Running RTC as a Windows service

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I need to run the Rational Team Concert Jazz Build Engine as a Windows service as we need it to run non-stop as part of the continuous integration service. The catches though are

  • it (theoretically) wouldn’t stop as it keeps on waiting for build requests from the RTC server. This makes it as an unlikely candidate for scheduled tasks unless I will cookup a script for terminating it before the actual run. Messy if I still have to check if there is a build in progress.
  • the machine hosting it is not a dedicated machine so a couple of admins usually login to do some stuff which kills any running processes executed by the currently logged-in user.

Windows provides the sc.exe utility for creating and removing Windows services but it only accepts executables and not scripts. I have to set some environment properties and parameters so this is out of the running. The Java Service Wrapper is a good alternative but I misread the instructions so ended up using the AutoExnt utility in the Win2003 Resourse Kit. The files are still usable in Windows XP.

Only three files are needed from the kit namely Autoexnt.exe, instexnt.exe and servmess.dll. These files are to be dropped in the %SYSTEMROOT%\system32 directory.. The next step is to create the %SYSTEMROOT%\system32\autoexnt.bat (the file needs to be named like that) with the commands to be executed. My script looked something like this:

@echo off
REM Workstation specific settings.
set JBE_Eclipse_Dir=C:\Apps\IBM\jazz\buildsystem\buildengine\eclipse
set JBE_Repository_URL=https:///jazz
set JBE_EngineID=ToolingBuilder
set JBE_user=kerberos
set JBE_password=

REM If proxy is not needed, switch the JBE_VMArgs_OPTS to use the empty one
set proxyHost=
set proxyPort=3128

set JBE_VMArgs_OPTS=-vmargs -DhttpsproxyHost=%proxyHost% -Dhttps.proxyPort=%proxyPort%

REM Set the JVM to use to the IBM J9 VM otherwise the compilation will fail.
set java_home=C:\Apps\IBM\SDP70\jdk
set classpath=.;%java_home%\lib
set path=%java_home%\bin;%path%

REM Invoke the Jazz Build Engine client.
pushd %JBE_Eclipse_Dir%
jbe.exe -repository %JBE_Repository_URL% -userId %JBE_user -pass %JBE_password% -engineId %JBE_EngineID% -sleeptime 1 %JBE_VMArgs_OPTS%


The next step is invoking the command instexnt install to install the service. The only final thing to do is to go inside the Services console of Windows and reconfigure the AutoExNT service to start automatically at boot up. Of course, it needs to be started as well if you want to use the service immediately. 🙂

There are a few more help in the Windos 2003 Resource Kit help but the only thing of interest is using instexnt install /interactive to install the service. This will cause the service to pop out a command window wherein the user can view the console output. The downside is that the user can close the window which will terminate the service.

I have thought about migrating the system to use the Java Service Wrapper but using the AutoExNT separates the service component which allows JBE implementors to replace/delete the JBE installation directory without going through the setup process again.

[edit 20081002] Dom Weinand posted this link in the RTC user forum on how to use the Java Service Launcher to run JBE as a Windows service[/edit]


Intel Dual-core Atom processors are out

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ExtremeTech has published an article announcing that the dual-core Atom processors (330) are now out. These processors are also designed for netbooks and UMPC but there is nothing that can stop anybody from putting this in small form-factor PCs to have a low-power, small, and inexpensive servers.

This would be another tease for those who are procrastinating about getting a UMPC since the current slew of models are only sporting the single-core chip (230). The A230 are already great for the need of the regular netbook user but having more cores would be better if you are doing more intensive processing. I hear that Photoshop on the current netbooks are bearable but having a dual-core unit would make it more tolerable. Code compilations and other number-crunching processes will also benefit from having an additional core. I wonder though how much would be the hit of the additional core on the battery life since if I am not mistaken the power draw has also doubled since the TDP of the 230 ranges between 2.5 to 4 watts. The increase might be tiny enough if viewed on the perspective of the benefits but the processor is part of the triumvirate of the power guzzlers for computers (hard disk and monitors complete the set).

For me, I will procrastinate again on getting my low-power download/storage server until the 330 becomes available locally. Hopefully there is a new chipset that will complement the low power draw as well since the current chipset for the 230 is not known for power efficiency.

