· The World
 · · Life Online
 · · · Sun

Management Blogchain · I’m kind of over­run with things I want to write about; I was look­ing dispirit­ed­ly at the “blog this” list and I no­ticed a nifty in­ter­sec­tion with my man­age­ment chain. OK, maybe it’s kind of a fee­ble hook, but I get to knock three things off the list; here­with in­ter­est­ing stuff from Stern, Loia­cono, and Schwartz, but there’s a miss­ing link ...
Sunbeams: Fallen Eucalypt · Back in 2004 when we were just get­ting blog­ging go­ing at Sun, I had this Sun­beams se­ries, where I high­light­ed in­ter­est­ing sun­blog post­s. Just now, I had a few brows­er tabs I was think­ing of writ­ing about, and no­ticed that four of them qual­i­fied, thus this re­vival. Item: mod­_d­trace; there’ve been times I would have paid big mon­ey for some­thing like this. Item: Neu­ter­ing WinXP to make it safe. Item: a med­ley of sausage. Item: John­nyL has a re­al­ly bad day (il­lus­trat­ed). Yow.
Claire · To­day Claire Gior­dano has a nice piece on community-building, which is a re­al is­sue in these days of highly-distributed com­pa­nies like Sun. If you’re not watch­ing Claire, you prob­a­bly should be; her fin­ger­prints are all over Solaris’ Zones and SMF and Vol­ume Man­ager, and she’s been the sin­gle most im­por­tant per­son in mak­ing OpenSo­laris a re­al­i­ty. Def­i­nite­ly one to keep an eye on. On top of which, she’s got a cool head­er graph­ic.
Mis-Prized · Sev­er­al peo­ple have not­ed that the blogs.­sun.­com team won a Sun award that seems to be kind of a big deal. There’s a prob­lem: while the oth­er folks on the “team” (Si­mon, Hoffie, Will, Danese, P@, Dave) are out­stand­ing, we are like maybe 5% of this sto­ry, max. There was Jonathan who said “do it” (not know­ing at that point that he had blog­ging tal­en­t), then there was Dave Ed­mond­son who de­ployed Plan­etPlan­et to make Plan­etSun, then there are three lawyers you nev­er heard of—Steve Schul­man, Damien East­wood, and Dave Farrell—who helped us fig­ure out how to do this with­out get­ting our­selves or the com­pa­ny bust­ed. James Todd did a bunch of in­ter­nal work be­fore it all start­ed that gave us some cred­i­bil­i­ty. John Fowler and Juan Car­los So­to man­aged Si­mon and me and gave us noth­ing but sup­port. Add those peo­ple in, and you have 10% of the cred­it. The oth­er 90% be­longs to the thousand-plus peo­ple here who rose to the chal­lenge and joined the con­ver­sa­tion: en­gi­neer­ing po­et­s, mar­ket­ing hack­ers and well, yes, some com­plete rav­ing loonies, and their dogs. Just go here and search for the word “background”. Enough said; more than enough.
Sunfunny · When we launched this blog­ging thang, I hadn’t ac­tu­al­ly ex­pect­ed much en­ter­tain­ment val­ue. But when you get a cou­ple thou­sand smart peo­ple hold­ing forth, I guess on av­er­age some of them will turn out to be fun­ny. Re­cent ex­am­ples would in­clude any­thing Tim Caynes writes (and no, I have no idea what he’s talk­ing about ei­ther) and Jeff Kes­sel­man on Sex at IBM and Sun (noth­ing to do with sex, un­for­tu­nate­ly). But you re­al­ly got­ta re­spect some­one who can be fun­ny about RMI ex­cep­tions (well, most­ly the pic­ture).
Coding and Climbing · It had nev­er oc­curred to me that writ­ing soft­ware is like climb­ing Mt. Fu­ji, but Stephan Grell makes it all clear.
