Banned from Woolworths…

Yesterday I was at my local Woolworths store buying a large bag of My Dog for my loyal pet; I was in the checkout queue when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog.

What did she think I had an elephant? So since I’m retired and have little to do on impulse I told her that no I didn’t have a dog I was starting the Dog Diet again. I added that I probably shouldn’t because I ended up in hospital last time but I’d lost 10 kilograms before I woke up in intensive care with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms. 

I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that it works is to load your pockets with My Dog nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in queue was now enthralled with my story.) 

Horrified she asked me if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me. I told her no I stepped off the kerb to sniff an Irish Setter’s arse and a car hit me. I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard. 

I’m now banned from Woolworths. Better watch what you ask “Ivory Tower” Architects. We have all the time in the world to think of daft things to say.

Mashup Idea of the Day

With yesterday’s unsalted password dump at LinkedIn (seriously LinkedIn, wtf are you doing not salting your passwords?), the password dump of eHarmony and today’s suspected compromise at, this would be an ideal time to provide a service that tells the truth behind an eHarmony profile simply by matching email addresses and passwords.

For example you could enter an eHarmony profile ID in, and it would check the user’s LinkedIn and profiles. A sample output could be:

“Sorry love, you know that 28-year-old, dashing, handsome, eco-friendly power company executive who loves 80s and 90s ballads whilst sunset walks on the beach, kittens and surprise weekends away? He’s actually a married 45-year-old IT Support Executive who’s favourite hobby is being Waldorf on World of Warcraft (as per the Twitter feed connected to his LinkedIn account). His favourite bands are Slayer and Megadeath, but recently has been listening to the Eurovision Song Contest Dusseldorf 2011 CD … a lot.”

Not a bad idea, hey? Please send all revenues from this service, if you implement it, to one of my nominated charities. Or buy me a book from my Kindle Wish List.

Getting WebSphere Application 7 Installed on Ubuntu 9.04

I needed to do some development and testing in IBM WebSphere Application Server 7.0, however I was unable to get the bugger installed in my development environment (on Mac OS X 1.6 … well it has only been out for a week ) VMWare Fusion had to come to the rescue.

Although IBM do not support Ubuntu 9.04 as a platform, I did mange to get it working eventually through the following steps:

  1. Install Ubuntu 9.0.4 as per normal; and let it update itself to include the most recent patches and updates.
  2. Add the Multiverse Repository through Add/Remove Programs.
  3. Install Sun’s latest JDK by following these steps (credit to Brian)
  4. sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jdk sun-java6-plugin
    update-java-alternatives -s java-6-sun

  5. Add the following to the top of the list in /etc/jvm (again, credit to Brian)
  6. /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-sun

  7. Because Ubuntu uses dash as its default shell instead of bash, this breaks WAS’ installation routine when it comes to setting up the domain profile. (It hangs for ages at 31% when executing the importConfigArchive script, and the fails silently, which is nice.) To fix this you need to relink back to bash (according to Graham, this actually fixes a number of third-party software installation issues):
  8. sudo -i
    cd /bin
    unlink sh
    ln -s /bin/bash sh

  9. Install the Linux build of IBM WebSphere Application Server 7.0 as normal via sudo ./ to the default /opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer directory.
  10. Because doing everything as root is not secure or cool – even for a development environment – sudo chown -hR the /opt/IBM directory to a dedicated appserver user.
  11. Make sure everything works by logging into the admin console via the First Steps , and finally do a sudo update-rc.d -f gdm remove to stop the automatic GUI when you reboot the machine/vmware image.

Job’s a good’un.