new samsung tv

I bought a new HDTV/computer monitor.  I’m only using it as a TV, but they brand it as both.  Which is good as I can easily use it as a second monitor if I want to.  I went to B & H to see it in person before I bought it.  I like seeing electronics in the store.  The TV came well wrapped a few days later.

The missing manual

Setting it up was easy.  However, there was no manual.  Instead there was a CD which I imagine has the manual on it.  I say I imagine because the CD can only be used on Windows.  While I haven’t gotten rid of or given away my old Windows laptop, I don’t particularly want to take it out to open this CD.  The manual was downloadable via a PDF online.  I printed it and now have a printed manual.  Now I’ll grant you they saved paper not shipping a manual.  But there was plenty of other paper junk in the box.

The devices I actually use

All the devices a normally plug into the TV work fine.  It’s my first HDTV so I still need to plug in the HD cable from Time Warner.  I’m sure that is easy.

Over the air tv

I own a standalone antenna and digital converter box so I can provide tech support  for those to devices to family.  I’m considering upgrading said family’s tv so I decided to try out over the air tv to see what happened.

  1. With the cable box still plugged in, I scanned for over the air channels.  Three channels were found.  One of which came in poorly.  And one of which was displaying FOX on a channel number that should have been NBC.  None of the three channels came in well (analog fuzziness) and none of them had sound.
  2. I read online and tried changing a number of settings.  None worked.
  3. I emailed Samsung who suggested I check my connections.
  4. Then it occurred to me to try the standalone antenna.  I unplugged the cable box, plugged in the antenna and tried again.  (I do own an a/b switch letting me use both, but I’m not leaving the antenna plugged in long so it is easier to switch out.)  I have 47 channels over the air!  All of which come in decently to well.  For those who haven’t used over the air tv since before the digital cutover, each station can broadcast more channels now so there is a 2-1, 2-2, etc.

Is it worth having cable?

Probably not.  Now that over the air comes in, I imagine buying tv shows individually over hulu and watching streaming for events is more cost effective.  That would require faster internet though so I’ll revisit it when FIOS comes to town.  (Opportunity here for Scott to tease me about Tivo or Apple TV.)

Why did reception suddenly get better?

I have two things that changed.

  1. The new TV that doesn’t require a digital converter box.
  2. I moved since I last tried to watch over the air tv. (when the cable went out a few years ago.)  I suspect this is more significant as the current location of the antenna faces Manhattan – where broadcasting comes from.  Before I moved, it didn’t.

I was under the impression the HDTV had an internal tv tuner.  Not sure if it as an antenna, but probably not.  That explains why plugging in the antenna helped.

I tried my old tv with the external antenna and digital converter box.  The reception was good as well implying it is my new location more than the tv that helped.

trying architexa – an eclipse diagramming plugin

Architexa recently announced free licensing for individuals or teams of up to three.  I figured I’d run it against CodeRanch JForum to see what happens.


The software is an Eclipse plugin.  You get the link after registering.  A different update site is provided for Eclipse 3.X vs Juno (4.2).  I know some CodeRanch JForum developers use IntelliJ IDEA.  I don’t, so I can try it out.  The install was smooth.  I did get asked to confirm I trust the certificate within Eclipse.

One minor discrepancy.  The website says the software is free for individuals and teams of up to three developers.  The email confirming your email and welcoming you says the software is free for individuals and teams of up to four developers.  Moot point at the moment since I’m using it as an individual.  But Architexa should sync these up.

The email asks me to validate my email using a localhost link.  Same for editing my profile.  I can’t click on it to validate.  Hm.. I then went to the website and clicked the “forgot password” link.  This got an emailed password which I could use to validate in Eclipse itself.  Again the change password link is a localhost link.  After entering that password, Eclipse said my account was validated.  So while the links are broken, I’m in the tool.

Learning curve

Architexa asks which projects it should index.  I said just JForum.  Architexa provides good Eclipse “cheat sheets” to start out quickly.

Layered Diagram

This is like a dependency graph for packages.  Very nice.  If you mouse over, you see incoming (afferent) and outgoing (efferent) dependencies.  You can also drill down to see lower level packages.

Class Diagram

Right clicking a package opens the option to create a class diagram.  Two classes generated on top of each other, but I can drag them around (or highlight them or call other attention.)  It is easy to view the source code from the class diagram.  I don’t see how to view the method names/fields in the class diagram.  This info is available in the outline view in Eclipse already though so it isn’t critical.

Sequence Diagram

This appears to be an enhanced editor.  You drag classes into it and it shows calls.  This seems like more work to create.  I tried dragging a few items over and “add all” to get the calls.  Unfortunately calls aren’t so much within one or two classes so this didn’t help much.  I didn’t create anything worth taking a screenshot of.

Overall opinion

The package diagram caught my attention the most.  I really like the dependency arrows.  The class diagram provides a nice visualization as well.  The sequence diagram seems like it would be a good documentation aid if one was creating sequence diagrams for the project.  Which I’m not because we inherited the design of the code and I’m already familiar with the flow.  I think more value would come from sharing documents and using the tool as a team.

For a “real” (paid) project, I”m not sure I’d be so thrilled to keep my documentation in a proprietary tool. Even a free one.  But for getting a feel for the software on a product that is “documentation-lite” or “no documentation”, the layered (package) diagrams and class diagrams provide a nice way to jump in.  Assuming you are using Eclipse already of course.

Eclipse Memory Analyzer

Last time CodeRanch has a memory leak, a teammate ran Eclipse Memory Analyzer and I ran JVisual VM.  This time, I did both.  I took the heap dump as described here.  JVisual VM told me hibernate was using a ton of memory.

To run

To run Eclipse Memory Analyzer, I needed to launch Eclipse with more memory.  The default wasn’t enough to open the heap dump.  On Windows, I would edit the eclipse.ini file.  On Mac, I instead used a command line.  (I have read that it is supposed to be possible to edit the eclipse.ini too.  Didn’t work the once I tried it.)

./eclipse -vmargs -Xmx4g -XX:-UseGCOverheadLimit

(It was a production dump; just under 1 GB.)

What I learned

The Leak Suspects report was right on. It noted that the heap dump had three large Hibernate Session objects.  I was only expecting one.  We are using Entity Factory (which use Hibernate Session behind the scenes if using Hibernate JPA).  It turned out there was some code which intended to to cache the entity factory, but in fact didn’t for some nightly jobs we have.