Monday Mar 14, 2011

Blog migration

More than a year ago, I migrated my blog to its new home:

Constant Thinking

And I'm very happy to see that the new incarnation has more RSS subscribers and daily visitors than this old one, and it's growing nicely. Thank you!

Still, there are a lot of people that visit this blog, probably by finding an old article through a search engine or so. And there are still hundreds of subscribers to the old RSS feed. Again, thank you, but you may be missing something!

So here's a short reminder:

  1. Please check out my new blog Constant Thinking now. I'm putting a lot of effort and energy into it to make is as useful and interesting to you as possible. Of course, your feedback is very welcome!
  2. If you like it, stay in touch by adding the new RSS feed to your feed reader.
  3. If you don't like/use/know RSS, or if you want an extra look behind the scenes, there's a brand new option now: The Constant Thinking Newsletter will send you timely updates about new articles, plus some extra stuff like background information, more tips and the occasional inner circle type goodie. Sign up now!

Meanwhile, this blog will still remain for reference and archival purposes.



Tuesday Feb 23, 2010

Six Weeks of Constant Thinking

As you know, I've moved this blog into an independent webspace and relaunched it as "Constant Thinking" about six weeks ago. Check it out, it's at Here's a short "status report" after about 6 weeks of independent blogging:

One of my goals for my new blog is to achieve 500 RSS subscribers by summer (Yes, you're invited, too :)). You see, as a blogger, my lifebread is the number of people who regularly read my blog. That's how we bloggers feel rewarded for what we do: Every single RSS subscriber, every comment, every piece of feedback is like a pat on our shoulder, a drop of endorphine in our blood, a carrot... Well, you get the picture. Little things please little minds :).

In this case, my old blog has about 550 subscribers and I want you all to show up on my new blog as well. No, I won't just redirect the feed, that would feel like cheating and I'd never know if I deserved all those subscribers for my new blog or not (after all, you might just follow this blog just because it's a Sun blog, not because of is content).

So first of all, a big "Thank You!" to the more than 160 people who chose to follow my new blog's RSS feed. This is greatly appreciated!

To the other 390 or so, here's what you've probably been missing:

I hope you'll find these articles interesting and useful. Feel free to get more Technology Thoughts and add "Constant Thinking" to your RSS reader. I'm looking forward to your comments and feedback!

Sunday Jan 17, 2010

A New Home For My Blog

A screenshot of my new blog First of all, a big "Thank You!" to you, my dear readers and the more than 500 subscribers (according to Feedburner) to this blog!

After having blogged here, on my Sun blog, for more than 5 years, I thought that the year 2010 is the right time to start running my own, independent blog. This is a thought that I've been having in my mind for a long time, and it is also something like the next logical step in developing myself as a blogger. Also, to me as a geek, it is a great excuse to play more deeply with some new blogging/CMS software.

New Year, New Blog

During the Christmas weeks (and before), I've been digging around different blogging systems and CMS and decided to use Drupal as my blogging platform, which is very powerful and flexible while offering endless possibilities to expand my blog in the future. It is hosted at Strato, which is a great Sun customer in Germany, and I'm happy to see that they use UltraSPARC T based systems to run my blog, too :).

So, without further ado, I encourage you to check out my new blog called: "Constant Thinking". You can reach it at or just type into your browser. I'm looking forward to your feedback and suggestions: What do you like, what improvements do you suggest, what subjects do you want me to blog about?

Future Plans

I expect to continue writing about OpenSolaris, Technology, Home Servers, Podcasting, and some occasionaly useful diversions, like you're accustomed to. As a result of building my new blog, I've dug deeper into the Drupal Web Content Management System, so expect a few articles around that, too. Finally, I've also developed an interest in ebooks, readers and the EPUB format and I plan to share some experience around that as well in future blog articles.

Stay In Touch!

I hope you like the new concept and design and I'd like to encourage you to subscribe to the new Constant Thinking RSS Feed, so we can stay in touch at least the next 5 years to come!

Tuesday Apr 29, 2008

Interview with the GSE Divas

CandaceMariaThe GSE Divas are Maria and Candace from New Jersey who work for Sun's GSE (Global System Engineering) organization as communication managers.

If you're into communication, you can hardly live without to blog, and so they keep the GSE Divas blog. One of their blog traditions is to interview GSE people and feature them as "Sun STARS" on a regular basis.

