Thursday Jan 07, 2010

InfoWorld on VirtualBox: "Our advice to VMware (and Microsoft): Be afraid. Be very afraid."


VirtualBox 3.1 wins 2010 Technology of the Year Award from InfoWorld. The Test Center reviewers at InfoWorld credited VirtualBox as a "disruptive product" that sneaked up on an established category and shook up the apple cart. The judges were impressed with VirtualBox's unrivaled features like 32-way virtual SMP support and "teleport" -- capability to dynamically move running VMs between VirtualBox host systems. Check out the original review here for details.

InfoWorld concluded, "[VirtualBox] is a huge development for Sun Microsystems, one that places it on a collision course with heavyweights VMware and Microsoft in the virtualized datacenter. But the most remarkable aspect of this story is how quickly the company has brought this virtualization platform along. In a little over a year, Sun has turned this relatively unknown fledgling from an obscure German software developer (Innotek) into a potent threat."
Sun VirtualBox -- InfoWorld's 2010 Technology of the Year
InfoWorld's final take: "Our advice to VMware (and Microsoft): Be afraid. Be very afraid."

Congratulations to the Sun VirtualBox team!

Thursday Dec 31, 2009

Year's last "At a Glance" : Recent reviews of JavaFX, NetBeans, VirtualBox, OpenOffice and OpenSolaris


VirtualBox
VirtualBox users shared a variety of top-notch reviews as well as tips & tricks this week for the free virtualization program. A blogger from Showing My Geek, who recently started using VirtualBox, said, “I really like it,” and explained that he especially appreciated “the ability to allot memory for the video of the virtual machine.” Another blogger selected VirtualBox to highlight as the software product of the month and stated, “VirtualBox is similar to Microsoft Virtual PC, but better” and pointed to its wide-ranging support for a variety of operating systems. A blogger from wikihow.com posted a VirtualBox tutorial for users who want to “play with other operating systems without having to change what’s on your computer right now.” And finally, a blogger demonstrated how to set up VirtualBox on a Linux host to sync an iPod Touch 2G and said, “I am quite happy (and surprised) to find that this solution works for me.”

JavaFX
Some JavaFX users kept busy testing the features of the new JavaFX composer this week while others continued to test the limitations of the current release. Nick Apperley reviewed the JavaFX Composer and said the templates “are a great productivity booster in JavaFX Composer,” noting that with the tool, all of the options for creating and customizing are centralized in one location. Another blogger compared JavaFX to Flex and said the biggest differentiator favoring JavaFX is its “ability to quickly create fantastic animation and graphs compared to Flex where 3rd party libraries come into play.” Longtime JavaFX blogger Drew designed and shared a new calendar implementation he built in JavaFX to improve his design skills, while Jeff Friesen published a tutorial that details a basic demonstration of the JavaFX PerspectiveTransform class.

NetBeans
Many NetBeans users continued to explore the features of the new 6.8 release of the IDE this week while others continued to report NetBeans success stories in production environments. Adam Bien posted several blogs focusing on his experience with the 6.8 release, with one blog dedicated to the five features that he said, “make NetBeans 6.8 my IDE of choice.” The other blog looked at the new NetBeans issue tracking tool, which he said, “really rocks” because “you get immediate feedback whether it is a new bug, a known one or what the resolution is … without leaving the IDE.” Finally, blogger Nat discussed his use of the NetBeans IDE for his UI automation project and said, “NetBeans is a great IDE for watir testing; I heartily recommend it,” noting that, “its svn integration is better than anything else I’ve used so far.”

OpenOffice
OpenOffice users were buzzing with excitement over the new 3.2 release candidate, and wrote about the new features of the upgraded program. Blogger Martin from ghacks.net wrote about the new reduction in startup time as well as the new proprietary file compatibility, which he said, “now supports password protected Microsoft Office documents.” Deb Russell from about.com also discussed OpenOffice this week, and recommended the MATH equation editor that comes with the office productivity suite saying it “lets you slip math equations into your documents rather easily.”

OpenSolaris
OpenSolaris users shared a plethora of tricks with others this week starting with a blogger from Ubiquitous Talk who published an in-depth tutorial that demonstrates how to protect active directories with snapshots implemented with OpenSolaris based storage heads and W2K3 or W2K8 servers. A blogger from Simon’s Musings provided a valuable tutorial that goes through “all of the steps from bare metal” to building a version of OpenAFS on Solaris. Finally, a blogger from The Intersect posted a series of workarounds he has compiled for different issues he encountered in OpenSolaris including turning off output flushing, a broken keyboard layout, and a tip for updating systems.

