Which JVM for ColdFusion development on Mac?

I’ve been having a lot of UI freezes lately on my MacBook Pro. The system will lock up for 20-30 seconds, with mouse movement, but no responses to clicks or the keyboard.

I’m suspecting that this is something to do with CF 8 and/or Eclipse on Apple’s Java 1.5 JVM. The freezes happen most often when one or the other of these applications are running.

Things seem a whole lot better when I roll back to Java 1.4, but CFEclipse stops working.

I’ve also found references to running CF 8 on Java 1.6. Maybe that’s the next thing to try.

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Problems (and a Few Solutions) Installing Adobe CS3

So we got our media for Adobe Creative Suite 3 last week, and I’ve been fighting with the installs on various systems for the last few days. Some notes from the battlefield:

That popping sound you heard was sudden obsolescence

Adobe Premiere Pro and Soundbooth are only supported on multicore Intel Macs. So much for our “multimedia lab” of 2GHz Dual G5 PowerMacs.

You want how much RAM and disk space?

Be prepared to clean up your hard disks, especially on notebooks — CS3 Master want’s almost 20GB of disk space to install. Web Premium for Windows also complained on our XP systems, which have only 512MB of RAM. I can’t really fault them for that, though… XP alone takes that much RAM to function. ;)

Blank Popup Window on Mac Pro Install

I fought with installing Master Collection on my Mac Pro for a few days. The install would get to the end of disc 1 and pop up a blank alert box, mutely asking me to put in the second disc. There were no buttons to click on, and nothing I did could get the install to continue. I had to force-quite the Setup app and clean up my system.

I was eventually able to complete the install by copying the contents of all four discs to a single “payload” folder on my hard disk and running the install from there, as described here.

Turns out the culprit may have been the Safari 3 beta.

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Appleiphany

Appleiphany (noun): The feeling experienced when using or viewing an Apple device, questioning why the heck things haven’t worked like this all along. Example: When viewing the recent iPhone Guided Tour, I kept asking myself why mobile phones don’t already do all this stuff… seriously, it’s so dang obvious. See also hindsight.

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Installing OS X Software Updates from the Terminal

I discovered today that one of our Mac servers had not correctly shifted to Daylight Savings Time on Sunday…. somewhere along the line this box dropped of our sysadmin’s watch list. Unfortunately, I was on the road so I couldn’t get to the console to run the update myself.

Now with my Redhat Enterprise Linux servers, I routinely patch them from the UNIX shell:

up2date -u --nox

This will run up2date without the X Windows GUI (–nox … get it?). Surely there is a way to do this with a Mac?

In fact there is! The shell command is softwareupdate.

If you want to check what the updates are before you actually install them so they don’t do something nasty (and who wouldn’t?) just use the list flag:

softwareupdate -l

When you’re ready to install the updates, just use the install and all flags:

softwareupdate -i -a

You may need to use sudo to do this if you’re logged in (and who wouldn’t be?) as a non-privileged user.

For more useful Terminal tricks for managing OS X servers, see http://www.bombich.com/mactips/commands.html

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Holy Xeons!

Wow… ColdFusion MX on the MacPro is fastfastfast. It took a while to get it set up since it isn’t technically supported, but wow. WOW I say.

I skimped at least on one step: I didn’t recompile mod_jrun on this box. Since I’d gone through that process on the MacBook Pro, I just copied my existing Intel binary .so file to the new machine, and everything seems to be running just fine.

I had to mangle several lines in the config files I copied over from my G5, as the CF files now live in /Applications/JRun4 rather than /Applications/ColdFusionMX due to the recommended multi-server install.

The big drag again was adding our homebrew SSL CA certificate to the system keychain to let our development applications authenticate against Active Directory. I think we should just pony up the cash and get a verified certificate this year.

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Setting Up the Mac Pro

I finally took possession of my new Mac Pro this week. Lovin’ it so far. So why the delay?

I’ve been using Parallels since I got my MacBook Pro last summer with a Win2k image I built myself. With the sudden proliferation of Intel Macs around the office, the last thing I wanted to do was to get into the business of building and maintaining VMs for everyone.

When I ordered my new system back in December, I made a deal with our IT group. They hadn’t yet gotten their hands on an Intel Mac of their own — they’d only processed the dozen or so that others had bought. So no time to play with Parallels…

So I offered to let them hold onto the machine for a while to build a standardized VM image (or images) for distribution with new Intel Macs as needed. They took me up on the offer, and everything was peachy.

With the start of the new semester, support queues dragged out, and what was admittedly a low-priority task got put off. The crew finally got back to my system last week.

Well, building a “stock” image is easier said than done. The more we talked about requirements for the image, the more we realized that the audience here is fairly diverse. Certainly, not everyone is going to need a SQL Server instance! So we agreed to revisit the whole VM issue in a couple weeks, but in the mean time I’d get my new system.

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First Look at VMWare Fusion Beta for OS X

VMWare has finally released the promised version of their virtualization product for OS X:

http://www.vmware.com/products/beta/fusion/

I got the email notice about its availability just before the holidays, but I only got around to playing with it this week.

So far it seems to be a bit behind Parallels Desktop in features. I love the Private Networking feature in Parallels… I can have my VMs share a secret virtual network segment, keeping my Windows server VMs protected from prying eyes or probes when on public wireless networks. I haven’t found anything like that in VMWare Fusion.

If they’re going to catch up with Parallels, given the new beta features they’ve got their work cut out for them. They’ve had drag-n-drop file copy in VMWare for a while, though.

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My Mac Pro has arrived… almost!

I received word last week that my new Mac Pro has arrived, but our IT group is a bit backed up. It will probably be next week before they finish staging the system.

They’ve at least unpacked the beast — I recently discovered a monstrous, empty Mac Pro box abandoned in the hallway as I skulked around their lair.

I’m really excited to give the new Parallels Beta with Coherence a try. I downloaded it and installed it on my MBP, but I had a lot of beta-esque crashing of apps and had to back it out until after my classes are over for the semester. With the new machine I’ll have a little more freedom to experiment with the functional MBP as my backup.

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