Monday, April 30, 2007

Me on Kyte.tv - check it out

Friday, April 27, 2007

ThisService

ThisService: "Lets you turn any command line script or AppleScript into a system service, accessed from the Services menu."

That's their tagline and it's true. ThisService was written by Jesper at the request of John Gruber of Daring Fireball.

So what is ThisService?
"...I built a tool to easily turn any command line script (shell script, script written in Ruby, Perl, Python or PHP) or any AppleScript responding to a certain handler into a full-blown first-class service, complete with name and keyboard shortcut. Piping just got a whole lot easier."

Any good uses? Well John Gruber found one, a script to do a Lucky search in Google off of highlighted text. With script code provided, John walks through the use of ThisService with the script, and mentions one of my favorite movies, Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Give it a look if you've ever wanted to have more cool things at your fingertips on your Mac.

Kick 'em up, it's Friday,
Tojosan

Daring Fireball: Interview: Dino Dai Zovi

Daring Fireball: Interview: Dino Dai Zovi

John Gruber over at Daring Fireball has an interesting interview with Dino Dai Zovi who wrote the winning exploit at the CanSecWest MacBook Pro hacking contest.

Dai Zovi relates his background in computer security, a bit about the contest, and some insight about his hack. He gives insight into what the hack was abou, what type of access he gained, and the threat of such a hack.

All in all worth the read for any geek, especially Mac fans. The best thing about this type of interview is how it demystifies the event and gets down to the truth and what it means. Also a nice introduction to the through process of a hacker.

Read, enjoy, hack,
Tojosan

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Apple (UK and Ireland) - Get a Mac - Watch The New Ads

Apple (UK and Ireland) - Get a Mac - Watch The New Ads

If you think the US Get a Mac ads are funny, you should see these. Click through and enjoy. Requires QuickTime.

Monday, April 23, 2007

IMified - Instant Productivity

IMified - Instant Productivity

"WHAT IS IMIFIED?

IMified is an instant messenger buddy that works across all major IM networks and offers access to a growing number of web applications, as well as productivity tools like notes, reminders, and todo's. Imified helps you get things done faster."


The site allows you to use your IM client to connect a wide variety of tools. One of my favorites already an option to post to Jaiku.

imified responds to you via a menu provided back in the chat window.

*** Main Menu ****
1 - IMified Notes
2 - IMified Reminders
3 - IMified Todos
4 - Jaiku
5 - Twaiku
6 - Twitter
7 - My Account

type 'M' at any time to return to this menu

To use Jaiku for example, I send a '4' and I'm prompted to type a message to send. After the message is sent, the main menu is returned. To add a service to this menu, you send a '7'. A browser window opens and allows you to add a service with a click.

It's really that simple.

Registering is also very easy. Send a message to imified@imified.com via MSN or Google/Jabber chat, or just to imified on AOL and poof, you are registered.

A few of the other services available include posting to Blogger, adding an entry to Google Calendar, and interacting with Basecamp.

If you use those services and want to dump using the browser, imified is for you.

Regards,
Tojosan

Sunday, April 22, 2007

juhu - a Mac OS X client for Jaiku

juhu: "a mac os x client for jaiku"

Yep, someone has begun work on one, and it works. Well, let me say rather, it does what it says it does. Kudos for that.

It took only seconds to download the zip and run it the first time. It does require both your user ID and your API key.

After that bit of setup the small footprint screen is shown with your most recent Jaiku post visible. With a small change to the preferences, recent posts from you and your contacts show up.

juhu screenshot

It's still in its infancy as an application but it meets my most immediate desire, to not have to visit Jaiku.com to post.

If you have a Mac and are using Jaiku, do give this a try.

Your poorly connected blogger,
Tojosan

Saturday, April 21, 2007

TJ On Photography

TJ On Photography is my new blog devoted to photography.

From the description:


My photography work as well as articles, links, and reviews related to photography. I'll try to highlight some of my better pieces as well as those of others. If you have some recommendations, do send them my way.



The blog already has several articles up, and I'm putting up relevant links as I get them together. So far the site is text heavy and image light but I'll be working on spotlighting some of the best images I find on Flickr and personal photography sites as I find them.