Thursday Dec 17, 2009

VirtualBox gets rave review in InfoWorld

VirtualBox

InfoWorld's Randall C. Kennedy published a desktop virtualization review that looks at the latest developments made by VirtualBox, VMware and Parallels. Randall described VirtualBox as the “one freebie that breaks the mold and delivers more, not less than you're expecting,” and said of the three programs VirtualBox has had the most compelling recent developments. He pointed out that with the latest innovations in the 3.1 release: “Users from the three major platforms – Windows, MacOS X, and Linux – are flocking to VirtualBox for its scalability, robust networking, and bargain price point.”

Randall said that in general VirtualBox “after years of wallowing in obscurity” is now causing quite a ruckus.” He pointed to VirtualBox's quick evolution after being taken on by Sun, describing features such as 32-way virtual SMP support as unrivaled while noting that the branched snapshots feature “brings it on par with its commercial competitors.”
Sun VirtualBox
However, Randall said “the real shocker” with VirtualBox 3.1 is its new Teleportation ability, which adds the capability to dynamically move running VMs between VirtualBox host systems. With this latest addition Randall said “suddenly, this once shy, awkward desktop VM solution is sporting speeds and feeds that seem more at home on a VMware ESX or Microsoft Hyper-V datasheet.”

Randall noted that this latest development takes VirtualBox in an entirely new direction, one that leads directly to the corporate datacenter and the lucrative rack space turn carved out by the commercial virtualization heavyweights.” He concluded by saying: “If VirtualBox proves as capable and scalable as its latest incarnation seems to indicate, it could have a dramatic effect on the balance of power among the raised floors set.”

Tuesday Nov 24, 2009

At a Glance: Last Week's VirtualBox, JavaFX, NetBeans, OpenOffice & OpenSolaris Reviews


VirtualBox
VirtualBox received exuberant praise in both trade publications and on top blogs this week. InfoWorld's Randall Kennedy said VirtualBox “delivers tremendous virtualization power” and also noted that it “installs quickly, requires very little study, and includes all the essentials.” Ken Hess from Linux Magazine stated: “Yes, VirtualBox is all that and a bag of computer chips,” while Larry Henry from Lehsys.com reported in a blog titled 'VirtualBox just keeps getting better,' that he has been using the program for eight months and that “it's been just awesome … there's no lag to it – it just works.” Finally, blogger Roger recommended VirtualBox because “the virtualization technology is top notch.”

JavaFX
JavaFX was discussed in a variety of forums this week, including in an analysis piece of the Java programming language by Peter Wayner at InfoWorld. Peter said that while JavaFX requires Java programmers to learn a new language, “the new animation classes may make it worthwhile for highly interactive desktop tools.” Meanwhile, a blogger new to JavaFX developed his first application with the programming language and said “indeed, it's a lot easier to prepare the GUI than plain old AWT,” and also pointed out that “JavaFX is a lot easier way to do the graphics.” Finally, a blogger from Soft-Tech Talks reported “I am amazed with its features,” after testing the GUI development capabilities of JavaFX.

NetBeans
An ever-increasing number of developers made the move to NetBeans this week starting with Glen Smith who reported NetBeans was his choice of IDE for Grails development because “the Mercurial support is just fantastic (and built into the basic install!).” A blogger from TechnologyTales.com made the switch to NetBeans after Eclipse stopped working with his Ubuntu 9.10 upgrade and said “things seemed to go smoothly and it looks to have replaced Eclipse for PHP development duties.” Finally, Quintin Beukes selected NetBeans for its Maven support and said while it doesn't have as large of a feature count as Eclipse, “the features it does have are far more complete and of much higher quality.”

OpenOffice
OpenOffice users had heaps of praise for the office productivity suite this week starting with Willow Sidhe who described OpenOffice as “the best free word processor out there.” She said: “I use it exclusively for word processing and I actually prefer the program to Microsoft Word.” Don Lindich said he has been using OpenOffice regularly and has “come to prefer it over the latest version of Microsoft Word,” and pointed out that the compatibility with Word is great. Finally, Kent Newsome reported that he was “pretty impressed” with OpenOffice, saying “I'm about ready to call OpenOffice a winner.”

OpenSolaris
OpenSolaris enthusiasts continued to share tips and tricks with others this week, employing some inventive new methods in the process. Beryl Sims created a “visual installation tutorial” that walks step-by-step through the process of an OpenSolaris installation. A blogger at Linux Administration demonstrated how to setup an OpenSolaris client to work with a Linux OpenLDAP server while a blogger at Linux/UNIX succinctly described how to install a Flash player on OpenSolaris through Firefox. Finally, blogger Colin described how to overcome a bug that prevents the install of pkgs on OpenSolaris snv_127 through the Package Manager and command line.

