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Sun Microsystems

Journal Journal: World's first Open Source Clustering Code - Soon by Sun 1

In a world first, Sun will open-source its clustering code. Since the first clusters (IBM) to the generally agreed upon best (OpenVMS), clustering code has long been considered a Secret Sauce in large scale and high-availability computing installations. Does this move by Sun put pressure on other vendors such as Microsoft?

Infoworld has more details here:
User Journal

Journal Journal: No Support for Linux users says Time-Warner NYC

No Support for Linux users says Time-Warner NYC

I called Time-Warner for the 4th time about this months-long problem of my high-speed internet connection cutting out four or five times a day (for a minute or so). They told me to connect my Windows box directly to the Internet - bypassing my Linksys router. No way I said - it may get compromised (it's a fully-patched Win 2K box). I offered to connect my Linux box (a fresh Slackware 10.2 install) directly, and they said "no way". I went round & round with the guy, even asking, at one point, if he realized this conversation was being recorded. He wouldn't even run some of the tests to help ME diagnose the problem.

If you don't use Windows, Time-Warner's Tier-3 "National Help Desk" - and I suspect the lower level tiers - will refused to support you. Why isn't Linux supported? Makes me wonder if they support Apple. Also makes me wonder if Microsoft has some weird corporate toe-lock on Time-Warner - somehow encouraging their Road Runner support group to drag their saggy corporate asses on Linux support.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Is It Too Late to Want to Work at Google?

(Disclosure: I'm a grey-haired software engineer of mid-range talent)

It seems my favorite computer companies turned to crap after the power-hungry business-manager types over-ran them. I include Microsoft (circa 1987), Digital Equipment (same era), and HP (again, and possibly later) in this list. All have been over-run by the same ilk of business-savy, substance-shy fast-talkers, as has my current employer, which leads me to this question I'd like to ask the /.er's :

Is It Too Late to Want to Work at Google?
How will we know when Google has been over-run? What signals will the company send out? Are those signals present now? (eg. big publicity, huge stock gains, fondling Sun, etc.)
User Journal

Journal Journal: FRACKED-UP Battlestart Gallactica Details?

If you watched the season finale of the new Battlestart Gallactica, you just saw this: Starbuck tackles the bad guy, they fall 10 feet, and bad guy (girl, actually) gets skewered. Starbuck gets up, and there's 6 extra inches of steel poking through the corpse - clearly enough to penetrate the tackler - Starbuck. But she's ok, and un-penetrated (in this particular incident, anyway), she just shakes it off.

Later, Adama gets shot and his #1 has the presence of mind to press on the entry wounds, but is too daft to tell Adama's son to plug the exit wounds. Nobody runs for a sheet of plastic. Not one FRACKIN bridge officer or pilot or the CAG knows penetrating-wounds-first-aid-101?

I could certainly be wrong, but is there a notable shift here in the reality-factor that's been present in the series until now-ish?
User Journal

Journal Journal: ASP vrs. PHP

I've written applications in both - and here's a difference no one talks about. When you open up MS's ASP environment, all that great GUI stuff is there and it's pretty easy to get going. Then as often happens in a development environment, you need a quick script to munge a long list of field names. Is ASP your first choice? It wasn't mine, because I couldn't find a way to get input into/out of it from the command line. So I whipped up a temporary web page with a text box to do it. More overhead than I wanted to spend for what should be a 2 minute job given an editor with macro key abilities.

Then a couple of years later I built my first app in PHP. The first thing I noticed was how easy it was to script from the command line. Since I'm not a perl junkie, it was real useful for small scripting jobs. I'd use a shell language for this, but fankly, I'd rather poke a fork in my eyes.

The next thing I noticed in PHP was I needed an modern editor (the free download doesn't come with an IDE), so I bought one from for a couple of hundred bucks. It's getting better, but like ASP, it too has no macro key ability (maybe I'm wrong and someone will tell me?), and other nits I'd pick given the chance.

But the big discovery in PHP was that all my ASP data-type problems magically went away. Hours and freaking hours I spent debugging situations where an int was returned from a DLL and ASP string'ed it, or vice versa. There were byref/byval issues I recall as well. We had to build test local harnesses for all our middle tier ASP components because these problems rendered ASP too lame for a debugging platform.

But my original point is really that PHP is useful along a continium of the problem space. Need a quick script? Need a nightly job that cleans up your app? Need web pages? PHP works well for all. ASP, from my experience, hits one for three.

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