Sunbeams, Mount Sabalan Edition · Let’s start with the high-tech stuff: Jeff Bon­wick al­ready got pointage from Jonathan this week, but this piece is to­tal­ly a must-read any­how. As you might have heard, there’s a lot of talk about open-sourcing So­lar­is. Easy to un­der­stand in prin­ci­ple, but Mike Kupfer of­fers an elegantly-written look at the de­tails. Still in Solaris-land, read about the dread­ed rm -rf / (even typ­ing that in­to my ed­i­tor makes me shud­der). Enough of that geeky stuff; re­cent­ly we’ve had a charm­ing cameo from Jen­nifer Love He­witt and mag­i­cal am­bi­grams from Chandan—if you don’t know what an am­bi­gram is, fol­low that link and you’ll be de­light­ed. Al­so worth a vis­it is Paul Humphreys who on top of work­ing at Sun has the best side-job in the world, and I’m not kid­ding. Then there’s Tim Caynes, scroll down and read his un­ti­tled Septem­ber 23rd piece, I have no idea what he’s talk­ing about but it’s still amus­ing. Mount Sa­bal­an, you ask? It’s in Iran. Right away, you’re think­ing geopol­i­tic­s, cul­ture wars, po­lit­i­cal tur­moil. Nope, it’s a va­ca­tion spot, and Ma­sood Mor­taza­vi, one of our bet­ter writ­er­s, climbed it on his sum­mer va­ca­tion.
Sunbeams, Bow Wow Wow Edition · Start­ing on a se­ri­ous note: On­no Kluyt runs the Ja­va Com­mu­ni­ty Pro­cess, which makes him a VIP, and he’s got a point­er to its schol­ar­ship pro­gram; this is how you go about get­ting the seal of ap­proval on your soft­ware if you’re a non-profit or an OSS hack­er who can’t af­ford the reg­u­lar pro­cess de­signed for or­ga­ni­za­tions like IBM and BEA. Check out the re­cip­i­ents. Nex­t, Dave John­son, who qual­i­fies be­cause he’s about to start work­ing here, wrote a nice pic­ture/­anal­y­sis of the in­side of Rome. With Rome and the Pil­grim Univer­sal Feed Pars­er, the world has two full-function general-purpose syn­di­ca­tion feed wran­gler­s. How many do we need? Hop­ping over to the oth­er side of the world, Chan­dan has a neat lit­tle piece on pric­ing in In­di­a; if you read to the bot­tom you’ll find a nas­ti­ly amus­ing pic­ture. Tor Nor­bye asks an ob­vi­ous ques­tion: what is the caps-lock key for and why don’t we just get rid of it? In the eye-candy de­part­ment Willys Inger­soll post­ed some re­mark­able pic­tures of Shang­hai. Will Snow, who’s al­ways worth read­ing, has a scary sto­ry about how to get your­self in big trou­ble re­al fast by shift­ing sun.­com in­fras­truc­ture. In the warm-glow de­part­men­t, check out ML Starkey on work­ing the hol­i­day week­end. And fi­nal­ly... well, this is a lit­tle weird, and we all know what they say about what no­body knows on the In­ter­net, but ap­par­ent­ly one of our Sun blog­gers is a dog.
Potsticker Geek · Wel­l, nor­mal­ly I’d stick this in a Sun­beams post­ing, but it’s good enough to go stan­dalone; you might want to take a trip over and check out Pot­stick­er Gu­ru AKA James C. Li­u. A geek’s geek and a good writ­er and fun­ny, too.
Sunbeams, Transylvanian Edition · Our own Bryan Cantrill, world’s most en­thu­si­as­tic ker­nel en­gi­neer, shares one of the world’s most sick­en­ing sensations—a live de­mo that goes bad—and still man­ages to be fun­ny. Janos Cserep gives us a Tran­syl­va­ni­an trav­el­ogue, with lots of colour and some de­cent pic­tures too. While in Europe, Daniel Tem­ple­ton has been run­ning first-rate se­ries of posts on the sub­ject of Ger­many from the view­point of an Amer­i­can ex­pat. Tor­rey McMa­hon has some of­fen­sive im­agery in the con­text of cheesy sev­en­ties glam-rock, what’s not to like. Fi­nal­ly, Dan Baigent re­ports a sto­ry that caused quite an in­ter­nal stir; some ig­no­rant blog­ger writ­ing up Lin­uxWorld 2004 and claimed that the Sun booth was full of Win­dows box­es. (What ac­tu­al­ly hap­pened was that some­one was fooled by all the Lin­ux and So­laris box­es run­ning JDS, which from a dis­tance does look quite a bit like Win­dows.) Dan’s take is light-hearted, but you should see the in­ter­nal mail­ing list­s. If you re­al­ly want to get a bunch of our en­gi­neer­ing Lin­ux and So­laris geeks mad, ac­cuse them of run­ning Win­dows.
