Thursday, December 31, 2009

Android 2.0 Running on Sun's VirtualBox - Very Nice

I put opensolaris 0906 on three different systems during this holiday break (upgrading from previous versions of opensolaris).  opensolaris has an amazing list of systems that are supported.

Something I installed yesterday and very impressed with is Google's 
Android 2.0 running on VirtualBox.




Above is a screenshot of VirtualBox running Android 2.0 on my Toshiba notebook that is running opensolaris 0906.


It is brain dead easy to install both:

  1. Download VirtualBox.
  2. Goto VirtualBoxImages.com to download a VMI that has Google's Android 2.0
The advantage of doing it the above way is that you completely eliminate downloading then installing an iso image since you are downloading an appliance.  The short instructions are at the links - it could not be any easier.

As you work with Android on VirtualBox it is important to remember the control key that toggles between your host OS and your guest OS (it is typically the RIGHT_CONTROL_KEY) as well as the ESC key inside Android which will switch back to the main screen.

Android has a real opportunity to take significant market share from the iPhone because it is Developer Friendly and an open system.  It will be interesting to watch this market play itself out in the next few months and years to come.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Great Example of Poor Maintenance Design

I  have been a huge fan of Honda.  I have owned a 1986 Accord an a 1987 Civic Si - both very nice cars.   My oldest son owns a 2001 Accord Coupe.  His headlight was out, no problem, replacing a headlight bulb is not a big deal.  Taking a closer look at the manual, I found it interesting that replacing the headlight assembly should be basically a straightforward job?  Not, with a 2001 Accord.  Why would you need to remove or replace the headlight assembly?  Headlight assemblies get cracked or damaged over time and sometimes replacement is the only option.


What do you have to do?  You have to remove the entire front bumper to replace the headlight assembly.  When I read this in Honda's Official Service Manual, I was so surprised that I called the repair shop that works on my cars to make sure that there was not some workaround that I was simply not aware of.  What did the repair shop tell me?  "Yes, it's a nightmare, you have to take the entire front bumper off.  That is why people who have done it once, never want to do it again."  

This design philosophy goes along with what you have to do in order to replace the Accord's in cabin air filter which is a pain as well.

This is headlight assembly replacement is one of the worst designs that I have ever seen.   The only thought I have is that it is true that Honda Accords are one of the top stolen cars.  Unless Honda designed it this way to make it more difficult to steal headlight assemblies (I seriously doubt it) then this design was not well thought out.

It has prompted me to include a new list of basic maintenance questions that I will ask before I buy another car. 

Saturday, December 26, 2009

MTAG and MTConnect Institute Meeting in Charlotte

We held our quarterly MTAG and MTConnect Institute Meeting in Charlotte, NC last week.  I think MTConnect can best be summarized by the great article in Modern Machine Shop that is titled:  "MTConnect is For Real".

There are many fantastic real life examples in the above article. 

The article also references the two talks that Dave Patterson and I did in October 2006 at AMT's Members Meeting in Lake Las Vegas.

 "MTConnect has its roots at AMT. The members and administrators of this organization, which represents machine tool builders and other manufacturing technology suppliers, became aware of the need for interoperability when experts from the computer industry were invited to discuss the needs of manufacturing at its fall 2006 annual meeting for members. The message from these experts was blunt: Unless machine tools and other types of computerized manufacturing equipment can readily communicate critical data in a standard format, the industry cannot automate rapidly enough to keep up with global demands. Integration on the shop floor would be difficult or impossible. Progress in productivity gains and cost reductions would be stymied.

The response to this wake-up call was the MTConnect project, for which AMT put up more than a $1 million in seed money in January 2007. The committee formed to pursue this initiative brought together computer science researchers from the University of California-Berkeley, the Georgia Institute of Technology and other institutions to conceive, design and develop a draft communications standard. Paul Warndorf, AMT’s vice president of technology and liaison to the MTConnect development committee, recalls highlights of that development effort. "Early on we knew that the standard would have to be open and extensible; use existing standards such as XML or HTTP borrowed from the Internet; be easy to understand and implement; and not conflict with proprietary communications technology already in place. So that’s how we made it."
MTConnect has been officially out for just one year and it is amazing how much industry and customer success we have seen in such an incredibly short amount of time.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas and Thanks George Michael Sports Legend

Merry Christmas and thanks to George Michael, Washington DC's Sports Announcer at the local NBC affiliate for a lifetime of providing the best sports shows in memory.  As Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon said, "George was ESPN before there was an ESPN."   George was a legend and an institution in the DC area.  George passed away yesterday after a two year fight with cancer.  Michael Wilbon wrote a great article on George Michael.

After Glenn Brenner passed away in 1992, there was only one sports announcer in the DC area and that was George Michael.  Glenn Brenner had one of my favorite lines of all time when talking about Mookie Wilson, Brenner looked at his new anchor and said, "Mookie Wilson?, Does anyone really believe Wilson is is real last name?"

There will never be another George Michael....

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

IntraCoastal Waterway - My Bucket List Trip :-)

A couple of weeks ago I went on one of the trips of my life thanks to Mike O'Dell.  I was able to cross some of my bucket list items off my list.  I can not thank Mike O'Dell enough for inviting me along on an incredible yacht for a fantastic week.  This was like the mother of all Geek Cruises - with long time friends and Internet legends.

Mike O'Dell asked Neil Groundwater (npg) if I would be interested in going on a week long trip down the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW).   When Neil asked me, I did not have to think a single yoctosecond about before I said yes.



Above is a picture that npg took of the front of Mike's 57' mega super yacht Bebop Tango.  Mike hates it when I call it a mega super yacht :-)  Since I do not know the difference, it certainly seems like a mega super yacht to me.  There is more technology on Bebop Tango than I could possibly even start to list here.



Above is a great photo that npg took of Mike's yacht called Bebop Tango.  Bebop Tango was designed by Capt. Ivar Franzen, Naval Architect.  Bebop Tango is described as a "Franzen 57" because she's 57' on-deck with the LOA (Length-Over-All) at 60'.   It was built by Walter Schurtenberger of Constellation Yachts and Multihull Technologies Inc. 

  • Kevlar
  • Carbon Fiber
  • Foam core
  • Honeycomb Core
  • Epoxy resins
  • 2 500hp Diesel engines
  • 1,200 gallons of fuel
  • ability to make fresh water on board
  • washer and a dryer, full kitchen 
  • easily sleeps 8
  • I am leaving out tons of innovative features, this is truly a one of a kind vessel


 
Above is a sign showing the distances on the Intracoastal Waterway.  We would travel about 150 nautical miles a day, usually at around 15 to 20 knots.  We started in Annapolis.  We would get going around 7:00 every day and try to be in the next port prior to sundown.  As soon as we were docked and tied up - the digital bar would be officially open :-)   On the morning of December 10th, npg and I rented a car in Savannah and drove back to DC in 10 hours.



Not every day was picture perfect :-)  Above was some rough water we had on Saturday.

One of the great quotes that Mike told me, that I had never heard before, is a popular line at Lawrence Berkeley National Labs in Berkeley, California which is, "Why use lead, when gold will do?"



