While looking through the blogs of both the DTrace engineers at Sun I stumbled upon this little gem (taken from Adam Leventhal’s Weblog): “And speaking of perl, a lot of people asked about DTrace’s visibility into perl. Right now the only non-natively executed language DTrace lets you observe is Java, but now that we realize how much need there is for visibility into perl, we’re going to be working aggressively on making DTrace work well with perl. Read on →

I’d never heard of the Web 2.0 conference (an O’Reilly event) until Jeremy Zawodny started to blog his attendance but now I wish I’d have gone along (let us ignore the very high attendance cost and the fact I’m in the wrong country :).) His full Web2.0 archive is well worth digging through if you have any interest in where the commercial interest in the web is pointing.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been involved with arranging evaluations and purchasing of a number of ‘enterprise’ products. Among the rogues gallery have been IBM (OK but nothing special considering they had near a dozen people in the room), Oracle (Actually very good) and my new favourite, Business Objects (BO), providers of Crystal Reports. The day started off quite nicely, the BO technical gent came in and did an install of the product we were evaluating on our test server with me watching over his shoulder. Read on →

After their 2004 AGM UKUUG arranged for Jon Haslam, a Software Engineer at Sun Microsystems, to give a presentation on DTrace. While I missed the first thirty minutes of slides I did get to see the ninety minutes of practical demonstrations. The official DTrace spiel, “Dynamic Tracing (DTrace) is one of the hot, new technologies in the next revision of Sun’s Operating System, Solaris 10. DTrace provides the ability to generate concise answers to almost arbitrary questions about the behaviour of your systems, from the top of the application through to the bottom of the kernel.” sounds quite impressive. Read on →

I was lucky enough to take a long lunch and amble down to see Larry Lessig’s presentation at UCL on the Creative Commons Licenses last week, firstly it’s worth noting that Mr Lessig is a very slick speaker, he obviously invests a lot of time in his presentations and it shows. The slides were very shiny and incorporated a lot of multimedia, video clips ranged from a mash-up of a Charley Brown cartoon with an Outkast sound-track (the song was Hey Ya) to Blair and Bush singing love-songs; the latter was interesting as the whole video was created from public footage. Read on →

It’s been pointed out to me that while I’m willing to endlessly type about such thrilling subjects as “Incomplete Ideas – Knoppix, UML and CDs in books” and Apache Logging directives I’m very lax about covering events, talks and workshops; or as it’s known, things people actually care about :) Two good examples over the last few months have been EuroFoo and the UKUUG Linux Techcon in Leeds. I started out intending to blog at least some of the sessions at each conference but two things stopped me, the talks were too interesting and I felt rude. Read on →

I’ve recently re-read Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I was actually looking for a different finance book and this one fell on me so I considered it an omen :) The book is pretty straight forward read which gives you a peek at the perspective of a business man who is trying to educate his son and sons friend in how to treat money. While the book isn’t exactly life changing it is a worthwhile read and contains a number of well explained nuggets, the best example and the one that stayed with me from my first reading about four years ago is the comparison between a “rich” and “poor” mans balance sheet. Read on →

I’ve been to every Linux World Expo at Olympia in London and each year it gets a little bit more depressing. Earlier events have had such marvels as a giant ice penguin (provided by SGI) that had vodka flowing though its veins and Jon Maddog Hall pointing out how insane it is to refuse entrance to students to a Linux focused event (watching the management squirm was great fun) this year we had… well nothing of any real note. Read on →

A little bit of online technology I’ve been using for the last couple of months is the pool.NTP service provided at (surprisingly) pool.ntp.org. NTP is used to keep your local system clocks synchronised by using some of the bigger, more accurate clocks such as atomic or radio clocks. Traditionally you would add three or four server names/IP addresses to your NTP configuration file and the time would be pulled down and used, the downside to this included the need to ensure the remote servers were still available and the issue of being a burden as the teeming hordes of NTP clients hit the same servers again and again. Read on →

If you are working on a modern Unix machine (no, thats not an oxymoron) then it’s annoying difficult to determine the operating system name and version running. Where you should just be able to type ‘/etc/release’ and get the relevant details you instead need to either guess or brute-force your way through the possibilities. Debian stores this info in ‘/etc/debian_version’, Redhat in ‘/etc/redhat_release’. You know the world is going to end when Solaris makes the most sense and puts this information in ‘/etc/release’. Read on →