Tuesday Jan 19, 2010
Tuesday Dec 02, 2008
By hoffie on Dec 02, 2008
I am writing a java web service client as a command line tool. I'm using a 3rd party stub that depends on Apache Axis2 libraries. When it came time to invoke the java program, I realized I needed to load up the classpath with all 59 jars that are in Axis2. So, I came up with this little diddy:
java -cp `ls -1 /Projects/xyz/lib/axis2-1.4.1/lib/\*.jar | sed 's/\\(.\\)$/\\1:/' | tr -d '\\n'`/Projects/xyz/build/lib/Xyz32-test-client.jar sun.rre.get.GetFolderList
Let's break it down:
|-cp||use the following word as the classpath|
|use the backticks to execute shell commands:|
|ls -1 \*.jar||that is a one, not an ell - list all jars one per line|
||||pipe the output to the next command|
|sed 's/\\(.\\)$/\\1:/'||replace the last character on the line with last character plus a semi-colon|
||||pipe the output to next command|
|tr -d '\\n'||remove the newlines from stream|
|/Projects/xyz/build/lib/Xyz32-test-client.jar||my jar file appended to end of the output from backticks|
|sun.rre.get.GetFolderList||the class to invoke from my jar|
The unix shell is still a source of joy to me almost on a daily basis after 11 years at Sun.
Wednesday Nov 05, 2008
By hoffie on Nov 05, 2008
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.
Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.
An exhaustive history of these quotes and their non-authoritative attributions.
Friday Oct 20, 2006
By hoffie on Oct 20, 2006
Being an avid follower of all Google watcher theories and theorists, I immediately recalled Cringely's year old article when Sun announced Project Blackbox on Tuesday. I had been checking Cringely's site to get his reaction and it appeared today: "Sun announces the Google shipping container data center, but will it fly?".
For what it is worth, Cringely likes Sun's approach and he feels confident that Google will be a customer of it although he offers scant evidence. The other very encouraging spin he had was that this product would likely sell into completely new customer bases. Given that Blackbox can be outfitted with Solaris, Linux or Windows (since our Opteron kit is Microsoft Windows certified) the field is absolutely wide open to any type of shop out there.
For those who haven't read the technical details for the Blackbox, it requires 3 connections: data link, electricity and chilled water (to the tune of 60 tons). Since I grew up around the chillers used to cool data centers, I had to poke around and see what options our customers are going to have when they procure water chillers to compliment the Blackboxes.
Here is a Carrier water chiller rated at 600 tons in rental packaging (Enough capacity to provide the cooling for 10 Blackboxes)
It's no coincidence that Carrier chose the very same TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) Container to package their portable chillers that Sun chose for the portable data center. Its the standard around which the transportation industry revolves.
During my childhood, my father would take me with him on emergency repair calls for the cooling systems for some of Silicon Valley's biggest names in computing. The highlight for me was the day we had to work on the cooling for the Cray at Apple. It was one of the models that cooled the chips by immersion in a non-conductive liquid. I specifically recall that my dad was not fond of that system.
I can only hope the Blackbox captures the imagination of a generation the way the Cray captured mine, and that it proves to be more profitable. I can already assure you it will be more popular with the on-call HVAC guys - their entire interface with the Blackbox will be no harder than a water heater, cold water in, hot water out. You ready to come out of retirement Dad?
Tuesday Aug 15, 2006
By hoffie on Aug 15, 2006
Last week marked my first opportunity to do performance testing on T2000's. Its remarkable to see the single UltraSparc T1 chip present itself as a 32-way SMP to Solaris.
