Z Trek: The Alan Zeichick Weblog

Got the SPOT

Thank you, Sun (and Sun's PR team), for sending me one of Sun's SPOT (Small Programmable Object Technology) kits. It arrived earlier this week.The SPOT kit contains a couple of battery-powered devices, each with sensors and a wireless transceiver,…

Oracle's latest financials

The software giant in Redwood Shores keeps getting bigger. In its most recent financials, Oracle announced that it made US$967 million in profit for the quarter, on sales of $4.2 billion. That represents a 21 percent increase in profit and 26…

Binstock on porting from VS to Eclipse

Andrew Binstock has written an excellent blog entry about the pros/cons of porting an existing C/C++ project from Visual Studio to Eclipse. His post was inspired by a tutorial on developerWorks by Priyadarshini Sampath (pictured), Ramakrishnan…

EclipseWorld 2007 call for speakers now open

Mark your calendar for EclipseWorld 2007, Nov. 6-8 in Reston, Virginia. Next year's EclipseWorld -- our third-annual conference for enterprise developers, architects and all other IT professionals using Eclipse-based tools and technologies --…

A four-door Mustang is an abomination

See CNN and AutoWeek.Send your letters to:Ford Motor CompanyCustomer Relationship CenterP.O. Box 6248Dearborn, MI 48126Z Trek Copyright (c) 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…

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,…

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…

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,…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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,…

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…

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…

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.…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Open Source Java: Not a community...

I've had a few more days to think about Sun's decision to release Java SE and Java ME as open source software. You can read my thoughts in today's Zeichick's Take column for SD Times News on Thursday.Z Trek Copyright (c) Alan Zeichick

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…

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…

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…

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…