Friday Sep 05, 2008

So long, and thanks for all the fish!

After 6 1/2 years at Sun I am leaving to work with the folks at Canonical to help them in their efforts to spread the open source Ubuntu Linux operating system.  At Sun I started in the telco group and from there worked with Java ME, Java EE, GlassFish and Open Source. Along the way I've worked with and for some wonderful people who helped me navigate the complexities of a large company like Sun and taught me a few things - which is what made the job interesting.  So I send a thank you to Simon Phipps, Jean Elliot, David Bryant, David Marr, Terri Molini and everyone else who provided valuable counsel and gave me the chance to explore and learn all about open source.  I"ll have a new blog - somewhere. Check my Facebook page or LinkedIn page for details.  

Wednesday Aug 27, 2008

All Cows Point North

I ride my mountain bike thru areas that cows are pastured in the East Bay hills.  We always thought that all cows faced the same way because 1) it looked better, 2) they looked better to each other "it's slimming" or 3) the smell drifted down wind.  As it turns out there is a new reason and that is that all cow point North. See the results of Germans, with loads of free time, can learn looking at Google earth.

GO! Airlines

After my Aloha airline flights were canceled due to bankruptcy (see my previous post) I rescheduled on American Air and GO! for inter Island flights.  A little background, GO! is the low cost carrier (a subsidiary of MESA Air) that put Aloha out of business for inter Island flights in HI.  There were some illegal price cutting going on as well, but that was settled in a lawsuit. 

 We landed in HNL and went to find the GO! gates. GO! is listed on the monitors (alternating with Mesa which is a nice touch) and the gates are in the commuter terminal which are in the 70s at the end of the airport.  So we followed the signs to the gates, walked along the outdoor concourse, walked thru some doors to a nice, new air conditioned concourse, the down some stairs to an open, hot, stagmant dugeon. This was the secure holding area for GO! airlines. There were the 4 of us, 2 very bored security types and an ummanned GO! computer desk flashing a M$FT screen saver.  There were no gate numbers, no information, just a bunch of seats - so we sat.  After 30 minutes we asked the guards about GO! and they gestered that this was the place.  So we waited some more until finally a GO! employee showed up (20 minutes before our flight) and led us out the doors onto the runway, down the terminal to the GO! terminal. This was where the action was- it had a bar, AC, hip young (fearfully inexperienced ticket folks who appeared to be no older than 15) and lots of customers.  As it turns out, the dungeon is the "secure" area and to get to the real GO! area, we would have to leave and then go thru security again to get to the bar area.  Of course no one told us this and there were no signs - very odd!

Our plane arrived, along with 2 others, and we all went out on the runway and headed to our plane. No real organization here, its more like a bus terminal with banners on the stairs that indicate the planes's destination.  We boarded the right plane, strapped in and listened to flight instructions from our 15 year old flight dude (attendant is too generous a description).  In keeping with its low cost status, everything on the plane costs $$, even water ($1.50 for a 500 mL bottle).  The flight was fast, efficient and casual. Upon landing I was handed a map from our "attendant" and here's the conversation:

 Dude:  Map?
Me: Yes, thanks
Dude: Sweet!

 Next time I am going to fly Hawaiian airlines and bypass GO! as a feel GO! is just a bit too casual and inexperienced for my tastes.


Thursday Aug 14, 2008

US Court Validates Open Source Licenses

The US court of appeals has ruled on a case involving the open source Artistic License finding that it is indeed a valid license.  The key to this is that the court ruled that the copyright provision of this open source license is enforceable.  Precedent is key in US law and since there have been few, if any, cases testing open source licenses this ruling establishes a precedent that will be used to defend all future open source copyright issues.  In essence, this ruling strongly supports open source licenses and therefore the software that is protected by them.  This is a great day for open source and even though this covers just the artistic license, it is easy to extend this to validate the copyright protections offered by the GPL, CDDL and other open source licenses.

Thursday Aug 07, 2008

Ubuntu on Virtualbox

I have now virtualized Ubuntu on my MacBook Pro using Virtual box.  After installing Vista (really to see if it worked and as a practical matter to help me communicate w/ my BlackBerry) I installed Ubuntu.  I downloaded Ubuntu 8.04 and installed from the iso on my hard drive. That went well. I had to tweak a few things to get the mouse, WiFi and other drivers to work but other than that the installation was a snap. I assigned it 1G of RAM and 10 Gigs of hard disk space and with those it seems to run well. Since Ubuntu  includes Firefox and other apps right out of the box its easy to be productive out of the box.  The only issue is that I cannot print - for some reason it doesnot recognize my printers on the USB ports.  I'll have to look into this more in the future.  Since I don't print too often (and can share documents w/ OS X) its not a big problem.

