Z Trek: The Alan Zeichick Weblog

Free books! Get your free books!

Want a free book? I’m giving away two different titles:The first is “Software Security: Building Security In,” by Gary McGraw. Gary covers just about every aspect of software security, from risk management to code reviews, from testing…

Three Daylight Savings Time follies

As you know, Daylight Savings Time (DST) in the United States was changed by an act of Congress, so that it starts earlier this year. For me personally, it’s been a bigger nuisance than Y2K (which wasn't a nuisance at all).Here are three personal…

Software security is a real problem, the solution is developer training

The Screen Actors Guild is beefing up the software security embedded inside its pension and health plans, spending half a million dollars to protect its data. The county government in Anne Arundel County, Virginia, was paralyzed for more than…

A Turing award for Grace Hopper?

In my blog comments about the 2006 ACM A.M. Turing Award, won by Frances E. Allen, I wrote, "It's a shame that it’s taken 40 years to recognize the first woman for the most prestigious award in computing."A reader responded sardonically:I…

It’s the stupid hard drive, stupid

I love my new Apple MacBook Pro, but I’ve been frustrated at how slow it seems, compared to my first-generation Intel-based 20-inch iMac. On the face of it, the MacBook Pro should blow the iMac out of the water. However, when the machines…

IDEs are, like, so yesterday

When was the last time you asked your general contractor if the company had a power-tool standard, and whether it was Makita or DeWalt? Does your auto mechanic use wrenches from Sears or Snap-On?When I talk to carpenters, electricians, plumbers…

iLaunch! You've gotta get one

I'm not always a fan of The Onion, but they outdid themselves this week with "Apple Unveils New Product-Unveiling Product."Even amid fevered speculation, Apple was typically mum before the launch product's launch, and Mac rumor websites failed…

Please, no cell phones on airplanes

Please, please, please, please, please. Don't allow the use of cell phones on airplanes.I can sympathize completely with the philosophy espoused by Fortune columnist Stanley Bing in a piece in the Mar. 5 issue called "Called to His Reward."…

Help for coping with bad bosses

A few weeks ago, my colleague Edward Correia struck a nerve with his Feb. 22 Test/QA Report essay about team leaders behaving badly. We got some great letters from readers, some of which I included in my blog entry on the subject.Now, in yesterday's…

Good crop of winners in Eclipse Community Awards

Yesterday was the first day of EclipseCon, and I spent the afternoon in the Annual General Meeting of Eclipse Membership. This is where you hear people like Mike Milinkovich discuss the plans for the Foundation moving forward. New members are…

EclipseCon without the NetBeans Girls

A couple of weeks ago, I joined a petition started by Ian Skerrett, director of marketing for the Eclipse Foundation, urging Sun to send its NetBeans Girls to EclipseCon this year. Sun brought the young emissaries to the conference next year,…

Cigital’s modern-day Justice League

The principal techies at software security company Cigital have started an intriguing new blog called Justice League. Gary McGraw, Cigital’s CTO, described the blog to me as “an eclectic collection of opinions about software security and…

SCO’s mixed results and wasted opportunities

The latest financials for the SCO Group show that the company’s revenues continue to shrink. For their first fiscal quarter of 2007, which ended on January 31, SCO reported gross revenue of US$6,015,000, compared to $7,343,000 from same quarter…

We want your car!

No, this isn't about one of those ubiquitous charities, advertising on the radio that they want you to donate your car, running or not in most cases, in exchange for a potential tax deduction. Instead, this is about sending the entirely wrong…

"Working with the IT Press" scheduled

My session at EclipseCon, "Working with the IT Press," has been scheduled and rescheduled a few times, but now it appears have solidly landed: Thursday, March 8, from 10:10 - 11:00 am. EclipseCon is at the Santa Clara Convention Center; this…

Which browser? Firefox? Internet Explorer?

Which browser do YOU use? In a completely non-scientific study, the chances are that you use Firefox. You're probably also using Windows.I was examining the FeedBurner stats for this blog, which arguably is read by a technically savvy subset…

Responses to the Threading Maturity Model

January’s proposal of a Threading Maturity Model (ThMM), both in my blog and in SD Times, has inspired some thought-provoking conversations. So far, nobody has proposed any changes to the model. I’ve been impressed by several writings that…

Bacon's = Bad, MediaMap = Bad

As I just told a time-wasting caller from a public relations agency in San Francisco, "Any PR professional who would pitch an editor based on information in Bacon's MediaMap is not a PR professional."Bacon's and MediaMap are always-out-of-date…

CodeGear does scripting, Microsoft does migration

There’s more to life than high-level languages, like Java, C/C++ or C#. Perhaps we’re witnessing a new era, the age of scripting languages. They’re faster to code in, better suited to tasks such as Web development, easier to learn, and…

Beam me up, WiFi

I can't be the only person envisioning the chest-worn combadges from Star Trek: The Next Generation. A new product from Ekahau Inc., which bills itself as "the leading provider of Wi-Fi-based Real Time Location Systems," has just announced a…

Don't call me late to dinner

Dear reader,I've made some changes to the way the blog handles RSS, and I'm told that this has "bumped" some people off the feed. If you're one of them, please renew your feed. Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience!Z Trek Copyright…
, ,

Congratulations, Fran Allen!

The 2006 recipient of the ACM Turing Award is Frances E. Allen, a retired researcher from IBM. To quote from the ACM's announcement, Allen, an IBM Fellow Emerita at the T.J. Watson Research Center, made fundamental contributions to the theory…

Calling the NetBeans Girls...

Here's a petition I can wholeheartedly support: Ian Skerrett, director of marketing for the Eclipse Foundation, is urging Sun's CEO, Jonathan Schwartz, to send his NetBeans Girls to the EclipseCon conference again this year.Please join me in…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…