Thursday, January 25, 2007

Open Source Conversations: Dave Bradley

There's a nice talk/presentation about the design of the IBM PC 25 years ago. Not technical, but very entertaining and informative:
Open Source Conversations: Dave Bradley

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Got myself a account today. Just to see if its usable.

I sometimes just want to (book)mark a page/site for later reference/study, and that from 2 or more computers. seems like a reasonable service for this.
(disregarding the social networking part of it, which I'm currently not really interested in).

If anyone cares you can find my stuff here. It will be visible to anyone, but the purpose is mainly for myself.

Sun and Intel to partner

Here are Jonathan's words:

Jonathan Schwartz's Weblog : Weblog

The short form of the relationship is this - Intel has agreed to endorse and OEM from Sun the open source Solaris OS. Just stop there for a second. If you're an industry watcher, that's a pretty big change for the both of us. Intel has annointed Solaris as The Mission Critical Unix for Intel/Xeon. They're also endorsing, and we'll jointly be optimizing, the NetBeans and Java platforms, and working with us to fuel the communities from which they spawn. Again, if you're an insider, that's a big shift in the market - welcome to the community, Intel!

Could be a huge push for Solaris. It of course also means that Sun will build a couple of Intel CPU based machines, not only AMD's Opteron

Could be just the usual marketing stuff, like all the "alliances" and "strategic whatnots" we see these days in the industry.

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Java on Vista @ .NET Developer's Journal

There's a nice article on how Java runs on Vista at the .NET Developers Journal (of all ;-) ).

Java Software on Vista
— People have been wondering lately: How does Java software work on Windows Vista? The short answer is: Java software works great on Vista. In fact, the entire Sun engineering team working on Java Platform Standard Edition has been tuned into Vista and making Java software work on it since it was named after a breed of cattle.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

JDBC on DB2 UDB 8 stopped working

All of a sudden my netbeans would no longer connect to my DB2 UDB 8.1 database.
Got me a missing package error. So I tried all the usual db2rbind all and bind db2ubind.lst and db2cli.lst and whatnot (whatever I could remember from my DB2 days at IBM).

Still no help.

So I googled for the error message, and indeed IBM changed the package with a fixpak, the details can be found here at the IBM site.


After upgrading your server to DB2 UDB Version 8.1 FixPak 10 (also known as Version 8.2 FixPak 3), you will encounter an SQL0443N error if invoking a DB2 Call Level Interface (CLI) catalog function (such as SQLTables(), SQLColumns(), or SQLStatistics()). For example: SQL0443N Routine "SYSIBM.SQLTABLES" (specific name "TABLES") has returned an error SQLSTATE with diagnostic text SYSIBM:CLI:-805. SQLSTATE=38553

The CLI catalog functions execute routines on the DB2 UDB server. These routines use packages that are created by the db2schema.bnd bind file. The package name for db2schema.bnd has a different name in DB2 UDB Version 8.1 FixPak 10 than it did in previous fixpaks. If this bind file does not get bound to all of your existing databases on your server, you will get the SQL0443N error message.

As documented in the FixPak Readme file for DB2® Universal Database™ (DB2 UDB) Version 8.1 FixPak 10, you will need to bind the db2schema.bnd file locally against each database, as follows:

At a command prompt:
db2 terminate
db2 connect to
db2 bind /db2schema.bnd blocking all grant public sqlerror continue
db2 terminate

...where represents the name of a database to which the utilities should be bound, and where is the full path name of the directory where the bind files are located (usually sqllib/bnd).

The bind operation needs to be done within a local connection to the database.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

CalacanisCast Beta 9 - open vs closed

I just listened to the CalacanisCast Beta 9 where discussion is around the iPhone and whether apple should have opened it up or not. Great discussion. Of course Doug Searls is disappointed (or probably even offended) by Apple using OS X for the iPhone instead of Linux, but that was to be expected.

There's an interesting point (I think it was by Mike Arrington or Dana Gardner, not sure) that most people still go for closed systems, because "they know what they will get".

Working on this idea, I think that the real reason behind is, that people think they know what they will get (with closed system), so it's just about perceived predictability or quality.

Which - in consequence - means that the reason closed systems are so popular is, because they (or their owners, builders, vendors, organizations) can afford marketing:
Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Oracle, Sun, ...

Lets check which open source systems are successfull:
  • Linux - marketing by RedHat, Novell/Suse and proxy marketing by IBM and HP.
  • FireFox - well FF only became successful when the Firefox organization started actively market it.
  • Apache ... hm... I guess one could argue proxy marketing through IBM and the likes as well here.
  • ... marketing by Sun and Novell

So its still like with VHS vs betamax... isn't it.

Monday, January 15, 2007

More (or less) on the iPhone

No, not that silly stuff about the Cisco lawsuit.

Rather about the (missing) features, as engadget - finally off the hype - cares to report (The iPhone is not a smartphone - Engadget):

# No 3G.We know you know, but still, it hurts man.
# No over the air iTunes Store downloads or WiFi syncing to your host machine.
# No expandable memory.
# No removable battery.
# No Exchange or Office support.