Please do give it a visit. Most of my future photography related blog entries will be there. Some, especially Mac related ones, may appear in both places, though perhaps with slightly different focuses.

Thank you for your visits here and there.

Regards,
Tojosan

Friday, April 20, 2007

Official Google Blog: Searching without a query

"Today we're releasing two features that reduce the need for you to type in specific queries to get the information you want. Both of these are available to Search History users.

The first is a recommendations button on the Google Toolbar that looks like a pair of dice. Click on the dice, and we'll take you to a site that may be interesting to you based on your past searches. If you want another, just click the dice again and we'll show you a new one. We'll give you up to 50 new sites per day that might be of interest. Just add the button to your Toolbar. (In order to use this feature, you need the latest version of the Toolbar.)

If you prefer to get your information at a glance, we've added a recommendations tab that you can add to your personalized homepage. Simply click on 'Add A Tab' on your Google Personalized Homepage, and type in 'Recommendations' for the tab name (keep the 'I'm feeling lucky' checkbox checked). We'll give you a page of recommendations that are updated daily."


Google has released the new features listed above to make searching even simpler. I love the idea of rolling the "dice" to find a site I might like. This reminds me of their earlier provided "I'm Feeling Lucky" link, but cooler.

Currently this functionality is strictly available with the use of the Google Toolbar and only then if you have Search History turned on. This makes this totally an opt-in function. Bonus!

This sounds like a great feature, especially if you are just too lazy to type something in the search box. So if this is for you, go check it out today. Remember to put this through the ringer and provide some feedback to Google.

Your Google fan boy,
Tojosan

Firefox t-shirt Experience

Mike Jorgensen's Web Log: Firefox t-shirt

Today we hear a tail of how getting Mozilla swag gets you noticed. Our hero Mike ventures out into the world in his Mozilla Firefox t-shirt and gets some feedback. Though not probably what he would have expected, it leaves Mike with a slightly different opinion or two.

Visit his blog and let him know what you think and if you've had similar swag experiences.

A fellow blogger,
Tojosan

Apple - Get a Mac - new video ads

Apple - Get a Mac

Got a Mac yet? Well, even if you don't or aren't in the market for one, the ads are down right funny.

Apple has posted a few new ones here. The link is the GetAMac page on their site but along the top it has links to the three new ads: Stuffed, Flashback and Computer Cart

Personally they are as funny as ever I think but judge for yourself.

Your Mac fan boy,
Tojosan

Nitens Flickr Gadgets : Group Trackr

Nitens Flickr Gadgets: Group Trackr : Tojosan’s groups

nitens | flickr gadgets may have a funny name, but it has a very cool gadget. The nitens' flickr gadget I'm referring to is Group Tracker. Group tracker allows you to see graphs of you how your group is doing with members and photos.


If you follow this link:

Tojosan’s groups

You'll see four graphs; one graph is for each group that I administrate. Tracking starts within 24 hours of you claiming your group.

Graphs can be posted on the main page for that flickr group, or on your website.

This is a good tool for both the administrator and group members. An up and coming group with their graph showing that growth might even cause a stronger interest.

I've signed up for my four groups, and I plan on posting the graph on at least one or two.

In any case, give it a look if you admin a flickr group.

Your fellow flickr fan boy,
Tojosan

Photogamer: Challenge #10 - People’s Choice

Photogamer: "Challenge #10 - People’s Choice"

This week's challenges were submitted by Photogamer groupies.

1. Something being used in a way it wasn’t intended to be used - suggested by L. Marie (tag: unintended use)

2. Polka dots - suggested by Eudaemonian (tag: dots)

3. Something you fear - suggested by cyenobite (tag: fear)

4. A face in an every day object - suggested by enamor_etsy (tag: face in object)

5. A game - suggested by sparktography (tag: a game)

BONUS:
Something written that has meaning for you.

So if you have a camera, want to use it for FUN, then check out Photogamer.com and the associated flickr group.

Your photogaming blogger,
Tojosan

Joost Video

Joost Video

Check out this video to tell folks about what Joost is. The video doesn't show any features, but do give it view.

