Tuesday May 26, 2009

The Open Group, Beijing Kickoff

I had a great opportunity to revisit China, part of my old region (and now part of my new global responsibility), as part of The Open Group's kickoff last week:
The Open Group, which recently established a franchise in China with Kingdee, is a vendor-neutral and technology-neutral consortium, which drives the creation of Boundaryless Information Flow™ that will enable access to integrated information within and between enterprises based on open standards and global interoperability.
That's Allen Brown, President and CEO of the Open Group, giving the open talk. I was there to speak about cloud computing, its challenges and opportunities to enterprise architects. Kingdee and TOG put on a great conference, which was well attended. Maybe I'll go back in October when they have their practitioners conference in Hong Kong. Learn more about the The Open Group Conference - Beijing at their website.

Thursday Nov 22, 2007

Creating Custom Rails Rake Tasks in NetBeans 6

I ran across this late yesterday night and thought I should share: If you are using NetBeans for your Ruby on Rails development and you are fond of creating custom rake tasks (as I am due to this awesome podcast), you need go around the NetBeans' GUI in this release. If you create the rakefile through the GUI, it will have a .rb extension (instead of the .rake extension) which Rails doesn't grok as a custom rake task. I get around it this way this way:
  1. open a terminal and cd into your Rails application directory.
  2. touch your custom rake file (with .rake extension) inside lib/tasks with something like:
    touch lib/tasks/example.rake
  3. edit your custom task in the NetBeans editor and create the actual rake task. Maybe something like this excellent db:seed task.
  4. use the Netbeans GUI to refresh your rake tasks (right-click the project and choose Run Rake Tasks > Refresh List
Hopefully, this will be added to the NetBeans 6.1 (per this bug request). Thanks to this entry at Quoted-Printable for the cool seed rakefile idea.

Saturday Sep 08, 2007

Web 2.0 Asia: Orkut Adds 5 Indian Languages

My friends in Bangalore have been telling me that Orkut is still alive and thriving in India, but I didn't really believe them:

"Orkut is now available in five new languages, including Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu.

This marks Orkut’s global efforts to create a local service, and offering these new Indian languages brings more personalization to more communities around the world. This is important as a large amount of Orkut users are of course in India.

These five languages selected cover about 80% of India, and may add more. You’ll need to go to your settings on Orkut in order to change your language preferences. Orkut worked with employees in the Google office in India to translate its social network for local use. Indian users are called to offer feedback for further tweaking." (Via Mashable!)

I may have to go make yet another profile.

Sunday Jul 01, 2007

Five Things About Ken

I didn't have time to blog about this when I was first tagged by SeChang, but now that I have also been tagged by Giuseppe Russo, I figure I have no choice. So here are my five things about me:
  1. I have never lived in any one house/city/place for more than 4 years. Stops along the way include Tampa, Chicago, Omaha, Kansas City, Columbus, Lawrence, Los Gatos, Pacifica and El Dorado Hills. However, I've lived in my current abode 3 years and I have high hopes for a long future here.
  2. I am the less geeky Pepple brother. My brother Brian is the current chairperson for Fedora's Engineering Steering Committee.
  3. I am rapidly approaching million miler status on United Airlines. Little known fact about United's frequent flyer program: At 3 or 5 million flown miles, they name a plane after you.
  4. I have a huge, but not particularly hip, T-shirt collection. My current favorites are a Threadless design called Homework Evidence (because it looks a lot like my dog louie, who is not pictured at the right), my Crank Brothers speech bubble shirt (eggbeaters rule!) and the Guinesss t-shirt that commemorates the 1999 World Rugby Cup (I had to drink 10 Guiness pints to get it. Well worth it.)
  5. tshirt_small.jpg
  6. I am the only right-handed person in a family of southpaws (Well, mostly. I think my dad is ambidextrous). I steadfastly maintain that this took at least 10 MPH off my fastball and cost me any shot of playing Major League Baseball (Yes, I am sticking with that story).
Since most of the Asia Pacific Chief Technologist have been tagged, I will tag only tag our newest member: Leong Wey Gie from Asia South.

