Limited Edition Black Hawk HD Camera Drone

I just wanted to share a pretty good deal that I came across this morning. I have always wanted to take the plunge and buy a camera drone but didn’t really want to spend a lot of money on one. To be quite honest I am a bit of a tech geek but I fear I would have some fun with this for a couple of days and then put it down. I live along Lake Erie near a strip of high rises as well as a couple really amazing parks. I could see myself having a lot of fun with this in the summer and even putting together some videos like my buddy Matt did. The 1 thing that does scare me is that it only flies for 10 minutes but as a newbie to this market I am not sure if that is normal. This seems like a good introductory product into this market but I would love to hear some advice from my readers.





How to Disable Chrome’s New Bookmark Manager

Chrome’s new ‘Stars’ Bookmark Manager

Sometime towards the end of last year (2014) Chrome decided to add a new bookmark manager called ‘Stars’ to their browser. I thought I was going to like it but I just couldn’t get behind it. It seem to make managing large sets of bookmarks really difficult and for whatever reason I just wasn’t a big fan of the UI. I think more than anything it was a PITA to add new bookmarks with the add bookmark UI. No big deal though I will just revert to the old bookmark manager right? Wrong. For the longest time I couldn’t find out how to get off of this and back to the old manager. I figured it was just an extension but if you went into settings > extensions it wasn’t listed there.








How to Disable Chrome’s New Bookmark Manager

That was until this morning. I want to walk you through how to disable Chrome’s new bookmark manager and revert to the old one. First go to chrome://flags/#enhanced-bookmarks-experiment and change the drop down value from default to disabled. When the value changes click the relaunch now button at the bottom of your screen.









Now when Chrome relaunches the bookmark manager will still be the ‘Stars’ version but now we have the ability to turn it off. If you go to settings > extensions you will now see the bookmark manager extension there and it is enabled.









If you uncheck enabled you will now be back to your old bookmark manager.









I really don’t mind that the Chrome team tried to come up with a new bookmark manager but I wish they wouldn’t of made it so difficult from the beginning to disable. Why are you hiding the ability to remove this extension if we don’t want it. I for one am just glad that I can go back to my boring old easy to use bookmark manager today.

Learn Mac OS X Yosemite

I started working from home for my current employer almost 3 years ago. We use Windows at work and were given a pretty solid ThinkPad laptop. I decided to connect 3 monitors to that laptop for a pretty sweet home office setup. Shortly after that and a move away from desktop computers I decided that I was going to need a personal machine. Instead of going the PC route I decided to purchase a 13″ Macbook Pro with retina display. I have been really happy with my purchase and to be honest its probably the nicest machine I have ever owned. I still use Windows 90% of my time during the week so I get easily confused on how to do things on Mac OS X once in awhile.

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SQL Server Exception – The Statement Did Not Return A Result Set

We are working on moving a fairly large Dynamic Java Web Project over to a Grails application. In this application we have a ton of stored procedures that we need to continue to use in our Grails app. Luckily it couldn’t be easier to call a stored proc in Groovy. If you look at the groovy.sql.Sql class there are a ton of methods for this. There are numerous calls methods but one of the easiest ways to get back a list is to use the rows method and pass in a gstring. In this example we are calling a stored procedure called getFooStoredPorc that takes 1 parameter and because this is a gstring we can include our variable in our call.

So I had this working for a ton of stored procedure calls already when I came across a very strange error yesterday.

This looks almost identical to the call I made before but this time the code was throwing an exception.

SqlServerException: The Statement Did Not Return A Result Set

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Installing Grails 3

A few days ago I posted a video by Graeme Rocher that gave a preview of Grails 3. Today I would like to walk you through Installing Grails 3 and running it on your local machine. There are a couple of ways to do this so I will go through them both. I am using a Macbook for this demo but I promise you its almost as easy to do on Windows.

Installing Grails 3 via GVM

The easiest way to get Grails 3 right now is to install GVM. If you haven’t used GVM I highly recommend you go check it out. What is GVM you ask?

GVM is a tool for managing parallel Versions of multiple Software Development Kits on most Unix based systems. It provides a convenient command line interface for installing, switching, removing and listing Candidates.

