Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Secrets of rock star programmers

It is a book published in 2008, and it is people who are rock star programmers. Here is an excerpt from an interesting interview by the creator of Spring framework.

Ed: Okay, let's run with that. Can you say more about some character attributes of successful developers?

Rod: Good general problem-solving skills & energy -- I'm sure this is the same for success in any field. Highly successful people have abnormal amounts of energy and passion, and that's extremely important. To get outstanding results, you have to care more than average. You really have to care about doing the best that you can.

Read complete article here...

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The benefits of freely distrubuted software products

This post by Jonathan Schwartz, the CEO of SUN, talks about SUN acquiring MySQL. But it also spells out the advantages of freely distributed products and of open source in general.
clipped from

Today, Sun announced we've closed the acquisition of MySQL - MySQL is now officially a part of Sun! From a dinner meeting back in late November, through some introspection from MySQL's CEO, to a closing today in late February - everyone involved showed a great sense of pace, urgency and excitement. And now, it's off to the races!

Companies that freely distribute their products, rather than limit access via pricing or proprietary licensing, are simply prioritizing adoption over immediate revenue - a good example of this is Microsoft's recent attempt to revive adoption of their developer tools in universities by lowering some prices to free.

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Time to dump Windows?

Amazing: Vista spends a lot of effort on trying to keep the users locked in. Instead, it seems to cause the desire to run away.

Time to dump Windows?

Readers respond to petition to not end Windows XP sales by suggesting alternatives such as Mac OS X and Linux

February 26, 2008 (InfoWorld)
InfoWorld's "Save XP" petition asking Microsoft to keep Windows XP available indefinitely, not end most sales on June 30 as currently planned, has prompted many readers to suggest that maybe the best answer for those who don't like Vista is to switch to another operating system completely.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Secure your Windows desktop

and re-use government work at the same time. They have already prepared the tested spec for you, so why not piggy back on that effort. Here is an article in eWeek, which has further references.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

That's how you do it!

Here is a fantastic overview of a real, working, high-performance system which carries a big load

Web conferencing services - inside and out

This week's featured article offers four case studies in Java-based Web conferencing services development. Like all profiles in this new series, this week's profile concludes with a snapshot of the development platform, system hardware, and lessons learned in the process of bringing these Java-based services to life. Ed Hardebeck, vice president of engineering for Glance, submitted the following specs for this desktop sharing tool:

Development platform

  • Java, C++, Assembler when it needs to be done this nanosecond
  • ActiveX
  • Windows SDK/DDK
  • Cocoa
  • Carbon
  • OpenGL
  • ASP
  • FreeBSD
  • OpenSSL

System architecture

  • At two co-location sites, one east coast and one west coast, we run clusters of inexpensive Intel-based servers.
  • Web servers are IIS on Windows using Windows Load Balancing (Web service is not a bottleneck for us).
  • Database is replicated between east and west coasts.
  • Web services and database use proprietary monitoring and fail-over architectures. Either co-lo could die completely and we'd still be live.
  • Communication servers that route and manage our streaming media use our proprietary traffic-based load balancing.
  • Because connection speed is so important in a Web conferencing application, we have redundant optimized routing to all major Internet backbones.

What we know now

  • Release early, rev often.
  • You can't have too much bandwidth or too little latency.
  • Connections are more important than memory; memory is more important than CPU.
  • Multi-threading is a convenient, elegant, and slow way to write a server. Locking and context-switching are not your friends.
  • Monitor everything (we use Hobbit as well as many custom scripts), and have extensive logging and analysis to diagnose bottlenecks and problems.
  • For any kind of online service, everything reflects on you, even things you can't control. And the hardest thing to control is the last mile, and the last five feet. The customer's experience depends so much on their Internet connection and their local firewall, proxy server, wireless connection or $50 router (especially when streaming data up!). You can't predict what speed of machine with what video card or driver they'll have, what operating system of what version, what personal firewall, what browser or what version of Java. You just have to always have another technology trick up your sleeve, and write code that better and better adapts to whatever environment it finds.

Read more: Java solutions profiles - Java Web conferencing

E-Discovery Ensures Evidence Can't Hide

This article should talk to lawyers directly, here it is for everybody's enjoyment
clipped from

If you think you can hide evidence in the deep recesses of your computer system, you might want to talk to Jim Hennenhoefer.

The San Diego area family law attorney is one of many in his field turning to "e-discovery," an emerging discipline that helps investigators locate just about anything tucked away in electronic files -- text, images, appointments, databases, Web sites and more.

In a divorce Hennenhoefer recently handled, e-discovery efforts led to evidence of pricey commercial real estate one spouse carefully had kept off the other's radar. Electronic sleuthing uncovered a trail of shell companies that led to the husband's ownership of a $9 million building in Los Angeles.

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Easy and fun way to create web pages

Jeremiah Grossman (see his blog post) with friends created Roxer. It is a totally simple but powerful way to create web pages, and they even host it for you. Definitely worth a try.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Don't Worry Be Happy - to the Utmost

Nothing beats this true story for fun and enjoyment
clipped from

Catch of the day: Cocaine

Saturday February 09, 2008
By Jonathan Franklin

At first glance, Bluefields in Nicaragua looks like any other rum-soaked, Rastafarian-packed, hammock-infested Caribbean paradise. But Bluefields has a secret.

People here don't have to work. Every week, sometimes every day, 35kg sacks of cocaine drift in from the sea. The economy of this entire town of 50,000 tranquil souls is addicted to cocaine.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Solaris as developer platform

I run Ubuntu and Fedora as my development platforms. But Solaris latest release, with all the features that it advertises, may be a preferred developer platform. At least worth taking a look.

Sun Microsystems releases Solaris Express Developer Edition 1/08, its free OpenSolaris-based distribution targeted at developers running on x86 systems. Major highlights of this release include: NetBeans 6.0 Integrated web stack (Apache, MySQL, Ruby, Php, PostgreSQL)with start/stop service controller for MySQL and Apache. You can bring up a test MySQL/Apache environment in a matter of minutes--a huge improvement over any previous Solaris release. Interoperability with Microsoft's CIFS protocol Support for virtual machines via Sun xVM hypervisor, based on technology from the Xen community Sun HPC ClusterTools based on the Open MPI effort also included As always, NetBeans, Sun Studio tools, and other developer tools are automatically installed during OS installation. Solaris Express Developer Edition (SXDE) is a release of leading edge Solaris technology, with a modern GNOME desktop environment and improved laptop support. It is a more thoroughly tested release than the every-two-week Solaris Express Community Edition, and includes NetBeans, Sun Studio, and other developer tools. Solaris Express Developer Edition

Friday, February 1, 2008

Real life and real number of eDiscovery consultin

Maryland A story from Maryland’s Daily Record entitled "How law firms are coping in the era of e-discovery" elucidates some of the practical aspects of how law firms are dealing with e-discovery projects.

One spotlight in the story shines on Bowie & Jensen LLC litigator Matthew Hjortsberg who is obviously very comfortable using the Internet. He admits to using the SEC’s EDGAR database, a Greek singles Web site, and the Wayback Machine in past matters for reconnaissance on the opposing party. He accurately states: ...

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