Today, I'm their victim number 15. Feel free to read their interview with me. Thanks!

This is probably the closest thing to an "about me" page for now. Every good blog seems to have an "about me" article somewhere, I should probably sit down and write such an article sometime soon.

Meanwhile, check out the other entries and Sun STARS in the GSE Divas blog, there are a lot of interesting people there, indeed!

P.S.: And yes, it's a pleasure to blogroll you :).

Sunday Apr 13, 2008

A Big "Thank You" to You, my Dear Readers!

Flowers During CeBIT, a guy came up to our Solaris and xVM demo pod and thanked us for producing our "CSI:Munich, how to save the world with ZFS and 12 USB sticks" video. He said he was a sysadmin and he showed this video to his boss who found it so cool, he instantly told him to try Solaris and ZFS out at their company. He thanked us for helping him evangelize Solaris and ZFS to his boss.
Two weeks ago, Mark and Aleister read my blog, asked me a ZFS question via email and Twitter about RAID storage and caching and I was able to help them by pointing them to the ZFS Evil Tuning Guide. They thanked me and said this "proved the value of social networks" and I should tell my colleagues that Sun's blogs are highly appreciated.
Now, this week I received email from Simon who thanked my for my ZFS blog articles which he found very inspiring. Simon now has a great series of articles around setting up a home server with ZFS of his own. Check them out, they are much more thorough than mine and very useful indeed!

Thank You 

I think it's really the other way round: Thank you, my dear readers, for reading my blog, for caring about what I write, for linking to my blog and its entries and for hundreds, sometimes thousands of hits every day. Thank You!

Getting feedback is hard, I know it from the HELDENFunk podcast, from other podcasters and from friends who blog. A few comments here and there, once in a while an email, that's it. There's not much I know about you, my dear reader, other than what you tell me through comments and emails and through personal contact.

So please, keep the feedback coming, tell me what you like, and what you don't like. Tell me what you'd like me to blog about, what topics you want me to expand, what else I can do to make this blog better for you. Post a comment to this entry or send me email at constantin at sun dot com.

Who You Are

CrowdWell, I do know just a little bit about you. Here's what Google Analytics and FeedBurner tell me about you, my dearest readers:

  • This year, 6,891 different people visited my blog, more than 11,000 times in total, resulting in more than 15,000 page views. This is not much, compared to high-traffic bloggers or some news sites, but it's something I'm a little bit proud of. You come from the US, Germany, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, India and other countries, in that order (107 countries in total).
  • About 41% of you are returning visitors, vs. 59% who are reading this blog for their first time. 14.24% of you have visited this blog more than 9 times, that's close to a thousand people! I should probably start a loyalty card scheme, maybe give out "Constantin Miles" to readers :).
  • My most diligent readers (more than 5%) spend more than 10 minutes on my blog per visit. Thank you for making coffee, going to the bathroom or having a nap while reading my blog, it helps me enjoy my statistics even more. I also thank my 7.8% of my readers who enjoy 3 or more pages of my blog at once (that's not entries, 'cause I have multiple entries on most pages), making me feel like writing blog entries is actually useful to someone.
  • About 50% of you have found this blog by searching for something on Google. Popular search keywords that lead to this blog are: "zfs iscsi", "easy starters", "email efficiency", "itunes solaris", "solaris iscsi", etc.
  • The other 50% of you have either typed in its URL by hand (16%, good thing I've put my blog URL onto my business card and at the end of my presentation slides) or they have followed some link that the fine people at,,,,, and (yes, their websites, not the search engine) and more than 250 other referrers took the time to create for this blog.
  • In the right column, you can find a list of your top 10 most popular entries. This list is based on data from Google Analytics and it's updated about once per month. I wish Roller had a feature to generate such lists automatically.
  • Finally, I thank you for making this blog show up in the list of "Popular Blogs" more than once. Its top rank so far has been #14. Who knows, I may end up in the top 10 some day if you continue to read it that often :).

Tips for Bloggers

As you can see, there are a lot of statistics that website tracking services are able to provide. If you own a blog, set up one or more of these services and start collecting data about how your blog is being received. This is an important motivator: It enables a feedback cycle that makes you improve your blog on a continuous basis, it provides useful information on what topics you blog about are popular and why and it gives you the occasional endorphine kick of a nice spike in the statistical curve as a result of a good article you wrote.