Official Joost Beta Tester,
Tojosan

Target sells Apple TV

Target : Apple TV

Got your Apple TV yet? Don't want to order it from Apple? (who has a clue why that might be) Then head on over to the link at the top and order it from Target.

That's right, one of your favorite off-line retailers is selling the Apple TV. I've not purchased mine yet but it's on my dream list.


I got the heads up on this from this post on MacRumors.com. (Psst add that to your RSS reader.)

Your budding Apple fan boy,
Tojosan

Hilary's Hideaway: International Mirror Week!

Hilary's Hideaway: International Mirror Week!

Been following the antics of International Mirror Week? Never heard of it? Head on over to the link above and get in some last minute mirror fun.

Basically a flickr group, called International TBA Week, has a new theme each week. The themes are meant to inspire photographers to get out and take some fun and interesting pictures, and most especially, to post and share them!

So check out International Mirror Week at Hilary's site and share the fun.

Your mirror minded blogger,
Tojosan


Psst... my International Mirror Week shots.

A two bit player in a worn out play in a broken down venue

Or at least that's how I felt after the first day.

The purpose of the Montreal visit was to support testing and some training for our new DC go live. Well, being a programmer, I'd expect most of my help to be with diagnosing broken things. So as you might guess, I spent my day mostly helping the testers prep some good test data.

The users hadn't been given a good enough heads up on what might be the best test scenarios. Oh they had some listed but there are lots of caveats as to what works. Needles to say the first day didn't result in tons of success. :(

It made for a long day. To make up for that, we dined at a great little place, La Perle, a dim sum style Chinese restaurant. The arrangement is basically a fixed price per person, everything included. The menu contained many dishes, of which our group sample only a few.

We tried garlic beef, sweet and sour pork, pan fried noodles, boiled rice, and a few other things. The dishes were served in courses, with the soup served first along with the peanut butter dumplings and chicken satay. I've never had the dumplings before. They were prepared with sesame seeds and a peanut butter derived sauce. Inside was a sausage mixture. This was quite appetizing.

The remainder of the dishes were brought out in two more runs. In between they served us green tea. Dessert was our choice of either a scoop of vanilla ice-cream or a scoop of sherbert. I chose the ice-cream to top off. :)

I wrapped up the evening by grabbing this shot of myself. It covers both the 365 daily picture and provided yet another shot for International Mirror Week!

Well enough of the fun for that day. More of my week to come.

Your resting blogger,
Tojosan

So off I flew to Montreal


Out the window
Originally uploaded by Tojosan.
Last Sunday I flew off to Montreal Canada about midday. The weather was fine leaving St. Louis and Chicago both. Of course cruising altitude is above the clouds, so during the day the view was great. (see the photo)

I arrived in the early evening only to be greeted by rain. :( That aside, after getting settled in the Holiday Inn, I made my way out to dinner. There's a great place not far up St. Jean, called Baton Rouge. The restaurant featured several interesting entries, however I chose the Cajun Pasta. (I miss Nawlins sometimes.)

Cajun Pasta w/sausage

It was quite yummy! Service was good and the price wasn't outrageous.

So after resting and enjoying dinner I walked out only to discover a snow storm. Woah. Heavy rain to snow in just under an hour.

Snowfall on Montreal

The final accumulation was several inches by morning. Talk about out of nowhere weather.

I settled in for the night in the hotel, where I uploaded my photos, made a few comments, and polished off a couple of chapters in my book, Odd Thomas.

All in all, not a bad trip and arrival day.

More catch up posts to come.
Thanks for stopping by,
Tojosan

I'm back


Headed Out
Originally uploaded by Tojosan.
and I bet some of you didn't know I was even gone. Ha.

This was the shot I left on my flickr account the day I flew off to Montreal.

I've not been remotely blogging and Blogger doesn't yet support future posting. (sigh)

I'll be catching my few readers up on my week, and getting back in the swing of things.

Hilo everyone, your blogging Montreal trotting programmer is back.

Yours,
Tojosan

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Photogamer Challenge #9: Small Things!

Photogamer Challenge #9: Small Things!

Got a camera? Want to have more fun with it? This is the site for you.

Photogamer poses weekly and spontaneous photo challenge games. From the funny to the quirky and all that goodness in between, Photogamer challenges will bring a smile to your face when you think of using your camera.

