Tuesday Jan 08, 2008

World's Youngest Sun Ray on Solaris Nevada User

Well, I can hardly believe that three years has passed since the birth of my second son. In keeping with past tradition, today he received his first Sun Ray. Just as his brother before him, he received a Sun Ray 150. Having used his brother's Sun Ray for quite some time, he took to it with ease and had fun playing on some of the typical kids sites. I am sure he will pick things up in no time with his big brother at his side to help him along.

IMG_4369 IMG_4369_2

This bet on early access to technology has certainly paid off (not that I had any doubt!). My eldest is very at home with technology and the Internet whether on a Sun Ray, a Ubuntu desktop or even his Wii. He recently even asked if he could watch me next time I "fix" (read: upgrade) the computers so that he could learn how to do it. With Indiana, he may very well be able to do the upgrade next time! Even in school where they are forced to use Microsoft products, he adapts very well switching from MS Paint to gPaint and IE to Firefox, and so on. I am sure his little brother will follow in his technological footsteps.

A few things have changed over the years since we started down this winding road... The original Ultra 10 was upgraded some time ago to an Ultra 20. Solaris 10 gave way to Solaris Nevada (and everything that comes with it), the Sun Ray Server Software was also brought up to date, and more memory was added. Time passes and all things must change. In this case, certainly for the better!

With each new Solaris and SRSS upgrade, the experience becomes easier to install, configure and use. My hats off to both engineering teams who do a remarkable job. I can't wait until we get Indiana and Sun Ray linked up! Special thanks this round to Kent Peacock and P.S.M. Swamiji who helped me work out one last kink in getting rid of some very, very outdated Sun Ray firmware on my last remaining DTUs! Now everything from the DTU firmware, to the Sun Ray software, to the operating system, etc. are all running the very latest and greatest - at least until Nevada build 81 comes out!

Happy birthday, little one!

Friday Jul 14, 2006

Update: My LIttle Sun Ray Guy

It has been nearly a year and a half since I blogged about My Little Sun Ray Guy. Well, I am very happy to report that things have been going quite well. Over the last month or so, I upgraded his environment moving him from Solaris 10 on an Ultra 10 to a new Ultra 20 running Nevada build 42 (with integrated Solaris Secure by Default, Firefox, Real Player, etc.)

So far, no problems to report. It is performing significantly faster (obviously - the Ultra 20 helps quite a bit there!), but functionally, everything that worked on Solaris 10/SPARC works just fine under Nevada/AMD64. Here are a few pictures that I took recently:

My next goal is to get him using Trusted Extensions as soon as I have some time to get it configured.

That's all for now!

Take care,


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Sunday Feb 12, 2006

Sun Ray @ Home Updates

Well, another year has passed for my little Sun Ray user. In Septmeber, I talked about a few updates that we had done to our Sun Ray environment, and I wanted to mention the latest. In late January, we upgraded the operating system on our x86-based Sun Ray server to Nevada (build 32). No issues to report - gotta love the stability of these builds! We are still running SRSS 3.1 as a preview of the next version is not yet available. Certainly, once it is available, we will give is a try.

My son has been using Firefox (from Blastwave) with plugins for Java and Macromedia Flash and has been happily able to access his favorite sites, listen to sounds, play games and puzzles, etc. He is getting more web-savvy by the day and has even been learning to type using gedit for about six months. In fact, he is coming along quite well. I will have him coding in no time now. ;-)

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Sunday Aug 28, 2005

Sun Rays and Nevada

By way of an update, over the July break (yes, I know it is nearly September!), I completed the upgrade of my laptop to Nevada (build 18). Add to the mix, Casper's frkit, Darren's netprof, and packages from the good folks supporting Blastwave and my laptop is a force to be reckoned! Since then, Nevada has been my only desktop. It has flawless performed on both wired and wireless networks, at home, at the office and at conferences (being projected), ... you name it.