Wednesday Nov 18, 2009

Last Week's OpenOffice Reviews


1. Why I Dumped Microsoft Office – epmonthly.com, 11/11
The blogger has been using OpenOffice 3.2 beta for a week and said, “this program rocks...the developers of OpenOffice have really made a lot of great improvements.” He said the OpenOffice suite has “a good 90% of the functionality of Office 2003,” and pointed out that “there is a low learning curve for the transition between Microsoft Office and OpenOffice.”
OpenOffice.org
2. 9 Best Free Alternatives to Paid Commercial Software – danzyworld.blogspot.com, 11/11
Blogger Dan said “OpenOffice replicates almost all of the same, functionality, menus, and even file formats,” of Microsoft Office, making it a viable alternative. He said “for most fans of the old office, or students who just need to jam out a paper now and then without paying Microsoft, it will do the trick.”

3. 10 Helpful & Useful Apps for Small Business – infusionblog.com, 11/9
Joe Manna, in discussing the top 10 apps for a small business, said OpenOffice has “a great core set of apps that allow you to author documents, presentations, and spreadsheets with ease.” He said the office suite is often “underrated,” but that it is “very suitable for many small businesses and entrepreneurs.”

4. 4 FREE Online Tools that you SHOULD be using in ANY business – blog.momekh.com, 11/7
The blogger, who has been using OpenOffice for the past 9 months said, “Not once have I 'missed' any of the features available in MS Office.” He continued to say, “all said and done, OpenOffice has served me just fine. I would go ahead and say that it is perfect because apart from being a direct replacement of the most popular office software, OpenOffice is free.”

5. OpenOffice.org 3.1.1 for Mac: first impression – aryadn.posterous.com, 11/7
The blogger was pleased to see the “command + shift + right arrow or left arrow” was again available in Calc of the 3.1.1 release of OpenOffice. He said of the entire suite “it's much more stable,” and said because of that “I'm putting the schedule to shift my staff from Microsoft Office users into OpenOffice users.”

6. Lesser Known, But Very Helpful Features in OpenOffice.org Writer – linux.com, 11/5
Jack Wallen highlighted several lesser-known features available in OpenOffice Writer to include notes, mail merge, and styles and formatting, all of which he said can be used “to make OpenOffice Writer work as a much more powerful tool in your office.”

Reviews and How-to Articles from NetBeans Developers


1. Using Graphs to Build Your Own Ruby Pattern Matcher – justinbozonier.posterous.com, 11/9
Justin Bozonier wrote about using dynamic programming to implement a string matching algorithm. He said for the IDE he tried using RadRails, RubyMine, and NetBeans, and said “ultimately I chose NetBeans...for some reason it turned out to be the easiest for me.”
NetBeans
2. NetBeans finally imports my Eclipse projects – joconner.com, 11/9
John O'Conner excitedly reported that NetBeans 6.7.1 was able to import Eclipse projects he does at his day job, and works with “no errors, no problems.” John was excited because this compatibility means “I'm going to use NetBeans again after 2 years away!” He pointed out the bonus is that “the Java support of the IDE is amazing,” stating “NetBeans does JavaScript FAR BETTER than Eclipse does.”

3. NetBeans Unit Test Creation better than Eclipse? And where should unit test live? – beilers.com, 11/9
The blogger, who said he is “kind of tied to Eclipse as my IDE,” also “plays” with NetBeans and said he would switch if the IDE had Emacs key bindings. Among the highlights the blogger said he “especially like the way it (NetBeans) manages plug-ins,” as well as the way it handles unit testing by automatically creating a secondary source tree, and the way libraries are separated.

4. Migrating to NetBeans Platform 6.8 – launchpad.net/gephi, 11/8
Mathieu Bastian reported on his trunk code update from NetBeans 6.5 to 6.8 and said “no bug has been found after migrating,” and also pointed out that “the retro-compatibility is really satisfying.”

5. Develop High Transaction Web Applications with Java MySQL & NetBeans – armelnene.blogspot.com, 11/12
Armel Nene published an in-depth tutorial that demonstrates how to develop a high transactional Web application, using NetBeans to generate the code.

6. Create a GWT Application from Scratch – blog.jdevelop.eu, 11/11
The blogger demonstrated how to create a GWT application for NetBeans in this in-depth tutorial, as well as how to do so with Eclipse and IntelliJ IDEA, allowing people to choose which IDE to work in.

7. PHP Remote Debugging with NetBeans 6.8 – roysimkes.net, 11/10
The blogger said NetBeans 6.8 is “getting better and better,” pointing out that you can now debug php code with the it, which he demonstrated how to do in this tutorial.

8. Configuring JavaMail on GlassFish – energybuns.blogspot.com, 11/6
The blogger posted a tutorial that shows how to use the NetBeans platform (6.5.1) to configure JavaMail on GlassFish.

