Saturday, October 28, 2006

More on Linux or Unix

Ok, I recently blogged about Solaris being unfairly portrayed along with the "other" Unix vendors, and I now see that Sun/Solaris is being portrayed as less open and flexible than IBM and AIX!

In another SearchOpenSource column the author this time talks about how moving from Sun to IBM would give more flexibility because IBM's POWER5 architecture supports both Unix (AIX) and Linux. He does this while completely ignoring that Sun's SunFire line of hardware not only supports Unix (Solaris) and Linux, but also Windows, giving more flexibility than IBM's solution.

He also ignores that Solaris is open source and that it runs on industry standard hardware giving customers even more flexibility by not being locked in to a single hardware vendors.

The scenario is couched as being "hypothetical" but grossly misrepresenting the real facts should not be stood for.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Linux or Unix

I am subscribed to a bunch of technology news newsletters, one from that is generally informative and interesting. However, an article they had recently on Linux or Unix was missing some info that I just have to comment on.

The article highlights the pluses and minuses of both Unix and Linux, but it only speaks generally about Unix and groups Solaris, HP-UX, and AIX together. Given what Sun has done with Solaris over the past few years this is a mistake and paints an unrealistic picture of where Solaris is today.

First, the article says flexibility is a downside of Unix highlighting that Linux is open source and "you actually have the source to the kernel, and if you have the knowledge, you can actually make the changes yourself!". Hello, are they not aware that Solaris is also open source?

Next it dings Unix on price saying that companies must buy a license to a proprietary Unix and then pay for maintenance on top of that. Hello again, but are they not aware that Solaris can be downloaded for free? Yes, if a company wants to be supported they can purchase a license and support but they are not required to.

Then it mentions difficulties in a company separating from a specific vendor due to lock in due in large part to the operating system only running on hardware from that vendor. Hello yet again, are they not aware that Solaris runs and is supported on commodity (Sun and non-Sun) x86/x64 hardware? There are over 700 x86/x64 systems on the Hardware Compatibility List.

The article goes on to highlight as advantages how Linux doesn't have some of the issues above and those are similiarly incorrect when comparing with Solaris.

Does Linux have a place in corporate environments. Sure, but not for the reasons identified above.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

FoxTrot and Sudoku

I'm a big fan of the comic strip FoxTrot and today's strip is classic.

In it, Jason (the geeky youngest child) creates his own Sudoku game where instead of having numeric clues to start, the clues are various different math problems. There are square roots, cube roots, numbers in base 2 and hexadecimal, summations, integrals, and more. His sister aptly calls it "Sudorku".

Well, being a huge Sudoku fan and a bit of a geek myself, I had to try to solve it. First, I got to do all the math and dust off a little of gray matter that hadn't seen the light of day in a while (product management doesn't require integrals very often :)). Then it was a pretty straight forward Sudoku solution of medium to hard difficulty.

I've also recently started doing Killer Sudoku which adds a new twist to things. There are actually a few different variations, one that starts with no starting numbers as clues, but instead adjacent cells are grouped and a sum of those cells is indicated. In another there are no numbers at all and instead cells within a 3x3 box have a > or < between them indicating whether the values is greater or less than each other. And then they have a combination of the two.

Try them and have fun!