Entries by Alan Zeichick

Al Shugart, disk-drive pioneer

The sizes and capacities of rotating magnetic media continues to boggle the imagination. I thought that the 60GB hard drive in my old Powerbook was impressive, but this week Fujitsu announced a 300GB 2.5-inch drive. Wow. Meanwhile, you can pick up 750GB 3.5-inch SATA drives for desktops and servers – but it looks like Andrew […]

IDC predicts big Windows Vista success

A study by International Data Corp. — a respected IT market research firm — predicts that within its first year of shipment, Windows Vista will be installed on more than 90 million computers worldwide, and that in the United States alone, Vista-related employment will reach 18% of all IT jobs during that period. The study, […]

Office Open XML: Learn to love it

Ecma, the vendor-driven standards body that used to be the European Computer Manufacturers Association, has rubber-stamped Microsoft’s next-generation document file formats, called Office Open XML. Ecma’s vote places Office Open XML onto the fast track toward ISO recognition. I haven’t delved into the 6,039-page specification itself, so I can’t comment on the technical quality of […]

Java 6: Available now

The latest version of the Java Platform, Standard Edition, was formally released yesterday (Dec. 11). It would be fair to call this iteration evolutionary, not revolutionary. I can’t think of any “must-have” additions to the platform, but overall, there are a number of incremental upgrades wrapped into the package. As BEA’s Bill Roth wrote, “First, […]

OSDL in turmoil

The Open Source Development Labs – the not-for-profit organization where Linus Torvalds works, and which maintains the Linux kernel – has undergone some changes this week. Stuart Cohen, the visionary who led OSDL since 2003, is leaving the organization, ostensibly to pursue a new business venture. He’s working with OVP Venture Partners, a Northwest venture […]

IBM updates the developer mothership

The IBM Rational tools keep going and going… they’ve undergone changes in just about every dimension, over the past five years. They’ve been purchased by IBM. They’ve been rebuilt on Eclipse, instead of the old VisualAge code base. The latest version, called IBM Rational Software Delivery Platform 7.0, debuted yesterday (Dec. 5). As you’d expect, […]

The ‘oy’ of blogging

In his latest SD Times column, my colleague Andrew Binstock writes about the generally poor quality of blogs, particularly those blogs whose posts consist largely of apologies for not having posted recently. He cites a few blogs that are worth reading, but sadly doesn’t include Z Trek in his round-up. He and I will discuss […]

Green Hills Platform for Secure Networking

Santa Barbara, Calif. – Following CEO Dan O’Dowd’s talk about the need for a secure network platform, Green Hills Software announced that it is launching a secure network platform. The Green Hills Platform for Secure Networking (to use its formal name) includes the company’s INTEGRITY real-time operating system, an IPv4/IPv6 networking stack, a file system, […]

EAL4, EAL6: How secure is secure?

Santa Barbara, Calif. – I’m down at the 4th annual Green Hills Software Embedded Software Summit, where GHS CEO Dan O’Dowd is talking about the company’s big push into secure networking. He’s citing that the company’s INTEGRITY operating system is certified as Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level 4+ (EAL4+), and is currently under evaluation for […]

SCO schadenfreude

As a technology analyst, I’m expected to be fair, unbiased, impartial, open-minded, objective and neutral at all times. And I am, of course. Even so, I must confess some amount of pleasure in the blow dealt to SCO in its perennial lawsuits against IBM and Novell this week, when (as reported on Groklaw) U.S. District […]

The Z Trek guide to perfect holiday gifts

1. My colleague Larry O’Brien blogged about a reproduction of the original Altair 8800. For under US$1,700 you can own a piece of history. 2. I just treated myself to the 87th edition of the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. It’s just the thing if your reading tastes include the magnetic susceptibility of the […]

XQuery: An important specification

The XQuery 1.0 specification — in progress since the Mesolithic era — reached a new milestone last week: it’s now a Proposed Recommendation from the W3C. (Well, no, it’s not really dating back 8000 years, but XQuery has been in progress since early 2003.) XQuery is important because it’s essentially the XML-based analog to SQL. […]

You are a strange loop

Somebody must like me: I checked my P.O. Box today, and found an “advance uncorrected proof” of Douglas Hofstadter’s “I Am A Strange Loop,” due out in March 2007 from Perseus Books. Dr. Hofstadter is best known as the author of “Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid,” a philosophical tome which I’ve read several […]

Happy birthday, APL

A fond memory from my early IT career, in the late 1970s, was working with APL — A Programming Language — on the IBM mainframe. Our data center had one LA36 DECwriter II terminal that had the special APL character set, and a small number of enthusiasts used to fight over who got to use […]

It’s Vista day!

