Wednesday Oct 07, 2009

LBL, Technology and Life



21 ways LBL has helped change our technological environment!

Tuesday Aug 18, 2009

Advancing MySQL Open Development One Important Step Forward

Giuseppe Maxia writes about the availability of the active development/test ("pushbuild") MySQL binaries for users—on multiple platforms.

This is a wonderful step forward in bringing greater openness to current MySQL development and in bringing greater value to the MySQL user community!  

A Prize Well-Deserved

Although in a dated announcement , it pleases me to see National Academy of Engineering Founders Award granted to UCSD's Stanford S. "Sol" Penner, "who made important advances in thermophysics, applied spectroscopy, combustion, propulsion, and energy."

Penner was my thermodynamics teacher when I was an applied engineering sciences (chemical engineering) undergraduate at UCSD. He was an excellent teacher and researcher and educated many engineers at JPL, UCSD and elsewhere. 

Saturday Aug 08, 2009

How a Differential Gear Works

Complex ideas become easy to learn when the history and principles behind them are elucidated. Here is an example recently posted on the Make blog: "How a Differential Gear Works". To get to the main part, you can fast-forward the video to minute 1:30.

Monday Jun 01, 2009

SunRay @ CommunityOne

This year, at CommunityOne and JavaOne, every user has access (through their registration smart cards) to arrays of SunRay  clients and a choice of Windows, OpenSolaris and Ubuntu desktops accessed through the SunRay clients. The system is powered by SunRay servers and VirtualBox virtualization environment. I'm using one of the SunRay 270's to write and post this blog. (I selected the Ubuntu desktop.)

Wednesday May 27, 2009

ManU, Barca, Vuze and More

Having missed the Manchester United vs. FC Barcelona game earlier today, I turned to see how torrent client Azureus ("now known as Vuze") was doing, and discovered the new Vuze 4.2.0.2 ... This torrent client has all kinds of interesting new features. I forgot about the game and started exploring the client, the forge and forums that go with it. Interesting work, and all in Java! 

Wednesday May 20, 2009

The Edge of Technology and Systems Thinking

Last year, competitive strategy guru and Harvard business school professor Michael Porter wrote about "Why America Needs an Economic Strategy." In this brief note for BusinessWeek, Porter emphasizes the importance of infrastructure, logistics and educational upgrades in the U.S. economic system, as key success factors.

These infrastructure upgrades will demand new IT technologies deployed throughout, including upgrades related to people logistics and transportation.

These upgrades, including upgrades that will affect the way we live and work in our urban and suburban environments and those that will make public transportation much more attractive alternatives, will also have a direct impact on other ecological problems we face, including the dangerous changes such as the ones that are now affecting the ice caps. See for example, the report in The Independent, "Exclusive: Scientists warn that there may be no ice at North Pole this summer."

System-level thinking teaches us that various domains of our activity and concern are in fact very well-connected and tied up in complex dynamics. 

Tragedies occur when systems and their dynamics are not properly understood.

Relying on hasty moves, fire-fighting and denying the interplay of of dynamics and time has led to many mispercieved problems and "solutions" that only aggravate problems or create new ones.

Careful attention, deep study and addressing the root causes of these global and systemic problems may deliver a better future path to recovery.

In order to do all this, one needs to have a good understanding of complex systems and their dyamics. This is subtle art and requires a comprehensive understanding of various system components and how they interact, including a mental model for these interactions.

I'm afraid I have to bring the news that not everyone has had the experience or has accumulated the knowledge for that kind of integrative thinking.  This is why we should set aside our bias against those who refuse to be dragged into firefights. These are people who pause to pay proper attention to problems and discover real solutions. This pause doesn't imply slow thinking, rather a paced mode of thinking. These people should be cherished rather than isolated, refused and blocked from hierarchical decision systems that emphasize perpetual firefights. (Studies have shown that "firefight" mode of thinking and acting is much more prevalent in U.S. business and government institutions when compare to Japan or other countries where root solutions are the focus. So, we may need a general cultural change to lay greater value to system thinking and problem-solving that addresses root causes.)

In general, systems thinking will get us to where we want to be. In general, symptomatic and firefight solutions may solve the problem momentarily but will only get us farther from where we want to head. 

Thursday Apr 30, 2009

Derby, the Cauldron and Java DB

Apache Derby project is the cauldron where Sun starts the forging of Java DB, Sun's distribution of Derby and the premier Java database in the world!

Most recently, Knut Anders Hatlen, Java DB engineering and committer to the Apache Derby project, has been writing about the new features being shipped in Java DB 10.5.

