Thought of the day

Among the four or five books I am currently reading is “Ogilvy On Advertising”, in which Our Hero rants about what sells and what doesn’t. I came across this startling quote:

“Mozart said, ‘I have never made the slightest effort to compose anything original.'”

I find that somehow comforting. I awoke this morning knowing I probably would not have time to write any music today, and I felt discouraged by the prospect. Having Mozart in my ear as I struggle to be “original” sorta cheered me up.

Meanwhile, during my morning surf I came across an online mag I’d like to explore further, given some time.

Virtual reconstruction

I got my laptop back from being repaired.

I’m a little mixed about mentioning who did the work. I’d rate my satisfaction as neutral – their customer service was abysmal, but the kid who did the work was OK. So, I’ll neither endorse nor diss them – they’ll just be consigned to anonymity.

Luckily, I bought the Apple Extended Warranty, so I didn’t have to pay to have the drive replaced. Also luckily, I managed to back up my user directory to an external drive, so all my Reason and Live files are intact, as well as a bunch of other important stuff.

But alas, I can’t seem to locate all my installer disks. This is worrisome, because I’ve just been asked to make another piece of music for devil sticks. My ideas often get worked out notationally in Finale – and the Finale installer is the one I can’t lay my hands on. The other bummer is that I lost a bunch of Refills and patches from the Applications filesystem.

I’m stuck meditating on how we grow to depend on these silly little, brittle machines, and how much effort it’s taking to reconstruct my little virtual home. Things could be a lot worse, though – so I won’t complain too much.

Liferay and Tomcat – part 3

But wait – there’s more!

So, I crank up my newly-running Liferay – running in its happy little webapp world, not as the root context, and some funny things are going on.

First: The root context that should be there isn’t there. Instead of the warm, fuzzy Tomcat page with the geeky kittycat graphic, I get a blank page. Hmm.

Second: When I load the Liferay portal, I only get two portlets: “Sign In” and “Hello, World”.

So, I do some poking around as a user. My Tomcat manager webapp comes up OK, so that tells me that other webapps that I choose to install will probably work OK. (Note to self: something to consider trying.)

Next, I log in as test:test on the portal. Well, now, this is cool. I get more portlets. I decide to add an Admin page. I add adminny portlets to it. I decide to add a user. I find a way to add somebody, fill out their info, hit submit….

… and boom. Stack trace.

Here’s a little snippet of it:

Root cause:

java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: javax/mail/internet/InternetAddress

I go home and sleep on this information. I also download a passel of Powerpoint presentations about installing and configuring Liferay. After reading a few of these, I decide to install the standalone version of Liferay, and play a little shell game of switching CATALINA_HOME environment variables.


I download and unpack liferay-portal-tomcat-jdk5-4.2.2, futz with my environment variables, and as is my usual habit, use Cygwin to run CATALINA_HOME/bin/ And ummm….

….boom. She no go. I got a honking database error, having to do with the hsql database.

So I try something unexpected for me, and follow the actual instructions and – in Windows – double-click on the “startup.bat” icon, and let a command shell bat file do the work. (This goes against my nature for a number of reasons I won’t get into here. Yet.) And ummmm…..

Yay, she works! Which just gets me more curious. And look – I see all the marketing stuff I expected to see on my little installation as a standalone webapp. Hmmmm…..

… I don’t see any portlets along the lines of “Hello, World”, but I do see a link where I can sign in. Who am I to argue? test:test, and life is good.

Now, for some mystical reason, I try rejiggering the variables around (in order to write this post), and now the Cygwin works. It didn’t when I tried it at home – I swear!

Let’s add a user…. no problemo!

Well, maybe I should leave well enough alone for now. I’ve got two instances running (although not simultaneously), both behaving differently, and the one I really torqued with is not behaving correctly.

I’ll post again on this topic once I’ve actually written a portlet.