Herewith some random notes from a Sun Microsystems newbie.
Expensive · It costs real money to run a big company; I’ve been at startups so long, with basically no infrastructure except what faces the customer, that I’d forgotten about acres of big buildings and mountains of furniture and security guards and trash removal and parking lots and HR specialists and lots more necessary parts of the machine that I still haven’t seen yet. All these things sure do free you up for a laser focus for the work at hand, but is there ever a lot of stuff.
Fowler · VP and Software CTO; in his office he’s got a Solaris box and a Mac and this horking dual Opteron that probably has the processing power to forecast the weather for the State of California, he’s got this ultra-mega-cool 24” cinema display wired into it and he was bitching about trouble compiling a kernel that would use more than two-thirds of the screen real-estate. Do your VPs do these things?
Networking · A modern, secure Enterprise network is pretty wonderful to behold. I’ve got a Java Card that goes in a slot on any of the zillions of SunRays around the company (even up here in Vancouver) and zap, there I am in either CDE or Gnome in my home directory. Then there’s the little black doohickey that computes unique key responses to a challenge when you log in from the road.
Necessarily, this adds difficulty; but now I can get to my Sun email from pretty well anywhere, and VPN into the Sun Network, with a little work. You know, I’ve never ever heard an end-user say anything nice about any VPN deployment anywhere. Maybe it’s just an inherently crufty technology.
The buzz inside Sun is really building on this stuff.
Accidental Bruises · What I say has a different kind of impact than it used to. I remarked that in the enterprise, the interesting action is in server-side web-delivered apps. Now I have not only the .NET community but a whole bunch of passionate Java-on-the-desktop evangelists (not all at Sun!) mad at me.
Well you know, I could be wrong. I’ve built GUIs myself and enjoyed it. It would be easy to prove, just build some desktop software that’s so wonderful that people start downloading it by the zillions, the way they do browsers and RSS aggregators.
Rachel · Our group has an admin person! I think the last time I had any admin help was like 1991. She is competent and persistent and friendly and I would be totally, completely lost at this point without her.
101 · I suspect I’m going to get seriously tired of the stretch of Route 101 between the Santa Clara and Menlo Park campuses. On my first trip I lucked into a brand-new Mustang convertible with 196 miles on the meter, and they were perfect Valley spring days; but it’s not always going to be like that.