Above is a great photo npg took while we were in Savannah.  That is me up top on Bebop Tango.  When I was asking Mike one of my many questions on the design of Bebop Tango, Mike said, "A boat is simply a series of horrendous choices."




From left going clockwise is Neil Groundwater, me, Mike O'Dell and Captain Fred Denniston.  This was a German restaurant that was the best meal we had the entire trip.  Thanks to Fred, Mike and Neil I did learn some things during the trip:
  • Right on Red Return or going south if it is not clear you are returning or leaving a waterway
  • Green Port Entering or going south if it is not clear
  • Clove Hitch, bowline and sheet bend are key knots to know
  • it is not a rope, but a line when you get on a boat
  • four lines are needed to secure a boat to a dock
    • bow line
    • stern line
    • two spring lines that criss cross between stern and aft
      • pads are used to protect boat from dock

Above was our favorite dessert of the entire trip at a German restaurant we went to where they specialized in fried Oreos.  Yes, it sounds nasty, but it was to die for...   This was a HUGE improvement over Captain Fred's choice one night at a Holiday Inn where the two main selling points of this restaurant was:
  1. As the waitress said, "This is a great restaurant, we get all of our food from Sysco."
  2. When we asked her was the carrot cake any good, her reply was, "Well, it is not as good as a HoHo."  She was correct on both accounts above :-)
Eating at Holiday Inn violates the Dave Edstrom Rule #42 Of Domestic Travel, which is NEVER eat at the hotel's restaurant unless it is the free breakfast, cold/hot cereal or you have ZERO choices and getting ready to pass out from lack of nutrition :-)



Above is just one example of the amazing technology on Mike's boat - a digital liquor bar.  I am not a liquor person, but I still like the idea of digital bar.  While Neil, Mike and Captain Fred would get a digital drink, I would get an old fashioned cold beer.



Above is an early morning sunrise on the intracoastal waterway in South Carolina.



Above is part of the main helm on the Bebop Tango.  Here is a video of me at the helm of Bebop Tango that shows the instrument panels off well.


Below was our itinerary:
  • December 4th Friday left from Annapolis
  • 4th Friday night in Deltaville
  • 5th Saturday night in Great Bridge, VA
  • 6th Sunday night in Oriental, NC
  • 7th Monday night in Little River, NC
  • 8th Tuesday night in Seabrook Island, SC
  • 9th Wednesday night in Savannah, Georgia
  • 10th npg and I drove back to DC




Above is the kitchen or galley as I guess it should be properly called.



Finally, above is a fantastic sunset on the Chesapeake Bay during an incredible week on the Bebop Tango with Mike O'Dell, Neil Groundwater, and Captain Fred Denniston traveling down the IntraCoastal Waterway from Annapolis to Savannah.  

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Java EE 6

Sun released Java EE 6 and I think it is a very important statement just how important Java is that Sun continues to invest even in these very tough economic times.  Check it out:

   * Learn more about Java EE
   * Download Java EE 6 SDK
   * Learn more about GlassFish Enterprise Server v3
   * Download GlassFish Enterprise Server v3
   *  Register for the virtual conference
    

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

NetBeans 6.8 IDE Release

NetBeans just keeps getting better and better - it was already GREAT.  Checkout NetBeans 6.8 here.

Below is from the NetBeans homepage to provide a high level view of NetBeans IDE 6.8

The NetBeans IDE is an award-winning integrated development environment available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Solaris. The NetBeans project consists of an open-source IDE and an application platform that enable developers to rapidly create web, enterprise, desktop, and mobile applications using the Java platform, as well as JavaFX, PHP, JavaScript and Ajax, Ruby and Ruby on Rails, Groovy and Grails, and C/C++.
The NetBeans project is supported by a vibrant developer community and offers extensive documentation and training resources as well as a diverse selection of third-party plugins.

Release Overview

NetBeans IDE 6.8 is the first IDE to offer complete support for the entire Java EE 6 spec with improved support for JSF 2.0/Facelets, Java Persistence 2.0, EJB 3.1 including using EJBs in web applications, RESTful web services, and GlassFish v3. We also recommend it for developing with the latest JavaFX SDK 1.2.1, and for creating PHP web applications with the new PHP 5.3 release or with the Symfony Framework.

Our unique integration of Project Kenai, a collaborative environment for hosting open-source projects, now comes with full JIRA support, and improved instant messenger and issue tracker integration. We also added features to the IDE's Maven and database integration, and improved the editor and tools integration of Ruby, Groovy, and C/C++ projects.

Get the NetBeans IDE 6.8

Download NetBeans IDE 6.8

Friday, December 11, 2009

Great I/ITSEC Conference in Orlando, Florida

I attended the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) which (as the site states) promotes cooperation among the Armed Services, Industry, Academia and various Government agencies in pursuit of improved training and education programs, identification of common training issues and development of multiservice programs.  It was held November 30th to December 3rd.

Chris Melissinos, Sun's Chief Gaming Officer, and I presented Sun's software story including  Project Dark Star, Sun's Cloud Computing Story, Sun's Development environment, Solaris, GlassFish, Identity Management, Security and of course, open source.  We made lots of inroads and are following up with partners and customers.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Final Day of the 2009 SPS/IPC/DRIVES Nurnberg, Germany Conference

This is a high level recap of the last day of the 2009 SPS/IPC/DRIVES for automation technology.    Just as a reminder, John Byrd, former President of AMT, has stated on many occasions that  MTConnect will be the most important change to the machine tool industry since CN

I took most of today, Thanksgiving in the US, to followup with personal emails to the following customers/prospects:


  • Bonfiglioli
  • Schneider Electric
  • ART - Applied Robot & Technologies
  • Reliance Precision Mechatronics LLP
  • DAC Electric
  • Lenze
  • isel
  • Carpanelli Motori electrici
  • WEIS GmbH
  • ISG Industrielle Steurungstechnik GmbH
  • POLARIS Motion Control Systems
  • YASKAWA
  • Baumuller
  • Mattke Servotechnik
  • VISPA
  • THK
  • Bosch
    • already a member, but felt I should stop by
  • RS Components GmbH
    • An Electrocomponents Company
  • SEW EURODRIVE
  •  Industrie-Electronik GmbH
  • Siemens
  • epis
  • BeR Industrie-Elektronic GmbH
  • KUHNKE
  • sontheim
  • Beckhoff Automation
  • ascolab
  • NATIONAL INSTRUMENTS
  • KW Software
  • intel
  • Schwieger
  • CERTEC
  • XiSys Software
  • ige-xao
  • Mitsubishi Electric
  • Siemens
  • Phoenix Contact
  • Panasonic
  • infoteam
  • linutronix
  • OPC Foundation
  • OSADL
  • Rexroth Bosch Group
  • adstec
  • Rockwell Automation
  • ROSE
    • A Phoenix Mecano Company


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Second Day At 2009 SPS/IPC/DRIVES Nurnberg, Germany Conference

Today was day two at the Conference in Nurnberg, Germany.

