Tuesday Nov 17, 2009

Moving OnTo Something New...

It's quite hard to write goodbye blog posts or emails, and here I find myself embarking on such a task. It's always hard to say goodbye, but sometimes it needs to be said just to bring some closure.

It's been a extremely interesting ride for me at Sun over the last 9 years as a contractor and an employee. They say, 'once a unix geek, always a unix geek'. Well, for me it's kinda slightly different, it's "once a sun geek, always a sun geek". The spirit lives on. It's easy to take a geek out of sun, but It would be very hard to take the "sun" outta a geek !

As I type this post with a rock on my chest, I also breathe a sigh of relief. A sigh of relief from the topsy-turvy ride we have all been on for a long long time. I've lived through several RIF's and survived them all... And now I find myself making this bold move of moving out and onwards on my own.

I think it's time for me to take my destiny into my own hands, and carve out my own future. It's high time I pursue my dreams, and am moving on from here to pursue that dream.

I've have had the opportunity to work alongside some of the industry's most brilliant, coolest and fun'est folks, the opportunity to live and learn new technologies, the opportunity to work for a company that had a vision, a true vision ! These moments will be cherished forever.

In the last several months i've been involved in some fascinating projects which span healthcare, banking and telecommunications verticals. The lessons learnt have been simply wonderful (both on a technical and personal note).

I am sure all our paths would cross again, and having said that I'd prefer to not say goodbye but rather use a line from an old Bollywood favorite of mine "DASVIDANIYA" (from the movie Mera Naam Joker), which means "Until We Meet Again".

Now, before any of you jump to any conclusions or concoct any conspiracy theories, the reasons for me moving on are quite simple. I am moving on to carve out my own future. I shall be a continuing my participation on the advisory board of BastionHost. Apart from this, my primary day-job would be quite different from what I've been used to all along. I'm finally switching gears from my telecommute role that Ive been so used to over the years, to work behind a desk and be involved in spearheading the development of SaaS enabled infrastructures for the wealth management sector.

Sometimes in life one comes by opportunities that are rare, and if one does not act upon them regret is all one be left with, and that is something I refuse to live with.

If you would like to continue being in touch, you can follow my ramblings on tumblr. I am always available through Facebook, LinkedIn and twitter. I could also be reached via email at rohan[@]rohanpinto[.]com.

Last but not the least, I'm not gone yet.. ! I would be continuing in my role at Sun until the end of the month. From now on until then I'll be tying up loose ends and enabling transition what I currently have on my plate on to other folks on my team. (and I hope to make the MOST of the time I spend with my colleagues during this time).

For all those folks in the Identity Practice... I will be hanging around this arena of technology for a quite while folks, So Stay Strong, Live Large, and do keep in touch. You will find my continued participation in the OpenSSO and OpenDS Alias's. I am not sure whats gonna happen to these product lines after the Oracle Acquisition, but regardless of the outcome, lets keep the community going and the continue contributing to the project. I know "I Will", I hope you will too...

This blog at Sun Microsystems will no longer be updated.

Saturday Nov 29, 2008

OpenSSO Complex Deployment

This series of videos are video captures of the course below. There is no sound for now, but this will be added at a later date.

From http://slslabs.sun.com/course/wspl-am-3508-d
Deploying OpenSSO servers in a simple environment is trivially easy. But throw secure sockets layer (SSL), load balancers, multiple servers, session failover, and Policy Agents into the mix, and deployment becomes a little more complex.

The OpenSSO Deployment course - a series of five downloadable, self-paced labs - takes you through a complex OpenSSO deployment. You deploy two Apache Tomcat servers, SSL-enable them, install a software load balancer, install OpenSSO into the environment, and configure OpenSSO for session failover. Then you install an example web server and an example application server, and install Policy Agent software to see how OpenSSO protects web sites and JavaTM 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EETM) applications.