Sunbeams, Pink Edition · Most­ly non­tech­ni­cal to­day, so let’s do the geeky stuff first: Chet Haase talks up ImageIO and he’s right, it’s coo­lio, I’ve used it too. Greg Reimer draws a per­sua­sive anal­o­gy be­tween con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries and In­ter­net Worm­s. Then, Chris Calkins gives us an almost-all-pink day in­clud­ing a huge pic­ture of a ter­rif­ic flow­er; def­i­nite­ly my kind of stuff. Ja­son Schroed­er has a won­der­ful I-hate-airlines rant, ev­ery fre­quent trav­el­er in the world will be say­ing “Amen!” And to end the week on a light note, here’s a post­ing re­pro­duced with­out per­mis­sion from the Sun in­ter­nal Mac Users mail­ing list: “And it came to pass in those days that they did iPod­i­fy their bim­mer­s, yea even un­to the those of them that had al­ready more toys than they knew what do to with...” I mean, if iPod­i­fy­ing bim­mers isn't a sign of the End Times, well, I just don't know what is.
Sunbeams, in Simultaneous Arabic and Hebrew · Let’s open with some­thing heart­warm­ing: the si­mul­ta­ne­ous launch of the Ara­bic and He­brew OpenOf­fice lo­cal­iza­tion­s. On the tech­ni­cal front Val Hen­son in­tro­duces Crash-Only Soft­ware, an­oth­er thing that’s ob­vi­ous when you think about it, on­ly I hadn’t. Ted Kim goes way deep on In­fini­band, not omit­ting the pol­i­tic­s. Alec Muf­fet, it turns out, is the fa­ther of “crack”, which has been a fix­ture in the se­cu­ri­ty land­scape as long as I can re­mem­ber. Paul Lamere, who writes about com­put­er speech, il­lus­trates the prob­lem with a charm­ing and hor­ri­fy­ing po­em about English or­thog­ra­phy. New face Alex­is Moussine-Pouchkine de­serves no­tice for his name alone, and his ma­te­ri­al is very promis­ing. On a lighter note, while Sean Gal­lagher doesn’t work for Sun, the ti­tle of his ar­ti­cle about us hav­ing sold JDS to Al­lied Ir­ish Bank is just too good to pass up. Fi­nal­ly, I dis­cov­ered Richard Fried­man, and if you fol­low on­ly one point­er out of today’s Sun­beam­s, go look at his pic­tures. Wow.
Sunbeams · Wel­l, I said once a week, and it’s been longer than that, but we’ve all been busy. To start on a cheer­ful note, here’s Jeff Solof on child sac­ri­fice and the­o­log­i­cal page-turners (re­al­ly). Stay­ing non­tech­ni­cal, Josh Si­mons writes about rare dig­i­tal books, which will get any bibliophile’s heart pound­ing; Ge­off Arnold points us at an amus­ing note from Neil Gaiman and adds a chuck­le to it. Mov­ing to tech­nol­o­gy, Bryan Cantrill wor­ries about keep­ing Usenix rel­e­van­t. And last week, one big news sto­ry was the open-sourcing of Java3D. I am one of the few liv­ing hu­mans to have ac­tu­al­ly shipped a work­ing J3D app, so this turns my crank a bit, if you need 3D I doubt there’s a smoother API in the world for it; check it out. I’m go­ing to have to go re­vive my Pseu­dob­a­by­lo­ni­ana pro­jec­t, should be a snap to move it from Perl to J3D.
