they seem to work fine on another user's system.

Tags: actionscript as3 flex programming

May 8, 2006


I've been playing around with OpenID a bit tonight. It started off as a rant about a lack of standards from LiveJournal for a way to access protected or friends-only posts as someone who doesn't actually want a LiveJournal account. It was at that point that I stumbled upon some new features that LJ is adding for OpenID only accounts. Once logged in with an OpenID account you can read protected friend posts and the like. I'll have to see what can be done with the RSS reader that I use.

Tags: livejournal lj openid rss

May 4, 2006


I'm trying out a tagging plug-in for MT. I've not decided how good it is, but I figured I'd give it a try. It's called Tags.App. They have a nominal donation request, which is why I'm interested in trying it before spending any money. My first issue, like I've complained about in the past, is that the documentation for the product is pretty bad. I'm not an MT hacker by any means and the minimal documentation left me out in the cold. I'll have to see if I can figure out enough to make it work.

Tags: movabletype mt tags

April 26, 2006

Actionscript 3 FAQ

Mike Chambers is asking for input on improving the Actionscript 3 FAQ.

Tags: actionscript as3 faq programming

April 11, 2006

350Z Recall Notice

Anyone that might have a 2003-2004 Nissan 350Z be aware that the fuel filler hose may crack and result in fuel leakage from the hose while refueling. More details about the recall are on the Office of Defects Investigation website.

Tags: 350z car

April 10, 2006


A couple of my coworkers I've found out have blogs. You can find them here and here. Check out the Connect 4 app on that first one.

Tags: blogs work

April 9, 2006


The ACLU has recently been doing a lot of work to expand their Youth Outreach Program. They recently launched a new website called StandUP, you can find it at One particularly interesting piece is the Stand Up for Freedom Contest. The winning entries are worth watching and reading. Also stay tuned for an upcoming graphic novel about civil liberties. In the meantime you can watch The Spies Have It.

Tags: aclu

March 26, 2006

Maine is old

I was reading an article in the NYT recently about the changes taking place in Vermont. The focus was on how few high school graduates were going to college in the state or returning after attending college out of state. As an aside the article talked about the median age rapidly increasing the state over the past few years. That got me interested in what that really meant. Thankfully the US Census has some statistics available. What I found most surprising is that Maine has the highest median age at 40.7. Normally when I think of old states Florida comes to mind. Vermont is ranked second for highest median age. What that means long term for either state I'm not sure, but I find it interesting in any case.

February 24, 2006

Young Inventors

Yesterday I went to a talk by Anne Swift founder of Young Inventors. The title of the talk was "From Idea to Entrepreneur". Below are my notes.

Note the Inventing the Future Conference is being held Mar 4th at MIT.

She started off with a 10,000 foot view of important areas a young inventor or entrepreneur will need to consider:

  • Business Plans

  • Technology Markets

  • Intellectual Property

  • Venture Funding

  • Building Teams

Continue reading "Young Inventors" »

February 14, 2006

Demand the Truth

Sign the ACLU's petition to demand the truth about illegal government spying on Americans.

February 5, 2006

Buddy Icon Maker

A friend of mine has put together a nifty Buddy Icon Maker. You can crop and zoom an image in real-time through his site and then generate an image suitable for a buddy icon at the end. I thought I'd mentioned it before, but I guess not.

January 31, 2006


If you need to upgrade QuickTime since 7.0.4 just came out for Windows, but don't want to also download iTunes, go to the standalone player page.

January 14, 2006


Check out Stumble Upon. Cool idea and a great way to kill a couple of minutes, hours, days, etc. If you want to see what I'm up to, swing by

January 3, 2006

Comments Feed

Thanks to a great entry I've now added a comments post to the site. You can find it at I'm sure I did something wrong so let me know :)

October 14, 2005

Boston User Groups

Boston User Groups

A centralized calendar for upcoming meetings of various Boston User Groups.

April 25, 2005

Your Digital Library

Your Digital Library

A great way to organize your library of books, music, and other media.

I think it would be great if they also included an option to read bar codes from digital pictures. For users that don't want to spend the money on an iSight or bar code scanner, but would rather not type in bar codes by hand, snapping digital pictures would be a great alternative. I'm guessing, but I'm sure most of the image processing logic being used by the iSight to read the bar codes could be adapted for reading digital pictures.

April 7, 2005

What do you want to do with your life?

What do you want to do with your life?

Being between jobs and relaxing by doing almost nothing has given me time to think and find my ideal rhythm. I probably won't blog on just what that is since it would require too much thinking :) I do offer up this link as a way to plan what you want to do.

February 5, 2005



A simple easy to use RSS reader that sends email when it detects a new item.

December 2, 2004



A helpful web page for Firefox users that are having problems viewing a particular web page.

November 22, 2004

How Hangovers Work

How Hangovers Work

Cool, I didn't know How Stuff Works added a health section. This article on hangovers is a good read. Not that I actually have a hangover, but I was trying to remember the chemical in alcohol that doesn't really exist in sake, making it less prone to give you a hangover. Turns out it is congeners. Another handy URL is a list of all their articles.

September 26, 2004

Looking for a bargin?

Looking for a bargin?

Information about flea markets that operate in all the fifty states. Maybe a little late for this year, but start planning for next spring :)

Trafficking in miles

Trafficking in miles

Supposedly a legit way to get cold hard cash for all of those frequent flyer miles. You could probably cash in and buy tickets cheaper and have money left over for other things.

September 23, 2004

Latex for Word Processor Users

Latex for Word Processor Users

A step by step explanation of how to do everything that Word can do in Latex.