This is a high level recap of the second day of the conference is the 2009 SPS/IPC/DRIVES for automation technology.    Just as a reminder, John Byrd, former President of AMT, has stated on many occasions that  MTConnect will be the most important change to the machine tool industry since CNC.

When  I met with customers and prospects today, I had a basic format that I followed to make my points in a clear, concise and compelling fashion. 


  • Introduce myself, Sun Microsystems, AMT, MTConnect Institute and MTConnect
  • I asked how they provided information about their device to the outside world.
  • I listened carefully, then when they were finished I asked if they ever heard of Java.  Everyone, of course, has heard of Java.
  • I then asked if they heard of MTConnect.  Most had not heard of MTConnect.  I then said that MTConnect will do for controllers and machine tools what Java did for computers.  This got their attention :-)
  • I then explained why they should care about MTConnect for their business.
  • I explained how customers could taken advantage of MTConnect with their specific set of products/technologies.
  • I then went into the brief history of MTConnect so they understood the context of where, when, why, what and how this is important for customers, integrators, software and vendors at this Nurnberg Conference.
  • ITalk about why Sun Microsystems cares about MTConnect.
  • After they understood everything above, I gave them my business card and the sheet Paul Warndorf gave me on MTConnect and said I would follow up with them via email this week.
  • I typically spent about 15 minutes with some vendors/customers/prospects and up to 45 minutes with others.
Today was a very good day, but a very long, long day as I spent nine hours talking with the very nice and extremely interesting vendors that I met with on Wednesday the 25th of November:

  • Industrie-Electronik GmbH
  • Siemens
  • epis
  • BeR Industrie-Elektronic GmbH
  • KUHNKE
  • sontheim
  • Beckhoff Automation
  • ascolab
  • NATIONAL INSTRUMENTS
  • KW Software
  • intel
  • Schwieger
  • CERTEC
  • XiSys Software
  • ige-xao
  • Mitsubishi Electric
  • Siemens
  • Phoenix Contact
  • Panasonic
  • infoteam
  • linutronix
  • OPC Foundation
  • OSADL
  • Rexroth Bosch Group
  • adstec
  • Rockwell Automation
  • ROSE
    • A Phoenix Mecano Company

I am going to use Thursday, Thanksgiving in the USA, to follow up with the many customer/prospect meetings that I had the past two days and then fly out Friday morning to get some cold turkey when I arrive late Friday :-)  It was a GREAT Conference!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

First Day of 2009 SPS/IPC/DRIVES Conference In Nurnberg

Yesterday was my first day in Nurnberg, Germany and I had a very nice dinner at a restaurant that first opened in 1331.  I think that is a couple of years older than McDonalds in the US :-)

This is a recap of the first day of the conference is the 2009 SPS/IPC/DRIVES for automation technology.    Just as a reminder, John Byrd, former President of AMT, has stated on many occasions that  MTConnect will be the most important change to the machine tool industry since CNC.

When  I met with customers and prospects today, I had a basic format that I followed to make my points in a clear, concise and compelling fashion. 

  • Introduce myself, Sun Microsystems, AMT, MTConnect Institute and MTConnect
  • I asked how they provided information about their device to the outside world.
  • I listened carefully, then when they were finished I asked if they ever heard of Java.  Everyone, of course, has heard of Java.
  • I then asked if they heard of MTConnect.  No one had.  I then said that MTConnect will do for controllers and machine tools what Java did for computers.  This got their attention :-
  • I then explained why they should care about MTConnect for their business.
  • I explained how customers could taken advantage of MTConnect with their specific set of products/technologies.
  • I then went into the brief history of MTConnect so they understood the context of where, when, why, what and how this is important for customers, integrators, software and vendors at this Nurnberg Conference.
  • After they understood everything above, I gave them my business card and the sheet Paul Warndorf gave me on MTConnect and said I would follow up with them.
  • I typically spent about 15 minutes with each vendor/customer/prospect.
I spent most of the day talking with the very nice and interesting vendors that I met with on Tuesday the 24th of November:
  • Bonfiglioli
  • Schneider Electric
  • ART - Applied Robot & Technologies
  • Reliance Precision Mechatronics LLP
  • DAC Electric
  • Lenze
  • isel
  • Carpanelli Motori electrici
  • WEIS GmbH
  • ISG Industrielle Steurungstechnik GmbH
  • POLARIS Motion Control Systems
  • YASKAWA
  • Baumuller
  • Mattke Servotechnik
  • VISPA
  • THK
  • Bosch
    • already a member, but felt I should stop by
  • RS Components GmbH
    • An Electrocomponents Company
  • SEW EURODRIV
 

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Leaving For Germany Tonight - MTConnect in Germany

I am leaving tonight for my trip to Germany to meet with many customers. The conference is the 2009 SPS/IPC/DRIVES for automation technology. John Byrd, former President of AMT, has stated on many occasions that  MTConnect will be the most important change to the machine tool industry since CNC.


I am really looking forward to this trip as nothing is more interesting to me than talking to customers about MTConnect.  I will be reporting on meeting with many customers and prospects via my blog.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Java For Business - Which Level of Support Is Right For Your Business?

Sometimes I get the question, how does Sun make money with Java?

The truth is that Sun makes money in many ways from Java - some direct and some indirect.  What many individuals think of is support and it is true that Sun makes money from various support offerings.  I thought it would be nice to have a simple reminder of the various service levels that Sun offers.  You can see the entire list of Java support offerings here. Below is from the entry at sun.com


Which Support Level is Right for Your Business?

 

Java for Business offers four levels of support to ensure the right fit for your business needs
  • Access-Only offers continued access to software that has reached end of life for those customers who do not needs support. Security updates and any other bug fixes made to releases after end of life will be available to you via this program. Access-Only is perfect for customers who are using legacy applications with no bugs or problems but who wish to continue to receive security updates and general bug fixes for Java.
  • Standard Support extends the life of existing Java applications for your organization and for your customers. Fixes provided to you will continue to be made available to Java for Business customers along with new operating system support and all other maintenance in quarterly updates. Perfect for customers whose primary interest is in running their Java applications much longer than ever possible before.
  • Premium Support adds the ability to have a fix provided to you by Sun to also be incorporated into Sun's next available bi-weekly standard revisions, ensuring your network of customers and partners can leverage that same fix, faster than ever before. Premium support is perfect for customers' whose Java application are critical for their and their customers businesses.
  • Premium Plus Support further adds the ability to request a quote for a Java for Business custom revision for an older update or revision of the Java platform (additional terms and conditions apply). Premium plus support is perfect for customers seeking maximum assurance for their Java applications from Sun
  •  
Java Classic offers two levels of support to ensure the right fit for your business needs

  • Java Classic Standard Java Classic is for the most recently released Java SE family, and provides basic business-hour coverage for less critical systems. It also provides 3 years maintenance from time of Java SE product family release.
  • Java Classic Premium Java Classic is for the most recently released Java SE family, and provides enhanced support including 24/7 help desk assistance. It also provides 3 years maintenance from time of Java SE product family release.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Wealthy Barber and the Twins Saving Story

The Wealthy Barber is one of my favorite books to recommend to young people because of the clarity of its stories.  Neil Groundwater initially told me about this great book.

