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Displaying posts with tag: IT Industry (reset)
Open Source Hardware

Back in 2010 I stopped buying test servers from Dell and began building them from components using Intel i7 processors, X58-based mother boards, and modular power supplies from Ultra.  It was a good way to learn about hardware.  Besides, it was getting old to pay for Dell desktop systems with Windows, which I would then wipe off when installing Linux.  Between the educational value of understanding the systems better, selecting the exact components I wanted, and being able to fix problems quickly, it has been one of the best investments I have ever made.  And it didn't cost any more than equivalent Dell servers.

For this reason, a couple of recent articles about computer hardware caught my attention.  First, Dell is losing business as companies like Facebook build their own …

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Is Apple Good for Innovation?

Just about everyone on the planet agrees that Apple products are the soul of innovative design.  But are they good for innovators?  For me the answer is "not so much."

I have been using Apple laptops and iPhones for years.  As a software developer, I have a list of annoyances with Mac OS X starting with Apple's incomprehensible management of Java.  However, Mac OS X is far more productive than MS Windows, with its viruses, crummy OS releases, and bloatware.  iPhones are close to worthless as telephones in the area where I live in large part due to ATT's network.  But you can now switch to Verizon, so that's not such a problem either.

The real problem with Apple is that their products are closed.  Want to install a new file system?  Not here.  Want to pick a different motherboard to play around with power utilization?  Try somewhere else.  Want to know what the OS is …

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It's All about the Team

Earlier this week Giuseppe Maxia blogged about joining Continuent as Director of QA.  Creating high quality systems for distributed data management is a hard but fascinating problem.  I have been hooked on it myself for many years.  Guiseppe brings the creativity as well as humor our team needs to nail this problem completely.  I'm therefore delighted to know he will be focused on it.

That said, I'm even happier for another reason.  Beyond solving any single problem, Giuseppe strengthens an already strong team.  Ed Catmull of Pixar gave a great speech a few years ago about managing creative teams and why successful companies eventually fail.  Among other things he asked the question whether it is the idea or the people …

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Help MySQL Stay Free

There's a campaign started by Monty Widenius to save MySQL from the evil clutches of Oracle. You can read about it here.

Building the Open Source Hackers Cooperative

It is striking how much harder it is to make money from open source than to write it in the first place. Open source development is a sophisticated and well-understood social activity. However, the economic model is often laughably primitive: "if you build it, they will come." That applies to the question of turning your open source project into a real job. More interestingly, it applies to the question of how to make open source projects as valuable as possible to the largest number of people. In this post I would like to propose an answer to both questions.

To illustrate open source sophistication, just look how easy it has become to start and manage projects. It is almost a cookie-cutter procedure. You pick one of a number of well known licenses, manage the code on or Launchpad, communicate with the project …

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MySQL Conference Impressions and Slides

"Interesting" was probably the most overused word at the MySQL Conference that just ended yesterday. Everyone is waiting to find out more about the Oracle acquisition of Sun. As a community we need to find some synonyms or things will become very tiresome. Personally I vote for intriguing.

Here are slides for my presentations at the MySQL Conference as well as the parallel Percona Performance is Everything Conference. Thanks to everyone to attended as well as to the organizers. You had wonderful ideas and suggestions.

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Contemplating the MySQL Diaspora

The break-up of the MySQL codeline is finally attracting attention from polite society outside the open source database community. This attention has been accompanied by much speculation, some of it informed and some not so informed about what is driving the split. Since everyone else is chipping in theories about how and why, here's mine:

It's the economy, stupid.

First, MySQL AB seeded a huge market for the MySQL database. MySQL 5.1 for …

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Drizzle is Cool but Confusing

Brian Aker's Drizzle post was the most interesting news to emerge during OSCON 2008. In case you have been on vacation, Drizzle is a stripped down version of MySQL for horizontally scaled web applications and Cloud Computing. Full-blown SQL databases are often overkill here, a point of view espoused by this blog among others.

It's easy to get excited about Drizzle. Brian, Monty, and others define the problem space very clearly and list some intriguing feature ideas on the Drizzle wiki. Just one example: sharding across multiple nodes, which is key to scaling massive reads and writes. From a technical perspective, it sounds cool.

Still, there's a dark side for …

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Atlassian Using Hyperic

I just saw that Atlassian, the provider of the essential community tools like Confluence wiki and JIRA ticket system, updated their wiki on the importance of monitoring the “lifeblood of your organization”.

They even outline the important monitoring tasks you need, and stress that it will help when dealing with their own world class support.

Monitoring involves a number of essential tasks, including those listed below:

  • Monitoring log files.
  • Checking for HTTP-availability and performance (e.g. by getting the same page every five minutes and displaying the time on a graph).
  • Looking at many different parameters such as load, connections, IO, database-trends, and so …
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What Else *Would* Oracle Say?

This just in. In a long interview on Linux Voices, Oracle's Linux architect Edward Screven comments on the MySQL/Sun acquisition.

...we just don’t care. I mean, we don’t see MySQL very often, again, in competitive deals. It’s out there, but it’s not very often that a database sales rep comes back and says, “I had to compete for the business against MySQL.”

To be fair the question is about how the MySQL acquisition affects Linux. But it seems really hard to believe Oracle does not care about MySQL. This is the same company that bought InnoDB. There is no doubt that Oracle is watching developments at Sun very carefully. The interesting problem for Oracle is not simply that Sun now has MySQL. It is that Sun owns or backs a portfolio of open source databases. And there are plenty of companies besides Sun that are …

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