9. Changing default Look'n'Feel for NetBeans (and the GUI builder) – raftaman.net, 11/6
The blogger said “NetBeans' GUI builder is great,” pointing out that “it's one of the essential features that made me drop Eclipse.” However, he noted that designing certain GUIs are difficult because the preview look and feel on NetBeans may differ from the look and feel of the application platform. Therefore, he described how to change the NetBeans look and feel (as well as the GUI builder's look and feel) in this tutorial.

10. Simple example on NetBeans using Java with Swing – Sum – en.actualidadinformatica.com, 11/6
The blogger posted a simple tutorial that demonstrated how to use NetBeans to combine Java and Swing elements in an application that executes a simple sum of two numbers.

Tuesday Nov 17, 2009

At a Glance: Recent VirtualBox, JavaFX and OpenSolaris Reviews


VirtualBox
This week there was a prolific amount of VirtualBox buzz to be found on the Web. Blogger Hardik Shah said VirtualBox “reigns supreme” over all virtualization options on the market stating that “everything is just CLASS EXTRAORDINARY.” A blogger from Fun with IT reported on the migration of a Windows XP virtual machine from VMware to VirtualBox and said it “worked even better than I expected,” noting that in VirtualBox “the VM just booted and ran like a champ!” Finally, a blogger from Bill's Security Blog discussed why he used VirtualBox in the setup of a safe environment to perform penetration testing, and also described how to set up and configure VirtualBox for internal networking only.

JavaFX
JavaFX continued to gain momentum this week as developers published new applications and explored new tools. Sten Anderson released a new version of his JavaFX-based music discovery application, Music Explorer FX, updating it to take advantage of “performance and stability improvements” in JavaFX 1.2. Sten reported that the new release “boasts notable performance improvements and some crazy caching techniques.” Blogger Drew from the JavaFX Journey tested blend modes in JavaFX and concluded that “blending can be powerful.” He also published an application that displays the effects of the various modes. Finally, Max Katz posted two tutorials this week, one in which he demonstrated how Exadel Flamingo allows a user to utilize Hibernate Validator-based validation in the JavaFX UI, while in the other he showed how to connect a Seam component from JavaFX to an enterprise back-end using Exadel Flamingo.

OpenSolaris
It was another hefty week of OpenSolaris tutorials, as more and more users blogged about their experiences with the OS. A blogger from toic.org reported that he has been using OpenSolaris for a while and said “I'm quite pleased with it to say the least,” posting an in-depth tutorial that demonstrates how to set up an OpenSolaris server, using ZFS and COMSTAR to create “a scalable, high-performance, low-budget storage server.” Meanwhile, a blogger from dfusion.com.au posted a step-by-step guide to mounting Solaris NVSv4 using Kerberos onto a Mac, which he reported he has been wanting to do because of Solaris ZFS which “is way superior to any other current filing system. Period.” Finally, OpenSolaris enthusiast Ewald Ertl demonstrated how to copy files to a remote Solaris server using Nautilus in OpenSolaris, which he likes because it “supports the navigation on remote systems with a lot of protocols.”

Thursday Nov 12, 2009

Tips & Tricks from NetBeans Developers


1. My Development Environment -– whoneedsactions.com, 11/4
Blogger James Riley said since starting with NetBeans he has “never looked back.” He noted that what makes NetBeans his IDE of choice “is its Ruby on Rails support – being able to carry out all your command line activities from within the IDE saves me a lot of time.”
NetBeans
2. 15+ Creative Java applications based on NetBeans Platform -– veerasundar.com, 11/3
The blogger said NetBeans is more than “just an IDE that helps you to build Java/PHP/C++ applications,” and stated “there are numerous GUI applications built upon the NetBeans platform,” 15 of which he highlighted in this post.

3. Glassfish, NetBeans and JSF 2.0 Test Drive –- andygibson.net, 11/2
Andy Gibson has been testing the new NetBeans 6.8 beta release and said “feature-wise it is a great product with better tooling for JSF,” along with other programs but said “while the features are impressive, NetBeans still seems hindered by performance issues and some minor bugs,” but said compared with other IDEs, “NetBeans is a superior product in terms of features.”

4. ZK 3.6.3 with NetBeans 6.8 Beta on GlassFish V3 –- javadude.wordpress.com, 11/6
The blogger, who is using NetBeans 6.8 Beta, was curious to see whether he could get the latest ZK release to work with NetBeans 6.8 running on GlassFish, and demonstrated step-by-step just how to add ZK 3.6.3 to NetBeans to create a directory for GlassFish in this tutorial.