Below is my favorite story from the book:

Two twenty-two-year-old twins decide to start saving for retirement. One opens an IRA, invests two thousand dollars a year for six years, and then stops. His IRA compounds at twelve percent a year … very good. The second twin procrastinates and doesn’t open an IRA until the seventh year — the year his brother stopped.   The second twin then contributes two thousand a year for thirty-seven years. He, too, earns a rate of twelve percent a year. At age sixty-five, they go out for dinner to compare their IRA holdings. The second twin, who is fully aware that his brother stopped contributing thirty-seven years earlier, is confident that his IRA will be worth at least ten times as much. What do you think, Cathy?”
“I think he’s wrong … or you woulnd’t be telling us the story,” was her clever rationale.
“Yeah, yeah,” Roy laughed. “At age sixty-five, they would both have approximately one million two hundred thousand dollars.”
The first brother paid $2,000 a year for six years. He contributed a total of $12,000. The second brother contributed $2,000 a year for thirty-seven years. He paid a total of $74,000 — more than six times his sibling!"

The main point of this is the magic of compound interest and the most important attribute young folks have in this formula is TIME.   That is why I always tell young folks when I speak at Universities and Colleges that I was never very good at math, but by God I know compound interest backwards and forwards :-)  I have always put a 25% of whatever I made into long term savings since age 16.  As the old saying goes "and that has made all the difference...."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Infrequent Depth versus Frequent Noise aka Quality vs. Quantity


I just noticed that my LinkedIn Contacts went over 500+    One of the reasons LinkedIn works so well is that it runs on Sun hardware and software.   When I am asked why I don't have a Facebook page, my answers are two fold.  First, LinkedIn is really the Facebook for business people and secondly, my wife has a Facebook page.   When I am asked why I do not Twitter, my answer is that I prefer to blog and I have LinkedIn.  I am interested in big projects my friends and contacts are working on, but I am not interested in what they had for dinner (the Twitter femto-level info stream I simply do not care about). 

It could be argued that I do not twitter because I am old.  I do agree with my father on his analysis of twitter.  When he called and said, "what is Twitter?" and
I explained it to him, his response was, "why the HELL would I waste my time doing that?"   Good question :-)    I guess I prefer infrequent depth verus frequent noise....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

You Date Your Hardware Vendor, But You Marry Your Software Vendor

  • You date your hardware vendor, you marry your proprietary software  vendor and have lots of kids, but with your open software vendor you are allowed to sleep around if you use protection.  Protection in this context is a defined dual stack strategy with governance ie a software game plan.  Date and Marry wisely :-)
  • There is a myth that open source software is created and updated by teenagers and twenty-somethings in their spare time.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  
  • The good news is that open source is largely created and supported by huge organizations.  For example, Sun Microsystems has donated more source code to the community than the next five entities combined.
  • Scott McNealy's dotcom bubble Wall Street story.   For example, as Scott would say, "It's not just TCO, it is TEC Total Exit Costs that matter."

Participate – Don't Just Watch and Use

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Greg Papadopoulos, Sun CTO, Warning on Cloud Computing



                            "It's proprietary systems all over again."

I could not agree more with Greg - I think he is exactly right on with his concern.

Friday, November 13, 2009

SCAP: Important Protocol - Security Content Automation Protocol

Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP - pronounced "ess CAP" ) is a very important security protocol that is being embraced by a number of government agencies.

Wikipedia has a nice overview I would encourage everyone to check out:

SCAP Components

These components can be used to build products that have SCAP Capabilities:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bending Light and Catching Photons

David Brown of the Washington Post wrote a great article titled:




The article discusses Charles K. Kao, Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith, who won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics for the work they did that led to fiber-optic data transmission and digital photography. 

The article hits on the main point that Kao achieved when it states:
 "While light normally passes through glass and does not go around corners, Kao's work -- aided by that of many other scientists and engineers -- is proof that under the right conditions, those generalities do not hold true. Sometimes light can be kept inside a strand of glass, like water in a pipe.  
It seemed hopeless until Kao and a theoretician colleague, George A. Hockham, made some measurements and calculations. They determined that if the impurities scattering the light rays could be removed from the glass, and if they used a wavelength that the glass molecules could not absorb, then much, much more light would stay inside the fiber."

The other winners, Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith, in the article  won for their work on Charge-Coupled Devices (CCD).

The article hits on the main point that Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith achieved when it states:

"In the late 1960s, at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey, they were working on ways to improve memory devices -- a way of storing information acquired over time. The ultimate goal was to eliminate the annoying echo that sometimes occurred in very-long-distance telephone calls. 

They used an array of small squares made from silicon-based semiconductor material. "Semiconductors" are capable of generating an electrical charge, although not as readily as metals and other conductors (hence their name). Electrodes placed nearby can then be used to hold the charges in place and keep them from dispersing. 

Like a row of dominoes of different face value, a line of small semiconductor squares called "pixels" outfitted with electrodes were able to hold a row of different charges. If a voltage was then applied to the array in the right fashion, the charges could be moved off the pixels and "read out." 

After some pondering, they realized that light falling onto the semiconductor chips was being transformed into electrical energy. (Explaining that phenomenon, called the "photoelectric effect," is what won Albert Einstein his own Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921.) With the lab lights off, that interference disappeared.

 "They put two and two together and they realized they had made an imaging device," said J. Anthony Tyson, who was at Bell Labs with the two men and is now a professor of physics at the University California at Davis.

 By combining the photoelectric effect -- light's tendency to kick electrons out of atoms, creating a charge -- and the ability to hold and move an entire array of charges in an organized fashion, they created the basis for digital photography."

The article is a must read because of the tremendous benefit that all of us have seen in our lives from the Internet to digital cameras - to just name a few.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day - Thanks to My Father, My Cousin Chris Edstrom, Dr. Harry Foxwell and Brad Kirley

Thanks to my father John Kenneth Edstrom who did two tours of duty in Vietnam as an officer in the Air Force.  My father is also in the very unique category in that he was awarded TWO BRONZE STARS for the two tours of duty for his countless acts of bravery in his two years in Vietnam.  The Bronze Star Medal is a United States Armed Forces military decoration that may be awarded for bravery, acts of merit, or meritorious service.  

 

Thanks to my cousin Chris Edstrom who has done three tours of duty in Iraq and one (so far) in Afghanistan.  Thanks to Dr. Harry Foxwell and Brad Kirley for their service to our country.

History of Veterans Day as stated at TimeAndDate.com

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 an armistice between Germany and the Allied nations came into effect. On November 11, 1919, Armistice Day was commemorated for the first time. In 1919, President Wilson proclaimed the day should be "filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory". There were plans for parades, public meetings and a brief suspension of business activities at 11am.


In 1926, the United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I and declared that the anniversary of the armistice should be commemorated with prayer and thanksgiving. The Congress also requested that the president should "issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples."

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) was approved on May 13, 1938, which made November 11 in each year a legal holiday, known as Armistice Day. This day was originally intended to honor veterans of World War I. A few years later, World War II required the largest mobilization of service men in the history of the United States and the American forces fought in Korea. In 1954, the veterans service organizations urged Congress to change the word "Armistice" to "Veterans". Congress approved this change and on June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor all American veterans, where ever and whenever they had served.