Not a smartphone by my standards, either.

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My first comment spam

Wow, I just got my first comment spam on IT conservations.
Shall I feel proud now? Or afraid?

Well, neither; I just removed that crap and record the fact here.

Firefox drag & drop

I just noticed that you can drag the favicon icon of Firefox (next to the URL in the address field) to the personal bookmark list or even any filesystem folder (to create a shortcut there).

Don't know why I did realize that sooner...Shame on me.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Apple iPhone runs OS X

So it has finally been announced today, after months (if not years) of roumors.
The Apple iPhone.
A screen-only phone... no (hard) buttons... kind of where the palm started...
check the details here at engadget.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Google Reader attention recorder

Google Reader (like all Google services, I guess) does record your attention; check your reader trends at

A lot better then root vault, e.g. but then again it only tracks your feed attention. Also, I don't see any code of conduct regarding what they do with your attention data; apart from the "Don't be evil", which Google is trying to get rid of anyway.

Still cool.
At least they show me what they know about me.

So that brings Google to my
  • attention data (reader, gmail)
and my
  • intention data (search)
Don't know which of thses categories documents fall in, but they know that data as well...
Scary, isn't it.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

2000 Watt powersupply - are we nuts ?

Just found this on digg:
Ultra Announces 2000 Watt Power Supply for Desktop PC's - Biggest ATX PSU?

Ultra Products today announces that it will unveil the world ’s first 2000W ATX Power Supply Unit for the PC at next week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Legit Reviews has some of the first available pictures of this monster posted and take a closer look at what this PSU can do. The +12V rail supports 150 Amps! That's just bloody insane

digg - Ultra Announces 2000 Watt Power Supply for Desktop PC's - Biggest ATX PSU?

are we totally nuts now ? 2kW on the desktop ? what for ?

I'm beginning to love the power saving  SunRays more and more each day.

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

engadget: Bluetooth patent suit hits Nokia, Samsung and Panasonic

engadget reports here that Nokia et al are sued for patent infringement regarding Bluetooth.

If patent claims are any measure, it seems that bluetooth finally did become successful

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Wifi vs VoIP

Before Christmas I had a conversation with some former colleagues of mine. We had all worked for the same wireless operator, and most of them still do.

During that conversation one of them said, that he thinks that VoIP over Wifi will replace GSM because its cheaper.
I begged to differ:

His line of thought was, that Wifi is cheap and now that PDAs and phones do support voice over Wifi (e.g. Skype).
Everybody, he said, will switch to PDAs with Skype getting access from cheap local hot spots. GSM (or rather managed/operated voice and networks) will cease to exist.

To me there are several obvious flaws in this reasoning:

Wifi is not cheap.
Granted there are free (as beer and as in speech) hot-spots (like fon, but only a very limited number of them.
Commercial hot-spots charge horrendous amounts per hour/day...
T-mobile in Austria charges 1€/min or 8€/hour; A1/mobilkom is even more expensive

Wifi is not easy to configure
Well, maybe it is on the mac, but not on Phones and PDAs. To be clear, it's still easy to configure the pure Wifi/radio stuff, to get access to the
small network at the hot-spot, but that usually does not give you internet access beyond the hot-spot. In order to get that, most sites force you through some web authentication to be able to charge you.
Repeat for each location where you want to place a call.
Don't even consider a handover (like you are used to on the mobile)

Wifi is not easy to find
Forget all the finder services and icons and logos and what not. You still have to look for it.
GSM/3G you don't have to look for.
It's just there.

I wouldn't want my proverbial mother to have to configure a Wifi phone (not even my real one).
Nor do I want to have to educate her on the usage of the phone...

The transition from the good old fixed line phone to the mobile was difficult for many people, but essentially the only real change was, that you have to press the green button after you keyed in the numbers.
That's it. Ah, end yes, you no longer needed a cable.

Consider all the changes between the classical telephone sytem (including the mobile) and VoIP/Skype over Wifi.
It's more then just the green button. You have to register with several operators, you have various accounts...
So most people just wont follow you there.

Granted, it is possible, and to (us) techies it is a viable option, but only as long as we can cope with the service and usage limitations.

There is really no technical limit: Wifi can transport voice with top quality (provided the hotspot provider knows his stuff)
It's really just the people.

Wifi phone services do work already.
They can also work for my mother, but only stationary, i.e. replace the phone at home by a Wifi service.
My point is only about mobile networks, not about fixed line or home installations.

Palm replacement

So finally my replacement Palm T|X arrived (see what happened to the old one here) .
First of all, eBay, or at least certain eBay members, are just great. The T|X arrived exactly as described on ebay and quite in time, considering the holidays.
Secondly, as I already noticed a couple of hard-resets earlier, the Palm OS Wifi settings are not hard-reset safe, so they also don't survive a migration to a new piece of hardware.
What I found out was that you have to beam the file wiFiDbLibMruDB-WMru with e.g. T'Catalog (formerly known as z'catalog), then you get all the Wifi Settings on the new device as well... Especially the Wifi keys...