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AboutTime Updated 
Holidays are time for family, friends, ... and posting the latest features to your freeware!

Graphical Changes

This long-weekend witnessed the share of a few of my favorite recent additions to AboutTime:

(1) First, note that time-card calculations are now expressed as pure hours. --No more "24 * n" machinations:

(2) Next, HTML Reports have been updated. Reports are now generated by week:

While HTML reporting is now a-week-at-a-time, comma-separated variables remain our primary backup & data-sharing mechanism. In as much as limited backups invariably produce some unpleasant surprises, a CSV export still exports everything.

(3) Much like the weekly-HTML Reporting, the time-card entries are also now constrained by a default weekly-view:

The new effect of this "weekly window" is that our time-card summaries can be browsed. -This new "Next / Last" week-view allows both an easier perusal of the tasked "charge code" hours, as well as those linearly-logged "stop / start" summary hours.

(4) Finally - on a whim - yesterday I added a neat little minimalist-calendar feature:

Keeping with the monochromatic background theme, we thought that another splash of high-art might help get our day started off right.

Focus Change

The net effect of the above changes is that - as of this week - AboutTime is more of a time & task reporting database, than a weekly log-file & time-management tool.



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Linkedin asks: "How would you repair a company's mentality"? 


Like changing any single person's mentality, overtly changing an entire company's mentality is surely prone to their willingness to see any need to change.

While attitude-change at the top is always a good place to start, surely we need to qualify the type of "mentality" anyone wants to have?


What folks are supposed to "get" when we say "mentality change" often translates into changing from a negative, unsupportable, and / or intimidative culture in favor of a more respectful, supportive, and / or matrix-managed way of doing things.

But further qualification is also often needed: In general, whenever funding is flowing (jobs are not at risk) all simply comes down to an obvious Dale-Carnegie activity. Conversely, when things are tight the challenge is to prevent mentalities from becoming what one sees on a typical survivor show...


So assuming one is willing, when things are going well just about anyone can change their (or even a company's) mentality / culture / attitude . The trick however is how to do the same thing when the 'Mensloian Needs are not stacking up in one's favor.

At the end of the day we must also note that most people are very adept at detecting insincerity. Hence any genuinely reformed ability to keep folks positive is – more often than not – a direct reflection of the character to be found around each and every corporate citizen.


At a minimum, those who are permitted to lead other employees must be able to hold-up well when given any random team member's exact same set of circumstances. Why? Because coaxing genuine reform from others is never easy; Positive change requires sincere commitment. Certainly, when adjusting any mindset (first our own?), even scenting the slightest hint of hypocrisy from leaders will leave most mentalities far worse off then when they started.

Ultimately, nudging anyone's mentally toward the positive end of the spectrum is invariably a sincere, core-value, “Golden Rule” type of thing.


Interestingly, once a positive change is under-way, unlike individual mentality a change to corporate culture begins to take on a life of it's own.

Commonly referred to as "bureaucratic interia", the force to be overcome in either the positive or the negative direction offers very similar turn-around efforts.

While the debate may range over if the "dark side" is more irresistible than any inertial "light side", in my opinion the bottom like is based upon how genuinely each modal employee has been converted to positive, whole-life change.


So while people can be financially coerced into following any reasonably good example, becoming a good example oneself requires far more daily self-discipline, than bi-weekly self-deception.

Turning wealth-promising earth into far more highly-valued ingots has always been an involved process; While surely required as a first critical step, it is foolhardy in the extreme to believe that any single person-in-charge will be able to completely change any entire companies life-long value-set. Rather, no matter what one's leadership role, the process is to first convert oneself, see one's own critical-path significant-others convert, then witness the extended cascade effect.

Thereafter, the best any leader can do is to accentuate the positive, and eliminate the negative.


Such is how things work with men and things: In my opinion, only group-fostered commitments to sustainable core-values will help any organization both create, as well as maintain a positive mentality. -An employee of golden-rule integrity; A co-worker and / or leader that might yet withstand any hour's prevailing wind of financial and / or political change.

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Server Setup on CentOS Minimalist 

Back ... to the Future?

Those who have been using Linux & other POSIX systems for a few decades know that there was a time when there was no GUI. While technologies like XWindows are indeed welcome, some times we want to to make every byte & cycle count. -Why waste the floating-point time and space when graphical users are not part of our port-use paradigm?

Serving-up maximum power is surely the case whenever we set up a Server. Greedly managing every performance aspect is also the reason why many love the minimalist installation option available with CentOS.

Get Networking on Minimalist

Of course, the 'minimalist' definition means slightly different things to slightly different server-roles. --Yet since the ability to pick-and-choose is what we are after, here are a few general notes on how to get things started:

ifconfig eth0 netmask up
ip addr add dev eth0
ip route add default via
The example above is where your minimalist VM / server is a Class C (24 bit) net-mask with an IP address of *.231, and *.1 is your Gateway.

Getting Downloads on Minimalist

After you can do things like ping the outside world, the next thing to do is to get wget:

yum install wget

Downloading Apache Derby on Minimalist

Thereafter, my mission was to set up a dedicated Derby server for a custom Advanced Java Developer, Hibernate, Google Earth & "Big Data" Gig. Since license support prohibits a clear wget example of installing JEE / Oracle Java, lets begin by downloading something from the Apache Commons:
(other mirrors here)

Archive Support on Minimalist (Derby Example)

Next, we will all surely want to unzip archives, so:
gunzip *.gz

Such will therefore allow us to obviously:
tar -xvf *.tar
cd db*

so we can get ready for the next steps of installing Java, as well as the Derby SQL Server proper.

Adding Java

When it comes time to install java, we must resist the temptation to use yum. Instead, we should probably simply cross-load our favourite Java installation archive to a handy personal web server, then use wget to entice it down from there. (Surely a tad more involved, new folks should nevertheless neuron-in on the idea that things like FTP are obviously also an option for cross-loading things like "agree first" archives.)

File Wiring

Using our .bashrc is the best way to test things:
export JAVA_HOME=/myinstall/jre
export DERBY_HOME=/myinstall/derby
export CLASSPATH=$DERBY_HOME/lib/derbytools.jar:$DERBY_HOME/lib/derbynet.jar
export PATH="$JAVA_HOME/bin:$DERBY_HOME/bin:$PATH"
Ultimately however, servers need to start other things whenever they start up. Therefore, after updating the default path to where things are for the entire server (vi /etc/profile), be sure to update your list of inittab applications (e.g. startNetworkServer) as well.
startNetworkServer -h
You might even prefer to use the chkconfig utility.


Lest we forget, be sure to allows other computers to connect to your new server by updating your security & port requirements in /etc/sysconfig/iptables, too!

Here is a decent iptables R&D packet filtering stance for an up-and-down VM - such as what one might like to train on:
iptables -F
iptables -X
iptables -t nat -F
iptables -t nat -X
iptables -t mangle -F
iptables -t mangle -X
iptables -P INPUT ACCEPT
Once defined, add the rules to the /etc/sysconfig/iptables file by typing:
/sbin/service iptables save



p.s: If you would like to see a better color choice (i.e. so students can keep track of which VM they are using) then something like:

setterm -background white -foreground blue -store

-always helps! (you might even want to use things like
-blink on
to brighten things up a bit...)

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