Friday Jan 12, 2007

Ethical Dilemma

Well, it seems that my buddy Craig has placed me in a bit of an ethical dilemma. One the one hand, in my very first blog entry I promised (in a somewhat curmudgeonly fashion) These initial entries will be my only personal blog entries. But now I've been tagged for the "5 things" meme. What to do - disappoint my buddy or keep my original promise? :) In the interest of camaraderie I'll bite. I've tried to pick things even Craig may not know about me:


Five things you did not know about me


  1. My first full-time computer job was at NASA/Ames Research at Moffett Field, CA, in 1977, with Unix, supporting the Man-Machine Systems Division (now dubbed the Human Systems Integration Division) where they were designing experimental cockpits and trying them out on pilots in simulations. The Head Up Display was designed while I was there. I used to play Zork over the fledgling Arpanet (which evolved into the Internet), hosted from computers in Denver (Global Weather Center?)

  2. I've lived substantial parts of my adult life in Northern California Go Slugs!, Boston "We're building a machine that will be proud of us", and currently reside in Florida The Mouse is in the House, where I work out of my home

  3. I love to go biking with my Autistic son Marc, on our 2-seater Tandem Bike, in places like this

  4. My kids and I also enjoy canoeing at places like Wekiwa Springs, Blue Spring, and De Leon Springs State Parks

  5. The town I grew up in had a television series based on it

OK Craig, happy? :)

Monday Feb 20, 2006

Sun Ray at Home becomes more affordable

Recently Sun has started bundling Sun Ray Software along with Sun Solaris Enterprise System, so people who don't want to purchase support can now get it for free without any license fees or software cost.

What a deal! My wife just wrote and published a book using our Sun Rays and included an acknowledgement for them:
"Instant Romanian For Parents And Caregivers".

We hardly ever turn on our PCs any more, and flinch every time we do.

Monday Nov 28, 2005

Sun Ray home users

It seems that a few non-Sun folks have been chiming in about their own home experiences (all positive, that I've seen):

http://jroller.com/page/trasukg?entry=tried_a_sun_ray_wow

http://42.blogs.warnock.me.uk/2005/04/sunrays_prove_p.html

http://uadmin.blogspot.com/2006/02/how-my-son-uses-sunray.html

Sunday Nov 20, 2005

The real definition of Sun Ray At Home

My home setup in many ways exemplifies in miniature the value I see in Sun Ray.

In my house, I have a Sun Ray server with a few Sun Rays (bought and paid for) around my house for my family and I to use. I frankly got sick and tired of being a Windows Sys Admin for the 4 PCs on my home LAN. I got sick of constantly researching how to remove the latest virus. Sick of trying to diagnose why a PC got slower and slower and less and less stable over time (due mostly, I believe, to adware/spyware). This was on a network with a hardware firewall as well as software firewalls on all PCs, and the latest virus protection and periodic adware scans/removal. It's a vicious world out there. Actually, just as with the biological sort, I think kids are the main vector for computer viruses as well. They just don't have good Internet hygiene. :-)

Since I installed the Sun Rays I no longer spend my time on this nonsense. My wife is perfectly pleased with StarOffice for her writing/presentations, and my daughter and she have problem-free experiences with the firefox browser on 95% of the websites they visit. The Sun Rays are always on, and instantly available for small tasks such as to find a local business, get driving directions, buy movie tickets, or lookup a grade on a test. When not in use they use very little power - about the same as a decent monitor in power-save mode. They don't make any sound - no disk or fan. Any of us can sit down at whatever Sun Ray we like and pick up our work where we left off, without waiting for bootup. I've plugged in some speakers into a few of them, and we can listen to our mp3 collections wherever we are, and the sound quality is great.

Of course, this isn't our target market, and the cost of the licensing probably prevents us from rolling out Sun Ray servers in people's homes, particularly since the Windows Administrator works for free, so it's hard to make the TCO argument :-). But it wouldn't be hard to justify at all in a business where you had to pay your workers.

'nuff said. On to content.

My background

In case anybody cares, here's my background:

I'm a software engineer, in the Sun Ray Development group since it came to product in 1999. In the Sun Ray group I've worked in most areas of the product at one time or another. Most of my time has been spent in the session creation/hotdesking and security areas.

I've been in the computer industry, using Unix (and the Internet/ARPAnet), since 1977.

I've done work on a wide variety of platforms from Massively Parallel Processing Supercomputers to Thin Clients, involving a wide variety of tasks from writing network device drivers to doing administration GUIs, with a particular emphasis on networking.

And so it begins

I have to admit, I really don't get blogs.

I don't get why people would want to spend time reading them, and I don't get why most people write them. I'm a busy guy, and I spend too much time on the computer and not enough time with my friends and family. I assume that's true for just about everyone. So why read a blog? Why not have a pint with a buddy instead, or take a kid to the park? Unless you're looking for some specific information, of course - that's the beauty of the Internet. So it seems to me that blogs should keep the fluff at a minimum, and the content at a maximum, so people can find the stuff they care about.

I do like the idea of being able to disseminate information that could be valuable to others in a quick and efficient manner, without wasting a bunch of their time (or, frankly, mine), and that's what's finally motivated me to start a blog. So here are my promises to anybody reading my blog:

  • I will not fill my blog with a bunch of personal trivia which can't possibly be of interest to strangers. These initial entries will be my only personal blog entries. If you want to chat, ring me up and take me out for a beer, and let's get away from computers and socialize.
  • I will not fill my blogs with a bunch of cutesy BS.
  • I will only blog when I have something useful to say. Mostly this will be about Sun Ray, the product I work on and which I find, frankly, life altering. Until you use it, you probably won't get it. Once you've used it on a properly provisioned and configured server you probably won't want to use anything else.
About

bobd

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