This week's challenge is small things, five shot, tag them "photogamer" "smallthing".

Think you're up to it? Join the Flickr group, take your pictures, have fun.

Bring it small,
Tojosan

POLL: Pepsi vs. Coca-Cola

Big Pepsi fan? Coca-cola fanboy? Couldn't care less? Go, visit Rafs shot, leave your comment.

Psst - Pepsi

Week 14 Assignments in Take a class with Dave & Dave

Week 14 Assignments in Take a class with Dave & Dave

The assignments...

cwd141 - Abstract. From wikipedia: Abstract art is now generally understood to mean art that does not depict objects in the natural world, but instead uses color and form in a non-representational way. You are free to create your abstraction entirely in-camera, in post-processing, or as a combination of the two.

cwd142 - Sky. It's that stuff up in the air. Sometimes it's blue.

cwd143 - Square Foot. The entire content of your photo must be 12x12 inches (~30x30cm). What? I'm talking about the entire frame. So, first...your photo must be cropped square (non-square images will be removed from the pool). Second, if you enlarged the photo to 12x12, it would be a life-sized photo. Am I making any sense yet? Perhaps an exmaple. Let's say your subject was an 8.5x11 inch sheet of paper (boring...don't you dare do it) - that's less than 12x12, so there would be some space around the piece of paper. Now let's say your subject was a person. People are bigger than 12x12, so you might have a head and a shoulder. Or maybe a couple feet and ankles. Get it? Bottom line: if you blew it up to 12x12, it would be life-sized. Obviously, I don't expect perfect precision on the whole 12x12 thing...but if it's obviously 20x20 or 5x5, I'll boot it from the pool. Get as close as you can to 12x12. The goal of this assignment is to alter the way you look at things. Footnote: Please, no photos of rulers.


Have a camera? Want to get better at using it? Your creativity needs a challenge? Try out the Take a class with Dave and Dave group on Flickr.

Follow the discussion on these interesting assignments at the link up top. This weeks should be really fun.

Heck, if you are just interested in seeing some really interesting photos, do check out the group.

Your budding photography geek,
Tojosan

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Daring Fireball: A Wee Bit More on AAC, Ogg, and MP3

Daring Fireball: A Wee Bit More on AAC, Ogg, and MP3

Great article generally coming about as a result of Apple and EMI's recent announcement to sell DRM free music. The major thrust is about the use of AAC vs Ogg vs MP3 vs WMA. Now many of you have heard about the differences between and the commonalities among these formats, but this article not only includes some facts you may not have heard but a great take on the reasons behind Apple's choice to use AAC.

One of my favorite parts is the debunking that AAC is an Apple proprietary format. No, you've been telling your M$ loving buddies it is. That only WMA is free and cheap. This little article will share some of the public facts about both formats.

Why isn't Ogg Vorbis an obvious choice? John Gruber tosses in a few ideas on that front too.

All in all, it's not a short read but well worth your time. Go, read, smile.

If you aren't reading Daring Fireball and you love Apple, you've been missing out. Check out the main blog page here.

Your Mac using blogger,
Tojosan

Photodoto - Do a DoubleTake on Your Photos

Photodoto - Do a DoubleTake on Your Photos

Photodoto has a informative review about the shareware, DoubleTake for the Mac.

The big selling point is turning a series of, in this example 6 megapixel, shot into a 17 megapixel shot. Amazing you say! Well this program is first and foremost a photo stitching program. The reviewer gives it props even compared to much more expensive packages in this respect.

Tool sets include not only photo stitching but also the ability to turn large shots into several printed pages, and the ability to make individual prints that can be stitched together to form large posters. Sounds like lots of fun to me.

For more details and depth, please visit the review on Photodoto.com, at the link above.

Your fellow Mac Photographer,
Tojosan



Monday, April 09, 2007

TinyURL Service

Macworld: Mac Gems: TinyURL Service

Dan Frakes
of Macworld brings us a great article on a free TinyURL service of the Mac.

To quote ...


