About

Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, I moved to Orlando Florida in 1984 with my then brand-new bride. I’m blessed with a wonderful life-long wife, two equally wonderful adult children, a Yellow Lab, a Labradoodle, and three cats. My primary profession is integration and test engineering mixed with systems and software engineering when the need arises. I have a spot on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/williambeebe) if you’d like to know more.

This is my outside-of-work blog. I write about photography, my pets, software development, my pets, Java, Python and the newer languages Go and Rust as well as other diverse subjects such as operating systems (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and Android), travel, and my pets.

Java Special Status (Yet Another Update)

Oracle just doesn’t make this easy. According to this article on The Register, Oracle is coming after so-called Java users who owe Oracle (lots of) money due to Oracle’s purchase of Sun back in 2010. I get that companies expect and need to make a living, especially if they want to keep their employees paid. But Oracle is the notable exception due to the tremendous cash cow it already has in its database. Oracle isn’t doing this out of need, it’s doing this because it knows it can. So I’m back to downplaying Java personally and professionally where possible, looking for alternatives in other languages and frameworks where it makes sense, and only turning to Java as a last resort. I believe I’ve found a decent alternative to Java/JavaFX for desktop applications in Javascript, CSS, and HTLM running on top of Electron. As they say, here I go again…

Java Special Status (Updated)

My self-imposed rejection of Java lasted about 60 days. During that period I came to realize that (1) there are a number of powerful and fascinating programming languages, some I was already familiar with, and some I wasn’t, (2) there are some things for which Java is just better suited, and (3) there are many powerful tools written in Java for which there are no equivalents elsewhere and on which I had become dependant. I wrote about my “flip-flop” and gave a bit more detail when I did. Needless to say my opinion of Oracle, Java’s parent company, hasn’t changed one iota. Regardless of my opinion about Oracle, Java is here to stay, warts and all.

Java Special Status

Because of the ongoing lawsuit between Oracle and Google over whether Oracle can claim a copyright on Java APIs and, if so, is Google infringing that copyright with Android, I have taken the very unusual step of dissociating myself from Java. I don’t take this step lightly; I’ve been a Java user and supporter since I downloaded a 1.0 beta in early 1995. There’s also the “cutting off your nose to spite your face” issue with this kind of decision, and I recognize that danger. I have used every release, and many of the tools and frameworks built with, and on top, of Java. But this lawsuit from Oracle isn’t about righting an injustice, but about greed on Oracle’s part. Oracle is a predatory company and that nature has ruined every open source product that Oracle picked up when it purchased Sun Microsystems in 2009/2010. Java is just the latest, and for me, final straw. As a consequence my language of choice is Anything but Java (ABT).

General Status

Overall Techie Status (updated Dec 2016) – My operating system usage is broadly split between Ubuntu Linux and Debian variants, Windows 10, masOS, Android and iOS. Platforms consist of;

  • a Samsung R580 notebook running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS,
  • various Raspberry Pi, Pi 2s, and Pi 3s running Arch Linux and Raspian Pixel,
  • Beagle Bone Black Rev C running Debian,
  • a 2013 Samsung Series 7 (700U) Chronos 17.3″ notebook running Windows 10,
  • an iPad Air 2 running iOS 10.2,
  • an iPad Pro 9.7 inch running iOS 10.2,
  • an iPhone 7 Plus running iOS 10.2,
  • an Apple Mac Mini Server late 2012 running macOS Sierra 10.12,
  • an Apple 15″ Retina Macbook Pro mid 2015 running macOS Sierra 10.12 and
  • an Apple Watch Series 2 running Watch OS 3,
  • a 2013 Nexus 7 running Android 6.0.1

The Florida Gingersnaps are now over a year old. They live and play peacefully with Ellipse.

May 2014 – I’ve developed a sporadic posting habit. If you read all the Right Blogs, they admonish you to publish regularly. I would love to do that, but life and work get in the way, and so I save up all my blogging ideas until I can getaroundtoit and release them all at once. And sometimes, I just write the bare minimum to capture my ideas, letting my photography (such as it is) fill in the gaps. I write and publish as life and circumstances permit.

June 2014 – I’ve become more intensely involved with Android and Blender.

  • On 26 June Google released Android 5.0, otherwise known as Android L. Android has finally grown up, and become Interesting. My primary development platform is my one-year-old (as of May 2014) Samsung Series 7 Chronos running Windows 8.1 Update 1. Yes, I quite like Windows 8, and have since the first time I fired it up. I’m in the process of trying to decide between Eclipse 4.4 Juno with the latest Android SDK or Google’s Android Studio Beta 8.1 (which is derived from IntelliJ Idea) as my one and only Android development IDE. Neither is perfect.
  • Blender 2.71 (http://www.blender.org/download/) has dropped at the same time as Android 5. I’ve been working with 2.69 since January, slowly building up both skills and content. Now with 2.71 released, I’m picking the pace back up again. Here’s what I initially accomplished and wrote about in January: https://arcanesciencelab.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/learning-a-new-creative-path/

January 2015 – My programming platforms have expanded to include a late 2012 Mac Mini running Yosemite 10.10.2 and Server. I picked it up from Apple as a refurbished unit. The price was right as were the qualifications. I spent an extra $120 to pick up a Crucial brand 16GB memory upgrade kit. That, combined with the 2TB of disk space and the quad-core i7 processor makes for a compact, powerful development platform, to compliment the Linux and Windows notebooks I also have. Primary target is Swift, but I also do quite a bit of other language programming such as Java and Ruby (via JRuby). Since picking up the Mac Mini the Linux notebook has remained, essentially, off, except to power it up and make sure all patches are up-to-date.

