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Oh Ye MacBook Pro Of Little Memory :-(

March 25th, 2013 | No Comments | Posted in General, IdM Infrastructure, Tools

I’ve been a Mac user ever since 1993 and have always been extremely pleased with the platform in so many ways. Recently, Apple seems to have finally been realized in the consumer market as superior — I see Macs everywhere I go. And in the developer/power user arena, Macintosh and Mac OS X is the absolute “cat’s meow,” especially if one is a JEE developer. I couldn’t do what I do in Identity Management for Qubera without my 15″ MacBook Pro. It just does what I want it to do — no PC fuss or muss.

Apple’s Poor Memory Roadmap (IMO)

I’ve been disappointed however recently with one piece of the architecture: Apple’s maximum memory limits and their roadmap as it relates to upper memory limits on their non-Retina line of MacBook Pros. I feel it’s short sighted. (Even the new Retina MacBook Pros should max out at 32gb, not 16gb. Their memory footprints are just running behind the PCs at this point.) When I bought my MacBook Pro in early 2011, I laid out a lot of cash for this thing, and I instantly max’d the memory out at a {sarcasm}whopping{/sarcasm} 8gb, knowing I needed to run a lot of VMs, which Qubera uses for testing and support of customers.

Even more recently, after upgrading to Mountain Lion, I’ve pretty much bumped into the limit. I run a lot of stuff to do what I do in Identity Management, and I need it all open at once; Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel, Google Chrome, Eclipse, emacs, Evernote, VMware Fusion and a Windows 7 VM (mainly for Visio, but also PC testing), Tomcat 6, MySQL, terminal windows galore, RDP sessions galore, calendaring, you name it. In recent weeks, I was beginning to despair a little bit. According to Apple, I had already max’d out my memory. 8gb just isn’t/wasn’t enough. What to do?!

Where Has All My Memory Gone?

I began trying to manage my memory better. I used Activity Monitor to monitor my memory, and I learned a lot about what was eating up memory. I didn’t realize I needed to treat just about every browser tab as it’s own application — there’s so much going on behind the scenes of every tab. I usually have a million tabs open too. But I need all this stuff opened. I can’t be closing it down, loosing context in my work.

I really needed a better solution. I began doing some research and in the end, I reached out to my good friends at The Chip Merchant for help. What I discovered was incredibly good news. Good enough news to document this in a blog entry.

8gb For i7-Based Macbook Pros Is NOT “The Max”!!

I’ve been using the guys at The Chip Merchant (in San Diego, CA) for over a decade. When it comes to memory, I know of no one better. These guys really know their stuff. I had a hunch that someone, somewhere HAD to be making an 8gb SODIMM that would fit the MacBook Pro. It turns out, after turning to The Chip Merchant, I was right.

If you go on Amazon and look for these memory SODIMMs, you’ll see they are available, but people are having mixed results with them per the reviews. I found out from The Chip Merchant that these are probably people running the i5-based MacBook Pro rather than the i7-based MacBook Pro, which is what I have. Crucial Memory makes an 8gb SODIMM that is stable and doesn’t over-heat in the i7-based MacBook Pros. For less than $150 to max my memory out at 16gb, it was a no brainer.

(The Chip Merchant really gave Crucial Memory the props as well — they said if Crucial Memory says it, you can book it. Something to remember when it comes to memory in the future.)

Ordering Information

So, there you have it. Despite what Apple indicates or recommends or states as the max for your i7-based MacBook Pro, Crucial Memory makes an 8gb SODIMM that fits and works — so 2x equals 16gb max. My life has been saved.

If you’re looking to upgrade your i7-based MacBook Pro to 16gb, give my friends over at The Chip Merchant a call. These 8gb SODIMMs are NOT in their online store at present, but they do have them and can get their hands on them. Worth every penny. Here is the item number from The Chip Merchant:


Account rep. Devin Charters helped me with this. What a life-saver. :-) This probably extended the life of my MacBook Pro for another 3 years at least. Thanks The Chip Merchant!! Hope this helps someone else out there who is despairing as I was.

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Rules of a Creator’s Life

October 24th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted in General

Found this in my inbox this AM:

I gotta work on #5 a bit more. :-)


My Macbook: Takes a BEATING And Keeps On Ticking

September 7th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted in General

Well, I’m overdue for a blog post anyway, and this was something fairly notable.

For a number of years now, both from the standpoint of pure development as well as on the creative side, nothing beats an Apple computer. It’s a developer’s dream box with a rock-solid, commercial frontend UI (eg. Cocoa) and backend, under-the-covers BSD-like OS… MacOS X is simply the cat’s meow. Especially if you are a Java/JEE developer. (If you are a .Net developer, I’ll give you a free “pass” on using Windoze, and even then… running Windows on VMware Fusion is still better than a real Windoze machine!)

So the “truly notable” was today, after two client trips to Boston, a client trip to Montreal, and untold code written and apps running later — every application you can think of under the sun (eg. Word, Excel, emacs, Eclipse Indigo, Evernote, LibreOffice, Oracle SQL Developer, MySQL Workbench, MySQL database, Chrome, Firefox, Calendar, VMware running a 4gb Windows 7 Pro machine, CoRD, VNC, Cisco VPN, Dropbox, eight terminal sessions, Tomcat running SailPoint IIQ, blah, blah, blah — notice any Microsoft “pig apps” in that list??!!) — after 43 days straight… my MacBook Pro gave hints (only hints!) it was maybe time to reboot. :-)

Try that on a Windows machine sometime. :-) Uh-uh… Ain’t happenin’… :-)

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Developer Tomcat Settings for Sailpoint IIQ Sandboxing

October 10th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in IAM Development, IAM Engagement

Working on IAM projects and out on client sites for Qubera Solutions, our technical peeps all have developer sandboxes we use for prototyping, setting up read-only connectors to outlying systems (eg. PeopleSoft, AD, LDAP, JDBC connections, etc.), doing RBAC analysis and just about anything GRC related. We sandbox just about everything we can or run pre-configured VMware VMs on laptops outfitted with as much memory as we can. (My Macbook Pro is spiked out at 8gb RAM.)

Generally we use Tomcat for the app server piece but not always. None of this is earth-shattering news. Any developer or integrator of note at Any Company USA and around the world is going to have at least “A” sandbox running if not multiple. Just whether those sandboxes are configured and tweeked properly is going to be the only question, really.

As it relates to Sailpoint IIQ, first of all, me running a Macbook Pro, it’s technically “not supported.” But the IIQ deployment, like Oracle Waveset, is just a WAR. For the middleware piece (the DB layer aside), you essentially deploy a WAR, import your objects from XML, and you are off and running. Nevertheless, the “non-supported” aspect of a MacBook tended to rear its ugly head and I had frequent hangups in Tomcat until I tweeked a few things. It turns out setting my JAVA_OPTS to the following not only helps, but seems to be recommended from a trusted source. (I don’t have permission to credit here, much as I would like, so just take it for what it’s worth.)

I’ll “split this up” in a syntactically correct way so this doesn’t extend the page on the blog entry, but you can put these settings all on one line; hopefully that is obvious:

JAVA_OPTS="-server -Xms3072m -Xmx3072m -XX:NewSize=1024m -XX:MaxNewSize=1024m"
JAVA_OPTS="$JAVA_OPTS -XX:MaxPermSize=1024m -XX:CodeCacheMinimumFreeSpace=2M"
JAVA_OPTS="$JAVA_OPTS -XX:ReservedCodeCacheSize=64M"
JAVA_OPTS="$JAVA_OPTS -Dsun.lang.ClassLoader.allowArraySyntax=true"

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