Shadow and Duke at JavaOne
Say hello to my little friend!
Wizard: the best cat a boy ever had

Shadow's Home Page

"After the vintage season came the aftermath — and Cenbe."
(last updated 2015-05-20)

I'm a retired Java programmer and Linux admin living on the fashionable East Side in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. We call our city "a great place on a Great Lake"; our beautiful art museum is one reason why. You can see my cat Wizard on the lower left (he lets me live in his apartment). I can be reached by email as shadowm at lyonlabs dot org.

boot screen
my test machine (click to enlarge)
Shadow on Jalan Malioboro
in the city of my dreams

On the right is a picture of the boot screen on my biggest test machine "shoggoth". Both that machine and the one this web server runs on were bought from the nice folks over at System76, and my main workstation is their top-of-the-line liquid-cooled "Leopard Extreme", which I'm very pleased with. I highly recommend System76!

I've been a Linux user for 20 years. Here are the slides from my June 2014 systemd presentation at the Milwaukee Linux Users Group.

Want to run GlassFish 4.1 on Ubuntu? I have a HOWTO for you.

I'm an avid Dungeons and Dragons player, and have put together some game narratives and pictures from our old campaign. I'm mainly interested in 1st Edition AD&D (although I'm currently playing in a Castles & Crusades campaign, and am strangely fascinated by Empire of the Petal Throne). I've had something of a crisis of faith recently after studying the AD&D 1e rules in depth (including this well-known monograph), only to find out that I've never actually played by the book. Of course, no one did in those days, but is it even possible to follow the 1e rules to the letter? I'm no longer sure.... Contact me (shadowm at lyonlabs dot org) if you want to try; I have a campaign ready.

Here's a link to pictures of my travels to Yogyakarta in central Java (Indonesia); on the right you can see the obligatory tourist picture. And here's some video I shot on my 2005 trip, when a guy I met there invited me to his village outside Bantul to watch the local gamelan practicing. On my most recent trips to the city of my dreams (2011, 2013), I stayed at 1001 Malam (1001 Nights) hotel. And don't miss this short video I shot of kopi joss being prepared at Angkringan Lek Man (watch all the way to the end)!

I've started a page for pictures and recordings of Sheboygan Bands of the 80s. Remember going to see The Boss, Alliance, Trinity, or EMF at the Downtowner? Soon they'll all be there... well, sooner or later.

When I was in high school, I went to a training camp for classical musicians called Symphony School of America. Later, I studied the music of Scriabin.

Commodore logo

I'm a long-time Commodore 64 user,
and still use and program these now-historic computers. This is the machine that made me a programmer; learning 6502 assembly language made it possible for me to learn IBM 370 assembler at work, which lead to all the strange and wonderful things I coded later. Click the link for software, pictures of my machines and of shows where Commodore users gather, and of course, lots and lots of technical information. I'm currently doing a series of talks at some of the shows about programming languages for the Commodore 64.

Macintosh SE thumbnail
cenbe file share thumbnail

I've started dabbling in classic Macintosh computers,
which is something I've always wanted to learn about; there's something so simple and elegant about the GUI of these machines. I've got three of them so far (running System 7), and have a fair grasp of how the operating system is used. Both LocalTalk and AppleTalk are working (with the participation of a Linux box acting as a server), and my most recent accomplishment is getting TCP/IP working using MacTCP (click the link for details).

Computer History Museum logo

If you're ever near Silicon Valley, be sure to visit the Computer History Museum. They've got displays that will knock your socks off, from centuries-old slide rules to the underground behemoths that watched the skies during the Cold War. They've even got a piece of ENIAC! For several years now, they've also had a reconstruction of Charles Babbage's Difference Engine, which is on loan from its owner Nathan Myhrvold. Here are pictures of the setup checklist, the machine in operation, and an operator with a debugger.

NetBeans logo

I'm an active member of the NetBeans community, and have been part of the NetCAT (Community Acceptance Testing) program for the 3.6, 4.0, 4.1, 5.0, 6.0, 6.5, 6.7, 6.8, 6.9, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, and 8.0 releases. I have had the honor to speak about NetBeans on several panels at JavaOne.

NetBeans 8.0 was released on 2014-03-18, in conjunction with Java 8. Release notes are available from that link, where you can also find screencasts about the new version. There is also a more detailed list of the new features on the New and Noteworthy page. NetBeans 8.0 includes many enhancements, including support for Java 8, the most revolutionary release of the language since 1.1 came out in 1997. NetBeans will even offer to change your code to use the new lambda expressions in Java 8!

Fedora logo
Linux Counter certificate
Linux penguin

I've been a Linux user since 1995, starting with Slackware. In 1998, I switched to SUSE after seeing it at the Linux Expo in Raleigh; at that time, Linux became my primary operating system (replacing OS/2). In mid-2008, I switched to Ubuntu, but will be switching to Fedora 22 as soon it's released. Ubuntu's recent decision to switch to systemd was almost enough to keep me, but their tendency to go their own way instead of following the rest of the community has finally become too much for me. Creating Unity instead of working with the GNOME developers, creating the Mir project instead of using Wayland, their foolish ideas about convergence, and last but not least their plan to replace .deb packages with Snappy have finally alienated me to the point of switching distros... for only the third time in twenty years.

I've been a member of the Milwaukee Linux Users Group (MLUG) on and off for many years, and was at the first meeting back in the late 90s. On 2014-06-14, I gave a presentation on systemd, of which I am a strong supporter.

Here are some Linux tips 'n' tricks: