Archive for June, 2008

Busting the Sun Ray myths

June 25, 2008

Paul Murphy of ZDNet dispels many myths surrounding Sun Ray. He has busted all the top myths people put forward to argue that it’s not as good as a PC. He found that most of the more widely cited negatives for Sun Rays are pure nonsense.

According to Paul, Sun Rays are not the right answer for a hobbyist who wants to play games or pretend to program — but for large organizations the negatives simply don’t hold up. One of the lessons that can be learned from productivity change in the telecom industry is that centrally provisioned services can be extremely attractive to consumers provided that the service provider does not impose artificial controls on what the user can do with the device.

Sun Ray Thin Client Solution
We have many large organizations in different verticals who save a bundle by deploying this thin client solution of ours. Here is how Denver Health does it, and here is how Kuwait’s Savings and Credit Bank saves money.

So why don’t you run a pilot for Sun Ray in your organization and see for yourself how it stacks up.

Hint: You’ll be pleasantly surprised. 🙂

Bunny in the Cloud

June 24, 2008

BBC World News prepared a list of best cloud computing applications available today, and it featured Sun’s Network.com and Blender 3D. The article noted how Sun’s data centers are available for hire by the hour to power on-demand cloud services. The author mentioned that Network.com is used mainly for processing scientific data but the servers can also be used for rendering animations via the open source Blender software.

Check out this BBC video clip featuring Sun’s cloud computing efforts as well as snippets from the "Big Buck Bunny" movie rendered on Network.com.

In other news, InformationWeek highlighted Sun’s Network.com and Project Caroline in their cloud computing feature story.

Movie rendering on the cloud

Tips from MySQL practitioners

June 22, 2008

1. Replicate LDAP into your MySQL — Tech Musing on C&P, 6/18
The blogger answered the problem of keeping a database of usernames, passwords and SSH keys synchronized with LDAP. The blogger said that the issue with MySQL on the Primary was that changes in the database were not replicated unless they were done through the LDAP interface. To fix this, users could map the database tables to a schema compatible with the database’s update, drive it via syncrepl, and use the resulting database row-changes in their own work.
Sun MySQL
2. SSL in MySQL connections — Carl’s Whine Rack, 6/17
The blogger said that although the MySQL site provided documentation on how to use SSL certificates in MySQL connections, there were a few problems with the method provided. In the post, he noted a few wrinkles he experienced while figuring out how to get it working in MySQL 5.

3. Copy tables from one mysql database to another — a square with round corners, 6/16
Bryan Kennedy said that his work forced him to use two separate MySQL databases. This meant the development database got stale over time and had to be refreshed. Previously he relied on the "copy-database" command in phpMyAdmin to do this, but the process was very taxing and inefficient. Bryan created a php script, which he posted on his blog, to copy one database’s tables to another erasing the old data in the development database.

4. MySQL plug-in 1.1 for Oracle 10g Grid Control — The Pythian Group, 6/16
Alex Gorbachev said that the MySQL Management Plug-in 0.42 for Oracle 10g Grid Control had quite a few issues, most notably regarding compatibility with Windows. Alex has developed version 1.1 of the plug-in, which is now available for download and certified by Oracle.

NetBeans developer reviews

June 21, 2008

1. Including external JARs in a JAR using NetBeans — bill lampos on air, 6/17
Bill Lampos commented that task of including external JARs when exporting a Java project into a JAR file should be easy but Eclipse IDE did not provide it automatically. Bill switched to NetBeans for this and other reasons, and he demonstrated how to do it in NetBeans 6.1.
Download NetBeans

2. NetBeans 6.1 Javadoc Auto Comments — Java Evangelist John Yeary’s Blog, 6/14
John Yeary discussed how to create Javadoc comments automatically in NetBeans, and highlighted the Javadoc Analyzer plug-in from the NetBeans Development Center for additional functionality.

3. NetBeans — Bugs Need Fix, 6/14
Fadhli Rahim noted what he liked most about NetBeans was the ability to read docs from a certain method in the code while developing in Rails. His conclusion: "NetBeans is cool."

4. NetBeans 6.1 Install Fun on Ubuntu 8.04 — Parthian Shot – My Notes on Various Java Tidbits, 6/13
Rob Castellow posted a workaround for an assertion error problem he had faced during a NetBeans 6.1 install to Ubuntu 8.04.

5. Insert Date Time in NetBeans – Module — Defcon3 by Fredre, 6/12
While working in NetBeans, the blogger wanted to insert the current date time in a source file he was working on, but could not find any menu item explaining how to complete the task and he did not see an answer on the internet. The blogger eventually created his own module for NetBeans to complete the task and posted it on his blog.