In 1968 the Uniforms Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) made an attempt to move Veterans Day to the fourth Monday of October. The bill took effect in 1971. However, this caused a lot of confusion as many states disagreed with this decision and continued to hold Veterans Day activities on November 11. In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which stated that Veterans Day would again be observed on November 11 from 1978 onwards. Veterans Day is still observed on November 11.

Harry Foxwell always sends out a nice email to Sun employees (and I imagine others).  Today he asked the question: Do you know where your veterans are?

Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery:
http://www.arlingtoncemetery.org/visitor_information/tomb_of_the_unknowns.html
National World War II Memorial: http://www.wwiimemorial.com/
Marine Corps Memorial: http://www.nps.gov/archive/gwmp/usmc.htm
US Navy Memorial: http://www.navymemorial.org/
Air Force Memorial: http://www.airforcememorial.org/
Korean War Veterans Memorial: http://www.nps.gov/kowa//index.htm
Vietnam Veterans Memorial: http://www.nps.gov/vive/index.htm
Vietnam Women's Memorial: http://www.visitingdc.com/memorial/vietnam-women%27s-memorial.htm
Iraq Veterans Memorial: http://iraqmemorial.org/

Department of Veterans Affairs: http://www.va.gov/

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Motorola's Droid Looks Very Nice

Motorola's Droid could be a very hot smartphone.

A long time friend picked up one of the first Droids and absolutley loves it.  Look out iPhone....

Monday, November 9, 2009

NYC 311 - Very Cool Service For Citizens

When I was in New York City giving a keynote at the NYS Forum.  I put together a proposal for a keynote at the following event and  was introduced by Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) Commissioner Paul J. Cosgrave at the following event:




                            NYS Forum IT Corporate Roundtable
                                   MetroNY Program Launch
                                      September 30, 2009


I spoke on the following topic:

                            Open Government: Lessons Learned


Open Government: Lessons Learned - NYS Forum Presentatation
 
Mr. Cosgrave told me about a very cool app for the iPhone called 311 

The 311 system was designed to simplify the lives of New York City residents by having a single number for the of city residents  — questions, complaints, requests for service — through a single phone number, a Web site and an iPhone app that I put on my phone immediately.

Why can't all cities have this type of system?


                       

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Electronic Medical Record Article Misses Main Point

The Washington Post has an article on October 25, 2009 called:

Electronic medical records not seen as a cure-all

The sub title is:

As White House pushes expansion, critics cite errors, drop-off in care






Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 25, 2009 



Four of the points made in the article were:


"Anonymous reports sent to the Joint Commission, the body charged with certifying 17,000 health-care organizations; Grassley's staff; and the Food and Drug Administration disclose problems, including:
-- Faulty software that miscalculated intracranial pressures and mixed up kilograms and pounds.
-- A computer system that systematically gave adult doses of medications to children.
-- An IT program designed to warn physicians about wrong dosages that was disconnected when the vendor updated the system, leading to incorrect dosing.
This Story
-- A software bug that misdiagnosed five people with herpes" 

This article misses the entire point in my opinion.  

The article fails to compare Health Care prior to electronic records and specifically the total number of deaths because electronic records did not exist.  The author digs down into low level examples of computer systems that made mistakes on a wrong dosage and then paints a broad brush that electronic records are inherently bad.   This begs the question, "so having manual paper records are better?"  Of course not.  The author misses the big picture....

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My Cloud Computing Presentation at VT's ACM


Above is a photo of me (hard to see me) presenting to Virginia Tech's Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Meeting on cloud computing.    My oldest son John is the President.   I spoke Wednesday night the 4th of November at VT for one hour and 45 minutes.   Sun Microsystems provided pizza, soft drinks and gave away very nice Java/Sun Microsystems/VT t-shirts in the school color of "Chicago Maroon".

This is the abstract that was used for my presentation:

Cloud Computing is the hottest topic in the IT industry today.  Cloud Computing is also most over loaded buzz word in the IT industry as well.  Come learn:

                What is cloud computing and what is not?
                Where cloud computing is being used and how?
                When cloud computing makes sense and when it does not?
                Why cloud computing is important for a VT student?
                What are the technical challenges of cloud computing?
                Most importantly, how cloud computing can help you at VT
                and in your career after VT?


My slides can be downloaded at VT's ACM site here.


Above is a photo that my son John took of the students and Professors who attended the ACM meeting where I presented.  I received some very nice comments from the students and professors in attendance which I greatly appreciated.

This is the first time that I presented to the VT ACM and the sixth time that Sun Microsystems provided a speaker to the ACM and picked up food and drink.  Previously, I have helped John by bringing down some real thought leaders in the computer industry:

  • Chris Melissinos - Sun's Chief Gaming Officer to speak on gaming
  • Dr. Bruce Haddon to speak on Java and software development
  • Dr. Harry Foxwell to speak on Open Solaris and Solaris
  • Curt Harpold to speak on grid computing
  • Jim Fiori to speak on Software Perfrormance
With Oracle purchasing Sun, this may be the last time that Sun Microsystems provides a speaker.   If this turns out to be the case, I am very proud of Sun Microsystems and how it has helped VT's ACM over the past couple of years.

John is a Senior with 141 credits finishing up his BS in CS/Math and BA in Business as well as working on his Masters in CS as well this year.  I could not be more proud of him.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Open Source Monetization: Follow the Money

  • W. Mark Felt (Deep Throat) never said, “follow the money”, BUT, when it comes to open source, YOU BETTER FOLLOW THE MONEY.   
  • You must know how the software is funded today and how it is funded tomorrow. 
  • Open Source Monetization is an evolving with a community building source and enterprise binary model with horizontal/vertical non-open components  – understand what the open source software monetization strategy is.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

More on My Open Government: Lessons Learned

    • Users, abusers and losers.

      1. /usr/local/src
      2. /usr/local/bin
      • The 3,000 page open source guidelines document.
      • If the average person can not lift the document, then they will never read it.
      • “We're Open”.  The most over-loaded and abused sentence in computing today.  
      • Open source is a mandlebrot continuum.
      • Open source software 101
      • Make sure your data is open first

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Good, Bad and Ugly of Open Source in Government

I gave a talk in NYC called "Open Government:  Lessons Learned" and I am going to share some slides over the next few days.
  •  The first motivation with open source software is typically about saving money.
  • If saving money is higher than #3 on your list you likely have the wrong motivation.  Choice and  Flexibility, Security, Standards and building on a platform all should rank higher than saving money.
  • You're not NSA, don't try to be.
  • Unless you measure your Data Center in acres and you have floors of world class Ph.D.s , then don't fork your own OS or major application.
  • There is a fine line between clever and stupid. 
  • A room and/or software library full of new piece parts will end up being a history bin full of old piece parts.  Think governance.

Monday, November 2, 2009

5th Annual IT Security Automation Conference

This last week I attended The 5th Annual IT Security Automation Conference will be held on October 26-29, 2009.

