Wednesday Mar 31, 2010

Introducing the Oracle Sun Ray 3 Plus

Please welcome the first member of the 3rd generation of Sun Ray clients, the Oracle Sun Ray 3 Plus

Check out the data sheet.  More to come!

Friday Jan 29, 2010

I remember...

As a 29 year old in the fall of 1999,  I was recruited by tech juggernaut and dot com sweetheart Sun Microsystems to come aboard in their Professional Services division focusing on PC NetLink (remember that!!??) and interoperability.  When I officially started in January of 2000 (I had to make sure the Y2K bug didn't bite Bellagio!) "Interoperablity" meant a totally different thing to Sun at the time.  To me, and the team I joined, it meant making Sun hardware work in a Microsoft environment.  Unix and SPARC in a MS Domain?  Impossible?  Nope.  We were wildly successful for PS, a small team raking in millions in billable hours.

Eventually that led me to working with the Sun Ray product and doing the sacrilegious thing of displaying full screen MS Windows on a Sun Ray without ever interacting with Solaris from a user perspective.  That eventually led to a job with Sun Ray Engineering where I've spent (thus far) the best years of my life.  Three of my five daughters were born under the SUNW stock ticker.  10 years, my second job out of college, friends that I consider some of the best I've ever had.

I could dedicate a whole blog entry to the "second half" of my tenure at Sun, where I got involved with Social Media.  I owe a lot to the Blogs.Sun.Com  team, without their vision I wouldn't know half of the people that I know around the world today.  Thin Guy became synonymous with Sun Ray.  (Could you believe I was going to first use "Tall Guy"?).  Talk about social media building a brand.  I'm now introduced as "Thin Guy" rather than my given name of Craig Bender.  There are so many to thank, Linda Skrocki, Rama Roberts, and of course the very early blogging queen Mary Smaragdis (Not to brag, but I was her new favorite blogger once...that was a huge deal).  And the friends I made on those teams...too many to list.  Liz Ditucci, Dave Arguelles, and so many others.  I feel like I know them all personally even though I've only met one of them in real life.

If you're worried about me, don't be.  I'm continuing on at Oracle and more importantly so are the Sun Ray, SGD, VDI, and VirtualBox products.  The blogging policy is a wee bit different at Oracle, so my blog posts will be "on topic" for my job.  I'm contemplating moving the personal topics (recipes, workouts, autism, general humor) to a new non-work related blog, but all the technical posts will continue to live over at Think Thin.

I have so many great memories of Sun.  My colleagues made Sun what it was.  The technology was a side effect of the freedom given to extremely talented people and the eye for hiring exceptional talent.  We may have lacked at execution on bringing the stuff to market, but Sun was an innovator.  Note to hiring companies, if someone has a couple of years at SUNW/JAVA on their resume, that's all you need to know.  They're a keeper.  One last thing about my time at Sun...I used to travel a lot (150K+ airmiles a year).  I saw the world and it was beautiful.  But when my youngest was diagnosed with autism, the travel was becoming harder on our family and had to be reduced and that was OK with Sun.  Their work from home program was not only saving both employees and the company money, the environment, it might also have "saved" a little girl as well.  While I won't say she's recovered, she's a totally different kid because Sun's policies allowed me to be there for her.  For that I am eternally grateful.

With that I bid this "S-Word" blog goodbye.   Catch me on Think Thin and speaking at Oracle events near you.  Thank you so much for your readership.  Let's see if Thin Guy can be synonymous with Oracle VDI.  I know my new boss is finally getting the N|C he always wanted.  GO ORACLE!

Monday Aug 17, 2009

The Little Sun Ray That Cloud

Yes, cloud.  Not a typo.  What do you get when you combine a low cost netbook and the upcoming Sun Desktop Access Client?  You get a ton of computing power in a very small form factor that can go anywhere accessing powerful servers and Windows, Linux, and OpenSolaris VM's safely in your data center or cloud.  How's that for VDI in the clouds?

