How real is virtuality

We travelled north up the strip, and had dinner at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba. It was a bit of a European thing with a bunch of Brits, French and Germans. This cafe has an excellent if more limited wine list and we were fortunate to have the advice of Eric Bezille and Dave Tong. Our waiter was excellent, knew what he was selling and very patient. It must be hard selling to a bunch of opinionated engineers. We talked about a number of things, of which one was “Second Life”.

Sun CEC 2007

I visited California (& Nevada) for training and conferences with Sun, the first part was at Seascape, Monteray and was the bi-annual Distinguished Engineers conference, we ended up in Las Vegas for the Customer Engineering Conference. I led a team that built and ran a messaging service for managing questions to the presenters. I did a bit of blogging which can be picked up at my sun/oracle blog. It would seem that the technical stuff about how we built and ran the messaging system was hosted on an internal site and so is unavailable; the blog on question quality remains quite interesting.

Sun CEC 2006

I returned from Sun’s West coast training events today; my trip started last month and the original articles can be found here…. Potentially worth revisiting are my articles on system/data centre density and the dichotomy between M&E management and the management of the IT payload. I wrote a bit about managing the backstage technology but in retrospect, from reading the notes, a downbeat trip. On the flight home, for once, I left the movies alone and finished Jennifer Government by Max Barry

McNealy and Best Blog

The previous meeting was so good, I almost missed Scott’s presentation, as I entered the Hall I bumped into Ken Pepple who said that I’d missed a presentation to me and I’d won an award. I thought he was winding me up so I told him to go away. “Yeah, Yeah – pull the other one its got bells”, so Ken decided to ignore me. So we listened to Scott, present to us, and again I offer you some belated highlights.

Searching the Net

I dropped in see Tom Clark at the Sun Library stand, who was demonstrating “Grokker” (released by Groxis (nice favicon)), a search visualisation package that the library staff have put in front of some of their collections. He ran a couple of queries which just showed how lazy “page rank” has made us. Grokker presents its findings in a series of concentric circles. We discussed the fact that colour and size should be significant, otherwise, its pretty much an explorer hierarchy using encapsulated circles, rather than the expanding/contracting explorer. Its quite dramatic

Sun’s Products and Solutions

Today’s gone very quickly, but this morning my highlights were John Fowler and Mark Canepa. As previously their slides are at the Sun Analyst Summit site. These guys were preceded by John Lociano, (VP Software) who has recently visited the UK, he introduced us to his CTO, Juan Carlo Soto. Juan Carlo went through a couple of things but his emphasis on the Predictive Self Healing features of Solaris 10 was interesting but it’s hard to sell and understand features (such as availability) that customers take for granted.

Sun’s new utility

Robert Youngjohns, spoke arguing that Applications will conform to the Utility platform (Solaris or J2EE), Is this true? Robert uses his own personal solution to his electricity problem after moving to the US where he had to get rid of his lovely solid UK plugs for the nasty dangerous easy to fallout US plugs, with one exception. Robert reckons there’ll be exceptions in IT as well, although his domestic example is a legacy appliance. My concern is the new applications that deliver compelling competitive advantage and are written in house.

Technology Futures

Sadly Greg Papadopolus, SUN CTO was not available, but a video of his pitch was presented. (His slides are here… ). He starts by exploring the change in software economics from shrink wrap to service and from their shows how organisations can leverage network organisations and immersive supply chain management to great new applications fabrics by assembling service. Unfortunately, he uses the word “Outsource”, which in some places remains sensible, but is often a dirty word for dumping cost (& inefficiency) somewhere else. The search for excellent business performance is required, so crude outsourcing is never a good thing; businesses can always save their outsourcers margin, and if they’re lazy the customer pays for that as well.