TinyURL is a clever resource that takes the hassle out of sending URLs via email. Unfortunately, it adds hassles of its own. You have to copy the destination URL, go to TinyURL.com in your browser, paste the URL, click on the Make TinyURL button, copy the resulting “Tiny” URL, and then paste that URL into your email message. Not a horrible procedure, but certainly not a smooth workflow. Rachel Blackman (a.k.a., Riverdark Studios) has made the process much simpler with TinyURL Service 0.2 (3.5 mice; free). (Thanks to Scott at MacUser for finding this one!)


Dan explains the ins and outs of this free TinyURL service. He covers all the way from install to use in this compact article. The service adds right into the Services menu off the menu bar at the top of many applications.

If you are currently running out to TinyURL.com frequently, then perhaps this service is for you.

As you'll note, I'm a big fan of their service.

Check out Dan's article, download and try the service, and leave him some feedback.

Your fellow Mac user,
Tojosan

Twitter - new behavoir for links

Use Twitter to keep in touch? Not yet? Well, take a minute and check out my Twitter page or Hilary's. Her Twitter is much busier. :)

Anyway, Twitter allows you to post links as part of your message. Until recently each character of that link counted harshly against the maximum character count for a http://www2.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifmessage.

For example, if the message was Hey check out my blog at http://tojosan.blogspot.com/best-post-of-the-day.html, you'd have come close to your character limit. Longer URLs were hopeless with out a visit to tinyurl.

Well thanks to the Twitter code monkeys, we now have tinyurl built in. Any URLs posted in a message are automatically run through tinyurl and turned into a much shorter URL.

This is totally automatic, and invisible to the sender. The receiver just gets the tinyurl link, and a much shorter message. Tinyurl links are working links, with no special requirements.

Thank you Twitter for this excellent stealth feature.

A happy Twitter user,
Tojosan




The Waybacks

The Waybacks: home page

Like a little blue grass, a little rock-a-billy, and a strong touch of down home strings? Then you've come to the right group. Their music is a fun feast, like candy for the ears.

The song that turned me onto them is From the Pasture to the Future. But I've already purchased a few other songs after listening to only half a dozen ITMS previews.

The link above is directly to their home page, and lo and behold, it's cleans, simple, and nice surprise. They have a simple layout with links to the appearances coming up, as well the obligatory MySpace page.

They also link directly to ITMS for finding their music as well as one of my favorite sites, Flickr.

At any rate, I like this band and I've only just met them. Go, visit, download a song or three, and give your ears a treat.

Your sometimes music buff,
Tojosan

Winner - Battle Easter!


Easter Dress Up
Originally uploaded by Nanna J.
The picture says it all.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Mac World Video - Apple TV Interface

This is an Apple TV interface preview/review by Mac World.

Do check it out here.

The video runs about 10 minutes and is a fairly complete walk through of all the menu options and screens. Networking is demonstrated, as well as displaying all types of content.

Additional features highlighted include viewing movies and content previews from the iTunes Music Store.

If you are interested in purchasing an Apple TV, this just might help you decide.

Mac Fan,
Tojosan

My Exploration!


My Exploration!
Originally uploaded by Tojosan.
Hey, I know it's only Flickr, but you know what, it's still an ego boost to see.

Now if only life came with a rating system for highlight moments. :)

Tojo

International Hat Week

International Hat Week by Hilary's Hideaway

If you haven't visited Hilary's Hideaway, you should. That said, onto International Hat Week. Hilary is sponsoring this wonderful event. So come, visit the site, join the fun, and show off your hats this week.

Don't own a hat? You can make one as shown by Kid Craft Central.

So get your hats on, your cameras out and snap away. Be sure to visit Hilary's site and share with her directly, or join the flickr group and post.

Your mad hatter blogger,
Tojosan

Oh yeah, my wife's even gotten in on the fun:

RPG on the AS/400 - Free, /FREE simple guidelines

RPG FREE has some simple guidelines beyond just the commands that really are more like uber strict rules. I'd like to mention a few here just to give you a heads up.

1. Every statement must end with a semi-colon, ;.
Note statement versus line.

2. A statement may continue onto the more than one line.
Note that you do not place a semi-colon on every line, just at the end of the statement.