Sunbeams: Writhing Like a Vast, Salted Slug Edition · [Edi­to­ri­al note: I’ve got­ten a bit of push­back on Sun­beams, from a promi­nent jour­nal­ist and my Mom among oth­er­s. Fair enough, I think the Sunbloggin’ ecosys­tem has had the nec­es­sary leg up. How­ev­er, I am (for the non­ce) still read­ing them al­l, and there is some good stuff there, so for the next lit­tle while I’ll do a Sun­beams once each week­end. Jeep­er­s, I just looked, there are now 355 ac­counts on blogs.­sun.­com.] On the mu­si­cal fron­t, the Wel­blog­ger has a piece on The Ar­lenes which in­cludes a point­er to a beau­ti­ful MP3, and War­ren Strange saw The Hip in a small club in Cal­gary (I’m green with en­vy). The gre­im­blog use­ful­ly con­trasts two cat­e­gories of re­li­giosos, JXnuts and XCnuts (he com­pares the Web to the slug in the ti­tle). Will Snow, who runs sun.­com, gives us a slice of life lead­ing up to Ja­va One. Ed­ward Tufte is one of my in­tel­lec­tu­al heroes, and this week both Richard Keny­on and Martin Hardee have Tuftean out­ings, the lat­ter with a price­less di­rect quote that I’d nev­er heard be­fore. Fi­nal­ly, Norm Walsh gives us the lighter side of standards-committee meet­ings: “What we need are anti-namespace nodes.”
Sunbeams: Treasure from Boiled Liquid Edition · Let’s start with Phillip Wagstrom’s de­but: If you've got some­thing with a Sun lo­go on it that's not work­ing right, you call me; once again, a win­dow in­to a world I don’t know. Mov­ing on, David Ogren gives us tasty lit­tle bite of blog-propaganda. Jon Haslam shows us how to use the incredibly-advanced fea­tures of So­laris to tor­ture tc­sh user­s, but then spoils it by ad­mit­ting to be­ing a miserably-deluded ksh devo­tee (Every­body Knows bash is the One True Shel­l). On the lighter side, Steve Lau cal­cu­lates the cost of com­mut­ing, and Hen­ry Jia sur­vives some tests in­clud­ing “pass through elec­tric grid” and “get trea­sure from boiled liquid”—with these guys on our side, how can we lose? To end on a se­ri­ous note, Si­mon Phipps points to a re­mark­ably beau­ti­ful video (watch it more than on­ce) and Alec Muf­fet re­flects on, well, life and how to live it.
Sunbeams, Trash Talk Edition · Yow, DME cranked up the num­bers at Plan­et Sun, so I got kind of buried when I went by there this morn­ing; he’s got some in­ter­est­ing stat­s. Let’s open with a nasty po­lit­i­cal joke (the best kind). New to­day, a cou­ple of Java­phone geeks speak up: Jeff Solof on the ul­tra­cool­ness of Voice Con­nect and Hinkmond Wong on wire­less snitch­ing. For a side trip in­to phi­los­o­phy, M. Mor­taza­vi talks up Dreyfus’ On the In­ter­net and makes it sound like a must-read. Fi­nal­ly, I hate it when life on­line veers in­to nas­ti­ness about per­son­al­i­ties and pol­i­tics and that kind of stuff, but hey, en­gi­neers are com­pet­i­tive, and I have no prob­lem with a lit­tle my-tech-is-better-than-yours; so in this cor­ner we have Eric Schrock se­ri­ous­ly diss­ing Lin­ux trou­bleshoot­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties. I’m sure there’ll be some­one in the oth­er cor­ner be­fore too long.
Sunbeams, Father’s Day Edition · A few days back, Jeff Dil­lon point­ed out that on the face of it, Google and its ilk are vi­o­lat­ing the spir­it of the GPL. Ob­vi­ous once you read it. Man-Ching Wong is grip­ing too, but in a mild way about pulling a customer-support shift on the week­end. It’s ob­vi­ous that a com­pa­ny like Sun must have a ton of peo­ple like MC, but this is the first ex­po­sure I’ve had, it’s a dif­fer­ent world. On the So­laris fron­t, we have Eric Schrock show­ing cool So­laris tricks that I would have killed for back in my integration-geek days; how the hell do they do that? Then you might’ve heard some­thing about So­laris and Open Source? On that sub­ject Andy Tuck­er is da man (well, one of ’em any­how) and he’s wrestling with what So­laris OSS means, don’t miss it. Fi­nal­ly, Norm Walsh has a love­ly photo-essay; and if the pic­tures aren’t enough for you, start pok­ing around a lit­tle bit in Norm’s site and read how he does it, maybe you think you’ve ev­er done deep meta­data? Norm’s way ahead of you.