6. IDE battle, NetBeans 6 and Eclipse 3.3 — Technology , Fun and Spirit, 6/12
Madhu compared NetBeans with Eclipse, noting that both Eclipse and NetBeans had issues with their installation processes. In a side-by-side comparison, he gave NetBeans a slightly higher score than Eclipse. Madhu concluded, "NetBeans truly stands on par with Eclipse, and depending on your weightings could finish ahead. NetBeans has definitely arrived and is worthy of careful evaluation."

7. Eclipse vs. NetBeans — Infintevoid, 6/12
The blogger listed features of NetBeans that he liked and disliked. The blogger noted that although he did not enjoy previous versions of NetBeans, version 6.1 seemed snappier than Eclipse. He also highlighted that NetBeans came with GUI editors for XML, XSLTs and XSDs that were very handy for a project that he’d been working on.

OpenSolaris & Solaris reviews

June 20, 2008

1. Solaris Custom jumpstat installation — KISHORE SINGH THAKUR, 6/17
Kishore Thakur posted a review of Solaris installation on Jumpstat showing how to automatically install Solaris on multiple systems simultaneously.
OpenSolaris

2. How to create encrypted backup on Solaris 10 — AYHAN AKBAS, 6/16
Ayhan Akbas explained how to create an encrypted backup on Solaris 10.

3. VMware Fusion 2.0 beta 1 tools and OpenSolaris 2008.05 — dicianno.org/blog, 6/16
Armando Di Cianno wrote that he faced some problems when getting VMware tools from VMware 2.0 beta 1 working under OpenSolaris 2008.05. He provided a solution to this problem, showing how to allow access to Solaris’ ZFS filesystem.

4. OpenSolaris — They Call Me Paulie, 6/15
The blogger wrote about his experience using OpenSolaris 2008.05, noting that it was a fast and stable distribution. His concluding comment: "With this disk, it appears that OpenSolaris is trying to hit the desktop too?"

5. OpenSolaris 5/08 — The Silver Spoon is Cast, 6/15
The blogger said that he had trouble installing OpenSolaris 2008.05 on VMware, so he chose to use VirtualBox instead, as "OpenSolaris people mentioned the many successful installations using VirtualBox." He outlined his installation process, noting that plans to continue look into Solaris and virtualization.

6. OpenSolaris 2008.05 – packaging update — Intel Software Network Blogs, 6/12
David Stewart tested out the update capability of OpenSolaris 2008.05, since one of the goals of the release was to make it easier to keep the system up to date by downloading updated packages over the Web. David found that updating was mostly error free except that the image update seemed to start from scratch after he resumed it.

7. The problem with ZFS, SANs, and failover — Chris’s Wiki, 6/12
Chris Siebenmann notes that there is no concept of locking or host ownership of ZFS pools in the event of a SAN failover, and it can cause major problems. Chris says that a possible fix is to "arrange with your backend so that each host in the SAN can only see the storage with the pools that it should be importing." He also notes that this is being addressed in Solaris 10 Update 6 release.

8. Boot OpenSolaris into Single User Mode — Mike Gerdts, 6/12
While looking at Google analytics statistics, Mike Gerdts found that there were many hits for users asking how to boot OpenSolaris into single-user mode. In his post, Gerdts demonstrated how this can be done.

9. Open Solaris — Sleepless in El Segundo, 6/11
The blogger posted about his experience using OpenSolaris live CD on a Dell Inspiron 6000, noting that the OS functioned without any problems. "I got the WiFi working without fuss. It all looks so much like Ubuntu that I hardly notice that I am on Solaris, brilliant," he wrote.

This week’s Sun xVM VirtualBox reviews

June 19, 2008

1. Virtualization with VirtualBox 1.6.2 — patrik.cqure.net, 6/15
Patrik Karlsson had been running VirtualBox and VMware in parallel for almost a month and saw some positive and negative features with both. For Patrik, VirtualBox felt considerably faster, specially for suspending and resuming guest systems. He highlighted VirtualBox’s Seamless mode feature and also commented on an issue he had with USB drivers in version 1.6.2.

2. Converting from VMware to VirtualBox — peebeebaynut, 6/15
After being bombarded by VMware error messages and license expiration alerts, this blogger decided to switch to VirtualBox, and he had a nice experience.

Sun xVM VirtualBox
3. VirtualBox: Is it a Necessity or a Gadget? — Virtualization Team (Blog), 6/14
The blogger noted that VirtualBox was much more reactive than its competitor, VMware, while remaining very easy to configure and use. The blogger commented that VirtualBox provided an answer to using MS Windows on Ubuntu.

4. Sun xVM Virtual Box — polywogsys, 6/13
While figuring out how to get Linux to boot off of a software RAID device, the blogger decided to use VMware, but encountered a problem when VMware crashed every time it tried to load Fedora 9. The blogger then tried VirtualBox, which he noted was "freaking cool!" The blogger highlighted that he was loving VirtualBox’s builds for many distros, resulting in no more updates.