5. HSQLDB NetBeans –- anipossible3.blogspot.com, 11/5
The blogger gave a step-by-step instructions describing how to configure HSQLDB in NetBeans in this tutorial.

6. NetBeans Platform: Implement Perforce client – part IV –- javasign.blogspot.com, 11/2
The blogger finished up his series on the Perforce client with the NetBeans platform, to illustrate how it can be implemented as a versioning client in NetBeans. Specifically, in this tutorial he discussed how to integrate into Perforce the NetBeans IDE file manipulation operations to include add, delete, rename, move, or edit using the NetBeans VCSInterceptor class.

7. ReST Web Services on Google App Engine using NetBeans 6.7 –- armelnene.blogspot.com, 11/1
Armel Nene demonstrated how to develop a ReST based web service that works with the Google App Engine using NetBeans and Jersey API in this tutorial.

8. Install iReport Plugins in NetBeans –- ireport-tutorial.blogspot.com, 11/1
The blogger posted a screencast tutorial that demonstrates how to install the iReport plugin in NetBeans, which the blogger said “is the most popular and top-rated NetBeans plugin.” He said the plugin allows the user to easily design reports in NetBeans.

9. NetBeans Platform: JNLP & static codebase –- puces-blog.blogspot.com, 10/31
Blogger Florian Brunner discussed how to deploy a JNLP NetBeans Platform application to a web server that doesn't support WAR-files in this tutorial.

10. NetBeans IDE unboxing and review -– violarocks.wordpress.com, 10/31
The blogger posted a video tutorial that shows the unboxing and installation of NetBeans 6.7.1 along with the creation of a simple Java project application in NetBeans.

11. NetBeans Refactoring – Part 1 –- significantinsignificance.wordpress.com, 10/30
The blogger published a tutorial on on refactoring in NetBeans, which he said is “a very powerful and a personal favorite NetBeans feature.” He described how the refactoring capabilities available in NetBeans can allow the user to change source code easily, illustrating and explaining half of the options available in the refactor menu in this post.

12. Writing your First Boxee App -– greatboxee.com, 10/30
The blogger posted an in-depth step-by-step guide to writing a Boxee app using NetBeans as an IDE. At the end, he said his experience with NetBeans was “just OK” noting that “it had the bare minimum of refactorings, intellisense, and a test runner.”

Tuesday Nov 10, 2009

Recent OpenOffice Reviews


1. Countdown to OpenOffice 3.2 – Writer -– togsolutions.com, 11/4
The blogger is writing a multi-part series looking at the new and upgraded features coming in the 3.2 release of OpenOffice. He focused on changes to Writer in this post, saying they “should prove to be very useful” highlighting upgrades to the word correct-auto complete, alternative text for writer objects, and apply style shortcut functions.
OpenOffice.org
2. A Guide to Locating Free Database Software –- articleszoom.org, 11/4
David Ryan described OpenOffice as “a professional level set of programs available free,” noting that as a group it is “well-matched with Microsoft Office.” He recommended the software suite for Base, noting that it is SQL compliant and runs on a variety of systems.

3. Freight Broker Training Resources –- atex.typepad.com, 11/3
Blogger John Thomas described OpenOffice as a “slick resource that will give you everything you need to view spreadsheets, documents, and PDF files.” He also pointed out that a word document can be easily converted into a PDF file with the click of a button in OpenOffice.

4. OpenOffice vs Microsoft Office –- inetengineers.com, 11/1
Jaimie Dobson tested OpenOffice this past week and said he would highly recommend the office productivity suite to a budget conscious business owner not only because it is free, but it has “loads of free add-ons and templates, looks and works like MS Office including the same keyboard shortcuts, [and] will open MS Office documents.”

5. Microsoft Office: Free Alternatives Are Available –- secalgarynews.com, 10/31
In discussing options to MS Office the blogger said “many people like the features and appearance of OpenOffice,” which closely resembles MS Office 2003, and may “actually seem an improvement in appearance and organization” versus Office 2007. However, he noted that OpenOffice cannot save in the new proprietary MS Office 2007 formats, which can lead to compatibility issues.

6. 6 must have add-ons to enhance your OpenOffice.org experience -– ghabuntu.com, 10/29
The blogger said one of the greatest aspects of OpenOffice “is the extent to which you can customize it with the thousands of freely available add-ons.” He then listed his six favorite add-ons that he said will “take your OpenOffice.org to the max.”

7. Install OpenOffice on Ubuntu 9.04 (command line method) -– iggyvibal.wordpress.com, 11/5
The blogger posted a tutorial that demonstrated how to install OpenOffice in Ubuntu 9.04 using the command line.