3. For built in functions, case is not significant.
In other words, Chain, CHAIN, and chain are all the same.

4. For everything else, case matters for all characters.
In other words, a variable of name TCost is not the same variable as tCost, or TCOst. Case matters.

5. The format for existing commands such as Chain, ReadE, and SetLl is no longer

Factor1 Commmand Factor2

Instead

Command Factor1 Factor2


6. Want to do a Chain now? Instead of a key list built like this

myKey KLIST
KFLD myFld1
KFLD myFld2

myKey Chain myFile 79
*IN79 IFEQ *OFF

now you can do this

Chain (myFld1: myFld2) myFileFormat;
If %Found;


Guess which I prefer?

If you have more gotcha type tips, be sure to forward them along to tojosan-at-gmail-dot.com.

Thanks for visiting,
Tojo

I've just become LinkedIn

I've just become LinkedIn. What does that mean exactly? I'm not sure what will result but it's another form of social networking site. It has a definitely more professional bent however. I'm not aware of anyone I know personally on it except one person, but hey, maybe some of you out there are LinkedIn also?

Not much on my personal page yet, but here it is.

Your intrepid system analyst,
TJ

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Take a class with Dave & Dave : Week 13 Assignments

And I quote:

"So this week I’m going to break the code for how I choose my assignments. First is a shot that practices or explores a photographic technique, using our equipment, lenses lights, the camera itself. Second is something dealing mostly with composition or arranging of picture elements to create a strong image. And lastly, something I think about as a stock assignment. I think of a search term, generally having to do with people. That’s it. I hope everyone is pushing themselves to learn about their equipment, getting creative, and making strong impactful images.

Assignment 1. Frozen Time. We’ve played with motion blur, but there is another very powerful way to convey energy, freeze motion in a way that can’t possibly just exist. High shutter speed in plenty of light will give a nice sharp image no matter how fast your subject may be moving. Images will be judged on sharpness. Tag with cwd131

Assignment 2. Mirror/Reflection. A great, though challenging, compositional element is the mirror. Use reflections to complement your subject. Anyone doing a self-portrait in a mirror will be tagged “phoned in.” All other reflections are fair game. Tag with cwd132.

Assignment 3. Dance. A wonderfully visual, high energy activity. I expect this one to be a real challenge because just like dancing itself, it sounds easy but getting a good coherent image will require creativity and forethought. Tag with cwd133."



Got a camera? Want to take pictures and be more serious about it, yet have fun and learn? Come visit Take a class with Dave & Dave.

Your budding photographer,
Tojosan

IUSETHIS - Mike Jorgensen's Web Log:

Mike Jorgensen's Web Log: IUSETHIS

A cool new site, blogged about briefly above by Mike, iusethis is where you can share a list of which Apple Mac applications you are currently using. My profile is here.

Numerous bundled applications, such as Mail are listed for you to select, as well as many third party products, such as a favorite of mine, Delicious Library.

I'm not sure of what value it is having everyone know what apps I use, but part of the immediate value is the quick availability to review comments on specific applications. I'd just as soon have the option to be anonymous for folks that desire that, but would still like to contribute their statistics and information.

Though still in beta, I had no issues with the site, and was quickly able to locate a couple of third party applications in seconds.

If you have a Mac, do give this site a visit, if for nothing else than to see an interesting Web 2.0 style application.

Your fellow Mac user,
Tojosan

Friday, April 06, 2007

Code and breath, code and breath


Code and breath, code and breath
Originally uploaded by Tojosan.
That's all there is to some days, and on those days, that's all you need.



Zoomquilt - Amazing!

Zoomquilt

If you haven't seen this yet, you are missing out. Though not for everyone, this is an amazing piece of collaborative art work. Combining several works of art, as Flash technology with no flashing whirring things, this is fun and absorbing.

Give it a look, and remember to move your mouse off of the left side credits overlay.

Yours,
Tojo

Thursday, April 05, 2007

MONITOR your way to safety

I recently discovered the usefulness of the MONITOR command in RPG IV. Familiar with it? Well I wasn't. A coworker pulled me up onto the bandwagon, and now I wonder how I didn't find this nifty little command sooner.