Sunday Jun 17, 2007

Bottom of the World

To take advantage of my last weekend in Melbourne, Chris Mann and I went to the southern most point of mainland Australia, Wilson's Promontory. Although cold at the top of the mountain, there was a fantastic view.


We saw a lot of wildlife, including my first wombat. However, my best photo came from a large emu in a clearing:


Thursday Jun 07, 2007

2007 BarCamp Sacramento Recap

I didn't get a chance to live blog during BarCamp Sacramento this weekend (too busy asking questions), but now that I am sitting in the back of a 747 bound for Melbourne, I thought I would take a few minutes to share some of the highlights:

Adam Kalsey started the morning with an alfresco coffee roasting demonstration. I can honestly say that I never knew that air popcorn makers were so versatile. The coffee was tasty.


Jinesh Varia spoke about Amazon Web Services. Amazon has created three web services to provide infrastructure to developers: S3, EC2 and Simple Queue Service.

  • Simple Storage Service (S3) is a shared storage service, available via REST and other protocols, were users can store arbitrary data for archive or sharing. Amazon charges users on a monthly basis for their total storage plus bandwidth fees (either up or down). SmugMug is already basing their photo storage service on it. He also showed firefox extension that allowed you to access your files.
  • Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is their elastic computing cloud service which allows people to run Xen images on Amazon's computing grid. The images can be controlled dynamically (that is, you can pop up or destroy images via web services) and you are charged per hour of use. This allows for some creative usage -- you can instantiate several new servers to handle your appearance on the front page of Digg, for example -- but will necissitate close monitoring because you pay by the clock hour (not CPU hour). Jinesh also showed us some of the Xen images (called AIM for Amazon IMages) that are being developed, similar to VMware's appliance marketplace.
  • Simple Queue Service (SQS) was just touched on. It provides a reliable queue for messages - something that would be useful for some of the distributed processing in many web applications these days.

Joseph Scott (Automattix -- the guys behind Wordpress and Askimet) spoke about his work in implementing WordPress' XML-RPC features (XML-RPC is one of the more popular protocols for posting blog entries). He also showed off Microsoft's LiveWriter beta, one of the first blogging tools to support the new API. A really good session about something that I use daily. However, after looking at his bio, I realised that I should have asked him about Melbourne, since he has spent some quality time there also.

Tagged.com's Terry Chay gave a discusson about his implementation of eCards while at Plaxo. Opinionated, pointed and profanity filled - exactly what a good presentation should include :> After his session, a group of us had an interesting discussion on PHP frameworks, large scale internet sites, rails and Zend framework.

Elise Bauer from Simply Recipes started off the second day by schooling us for two hours about what it is really like to run a large scale blog. While I couldn't type fast enough to scribe all the pearls of wisdom that she handed out, it was fascinating to see how people use the infrastructure that I spend most of my time building. Elise could have easily spoke all day.

Elise Bauer

Scott Hildebrandt finished out the second day with a presentation on his work on 3D audio. He demonstrated the research by showing us some models he created in Pure Data (PD). While the math was over my head, the possible application of it in video gaming was certainly interesting.


Oh yeah, I gave a short but highly opinionated presentation on Cyclocross.

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Thursday May 31, 2007

BarCamp Sacramento

I am off to BarCamp Sacramento this weekend. This BarCamp is being organised by Adam Kalsey, who just sold his startup FeedCrier to IMified a few weeks ago. Sacramento is the largest city near my home (at least until the Lake Tahoe BarCamp gets organised :> ). There is a pretty good startup / technology scene here in the NorCal highlands and I am anxious to see what gets presented.

I haven't figured out my presentation yet, but I think I might talk about Rails IDEs. Or maybe virtualisation technologies. Or maybe ordering coffee in foreign coffee shops.

If you are in the Greater Scaramento area this weekend, consider registering and dropping by.

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Sunday Nov 12, 2006


Where is Ken ? Down under. Way under. I am hanging out in my new home away from home, Melbourne, Australia. Just helping out on some data center activities for a few weeks while I am work my way into the my new role within the Asia Pacific Systems Engineering group. 

