Thursday Apr 26, 2007

Technology@Sun

While I didn't capture any good pictures like Josh Simon, I also attended Greg Papadopoulos' Technology@Sun meeting in Santa Cruz this week. Unlike many technology conferences which are dominated by people talking at you for several hours at a time, the meeting was quite interactive with several opportunities to network with peers, most of whom I have never met in person. In fact, I actually got to meet not one but two of the Sun's most elusive species, Technology Directors. This was doubly exciting as I am also a Technology Director. Even better, we actually had a guest speaker I wanted to hear: Juan Enriquez. I had high hopes after reading both his books and wasn't disappointed. Can't wait until next year.

Sunday Oct 29, 2006

Efty Upgrade and Open Solaris

I made the leap to the newest Ubuntu (Edgy Eft aka 06.10) this weekend and it wasn't without issues. Although not as bad as many of these people's problems, the upgrade process deemed it necessary to rewrite my carefully crafted /etc/xorg.conf file and play a bit with my wireless settings. This led to an out of control [events/0] process as my video driver tried to use a naughty settings. Copying my old /etc/xorg.conf back into place pretty much fixed this and I was back to my old laptop with new Gnome 2.16 goodness.

Now many of you are probably wondering why I am upgrading Ubuntu rather than installing Solaris  on my laptop. The reason is quite simple: I need wireless (and wireless with WPA security) and I don't have a Solaris driver for the RT2500 WiFi chip in my Averatec. However, as I was stumbling through blogs.sun.com this week, something caught my eye: Does the Solaris OS run on your x86 system ? And although once I ran the Sun Device Detection Tool (which is quite nice and deploys using Java Web Start which I love) it confirmed that my wireless chip was unsupported, it did tell me that everything else was supported. Emboldened, I decided to poke around the Open Solaris site to see if there was anything new in the wireless project. Bingo! Not only is there a RT2500 driver (ported from the BSD source), there is some work on a WPA supplicant. Unfortuately, the WPA supplicant only works with Atheros driver. But still, thats progress. And I can probably hobble along with WEP for a while (most of my work is done with SSL encryption or VPN turned on).

Sun Device Detection Tool

My new project for the week is now to get Open Solaris running on my laptop.

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Wednesday Oct 25, 2006

Browsers Upgrades

It's been an exciting week on the browser front. Both Opera and Firefox have delivered new browser versions.

First, Opera finally released a Java ME (Micro Edition) of their Opera browser that runs on the Palm Treo. Dubbed "Opera Mini", it bring much of the goodness of Opera 9 to the Palm OS. Quite a bit faster than the default blazer web browser and much, much better rendering. Some small usability quirks (what is with the shortcuts?), but hey, it's free.



And, of course, Firefox 2 has been released. While it seems nice, the best Firefox upgrade of the week came from Lifehacker's excellent "Top Firefox 2 Config Tweaks." Finally a fix for my most hated Firefox mis-feature:
Turn off chrome tooltips
All versions
: I have an irritating Firefox problem on my Mac. When I try to drag a bookmark into one of my bookmark toolbar folders, the tool tip gets in the way and prevents the drop from working. Argh! Like you, I already know what all the buttons on my browser chrome do, so the tool tips aren't necessary. To turn them off, set the browser.chrome.toolbar_tips key value to false. Bonus is, it solved my Mac's bookmark drag and drop problem.
  • Key: browser.chrome.toolbar_tips
  • Modified Value: false
Wow, that makes a big difference.

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Tuesday Oct 10, 2006

Our Fearless Leader

Although SeChang is far too modest to post this, our Asia Pacific Systems Engineering organization got some good PR from his talk at the 2006 CEC General Session.



Thanks to Lou Springer for his photo over at Flickr.

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Sunday Oct 08, 2006

CEC Aftermath

After a long week of seeing old colleagues/friends, good technical discussions, interesting presentations and some late nights (Goodnight Foleys), the 2006 Customer Engineering Conference is over. I think the highlights for me were Olaf Schnapauff and Adrian John's talk on Vodafone initiatives, a few of the LDOM presentations and Jonathan's general session.

Of course, all this came at a price. The damp San Francisco weather has given me a wicked cold and reminded me why I moved off the Pacific coast.

It's back to more work this week as I try to finish out some work for my old job and get into my new job. It looks like I have the hardware together for some benchmarking of Sun Ray Server on AMD, Niagara and SPARC platforms. I'll post the preliminary results as we get the lab together.

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Sunday Oct 01, 2006

Off To CEC

Today marks the beginning of Sun's Customer Engineering Conference (CEC) in San Francisco. I passed on presenting this year (I've been busy as I mentioned in the last post), but I will be attending to listen and mingle with my colleagues (both old and new).  Expect a steady stream of articles and photos over the next four days as I highlight some of the better conversations and presentations that I attend.
Powered by: Liar from the album "Louder Now" by Taking Back Sunday

Monday Jan 09, 2006

Guy And Lies

While I have never really liked or admired (or even read) Guy Kawasaki (of The Macintosh Way fame), this blog entry (Top 10 Lies of Entrepreneurs) certainly says that he knows something of what he's talking about. If I had a buck for every time I've heard one of these (both inside companies and from outside vendors) . . .
About

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

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