Another important factor are search engines. A lot of your blog traffic will find you through search engines, so make sure these engines find your blog. has an article on "The Blogger's Guide to Search Engine Optimization" and SearchEngineLand has "25 Tips To Optimize Your Blog...", useful and easy to follow advice on how to make your blog more attractive and efficient in the eyes of search engines.

After your readers have found you, it's your job to make their time on your blog a useful and rewarding one. Try to think like your readers, try to find out what they want to read, check out the statistics for some possible directions and try to post relevant content on a regular basis. 

But the most important factor is direct feedback from readers such as Mark, Aleister or Simon, or the unknown sysadmin from CeBIT. They tell you what's good, what they like, they ancourage you to continue and make your blogging experience a rewarding and motivating one.

So, again, thank you and keep the feedback coming!

Wednesday Feb 13, 2008

Great Web 2.0 Videos to Show to Customers, Partners, Colleagues, Friends & Family

The past few weeks were very busy ones for me. I was preparing a lot of stuff for the Sun Germany Partner University 2008 in Fulda, which took place this Monday and Tuesday. The bad news is that I hardly had any time to blog. The good news is that I now have many things to blog about over the next couple of entries.

Web 2.0 was one of the main themes that permeated the agenda. There were presentations about tools for web 2.0 developers (Check out NetBeans and its wonderful JMaki plugin for instance), discussions on web scalability using CMT servers and I also had the honor of presenting a Web 2.0 overview talk.

During the general session, as an introduction to Sun's vision, we found this video to be quite breathtaking:

This video called "Did You Know 2.0" was developed by teachers in the USA who are concerned with the education of today's kids and how to prepare them for an exponentially changing, globalized and networked future. It's great to see so many concepts in this video that are at the heart of what Sun is doing, combined with a forward-looking, heads-up attitude, designed to shake us up and tell us "Wait a minute: There's significant change going on right now. Prepare for it". A lot of people asked me where to get this video after the general session (I was in charge of A/V support during general sessions), so now you know: Visit the Shift Happens website for high quality versions of the video as well as some background.

Many thanks to Danilo for pointing me to this video (and unconsciously influencing this year's partner university agenda)!

Here's another Web 2.0 related video that I like to use during presentations: "Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us" by Michael Wesch from Kansas State University:

A great summary of the history of the web: From HTML to XML to RSS syndication, blogging, video sharing, user-generated content to today's way of networking communities. Never has Web 2.0 been explained in an easier to understand way. The best thing about this video is that it has been created by non-techies: Michael Wesch and his team are actually anthropologists.

This is what I always repeat to customers: Web 2.0 is not about technology. It's about humanity.

Monday Mar 05, 2007

Friday is Web 2.0 Day

I really should blog more often.

Every day, at least every week, I have one or more blogging ideas in my head. But for some reason, there's always a lot of work to do and then it's too late and the next idea comes up, while the old one becomes stale.

And then there are those other things that scream "update me" at you: Flickr photos, a LinkedIn or profile or some other cool Web 2.0 service that you think would deserve some more of your time.

Lately, I've been giving Web 2.0 presentations to partners and customers and my feeling is that it's not a hype. We're in the middle of a major new breakthrough in how society, culture and the business world is organizing itself. Web 2.0 is becoming a serious part of our corporate life and everybody's daily day at work.

So, I need some way of better organizing my work life in order to accommodate the right amount of attention to my Web 2.0 life. That's why im now officially declaring Friday to be "Web 2.0 day".

Friday is a good day for work-related housekeeping items: Writing expense reports, updating notes, etc. So it is a perfect match to officially dedicate some time to updating my XING contacts, write blog entries, update internal wiki pages, write something into our group blog, try out new Web 2.0 services (current favourites include Plazes and FON) and generally do something to become a better Web 2.0 citizen. It is kinda like casual friday but with a more productive, more modern twist.

Last Friday, I wrote an article about Web 2.0 for a Sun internal technology newsletter. Today, I finished it, which is why you see this entry being created on Monday and not Friday, so it's working already :)

Who knows what'll happen next Friday? Stay tuned.


Tune in and find out useful stuff about Sun Solaris, CPU and System Technology, Web 2.0 - and have a little fun, too!


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