Under the slogan “Ready for a New Day,” Microsoft has released Windows Vista, Office 2007 and Exchange Server 2007 to its business customers. Retail versions will be out next year. Windows Vista: It sure looks pretty, and some initial reports indicate that it fixes many of the appalling security flaws that plagued Windows XP. It […]

Microsoft shafts Novell, targets Linux

What the heck are Microsoft and Novell up to? At the beginning of this month, the companies announced a multi-part agreement, wherein they’d work together to improve interoperability between SUSE Linux and Windows. That’s all well and good. But there’s more to the agreement, much more, that is not well and good. * Microsoft agreed […]

27 must-have Eclipse plug-ins!

The latest edition of Eclipse Review is out: Subscribers should be receiving it in their physical or virtual mailbox this week. However, even if you’re not a subscriber, you can download the full issue as a PDF right now. There’s lots of goodness in this issue: 27 Must-Have Eclipse Plug-Ins. Rick Wayne takes you on […]

Joel on shutting down Windows…

Joel Spolsky wrote an excellent blog entry on the plethora of options for shutting down Windows Vista — and contrasting that to devices like the iPod, which don’t even have an on/off switch. Joel references Barry Schwartz’s well-written “The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less,” which explains why many people get frustrated when there […]

Thoughts on two Monday news stories

Because the American Thanksgiving holiday is happening on November 23, we’re not publishing our SD Times News on Thursday this week. So, no “Zeichick’s Take” column. In lieu of this, here are my thoughts on two stories in yesterday’s SD Times News on Monday: In “Salesforce Raking in the Revenue,” Jeff Feinman (the newest member […]

Hejlsberg on generics

I stumbled upon this interview with Microsoft’s Anders Hejlsberg on generics in modern languages. This is not new: Anders talked to Bruce Eckel for this seven-part interview back in 2003, and the generics conversation is at the end of that series. The full series is Part I: The C# Design Process Part II: The Trouble […]

Subscribe to the SD Times RSS Feed

Many people have asked for it, and now it’s ready: the SD Times RSS news feed. It’s the first of several planned feeds that our Web dev team, led by Craig Reino, is building. This inaugural feed contains timely news from SD Times, including the latest from our twice-weekly “News on Monday” newsletter. And there’s […]

Leads are not the final word in sales

“We get it, media buyers. You want leads. And who doesn’t? But have you forgotten the value of building a brand?” That’s the question that David Karp, advertising sales manager for BZ Media’s Software Test & Performance business unit, asks in his thoughtful guest column in the November, 2006, edition of Folio Magazine. Effective marketing […]

Borland to spin off CodeGear

Speaking of Borland: The company announced today that it’s spinning off its Developer Tools Group — you know, JBuilder, Delphi, C++Builder and the other integrated development environments — into a wholly owned subsidiary. CodeGear will be led by Ben Smith as CEO. He’s been with Borland for a year, and I never heard of him […]

Talking to Borland… soon, we hope

For the second time, Borland has postponed an “all editors” briefing with SD Times, geared at helping us understand their technology, product and business strategy. The two-hour call was initially set for Oct. 24, and was to have included Tod Neilsen (pictured), their new CEO; Rick Jackson, the SVP for strategy; and Marc Brown, the […]

Embedded development using Eclipse

Big milestones were announced today from the Eclipse Device Software Development Platform (DSDP, in Eclipse-speak), as two core projects hit their “1.0” releases and one came close: Target Management (TM), release version 1.0 Mission: The goal of Target Management is to create data models and frameworks to configure and manage embedded systems, their connections and […]

Open source breakthrough: Java to go GPL

As Alex Handy reported on sdtimes.com, Sun is releasing Java SE and Java ME under the GPL 2 license. Sun’s Jonathan Schwartz maintains that this move is not a reaction to all the moves in Linux-land, with Oracle hoovering Red Hat and Microsoft playing footsie with Novell. While it’s impossible to know exactly what Sun’s […]

Benjamin Netanyahu: Economics 101

My first impression of Benjamin Netanyahu, former prime minister of Israel, is “Wow, this guy’s really smart.” That impression stayed with me through his nearly two-hour presentation in Palo Alto yesterday (Nov. 12). His appearance was sponsored by Silicom Ventures, a venture capital investment group. Netanyahu spoke eloquently on a number of topics, focusing on […]