Yearly Archives: 2009

A weekend away in London

I spent the weekend before Xmas in London, I visited a couple of Museums, saw Avatar 3D and went to a gig at 12 Bar, featuring Athens Polytechnic. There’s a few pictures at my flickr site, my birthday set.

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Cloud why now?

I wrote and published a paper, called Cloud why now? on the Knowledge Transfer Network site. How new is Cloud Computing? It is a clear evolution if two trends in IT architecture that have had an immense and limited success. The successful trend is distributed computing and the less successful one utility computing. What is driving this evolution and why now? This article has a quick look at the trends that have brought this to this point and looks at the fact that like most economic revolutions, it’s a confluence of both socio/economics and science. The article concludes by looking at the paradox of data, to see how it is both a driver of change, and an inhibitor.

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Free Software in Europe please

It’s an exciting day with respect to the Oracle/Sun acquisition and the EU investigation. Eblen Mogden, on his blog represents his evidence, which says better than I can, why forcing Oracle to de-merge or re-licence MySQL is against the public interest.

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Oracle, Sun, MySQL and Monopoly

Monty Widenius has issued a manifesto asking that open sourcers and MySQL users to write to the EU to let them know their views on Oracle’s potential ownership of the MySQL copyright. He of course hopes we will argue that they shouldn’t.

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Xmas Markets

I am staying in London this year for my Birthday holiday. I was very tempted by the Guardian’s Xmas markets and winter glacier trip, particularly Prague & Berlin but we decided to stay in London. I am throwing the paper advert away today. So this year, I expect to visit the British Museum and see_Avatar. I’ll have to make up on the WinterFests by having lunch at the Canary Wharf barbecues.

Perhaps we’ll do Prague & Berlin next year, the Guardian promised a train trip to Brussels, then onto Prague for three nights, and home via Berlin. It’d be good to do it, perhaps next year.

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Wish, Boomy icons and imagemagick

I need to write a program for managing my windows host, well actually, someone else’s windows laptop. I fired up TCL/TK and discovered that I haven’t copied my tcl/tk icon library from my home systems and I decided to improve my library, which is a big mistake.

I went looking on the ‘net and found the lovely Boomy icons. Annoyingly the transparency representation doesn’t work on my platform and the lovely transparency on the GIFs comes out a delightful shade of pink. There is no .bmp set; the .png set work and look fine. GIMP allegedly supports batch operations, as does Imagemagik. I have been impressed with Jonathan Soma’s trip map site about the New York transport system, which uses Imagemagik ever since I saw it, so an excuse to play with it would be good.

The alternative might be to find and install the TCL/TK IMG package which seems to be at SourceForge,

I have opened a wiki page here, to record my notes, successes and failures, which now includes how to use ImageMagick to perform a simple format conversion.

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Reasons not to ‘Port’

returned to software migration/porting recently due to having been part of the team that wrote Migrating to Solaris OS due to some of the projects I had worked in. We argued that there were four basic techniques available, this article lists and briefly reviews them and looks at the economic constraints to migration.

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Filesharing, Economics & Human Rights

I submitted evidence to the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, (BRERR) on their proposals to regulate illegal file sharing, it said what you’d expect and when I get time to polish the evidence I’ll publish it in White Paper form. It’ll be no surprise that I argue. Get it here….

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Why did Amazon take so long to deliver SQL in the Cloud

The storage market has been complexifying, (Is that a word Ed.) over the last few years; I have for a while considered the databases to be just another software abstraction layer between the hardware and the application i.e. completely equivalent to a file system. Also more recently it is clear  that the highly scalable solutions builders have moved beyond relational databases. I conclude, today’s application designers and storage consumers are no longer always prepared to accept the compromises  buying an RDBMS requires, it’s about Storage not SQL.

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Oracle & Sun & the European Single Market

A lot of people have been busy commenting on the EU’s investigation into the competitive dynamics of Oracle’s proposed acquisition of Sun, so I thought I’d join in.

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Where are the new developers coming from?

My final note from the Water’s Power:09 Conference; Robert Johnson, a development manager at one of the London based banks stated that of the people he’s looked at in recruitment,

Many… developers don’t have a computer science background…

which makes it hard for them to write code for both distributed computing platforms and multi-threaded CPU systems.

It seems this is a reflection of the trends I have written about at on my old sun blog, tagged ‘university’ and more importantly at this site, in an article called British Higher Education. Given a choice between studying something easy or something hard, now that they have to pay a lot, students and their families choose the easy route. A further cause is the dead hands on the school IT curriculum design and the gestation period to make changes.

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Data Centre Economies of Scale

At the Waters:Power09, last week, Bob Giffords argued there are three ‘gravitational’ forces leading to the mega data centres and cloud computing.

  • There’s too much data to move, it needs to stay where its created.
  • Intra system & total latency is still a problem, and hence systems are best co-located with the data.
  • He argues that energy management is a gravitational issue.
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Some insights into managing the cloud

Dave Cliff, Professor of Computer Sci at Bristol spoke to Waters Power:09 in Canary Wharf yesterday. It is clear from many sources that IT is changing and he examined some of these changes. He woke me up by quoting Carlota Perez  who argues that there are five transformational changes since the industrial revolution, Steam, Railways, Electricity, internal combustion and IT. She also argues that the adoption and maturity cycles are similar, and Cliff argues that “money’s out of IT now”. Her book is called “Technological Revolutions and Finance Capital:The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages”, which gives on an idea of where she’s coming from. Cliff also pointed his audience at Nick Carr’s “The Big Switch”, another pundit that argues that IT is done!

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