Thursday, October 19, 2006

Where have I been?

For the 2 or 3 of you who might actually read this site. Between an early season flu and my PowerBook G4 need to have it's logic board replaced I have been out of commission. I am all well now and my PowerBook G4 is flying right. I will update the site later today and I hope to make more frequent updates going forward.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

SGI finally puts MIPS/IRIX out of its misery

As of December 29, 2006 SGI will cease production of MIPS-based workstations running IRIX. You can read about it here.

Well, I don't think anyone could possibly be surprised. It's long past time that SGI retired these systems and started thinking about rethinking the graphics workstation. Hopefully, there are still some engineers at SGI cooking up some new workstations to replace the outgoing, outdated MIPS-based ones.

I never had much experience with IRIX beyond the few fleeting moments I spent with an Indy getting it set up to connect to the Internet and our internal network. It was a sight to behold, all clad in funky blue plastic. I wanted one. Hell, what geek wouldn't want one.

SGI has dropped a lot of balls in the past 5 years, but this isn't one of them. I wish them the best. Call me if you want a few ideas moving forward.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Sun: UltraSparc IIIi+ cancelled

The Register reports that Sun has canceled the long delayed upgrade to the UltraSparc IIIi to concentrate on the UltraSparc IV+ and Niagara 1 and 2 (UltraSparc T1) processors.

Now, I'm no Sun insider, but canceling the IIIi+ to focus on the IV+ and the Niagara might seem like a smart move on the surface, to my thinking this is a mistake. It sends the wrong message to it's big Enterprise customers, who value a steady stream of positive incremental upgrades that preserve the initial equipment investment. And although that doesn't sound very exciting, it keeps Sun's customer happy.

Sun has been gaining positive press lately, which is a good thing. Sun has made marketshare gains and the ship appears to be righting itself. But they still have a long way to go. I just hope they remember they're not there yet.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

NetBSD: Where to next?

Charles Hannum (one of the four originators of NetBSD) has posted an e-mail sent to the netbsd-users mailing list questioning NetBSD's relevance in todays world. He asserts that unless major changes happen in the project and the current leadership of the NetBSD foundation changes, NetBSD may indeed become irrelevant.

In my mind, NetBSD has always seemed like the third runner-up of the BSD world. MacOS X is the current and future market leader, FreeBSD is the patriarch, and OpenBSD with its companion project OpenSSH have a strongly opinionated leader driving it forward.

But NetBSD just doesn't seem to have any buzz going for it. I must admit buzz is a relative term in the BSD world, especially in relation to Linux, but in order for any of the BSD projects to continue each one needs a strong champion and a committed team. I'm sure there are good developers doing good work, but without a kick in the pants, Mr Hannum may be right.

NetBSD just doesn't have a compelling feature(s) or charismatic leader(s) to drive it. If it doesn't get both of those fast, then NetBSD will slowly, painfully fade out of existence.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

News update coming today

Well, the experiment continues. I hope to have some news up today. I abhor just reprinting links to other peoples news, so I will be posting some insights (unqualified opinions ;-) on some things that I see going on in the Unix market. 

A preview:

• Where have all the good Unix workstations gone?
• Can the Xserve be successful? Does Apple care?
• Will the Sun set or rise again? (I know, somebody must have already used that one)

Check back later this evening...

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Shamelessly late WWDC 2006 post

Well, better late than never, right?

WWDC 2006 is over and overall I think it was good for developers. Face it, Apple developers have to have a strong stomach when faced with the kind of changes Apple throws their way. From the 68K to PowerPC, from MacOS 9 to MacOS X, from PowerPC to Intel (which also means from CodeWarrior, et al. to Xcode) Apple Developers always seem to be in some sort of state of change or transition. Here are the best Unix related tidbits I could gather.

The most obvious is Apple's adoption of DTrace into its upcoming Xcode 3.0 developer tools via a new application called Xray. Right now, information on Xcode 3.0 is sparse at best. As more information makes it into the public domain I will keep you informed. Believe me though, inclusion of DTrace is a Good Thing™.

The other Unix related item was speculation that one of the major new features in the upcoming Leopard called Time Machine might include the much talked about ZFS file system from Sun. Although the speculation proved to be wrong, I hope that Apple is looking seriously at what ZFS can do as OS X moves forward.

Well, thats all for now. More to come...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006 I must humble myself

I has been 2 weeks since my first post and the hunt for Unix news has been more difficult than I thought. My goal is to bring you up to date, pertinent news on the Unix community. I intend to cover BSD, Solaris, Irix, HP-UX, AIX and, of course, MacOS X.

You may be asking yourself, where's Linux? Well, technically, Linux isn't Unix®. Okay, now please no flaming comments. I'll just delete them. I have no bone to pick with Linux (I like Linux, especially Ubuntu) and I think there are websites that already cover Linux that will do a better job than I can. I will also try to limit coverage of MacOS X to its relationship with the larger Unix community as a whole.

But therein lies the rub. With all the attention that Linux and MacOS X receive, it's easy to ignore all the other operating systems listed above. Finding genuinely useful and unique content may take a lot of effort.

Let me be frank, this is an experiment for me to see if I can generate enough interest to make it worth my time and effort. I hope that I can serve the community with truly useful content. I don't believe Unix is dead, as it has been so widely reported. Let's see if i am correct.