This course uses OpenSSO Build 4.5, which provides identical functionality to OpenSSO Express Build 5. Other deployment components include Apache Tomcat version 6.0.14, Sun Java System Web Server version 7.0, and GlassFishTM application server version 2.

OpenSSO Complex Deployment Lab 1 Exercise 1

OpenSSO Complex Deployment Lab 1 Exercise 2

OpenSSO Complex Deployment Lab 1 Exercise 3

Friday Nov 14, 2008

Layoffs = Change ?

with this announcement : http://www.sun.com/aboutsun/pr/2008-11/sunflash.20081114.1.xml
- we take yet another step towards "change".

Do I see any change ? yes! of course I do. and here's what I see.

As part of today's actions, Sun's Board of Directors has approved a restructuring plan aimed at reducing costs by approximately $700 to $800 million annually. The plan includes a reduction of approximately 5,000 to 6,000 employees, representing approximately 15% to 18% of the Company's global workforce.

"reducing costs by approximately $700 to $800 million annually"

Sun expects to incur total charges in the range of $500 to $600 million over the next twelve months in connection with the plan, of which it expects to incur approximately $375 to $450 million within its current fiscal year 2009.

"Sun expects to incur total charges in the range of $500 to $600 million over the next twelve months"

- so... Am I reading this right ? or have i missed something ? Sometimes all of us see what we wanna see and tend to ignore the bigger picture. Like every other human being, I'm trying to see the bigger picture myself. Yet; however my blindfolds compel me to see what I wanna see. I guess It's time to take those blindfolds off as see the "bigger" picture :

Sun's new software alignments include the formation of two new business groups and a new group within Sun's existing Systems business:

Application Platform Software: Executive Vice President, Anil Gadre, will move from his position as Chief Marketing Officer to lead this newly formed group. Charged with creating the highest value modern software business in the industry, the unit will build on Sun's open source leadership position to capitalize on the global market's demand for open application platforms for everything from databases to business integration services on servers, desktops and handheld devices. This includes the entirety of Sun's Java technology franchise, MySQL open source database products, as well as Software Infrastructure including the widely adopted GlassFish Application Server and leading Identity management products. This group will also include the Sun Learning Services organization.
Systems Platforms: Under the leadership of Executive Vice President, John Fowler, Sun's Solaris, Virtualization (including xVM and VirtualBox), and Systems Management Software teams join the Systems organization to deliver highly differentiated and optimized computing, storage and networking systems. Unlike any other technology provider on earth, Sun will be uniquely positioned to leverage its open OS leadership and virtualization portfolio to create durable competitive advantage for Sun's systems business, and category-shifting innovations for customers. The recently announced 7000-series of Open Storage products, leveraging open source ZFS technology, DTrace analytics, superior management capability, and unique storage engineering are only the beginning of this deep systems roadmap.
Cloud Computing & Developer Platforms: Working across all of Sun, Senior Vice President, Dave Douglas, will lead the Company's efforts to capitalize on two trends: the increasing shift of customer and developer focus to web-based cloud services and Sun's already established leadership position in the space through Network.com, the NetBeans developer platform, and the StarOffice portfolio. The unit will build upon Sun's existing online developer community - one of the world's largest - to firmly establish the company as a leader in cloud computing and grow this area into a significant driver of future revenues.

Sunday Oct 12, 2008


Well, a lot of folks ask me often if I have fun @ sun. Well, there's TONS of reasons why I love this place. and one small reason being the fun!!. Our execs don't stop at just making sun a fun place to work at, in addition to the fun@sun perks ! they go all out !!! Here's video about Jonathan Schwartz getting "pwned" !!!

We sure know how to have fun @ sun !!!! and we LOVE IT !!!

~if you love what you do, everything is fun !

