Archive | May, 2006


JazLaura and I are sad to announce that Jazper left us on May 18th after many years of faithful service. Jaz was a handful, but a happy, energetic, enthusiastic dog.

Jaz had lymphosarcoma and had been under treatment for the last year. He was comfortable right up until the end, and I’m grateful I had the extra time the treatment gave me to appreciate my friend. Jaz will be remembered and missed.

About Ted Roche

A picture named tedr.jpg

Last good picture, 1997-ish

An independent consultant specializing in web site development and database-centric software development, co-author of 4 books, contributor/editor to another six. Work web is .

Currently, working on Ruby on Rails, PostgreSQL and MySQL databases, jQuery and occasionally a bit of PHP. Certified MySQL Developer (CMDEV) for MySQL 5.x (2008), Core Certified in MySQL 4.x. Former Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, 1994-2002, Microsoft Certified System Engineer and Microsoft Certified Solution Developer, first certified in Windows 3.1. Passed 17 exams, 1994-2000.

Senior Member of the Association of Computing Machinery, Member,  Electronic Frontier Foundation, American Civil Liberties Union and many other organizations.

Former member of Greater New Hampshire Linux User Group, New Hampshire Ruby Group, Alphaloft Community Supporter, Python Special Interest Group, Seacoast WordPress Developers GroupNational Writer’s Union, Boston Computer Society, Foxboro Area Common Users Group and many other organizations.


Contributing Editor to FoxPro Advisor magazine. Fifty columns of “Ask Advisor” or “Advisor Answers” published 1995 – 2000, along with a dozen feature articles.

Currently an independent consultant and head of Ted Roche & Associates, LLC – We develop Visual FoxPro solutions, and work with clients as mentors, trainers and developers. Other tools include Microsoft SQL Server and Visual SourceSafe, the Oracle family of databases and Free/Open Source Software like Linux, Apache, MySQL, PostGreSQL, Python, Subversion, Twiki and Zope.

2000-2001: Worked at before its parent did the Chapter 11 thing.

1995-2000: Worked at Blackstone Data Systems, who also managed to tank during the dot-com bomb. A great group, a great learning experience.

1995: New Hampshire Health & Human Services as a support technician while finishing “Hacker’s Guide to Visual FoxPro 3.0”

1992-1995: A brief employment at Brickstone Square in Andover, MA., followed by independent consulting, including Kronos and New England Computer Sales (NECX, since purchased by VerticalNet).

1989-1992: Software Developer for AINetwork and New Hampshire Insurance, part of AIG. Worked on a mailing label system for tracking attendees to the golf tourney that eventually turned into the most powerful and accurate P&L in the entire company. Scope creep. PCs and Fox had a tendency to do that kind of thing. Eventually wrote the report that proved the company would never make money, and they closed. Sure hope I was right. I was among the hundreds laid off.

1987- 1989: Worked for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Division of Food and Drugs. Moonlighted evenings and weekends at “The Memory Location,” Washington Street, Wellesley, MA, selling Commodore 64, 128 and Amiga computers, peripherals and software. What a blast! Great fun, cool stuff, great bosses – Don Towne and Roy Lee.

Also volunteered for the Foxboro Area Commodore User Group as President, BBS SysOp and newsletter editor. BBS was a blast: 300 baud modem, Commodore 64, an SFD-1001 IEEE-488-interfaced One-Megabyte! 5-1/4″ floppy disk. Beta-tester for GEOS Software. First public-domain (pre-Open Source) software release was a quad-density Epson printer driver hand-coded in 6502 assembler. Owner of Commodore Amiga 500, 1000 and 2000. So much for future visions!

Ten year member of the Boston Computer Society. RIP.

Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics, 1984, from the Regent’s Program of the University of the State of New York, renamed Regent’s College and now Excelsior College. Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences from Mohegan Community College, now Three Rivers Community College Norwich, Connecticut. Both degrees earned while serving in the U.S. Navy full-time.

626patch.gifUSS Daniel Webster.jpg1979-1987: Served as an Electrician’s Mate First Class, EM1/SS, Submarine Service. Ten deterrent patrols aboard the USS Daniel Webster, SSBN-626, Blue Crew, 1981-1987.

NPTU Ballston Spa, New York, winter of 1980-81.

Naval Nuclear Power School, Orlando Florida, 1980. Top electrician in my graduating class, 3.94 GPA.

Boot camp, Basic Electricity and Electronics, Electrician’s Mate “A” School, Great Lakes Training Center, Chicago, Illinois, 1979-1980.

Crosbro, Inc., 1978-1978: shipped my first commercial applications (order processing, inventory control, work-in-process tracking) written in BASIC on WANG 2200-A, T and VP computer systems. 16 kB RAM, BASIC in ROM, Key File Access Method (KFAM) as an ISAM database.

Bates College, 1976 – 1978. Teletype terminals, PDP-8 and 11, time-sharing with Dartmouth College. BASIC and beta-tested SBASIC – structured basic, without line numbers! – on the Dartmouth system.