Downtown Melbourne, Aus

Saturday Oct 14, 2006

Found in Translation

As you can now see by the three flags in the header, I have added translation services to my blog. The translation are being handled through magic I call "Google Translations" and Javascript. I got the idea from Shitamichi-san's blog, but the javascript code was adapted from Joe Maller's excellent page on Translation Bookmarklets. Basically, you just need find Google's language pair code (which are pretty easy since they are two letter codes following the international standard) and insert it into the javascript line that he gives you.

<a href="javascript: \\
+escape(location.href)+'&amp;langpair=en%7Cja', \\
'English_to_Japanese', 'resizable,scrollbars,status'))"

This probably should be typed all as one line (but I changed it to fit the blog formatting).

Unfortunately, Google's translation services are purely beta for the Asian doublebyte languages so please bear with both the service and the translations for a while. Maybe Google will expand to Thai or Hindi soon.

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Thursday Oct 12, 2006

Sprucing Up The Place

Now that I posting more regularly, I decided to personalize my page with some more personally meaningful pictures. At the top of the page, you now have the choice between two CSS styles that I affectionately call "Brownie" and "Tahoe."

"Brownie" (the purple box labeled CSS above) is adorned with a picture that I took from the house's rear window in May of 2006. It features my next door neighbor's horse (who I call "Brownie" due to his chestnut coloration) strolling around his pasture.  Horses are very common in El Dorado County where I live. Brownie is a pretty good horse to me (as neighbor horses go) but the sworn enemy of both of my labrador retrievers (Zeke and Louie). About once a week, I have to mediate a border war between them when Brownie decides to poke his neck over my fence in search of delectables. It usually takes about 15 minutes to get the barking and whinying to subside.

"Tahoe" (the orange box labeled CSS above) is decorated with a picture I took in June of 2006 at Sly Park in Pollock Pines, California, a short drive from my house. It looks east northeast towards South Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada. Yes, the Sierras still had snow on them in June of this year. In fact, Lake Tahoe already has snow now too. Sly Park is one of my favorite haunts for its crystal clear lake and abundant mountain biking trails.

In case you are wondering, the last button at the right on the top of the header (labeled XML) is my RSS feed.

Monday Oct 09, 2006

Smart Phone Migration ?

After watching the slow motion destruction of Palm over the past two years, I am contemplating jumping ship from my current Treo 650 (Palm OS) over to RIM. I had held out hope that Palm would get their act together, but judging from their most recent offerings, they seem to think that Windows Mobile is the future. It also appears that RIM has finally realized that THE KEYBOARD is as important as the phone itself. If the RIM 8100 speculation is true, this may be my next phone.

Some questions to lazyweb readers out there:

Does RIM have a good IMAP4 email package ? I don't need push email, but I do need to get my email.

How is syncing RIM on non-Windows platforms (i.e. Mac or Linux or Solaris) ?

Are there any good IM programs for RIM ?

Thanks for any help on this . . .

Sunday Jan 01, 2006

Please Pardon The Mess...

. . . I'm still cleaning up from last night's New Year's Eve celebrations and getting used to the nuances of the Sun Blog's Roller system. While I am working out the kinks on that, I will introduce myself. My name is Ken Pepple and I have worked here at Sun Microsystems for about 8 years. During that time, I've worked in a variety of geographies (from the US to Asia) and jobs (mostly centered on data centre and desktop consulting).

I've also had a chance to do some writing. My first book, written with David Hornby, “Consolidation In the Data Center: Simplifying IT Environments To Reduce Total Cost of Ownership” was published in 2002. “Migrating to the Solaris Operating System: The Discipline of UNIX-to-UNIX Migrations”, was co-written with David Levy and Brian Down and released in late 2003. I also co-wrote and taught Sun Education's “Solaris Performance and Tuning Secrets” seminar back before the turn of the century.

Today, I spend most of my time architecting customer solutions with Sun's desktop infrastructure products, Sun Ray and Sun Secure Global Desktop, and Solaris. On this blog, I will be speaking about whatever I am working on at the time. That could be a second edition to one of my previous books, new projects that I am working on at Sun or ever mountain bike racing.

Ken Pepple is Chief Technologist for Sun Microsystem's Systems Line of Business


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