Thursday Jan 17, 2008

smoni - ReceiveDatagram error 10054

My laptop started behaving weird today. everytime I restart it I get a error window popup with the word "smoni" in the title and the message "ReceiveDatagram error # 10054". A screenshot of the error message is as below:
Does anybody have any idea what this could possible be from ? I'm clueless... I'd appreciate any help I can get to eliminate this error window from popping up on every reboot...

Higgins On RollerWebLogger

No. This is not the long tailed Mouse "Higgins" you may be thinking about. I just could not resist posting this: Bill Higgins from IBM just blogged about IBM developerWorks community changing their backend weblog engine over to rollerweblogger, the same engine that powers blogs.sun.com.

Mount (ISO files) Without Burning Them Onto a CD

I've always wanted to have the ability to extract a few files from an iso file for development. The approach I used to take to obtain the files was to download the .iso image of the distribution, and then use my CD Burner to burn a CD using the .iso image and then extract the file from that image. Well, a friend of mine just pointed me to this excellently cool utility. and hey !! It's Microsoft's own utility (though unsupported) and it's FREE !! and has a extremely small footprint (60kb). Here's the download link: WinXP Virtual CD Control Panel. Here's the readme:
Readme for Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel v2.0.1.1 THIS TOOL IS UNSUPPORT BY MICROSOFT PRODUCT SUPPORT SERVICES System Requirements =================== - Windows XP Home or Windows XP Professional Installation instructions =========================
  1. Copy VCdRom.sys to your %systemroot%\\system32\\drivers folder.
  2. Execute VCdControlTool.exe
  3. Click "Driver control"
  4. If the "Install Driver" button is available, click it. Navigate to the %systemroot%\\system32\\drivers folder, select VCdRom.sys, and click Open.
  5. Click "Start"
  6. Click OK
  7. Click "Add Drive" to add a drive to the drive list. Ensure that the drive added is not a local drive. If it is, continue to click "Add Drive" until an unused drive letter is available.
  8. Select an unused drive letter from the drive list and click "Mount".
  9. Navigate to the image file, select it, and click "OK". UNC naming conventions should not be used, however mapped network drives should be OK.
You may now use the drive letter as if it were a local CD-ROM device. When you are finished you may unmount, stop, and remove the driver from memory using the driver control.
I never thought I'd be publicly saying this. But here goes anyway: Thanks Microsoft. (It wouldnt hurt to be honest and thank someone, would it ?)

infocard: An Expensive Affair

This " - night - Graveyard-shift " infocard project of mine is working out to be an expensive affair for me, in the $$ terms. I travel around so much (every mon-fri) that in order to work on it at nights, I needed to have WinXP with SP2 and ie7 on it. There's no way I would risk putting my endeared Ferarri through the BSoD (Blue Screen of Death) trauma. Well There was no way for me to carry all my desktops around when I travel. So came VMware to the rescue. My VMWare Workstation costs US$199, and then another WinXP Pro license was another US$299. And another CD$100 for bribing my wife with a L'Occitane gift pack to entice her to let me spend this money. Whew!!. I hope this expense pays off in terms of learning. I believe that there can be no cost factor associated with learning. And hope & pray that this pays off in the long run. Now I have a "infocard" ready system in addition to a development environment, and a webserver with me all the time. Hopefully in the coming weeks, (with my new set of ammunition), I should be able to blog more on my discoveries... So stay tuned...

