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Microsoft Singularity October 31, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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Microsoft Research has written a whitepaper that exoplains Singularity, a new OS written in managed code. Sun tried to create a Java OS years ago but it failed. Lets see how a C# OS works then.

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.NET Framwork 2.0 and Visual Studios released October 30, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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.NET Framework 2.0 and Visual Studios 2005 have gone gold. Very nice. I participated in the Betas so its nice to see them go gold. Right now VS 2005 is available for MSDN subscribers.

Jonathan Schwartz and the state of Solaris October 30, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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On Jonathans blog he states the fitness of Solaris for the community. He calls it the fastest growing Open Source OS. First congrats on getting IBM to support Solaris on their BladeCenter. I think its pretty shitty you refuse to support AIX with the JES. Nice way to stab your partner in the back. They support you, yet you wont support them. I hope Suns drama surrounding Solaris isnt the same as the $1.00 grid computing solution you offered which you have yet to see any revenue from. I want to know how many licenses you have distributed for Solaris and OpenSolaris. Is the 3,000,000 count for both versions of the OS or does it lean more to OpenSolaris?

Next why dont Dell and HP market Solaris. Well first Sun is getting a raw deal, as anyone who has sat through an IBM bidding war they market AIX more than anything. IBM does do Linux and Windows but it only offers thiose alternatives if the customer insists on those alternatives. The real test will be who actually installs Solaris on IBM hardware. HP and Dell tend to go with Market trends and right now Windows and Linux are hot, Solaris is not. Sure you have distributed 3,000,000 licenses but how many of those are actual production use and not hobbyists tinkering? How many of those licenses are current customers simply upgrading? These are the areas you have to look too. 3,000,000 licenses are great but in the world of computing 3 million licenses dont amount to much. I think Sun is doing a great job with the Solaris OS but before Jonathan criticizes he has to look at how the software is being used and they have to look at trends. After all they used customer demand as a reason for screwing AIX customers. HP and Dell can simply reverse the excuse.

State of Tech 2005 October 27, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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Every year I look back and ponder what’s happened significant in IT and I also grade depending on my opinions. Please note these are my opinions and mine alone. I don’t work for Microsoft or any Linux company or Apple they are mine alone. Save your hate mail.

Lets start with Microsoft, the company some love and who most love to hate. What’s Microsoft done right? Well, I happen to think they have significantly enhanced their search technologies. I have found MSN search to be more accurate and to produce a lot less repeat hits and I notice most of the time it produces results by significance. Google produces more results but Google gives many repeat hits. MSN Search has toned up a lot. Microsoft has a much better Desktop Search tool than Google Desktop Search. I’m excited about Windows Vista, a new Visual Studios and Monad. Microsoft does a very good job at giving developers of many types of wares (Productivity, Shareware, Freeware, Malware and Spyware) the tools necessary to do the job. Windows XP Media center edition is one of Microsoft’s major wins in the consumer area. Microsoft’s major work in the area of security is going quite well and its patching practices have improved a lot. Microsoft is a heavy consumer oriented company and when dealing with the consumer it’s an ‘A’ Company.

The problem Microsoft faces is that it tries to be an enterprise company and for the most part for the enterprise and corporations Microsoft has a much broader set of tools. It has good management tools; the Server OS is actually a very decent OS on par with that of NetWare and even some Linux distributions. With this though, Microsoft tends to treat its enterprise market like it does its consumer markets. Let’s face it outside of the creative arts, developers and some other industry’s companies do not upgrade that often. Microsoft’s habits of forcing upgrades and saying that “It’s impossible to backport technologies” are a crock. If Apple can get HD to work on Windows 2000 so can Microsoft. If Mozilla, Netscape and Opera can produce a much more secure internet browser and not rely on technologies found in Windows XP SP2 so can Microsoft. Microsoft if it wants to continue to be a solid player in the Enterprise and business spaces they are going to have to buckle down and increase support of all size businesses just not the ones that can afford expensive upgrades. They claim they are listening, well listen to all size businesses just not the ones that can afford costly upgrades. They definitely need to cut down on licensing fee’s Apples catching up, so is Linux so Microsoft needs to stay ahead. Microsoft’s Enterprise rating, ‘C+’.

