Entries by Alan Zeichick

Edward Correia strikes a nerve

Edward Correia’s column in this week’s Test & QA Report really struck a nerve with readers. My colleague was writing about “team leaders behaving badly” — that is, bosses that yell at you in front of coworkers, or who ignore you for weeks on end. That sort of thing. There was some great feedback, some […]

HP-UX 11i v3 focuses on virtualization

Of all the major commercial versions of Unix, HP-UX is the one that I’ve spent the least time with. Other than exploring it on a couple of PA-RISC boxes, and then on an HP Integrity Itanium 2-based server, I have little feel for the unique characteristics and features of this venerable operating system, compared to, […]

Who’s eating Sally’s brownies?

My column in this week’s SD Times News on Thursday has elicited some positive feedback. In “Snacks in the Break Room,” I shared some thoughts inspired by a chat with WebMethods’ Miko Matsumura regarding SOA governance. One point regarded the constast between a policy-based SOA arrangement between corporate IT and service departments (which I term […]

Ingres is back in the game

Remember Ingres? That’s a name with a long and proud history in the software development world, originating as a database project at the University of California, Berkeley, in the early 1970s. Ingres was purchased by Computer Associates in 1994; for a long time, the database software thrived, but then its popularity flagged in the early […]

Daylight Savings Time, it is a-changing

The U.S. Government’s decision to tamper with Daylight Savings Time (DST) has been seen as a mini-Y2K issue. It’s probably not that severe – I don’t expect elevators to jam or airplanes to crash – but DST is an issue that IT professionals must deal with. What are the changes? To quote from the National […]

We’re working on it!

The laugh of the day came from the official Microsoft Statement in Response to Speculation on Next Version of Windows. Kevin Kutz, director of the Windows Client, told the world: We are not giving official guidance to the public yet about the next version of Windows, other than that we’re working on it. When we […]

Singing the .docx blues

It was bound to happen: Someone sent a BZ Media employee a document in the new .docx format. That’s one of the Open Office XML formats that Microsoft introduced with Office 2007. Given that Office 2007 just came out, I didn’t expect this to happen so soon. But the sender was a Microsoft employee, so […]

Digital Rights Mis-Management

A fast car, lots of music, and a really good corned-beef sandwich, these are a few of my favorite things, and of those, music is the most prevalent. It’s part of my life nearly 24×7. At home, the radio is always playing. In the office, unless I’m on the phone, digital music is streaming from […]

227 bogus comments in four hours

The floodgates have opened… with many of the spam comments coming from false “registered users” of the Blogspot/Blogger system. Therefore, commenting on this blog is now disabled. What a shame. My apologies to those who have legitimate comments. >> Update 2/6: Well, I feel foolish. A good friend pointed out that there’s a Blogspot/Blogger feature […]

Ada’s father passes away

Last week, Jean Ichbiah, the lead designer of the Ada programming language, passed away. Dr. Ichbiah worked on the language in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when he worked at Cii Honeywell Bull in France. He later left to found Alsys Corp., which continued the development of Ada and built commercial Ada 83 compilers. […]

Blog spam: The price of success

Z Trek reached a dubious milestone today. There were more than 50 pieces of blog spam when I checked in this morning. This blog is set up so that all comments are moderated, and must be approved by yours truly before they can become visible on the site. However, the “leave a comment” link is […]

SD Times 100 open for nominations!

It’s been five years — and the nominations for the 2007 SD Times 100 are now open. You can learn all the rules and access the nomination forms online. There’s no cost to nominate. Unlike some other awards in our industry, the SD Times 100 isn’t a product award. It’s an award for a company, […]

Michael Dell back at the helm

Here comes the new boss — literally, the same as the old boss. Michael Dell, founder of Dell Inc., reclaimed the CEO position, as his longtime #2 guy, Kevin Rollins, left the company. Rollins took over the command chair in 2004, and led Dell Inc. through some tough times. What does this mean? Well, a […]

Wow, what a stupid headline

Microsoft Vista Has Gates Saying “Wow” That’s the headline of a CBS News story about the launch of Windows Vista today. Oooh, the headline writers at The Associated Press must have worked overtime to come up with that one. No, this isn’t a knock on Microsoft. This is a knock on the AP (this is […]

Seven things I like about Windows Vista

1. Windows Presentation Foundation and Aero user interface. The new GUI is clean and slick, and when run on the right hardware so that it can use its “glass” effects, is much more visually appealing than Aqua, the GUI in Mac OS X 10.4… though, frankly, Aero is not as intuitive to use as Aqua. […]

