Blog Posts

Converting an Application from MySQL to Oracle in Grails

You can probably file this one under “weird article that will someday help a poor soul stuck in my position”.  So I had written a nice little data processing system that worked on roughly a million records to do some fuzzy matching within a discrete problem space.  I had used GORM objects with Hibernate 4 and MySQL 5.x.  The domain objects were relatively standard with a handful of collections, but they had some nice logic for hashcode() and equals() that

Continue Reading

MySQL encrypted columns in Grails

If all you want to do is encrypt and decrypt columns in a database for your Grails application, look no further than the Jasypt Encryption plugin.  I have used it in the past to persist PII (personally identifiable information).  However, if you need to access the same data from outside your application, then you need to leverage the built in database encryption functions.  This allows the DBAs to use the built in functions and secret to access data for reports

Continue Reading

Why I use Grails

A lot of CTOs and technical people get asked what they use for their personal projects.  So to be completely honest, I use Groovy/Grails.  Do I think it is the best thing out there?  Maybe not, but let me explain why I use it and what I expect.  The thought process would be useful for anyone making choices about technology platforms for oneself. So I started way, way back with PDP RSTS Basic and soon moved to Apple Basic. I

Continue Reading

The CTO is not your coder

I do a lot of consulting with startups and they usually come to me asking for a CTO who will be their chief coder and technical architect.  They wonder if I am interested in that role and I usually have to disappoint them with an answer of “no”.  This happens often enough that I think I will cover it over a number of posts from different angles. Though I am the first to acknowledge that a technical company needs a

Continue Reading

Playing with SVG

This post taken from a LinkedIn Post originally on April 6, 2015 I have been working on my site to bring it up to modern standards including responsive design. Though I was happy with the general look of the site, there was something missing. The Zen Garden template I used as a starting point had nifty SVG elements to liven it up. I figured I could find a library to do something dynamic with SVG for my site. I decided

Continue Reading

The Bleeding Edge – Part I

This post is taken from an LinkedIn Post done on March 26, 2016 My CEO said that I am an empirical learner.  This he mentioned could be a double edged sword since I tend to understand the details quite well, but I may take a while to assimilate information I could try to get through people elsewhere. However, one place that I do find empirical learning necessary is as a CTO understanding the changes in technology.  It is one thing

Continue Reading


Hi, my name is Michael Amster.  I am a working CTO and have been involved in technology my entire professional life.  In fact, I got into computers at the age of 12 and never looked back. Over my long career, I have worked at a lot of companies and have tried my hand a number of times at starting new companies (with mixed results). What prompted me to write a blog is that I have risen to the title of

Continue Reading

Site Footer

Copyright © 2016