Moving On – About My New Gig

After 7 years full time at, I have decided to make a change.  This decision did not come easy, and I want to thank Keith Spear and the team at for everything I have learned during my time there.  I am a different person today (in a positive way) because of them.

My decision was based around the fact that my wife and I want to move out of state when we sell our house.  I knew that when we moved that I would want to find a job doing remote development.  I started thinking that if I made the change now, there would be many positive things because of it.  One, I would have a job already in place during my move, this itself would lower my stress levels of worrying about that and a move at the same time.  Two, by taking a remote job while waiting to sell my house, it leaves me closer to to help with the transition.  I in no way want to desert them and make it any harder on them.  I know that they would survive, but I want to make that easier on them.

So, where is my new gig?  I start on Monday, May 7, 2012 (the day after my wedding anniversary) working for Networx Online doing PHP development from my home.  They have a fantastic business model that allows workers the flexibility to work on their terms.  They request that I am available during normal business hours, but it’s not a hard and fast rule.  I am really excited about getting started and have already completed my first task (changing my password on the development server).

I really want to thank Keith Spear for being so completely understanding.  He showed me the upmost respect when he heard the news.  While he may not have been happy about it, he was happy for me.   He seems to support people that make a move to better themselves and lives by the saying:

“To change one’s life; Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions.”
William James

Quitting gracefully is an important trait in my opinion.  Some people decide to take “Start immediately” a little to heart.  You should remember that when you are quitting, you probably had some really good times, were hopefully treated well, and there is a relationship that should be considered.  Make your change, but be respectful and don’t burn bridges.  Treat others as you would want to be treated.

Configuring AMTU 2.1 From The Command Line

I received an email about upgrading AMTU today from Amazon.  I tried following their directions for command line installation which were VERY lacking.

The XML file is a pain in butt.  I am still not sure if the account name I chose is correct, or even matters.  The Access Key, Secret Key, Merchant ID are all available in seller central with some digging around.

The Account Configuration took me a couple of minutes to figure out.  Helps to jump to the bottom of their sample.xml file to understand more.

The Marketplace ID is also located at the bottom of the file.  Hint, for the U.S., it is ATVPDKIKX0DER.

The real pain was actually running the configure command.

#sudo ./configure SETUP config.xml
Database instance started successfully with driverorg.apache.derby.jdbc.EmbeddedDriver
Welcome to Amazon Merchant Transport Utility version 2.1.8 Configuration Utility!
Error: file does not exist.
Request completed with errors.

That “Error: file does not exist.” was driving me crazy. Turns out, I just need the entire path to the file, not relative.
#sudo ./configure SETUP /ABSOLUTE/PATH/TO/config.xml


13″ Macbook Air vs 17″ Macbook Pro

I have been using a 17″ Macbook Pro since 2007, and a 15″ Macbook Pro before that.

My video card went bad 5 months after the NVIDIA would be willing to replace it for free.  Frustrating, to say the least.  So I had to make a decision to purchase a new machine, or pay to fix that one.

Here were my factors in purchasing the 13″ Macbook Air.

I have been noticing how much I don’t use the Macbook Pro in conferences, airplanes, meetup groups, etc…  I have also noticed the weight as I have carried it through airports and also to and from work.  The size and weight of the machine was a deterent to using it at times.  I also have known many developers in my circle that use a Macbook Air all the time happily.

I have been using the Macbook Air for a few weeks and I am very happy with my decision. The screen size has not caused any issue like most people would think.  The resolution is great and has been very usable.

The Macbook Air does not have a CD/DVD drive, but I have not needed it so far.  I am sure I will cross that bridge one day.

My wife and I did end up fixing the 17″ Macbook Pro for her to use.  She is happy with the machine so far, as she has needed a new laptop, and only uses it at home.  So portability is not much of an issue for her.