5. VirtualBox 1.6.2: Open Source Virtualization for Macs — O’Reilly Digital Media Blog, 6/11
Todd Ogasawara commented that he installed VirtualBox on a Core 2 Duo based iMac running Leopard and ran into an problem on the installer’s information text page. However, Todd noted that he was very impressed with the long list of supported Guest OS’s in the Create New Virtual Machine wizard and was able to install Windows 2000 easily and smoothly. Todd concluded, "VirtualBox doesn’t have all the bells and whistles found in VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop. On the other hand, it is free (for personal/evaluation use at least) and Open Source. And, it seems to run the target systems I’m interested in (Windows and Linux) on my Mac."

6. VirtualBox – Good alternative to VMware, Microsoft tools — Technology Products & Tips, Industry News & Updates, 6/10
The blogger highlighted that VirtualBox existed as both an open source and commercially-licensed product, with editions available for Windows, OS X and Linux. He noted that the emulation was a bit snappier, even without the guest additions, and that VirtualBox’s graphics adapter emulation worked a little better than previous versions. The blogger concluded: "VirtualBox is mainly for desktop and light server use. It’s not a full-fledged managing hypervisor solution; at least, not yet."

Customer of the week: Reliant Security

June 18, 2008

Reliant Security provides information security products and services that help merchants secure and protect the confidentiality and integrity of a client’s information.

Needless to say, they have to comply with complex security requirements such as Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards. At the same time, they have to reduce merchants’ cost to comply with the security requirements so that Reliant’s offerings remain inexpensive as well as easy to deploy and manage.

Sun Customer -- Reliant Security
Reliant was looking to create a single security solution to replace combined solutions from multiple vendors. They chose Sun, and today Reliant Security depends on OpenSolaris, Solaris 10 and Sun servers to run its PCI compliant information security products.

"The level of enterprise customer service support that comes with Sun is exponentially better than what you get with other open source products and solutions. When you compare Sun with vendors such as Red Hat or Novell in the platform space, the difference is like night and day," said Richard Newman, president and cofounder of Reliant Security.

Check out the details here.

Movie Review: Love Story 2050

June 17, 2008
On the heels of "Big Buck Bunny," here comes "Love Story 2050."

It is India’s first sci-fi movie, and we have technology partnership with the producer Baweja Movies!!!

Sun is providing the technology platform for all the visual effects in the film. "Technology forms the foundation of sci-fi films. Hence the need to get the technology right is of utmost importance for the creators of special effects and animation for the film," said K. P. Unnikrishnan, Director of Marketing for Alliances and Teleweb Sales, Sun India.

The movie was filmed in Adelaide, Australia, and will be released on July 4, 2008.

Here is a forum thread on the movie. And catch the trailers now…

Some tips from MySQL practitioners

June 15, 2008

1. Making the most of MySQL — ucantblamem, 6/11
A great tutorial from James Angus on MySQL APIs related so a specific interesting business problem he needed to solve.
Sun MySQL
2. How to Make JBoss App talk to MySQL — Java Works, 6/10
The blogger describes how to use JBoss 4.0 with MySQL — a detailed step by step how-to post.

3. MySQL : NetBeans 6.1 : OpenSolaris 2008.05 — Ritwik’s Blog, 6/4
While trying to install "GlassFish – MySQL bundled NetBeans 6.1" on Open Solaris 05/08, Ritwik received Gtk warnings. Here is how he resolved the issue.

OpenOffice.org user reviews of the week

June 15, 2008

1. First Look: OpenOffice.org 3.0 Public Beta — Application Development Trends, 6/10
Will Kraft tested OpenOffice.org 3.0 beta and found the release to be “very stable and fully functional.” As an OpenOffice productivity suite user for the last few years, Will noted: “I’ve seen it grow from its version 1.x days to become a serious competitor to Microsoft Office, and the new OpenOffice.org 3.0 beta (OO3) continues that trend.”
OpenOffice.org

2. I’m actually using OpenOffice Writer — Click, 6/10
Steven Rosenberg mentions that he finally started to use OpenOffice.org, and it handily met his word processing needs. Steve’s conclusion: “Along with Firefox, it’s the best thing ever to happen for you and me – the computer user who hates to be taken for a ride by huge software companies.”

3. Open Office 3.0 features — Webs 4 Churches, 6/7
The blogger highlighted a good article on OpenOffice.org 3.0 features. He felt that OpenOffice is definitely improving but he would like to see more enhanced features along with an improved look and user interface, which would make it an easier sell to more managers in the business community.

4. PDF import and hybrid PDFs as a new extension — OpenOffice.org Ninja, 6/4
Andrew Ziem posted details of the new OpenOffice.org PDF import extension, which also included hybrid PDF-ODF export. Andrew noted that the extension installed as easily as any other OpenOffice.org extension but took a long time compared to opening an OpenOffice.org document because of the necessary guesswork caused by the limitations of PDF.