It is important to know that Java DB is a project 3 years in the making, and we're now witnessing people interested in installing this database in hundreds of instances, in the middle tier of their applications. Java DB is particularly unique because it can easily be embedded with a Java application in a JVM. (Anyone who has studied Java somewhat closely should already be completely familiar with this fact.) 

You can review the derby-users list on Apache to discover the level of sophistication in the user community, or go to the derby-dev list on Apache to discover and contribute to recent ideas and development with Derby replication.

In one of his many Derby 10.5 preview blog entries, Knut describes the use of generated columns, and follows up on their usability in a particular example involving case-insensitive search.

 

Thursday Apr 23, 2009

Workbench Rocking

Mike Hillyer talks about MySQL Workbench. Very nice workshop! (Hillyer will make slides and screen recording of his talk available.)

This is a great platform-native application. All presentation code is written for each specific platform. It is the second most-popular download and the second most purchased product in the MySQL online shop.  There's a community edition and there's a standard edition of the Workbench. People in the workshop got a 1 year subscription to the commercial, standard edition.

I'm sitting in the room here in MySQL Conference. I'm running a WB 5.1 edition I've built on my MacBook Pro laptop.

Solid State Storage Revolution

Andreas von Bechtolsheim (Sun Microsystems Inc.) gives a great keynote address at the MySQL Conference about solid-state storage. If you can get your hands on the actual presentation, you won't be disappointed and will be well-rewarded with the time you'll spend on it. 

Wednesday Apr 22, 2009

Another Pluggable Storage Engine for MySQL

Kazuho Oku of Cybozu Labs, Inc., a community contributor to MySQL and SCA signatory, gives a talk on Q4M, a message queue stroage engine for MySQL.

Kaj Shoot Out on Cloud Computing

I'm sitting in Kaj Arnö's Cloud Computing Shoot Out here in the MySQL Confernce & Expo. Great panel, great discussion! The important question, always, is about business models related to storage vs. compute clouds.

Wednesday Mar 18, 2009

Simon on the WSJ

Simon Phipps, Sun's Chief Open Source Officer, speaks to The Wall Street Journal.

Wednesday Feb 11, 2009

Launching the Glassfish Portfolio

Sun has launched the Glassfish Portfolio,  the best web application platform on the planet.

To learn more, you can also go to "the Aquarium" and "Miles to go...."

Vibration Effects on Discs

This video, which I originally found on Jonathan Schwartz's blog, demonstrates, in a laboratory "study," how vibration on discs can be detected by D-Trace instrumentation in FISHworks (FISH stands for Fully Integrated Software and Hardware). The lesson: Don't Shout at Your Discs!

Monday Feb 02, 2009

MySQL Conference & Expo Coming Up

MySQL Conference and Expo is coming up to Santa Clara this April.

The program schedule is really easy to navigate and tells you about everything there's to partake of.  

A quick review will show you that the  quality of the no-nonsense presentations will be amazing, and it will be a true privilege to attend the conference. (We should thank the MySQL community team for helping ensure this high level of technical quality and relevance.)

Thursday Jan 29, 2009

Wikipedia on Sun | MySQL Servers

Wikimedia Foundation is expanding Wikipedia to multimedia with Sun Open Storage Solution and MySQL Database:

Wikipedia receives between 25,000 and 60,000 page requests per second, depending on the time of day. Wikimedia needed to update its infrastructure to handle this huge volume of traffic and ensure that its systems were reliable, highly available, and easily scalable. It also wanted to expand its upload file limit from 20 MB to 100 MB to accommodate rich media (audio and video) content, but before it could do that it needed to expand its storage capacity.

It is great to see that how the most important non-profit content provider on the web grows and it is great to be part of that growth.

Wikipedia should be the subject of extensive studies in various fields of sociology, economics and information systems: social knowledge, open-source, open-content, markets, information economics and open-scoeity.

Sunday Jan 25, 2009

Best Database Tool

Developer.Com has selected MySQL Workbench as the best database tool of 2009!

Competing behind Workbench were:

  • Altova DatabaseSpy® 2008
  • LINQ (Microsoft® .NET Language Integrated Query)
  • SQL Server® 2008 Reporting Services
  • Oracle SQL Developer

Sunday Nov 23, 2008

MySQL Query Analyzer

MySQL Query Analyzer is already helping people to drastically improve their application performance. 

Jeff Freund (CTO, Clickability) shares an interesting use case.

Tuesday Oct 14, 2008

Project SailFin on a Roll

It is great to see Project SailFin take off as it has—a Java.Net project—from early days of contact and negotiations with Ericsson's SIP Servlet team some years ago to a full-fledged open-source project, with contributors form both Sun and Ericsson and a very active community .

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