Z Trek: The Alan Zeichick Weblog

XML schema for business gets better

Jon Bosak informed me this morning that UBL 2.0 has been approved as an OASIS standard. UBL, or Universal Business Language, is designed to provide a consist way for businesses to share common documents using XML; that is, documents like invoices,…

SanDisk's $600 solid state disk

While we're on the subject of storage: don't forget solid-state drive technology. This week, SanDisk released a 32GB SSD that's going to cost about US$600, and fits into a standard 1.8-inch form factor.Sure, that's a lot of money for a 32GB…

Terabyte drives, but too late to save Andrew

Andrew Binstock pointed me to this CNet article, regarding the forthcoming introduction of terabyte hard drives from Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. Too bad they didn't ship in December. My, that burger tastes good.Hitachi GST, by the way,…

CUA compliance and Office 2007

I love the ability generate gorgeous graphics using Excel 2007 and PowerPoint 2007. But otherwise I'm unimpressed by the software update, and have no plans to upgrade our company to Office 2007 any time soon.One particular issue I have is the…

Standards: It's the little things

Standards are important. Not only for interoperability, but also for sanity.Take, for example, our two family cars, a Mazda3 hatchback and an Acura TSX sedan. Both are great, peppy cars, and both have five-speed automatic transmissions with…

Great cover on January's ST&P

I love the cover of the January 2007 issue of Software Test & Performance. It has graphics by LuAnn Palazzo, the wonderful art director for that magazine, and text from Edward Correia, the editor of ST&P. Be sure to read the fine print on the…

The Novell Sweatshirt Meme

Three decades ago, the British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins proposed the concept of a “meme” – that is, a unit of cultural transmission that exists independently of one person, and therefore, can spread around throughout a culture.Some…

Nominations for the Eclipse Community Awards

Nominations are now open for the Eclipse Community Awards; the cut-off for entries is January 22, 2007.The Eclipse Community Awards, launched last year, are designed to recognize the people and projects that make Eclipse a successful community.…

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…

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…

"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…

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…

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,…