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A few bits of news, none of them too important:

I’ve just been hired as the Sun Microsystems Campus Ambassador for Rutgers University. Essentially, my job is to tell students, faculty, staff, and researchers about Sun’s open source technologies and what they can do. This involves giving some tech demos and talks, some networking, and completing a lot of training on my part. Hopefully also getting to hand out some neat Sun swag around campus. I have to admit, I’ve never been a real fan of GUI IDEs - I do pretty much all of my development (admittedly, very little in Java, most of my work is simple PHP stuff) on Emacs. That being said, I’m really pyched about trying some new stuff like J2EE and maybe some Ruby. However, I also looked over some of our training materials on the upcoming NetBeans 6.0, and truthfully, I’m damn interested. I haven’t used a Java IDE since three years ago in high school, and it looks as though they’ve come a very long way.

I’m also really getting into Solaris. The new openSolaris / Solaris Express releases have a lot of great features - and I can’t want to get my hands on a machine running Zones, Containers, and ZFS, just to mention a few technologies. I setup Solaris 10 on one of my work computers, and I’m hooked. It’s fine for a desktop, but I can honestly say that after a few minutes playing around with the Solaris Management Console, I’m seriously considering ditching SuSE (now OpenSuSE) which I’ve been using as a server OS for some 7 years, and switching over to Solaris.

Unfortunately, Solaris is really an enterprise OS. That means it has loads of wonderful features that are also rock-solid, and was designed with the idea of centrally-administered servers in mind - something that SuSE only caught onto recently. However, that also means that it is intended to run on what I would call “new” hardware. In other words, don’t look to put Solaris 10 or Solaris Express (openSolaris / Solaris 11) on your 386. And if you’re like me and running something along the lines of a Generation 1 Compaq Proliant ML370 with a 2nd-generation SmartArray RAID controller (a system that was made about 10 years ago), you might have some issues. It appears that the ‘smartii’ RAID driver (and EISA support) was removed from Solaris 10 in 6/06. The solution? I’m going to be looking into buying a bunch of new systems, possibly Dell PowerEdge servers and, if I can get the cash, a few Sun systems.

Lastly, within the week, I’ll be setting up a blog at This will probably contain a lot of Rutgers-specific information, but will also most definitely include my notes on Sun products, and a healthy amount of Solaris-related information.


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