MONITOR can be used anywhere you'd like to trap a potential error in your RPG code. Think a numeric field might not contain a number? Think a value may not have been passed? Want to catch that divide by zero error that should never happen? How about the character string that doesn't translate into that number you'd like?

Well MONITOR can wrap that up for you. It's easy.


MONITOR;
myNumber = %Dec(myString:8:1);
On-Error;
myNumber = 0;
Error = 'bad string, non-numeric';
EndMon;


See, not hard at all. The real magic isn't in the MONITOR part of that arrangement but in the On-Error command. The On-Error command offers a variety of error codes and types as well to qualify it. On-Error *file handles just file related errors. You can also use a specific error code as well.

Where I've recently gotten a lot of use is for Processing Options from JDE Dreamwriters. Often a JDE Dreamwriter will contain a processing option that is intended to be read as numeric. Since humans have clumsy fingers and brains, sometimes a non-numeric value will be placed in one of those options.

Before, I'd have read that processing option in and had to test it for numeric and still put code in to move it to the number field. Now I can simply monitor and trap any error and still do nothing special if the move to numeric works.

Anyone notice the similarity to the Try-Catch block structure of Java?

More on fun RPG IV commands coming up. If you have a request for one of the new /FREE commands to be highlighted, do let me know.

Your intrepid and free programmer,
TJ




Photogamer Challenge #8: G-A-M-E-R

Photogamer Challenge #8: G-A-M-E-R

Go, check out the joy of Photogamer, and join the fun.

Have a camera? Want to have some fun times with it? Don't want to go it alone? Then Photogamer is the place for you. I'd love to see what you can do.

Photogamer blogger,
Tojosan

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

RPG on the AS/400 - %Subst

Wanting to switch to RPG IV/LE and maybe /FREE, but afraid of string manipulation?

RPG IV makes it easier than ever.

Want to replace the last three characters of a string? Used to using MOVE and making sure your fields actually do line up? Well wash those worries away.


myString = 'ABCDEFGHI';
%Subst(myString:7:3) = 'ABC';

DSPLY myString;


The result? ABCDEFABC

Wait, you didn't know you could use %Subst on the left hand side? Yes, and you can use it on both sides.


%Subst(myString:1:3) = %Substr(myString:4:3);
DSPLY myString;


The result? DEFDEFABC

Pretty fancy huh? Well, let's try something a bit more fun.
Want to generate some alphanumeric strings based on an original string and a number, well, based on what we saw in a previous blog post, we can put that together.


myNum = 177;
myName = Tojosan;

myCodeWord = %Subst(myName:1:4) + %Char(myNum);
DSPLY myCodeWord;


The result is Tojo177. You could get much fancier by using the last three digits of a number for example by %Subst over the %Char result.


Well enough on the simple stuff. Soon I'll be covering MONITOR, one of my new favorite saving commands.

Cheers,
Tojosan

Altoids


Day 22: Altoids
Originally uploaded by Tojosan.
Did you know they have a cool website?
Give it a look, even if you don't like the mints yourself.
Your Altoid loving blogger,
Tojo

Because it's fun

or so Amanda says. But hey, it's not just fun for her but a hoot for the rest of us. Just another shot from yet another talented flickr friend.

Do click through; let her know you appreciate her creativity.

Yours,
Tojosan

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Jail officials surprised by inmate's true gender after ordering prisoner to shower

ABC7Chicago.com: Jail officials surprised by inmate's true gender after ordering prisoner to shower

After ten days in jail he turned out to be a she.
So begins this short news article on the ABC7Chicago.com website.

I find it hard to believe you could have someone jailed for how many days and not discover they were a different gender? Oh my, color them silly.

On the flip side, Alexander, I mean, Elaine, fooled her 15 year old companion enough for her to want to marry Alexander.

Most notably, no video games, high tech masks, violent media or etcetera were involved. (wink)

Go, read, laugh,
Tojo

More RPG IV /FREE

So speaking of the MOVE command. How many of you used that to transfer between character and numeric fields? Probably everyone of us has done that.

And you say, wait in RPG IV, there is no MOVE command, and EVAL doesn't do conversions. Well you'd be right, but better tools there be now.

Let's take just character to number. Let's say we have "123456789" and want to turn that into the number 123456789. Previously you'd have just done

MOVE STRING NUMBER

Now, let's see the RPGIV command ...

