Entries by Alan Zeichick

Software Security Summit in Silicon Valley

I’m delighted to report that registration is now open for the 4th Software Security Summit. For the first time, we’re bringing the conference to the Bay Area: April 16-17, 2007, in San Mateo. That’s between San Francisco and San Jose, at the northern end of Silicon Valley. This year, we’ve shortened S-3 to two days: […]

Microsoft Doesn’t Like Linux

The strongest threat toward Microsoft’s revenue is Linux. Any consumer who is running Linux on a desktop isn’t going to use Microsoft Office, can’t leverage the features of Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player. Beyond an Xbox, it’s unlikely that a Linux desktop user will pay for any Microsoft products or services. Any IT department […]

Happy birthday, Eclipse

It’s been five years since IBM launched Eclipse as an open-source project. The technology had been incubating inside Big Blue since the late 1990s as a next-generation Java IDE, but IBM’s announcement that it was open-sourcing Eclipse, on Nov. 7, 2001, set the platform on the path to super-accelerated growth. Today, Eclipse is second only […]

Apple’s Universal Binary program

With the release of QuarkXPress 7 for the Mac OS X, the move toward Universal Binary — applications which contain bits for both Intel x86 and PowerPC processors — is progressing very well. In studying my own software usage with Apple Activity Monitor, the only business-critical non-x86 binaries on my iMac are Microsoft’s Office 2004 […]

Battlestar Galactica: The brave little toaster

It’s a terrible pun, but I have to make it: A group of us were discussing the new Battlestar Galactica series (we’re hooked), and the characters on it. Someone said that Sharon “Boomer” Valerii was a sympathetic, brave character. “Yes, she’s a brave little toaster,” I replied — and then ran to Google to see […]

Spot the SPOT?

Am still waiting for the Sun SPOT kit. The contact at Sun who offered to send me a kit doesn’t have an ETA. And from the comments on Sun’s mailing list, the company’s SPOT team doesn’t have an ETA either. Postings on that list indicate problems regarding the RoHS compliance of the hardware, which means […]

Oracle Linux vs. Microsoft and Sun

A couple of other points regarding Oracle Linux: What does this mean for Oracle’s non-Linux operating system partners, Microsoft and Sun? Microsoft, while competing against Oracle’s database with SQL Server, likes being a high-volume platform for running Oracle 10g, as well as Oracle’s many applications. Expect to see Microsoft to gently step up its assaults […]

Bruce Schneier goes to British Telecom

Yesterday, BT acquired Centerpane Internet Security, best known as the home of Bruce Schneier, one of the top computer-security experts in our industry today. Bruce, who founded Counterpane, will stay on as CTO. I’m sure that was a key part of the deal. While Centerpane has an impressive gallery of services clients, the real asset […]

Oracle Linux is not a threat to Red Hat

Much ado was made yesterday about Oracle’s announcement that it’s releasing Red Hat Enterprise Linux as its own Unbreakable Linux. To quote from Oracle’s own announcement, Today Oracle announced that it would provide the same enterprise class support for Linux as it provides for its database, middleware and applications products. Oracle starts with Red Hat […]

Brian May, Astronomer

As someone who started his academic career intending to study astronomy, I can’t help but admire Brian May, former guitarist from Queen. I had no idea that he’d been a Ph.D student in physics/infrared astronomy at Imperial College, London. May’s new book, “Bang! The Complete History Of The Universe,” came out this month. Z Trek […]

Dell’s AMD servers: When WHAT freezes over?

At Oracle OpenWorld today (which I did not attend), Dell introduced its first AMD-based servers, the PowerEdge SC1435 and PowerEdge 6950. Both are rack-mounted systems. The SC1435 is an entry-level pizza box with two dual-core Opterons; the 4U-high 6950 uses four chips. When you couple that with Apple’s move to Intel processors, and Sun’s supporting […]

Microsoft’s Atlas: AJAX the Greater

Homer’s Iliad has two Greek heros named Ajax. One is the giant king of Salamis, known as Ajax the Greater. The other is the prince of Locris, and called Ajax the Lesser (though, presumably, not to his face). It looks like Microsoft’s Atlas project (named after another mythological figure) is more like AJAX the Greater. […]

Alan on blogs, circa 2003

I stumbled across this three-year-old article, “Blogs: The Latest Option In Raising Your Voice Online,” written by Reid Goldsborough for Information Today. Reid interviewed me about blogs in early 2003, and my fundamental misgivings about their role in journalism haven’t changed. Most blogs don’t have editorial oversight, or any sort of objective review, and as […]

Microsoft Office security updates fail installation

Microsoft has issued several security updates for Office 2003 since Oct. 6, but they won’t install on my 64-bit Windows system. (It’s clearly not my weekend for working with software.) My big HP workstation (two single-core 2.6GHz Opteron processors, Win XP Pro x64, SP1) just won’t accept the seven “high priority” updates issued for Office […]

Sun Grid: Not ready for SaaS

A four-day outage for “scheduled maintenance”? That’s pretty bad for Software as a Service, but that’s the score with the Sun Grid. The Sun Grid Compute Utility was announced at the 2006 JavaOne conference, as a high-performance cluster that ordinary developers and customers can “rent” for $1 per CPU/hour to work with Java on a […]

Saving a few $$$ at STPCon

Today (Friday, Oct. 20) is the last day for discounted registrations to the Software Test & Performance Conference — tomorrow, the full conference passport price increases by $200. We’ve got a great conference for development and test/QA professionals, Nov. 7-9 at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge. There are lots of timely classes, including new tracks on […]

Good luck, Lindsey!