February 2015 – Lucy, the Official Arcane Science Lab Cat, is ill, and may very well be dying. I’ve been writing about her in a number of posts recent to this date. I love that cat and always will. It’s her photo at the top of the page, taken one evening when she was hunkered down in my chair during a big thunderstorm. I have a soft spot for the four footed creatures, none more so than this little cat, who was abandoned by her original owners and left to fend for herself. I know that all animals will pass away from us, some sooner than others. In hindsight I had enough warnings this was happening. But this has still caught me by surprise, and I’m still having a very hard time dealing with it. I’ll get over it; I always have in the past when I’ve said goodbye to previous pets. But that kind of experience won’t make this any easier or lighten the loss.

Buried in my grief over Lucy, I almost forgot to mention that I finally received my very own Raspberry Pi 2. I have yet to even power it up.

Late May 2015

The Mac is running Yosemite 10.10.3. My Samsung Chronos7 is running Windows 8.1 update 1. My much-older Samsung notebook is running Ubuntu 15.04. Android Studio is at 1.2.1.1 across all three. Java is at version 8 update 45 across all three. I’m no longer working with Rust (now officially at 1.0) or Google’s Go (now officially at 1.4.2). I’ve switched from Node.js to Io.js, and it’s at version 2.0.2. Most of my work is back to the old standards of C++, Java, and JavaScript.

June 2015

I lost two of my pets on 15 June; my cat Lucy, the official ASL mascot, and my yellow Labrador Retriever Max. Lucy had lived about seven years in this house, and Max about fifteen. I had to have both of them put to sleep that day. I’ve been feeling the loss now for a week. My eulogies to them both are in the main blog for this month.

September 2015

It’s been a good 90 days since Lucy and Max left. In the mean time a Labradoodle (a cross between a Labrador Retriever and a Standard Poodle) by the name of Annie has come to live with us. Annie is a very sweet animal, and scary bright. She brings new meaning to the word “unique.” You can see what I’ve written about her and some of her antics so far in the blog.

The Mac Mini is now on Yosemite 10.10.5, waiting for 10.11 to arrive. I’ve put my iPad Air 2 on the iOS beta track, and it’s now running iOS 9.1 Beta 1. My Windows machine is still on 8.1 Update 1 while Microsoft hammers out the Windows 10 early release bugs. Maybe around 1 October I’ll finally pull the trigger and step up to Windows 10. And my Ubuntu notebook is still working away on Ubuntu 15.04.

I have the latest Raspberry Pi 2 and it’s a lot faster than my original Raspberry Pi Bs. I like the fact I can run Raspbian on it and have it perform like a regular machine. The 2 is that much better than the older B.

I’ve gotten very erratic when it comes to writing in the blog. Part of it is work related, part of it due to family issues. Part of it is a dark cloud hanging over me, generated by the family issues and the losses of the little ones. And part of that dark cloud is the realization that I’m being surveilled “for my own protection.” Because, you know, terrorists. The problem with ubiquitous surveillance that slops over domestically is that anything you say or do can be used against you if someone decides, for whatever reasons, that it’s “improper.” This country has a long and dark history of surveillance against anyone deemed “improper” and a “problem” (see, as but one example, the FBI files kept on Dr. Martin Luther King). Right now “improper” seems to be anyone exercising their first amendment rights to protest government actions, such as, for example, ubiquitous domestic surveillance. After all, if you’re not with them, then you obviously against them, and thus America.

October 2015

Major OS upgrades; Windows 10 on my Samsung Series 7 Chronos and El Capitan OS X 10.11 on my Mac Mini. The Samsung R580 is still running Debian 15.04.

November 2015

My Samsung 17″ with Windows 10 upgraded to the Windows 10 Fall Release. Everything seems to be working well. Unfortunately haters gonna hate, especially Microsoft haters. I’ve read the horror stories and all I can say is what kind of environment are they operating in, because those important details are never brought out. Only how bad Windows 10 is. I must live a charmed life, because out of one minor quirk I’ve had no problems on a computer that Samsung has abandoned. Windows 10 works fine.

I grew tired of Android and Google’s and Samsung’s poor stewardship of it and I purchased an iPhone 6s Plus. This fits in with the iPad Air 2 I purchased nearly a year ago. I’d also like to report that the iPad developed a physical screen problem that was covered under warranty. The Apple Store replaced it free of charge and hassle free.

I week later I purchased an Apple Retina 15″ Macbook Pro, mid-2015, fully maxed out with an i7 2.8GHz processor, 16GB of memory, and a 1 TB SSD. It is, in a word, awesome. Truly. Awesome.

I am now All In with Apple. And I couldn’t be happier.

January 2016

Two new male ginger kittens are now living here. I also now own an Apple Watch, which was an unexpected Christmas gift. My march into All Things Apple continues.


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