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I tried to reconnect this WordPress blog to LinkedIn tonight, like I have been doing several evenings since my post from a week ago. I saw the error message mentioned earlier multiple times during my trials. This time it worked, just as it should. Let’s hope the situation holds out from now on!

So you’re developing a ColdFusion application and you need to access the output of a Windows program, like ‘netstat.exe‘ to take the example from the Adobe documentation?

The documentation on how to do that is relatively complete, but fails to emphasise an important point. Try this, and you’ll see… nothing, no output:

<cfexecute name="C:/Windows..../netstat.exe" variable="output" />
<cfdump var="#output#" />

The important point is that you really need to specify a non-zero ‘timeout‘ argument if want to capture the output of the Windows tool in a variable. Simple, but yes: this one had me stumped for 90 seconds!

<cfexecute name="C:/Windows..../netstat.exe" variable="output" timeout="1" >
<cfdump var="#output#" />

If you forget that ‘timeout‘ argument the command you issue will execute, but you won’t know its output, since ColdFusion is already further along in its execution. You may have to experiment a bit with the value for the timeout, depending on the specifics of the machine you’re running ColdFusion on and the execution time of the command called (obviously). Not specifying the timeout will launch the command, but it won’t wait for the command to end – which can be useful as well – but not always.

We had two completely unexpected visitors in our garden yesterday. I have no idea where they came from – or what species they are. But here they were: two members of the parrot family, both substantially larger than the caged parakeets we’re used to see in many homes here. Luckily they lingered about for a few minutes after I spotted them, allowing me to capture a portrait of each one. Long live the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Zoom Lens, for being practical and not too heavy for handheld use.

Alien number 1

Alien number 2

I hope they find a way to survive in the cold nights that are coming. The climate may be getting warmer, but parrots are not yet endemic birds in Belgium!

The post on this blog have been “publicized” on Twitter and LinkedIn since many years. Since about three weeks or so, WordPress keeps saying that there is an issue with the connection to LinkedIn. What should be a simple matter of a few clicks and typing a password is turning into something unpleasant. The moment I ask LinkedIn to authorise WordPress, I usually get this message: “Failed to load your request token while connecting to LinkedIn“. LinkedIn seems to accept the request, but WordPress is unable to retrieve the required key and tells me to try again… and again… and again.

I have lived through that scenario on multiple days, so yesterday I hoped to outsmart both applications: I deleted the existing authorisation in LinkedIn, disconnected WordPress from LinkedIn, and then tried to connect WordPress to LinkedIn as if it were the first time I did so. Guess what?

Error message: “The LinkedIn connection could not be made because no account was selected.

A new error message appeared: “The LinkedIn connection could not be made because no account was selected.” I guess I’ll have to live a few days/weeks without postings on LinkedIn.

Note: I’m doing all my WordPress stuff in a browser on the Mac…

The big picture is a bit disappointing, of course. Here we have to giants on the Web, whose services are explicitly built to be connectable – and then that connection fails. It fails not once, but several times over a period of weeks. It seems as if no one at either company is checking the log files of those applications (it’s hard to imagine that I’m the only one encountering this issue). Perhaps these companies are too big to notice (or worse: care about) such failures?

It seems I was complaining too early about the gloomy weather in Belgium, when I wrote about the solar electricity production of the panels on our roof at the beginning of October. Because October was even darker than ever before in the last decade – in fact, there wasn’t a single day of blue sky in the whole month. And that makes for a disappointing state of things: the darkest October in 10 years, producing only 79% of the average KWh’s of the previous years.

That number of 79% is confirmed by the national meteorological institute KMI (in Dutch): it has registered only 88 hours of sunshine in October, compared to a ‘normal’ (I suppose that means ‘average’) 112 hours. 88 / 112 * 100 = 79%. It may have been warmer and wetter than normally in October, but that’s just a small consolation.

I saw the word ‘Yooperlites‘ on BoingBoing, along with a name that reminded me of Finland. Suspecting a silly story, my first reaction was to skip the post… Luckily for me, I did not do that. The image accompanying the post made it clear that the subject was not silly, but a thing of beauty.

If, like me, you don’t know what a Yooperlite is, you have to watch the story:

(Click on the image to see the video report of this discovery)

I will admit to being jealous of Erik Rintamaki, for having the luck to just walk on the beach and discover a type of rock that is not just beautiful to look at, but also completely new – at least in the state of Michigan. Yooperlite is a syenite rocks that is rich in fluorescent sodalite; I wonder if something like it could be found here in Europe.

Two months after the previous software update Samsung has published another 125MB package for the Galaxy S7. This time, it brings the S7 in line with the September 1st security patch level. It’s always a good idea to keep up with system software for any device you own – so get it onto your S7 if you haven’t done it yet!

The G930FXXS6ESI4 / G930FLUX6ESI4 / G930FXXS6ESI6
update installs quickly…