Sunbeams, Rare Goats Edition · First up, a cou­ple of posts on SunRays, from Josh Si­mons and John Clin­gan. They are in­deed pret­ty neat, al­though when, ear­li­er this week, I was at SunLabs in Mas­sachuset­s, it took the lit­tle grey guy a cou­ple of min­utes to find my Sun desk­top which lives in San­ta Clara and ren­der it the first time; but then it was fine and snap­py. Danese Coop­er has a straight­for­ward ex­pla­na­tion of why CEOs prob­a­bly aren’t go­ing to be blog­ging any time soon. On an­oth­er note en­tire­ly, Jim Wal­do writes about the im­pe­dence mis­match be­tween how en­gi­neers view the world and how the world views en­gi­neer­s. And just to get out of geek mod­e, Richard Elling has notes on the word “war” and nice pic­tures of rare goats that he res­cued.
Sunbeams, June 16 · Si­mon Phipps’ FISL: In Trans­la­tion is an el­e­gant ar­gu­ment for ex­pand­ing your lan­guage reper­toire and your mind, Rich Ber­lin has a nifty lit­tle piece about bass vi­bra­to and Google and Richard Giles writes on how his new self-publishing podi­um has opened some doors for him. Ron Ten-Hove gives us a smal­l, densely-written es­say about meta­da­ta in the Web Ser­vices con­tex­t. Bri­an Cantrill’s re­mark­able open­ing out­ing dives deep, with a metaphor­i­cal side-trip through cere­bral malar­i­a, in­to dtrace, which is caus­ing some heavy heart­beats among kernel-weenies. On a lighter note, our GNU Desk­top Me­chan­ic pens an ode to Blooms­day from Den­ver, Dave Ed­mond­son gives his car an enterprise-class au­dio up­grade (y­ou have to see this to be­lieve it), and Scott Hud­son takes home a Star De­stroy­er. (No, on­go­ing is not go­ing to turn in­to Bo­ingBo­ing, I miss writ­ing the longer bits and will again, it’s just that be­tween cod­ing fu­ri­ous­ly on the Zep­pelin and den-mothering the Sun­blogflog­gers well I’m busy.)
Sunbeams, June 13 · Here­with the lat­est har­vest from the Sunbloggin’ pos­se: John Clin­gan is on a bit of a roll; his top piece ques­tions the whole “technology analyst” ball­game, and sec­ond from the top, he wash­es some dirty Sun laun­dry in pub­lic (who says we don’t let it all hang out­?). Ed­uar­do Pelegri-Llopart does some ba­sic consciousness-raising about J2EE and Ap­pli­ca­tion Server­s. And Martin Hardee writes about the hor­ren­dous dif­fi­cul­ty of keep­ing some­thing like Sun.­com or­ga­nized and (ide­al­ly) use­ful; that’s a prob­lem I wouldn’t be brave enough to any­where near.
Sunbeams, June 10 · I’ve sub­scribed the ag­gre­gat­ed feed over at Plan­et Sun, most­ly in cu­rios­i­ty at how this ex­per­i­ment turns out. Since we’re now some­where around 300 con­trib­u­tors and grow­ing fast, I won’t be able to keep up down the road; but at the mo­ment I do see a lot of in­ter­est­ing stuff go by, and what I’ll do is ag­gre­gate the bits that catch my eye ev­ery lit­tle while here un­der the la­bel Sun­beams. Today’s take in­cludes Moazam Ra­ja on Om­ni­scient De­bug­ging (I’ve sub­scribed to Moazam sep­a­rate­ly, he’s es­sen­tial), Hung-Sheng Tsao on all sorts of geeky sysad­min stuff, Frank Lagorio’s scorch­ing smack­down of mar­ket­ing in Sarbanes-Oxley space, Ron Ten-Hove on JBI (the programmer’s-eye view in­to Web Ser­vices), Josh Simons’ adorable al­bi­no squir­rel (I’m not kid­ding, check it out­), and fi­nal­ly MCWong’s must-read guide to Kopi in Sin­ga­pore.
author · Dad · software · colophon · rights
Random image, linked to its containing fragment

By .

I am an employee
of Amazon.com, but
the opinions expressed here
are my own, and no other party
necessarily agrees with them.

A full disclosure of my
professional interests is
on the author page.