(WiiMote shown for scale)

Friday Apr 24, 2009

Sun VDI 3 = Choice

Here's a quick video I made showing the different supported OS choices available only with Sun VDI 3.  I mention "supported" because you can make any OS VirtualBox supports into a VDI solution, but we officially support XP, Vista, Win2KPro, Ubuntu, and OpenSolaris.  "Supported" means you can place a service call if something is not operating as advertised.  Note the "Full PC" experience of the boot and shut down for each OS.   I'll be cleaning this up a bit by making it shorter and adding some tunes (server was right next to me while filming so I removed the original audio track).

Thursday Jan 22, 2009

Apple OS X Desktop On Sun Ray

If you're tired of doing the VNC route to remotely display an apple desktop, check out AquaConnect!  AquaConnect brings an RDP Server to OS X Server.  This means you can use our Sun Ray Windows Connector to display a Leopard desktop on your Sun Ray and couple it with hot desking and stateless goodness!.  Here's a couple of shots of Sun Ray and AquaConnect from MacWorld

(Photo's courtesy of Chris Kawalek)

Tuesday Nov 11, 2008

Desktop Meet Up Details

We'll be meeting tonight at the Yard House about 7:30 PM.  Nothing too formal, just drinks, appetizers, and some good conversation.   The Yard House is located in the Town Square, cab drivers should know how to get there.   (Don't attempt to walk it like folks from last year as things in Vegas are farther than they appear)

View Larger Map

Tuesday Oct 28, 2008

Desktop Dinner II

We are planning another desktop dinner during CEC.  If you are coming to CEC and are a desktop person (or a fan of Sun Ray, SGD, Sun VDI, or this blog), leave me a comment or send me some mail (  I'll post the location and final time and date when we get final word.  We are trying to narrow it down to Monday or Tuesday night.  Looking forward to see my virtual desktop friends once again from across the globe.  #goodtimes

Tuesday Oct 14, 2008

Sun Ray Software 4 10/08 - Released!

More details and download links over on the Think Thin Blog.

Saturday Oct 04, 2008

Green Enterprise Trifecta


Thanks to my friends at Dataman for capturing this pic at a recent tradeshow.

Monday Sep 15, 2008

VMWorld Booth 1108

That's were you'll find me if you happen to be attending VMWorld.  I'm easy to spot as I think only Joost is taller than me, and I've got far more hair.  Sure, it's receding, but it's still there.  Mostly.

Sunday Sep 07, 2008

More Examples of Windows Multimedia Redirection

In my last entry, "CL" posted a comment wanting more to see more examples of Windows media redirection.  Here's another video showing a variety of clips.  Talking heads, animation,  a couple of VC-1 live streams.  Enjoy.  Still have the dog barking at the tripod problem, so I apologize for some of the shaky parts.  Take a Dramamine if you get queasy.  If you want to watch this in a bit better quality, follow this link and click on the "watch in high quality" link once you get into YouTube (right under the "Views" number).

Tuesday Sep 02, 2008

Upcoming Sun Ray Features - Multimedia

I've decided to do a series of small videos showing the new features of our forthcoming Sun Ray Server Software 4.1.  The first video will feature our Multimedia enhancements.  I had a nice setup for the first shoot, only to find my dog really hates the tripod.  Second attempt, with the tripod in the garage and the camcorder in my hands is less than optimal quality but you get the idea.  Cut the video a little short as my dog decided to start barking at other dogs in the neighborhood halfway through the windows demo.  It's not often I get a quiet house with 5 daughters so I'll have to accept this cut for now.  :)  Oh yeah, don't watch this YouTube Video from a Sun Ray as Flash support is next up on the drawing board.

Wednesday Aug 13, 2008

Tricked out Sun Rays

Customized Sun Rays always look so cool.  I wonder if we should offer this as an option.  Some cool colors, your logo, etc.  Rumor has it there are even Sun Rays out there in Raven Black.

Wednesday Jun 25, 2008

Why Stateless Thin Clients Matter

With a seized or stolen thin client, you've lost a device.  That's it.  You'd never "make the papers", but that's a good thing.  You can't hack/copy a stateless thin client because there's no there "there" to hack or copy. (Thanks Dave!),

Thin vs Thick Client Debate

I was invited to be on the panel of the first ever "Intel Great Debates".  The debate I participated in surrounded Thin vs. "Managed" Thick clients.  Enjoy.

