Monday Jun 06, 2005

Kraftwerk's "Home Computer" - a redux

I started cleaning out my office this morning in preparation for my relocation to Austin. Among the mess, I found some lyrics I wrote several years ago to the tune of Kraftwerk's "Home Computer". The original song starts out...
I program my home computer, 
beam myself into the future.
The hoffie redux...
I program my Ultra 60
Java on Solaris computes swiftly

Orient my objects in elegant hierachy
cronjobs orchestrate the desired chronlogy

Threads abound in the process
signals and interupts spin the mutex

Far removed from gates etched in silicon
I extend stubs and create singleton

Garbage collection is a Godsend
pointer arithmetic, a byegone trend

The JVM shields my UltraSparc
crashless computing hits the mark

Users appreciate the app's availability
System admins embrace the stability

Ant for build, tomcat for container
open source has become a no-brainer

Solaris stands as the king 
of symmetric multi-processing

Will the maturation of Linux end its reign?

Against legions of developers kernel hacking, 
Sun must change if it desires to remain

"Software wants to be free"
Java Business Expo 1999, Scott McNealy
Back in 2002, I had left the lyrics open-ended and unpublished, but today there are more answers than questions and I have this blog as a medium. Sun has answered the marketplace on several fronts. Solaris 10 has been open sourced and the Scalable Systems Group has doubled down on its SMP strength by funneling in-house chip development to Niagara. Those systems are supposed to rock, to the tune of 15 times today's performance. That will truely be music to many people's ears.

Wednesday Jun 16, 2004

Modernizing my desktop

This morning I upgraded the OS on my SunBlade 2000 from Solaris 9 to Solaris 10 build 58. The process went smoothly after I allowed it to do a fresh install instead of an upgrade. As a result of that choice, quite a few locally installed apps were missing, so I installed pkg-get from BlastWave. Wow was that a great recommendation. After a problem free install of pkg-get, I just issued this command:

pkg-get -i gaim

to get gaim (Aol Instant Messanger for Gnome) installed. If a new version of gaim becomes avialable, all I have to do is:

pkg-get -u gaim

I did have to make an alias in my .cshrc to get BlastWave's required LD_LIBRARY_PATH set:

alias gaim 'setenv LD_LIBRARY_PATH /opt/csw/lib;/opt/csw/bin/gaim'

pkg-get detects all the dependencies that are missing from your system, connects to the web to download them and installs them. It is a huge productivity enhancement. The list of available packages is impressive

I was also able to simply hot-swap a Logitech USB scroll wheel mouse for the Sun standard 3 button mouse and it worked without any tinkering thanks to built-in support in Solaris 10. Under Solaris 9 I had to install a driver and hack configs that I must have messed up badly since it only worked until I had hard crash (never try to open the case of your SunBlade 2000 while its running - a kill switch promtly cuts power to the system). After the crash, I had to remove the mouse driver to get my system to restart.

Well, I'm off to play with DTrace, the primary reason I upgraded to Solaris 10...

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