2011 Soaring Season Begins

Posted on 2011/02/26
2011-02-26 Flight Path

2011-02-26 Flight Path

I’ve been working on my sailplane to get in back in shape…last weekend I didn’t fly it, instead I spend 12+ hours cleaning, polishing and waxing everything except the bottoms of the wings. Today I wired up my new flight recorder and PNA. I thought about finishing waxing the wings, but I just couldn’t… with cloud streets like I saw today, I just HAD to fly. It was AWESOME! there was incredible lift, averaging about 4kts, but going up to 10+kts! I downloaded my flight from my flight recorder,so you can see there was good lift today… I made up above 5000′, and actually above the cloud bases at one point.

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JUnit4 Annotations and Ant Workaround

Posted on 2011/02/10

I usually use Maven for Java based projects, so my ant skills are a little rusty. Recently It was whipping up some JUnit negative test cases for someone else’s project that was a mess of ant build files (ugh). I decided to use some of the nifty annotation features found in JUnit 4.8.2 ( for rules and expected exception behavior). Annotations are great for addressing defects in the Java language, and help encapsulation by associating behavior directly with a class. But I digress… Anyway All the tests to check exceptions were thrown under negative test conditions looked good inside of Eclipse, but when I ran the ant test script from the command line, none of tests were being run encfprcomg the annotations, even though the JUnit jar was in the ant classpath! A little research showed that ant’s JUnit test runner doesn’t support annotations. The solution was to modify the suite() method of the AllTests class to wrap the classes under test in a JUnit4TestAdapter, i.e. something like this:

public class AllTests extends TestSuite {
    public static junit.framework.Test suite() {
            return new JUnit4TestAdapter(TestSomething.class);

XML Encoding, UTF-8 / UTF-16 Confusion

Posted on 2011/02/03

Here’s a frustrating little problem I found when a service I deal with (we’ll call it SystemA for “Awesome”) suddenly changed character encoding… My app was suddenly getting parse exceptions for XML messages after an upgrade to SystemA was deployed to a test environment. A peak at my logs showed the xml response looked funky, with extra spaces all throught it… no wonder my XML API went blooey:

< ? x m l v e r s i o n = ” 1 . 0 ” e n c o d i n g = ” U T F – 8 ” ? >

I blinked a little, then tried a copy paste from the log file to put into a bug note and got this little gem from textpad:

Cannot cut, copy, or drag and dtop text containing null (code = 0) characters.

Cannot cut, copy, or drag and dtop text containing null (code = 0) characters.


I opened the file up in a Hex Editor, and low and behold there were extra nulls chars all through it. Even though the xml header specified UTF-8, it looked like it was actually encoded in UTF-16.

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Flying Home

Posted on 2011/02/01

I flew my plane for the first time since my catastrophic hangliding accident 9 months ago… here’s a 3 minute video showing takeoff, some highlights of the flight, and my landing.