Monday, August 30, 2010

Coming of age?

Thousands of years ago the coming of age ritual involved hunting and killing (e.g., mammoths or dinosaurs, depending upon which film you believe). Due to changes in a range of things, including society and the fact that mammoths (as well as dinosaurs) died out (maybe related to hunting, strangely enough) the rite of passage changed.

In our household one aspect of our version of this ritual is introducing the kids (my 8 year old now) to the all time great movies. Several weeks ago it was Lord of the Rings, which went down really well. This weekend we started into Star Wars. Of course the first question was which order to play them? Against my better judgement we went with the chronological order, i.e., Episode 1 first. The first two movies went down well with him, though the third was more of a slog, but of course the best movies are yet to come.

However, I realised that although it's been about 8 years since I've watched the movies, two things remain a constant for me: the midichlorian rubbish detracts from the story (what was George Lucas thinking?!) and I still can't stand Ja Ja Binks! But my son loved him! If he loves the Ewoks then all is lost and I think I'll fail him on this rite of passage!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Long weekend coming up

It's a national holiday here on Monday, so this is a nice long weekend. Unlike my 2 week vacation which only ended at the start of last week, I've decided to not touch anything remotely work related until Tuesday (that holiday turned out to be > 50% work!) Well that's the theory at least. I know there may be some pressure to bend that rule slightly, so we'll wait and see!


It's been 18 months since Sacha left JBoss and I took over. He said he was going to take time off to enjoy being with his family and (then) new baby daughter. However, I think many of us knew that at the time it wouldn't be long before he was back doing something interested. So it's really good to be able to announce that that effort is called CloudBees and they've officially launched! Hudson as a Service (HaaS) is a really good idea! Coincidentally it's something that JBoss and Arjuna separately considered at one time or another with their/our Distributed Test Framework.

Good luck Sacha and team!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

BBC Micro making a comeback?

I loved this article! It brought back a lot of memories from when I was programming in BBC Basic. I upgraded my machine to support Metacomco's Pascal and C as well. Lots of fun and I like to think the "hardships" that the students of today mentioned helped to make me appreciate what it takes to write code in less than 32K of memory!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Classic C++ textbook

Every now and again I have to go through my cache of books and box some of them up for storage. This time it was some of my old text books from university, but while going through the process I went through all of my C++ related books. One of the best I've ever read is Barton and Nackman. I got this book just after it came out (I think I got it just after visiting Graeme at Transarc.) It's a wonderful book and reading the Amazon comments afterwards it's good to see that I'm not alone in thinking that. If you're a C++ programmer then you should definitely check it out.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Private Clouds?

I've known Werner Vogels for several decades, ever since we were both doing our PhDs. Like all good friends and scientists, we don't always agree on everything. Case in point is that Werner doesn't believe Private Clouds are clouds and I think his arguments against are artificial and short sighted. Now of course you could say that he and I take our perspectives on this debate precisely because of our employers. However, that's wrong, at least where I'm concerned.

As I said earlier this year, I think that today's definition of Cloud is limiting and emphasizes Public Cloud precisely because that's what most people have access to. But I also believe that Public Clouds are not going to be as important in the future. Cloud is a natural evolution of hardware and software (middleware) but if you liken the roadmap for Cloud to that of cars, today's Cloud's are like the Model T: showing everyone the potential, but not available to the masses. We should be looking at the equivalent of the next hundred years of evolution in automotive technologies as far as Cloud is concerned, bringing their benefits to the masses (of people and workloads).

This development has to include Private Clouds (which, contrary to what Werner states, don't necessitate corporations having to buy more hardware), but so much more. The true cloud is the collection of processors that exist virtually everywhere you turn, including mobile devices and sensors. That's where the definition of Cloud must go. In many ways it's returning Cloud to one of its progenitors, ubiquitous computing. By that point there won't be a Public, Private or Personal Cloud, there'll be "just" Cloud (or maybe some other term). Where your application is hosted will still remain important, but not because of any artificial reasons due to words such as 'private' or 'public'.