NUMBER = %Dec(STRING) or NUMBER = %Dec(STRING: 9: 0)

There, that wasn't painful was it?

The huge flexibility is to be able to convert that string to any formatted number type, even with decimals. The 9 and 0 represent the standard decimal declaration for numerics.

Now to go the other way, we have a couple of options ...

STRING = %Char(NUMBER)
this left justifies in the string and trims leading zeros.

Or...

STRING = %EditC(NUMBER: 'X')
this right justifies and keeps leading zeros.

Both are excellent choices and I was able to make use of both just this last week in a program where I had to do conversions.

The above covers just two aspects of MOVE replacement. RPGIV also includes some new DATE BIF (built in functions).

More later, happy programming,
Tojosan

International Tootsie Pop Week (ITPW) or so says Hilary

Hilary's Hideaway: International Tootsie Pop Week (ITPW)

With the passing of International Underwear Week comes a need to fill the void. Well, Hilary has come to our rescue with International Tootsie Pop Week. Will this one top the underwear week? Will there be more exciting pictures from all over the world? Will there be naked men in the brush? Um wait, hopefully not for Tootsie pops. :)

The world and I await what hilarity will come.

You go Hilary,
Tojosan

Monday, April 02, 2007

RPG on the AS/400 - /FREE?

Do you /FREE? If you are doing RPG IV, you should be.

Tired of the C specs and MOVE commands? Itching to create your own commands? Then FREE is for you.

Ever get frustrated moving a 5 character field into a 6 character one and realize you didn't justify it to the left? No more need for MOVEL vs MOVE or MOVER. If you want to set one string equal to another how about String1 = String2?

Sweet yes? Can you tell I've got a thing about my programming?

Working through your code and suddenly realize you an account number from the order you have? Don't want to do the series of three chains and etc in the middle of your current logic? Write your own procedure and stow its code away somewhere else:

getAccount(order);

Just declare and define the code behind getAccount somewhere else. So where can that somewhere else be? Heck, at the bottom of your current code or even in another source file, that can be /COPY in or better yet, called directly from the other program or module.

It's as easy as:

D getAccount PR
D orderNum 10 0

There, you've just declared the getAccount procedure. Want to stick that at the bottom of your source?

P getAccount B
D getAccount PI
D order 10 0

... your code here ...

P getAccount E

There you have it, all you need to put getAccount where it belongs, out of the way of your core logic. The great thing if you can /FREE procedures or code in regular C specs, whichever is most convenient.

But, if you are going to do CHAIN commands, are you still using indicators? RPG IV supports BIF (built in functions) such as %Found.

Instead of CHAIN with an indicator, how about this:

Chain (keyField) fileFormat;
If %Found;
... your logic here ...
EndIf;

Good stuff I say. And it makes your logic easier to read.

Enough for tonight, but go try this out, come back and tell me about it.

More RPG IV and FREE to come.

Your programmer nerd buddy,
Tojosan

Finally, Moo.


Mother in Moo in Focus
Originally uploaded by Tojosan.
And so my order of Moo cards finally arrived.

Thank you Moo.com and the Royal Mail.

Moo cards are like tiny business cards with photo finish fronts. They are about half the hight of normal business cards but more than twice as awesome.

Check them out,
Tojosan

Sunday, April 01, 2007

My Interesting Fantasy


My Interesting Fantasy
Originally uploaded by Tojosan.
Or Flickr Toys does April Fools Day.

FD's Flickr Toys Scout page, which normally shows your Flickr shows in Explore, is today showing you that all your photos are in Explore. Woohoo! Talk about an ego boost.

It's something fun for FD's Flickr fans. So if you Flickr, please check it out. Or if you haven't visited before, just go visit Flickr Toys and try some of the other cool stuff there.

Welcome to April,
Tojosan

Google TiSP

Welcome to Google TiSP

Woot, free in-home wireless, care of Google. Order yours today!

Called Google TiSP (BETA), the kit comes with setup guid, fiber-optic cable, spindle and wireless router. Wow. Gonna give this a try for sure.

Visit the website and check out the get started now page.

Welcome to April,
Tojosan