I sat on a couple of panels:
  • OS Vendor Panel with Microsoft and Red Hat
  • Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP - pronounced "ess CAP" )Panel

It was a great conference and below is the framework and the agenda.
Sponsors:
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), National Security Agency, Defense Information Systems Agency, Department of Homeland Security.
Audience:
Public and Private Sector. Executives, Security Managers and staff, Information Technology (IT) professionals, and Developers and Integrators of Software Products and Services.
Format:
Conference, Tutorials, and Workshop.
Purpose:
Provide a common understanding for using specific open standards and new security technologies across various domains of interest including Cloud Computing, Health Information Technology (IT)/Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) 140, and Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) implementations. This conference will also provide tutorials and workshop regarding Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security technologies and initiatives..
Topics:
  • Cloud Computing (Security and Trust)
  • DoD Data Pilot/Strategy/Architecture
  • Health IT/Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
    ( HIPAA)
  • Crypto/FIPS140
  • Compliance Frameworks/800-53
  • Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP)
In my opinion, the key points from this conference were:
  • This conference is growing at a tremendous rate.
  • SCAP is very real and very important.
  • The quality of the attendees were very impressive.
  • The vendor exhibits were very informative.
  • There is a genuine outreach to vendors from the community and from the vendors to the community.
  • It was great seeing so many long time friends at this conference.
  • The food in Baltimore is always great :-)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Encryption Standard: Inception Until Full Implementation

When I attended The 5th Annual IT Security Automation Conference will be held on October 26-29, 2009, I learned an interesting fact regarding the time it takes for a new encryption standard to reach full maturity. 

This is from the initial point when NIST advertises they are considering a new standard, it has been advertised for admissions, the winner has been selected and finally when it has been fully implemented in the community and industry.

The time it takes?  Nine years.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

GREAT Book: Advice Written on the Back of a Business Card by Roger Smith

This summer, Dr. Roger Smith, CTO for PEO STRI, asked me a very thought provoking question:

"What one piece of career advice would you write on the back of your business card?  Imagine that you are about to give your business card to a young person entering your profession. But first, you turned that card over and wrote a short piece of advice to help them get started in their career. What would you write on the back of your own business card to help this person? "

Roger turned this into a GREAT book that I highly recommend and is called:

Advice Written on the Back of a Business Card

This book provides fantastic advice from a variety of industry thought leaders that is succinct and to the point for anyone who wants to improve their career or life.  This book accomplishes a very rare feat  - it provides clear, concise and compelling advice for anyone.

The book can be purchased at Amazon.com here. 

The book can be purchased at Barnes and Noble here. 

The book can be purchase at Roger's site here as well.

My personal response was captured in the book as well :-)
     
I do have three things that I tell any young person, four things if I think they will listen and five things if I know them.

For any young person, my career advice is:

1) Life is short.
2) Death is certain.
3) If you do not make your own decisions now, time will make them for you.


If I think they are listening to me:

4) Always pay yourself first.  I tell the story about the importance of compound interest using the twins story on my blog.

NOTE: The entry above is from the presentation that I give to Colleges and Unviversities.


Best Halloween EVER 1991 Sunrise in Vienna Austria - SuperSPARC Chip and Socket :-)



Above is a photo from a 1991 Sunrise in Vienna, Austria on Halloween night.  Julie and I were attending Sunrise, which is Sun's highest honor it could give an individual employee, as part of a large group.  I went as a SuperSPARC processor and Julie went as the socket :-)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Brazil's National Health Care System

Brazil is an amazing country.  I would love to visit there some time to learn how they can be so forward thinking and progressive.  Here are some interesting statistics about Brazil and Health Care System:
  • The Brazilian National Health Care System treats about 1.2 million inpatients and 100 million outpatients per month, providing everything from immunization to heart transplants.
  • Complex, diverse computing systems that can effectively exchange huge amounts of patient data are a central requirement of a seamless health care system
  • One of the main goals of the BNHCP was to avoid vendor lock-in or proprietary technology.  
  • Two technologies -- Java technology and the XML data format -- were chosen to achieve this goal.  
  • The nature of the project called for multiple vendors and system integrators to implement the system, and it was necessary to ease integration without hampering the different implementations.  
  • XML, Java technology, and HTTP were used as the "glue" to bring these diverse implementations together relatively quickly.

40th Anniversary of the First Internet Message

Yesterday, October 29th, 2009 was the 40th anniversary of the first message sent on the Internet.

The two letter sent were "lo"  as in "lo and behold", but they were trying to get "login".

As CNN reported when speaking with Leonard Kleinrock:

"But there was no other computer to talk to. So a month later, Stanford Research Institute received its interface message processor, or IMP, connected it to their host computer, and we created the first piece of the backbone network when a 50-kilobit-per-second line was connected between UCLA and SRI.

What we wanted to do was send a message essentially from UCLA to SRI's host. And frankly, all we wanted to do was log in -- to type an l-o-g, and the remote time-sharing system knows what you're trying to do."

The systems crashed after the second letter was sent.  Leonard Kleinrock of UCLA sent the message from UCLA to Stanford Research Institute (SRI).  The two letters traveled about 400 miles.

As National Geograpic reports, "Packet-switching was the original transmission mechanism [for our network] in 1969 and is still the underlying technology of the Internet today," said Kleinrock.

Here is a great picture of the Interface Message Processor (IMP) that sent the first message.

Checkout this cool video on the start of the Internet. It also shows the last video game I played from beginning to end - Pong :-)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What Is SOA?

  • First, SOA IS NOT A PRODUCT
  • SOA is a common sense approach that is both time and road/track tested software development style for building applications using services available in a network (think Sun Microsystems “The Network is the Computer”)
  • These software services are relatively large-grained:
    (like: Fraud Detection, Address Change, Payment Management, Trade Execution) 
  • Implementations are shielded by a public interfaces aka services  
  • The change to an underlying implementation, should not change the existing interface.
  • Services form building blocks of  SOA applications 
  • Applications that use these services are called Composite Applications

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

SOA Basics To Think About

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) Basics To Think About...

Common Services are defined for all developers to use

The perfect program would simply call existing services SOA is about being pragmatic:

  • Iterative and incremental adoption and build out “Wrap and Reuse” instead of “Rip and Replace”
  • Going back into legacy code that is running fine, rip it apart, insert new functionality is typically not a good idea
  • Sometimes a rewrite in a more open and scalable language is the correct answer
  • The rules to use create and use these services is called governance
    Governance is the BOTH the definition and enforcement of these rules aka policies

Monday, October 26, 2009

Brazil and Java

  • A Java application sent and received 25 million income tax filings in two months.  That was 100% of all income tax filings.  
  • The main news organization stated that the number of submissions had surpassed all of their estimates, there were no problems reported, no last minute issues and they were “without words” in their analysis :-) 
  • Java is the language that is used to control 100% of all external commerce of Brazil Java is used in all the government owned banks for the ATMs 
  • A Java application manages the education system for all students in all public schools in Brazil.
  • Java and the LWUIT (Light Weight UI Toolkit) will be the Brazilian Digital TV Standard.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Thanks Mark Hapner - Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems

This past Friday was Mark Hapner's last day at Sun Microsystems.  Mark was a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems.

