Wednesday Oct 03, 2007

3G and Loving It...

Maybe I am lagger. Maybe I am ignorant due to the perpetual deficiency of the US mobile infrastructure, but I have to say, I love my 3G wireless modem. I never signed up for this service in that past as I saw it as a slight upgrade to GPRS. Well turns out it is way better.

About a month ago I signed up for Vodafone's mobile broadband service. It it great. I get 3G just about anywhere in Europe. It consistently delivers a megabit of bandwidth.

No more hotel bills for internet access. No more signing up for WiFi in airports to then only use it for 20 minutes.

I know 3G is not new, especially in Europe, but I am a newbie and love it.

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Monday Oct 01, 2007

CEC 2007, Less then a week away...

It is that time again. Time for our annual Customer Engineering Conference (CEC). Held this year from October 7th-10th in Las Vegas. I know I probably say this for every CEC, but I really do think this is going to be our best ever conference.

Why? Let me run down some of the highlights for this year:

  • The video challenge: Engineers will have a chance to record a brief video about their role as a technology innovator and share their most interesting and compelling stories and experiences.
  • Sun Learning Services: SLS will be at CEC doing a number of things, from their speaker workshop, to technical training sessions, to free Java, Solaris and JCAPS certification training.
  • The CEC UnConference: A great chance for anyone to propose a topic and speak out about it. A great open forum to voice your ideas and receive instant feedback. Also check out speed geeking at the same time, which is a great way to hear lots of different topics and ideas.
  • Fantastic keynotes from Jonathan, Andy, Dave and Don. Plus a very cool industry panel you won't want to miss.

  • Second Life: Our first ever virtual CEC. Even if you can't attend there will be a place Sun folks can go to be a part of the conference. Our general sessions and several other technical sessions will be hosted in second life. Also we are audio taping all of our sessions so we plan to post the presentations and audio content in second life as well. Come check out our island and the Vegas style conference center we have built for you.
  • Solaris Installfest: We will once again have a Soalris installfest at CEC. So bring your laptops (PC and Intel Mac) and we can flash them with the latest Solaris builds.
  • Black Box: We will have the real thing, the Sun Black Box at CEC. Come by and check it out.
  • Constellation System: Ever seen a HPC system like this? If not, come by the Pavilion and check it out. Can you say 3456 ports?
  • Luminary Track: We will have a special luminary track again this year where we will feature some of Sun's high profile speakers
  • Competitions: We will have a number of competitions again this year. Make sure you check them out as the awards are very cool this year
  • Interactive: We will continue our interactive experiment from last year, you will again be able to interact directly with our keynote speakers by sending in comments and questions via SMS, email and instant messaging.
  • The Party: Hey is Vegas, so we had to have a fantastic party to celebrate our success and to create a place where you can mingle, meet and chat with friends.
  • Eco Friendly: This will be our most eco friendly CEC yet. See if you can spot how many ways we addressed Eco into the conference itself.
  • We have increased out attendance this year to a record 4000
  • We have increased our partner participation significantly this year
  • We have launched a new sponsor program this year and this years sponsors include; Brocade, Cisco, HP, Intel, HCL, Qlogic, Symantic, Trend Micro and VMWare
  • We will have a new Pavilion this year with great technology demonstrations and exhibitors from APC, AppGate, Emulex, IBM, Layer 7 Technologies, Safari Books, SAS, Scalent, Wipro and of course Sun.
  • We had a record number of content submissions this year and CEC will feature over 200 unique technology sessions
  • We will be hosting a product launch at CEC! More soon
See, I told you it was great! I plan to blog again this year to give you the behind the scenes views and commentary, so stay tuned.

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Thursday Sep 20, 2007

R&D in Israel

I know it has been a bit since we signed this agreement, but I thought is worth the time to write a bit about this since I got my blogging SW up and going again.

Back in August Sun signed an agreement with the State of Israel to effectively collaborate on joint R&D. Essentially what this means is that Sun will now have access to a bunch of great resources and ideas coming out of Israel and in turn when we engage with a Israeli company on a collaborative R&D effort the government funds a portion of our joint effort. Great stuff.