Now lets go on with all the hype. Has Linux delivered? The Linux community and most Linux companies with the exception of Novell are doing a much better job than what they were doing a year ago. Red Hat still delivers a killer product; Rock and Gentoo still cater very strongly to HPC and uber serious side of IT. Linux is displacing UNIX fast but not fast enough as the BSD family has been scoring some wins as of late and SCO and Sun taking UNIX seriously again. The jury is still out on Novell. Novell tends to go with the technologies that are hot at the moment. They had basically bastardized NetWare and we all see what happens when the hype and excitement end. Novell tends to abandon like it did with UNIX. Don’t count UNIX out though, Sun has a very compelling product with Solaris 10 and SCO has an equally compelling product with OpenServer 6. In the IT industry it’s often a finger snap before trends change again. Linux is basically reversed from Microsoft. As a consumer technology it’s a ‘D’ trend. I say trend and technology because even the consumer friendly versions of Linux are not very consumer friendly. Linspire and Xandros still take a lot of work to set up compared to Windows and Apple Mac and often times don’t support the wide breadth of hardware that Windows and Apple Mac do support and when you go with the corporate oriented companies it can be quite challenging. Linux for right now is still a tech savvy system designed by the tech savvy, they need to dummy it up quite a bit before ‘mom and pop’ ‘grandma and grandpa’ can use it without having a tech support technician on staff.

Linux clearly wins in the corporate side right now. Its secure, it’s reliable. Red Hat is still large and in charge because Red Hat makes the best management tools for the system. With the availability of Mono, Real BASIC and QT, RAD tools have finally come to light and are as user friendly as Apples tools they are not quite on par with Microsoft’s developer tools but its getting better for developers who need to code a quick little application. Red Hats a winner because they have a good reputation. Some aspects of their management suck but nothing related to the product itself. Sun needs to mature a little bit. My advice to Sun, get rid of Scott McNealy and bring in a CEO that does not put down its competition like a 5th grade bully. McNealy needs to concentrate less on belittling Microsoft and concentrate more on why the technology is the best. The OSS and Linux communities as a whole need to concentrate less on Microsoft and quit trying to match GUI effects and concentrate more on usability, manageability, and consumers. Overall I give the Linux movement a ‘B’ on the corporate and enterprise side of the fence.

Apple Computer. What’s there to say about Apple? Apple gets an ‘A’ in all aspects. They have a very strong consumer influence and a very strong enterprise offering. Apple needs to utilize more resources to push its enterprise offerings. They have the tools, they have the style and they have the ability but what they don’t have is a strong presence in enterprise. They don’t market to that sector enough and it’s truly a waste. The bipod and their multimedia software is a definite strong point. Their new productivity apps, Pages and Keynote work well. Apple has their act together.

Apples hardware division is in flux. Right now they are prepping for a change to a different architecture, x86 and I have no doubt Apple will keep their unique sense of style and design. They will have to charge less to keep up with Dell and other PC companies. One of the stronger enterprise ready devices apple has is the Mac mini. It’s small and costs just as much as a boxed version of Windows or a version of Microsoft Office. They are pretty sturdy machines. I know a few Mechanics that use Mac minis and the Mac mini has enough horsepower for any shop floor. Creative types will definitely want to utilize the higher end Macs. For development, Secretarial, accounting and most other industry could do the work with Apples $499.00 Mac. Just make sure you have a monitor, mouse and keyboard. A Tablet PC like device in Apples arsenal definitely could not hurt.

Guided Tour of Monad October 25, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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Written by Ars Technica, very nice and long overall look. Monad is one of the few new technlogies I am looking forward to. Although it wont be available for Windows 2000. XP and Server 2003 guys can get it. The Windows command line has been like naked for more than a decade, nice to see them adding to it. I also like my Command Line Toolkit as well as UNIXUtils. UnixUtils appears to be pretty much dead on development but the tools are useful nonetheless.

Firewalling with OpenBSD’s PF October 25, 2005

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Very informative and if you are a BSD guy, a must read.

Minix unleashed October 25, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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Minix 3 has been unleashed into the wild. The main difference is now Andrew Tanenbaum is allowing users to enhance it. And Yes, I agree with Andrew, Microskernels are much nicer.

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MySQL 5 released into the wild October 25, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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Product is now gold. One of the key benefits is SCO OpenServer support. They support multiple UNIX style OS’s, they offer a Windows version as well.

GAIM to support video and voice October 25, 2005

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There is a little snippet on the GAIM homepage on how they hopefully will be adding voice and video to GAIM 2.0. I hope it happens, thats one of the remaining hurdles for me, I use Voice and Video extensively and if GAIM supports Voice and Video I can finally ditch havijng multiple clients on my machines. Im not too big on Google talk since most of my friends use either MSN or Yahoo. Right now I use GAIM simply for AOL so I can avoid all those lousy adds.

OpenOffice.org 2.0 released October 25, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
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The free cousin to StarOffice is available, finally. It has some pretty nifty features. There are still no free iFilters to index the files using Windows Desktop Search.