Mark has been a real friend and mentor.  I was very fortunate to be able
to learn from Mark over the years.  This included not only software at Sun Microsystems but in our private lives as well.  Mark is a real Corvette and automotive expert.  We went to Corvettes at Carlisle last year which was a lot of fun.

Mark was hired as a member of Sun's object technology group to work on the specs Sun was preparing for submission to OMG.   Mark later joined JavaSoft in early '96 to work with Graham Hamilton and Rick Cattell on JDBC which lead to the creation of J2EE.

Mark is a real thought leader and just a great guy.  Mark can not be replaced and will be sorely missed.  I wish Mark nothing but the best and hope we will remain in contact.  

Thanks Mark.

The Two Things You Need To Know

Glen Whitman, Economist( (his Two Things You Need To Know is here), was asked the following at a diner:

“What are the two things you need to know about Economics?  Glen replied with:
         
                  1) Incentives matter.
                  2) There is no such thing as a free lunch.

He then came to the conclusion that:  "For every subject, there are really only two things you really need to know. Everything else is the application of those two things, or just not important.”

I think Glen Whitman is brilliant in his clear, concise and compelling summary of topics.


“I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.”  Mark Twain ended in a letter to a friend

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Droid Does Advertisements/Commercials

I love the new Android 2.0 "Droid Does" commercials.


  • iDon't customize
  • iDon't have interchangeable batteries
  • iDon't run simultaneous apps
  • iDon't allow open development   
      Everything iDon't
Have I mentioned that I want Android to kick the iPhone's butt in the market place (even though I currently own an iPhone as do two of my sons) ?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Successful SOA in the Enterprise

I am in Moncton today to give a keynote on SOA in the Enterprise.  I am going to share some of the data over the next week regarding successful SOA in the enterprise.  This is an extremely strong area for Sun.  Below is just one example of Java being used for a variety of applications in Brazil.
  • The Brazilian National Health Care System treats about 1.2 million inpatients and 100 million outpatients per month, providing everything from immunization to heart transplants. 
  • Complex, diverse computing systems that can effectively exchange huge amounts of patient data are a central requirement of a seamless health care system 
  • One of the main goals of the BNHCS was to avoid vendor lock-in or proprietary technology.   Two technologies -- Java technology and the XML data format -- were chosen to achieve this goal.  
  • The nature of the project called for multiple vendors and system integrators to implement the system, and it was necessary to ease integration without hampering the different implementations.
  • XML, Java technology, and HTTP were used as the "glue" to bring these diverse implementations together relatively quickly. 
  • A Java application sent and received 25 million income tax filings in two months.  That was 100% of all income tax filings.   The main news organization stated that the number of submissions had surpassed all of their estimates, there were no problems reported, no last minute issues and they were “without words” in their analysis :-)
  • Java is the language that is used to control 100% of all external commerce of Brazil Java is used in all the government owned banks for the ATMs
  • A Java application manages the education system for all students in all public schools in Brazil.
  • Java and the LWUIT (Light Weight UI Toolkit) will be the Brazilian Digital TV Standard.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Scott McNealy's Keynote at Oracle World - Top 10 Innovations at Sun

If you are a fan of Sun Microsystems, a fan of Scott McNealy or just a student of computer history, this video of Scott McNealy at Oracle World is a must watch. 

Scott listed his Top 10 Innovations at Sun:

  1. NFS/PC-NFS Technology
  2. SPARC
  3. Open Source Technology
  4. BSD + UNIX System 5 = Solaris
  5. Java (Java Card, Java SE/ME/EE and JavaFX)
  6. E10K Starfire (came from a Cray acquisition)
  7. ZFS/Open StorateFlash (Exadata)
  8. Project BlackBox
  9. Sun Ray
  10. CMT (Chip Multi-Threading)
I agree with this list except for Project Black Box.  I think DTrace should be in its place.  I am biased, but I don't think there is a company that has been a better steward of technology and innovation than Sun Microsystems.

James Gosling, the father of Java, also came on to speak about what he sees happening with Oracle and Java.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Neil Groundwater Wearing Virginia Tech Solaris Shirt in Africa :-)



Above is Neil Groundwater wearing the Virginia Tech Solaris shirt I designed for my son John when he was a Sun Campus Ambassador and President of the ACM.

Thanks Neil for having Beth take this very cool photo!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Global Chief Technologist Role for Software At Sun

I was in Milan, Italy this past week meeting with lots of customers from all around the globe.  On the way home, I had lots of time :-) to think about how much I enjoy my role as Global Chief Technologist (CT) for Global Systems Engineering in the Software Line of Business.   This was very exciting for me as I was named the CT for North America's Software Practice in the summer of 2004 and a couple of years later I was the CT for America's Software Practice which included both North and South America.

It was on June 4th, 2009 I was announced as the Chief Technologist (CT) for Global Systems Engineering in the Software Line of Business reporting to James Hollingshead.


This Earth Rise Photo reminds me of my role :-)

This position of being the CT for Global Systems Engineering Line Of Business has allowed me to further  emphasize the global nature of my job and here is just a list of some of the functions I have greatly enjoyed:

Working with Sun's global customers, global partners and global employees is something that I truly enjoy doing on a daily basis.

Providing input to Sun's Software Business Units (BU) via the Product/Technology Leads Group that I lead was a key factor for Sun's Software direction.  We would gather global input from Sun's customers, Partners and employees in a very organized fashion.


The SoftWare Technical Roundtable (SWTR) is a weekly technology show that I initially hosted from a North America, then an America's perspectice and a few years ago I took it global for both Sun employees and Sun's Partners.

I am very proud of the work I have done with MTConnect, MTAG and being on the MTConnect Institute Board of Directors - all of which is global in nature.

I have greatly enjoyed being Principal Field Technologist (PFT) Guide for SEs around the globe.
Attending the World Congress for Information Technology was a tremendous experience.

It was a real pleasure to lead the creation of Software Genius University (SGU) with some of our top SEs in the Software Practice and across Sun that delivered 760 hours of content and to see that be embraced globally as well.

I was the "father" of the Mid Atlantic Area Technology Center for Sun.  This multi-million dollar Center had over 300 customers from around the globe through it in just over seven years and has posted world class industry leading benchmarks.  The Center won the 1996 World Wide System Engineering Creativity Award.

Just selecting one global trip of note is hard, but when a small group of us went to Bangalore to meet with Sun's Engineering group and spending a week there it was very educational and interesting.

Going to Puerto Rico to speak in front of 200 Presidents of companies from around the globe was a trip to remember as well.


Working Java One every year is always very education and interesting to talk technology with folks from around the globe.

Attending seven of Sun's prestigious Sunrise trips that were recognized globally was always a thrill.

These are just a small fraction of the global activities I have had, but I thought it was worth capture at least some of these...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Google's Android - I Hope and Expect it to beat the iPhone

I have an iPhone and like it for most of the stuff that is not that important.  What I mean is that after getting an iPhone it became quite clear why business people will carry both an iPhone and a Blackberry.   The reason is that Apple has a choke hold on creative business apps such as email.  There is an article I just read in the New York Times about Android where there is much great emphasis on the developer.