I met with Dr. Eli Opper, the Chief Scientist of the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry. Boaz Yehuda, Sun's Israeli country manager was also present. We exchanged some formal comments on the agreement, well the geek in me came out so my comments were far more informal. After that we had a great chat about the current technology climate in Israel. We also chatted about Sun's history in Israel and Dr. Opper's time in the US and familiarity with Sun. There are so many great startups, technologies and resources based there. I hope that Sun will be able to leverage this wealth of ideas and people.

Here is to Sun's continued success in Israel.

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Monday Sep 17, 2007

Back at it...

As my son used to say, "wadda happ'in". It has been far too long since I have been able to post a blog entry. Due to a number of reasons least of which was my mac hard drive crashing and having to reinstall Ecto and such. In any case, I am back on the air. My plan is to get back to a regular cadence again in the blog-o-sphere...

Tuesday Apr 24, 2007

Personal Tag...

One of the greatest concepts of community software and web 2.0 is tagging. The simple idea of adding meta data to content. No taxonomy. No index. Just simple, meta-value.

I am not sure if this blog is another form of tagging or just another web fad, but I have been tagged. Yes I am sure you have seen by now many a web folk have been tagged and as such must wax poetic on five relatively unknown facts about themselves. Many have been tagged; Jonathan, Hal, Volker, etc. now it is my turn. Who tagged me you ask? Well due to my tardiness, many. It started with Mary Cay Kosten and then on to the Diva's and Volker. Now for a bit of encouragement through embarrassment. Of those that have tagged me, it is my pal Mary Cay who has not quite come out into the sunlight to share her ideas with the world (her blog is only internal). I know she has ideas to share and I can understand wanting to work out her blogging neophyte-ness internally first. However, now it is time to shine light on this outstanding woman executive, Mary Cay, come on in, the water is warm! It is time to make your mark in the blogosphere.

Ok, so on to the task, five personal facts about myself.

1) I am adopted. I know, how could any parent give up such a handsome nerd? Well needless to say, I was provided with adopted parents that enriched me with the freedom to investigate and experiment, sometimes with less then perfect outcomes. You will see from another fact below, this freedom inspired an un-quenching need for information and tinkering. I believe this was the underpinnings of my geekness. I appreciate the fact that I was never discouraged, even when it meant that I disassembled a perfectly functioning household appliance, automobile or device and built some other completely useless (in my parents eyes) contraption. Thanks Mom and Dad!

2) I am an enthusiastic amateur adrenaline freak. This essentially means that I love any sort of adrenaline rush, but I generally suck at it. How can you fail as an adrenaline freak? Well you can crash, a lot! Those that know me away from work may know that from time to time when I mountain bike, ski, motocross, race, etc I tend to crash. I used to have a saying that if you didn't come home bloody then it wasn't much fun. Well I have given up that saying for extra pads and braces. I still crash but it does not hurt as much. My brain thinks it is still in its teens, but my body feels like it is near retirement. I have broken several bones, some of which I never quite made it to the doctor to repair, dislocated a knee, torn MCL and ACL (several times), bumps, bruises and cuts. All in the name of a little fun - ohh and the accompanying adrenaline rush. So the next time you see me walking by and you wonder why I have a continuous limp, you will know why.

3) Movies and music please. Yes I love movies and music. What kind of movies? Any movie that has a start and a finish are tops in my book. Love them. If you give me a few hours of time (beyond work, my family and such), I will most likely use it to watch a movie. So if you must know, my blog often takes a back seat to movie watching. What kind of music? Here I am a bit more specific. I like just about any kind of music except one; country music. Is it degrading to the word music to precede it with the word country? Anything else; rock, R&B, rap, classical, new wave, trance, pop, techno, world, etc. I love it all. If you must know I have over 20,000 songs in my library and purchase new music at a rate of at least an album or two a week. The long tail has done wonders to music lovers as we can now experience music beyond what Wal-Mart and other giants think we should enjoy.

