Frequently Asked Questions


Why does this site exist?

You know those blue notebooks engineers carry around with them? They take notes of things they want to remember when necessary. I tried that and it's a pretty stupid idea (for me at least) since I rarely found what I was looking for later.

Also, my transition from C and assembly years ago to Java/JEE was so painful that I couldn't let a single thing I learned go unindexed at least in some primitive way. Because no one was around to help me make that transition more easily, I decided I'd drop bread crumbs for anyone else that cared to use them. What I drop may very well not benefit you and I'm not the brightest Crayola™ in the box. However, I am dropping them. If they're useful, you're welcome to them.

It took me a few years to hit on a way to share them. It started when Eclipse asked me if they could publish my tutorial on Eclipse, servlets and JSPs. Over the years I've reorganized my bluebook notes and other things several times. What you see here is just the latest form.


Where do all these examples come from?

Most of the examples in the helps and tutorials come from my own toolbox of code.

Much content, especially linked to as "more bluebook notage," is just chaotically organized notes on various topics. Some don't even go very far because I lost interest, it was too easy even to say anything about it, too hard to keep at it (for now), or I didn't need to go futher.

There are a few kinds of tutorials.

There are pure tutorials that I wrote myself from scratch. Not very many and some aren't formal tutorials, but more like bluebook notes in web-page form.

There are many tutorials that started out based on someone else's tutorial which I reviewed (followed and wrote what I did following them step-by-step). Sometimes these evolved into seriously big articles with lots of useful comments in them. Lots of times, there's a fair amount of disorganization in those articles because things got unmanageable. Just search for keywords the way you'd look for information through any other web page.

Last, there are articles on subjects of general interest like Sun's Virtual Box, Tortoise SVN, soapUI and setting up Subversion on Linux. I wrote these to take notes on what I was doing so that if something didn't work, I could easily retrace my steps. Later, I tried to update them for relevance and greater utility, often so that I could ignore the technology, but come back to it when I needed it again.


What if I contact you?

As long as I have the bandwidth, I'm happy to consider personal requests for information because teaching a thing cements the knowledge from learning a thing. (I think Paul Muad'dib said that.) Obviously, requests for more hand-holding than I have time to give or for more expertise than I can personally muster will be politely turned down.

You will win my undying gratitude, however, if you point out errors I have made in any of my documents so that I can fix them.


Why Java Hot Chocolate?

It's hard to find a decent domain name anymore. And, because Mormons don't drink coffee (but love hot chocolate), it's sort of a Utah joke.


About me

I live on the western flank of the Great Rocky Mountains about an hour south of Salt Lake City. I love Normandy and consider it my cultural birthplace (rather than San Diego, California, where I was born). I love two-wheeled vehicles; I own a scooter for around town and a motorcycle for commuting to work.

Education

I lived near Paris and attended the Université de Paris X, at Nanterre, initially studying Greek, Latin and Linguistics. However, I was a Ham Radio geek and AP Math student in high school, so technical is more me than the literary side.

I finished my education at Brigham Young University and basically marooned myself here—there've always been lots of jobs in the tech sector.

Professional Life

In another life, I worked in the business of natural language processing and authored software to translate between English, French, other Romance languages and Russian. I developed on Unix, Macintosh and other operating systems.

For a few years, I worked as a member of NetWare's core operating system development team in Novell. I always spoke at BrainShare, Novell's technical conference, and I authored countless technical articles in magazines talking about our technologies, how to do things in the NetWare kernel, etc.

For some time, I worked for Quest Software, hosting Linux and Unix clients in Active Directory, and after that, on GWAVA's Retain e-mail archive project.

More recently I've worked on the Avocent Management Platform for Avocent, Inc. and wrote a user account system including credit card management for Hewlett-Packard.

My latest position is with ProKarma; I work on back-end Java software including database, queueing, messaging, etc.

Hobbies

At present, my most frequent distraction is cuisine. I do Italian, French, American Barbecue, Mexican, Thai and Indian. I even taught a class locally on Indian. I bake bread because, since returning from France, I can't seem to find much of it for sale.

I like turning bowls out of wood, but I find myself not having time to do much more than keep the web pages of two wood-turning clubs up to date.

Literature

I love reading and I do as much of it as I can. Sadly, technical reading takes up far more of my time than I really want to dedicate. I prefer reading actual literature. My favorite authors are Potok, Tolkien, Herbert, Pagnol, Orson Scott Card, Flaubert, Maupassant, Shakespeare and Hugo. I also like Virgil and Homer. These names aren't in any particular order.