Ben McCann

Co-founder at Connectifier.
ex-Googler. CMU alum.

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Case Study: Usable and Unusable APIs


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… It was the age of wisdom, it was the season of light.  A great library called dom4j was written with its users in mind.  It included a quick start guide and a cookbook for people that actually wanted to get things done.  Converting Read More

Sample log4j.properties file


I always find the hardest part of getting started with log4j is creating a log4j.properties file. For that reason, I’ve posted an example below. This file configures log4j to log any messages of level info or higher to the console except for classes under the com.dappit.Dapper.parser or org.w3c.tidy packages. #—————————————————————————— # # The following properties Read More

Printing a Stack Trace anywhere in Java


You don’t need to catch an Exception in order to print a stack trace in Java.  Sometimes they can be helpful for debugging and logging purposes.  Here’s an example of how to print a stack trace at any moment: new Exception().printStackTrace(); If you want more control over the output, you can build some code off Read More

Getting Started with Tonido on OpenSUSE 11.1


I’d heard of Tonido awhile back, but was having trouble getting it to run on OpenSUSE since it’s packaged only for Ubuntu.  Tonight I sat down and figured out how to get it to run: Install alien via the YaST package manager Convert the Tonido package to an RPM by using alien (alien -r filename.deb) Read More

Determining Port Usage


Want to know how to figure out what’s running on a given port on your machine?  The following example will show you what’s running on port 80 on your Linux machine: lsof -i -n -P | grep :80

Maven on Eclipse Tutorial


Install Java and Maven First off, make sure you have a Java JDK installed and that your JAVA_HOME environment variable points to it. You can check by typing “echo %JAVA_HOME%” in Windows or “echo $JAVA_HOME” in Linux. You’ll next want to download and install Maven by following the directions on their website.  Once Maven is Read More

How to use the Linux find command


I always have trouble remembering how to use the find command in Linux, so here are a few examples. Finding all hidden files: find . -regex ‘.*/\..*’ Deleting all Java files: rm -rf `find . -name *.java` Deleting all directories named .svn: rm -rf `find . -type d -name .svn` Recursively set permissions for a Read More

Extracting AMR Audio from Android 3GP Files


The Android MediaRecorder currently records audio in AMR format and stores that within a 3GP container which provides metadata for the recording. Thanks to Sebastian Annies at Core Media it is possible to extract the AMR audio from the 3GP file using isobox4j. If you can’t play .amr files on your Windows machine, then I Read More

Android Audio Recording Tutorial


After many hours of trying to record audio on my Google Android device, I’ve finally arrived at a workable solution.  There were a few bumps along the way besides the horribly out of date MediaRecorder documentation, which was sorely lacking details.  For one, I could only get audio to record to the SD card.  Additionally, Read More

openSUSE 11.1 Installation and Setup


openSUSE 11.0 was the best Linux distribution I’ve ever used.  I was hoping openSUSE 11.1 would continue the great strides of late, but it’s a bit of a mixed bag.  One of the most frustrating things for me is that support for remote access is falling by the wayside.  VNC used to be better integrated Read More

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