4) I have the knack. No not the band (although I do have the Knack in my library), I mean the knack to fix things. The years of taking things apart things apart, building news things and simply tinkering to figure out how things work, has left we with a general ability to fix just about anything. I have had nicknames like MacGyver, Gadget and such due to my love for fixing and tinkering. It has paid off well and it is a rare day indeed when I am forced to call on someone else to fix something. Fun for me is building, creating new things out of seemingly useless components. So next time you are stuck in the middle of no where with a broken toaster that you need to turn into a solar powered aircraft, you will know who to call.

5) Last but not least, I love being a Dad. For anyone that has kids, I don't think I need to go into much explanation. Suffice it to say that nothing in this world brings me more pleasure then spending time with my Son.

I hope you have enjoyed this little peregrination into my world.

Now on to the fun part of this. It is my turn to tag five people. I tag Chris, Peter, Baty (will give Jim a reason to do a second posting), Jason and Giuseppe.

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Friday Apr 06, 2007

Parsing "to come"...

Looks like IBM may be having more problems yet "to come". An article in the The Register this week shows a slide from a recent IBM presentation that lists the date of Power 6 to ship in the future, or "to come". I am not sure how to parse "to come". Does that mean they can't figure out when they will be done? In any case, interesting news.

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Wednesday Feb 07, 2007

Web 2.0 that even Mom would understand...

I was passed a link today to a really cool video. This is a great demonstration of what Web 2.0 really is. If you have 5 minutes, I promise this will be well worth your time.

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Tuesday Jan 30, 2007

It's a good thing...

No, I am not trying to revive Martha's famous tag line, read on. In the past coupe of weeks there has been plenty of good news. I am sure by now you have read the news, but if not - let me recapitulate.

First, there is nothing like growth and profit to put a smile on your face. Sun had a great Q2. Let's keep the momentum going!

Intel and Sun announce a new relationship. Yes that is correct, we will now be building a number of systems based on the Intel processor. Which of course is in addition to our existing products which utilize AMD and SPARC processors. This should make it clear that we are going where our customers want us to be. Delivering more choice then ever before! On top of this, Intel will support Solaris and dedicate R&D resources to ensure Solaris runs well on Intel, ohh and they will be distributing Solaris via their sales channels.

Sun is the number one contributer to open source software, and I can prove it. The EU commissioned a study of economic impact of open source software on the European IT market. The report can be found here. You will find in this independent report that Sun has contributed over three times that of the next largest open source contributer (IBM) and five times of what RedHat has contributed. Ohh and if you read carefully you will see that this report did not consider the open source contributions Sun has made in OpenSolaris, Java and NetBeans, so our contribution is actually much greater then reported. If this does not make it clear that Sun is open and focused on the open source communities, I am not sure what will.

We taped out Rock. Rock is the next generation of processor and leadership in the CMT space. It just keeps getting better and better...

So as I said. It is a good thing. I think Martha would even agree...

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Wednesday Jan 10, 2007

The quiz...

I saw this quiz posted on Chris' blog, thought I would give it a try... I even went back and was less generous with my answers and the answer was the same. I am Ironman! My son is going to get a kick out of this as he is always Spiderman, now Ironman can battle Spiderman for what to have for dinner...

Your results:
You are Iron Man

Iron Man
85%
Superman
70%
Green Lantern
65%
Spider-Man
65%
Hulk
50%
The Flash
50%
Catwoman
50%
Batman
45%
Supergirl
43%
Robin
43%
Wonder Woman
33%
Inventor. Businessman. Genius.
Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

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Monday Dec 18, 2006

First DE in Prague...

I have great news for you. Today is a rather significant day. Trung Duc Tran was promoted to a Distinguished Engineer (DE)! Why is this significant? Beyond the fact that Trung is the chief architect of NetBeans and has been driving the technical vision of that incredible product for a long time, he is also the first DE to be named in our Prague Engineering Center.