8. Base and Impress Tutorial Videos for ShowMeDo -– blog.procasts.co.uk, 11/3
Ian Ozsvald posted two free introductory tutorial videos for using OpenOffice Impress and OpenOffice Base. The remainder of the series, 8 total for Base, and 3 total for Impress, are available inside ShowMeDo for paying members or existing authors.

At a Glance: Last Week's VirtualBox, JavaFX and OpenSolaris Reviews


VirtualBox
VirtualBox users posted dozens of tutorials full of praise this week to encourage and help others to try the free program. The blogger from Gophn.com said VirtualBox is “definitely the epitome of the phrase 'bang for the buck' … especially since it is free,” while also stating: “There is no beating this software's features, performance, compatibility, and probably support.” He posted two in-depth video tutorials to walk a new user through the installation and setup of this “must have program.” Blogger Alex Amiryan reported on his new install of Fedora 11 on VirtualBox saying everything “works just perfectly,” and shared a system startup service he wrote to power on some of the virtual machines in the background at startup. Finally, Jonathan Moeller demonstrated how to install VirtualBox in Ubuntu 9.10 from a terminal window saying, “as ease of installation goes, you can't beat that.”

JavaFX
Several JavaFX developers discussed and demonstrated features of the program in their blogs this week. Blogger Murat Yener described JavaFX as being similar to Flash and Flex but noted that with JavaFX “you have the control of the Flash counterpart of Stage and Timeline directly in the code.” He then demonstrated the functionality of Stage and Timeline in the process of developing an application. Elsewhere, blogger Muhammad Hakim shared his entry in the October JFXStudio challenge, detailing how he wrote the JavaFX app that calculates prayer time for Muslims based on location, and sharing the source code with others to experiment with.

OpenSolaris
OpenSolaris enthusiasts shared their tips and tricks this week through a plethora of tutorials. Aaron Gilbert from devtrends.com published a tutorial that demonstrated the step-by-step process of installing and enabling virtualization of xVM on OpenSolaris, which Aaron described as “robust.” Blogger Hiroshi Chonan described how to create an OpenSolaris Live USB stick on Windows with 'dd' utility in his blog, while a blogger from Creation of the Andz posted an in-depth guide to installing the OpenSolaris 2009.06 operating system. Elsewhere, new OpenSolaris adopters expressed their pleasure with the operating system. A blogger from Aello Puppet reported “everything is running without any error,” while a student new to OpenSolaris said he is “having fun playing” with the OS.

Tuesday Oct 20, 2009

At a Glance: Last Week's VirtualBox, OpenOffice, NetBeans and OpenSolaris Reviews


VirtualBox
Positive VirtualBox buzz was bountiful this week in the blogosphere with a new VirtualBox user who commented “so far, VirtualBox is AMAZING in my testing process,” noting that it “opens up some amazing possibilities.” Another new VirtualBox user said, “I like VirtualBox so far, it appears to be a useful tool in the toolbox.” A blogger from Tech-Week described VirtualBox as “by far the best free virtualization program on in the Internet,” and gave a tutorial that described how to install and set up VirtualBox, something he noted “is fast and easy.” Finally, blogger Bob Jones reported on his new experience with VirtualBox saying, “I was extremely happy with what I got,” and posted his detailed installation steps on an Ubuntu host.

OpenOffice
There was a bounty of praise for OpenOffice this week starting with a blogger from Frugal in Virginia who said OpenOffice is “super easy to use,” and “allows you many of the same capabilities as Microsoft Office without the cost.” Ghacks.net's Jack Wallen recommended OpenOffice to Mac users as an alternative to iWork saying that although it may look different, “you will find it is just as easy to use AND it includes more features and applications than iWork.” Peter Wayner from Network World also recommended the office suite as an alternative to Microsoft Office noting that “the software reads all major document types.” Finally, a blogger from The eBook Agency called OpenOffice “the real deal,” and said of his experience “so far, OpenOffice is passing with flying colors.”

NetBeans
Praise for NetBeans was easy to find this week amongst the IDE's users. A blogger at Tech-how.com claimed with NetBeans “you get all the tools you need to create professional desktop, enterprise, web, and mobile applications,” for a variety of programming languages in an IDE that “is easy to install and use straight out of the box.” A blogger from JavaSign said NetBeans is “the best tool to configure your environment,” and demonstrated how to create dynamic libraries in NetBeans stating that “in 10 minutes spent you can do much more than before with the best GUI ever.” Finally, a blogger from Ruby for Scientific Research said “NetBeans is a great development platform,” and demonstrated how to write and run a jRuby script with a library file from NetBeans.