CPU CPU Location CPU Freq Implementation Mask ------------ ----- -------- ------------------- ----- MB/CMP0/P0 0 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P1 1 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P2 2 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P3 3 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P4 4 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P5 5 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P6 6 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P7 7 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P8 8 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P9 9 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P10 10 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P11 11 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P12 12 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P13 13 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P14 14 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P15 15 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P16 16 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P17 17 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P18 18 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P19 19 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P20 20 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P21 21 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P22 22 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P23 23 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P24 24 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P25 25 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P26 26 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P27 27 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P28 28 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P29 29 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P30 30 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1 MB/CMP0/P31 31 1200 MHz SUNW,UltraSPARC-T1
Friday Apr 28, 2006
By hoffie on Apr 28, 2006
This is a rare company that actually has a soul. We are a collegial community of competent people that thrive on mutual respect. That environment helps inspire the development of great products which not only enhance the bottom line, but contain higher order goals of advancing humanity. I personally need to work for a company that has a multi-dimensional culture. It is a cynical attitude which believes all corporations exist only to make profits. While all corporations must answer to their shareholders, that responsibility is not mutually exclusive of additional motivations for a corporation. I, for one, get very little satisfaction from just making money without having contributed something. Scoring a winning trade in the stock market is not nearly as rewarding as being compensated for mowing a lawn, writing a useful program, managing people, or being awarded a patent. I've profited from all those activities, but each one comes with varying levels of fringe benefits, and sometimes heartaches. Scott has referenced the intangibles as "psychic income".
We are all made of body, mind and spirit. I appreciate that Sun remains a place that recognizes and values all three facets in its employees and reflects them as a corporate entity; beautiful things embodied in campuses and hardware products, brilliant ideas expressed in tight code and redundant architectures, and lofty aspirations beckoning us to participate in realizing green technologies and bridging the digital divide.
Sunday Mar 05, 2006
By hoffie on Mar 05, 2006
- 180 MHz 32 bit ARM920T core - 512K RAM/4M Flash
- 2.4 GHz IEEE 802.15.4 radio with integrated antenna
- USB interface
- 3.6V rechargeable 750 mAh lithium-ion battery
- 48 uA deep sleep mode
- 2G/6G 3-axis accelerometer
- Temperature sensor
- Light sensor
- 8 tri-color LEDs
- 6 analog inputs
- 2 momentary switches
- 5 general purpose I/O pins and 4 high current output pins
Friday Dec 09, 2005
By hoffie on Dec 09, 2005
Well the Niagara was launched in volume this week as the Sun Fire T2000. I can only assume someone at Sun has put a T2000 in his hands. If not, Luiz, you can try one risk free for 60 days. I'm looking forward to his next paper titled, "Sun's UltraSPARC T1 CMP architecture solves Google's energy woes."
Tuesday Dec 06, 2005
By hoffie on Dec 06, 2005
The two machines behind Ian were demonstrated at Austin's campus following our remote viewing of the webcast from New York. The T2000 was several times faster than the fully stocked Dell 6250 in an ldap authentication test. The most impressive feature of the demo was that both boxes were being monitored for their current draw. The Dell machine idled at 320 watts and climbed to 620 under full load. The T2000 idled at 220 and climbed to 250 under full load (all figures are from my memory).
I was really impressed during the webcast with an infrared image of a state of the art processor VS the UltraSPARC T1. The differential of heat across the various portions of the state of the art chip was 50 degrees celsius. The UltraSPARC T1 was a fairly uniform temperature at the cool end of the thermal spectrum in the image.
I love cool computers that are quiet. I hope the CMT revolution will trickle down to desktop processors soon. I have always owned Macs at home, which have always been quieter than PC's as they were based on cooler PowerPC processors. However, dissapointingly my latest Mac, the iMac G5, has a fan that spins up under higher loads.
By hoffie on Dec 06, 2005
Heather Peck, manager of the marketplace environment at eBay, who is responsible for the eBay's 6000-8000 servers was present at the launch event. eBay was the first customer to get a sneak peak at a T2000. Heather stated that they are done with building out new data centers every time they max out the space and power. She is an engineer by trade and as such she hasn't been excited about computer hardware developments in a number of years, but the T2000 has her and her team excited by opening their eyes to new possibilities due to its performance VS space/power economics. This is THE news I was looking for today.
Oracle will sell licenses for the UltraSPARC T1 at 0.25 per core, which means an 8 core T1 will be licensed as a 2 CPU machine. An Oracle engineer said the first look at their in house performance test "pinned his ears back".
Pacific Gas & Electric
PG&E is going to be offering a rebate program for people who deploy UltraSPARC T1 systems. That is a surprise announcement to me. That means we really got the eco-responsibility message out there.
Electronic Data Systems
An EDS representative reported that they took out 48 rack units and replaced with 4 rack units of Ultrasparc T1 systems and cut the power from 5000 watts to 800.
