Charles Proxy for iOS development – simulating 3g

Charles Proxy is a great tool for web developers and it can help you in mobile apps too.

Here’s what you’d need to set it up:

  1. Run charles on your pc / mac, go to Proxy -> Proxy Settings and note the proxy port
  2. In your device network settings, enable http proxy and enter its ip and port (see below for ios)
  3.  Back to charles, click on Proxy -> Throttling Settings and enable throttling while choosing the 3G Throttle Preset. In the example below i’ve created another preset where i’ve lowered the in/out bandwidth even further

That’s it – now go use your app and watch in the charles screen the requests.

For extra credits, you can introduce packet loss/reordering by running

tc qdisc change dev eth0 root netem delay 10ms reorder 25% 50%

in your box – see netem for more

Tapestry gets a face lift

Tapestry, the definite java component web framework, just got a nice face lift. The new website that was in the works for some months is now online.

In it, you will find the updated Tapestry Tutorial, the new and detailed FAQ, a quick reference to commonly used annotations within Tapestry 5 and much more documentation.

The Tapestry home page is also full of exciting new reasons of why you’d be interested in using Tapestry, so if this is the first time you’ve heard of this component based framework or if it’s been a while since you last reviewed it, then I gladly welcome you to take a look.

Goal 4D

Goal4D was the name of a java 3d engine i created a long long (long) time ago [2001-2003].
The code was never open-sourced and even though most of its features are obsolete now i don’t think it’d hurt anyone if i post it on my github account (i’d have to find the source code first).
Anyway, here’s a presentation i once did about Goal4D… enjoy!

View more presentations from andyhot.

On losing my primary HDD

On losing my primary HDD

Well, it just happened – i was aware of the ‘clicking’ sounds for the last few days but i didn’t bother to check what it was… it was the hard drive, stupid!
But why? And why now? Well, it turns out the power supply fan was not functioning and I guess the high temperature made matters deteriorate fast! BIOS isn’t recognizing the drive and there’s nothing i can do through software means – the HDD containing my home folder was history…
But anyway, my first thoughts were to quickly send the disk for recovery and here are some service i’ve found out (through web search) that can handle such a task here in Athens / Greece:

I didn’t contact any of them but it looks like the price for the recovery can start from 300€ but will most likely end up to 1000-1500€. So, why didn’t i contact any of those? Well, after the first few hours had passed, i had calmed down and had booted to the second HDD’s – that one’s still alive – Windows Server 2003 for the first time in the last 2 years. Then, and while installing those 2 years’ worth of updates, I tried hard to think what i had lost.

So, i’m happy to say that i haven’t lost much! Passwords are recoverable + in laptop’s browser as well. Bookmarks in delicious and in laptop. Important documents & emails in gmail (and laptop). Pictures & videos in laptop & wife’s laptop & windows HDD (hmmm… perhaps that still says something about linux device support : P). Private keys were once copied to windows for use with putty. In fact, i’m currently aware of only the following loses: some uncommitted changes to a few projects and loss of a git repo for a week old project ( for which i at least got the latest code from the deployment server! And that’s all for now… perhaps i’ve lost more and perhaps i’ll find that out soon but still i think i was just lucky, esp. considering i had no “formal” backups
Update: Forgot to mention I’ve definitely lost thousands of 1 0 bullet chess games played on FICS … but those are either reproducible, or just crappy!

Partial review of last year – php comeback?

Partial review of last year – php comeback?

In 2009 I did several php projects. The decision to use php was a pragmatic one – very cheap, available everywhere, easy to google for and I had a lot of experience with it in (its and … mine) early years. I even used to teach it at SPHY.
So anyway, up till last year, thinking of php would always bring back memories of spaghetti-code (though I hasten to add, the worst spaghetti-like project i’ve had to work on was in Java/jsp and that was back in 2001/2002 – copy/paste was the emperor and reuse was an unknown word). But all those memories have since changed – php 5 can do OOP and apart from a few gotchas, it’s not that much different to Java… and you do get instant productivity gains (due to save-reload workflow)
After doing a short review of the php web frameworks & libraries, I chose to use Kohana (ver.2) in my projects. Kohana has proven to be a very elegant and clean MVC implementation and its new version (ver.3) now implements HMVC (hierarchical MVC) which is awfully close to what component-based web frameworks are offering but with less magic and thus less complexity
( i’ll need another post -or posts- to explain this further)
Of course, when you’re back to the PHP land, it’s worthwhile to take a look at some of the best (and most used) apps that are written with that, namely wordpress, drupal and joomla (FlatPress is also great if you can’t afford a DB). I took a close look at the source code of wordpress and drupal and their architecture and found both straightforward – code is understandable, authoring plugins and extending default functionality is both easy and fun! And this makes you think… perhaps I can use any of those platforms as a base for my projects. Perhaps YOU should!
Anyway, i’ll expand my thoughts in the following days. I’ll close with screenshots of 3 greek blogs i was involved with this winter (,,

Reading Apache Maven 2 Effective Implementation

Reading Apache Maven 2 Effective Implementation

Thanks to Amit Sharma (of Packt Publishing), I recently got a copy of Apache Maven 2 Effective Implementation authored by Brett Porter and Maria Odea Ching.

The book has proven to be an interesting read so far (even for an advanced maven user), covering a lot of important (and sometimes little known) plugins. Its best practices chapter along with the real-life advices/tips that are found throughout the book are a must read. On the other hand, I would really have liked to see a chapter or appendix covering maven support in IDEs + I must admit don’t have much of respect for Archiva (that’s based on a few weeks interaction i had with it 3 years ago – perhaps things have improved?) which is covered in detail in the book, along with Continuum.

Anyway, expect a complete review soon.