I would absolutely love to see Android kick the iPhone's rear in the market place. I do not have anything against Apple or my iPhone 3GS, I just want to see open systems win.  Also, don't get me started on Google Voice and the iPhone :-)

Friday, October 9, 2009

SPARCstation IPC Can Be Still Be Useful :-)

This is someone's actual urn - a SPARCstation IPC:

Personally, I would like to think my "forever after" is worth more than 15.8
MIPS, but an IPC is about the right physical size.  Check out the caption as
well on the IPC - priceless :-)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Reminder That The Open Source Tipping Point HAS ALREADY Occurred

It is worth reminding everyone that it has been almost a year and a half since Gartner stated that the tipping point in Open Source has already occurred.   
Gartner stated that 2/3 of clients are using open source software in Mission Critical Applications!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Open Government: Lessons Learned - NYS Forum Presentatation

Last week I was in New York City giving a keynote at the NYS Forum.  I put together a proposal for a keynote at the following event:

                            NYS Forum IT Corporate Roundtable
                                   MetroNY Program Launch
                                      September 30, 2009
There were only two proposals accepted and mine was one of them, which I felt great about:

                            Open Government: Lessons Learned

Dave Edstrom has worked in the computer industry for 31+ years in the Washington, DC area. Dave meets with countless government agencies who are implementing open source with the goal of increasing the quality of services while reducing costs.   Dave will share the good, the bad and the ugly of open source initiatives in the government with an emphasis on applying these lessons learned not only today, but also into the future of the cloud.

The talk went exceptionally well and I received a number of very positive comments and discussions for follow up.  I am looking forward to working with the great folks of NYS Forum.  Below is the overall agenda of the day:
Below is the agenda that  I created for this talk:

  • First, Some Common Vocabulary
  • The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Open Source Software in Government
         We'll get Bad and Ugly out of the way first :-) 
  • How To Create A Open Source Revolution 
  • Clearing Up The Clouds 
  • The BIG Picture Points To Remember
As one of my slides points out:

  • The first motivation with open source software is typically about saving money.
  • If saving money is higher than #3 on your list you likely have the wrong motivation.  Choice and  Flexibility, Security, Standards and building on a platform all should rank higher than saving money.
  • You're not NSA, don't try to be. Unless you measure your Data Center in acres and you have floors of world class Ph.D.s , then don't fork your own OS or major application.
  • There is a fine line between clever and stupid. (great Spinal Tap line :-)
  • A room and/or software library full of new piece parts will end up being a history bin full of old piece parts.  Think governance. 
Thanks to Chris Hankin and Mike Dergurahian of Sun Microsystems for their great pointers and suggestions!
I will include more specifics and photos in later postings when I get back from Milan, Italy next week.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

In Milan, Italy Attending EMO MILANO 2009 - Machine Tool Conference - MTConnect Intro

I am in Milan, Italy this week week attending EMO MILANO 2009.  I am attending for Sun Microsystems and working the MTConnect Institute demonstration booth meeting with customers, OEMs, vendors and Partners.    EMO MILANO is a HUGE machine tool conference.  What is a machine tool?  

I will meet with Sun's customers later this week to discuss cloud computing as well as MTConnect.   

What is MTConnect?

By far the most fun and most satisfaction that I have had in my 29+ years in the computer industry and my 20 1/2 years at Sun Microsystems has been working with the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT).
AMT's membership includes machine tool and software companies used in the CAD/CAM industry. Machine tools are the large machines that are used to create a variety of parts such as engine blocks out of raw materials typically by using a variety of cutting devices. AMT's membership also includes software companies used in the CAD/CAM industry. This is a classic American industry. This industry employees many of my relatives who live in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Back to the beginning of the story. I was ask to line up a Sun Manufacturing Executive to speak at AMT's Annual Member Meeting in October 2006. When my third contact at Sun was no longer available to speak, I called the President of AMT, John Byrd, to apologize that we had let AMT down. After finishing the half-hour long conversation with Mr. Byrd, Peter Eelman, VP of Marketing for AMT, called me and asked if I would like to do the keynote. While I was flattered that I would be asked to give this keynote, I explained I would Need to get up to speed on the machine tool industry.

To prepare for the Annual Meeting, I spent two days in Chicago at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) meeting with a number of companies in mid September. IMTS is the world's largest trade show of machine tool companies. I was very fortunate to have Paul Warndorf, ATM's CTO, taking me through IMTS introducing me to the largest as well as the most influential hardware and software machine tool-CAD/CAM companies.

At the end of the second day I met with John Byrd, along with a number of his VPs, to discuss what he learned. I told them I felt the machine tool industry did not have a manufacturing problem, but a computer science collaboration problem. When I inquired on the economics of our industry, I was told that the American machine tool companies have seen their domestic market share go from 70% in 1986 to 15% in 2006.

I made two suggestions for the machine tool industry:

1) They needed a wakeup call to start a revolution.
2) They needed to hear from someone who has led technology revolutions.

I said that I could, with proper preparation, do the wakeup call. The real challenge was that I knew of only one person who had the credentials to discuss the technology revolution that our machine tool industry CEOs would be able to relate to. That person was Dr. Dave Patterson of University California at Berkeley. I told AMT about Dr. Patterson's leadership with RISC and RAID. I said I would reach out to Dr. Patterson, but I felt the odds that Dr. Patterson would be available to do this, in a little over five weeks time, would be a long shot at best.

Fortunately for the American machine tool industry, Dr. Patterson agreed to change his busy schedule to come to speak at our member meeting.

There were numerous emails, con calls and meetings during that brief five week period to bring both Dr. Patterson and me up to speed as well as to collaborate on the wake up call and the revolution or "moon shot" as I called it.

The title of my talk was, "How The Internet's Participation Age Will Drive Dramatic Changes In The Machine Tool Industry".





Historically, the Machine Tool industry has been very Microsoft centric from the developer tools to the systems running the actual machine tools on the shop floor. I drove home the importance of open systems and open standards to AMT's members. I discussed the importance of taking advantage of the grid to reduce costs. Embracing standards has been a huge problem for our industry. In 2005, the manufacturing industry lost $90 billion dollars in data incompatibility costs. I discussed Sun's NFS Connectathons as a viable mechanism we could model to take standards from theory to reality.
The title of Dr. Patterson's talk was "Creating a Thriving Manufacturing Base in 21st Century America".




Dr. Patterson explained the "miracle" of university research. Dr. Patterson pointed to one example after another of university research efforts that turned into multi-billion dollar a year companies and industries. As he summarized his presentation, Dr. Patterson issued a set of challenges to the CEOs in attendance to start the revolution. There was a lengthy Q&A session after Dr. Patterson's talk.

The meeting was a tremendous success. Dr. Patterson were brilliant and I was not too bad myself in providing a wakeup call and issuing a set of challenges to our industry with a clear framework to accomplish these very important goals.

MTConnect is now being officially introduced to Europe via EMO MILANO 2009!