We had a retirement party on Wed. night for Lindsey Vereen, now Editor Emeritas of Software Test & Performance. I’ve worked with Lindsey off-and-on since 1991, when we were both at Miller Freeman. Lindsey (pictured) edited publications like Design Automation and Embedded Systems Programming, and also chaired the Embedded Systems Conference. He came over to […]

Stack Wars: Red Hat vs. Novell/IBM vs. Sun

After Red Hat purchased JBoss and created an integrated offering with Linux and a commercial-grade open-source Java EE app server, it was only a matter of time before Novell did the same. The answer has a singularly uncatchy name of “Integrated Stack for SUSE Linux Enterprise,” and launched this week out of a Novell partnership […]

Walking through the RCP code

I’m very excited about a new Web seminar that SD Times is doing with the Eclipse Foundation. Called “Anatomy of an Eclipse RCP Application,” it’s a public walk-through of an Eclipse Rich Client Platform app. The best way that I learn a platform is to look at code, and Wayne Beaton, the Eclipse evangelist, has […]

OpenUP and EssUP: Subsets of the RUP

My column in today’s edition of SD Times News on Thursday discusses two new subsets of the Rational Unified Process — OpenUP, which is implemented in the Eclipse Process Framework, and EssUP, developed by Ivar Jacobson for use with Visual Studio Team System. I’m anticipating that some people will ask, “Why didn’t you mention the […]

Shaking up paradise

Sunday’s earthquake in Hawaii sounded horrific. Fortunately, Larry O’Brien, Kona resident, SD Times columnist and Ultimate Frisbee player extraordinare, was unharmed by the falling tchotchkes. Things can be replaced, but Larry, Tina and Cheyenne are priceless. Doesn’t “Falling Tchotchkes” sound like a great name for an alternative rock-jazz fusion-klezmer band? Z Trek Copyright (c) Alan […]

No Evans DPC this year

Evans Data, citing poor attendee registration numbers, has cancelled its first-ever Development Products Conference. The conference, scheduled to be held in San Jose this Thu. and Fri., was billed as “If your job involves planning new technology products for developers to use, or positioning and marketing those products, this is the ONE conference you can’t […]

Three hundred million strong

According to demographers, the population of the United States reached 300 million today. (That’s a fuzzy number, plus/minus a few weeks or even a month, but as William Frey, Brookings Institute analyst, said last night on NPR’s All Things Considered, you might as well pick a date, since we’ll never know for sure.) The U.S. […]

A terabyte hard drive by end of the year?

Last spring, my good friend Andrew Binstock and I agreed upon a simple wager: Would we be able to purchase a terabyte hard drive, in a 3.5-inch form factor, by the end of 2006? At that time, 500GB drives were readily available at places like Best Buy and CompUSA. I believe that the 750GB drives […]

iPod nano (PRODUCT)RED

Apple is normally very good at branding. But what’s with their new iPod, called the iPod nano (PRODUCT)RED? (Initially, I thought the name was an HTML coding error on the Apple Web site.) I can’t argue with the largesse behind the product. The 4GB unit costs the same US$199 as Apple’s other 4GB iPod nanos, […]

Portland: A common set of Linux UIs

The OSDL has released Portland 1.0, its set of common interface for GNOME and KDE. Because Portland will be found in many Linux distros, such as Debian, Fedora and SUSE, it could help solve some of the forking problems that we’re seeing on the desktop. Let’s hope that the Linux community embraced Portland, and that […]

Very pleased with 80GB iPod

It’s the trickle-down effect: In August, my wife overflowed her 20GB iPod with Click Wheel, and took my 60GB iPod (pre-video). Somehow, in that process, I ended up with a black 80GB iPod with Video. I’m not complaining! The new iPod holds a ton of music — most of my library. (I don’t bother exporting […]

United loves to e-mail, and it shows

I spend a lot of time on airplanes — not as much as many of my colleagues, but it’s plenty. My default carrier is United Airlines, which has a hub in San Francisco, and which also has an e-mail flight notification system, called EasyUpdate. (A digression: At SFO, United promotes the service by boasting, “Only […]

Ray Noorda: The man who lost the LAN

Ray Noorda, best known for founding Novell, inventing the local-area network industry and then losing the LAN industry to Microsoft, died today. I only met Noorda a few times, in the last years of his tenure with Novell, and never had much personal interaction with him (the meetings were all at industry-related events), so I […]

Powell on leadership

Colin L. Powell, Gen. (Ret.), U.S. Army, former Secretary of State of the United States, is a very funny man. Gen. Powell had the audience in stitches during his keynote address at Dreamforce 2006, the user conference held by software-as-a-service pioneer Salesforce.com today in S.F. The general riffed on a number of themes: he mocked […]