Brockton High School, 1972-1976. Swim team, 3 letters, National Honor Society. Learned BASIC on a PDP-4.

IBM chooses ODF for Lotus Notes format

Over at InfoWorld Ephraim Schwartz reports IBM to adopt ODF for Lotus Notes.

(InfoWorld) – IBM chose the Deutsche Notes User Group conference in Germany this week to make a significant announcement about its adoption of the ODF (OpenDocument Format) in the next version of Lotus Notes.

Awesome! Document interchange needs to have better options than PDF and RTF! Compressed, XML, documented, hackable — what's not to like?

Apple does it again: consumer MacBooks join the lineup

Over at Ars Technica, Clint Ecker notes Apple debuts Intel-based MacBooks. “Intel CPUs make their way into another segment of Apple’s product lineup with today’s introduction of the new MacBook. New to Apple’s consumer portable are integrated graphics, a choice in case colors, and true support for dual displays.”

Sweet. If you’re looking for a smaller portable machine, these take the place of the iBooks. It appears that Apple is merging its iBook and PowerBook lines into the MacBook brand with “Pro” designating the bigger, beefier models. For around ~ $1100, there’s a lot of laptop in there to love. Maxxed out at twice that and you’ve got a pretty powerful machine.

Laura and I were disappointed when the 17″ MacBook Pro came out and lacked a numeric keypad. I know it would take away from the smooth sleek surface, but we’re more inclined towards an HP 17″ just to get the number keys back.

The Great Mother’s Day Floods

New Hampshire’s in a state of emergency this morning. Over 600 roads are closed due to flooding. Towns have reported over 10″ of rain since the storm began last week, and it’s still dripping. Stay safe, stay dry, stay high. Keep off the roads if you can. WMUR Television has a spectacular photo gallery on their website.

Things You Should Know Before Switching To Mac

OSNews: Things You Should Know Before Switching to Mac. “Macs 'just work' so often, and so well, that I'd rather just use my computer than spend all my time maintaining it. There are already scores of religious fanboy zealots who are going to tell you how great the Mac is, and why you should switch. I'm not going to. I'll let them convince you. But beware. Just because the Mac is an excellent computer, that doesn't mean it's panacea. Here are some things you're going to want to pay attention to as you switch.”

Good article. I am a “user” on the Mac: mail, web browsing, blogging, and terminal into other machines where I work. I've made little effort to learn more than I needed to know to get my mail and make backups. The machine is elegantly easy for that

Net Neutrality Matters! is pushing the concept of “net neutrality,” the idea that our Internet Service Providers need to be required to provide us with an open pipe to the internet and not restrict services such as Skype or Asterisk VOIP that might compete with their own premium services.

My representative in Congress, Charles F. Bass II, is flagged as “voted against net neutrality.” I've written regularly to Representative Bass and we disagree on most technical issues, like the broadcast flag. Charlie seems to have bought what Big Media is pitching with a recent response of his talking about “closing the analog hole.” There is no analog hole. It's a Big Media myth. Just because kids record their favorite songs to tape off the FM radio and make their own degraded 2nd-generation party tapes doesn't mean the Bg Media have lost any sales. On the contrary, they have enthusiasts promoting their music. Walking out of a show singing a tune is not piracy, nor public performance. The analog holes are in our heads — they're called ears. But I digress…

If you're in New Hampshire, call Rep. Bass II now at 202-225-5206 and say: “I was disappointed in your vote against the Markey amendment to the COPE Act. Please keep the Internet free and open by voting for enforceable network neutrality requirements in the future. Thank you.” If you're not in New Hampshire, check the web site above and find out where your Congressperson stands. Let them know what you think.

Tools for committing subversion

Subversion is a source code control system designed as a replacement for the Concurrent Version System (CVS). Subversion is platform-agnostic and has clients available on Windows, OS X and Linux and supports access locally via the file:// protocol or remotely via svn:// or svn+ssh:// protocols, WebDav via http:// or https://. Very cool. There's a free book also available in print from O'Reilly. In addition, there are a bunch of add-on tools or links to other tools, like:

There are even more links at the Wikipedia page. Er, check it out!

Tools for committing subversion

Subversion is a source code control system designed as a replacement for the Concurrent Version System (CVS). Subversion is platform-agnostic and has clients available on Windows, OS X and Linux and supports access locally via the file:// protocol or remotely via svn:// or svn+ssh:// protocols, WebDav via http:// or https://. Very cool. There’s a free book also available in print from O’Reilly. In addition, there are a bunch of add-on tools or links to other tools, like:

  • SVNclipse: add on for the Eclipse IDE
  • RapidSVN: a full GUI into the source code control system
  • TortoiseSVN (updated link): integration into the Windows Explorer: select “CheckIn”, “CheckOut” and other options directly.

There are even more links at the Wikipedia page. Er, check it out!

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