Now I think I should reconfigure my mom's computer w/ Ubuntu. Vista is just awful (all those security questions everytime one accesses the internet are a real pain).  Maybe next time I am up there I'll do a dual install and see if it works.  Since none of her friends seem to understand Windows, moving her to Ubuntu would not cause any more confusion.  She only uses Firefox and the awful windows photo program - I can move her to FF on Linux and then migrate her to Picasa (which is much easier to use).

Wednesday Aug 06, 2008

IBM's Says Linux to be Around for the Next Ten Years

I attended Bob Suter's talk at Linux World in San Francisco today to hear how IBM positions Linux. Yesterday they announced they are shipping a M$FT free desktop system w/ Ubuntu, Lotus Symphony (based on OO.O) and other open source sw, so IBM must see quite a bit of value in Linux.  Bob is a fine speaker and started with a history of how IBM got into the Linux business - he even had some humorous slides on the old e-business campaign from 2001.  Here is the top 8 list from Bob's talk (my paraphrasing) and my commments.

1) Linux will drive green initiatives - lower costs / power  and virtualization

2) No other open source OS will replace Linux in the next 10 years - considering it takes 10 years for an OS to get widely accepted and we see nothing comparable today, I would venture this is accurate

3) Linux mindshare will be less focussed on x86 hardware - sure, phones, embedded into devices, servers

4)Linux on the desktop will be significantly different - I agree with him here. As collaboration sw becomes ubiquitous, what we call / see as a desktop today will certainly evolve.

5)SMB large scale adoption is too close to call.  He states that SMBs buy solutions (say Dentist office application) rather than piece together hardware. But I think most, if not all, new technology companies will startup w/ Linux

6)Open Source Licenses will stabilize.  - Yes, licenses are soo 2007. However, I think we'll a bit of activity around SaaS and open source licenses to coral in the Googles of the world

7) Open Standards will grab more attention.  He claims, and rightly so, that many of the exisiting standards bodies are just horrible and in need of an overhaul and I couldn't agree more.

8)It will be a do or die decade for open source industry applications.  I don't believe its do or die, but certainly we'll see a shift to more open source / commercial applications where all the good capabilities that enterprises will want will be in the for pay enterprise bits.  The open source sw business is the same as the old proprietary sw business - engineers still need to make a living (but now we get access to much more rapid innovation).

Sunday Jul 20, 2008

OSCON State Of Lightning Talks (SLOT) GlassFish

On Thursday July 24th from about 10:45 am to 12:20 pm will be the State of Lightning Talks in Portland 252 in the Portland Convention center.  Basically, this is where all communities have 5 whole minutes to provide an update on what the community is doing (that's roughly 3 to 5 slides if you talk like the guy in the old FedEx commercials). I"ll be talking, fast, about GlassFish at 12:05 - don't be late. Details HERE.

Thursday Jul 17, 2008

Sun OSCON & Party

Sun is a sponsor of OSCON again this year. Lots of sessions on PostgreSQL, MySQL, AMP, OpenSolaris etc.  I'll be giving a lightning talk on GlassFish at 11:45 in room 252 on Thursday (along with a host of other open source communities). We will also have our trademark "couch potato" booth - several couches and internet connections so come by and take a load off.

Party - the Sun/MySQL/Zend joint party is Wed at 8 pm in the DoubleTree hotel. Stop by for a drink and some food and some games as well - although I can't speak for those.

Monday Jul 14, 2008

Upgraded Leopard to 10.5.4

I downloaded the latest Leopard (all 450 Mb of it) and upgraded my OS during a relatively quiet time.  It took a few minutes to download the package (don't try this at home, I did it at the office which has huge pipes) and another 10 to execute, configure and restart my MacBook Pro.  The upgrade seems to have worked perfectly. I don't notice much different behavior, but it seems to recover more consistently from sleep than it did before. I am somewhat wary of these gargantuan upgrades so I tend to wait until I have backed up everything (time machine works great) and perform a search to make sure that these upgrades go ok.  Next step is to upgrade the firmware.

