Wednesday, September 27, 2006


OpenSolaris and VMware Workstation: Update

Good news about VMware and OpenSolaris, I was wrong about one thing: the new VMware Workstation does have VM tools for Solaris! (Thank you Adam for the correction) I went by the help document in VMware workstation which must be out of date. I don't know what came over me, I usually ignore the help docs.

I tried out the tools with the latest SXCR and does seem to work so far.

This is good news. So now you don't have any excuses, get yourself VMware Workstation and download Solaris!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


OpenSolaris and VMware Workstation: Much Better!

It has been awhile since I played around with OpenSolaris on VMware Workstation. The good news is that Solaris 10 is now officially supported on VMware Workstation 5.5.2 but still no VM tools which is a bummer but no big deal. So I gave SXCR build 48 on the latest VMware workstation a try. Before there were some issues with the video that required readjustment after the install, well no more, it just works. Even the problem with the screen saver seems to fixed now too.

So if you want to try out Solaris but don't have the right hardware, give VMware Workstation a try. It is much less annoying to deal with than it used to be!

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Apps I would like to see on Solaris

Solaris has really come a long way as a desktop OS in a very short time. I believe much of this has to do with efforts to make Linux into a first class desktop. But there are still a few things missing that I would like to see:

1. VMware Workstation If I got this I could scratch all the rest off the list. Right now there are only two ways to run another OS on top of Solaris: the SUNPci card which is Sparc only and obsolete for the most part. The other is BrandZ which can only do Linux and still a work in progress. This is a real shame because if you want to do virtualization you are stuck with Solaris being the guest and something else being the host. It really should be the other way around!

2. Quicktime I guess I don't really care if I have Quicktime, I just want to play Quicktime files. Sometimes that's the only way content is available. And while I am it iTunes would be nice.

3. Windows Media Player Strange when you think about it, but you could run Windows Media Player on Solaris up until 9. Same reasoning as with Quicktime, I just want to be able to see the content and I don't care how.

4. Lotus Notes/Sametime We use this at work so it would be a nice to have, especially Sametime. Why IBM released it only for Redhat only is beyond me. Actually it isn't but I'll be nice.

5. A Word Processor with a Grammar Checker Read enough of my blog posts and you'll understand why I need that.

And that's it. Not too bad really.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


OpenSolaris Build Time: HP Pavilion a642n

I built OpenSolaris on the HP Pavilion a642n took around 5 hours. I figured it would be a little faster but I think one problem is memory, it only has 512mb. But that really isn't too bad for a cheap computer I picked up at Best Buy 2 years ago and did no upgrades on.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Java: The new C++

I have been using Java since 1.0. Then one thing I really liked about Java back then was its simplicity. At the time I was a C programmer learning C++ so when I first wrote my first real Java application it felt like a breath of fresh air because it was so simple and was great for certain things that were pain in C/C++. Even as the platform grew at an exponential pace the language really didn’t change a great deal from Java 1.1 to Java 1.5. It appears that there are even bigger changes are coming in future releases, especially in Dolphin or Java 7. No one can say that Java is a simple language anymore.

This progression is natural and isn’t a bad thing. Java has grown to do just about everything and anything, like the type of thing that C++ is, minus the pointer arithmetic stuff of course.

No need to lament over it, we have even better options today for simple languages than Java was back in the day and we have a great platform to build all of those large and complex enterprisey apps.

Monday, September 04, 2006


No Fluff Just Stuff 2006 Anthology Review

Don't let the title of No Fluff Just Stuff 2006 Anthology fool you. From it you might think that it is just a collection of Powerpoint presentations or something from the highly acclaimed NFJS conference. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Instead it is a collection of 15 different short technical articles addressing a range timely topics. The anthology is meant to showcase the quality of the speakers that present at NFJS and it does a great job at doing so. Just about any developer will find something in the smorgsbord interesting. There are topics ranging from Enterprise Service Buses to cascading Style Sheets. All of the articles are excellent but here are my top three favorites:

  1. Buried Treasure by Glenn Vanderburg Here I think the editor saved the best for last. With the incredible speed at which new technologies come and go in our industry it is very refreshing to hear someone advocating that we can't forget the past. Glenn certainly isn't advocating not adopting new technologies, to the contrary he really speaks highly of Ruby on Rails, but makes a great point about not loosing sight of things that were already solved in the past.

  2. From Fragility to Agility: Methodologies and Practices by Venkat Subramaniam I am a big fan of agile methodologies so naturally I really enjoyed Venkat's book Practices of an Agile Developer and this article is no exception. He does an excellent job of describing some of the agile methodologies along with their pros and cons.

  3. Real-World Web Services by Scott Davis This is a simple and straight forward article on Web Services and is a great introduction. It is nice to see an article geared toward beginners but still is a great read. That is the great thing about the anthology, it has something for everyone.

Friday, September 01, 2006


I can print!

Printing has always been one of those things that I never bothered to get working in Solaris. I never wanted anything fancy, just plug in my HP inkjet and print out a document from Star Office and all with all to be done with no effort on my part. Since today is a rainy today and there is nothing else to do I cracked my knuckles and figured today will be the day I can print from Solaris. To my surprise it's really easy in the latest build of OpenSolaris. I plugged in my HP Officejet v40xi and then selected "Add Printer" from the JDS preferences menu. In about 30 seconds with a few mindless button clicks I had my printer setup. I figured that was just too easy so I opened up a sample drawing in Star Office and hit print and what you know, it printed with no problems!

It really is amazing when you think about the improvements in usability from Solaris 10 to Solaris 11 a.k.a. OpenSolaris.

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