Broadcast powered by Ustream.TV

Tuesday Jun 03, 2008

Sun Rays as Multihead Windows Terminals

As a follow on to my last post regarding RDP resolution, I thought I'd post some pictures of various multihead configurations using Sun Rays and the Sun Ray Connector for Windows.  Note that these resolutions work for normal Windows Terminal Server sessions as well as Virtual Desktop Computing (VDC/VDI).

Here's a Sun Ray 2FS Driving dual 24.1" LCD's.  Resolution is 3840x1200

Sun Ray 2FS Dual Head 24.1" LCD's
Sun Ray 2FS Dual Head 24.1" LCD's

Here's a 3x1 multihead group using Sun Ray 270's. Resolution is 3840x1024

Sun Ray 270 3x1 Multihead Group
Sun Ray 270 3x1 Multihead Group

Finally here's a 4x1 multihead group using Sun Ray 270's. The individual Sun Rays were constrained to 1024x768 in order not to exceed the max resolution width of RDP which is 4096. Resolution is 4096x768

Sun Ray 270 4x1 Multihead Group
Sun Ray 270 4x1 Multihead Group

Wednesday May 21, 2008

Full Screen RDP Session limited to 8 bit color on Sun Ray 2FS

When Microsoft introduced Service Pack 2 for Windows 2003 Server, they introduced a bug that prevented any RDP sessions greater than 1600x1200 from displaying in 24 bit color.  When Matt Hatley built a fresh Windows 2003 server for an event last August, we could not quite figure out why his full screen session on a dual headed Sun Ray 2FS would only display 8bit color even though we were telling the Sun Ray Windows Connector to connect in 24 bit color.  My server worked fine, his did not.  Turns out I was not current on my service packs and SP2 was to blame!  Sure enough, after applying SP2 to my server, I was limited to 8 bit color as well.  Since a customer just ran into this issue, I thought I'd post the fix and some answers.

Bear in mind that this is not just limited to the Sun Ray 2FS, which in a dual head setup runs 3840 x 1200, but this also happens on a multihead setup of any type Sun Rays.

You can apply this hotfix from Microsoft for Windows 2003 Server to get your higher color depth back for your larger RDP sessions.

For the record, you can go up to 4096x 2048 in an RDP session.  From a width perspective, that is about 3.2 Sun Ray 270's.  Four Sun Ray 270's would be 5120x1024 which is larger than the max resolution in width allowed by RDP.  If you wanted a four head setup, you could use four Sun Ray 2's with each screen limited to 1024x768 (4:3 maintained).

Monday Apr 28, 2008

Interop Las Vegas 2008

I'll be pulling booth duty (Tues and Weds), giving chalk talks (Tues 2PM in MS IVA Booth) and also a featured speaker in a session with Foundry, Mitel, and Microsoft (Weds 3:15-4 PM Mandalay Bay Room L).


Thursday Apr 24, 2008

Always check with your boss

If you're waiting for an update on my big "Take Your Daughters to Work Day" Sun Ray eco/green project, don't bother.  Haven't seen them all day.  I didn't check with my "Work From Home" boss first and apparently even though I went through all the trouble to get the forms done, she had other plans for the "workers".  It's a scam I tell you, a SCAM!  :)

Wednesday Apr 23, 2008

Are you taking your kids to work?

Tomorrow is Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.  But what if you work from home?  I'm allowing my girls to come to work with me (i.e. stay home), but I want them to get a better understanding of what I do for a living and why I believe in my product.  Our project for tomorrow will involve figuring out how much using a PC costs and why Sun Ray is a better option (even with the "server" and storage requirements).  I've got my Kill-A-Watt meter ready and we'll compute the savings a household that makes heavy use of sites like Webkinz, NickJr, and the like can get if they switch over to thin client technology.  Tune in tomorrow for our results.

My name is Craig Bender aka ThinGuy. I'm a Principal Software Developer for Oracle's Virtual Desktop Engineering group.

I architect and evangelize the use of Oracle's Desktop technology including Sun Ray, Secure Global Desktop, and Oracle VDI.


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