So, since everything has been going so very well, I decided to expose my family to Nevada ;-)

A few weeks ago, we completed the upgrade of our home Sun Ray environment. My family has moved off of the Ultra 10 (running a pre-release of Solaris 10) to a eMachines PC (Pentium 4) system running Nevada (build 18) and SRSS 3.1. I have to say that the transition was completely painless - the SRSS software installed on the Nevada-based x86 platform with no problem and has since been running flawlessly. Gotta love things that "just work".

Isn't technology grand!

Friday Jan 21, 2005

World's Youngest Sun Ray on Solaris 10 User

As I talked about previously, my son received a Sun Ray 150 for his birthday this year. He took to it like a fish to water and was easily navigating several of his favorite sites. He had a lot of fun playing games and even brought some of his friends over to his "office" and showed them how to use it.

For those who may be interested, the Sun Ray 150 is connected to an Ultra 10 workstation (440Mhz, 1-Gbyte RAM, 9-Gbyte disk) running Solaris 10 (build 74) and the Sun Ray Server Software 3.0.

I had the Sun Ray configured in its normal and controlled access (kiosk) modes to see which would be more managable. In its normal mode, we used the Java Desktop System interface. Each mode has its benefits for a home system, and I have not quite decided which way it will end up. It does not appear to matter, however, for my son who simply enjoys surfing the web with Mozilla and playing Java and Macromedia Flash games.

Now if I could just get him to file bugs and RFEs! Maybe next year...

Monday Jan 03, 2005

Solaris 10, SunRays, and even JDS3 Linux...

I realize that it has been a while since my last posting, so I wanted to provide a quick update as to some fun I had over the holiday break. I am planning on providing some new security content in the very near future. As an aside, for those who prefer a more structured format, the Sun BluePrints will be publishing a few of my articles (with new and updated content) later this month.

Anyway, during the holiday, I decided to tackle two things. First, I upgraded my home Ultra 10 to Solaris 10 (build 74). The installation process was completely smooth and without incident. I had everything up and running in a hour or so. With that out of the way, I then installed the (version 3.0). This too worked out of the box (or CD has the case may be) without any problems. So, in just a few hours, I found myself with an Ultra 10 with SRSS 3.0 on Solaris 10 - ready for action.

To go with this setup, I recently purchased 3 Sun Ray 150 clients. My goal is spread them throughout the house so that people can have easy access to the network using a comfortable user interface. In fact, my son, who is going to be three in a few days, is going to get one for his birthday! (Sssh! Don't tell him!)

Using the Sun Ray Server Software kiosk mode, I can give him easy access to the web content of his choosing like PBS Kids and Noggin making him have to login to a system, start a browser, etc. Quick and painless. The only thing that I needed to do beyond what I have described above was install the Macromedia Flash plugin for Solaris so that he could play some of the games at the sites above.

Now that all of that software and hardware had been tested, I turned my eyes to my laptop. I have been running beta (pre-release) versions of JDS Linux on my primary (read: only) laptop since the very first release of the software. As such, I jumped at the chance to participate in the JDS3 Linux beta program. So, with reckless abandon, I wiped my laptop and dropped down the JDS3 Linux bits. I am in fact typing up this blog entry from my freshly installed system. For those who are curious, so far so good. I installed JDS3 a few days ago and have already seen a significant improvement a number of areas including support for hardware devices. I am using a Toshiba M2 (1.7GHz, 512M, 60G, NVidia GeForce FX Go5200, 1000BT, 802.11abg).

I have it running currently using an external monitor (@ 1280x1024), but I have also been using its LCD (@ 1400x1050). Both the wired and wireless network adapters were recognized and worked out of the box. In fact, the only software that I loaded on the system (beyond what was available on the JDS disks) was the Cisco VPN client and some networking and security utilities that I use for my "day job".

Anyway, I have to run - post-break work pileup. If you have questions on any of the above, please let me know. Take care!





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