OpenSolaris
OpenSolaris and Solaris bloggers had plenty of commendations and user tips to share this week, starting with blogger Martin who reported that he regularly uses Solaris at work and recently uploaded OpenSolaris to use on his home system stating: “I always really enjoy OpenSolaris when I run it in a virtual machine under Linux.” Another blogger listed the top 10 reasons to try the Solaris 10 OS, noting that the constant innovation of the OS pays off for the user: “innovation matters, because it saves you money.” Finally, a blogger from Irrationale.com followed up on his recent OpenSolaris NAS guide with a tutorial demonstrating how to change out a failed disk, how to change out smaller disks for larger ones, and how to add disks to the NAS pool in OpenSolaris.

Friday Oct 09, 2009

At a Glance: Recent OpenOffice, VirtualBox, NetBeans and OpenSolaris Reviews


OpenOffice
New and experienced OpenOffice users wrote about the office suite this week with blogger Nikki reporting that she has “found it to be very user friendly,” saying “it is a great alternative for those who either don't have or cannot afford MS Office.” Another blogger focused his attention on OpenOffice Draw, calling it “a powerful graphics package,” and highlighting the connectors feature between shapes. And finally, long-time OpenOffice user Jack Wallen published a tutorial demonstrating how to install extensions in OpenOffice, with which he said “you can expand the capabilities of this outstanding office suite.”

VirtualBox
VirtualBox users were abuzz this week, posting dozens of reviews and tutorials for the popular program. One blogger posted a short introduction aimed at new VirtualBox users and said, “it's in my opinion the easiest to work with on all platforms and likely the easiest for the beginner,” when compared to other virtualization technologies. Another blogger reported that VirtualBox saved the day by giving her the ability to read .vhd files natively, “without any conversion hoops to jump through,” after setting up Windows with a Cisco VPN running on Linux in VirtualBox. Finally, a blogger excited to have access to Magicjack exclaimed: “Hooray for VirtualBox! I can have my Linux and Windows too!”

NetBeans
NetBeans bloggers had commendations for different features of the IDE this week, with a blogger from Edmonds Commerce Blog working on a project with heavy Javascript requirements reporting that “the excellent jQuery support in NetBeans (my IDE of choice) is making this a real pleasure to work with.” Adam Bien wrote about kenai.com this week and said: “The integrations with the NetBeans IDE is unique – it is very easy and convenient to find and check-out an existing project and nicely integrated chat.” Other NetBeans users focused on helping others, with a blogger from totalprogUS describing how to create your own shortcuts with the NetBeans macro and a blogger from XLAB tech discussing how to access classes and resources from multiple modules in the NetBeans classloader system.

OpenSolaris
OpenSolaris enthusiasts shared praise and tips for the operating system this week with a blogger from IT knowledge Indy applauding the OS saying it “is perpetually ahead of the curve in the computer world,” and that it demonstrates Sun's “ability to be innovative and flexible.” Regular OpenSolaris aficionado Stanley Huang described how to decompress rar files in OpenSolaris on his blog this week. And finally, a blogger reported on his successful installation of the 2009.06 release on a “still powerful” Sun V40Z, and gave tips for anyone else looking to install the latest release on an older system.


Thursday Oct 08, 2009

Now available: Solaris 10 10/09 Operating System


Today we announced the availability of the Solaris 10 10/09 Operating System. In this update, Solaris 10 has been extended with new performance and power efficiency enhancements, more streamlined management of system installations, updates and fixes, new updates for ZFS and advancements to further leverage the functionality of the latest SPARC(R) and x86 based systems.

I talked with Larry Wake, Group Marketing Manager, Solaris Software, about what is new and exciting in this Solaris 10 10/09 update. Listen to the short podcast for the details.


Wednesday Sep 30, 2009

Blogosphere conversations on OpenOffice, VirtualBox, NetBeans and OpenSolaris


OpenOffice
OpenOffice users wrote glowing reviews of the office suite this week starting with Luc Feyes of Earth Times who described OpenOffice as “the undisputed king of open source software.” Blogger Stephen Lunn from Hyper Gadget stated that “as far as word processors go at least, this [OpenOffice] is one of the best.” Jay Garmon from notebookreview.com published an in-depth review of OpenOffice and said it “will prove utterly interchangeable with Microsoft Office 2003,” for the vast majority of users. Stephen Lilley from ehow.com expressed a similar sentiment when he pointed out that “everything you can do in Microsoft Office you can do with OpenOffice.” Finally, openSUSE forum member Patti, excited about what she noted was increased performance of an OpenOffice 3.1.1 Calc spreadsheet asked, “Am I the only one whose [sic] noticed OpenOffice suddenly got a whole lot better?”