Ka-Ching! Windows Vista’s real cost

For the past week or so, Microsoft has been dribbling out press releases touting a benefit of Windows Vista: The upgrade will drive IT jobs and spending. Today’s release brags that Windows Vista will generate US$10 billion in new revenue for the California IT industry in 2007, and will drive 16,000 new jobs in the […]

ASP.NET AJAX, XQuery reach 1.0

Two important server-development elements have been finalized this week. ASP.NET AJAX, which is Microsoft’s tooling to support rich Web applications on its ASP.NET application server, reached 1.0 status on Tuesday. ASP.NET is a well-respected app server, and from what I’ve seen, Microsoft has done an excellent job with its AJAX implementation. See my comments from […]

The chilling effect on software security

Bruce Schneier, in a blog posting today, argues (convincingly) that it’s important for researchers and white hats to publicly release details about security vulnerabilities in hardware, software and Web sites. He writes, Before full disclosure was the norm, researchers would discover vulnerabilities in software and send details to the software companies — who would ignore […]

Jon to Microsoft, Peter to Salesforce.com

Where have all the great tech journalists gone? They’ve gone to vendors, every one. First, last month, InfoWorld’s Jon Udell went to work for Microsoft. See his auto-interview about the new job. He’ll be working as an evangelist on MSDN’s Channel 9. This is a savvy move by Microsoft, and I’m sure it’s good for […]

Intel on Sun

According to a CBS News report, Sun will soon be using Intel processors in some of its servers. In return, Intel will endorse the Solaris operating system. If true, this is a good move for both companies, and potentially, for everyone except AMD, which has enjoyed an exclusive deal with Sun since November 2003. Sun […]


Consolidation, growth in software security

Yesterday, we learned that Fortify Software will be buying Secure Software. Each company makes source code analysis tools. Both are well-regarded in terms of the quality of their products, and in the expertise of their teams. However, Secure Software had been undergoing a transformation, as the well-known security guru, John Viega, had already left the […]

Eight things you don’t know about me

Larry O’Brien tagged me. Larry, that prankster, is playing Blog Tag, where you dare people to reveal things that most people won’t know. (I traced Larry’s tag back and found this entry on “Storm & Wind” from August 2006. After that, the trail went dark.) I’m cool. I’m hip. But I also want to stay […]

Many unhappy returns from SCO Group

The SCO Group released its earnings for the quarter that ended Oct. 31, 2006. To no surprise, they’re worse than ever, as CEO Darl McBride (pictured) continues to drive the company into the ground. Some highlights: * Revenue for their fiscal 4th quarter dropped to $7,349,000, vs. $8,528,000 for the same quarter last year. * […]

PCI Express goes zoom-zoom

I’ve seen relatively little coverage about yesterday’s approval of the PCI Express 2.0 specification by PCI-SIG, the industry consortium that, well, defines the PCI Express specification. With the introduction of PCI Express (aka, PCIe) a couple of years ago, server expansion cards got a huge performance boost, with the biggest impact on RAID and other […]

Red Hot Chili Pepper #19-1557

Best e-mail of the week so far: A press release from Pantone, a company that sets color standards, telling us that “they” have selected Chili Pepper, which they catalog as color #19-1557, as the Color of the Year for 2007. So, if you go to a paint store, or to a commercial printer, you can […]

Patents fuel the intellectual property wars

Before 2006, only one company – IBM – managed to gain more than 2000 U.S. patents in a single year. But in 2006, five companies broke that barrier: IBM with 3651 patents, Samsung with 2453, Canon with 2378, Matsushita at 2273, and Hewlett-Packard at 2113. That’s a huge amount of patent activity. In fact, according […]

Newly optimistic about CodeGear

Last week, I visited CodeGear — the tools business from Borland, which has been spun off into a wholly owned subsidiary. CodeGear will be evolving JBuilder, Delphi and C#Builder, and will also be introducing some new tools for dynamic languages and for otherwise enhancing developer productivity. You can read some notes about my visit with […]

Presenting the Threading Maturity Model (ThMM)

Threads are breaking out of the server into the desktop and notebook computer – and even in servers, the advent of dual-core and quad-core processors is drastically changing the landscape for applications. To put it bluntly, applications need to be designed, coded and tested to run optimally in a multithreaded environment – not just to […]

Not a smart consumer electronics company

Today, Cisco Systems Inc. sued Apple Inc. over unauthorized use of the iPhone trademark. You see, Cisco’s Linksys division already has a line of wireless VoIP telephones called the iPhone, introduced last month. The press has been speculating about how Apple would handle this situation — rumors about Apple’s iPhone have been swirling around for […]