Microsoft Infocard & my realtime discoveries

Yes (to all those who were wondering on who is working on porting infocard to Solaris/Linux, I currently am working on integrating infocard with access manager and my next move would be to port infocard to Solaris/Linux. The process of porting infocard over is not a 1 week task. It may take me longer as i'm overloaded with work and hardly have time to spare for this development. But with me assigning an hour or two everyday I hopefully would complete this shortly. In the meantine I shall also blog my experiences in the process. and here's my first run at it. infocard in it's current form can be used on Window XP desktops  which have SP2 installed, Windows 2003 Server with SP1 installed and Windows Vista (February CTP). It require WinFX Runtime Components (for x86 or for x64). I currently am playing around with infocard on Window XP with SP2 and Windows 2003 Server with SP1. As soon as the WinFX CTP is installed on the system, the infocard components also get installed. You would also notice that your control panel would now have a "Digital Identities" component installed. This is the core component from which you can create, edit, import or delete your infocard's.
You can create as many "Identities" as you choose. but what Bugs me is that I can create "any" Identity of my choosing. The screenshot below shows how I created Identities with Myself, Kim, Pat and Bill Gates as the "identities" "I" wish to be recognized as.
Microsoft Infocard
click to enlarge
Here's the issue that bugs me. This issue has been bugging me for a while since the time "user-controlled" identities became the talk of the town oops web. The term "identity management" I believed was a step forward in preventing "identity theft" (someone, please correct me If i'm wrong here). With the volume of identity theives who exists on the web today, the ability of creating "identities" just faciliatates the process. I agree that the "identity" may be of no good is nobody accepts the identity. But however, Microsoft would succeed to enabling organization in adopting infocard and it's usage participation would rise. For Organizations (participants) who have their head over their shoulders, the organizations ("issuers") would issue users their "infocard"/"identities" which could be used to access a service. Users could import the "issued" infocard onto their desktops using the "Install a provider card" as in the screenshot below.
Infocard Provider
click to enlarge
Here's my biased opinion. If the only infocard's that MATTER are the ones that are issued by a provider, What makes it different from "Liberty"? Liberty is built on the "identity-given" framework/concept. The ability of enabling a user to create his own "infocard" may sound appealing, but how does it help? Well, for a novice user, it may sound cool, because he/she can create several "infocards" of themselves and choose which one to provide a "requestor" based on the information he/she would want to provide a particular web service/application. But for the miscreants, it's a toolkit to spoof identities. Another issue is that the "infocard's" are stored on a users desktop (porting them from one system to another "may" be a pain to a novice user). Now, this makes it even worse. anybody who has access to the users machine has the ability to delete the infocard's that one may have created. What IF my son deletes my infocard'S intentionally or accidentally ? What If my infocard gets stolen ? If the infocard's are not protected, they could be exported from one machine to the other with ease. The only way to secure it it by password protecting it. (So where does no passwords required play a picture in this ?) One can come up (makeup) with numerous issues with this model. But whats important is the fact that the "only" infocard's that matter would be the ones that are issued by a service provider/identity provider. Well, we have another issue now, IF  each IDP/SP would start issuing infocard's to their users, the user ends up having tens of hundreds of infocard's to manage. How different is that from tens of hundreds of username/password combinations? As a infocard user am I supposed to store all my infocard's on a USB drive and carry it along with me just to enable me to use a service from any desktop? (the desktop additionally should be infocard enabled !!). AH!! I'm tired right now. I shall follow up on this again soon.. as my thoughts keep formulating and changing. PS: I personally like JavaCards. Please read Hubert's post on Liberty à la InfoCard. And think... "JavaCards and Liberty". You be the judge. So you decide for yourselves. UPDATE : This does not mean that I am not working on porting infocard to \*nix and integrating it with AM. I am working on that too. Shall keep you posted on developments at my end periodically. UPDATE 2 : I am NOT against infocard. I'm just thinking out loud as I keep discovering new stuff. And thought processes change periodically. The only thing that has been constant in my discoveries so far has been "change"

Next Generation Web (definitely not 2.0)

I had posted a reference to the term "Web 2.0" a little while ago on my blog. But while I got absorbed in the term 2.0, there were others who were way ahead: WOW !! the google search results for terms like "web 2.0","web 3.0","web 4.0","web 5.0","web 6.0","web 7.0","web 8.0","web 9.0" all yield several results. I guess it's all about an effort to get recognition by associating the terms with product releases just to say that the products are way ahead of the game... the silliest strategy I have ever seen. I wonder what the end version would be : Web n.OH ! ?

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