Entries by Alan Zeichick

Microsoft PDC coming to Los Angeles

Microsoft has just announced the 2007 dates for its biannual Professional Developer Conference. It’ll be held Oct. 2-5 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Microsoft PDC is my favorite of their three big technical events; it’s where you get the real deep-dives into their upcoming technology, and their road maps. I’ll be there… I try […]

STPCon registration is now open

We’ve open up registration for the next Software Test & Performance Conference: April 17-19, 2007, in San Mateo, Calif. The first registration “eXtreme Early Bird” date is January 12 — if you register by that date, you can save up to US$470 on the Full Event Passport, which includes the technical conference and all tutorials, […]

"Working with the IT Press"

If you’re going to EclipseCon, be sure to catch my presentation, “Working with the IT Press.” This “long talk” session has just been accepted by the conference program committee. “Working with the IT Press” is an evolving presentation that I’ve been delivering for more than a decade at various conferences and trade shows, and in […]

Happy holidays!

Happy Holidays to everyone! Many religions celebrate their winter holiday with gift-giving. I treated myself to something that’s very silly, but which also makes me nostalgic: a vintage nameplate from the first “real” computer I worked on, an IBM System 370 Model 168 mainframe. I used one of those machines as an undergraduate, before moving […]

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, plus a base station and a Java SDK. You can see all the parts at […]

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 percent increase in revenue, compared to same quarter last year. Those numbers seem to […]

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 Kannan and Karthik Subbian, all of IBM. You should read Andrew’s post, but his conclusion agrees with my own […]

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 — is going to be bigger and better than ever. We have just opened our Call for Speakers. The cut-off is April 13, […]

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 […]

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