GVM currently supports the following

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Grails 3 Preview

Graeme Rocher sent an email out the Grails Mailing List this morning that included a video preview of Grails 3. If you haven’t watched it yet I suggest you do. The first thing I notice right off the bat is how much faster Grails builds and runs. This is no doubt do Gradle being introduced as the build system for Grails moving forward. I will probably build Grails from source today and get it running on my machine. If anyone needs some help doing so I may write another entry on how to do that. Until then, enjoy!

Grails in Action 2nd Edition Bonus Chapters

grails_in_action_2ndI have been slowly but surely working my way through another book. Grails in Action the Second edition is a really well put together book. I enjoy the structure of the book and the fact that they introduce you to concepts early but don’t give you everything right away and then dive deeper into those concepts later on. I also enjoy the sample application they have you build throughout the book called hubbub which is basically a twitter like application.

Enough of my thoughts and on to the reason for this blog post. I didn’t realize this but there are actually 2 bonus chapters that you can download. Best of all even if you didn’t buy the book you can get them. If you don’t have the book I would recommend reading them and if you like them pick up the book. There is a chapter called Advanced GORM kung fu which goes into some advanced GORM concepts and a chapter on building plugins. Click on the link below and the bonus chapters 19 & 20 are under the downloads section.


Groovy Podcast Episode 5

Yesterday I posted my thoughts on the Pivotal announcement that they would be dropping Groovy & Grails. Today the Groovy podcast released episode 5 and with 2 really big guests. Guillaume and Graeme joined Peter to discuss the Pivotal announcement. They also looked back on some of the big news they took away from 2014 as well as their excitement around the upcoming releases of Groovy 2.4 and Grails 3.0. If you’re doing work with either of these technologies I think its a must watch.

If you aren’t already a subscriber I suggest you go subscribe right now to the Groovy podcast.

Pivotal Drops Groovy & Grails Sponsorship

If you haven’t heard by now Pivotal released a statement yesterday that they will be no longer be funding the Groovy & Grails projects after March 31, 2015. Since the acquisition of G2One by SpringSource in 2008, SpringSource, VMware, and subsequently Pivotal have collectively sponsored the Groovy and Grails projects. When the news dropped I was a little bit in shock. I was reading through all of the “Sky is Falling” comments on Twitter and I just couldn’t believe this was happening.


In the statement release by Pivotal they had this to say as to why they were dropping support.

The decision to conclude its sponsorship of Groovy and Grails is part of Pivotal’s larger strategy to concentrate resources on accelerating both commercial and open source projects that support its growing traction in Platform-as-a-Service, Data, and Agile development.

Basically Pivotal has decided to focus all of their efforts on Cloud Foundry. If you look at the numbers both the Groovy and Grails projects have been widely successful but in the eyes of Pivotal they don’t serve a purpose as a part in their new strategy. While this can strictly be a business decision I just don’t understand their reasoning and wish we could hear more from Pivotal. My guess is the Spring Platform will stick around and they will use those resources to their advantage and to me Groovy and Grails fit perfect into You do have to ask yourself the question though, is the Spring Platform next? Thanks to Groovy & Grails I have had some exposure into all of the Spring Projects and I love what I see. I was also very encouraged to see the Spring & Groovy/Grails teams working so closely together. This is the one thing I think we are going to lose and that just sucks.

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Inserting a Groovy Date into a Time Stamp Column

cal_clockI am working on a project where I am using straight SQL to insert a record into a database using Groovy. It’s pretty darn easy in most languages to grab the current date / time and in Java you can do so just by creating a new instance of the Date class.

The problem with this (and the same goes for other languages) is that you can’t insert that value into a timestamp column. I need to stick this date/time into a timestamp column and to do so in most languages you need to format this so it matches up to what a timestamp column expects. With this simple Java example we need to bring in another package to do formatting , create a formatting object with the correct pattern and then format our date. Not the hardest thing in the world to do but certainly something I don’t care to do.

Luckily I am using Groovy on this project. If you haven’t already played around with Groovy it seems to remove the annoyances of Java by adding on to the API. Groovy adds a convenient method to all Date objects for converting a date to a timestamp. If you print out the class names you will also see that its not just converting it into a formatted string but an actual timestamp object.  No extra libraries needed and I don’t have to remember what a timestamp format looks like.

To me this is just one in the land of many examples of how Groovy makes programming in Java fun.