Monday Jul 17, 2006

Not alone at SunLabs

Ashlee Vance {of the Register} also visited the Labs at the begining of June, and wrote up his findings more rapidly than me. He published them here.... The article covers some stuff I didn't follow through on, and offers a segue into games serverplex designs. The article is headlined "Sun Labs edges toward practicality", and suggests his interests were more short-term than mine.

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Tuesday Jul 04, 2006

What I thought of my visit to the Labs!

I visited Sun Labs Open House at the begining of June. This took place over the first and second, but I have only just managed to write up my notes and post them on the blog. For various reasons, I have backdated the entries to the approximate real time to preserve my personal narrative .

I was lucky to be able to meet so many clever people and see so many clever things which I'm certain will make a difference, although in some cases, its the research in writing the notes that has provoked real interest.

For you to read what I've written, you might find the following links usefull. Here are blogs day links: First Day, Second Day. You can also use the standard index sidebar (or these hyperlinks) to bring up my first article, Wall of Innovation and then go forward, or the last article, Slot Car or SPOT car? and rack backwards. I have also put this article's link into the blogroll sidebar, under the Links folder as "What I said about Sun Labs!".

The demo reviews are also all categorised as Technology, so using the button bar at the top of the page will let you see most of what I wrote.

The articles reflect what I thought at the time. I have since spoken to both colleagues and customers and recognise that some of my priorities were a bit awry and I may not have given some subjects sufficient attention, in particular, I didn't visit many of the "Virtualisation" projects available and havn't reported on those I did visit such as "Project Crossbow", a network interface virtualisation and resource managment project. This is also an Open Solaris project (see here...) for this. The media projects also suffered from a lack of attention, but I couldn't have visited everything.

I have little doubt that I shall try to talk to some of the project staff to understand their projects more fully and to demonstrate their relevance to my customer(s), and hopefully you as well.

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Friday Jun 02, 2006

Slot Car or SPOT car?

We finished the day by checking out a SPOT managed slot car. This combines Real Time Java with the Sun SPOT sensors to manage a slot track racing car. This is a development of this year's Jave One Slot Car Racing Programming Challenge, which has photo's and an excellent description of the demo.

The sunweb Open House Page also has a picture.

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The E-PBX

We rushed past Steve Uhler's e-PBX demo, where he demo'd the conection via web services of a PBX, utilising the opensource PBX solution to the internet and offered a flavour of the new services this enables.

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There's a lot to know about people

I arranged to meet Mark Bagley of BT to show him round the Labs. We rushed past Jim Waldo's Project Neuromancer, which demonstrates both the biometric interfaces and the elements of the network solution required to implement biometric telemetry systems, the key problems being those of scale, reliability, syncronicity and longevity.

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Thursday Jun 01, 2006

New Age Industrial Plant

I also had a quick run through some of the Media projects incorporated in Media Architecture & Technology project including the open source DRM efforts and a Sun micro (and therefore disruptivly cheap) set-top box. Again I didn't spent enough time to really understand how my current customer can really obtain value from these projects, so some more research is required. These projects have both been raised with me since my return to the UK.

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Sun's SPOTs

There were a couple of demos of Sun's SPOT (Small Programmable Object Technology). This is seen as really important and is possibly the best piece of research from the labs hitting my sweet spot (no pun intended ) of proximity, wireless and database. They have their own web site http://www.sunspotworld.com. The researchers are looking to innovate the platform to enable new applications and new developer productivity models. Check out the SPOT docs page, which also contains highlight arguments about the problems they're trying to solve. They also seem to have a view about collaboration, potentially missing from many of the demos and prototypes I have seen over the last two months at Sun & BT.

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