Sun Sim Datacenter
Sun has developed a configurator to enable customers to simulate their workloads along with the space, power and cooling consumption in order to compare the reduction in monthly spend when replacing their systems with UltraSPARC T1 servers. You can learn about and download the Sim Datacenter here.
Monday Dec 05, 2005
By hoffie on Dec 05, 2005
I'm also hearing through personal grape vines that Niagara (offically UltraSPARC T1) is renewing interest outside of Sun among Electrical Engineers throughout the industry. Putting your ear to the rail hasn't been this much fun in years.
Thursday Dec 01, 2005
By hoffie on Dec 01, 2005
Monday Nov 14, 2005
By hoffie on Nov 14, 2005
For my value add, I'd like to create a car anology to help demystify the breakthrough performance and efficiency of the T1. I'm no chip guy, just a software geek, but I think I've got the big picture concepts.
In this analogy, a car traveling over a distance is equal to getting work done with a computer. In contemporary chips like the Xeon, engine speed has been optimized to create a really fast car. In this analogy, the Xeon car is always rev'd up to 3,000 rpm's (3000 Megahertz, or 3 Ghz). As in the real world, it takes significant juice to stay rev'd at 3000 rpm's, gas or watts its relatively similar. Like a car engine's rpm's, transistors have an efficiency curve. At lower megahertz there is less current leakage, just as there is a range in the rpm's where fuel is optimally converted to horsepower. The T1 engine is in a sweetspot at 1200 megahertz.
Now you might be thinking, "This sounds boring, is the T1 just a throttled engine that can't possibly compete with the race engine Xeon? Where is the fun in that?".
Here's the kicker where the T1 changes the game. Just as there are stop lights in the world of automobiles, so too in the CPU world. Those stop lights are called cache misses, where the CPU has to wait for data to be fetched from RAM. The Xeon sits at the stop light cache miss rev'd up at 3000 rpm waiting to jackrabbit off the line as soon as that data arrives (green light). The T1 plays by different rules. Whenever is comes to a stop light, it sees not one signal, but an array of 32. As long as 1 of the 32 stop lights is green, the T1 keeps on moving. And remember in this analogy, movement equals getting work done. It is because the T1 has 8 cores with 4 threads each that it always has 32 independent jobs looking for data. Therefore it rarely, if ever, encounters 32 red lights causing a full stop. There are typically dozens of green lights greeting it at every stop light.
For the official explanation of how the T1's 32 threads best a rev'd up Xeon, see the Throughput Whitepaper.
Tuesday Sep 27, 2005
By hoffie on Sep 27, 2005
We've met all the neighbors around our future home and we have already become members of Hill Country Bible Church. My wife and I are leaders in the Awana group and we have joined a Thursday night small group that meets on our future street. We have also joined a huge gym that just opened this September called Lifetime Fitenss where we have been pleasantly surprised to bump into several church friends, so North Austin is beginning to feel like our home town. My wife is a also a leader in the MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) group and has gone card making at a Stampin' Up! rep's house about 6 doors donw from where we will live. One of our girls has joined a choir, but we are still looking for a piano teacher for our other daughter. My wife's sister from So-Cal spent a week with us interviewing for jobs in the area trying to decide if she wants to relocate. Let's just say the home affordability is attractive. We have heard that the Avery Ranch subdivision in which we are building is approaching a level of 60% California transplants. A family my wife knew in California moved into our apartment complex a few weeks ago and is deciding where to buy, but with so many beautiful houses in their price range, they are suffering from choice shock.
So if anyone out there is desiring to focus your life on traditional values and raising kids, Texas has acres of land with miles of freeways under construction and most importantly a welcoming attitude to immigrants that is unparalled.
There is one aspect of the local culture that I do not expect I will ever assimilate - the love of college football. When meeting some people, you'll find that they are interested to know your college affiliation which from what I have gathered so far seems to translate to: "Are you an Aggie or a Longhorn?".
Wednesday Aug 31, 2005
- Boston Tea Party Redux
- java classpath unix shell tip
- Cringley labels Blackbox Sun's implementation of his Google data center in a container theory
- PG&E Rebates
- Leadership with a soul
- Sun's surprising entry into the robotics market. Yippie!
- Sweet music for Sun's ears
- My son and the T1
- eBay loves it, Oracle adjusts licenses for it, PG&E rebates it, and more...