And yes, there are reports that when it comes to performance per watt, the AMD Turion Mobile processor still beats the Atom processors. That is a testament to how efficient the AMD designs have been from the start. Too bad that there are no netbooks and UMPC model that sports these processors. 🙁


The registry of deeds experience

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With the additional amount we have added to our savings from my Denmark assignment we are finally able to pay off the remainder of our mortgage to the Home Mutual Development Fund (aka PAGIBIG) earlier this year. Upon hand-off of the land title we were told to proceed to the city/municipal hall encompassing our home to have the deed updated.

I have a one and a half hour commute (one-way) so to deal with the local Binangonan government means I have to take a day off. I decided to put it off until September wherein I planned to get a lot of things going. Yesterday morning was the slot I allocated with going to the Binangonan municipal hall but little did I know that the two hour stint I planned would stretch to an almost full-day dealing with an inefficient and bureaucratic process. I was complaining on how the office process is becoming like a government institutions in terms of process red tape but it is refreshing to get a taste of the real thing every once in a while. I don’t believe in stereotyping but what I saw was nothing but very fit for theatrical offerings.

I will summarize the whole process for those who are going to undergo a similar task of having a newly acquired land title. Note that this is only for canceling the hold of the previous title holder as the land title is already named to us. I would assume that the process will be longer if you will have the title transferred to your name. HDMF underwent that process after we fully paid our mortgage and it took no less than two months. The steps might vary for each municipality/city but the general flow would be the same.

How to Cancel and Update the Land Title Registry

  1. Before going to the city/municipal hall, make sure you have the following:
    • Valid id with picture with at least two clear photocopies
    • A working pen
    • Land title
    • Notice of deed release. HDMF provided this for us but make sure you have this as the title alone is not enough.
    • Enough money[1] to pay for land tax, various processing fees, and enough for lunch and snacks.
    • Some reading materials, portable music player[2], or portable gaming console to help you pass the time.
  2. Go to the government office early. The earliest you can finish your business, the better off you will be.
  3. Go straight to the Assessor’s office and request for two copies of the land tax declaration.
  4. Go to the cashier and pay the fees for the tax declarations. I paid Php50 for each copy.
  5. Go back to the assessor’s office and give back the receipt. I was asked to wait while they were preparing the tax declaration. I was asked to pay Php20 per document for the documentary stamp. Why they didn’t include this in the amount I paid in the cashier is still boggling me.[3]
  6. Go to the land tax windows and have your tax liabilities printed and settled. For a 50 sq. meter lot, I paid around Php800.
  7. Go to the registry of deed and ask for a form to have the deed registration’s previous owner cancelled and updated to your name. Fill up the form and submit it together with the deed and notice of release. Wait while your deed is being verified.
  8. Upon verification, you will be instructed to proceed to the cashier with your papers and pay for the processing fee. Don’t bother asking how much since only the cashier will answer you. I paid about Php700 for the processing fee.
  9. Wait. And Wait some more. This is where the device you brought for passing time will be very handy.
  10. Once you get a receipt, have the title, stamped notice of release, and receipt photocopied. Submit the photocopies and the originals to the clerk for further processing.
  11. Your papers will be handed back to you sans the photocopies and you need to submit this to one of the receiving areas near the releasing.
  12. Wait for your updated deed at the releasing area. Again, you will have to wait for quite a while.

Sounds simple. What killed my time was that I didn’t know the process and the people I talked to in the Land Tax area weren’t too versed in the whole process. They sent me to the “other” building where the Deeds Registry is located which turned out to be three building away and outside the hall compound. Upon going to the Deeds Registry I was asked if I have already paid the land tax and said they are the last stop so I had to troop back to the Land Tax and Assessor’s office. I was also hit by the lunch break just as soon as I was waiting for my papers to be released. One thing I can say with the Deeds Registry people is that they are religious in observing their time schedules. 🙂


[1] DONT go with only large-denomination bills or else you are asking your stay to be prolonged if they don’t have enough change for your large bills.
[2] If you are going to bring a music player, make sure that you can free up an ear since you need to be alert if your name is being called. If the person processing your paper is in a bad mood, they would be happy to put your papers at the bottom of the processing stack for “wasting” their time.
[3] The fees posted for the document was pegged at Php50.00 so your guess on where the payments for these highly-overpriced stamps are going is as good as mine.


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It is the hardest thing of all, the one thing that will show if you have the one true courage. To know that you have failed, that your best efforts have been defeated, to not be able to stand it, to not be able to go on and yet to go on nonetheless.

Lord Lucian Tremain – “InSerein”,