Dropping Dropbox

Dropbox recently updated it’s terms and conditions. They included an arbitration clause (with an option to opt-out within 30 days, although it’s not clear whether new users would get that option), along with a restriction on class action law suits by its users (no opt out here). I am a paying user of its services, but I’ve already removed my automatic renewal and will switch to another service when my current term expires in the next couple months.

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The Eisenhower Energy Project

I’m tired of reading about the coming horrors of climate change without seeing options to handle them. I’m tired of climate change deniers acting like abundant, cheap, clean energy would somehow be damaging to the economy. This plan is something I believe we can actually do, and that we can afford to do. Let’s stop nay-saying and doom-casting and start pushing for real solutions and progress.

Let’s take a cue from the Eisenhower Interstate Project: a very large, lengthy, and beneficial public works project that had as part of its goals remaining revenue neutral. We’ll budget 500 billion per year towards this, but the money should be reimbursed totally to the government over the following years. The Ike system did this via gas and diesel taxes, but we’ll do it via loan repayment from private entities or payments for energy provided. The end product of this plan should be a sustainable system that will provide cheap, clean energy to the citizens of the United States for decades to come, and a bedrock of infrastructure to keep our economy competitive.

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MathJax with Markdownpad 2

As I said before, Markdownpad 2 Rules. One thing that was missing was math markup of any kind. I take a lot of school notes and find myself wishing I could type out math notation instead of needing to resort to pen and paper. A post on the MarkdownPad 2 forums said using MathJax was a possibility so I looked into and decided to write up a little guide.

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Conga Composer Lessons Learned

Conga Composer is an app for SalesForce that pulls data from records and combines it with a template to create a final document. For a basic report, pulling data directly out of SalesForce and generating it as a PDF, the below items I discuss are probably overkill. To persons working with complex documents with data sourced from numerous related objects and highly-variable layout and formatting, the below information may be of use.

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Jitterbit Best Practices

At my current position, we handle a lot of data shuffling using the Jitterbit integration tool. It’s a small product by a small company, but they’ve been working on it for a while and it has some interesting features. It seems primarily geared towards the semi-technical user – maybe an IT manager who needs to feed some data into SalesForce from an on-premises HR system, or the like, and doesn’t have time to figure out a large, comprehensive solution like Cast Iron, Talend, or Informatica. Jitterbit aims to be a turnkey solution.

But that isn’t how we wind up using it; our requirements generally quickly push us into the “advanced scenarios” when migrating data. As such, these best practices focus around advanced or complex Jitterbit jobs. If an out-of-the-box Jitterbit Connect wizard gets you exactly what you need, please ignore all the advice here. If you find yourself having to do a lot of work “by hand” in Jitterbit, performing tons of complex transformations or manipulations of data, then you may want to read on.

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Thoughts on Java from a .Net Developer

I recently took an Object Oriented Design class, and we used Java as the primary language for development. As a .Net developer, this was my first major experience using the language and tools aside from some minor exposure via SalesForce’s Java-like Apex code and the talend data integration environment built on Eclipse. Note that I didn’t dive very deeply into the language – the main project consisted of about 5 main model classes and a maybe a couple dozen total classes for accessory functionality and user interface. There was no data persistence or multi-threading, but we did write extensive unit tests.

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UML is Terrible

UML is terrible. At least the version of the unified modeling language that I was presented in a recent graduate class came off as an awful waste of time, which was in line with my prior impression of it. UML fills me with such unreasonable rage that I hesitate to try to put into words the reasons why, as the irrationality of my hatred of it will surely render my opinions biased in the extreme. I’ll try to get this out of my system early by stating the following:

Why on earth am I wasting my time writing out classes in this this bullshit intermediate language when I could be just fucking writing the classes?

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