Neumann Homes will be forcing homeowners to purchase homes?

In the last episode of this saga, we learned that Neumann Homes is planning to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy. As of yesterday, Tuesday October 30th, Neumann Homes had not filed. No one has been able to explain why they haven’t filed with the court yet.

According to reliable sources, Kenneth Neumann, the CEO of Neumann Homes, is planning to force the home buyers to purchase the Neumann Homes. With reports of shoddy building of the houses, many families are opting to forgo purchasing the Neumann houses and are attempting to receive their earnest money back.

In many cases, Neumann Homes had violated the purchase contract by not finishing the homes within 150 days of the issuance of the building permits (paragraph 12). The contract states in paragraph 21 sub paragraph A:

  • Negotiation:
    • When either party feels a dispute has arisen, that party shall notify the other party in writing of the nature and details of the dispute (“Dispute Notice”). Within fifteen (15) days after such Dispute Notice, a meeting shall be held between the parties to begin a good faith attempt to negotiate a resolution. During this procedure the parties will communicate directly with each other in an effort to reach an agreement that serves the interests of both parties.

All of the real estate lawyers I’ve asked, if either party does not respond to the Dispute Notice, the requirement of Mediation and Mandatory Binding Arbitration is no longer binding. The most that Neumann Homes is likely to be able to do is to keep the earnest money but even that is questionable.

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VMware Workstation 5 or 6 and trying to start a 64bit os?

Is you’re running on an Intel x86-64 processor based box and VMware Workstation complains that the host machine is incompatible with working with your Windows 2003 64bit client os (or any other 64bit client OS)?  Well, go into your BIOS on boot and make sure that the VT functionality is enabled.

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Avoid Edgewater Walk Apartments in Tinley Park, IL!

I just received a “Security Deposit Settlement” from them. The Property Manager, in my opinion, is a lying thief. She makes up ‘cleaning’ and ‘repair’ jobs so they can keep your security deposit. Avoid these thieves like the plague!

Edgewater Walk Apartments
16703 Lakewood Drive #103
Tinley Park, IL 60477

Property Manager: Darleen Filas

The apartment was spotless.

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Neumann Homes files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Neumann in Chapter 11

October 22, 2007

The crash in the Chicago-area market for new homes has claimed its biggest casualty. Suburban builder Neumann Homes Inc. said Monday it will file for bankruptcy and has laid off most of its employees.

Warrenville-based Neumann blamed its predicament on a drop of more than 50 percent in annual sales within the Chicago and Denver markets. It also pointed to a decision in 2005 to invest in the Detroit market, a move it said cost the company more than $60 million.

Read more at the Chicago Sun Times

To say that I’m a bit upset is a bit of an understatement.

Corresponding articles at Chicago Tribune, WBBM News Radio, Chicago Daily Herald, Crain’s Chicago Business News and a second article at Crain’s Chicago Business News.

For those of you that don’t know chapter 11 bankruptcy is a restructuring of the company.

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FW: Microsoft SQL Server – Sort Values Ascending But NULLS Last

This is a frequent request in newsgroups and fora. People want to sort the column in ascending order but don’t want the NULLS at the beginning.Oracle has this syntax:


SQL Server does not have this. But there are 2 ways to do this. The first one is by using case and the second one by using COALESCE and the maximum value for the data type in the order by clause.

Read more at SQL Server Code,Tips and Tricks, Performance Tuning. These two methods will also work on Sybase ASE if you use a derived table or temp table instead of the memory table. 🙂

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First come – first serve! Free iTunes song from Starbucks

I picked up an extra Song of the Day from Starbucks this morning.  The song is from Alice Smith:  New Religion.  This code can only be used once and by only a single person.  So, grab it quick!

  1. open iTunes and click iTunes Store.
  2. click Redeem
  3. Enter the code:  PFWBHHHRBJDR

Enjoy 🙂

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Knowing the internals of Sybase ASE not always helpful

There are many former Sybase employees that retain the knowledge of the Sybase ASE internals.  No, not the internals from the Data Internals class but the source code and design documents.  While we gave up the physical materials when we left Sybase, we still retain much of it in our brains.  Technically, we aren’t supposed to use that knowledge but it is very very difficult not to.

Think about this scenerio:

Corruption on a single page in a table.  Sounds easy, just bcp the data out, truncate the table, bcp the data back in.  Normally that is the way to fix it.

What if the system is a mission critical 24x7x365 system that might be used for international trading or even to provide medical information to medical surgeons?  BCPing the data or going to backups may not be possible.  If you had the information on how to fix the corrupted page by patching it (something that Sybase strongly frowns upon)?

As you can see, using the internal/proprietary information inside your head is hard to avoid.  Granted, ProActive DBA allows you to patch the individual pages, but they apparently have permission to do so — or at least Sybase is looking the other way.

If you know about SybMon and know how to use it, it is nearly impossible not to use it if your Sybase ASE server is hung and you can’t log into it.

If you fix a server using an unsupported method and report it to Sybase, there is a chance that they will not look favorably on your solution.  So, do you report the problem to them and your solution in the hope that they fix the problem or do you just keep it to yourself?

Harder yet, is how to explain to your boss that you can’t tell them how you fixed the problem because you’re still under a non-disclosure agreement with Sybase.  You might be able to explain the situation to your boss but if he pushes for the information and you refuse, you might be out of a job.  Luckily my boss is happy to have me and doesn’t push the issue. 🙂

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Looking for a bug fix release schedule for ASE?

Many of you may not know that Sybase openly lists the release schedules for ASE 12.5 and 15.0. The release schedules list not only when the estimated release date of the patches, but the list of bug fixes that are expected to be in each patch.

Targeted ASE 12.5.x Release Schedule and CR list Information

Targeted ASE 15.0 Release Schedule and CR list Information

How cool is that? Sybase has been providing this information for a number of years as you can still see the release schedule for the old 12.0 releases!

A word of caution: The release schedule and the bugs listed to be fixed in the patches are tentative and are not ‘set in stone’. Sometimes during testing issues are found with bug fixes (it might cause other issues) or some other thing might come up that might delay the bug fix or release of the patch.

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Yet Another Perl Conference (YAPC) videos

Back in March 2007, I consolidated the known list of Yet Another Perl Conference (YAPC) videos, MP3s, and podcasts.

I recently rediscovered the YAPC NA 2006 podcast and asked on Perlmonks if anyone had information on other videos, MP3s or podcasts that might be available:

cog: YAPC on Google Video, YAPC 2005 archive and YAPC::NA 2006 Video Presentations

lin0: YAPC::Europe 2002 has the proceedings and some movies available online. YAPC::Europe 2001 has some material available also. YAPC::Asia 2006 has some videos, slides, and audio files available online.

We’re now updating the list with videos from this year’s YAPC::Europe 2007.  🙂


In the meantime we managed to upload all video coverage to

There are more videos available, tagged with yapceu07:

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Don’t forget to sanitize your database scripts ;-)

Courtesy of

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