The technical leadership at Sun has been working for some time to increase the international (outside the US and for that matter California) leadership around the world. It may seem like a small victory for Trung to be named a DE but it is a great step forward in developing and recognizing our international technical leadership.

Congratulations to Trung!

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Thursday Oct 26, 2006

Stick a fork in it...

Interesting news today from Oracle. Oracle plans to "fork" Red Hat and beat them at their own game by offering better/cheeper support. Oracle is not the first to do this to Red Hat, but I believe they have more money then the others to make it work. If nothing else this sure does make the Linux/RHEL market appear more fragmented. Red Hat dismissed the news.

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Good to Grow!

Big props to the entire Sun team! It feels good to continue in our third consecutive quarter of double digit growth.

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Whisky, golf and big servers...

Scotland is known for a number of things, golf and whisky come to mind, but did you know that some of our biggest and baddest servers are manufactured there? Linlithgow is home to our European manufacturing site. Many things have been manufactured here in the past, but now is focused on the big stuff. In addition to the manufacturing, Linlithgow also hosts one of our remote managed services centers, Customer Ready Systems integration center and Sun Solution Center. Some fantastic capabilities all in one place.

I was impressed with my visit and plan to leverage the capabilities a lot more in the future. Especially if I can get a round in and sample a dram or two...

If you want to know what the EMEA team looks like, take a look. No, we don't always wear the cool blue coats and static straps. Left to Right: Andy Coussins, David Palk, Pilar Torres, Steve Furniss, Sue Oliva, Wolf Frenkel, Peter Ryan, Me, Susan Ferguson, Luc Opdebeeck, Lieve Jacobs, Graham Steven

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Friday Oct 20, 2006

Blog mashup...

I had a bit of a blog mashup happen this week. First I will refer back to a recent blog I did about networks and their impact on the future of the iPod. I should note at this point that someone pointed out to me that Greg P. had done a similar blog about networks and iPods about a year ago. I think this sufficiently proves that Greg stays ahead of everyone. Well at least me.

The second blog was a recent entry by the Mobile Technology guys who posted an interview I did about becoming the Sun technical executive sponsor for Vodafone. A notification email was sent to me informing me that the interview had been published and that I should check out a new service that Vodafone is delivering.

The mashup here is the Vodafone reference and the iPod blog. You see, Vodafone already has a music service that utilizes mobile networks. Check out Radio DJ. I wish I could always be so prophetic. And believe me, I had no knowledge of Greg's post (although I should have) or the Vodafone service.

In any case, I am happy to say that I am excited to join the Sun/Vodafone team!

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Thursday Oct 12, 2006

Will networks kill the iPod?

Today I sat through a number of account reviews as part of our sales academy training in London. One of the sessions focused on IP based media got me thinking about my iPod. First let me say I love taking my digital content (pictures, movies, music) with me on my travels and therefore love my video iPod. But the iPod for all intents and purposes is the equivalent of a bloated PC. It can only serve up content that is installed locally. Sure the basic iPod model is a cache of a larger master library. But why do I need a cache when networks are becoming more and more pervasive? Is the iPod betting against the network? If so, it is sure to die (in its current form).

I can see a time when either the iPod (and its equivalents) will be "thin" or will die. Thin in the sense that they will leverage the network to deliver digital content in real time. Video, audio, you name it. IPTV is on the rise. 3G networks are being put in place around the world. And WiFi is getting almost as pervasive as coffee bars and drinking fountains. Knowing this, will todays mobile phone become the iPod, PDA, phone, all in one device that some folks are predicting? I think so. Just as Sun has never shipped a product without networking being intrinsic to the offering, mobile phones have always assumed the network. They have to, if they didn't they won't be mobile now would they? Sure the devices will need a cache so content would still be available when, by the odd chance, a network is not available. But if you start with the assumption that the network will be there, it really does open new possibilities in taking your content everywhere. Or maybe better said, being able to leave your content anywhere and at the same time using it from everywhere.

Time will tell, but I for one will would never bet against the network...

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