VirtualBox
The steady flow of VirtualBox buzz continued this week with a blogger from Am!NeS0ft's blog describing VirtualBox as an emulator that effectively lets you “have your cake and eat it too.” He demonstrated how to install Guest Additions in VirtualBox which he noted “is a simple process that can be done quickly.” Dave Lopan posted two separate articles on ehow.com relating to VirtualBox, which he described as “an excellent free virtual machine manager, capable of running nearly any operating system on the market.” He looked at both how to install and configure a Linux Ubuntu virtual machine in VirtualBox as well as how to create a shared folder between a Linux guest and Windows XP host.

NetBeans
NetBeans users were singing the praises of the IDE this week with a blogger from C++ Web Services saying he prefers NetBeans because it has: “very good navigation features,” it is “easy to get started,” it has a “no-nonsense user interface with its intuitive features,” and it has a “feature-rich editor.” Another blogger at softwarepoets also declared his affection for NetBeans, noting that it has several advantages over Eclipse including: an “excellent GUI builder,” a “very good module system,” a “mechanism for decoupling called lookup,” a “very good API to build explorers, editors, property sheets, etc.,” and a learning curve that “is not very steep.” Finally, a blogger from Manikandan's Weblog pointed out the easy debugging and troubleshooting environment NetBeans provides stating, “with NetBeans debugger, you can step through the code line by line while viewing status of variables, threads and other informations.”

OpenSolaris
OpenSolaris users shared a bounty of tips this week, with a blogger from SolarisNevada providing a series of commands to help users diagnose problems that can affect OpenSolaris shutdown and reboot times. A blogger on HowtoForge.com posted a popular tutorial that demonstrated how to create an OpenSolaris paravirtualized Xen guest under Debian Lenny. Blogger Stanley Huang showed how to change the resolution support of OpenSolaris in a EeePC netbook in order to re-size it for VGA output, and finally, a blogger from Triple Boot, Loading.. wrote a tutorial that walks through a triple-boot setup of OpenSolaris, Vista, and Ubuntu.

Wednesday Sep 23, 2009

At a Glance: Last week's VirtualBox, NetBeans, OpenSolaris and OpenOffice Reviews


VirtualBox
VirtualBox users had nothing but praise for the emulator last week, starting with a blogger who has been using it as a testing forum simply stating, “VirtualBox, wow!” He also noted there have been “major improvements in the way this software handles new hard disk installations, and even better handling with Guest additions and integration features of the mouse and keyboard.” A blogger from RedFerret.net has been testing VirtualBox for the past few weeks and said “it's awesome...set up is a breeze and my installation of Ubuntu into a Windows box went without a hitch.” That sentiment continued with a blogger from valiant-ny.com declaring “I would definitely recommend VirtualBox to clients, friends, and even enemies as a useful tool in their arsenal.” Finally, a blogger from TTC Shelbyville stated: “VirtualBox is by far the best free virtualization program on the planet,” noting that it is “hands down an excellent application for home and enterprise users.”

NetBeans
NetBeans users posted plenty of tips, tricks, and tutorials this week starting with a blogger from the Tiju Sujono blog who reported using NetBeans “for all my projects, since it does integrate so nicely with Ruby/Webrick/GlassFish/Mongrel for Ruby on Rails application development.” The blogger discussed a configuration he had developed that uses NetBeans with SQLite in this informative blog post. Another blogger from Tech Solution Logs posted a tutorial that demonstrated how to enhance the usability and appearance of structured documents using the jQuery Java Script library in the NetBeans IDE. Blogger Ruben showed how a user can set up an OpenJPA Enhancer Ant task in a NetBeans Java Class library, while blogger Padam Thapa gave a step-by-step account of how to set up the LLWJGL library with NetBeans.

OpenSolaris
It was hard to miss the OpenSolaris buzz in the blogosphere this week with Tux Review's widely publicized article for Linux users wanting to try a new operating system. The blog simply stated “we humbly suggest OpenSolaris,” and published an in-depth quick-start guide that went through all the highlights of the operating system including OpenSolaris' hardware support, the ZFS file system, its virtualization capabilities, and its performance as a desktop distribution. Also this week, blogger Marco reported on his process of selecting OpenSolaris as the primary server for his home saying he ultimately chose the operating system because, “it's free, open-source, has a good community and probably the best ZFS support of all operating systems.”

OpenOffice
Last week, OpenOffice users praised several features of the multi-purpose office suite starting with Jacqueline Emigh from Linux.com who declared OpenOffice “a winner, by and large,” because it provides both software applications and cross-platform support for a variety of operating systems. A blogger from Ethiopian Review stated that OpenOffice “is incredibly compatible with Microsoft Office,” and noted that “OpenOffice has coped exceedingly well,” with use in his day-to-day work. Finally, a blogger reported that she was thrilled when OpenOffice was able to completely handle a critical PDF file and an Excel file, saying “OpenOffice handled it like a charm...there were no formatting errors and the graphics came down in place.”


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