Update - I upgraded my firmware (this is always scary) and it worked well. 

 What I've noticed:  1) Laptop wakes up from sleep always (thanks Apple). No more annoying opening and closing the lid to get it to wake up.  2) it connects and properly formats display for external screen. I use a rectangular Sun 20" LCD external screen so the laptop has to recognize an external screen, change the format (from elongated to square) and change the resolution.  It now does this easily.  I can also get it to recognize the external screen whether the laptop is open OR closed. When closed (and sleeping) I plug in the ethernet, monitor cable, power THEN a USB mouse and the laptop awakens and formats for the screen.  The power is key to get this to work.

Friday Jun 27, 2008

GlassFish + MySQL Unlimited Offer

Sun announced a GlassFish + MySQL unlimited offer. No more counting servers or noses - just a simple annual subscription gives you the right to use the worlds most popular open source database and application server.  These are the fully supported enterprise versions - highly scalable and fast.  Its a great price and certainly beats having to pay for another price increase from Oracle!

 Also, listen to Mark Herring's podcast on this offer here.

Wednesday Jun 11, 2008

Virtual Box and Vista on a Mac Pro

While at the Gartner show in Orlando I took an hour out one evening and installed Virtual Box 1.6.2 along w/ Vista (Business) on my MacBook PRO.  Virtual box was simple to download and it installed without any problem at all.  I received a copy of Vista from a M$FT developer friend of mine who has copies to spare.  I started VB, created a new virtual machine, assigned it 1.227 Gigs of memory (I knew that Vista is a memory hog so I gave it more than the 1 Gig minimum), gave it 16 Gig of my hard drive (although it is using much, much less than that) and started the installation.  It took probably 30 minutes or so to install Vista including several auto- restarts of the VM.  Then it was up and ... the network did not work. I could not get a connection so I checked the Intel Pro/1000 MT Desktop NAT under the networking options (it was setup for something else, but after RTFM I learned this is no longer supported in Vista)  and the networking lit up.  I was online in under an hour from start. I lit up IE and downloaded Crossloop so I can connnect to my mom's Vista box and that installed and seems to work great.

 The only issue is that I cannot resize the Vista window and get the Vista image to expand to full screen. The window will resize - but the Vista image that I work in remains the same - there is just more "grey" space around it.  Any ideas how to fix this are appreciated.

 Next, I'll update my mom's copy of crossloop and see if I can get them to connect again. 

Friday May 23, 2008

What IS GlassFish?

Here's a link to a 1 minute video that I did at Java One that answers the question "Why did you name it GlassFish" and "What is the name of the fish"


Tuesday Apr 15, 2008

On my way to FISL

Heading to Brazil (actually I am in Sao Paulo) on my way to FISL - one of wildest open source events of the year in Porto Alegre.  I'll be giving a talk on GlassFish and Java EE 6 along with a whole contingent from Sun who'll be talking about all things Java and OpenSolaris.  So far they have 6100 folks signed up for the conference which runs from Thursday thru Saturday.

Friday Apr 04, 2008

And now ATA Flies into the Ground

And... now ATA has declared bankruptcy eliminating more capacity to Hawaii. ATA was kind of a bottom feeder carrier anyway, but this did come out of the blue sky and crashed into Oakland airport where ATA just quit w/ no advanced notice (unlike Aloha that was at least nice about it).  With the loss of nearly 10% of mainland to Hawaii capacity and the fact that Untied and American fly with nearly full planes, fares to Hawaii doubled last night!  Yes doubled.  I would expect them to drop as the big guys add capacity and figure out how to rebalance their flights.  I would also guess they would get a bit of pressure from the Governor of Hawaii as they are very dependent on tourists from the mainland.   

Tuesday Apr 01, 2008

Aloha Air no Longer Answers the Phone

Aloha is really, really shut down.  When I called their phone line to ask about my existing reservation I listened to a recording and was then told to contact my travel agent (in this case myself) about rebooking.  They are gone.  So as my own travel agent, I called my credit card company and filed a dispute over the charge (which I had not paid for yet) for a service that was clearly not going to be delivered.  Fortunately, the card company will cover the charge.  Next I rebooked my flights on American Airlines which I am pretty sure won't go out of business between now and Summer.  Lesson learned - it is good to pay for a high value visa card and be a customer in good standing so they will take care of things like this!




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