Entries by Alan Zeichick

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 are running with lots of applications, the 15-inch MacBook Pro is a […]

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 and other professionals, I’m engaging them to perform a task. I assume that they […]

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 to predict any major details about the new offering, other than the fact that it was going […]

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.” (Oddly, in their online version, it’s called “Great big cell phones in the sky,” and […]

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 Test & QA Report, Eddie has gone a step beyond […]

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 also introduced around, there are discussions of marketing, and so-on. An important part of the […]

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, where they were welcomed in good cheer by EclipseCon attendees. Given that both Eclipse […]

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 software quality.” That certainly fits the first few postings (the blog started on Tuesday, Feb. 20), which were a […]

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 of the previous fiscal year. That’s a fall of 18 percent. However, SCO seems to have […]

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 message to your happy customers. My wife received an e-mail this morning from […]

"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 class should be in Grand Ballroom C. You can read the full description at […]

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 of the computer-using world. Specifically, the subset that is aware that you can choose which […]

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 comment or expand on the ThMM, which ranks an organization’s or team’s threading skills and practices. First, […]

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 directories that lazy PR professionals use to learn about upcoming feature articles in trade publications like […]

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 highly portable. What scripting languages have lacked, however, have been a wide variety of professional-grade […]

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 wearable two-way communications device based on 802.11 wireless networks. The T301-B badge, according to the company, […]

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 (c) Alan Zeichick

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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 and practice of program optimization, which translates the users’ problem-solving language statements into more efficient […]

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 signing onto the Committee To Have the NetBeans Girls Return to EclipseCon. (Photo credit: Don Smith) Z […]

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 […]