Thursday, December 31, 2009

Congratulations Andrew

Congratulations to Andrew for his OBE! It's been a while since I've caught up with him, but apart from being a critical part of Ansa when we were starting on Arjuna, more importantly he was also the external examiner for my PhD thesis! We did some work with him when he started Digitivity and during his stint at Citrix, and it's always been stimulating to talk with him about this or that, even if the topics aren't work related. Congratulations again Andrew. Now maybe I should nominate Santosh for next year.

A quick look back over 10 years

It's been an interesting decade as far as I'm concerned. Going from co-creating Arjuna Solutions through the Bluestone acquisition and the Bluestone-Arjuna Labs, then the HP acquisition and the HP-Arjuna Labs, spinning out and co-creating Arjuna Technologies, then the move to JBoss, followed by the Red Hat acquisition, a lot of work around SOA (which dates back to at least JBoss) and finally my new role with the departure of Sacha.

Very busy and despite a few ups and downs, very interesting and a lot of fun. It's not a period where I'd change anything professionally. However, I hope the next decade has somewhat less company movement than the previous! But I'm sure the interest and fun will continue.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Where does the time go?

There are only a few days left in 2009 and that means just a few more until I'm officially back to work. Although I have managed to find time (make time?) to work on a few things, as usual there hasn't been as much time as I'd expected (hoped?) Family life and seasonal activities impacting (as they should?) But it's better to have a longer list of things to do and not get to them than sit twiddling my thumbs watching TV.

Over the next few days I expect to finish off some more work related things but it's quite possible that drink and merriment will have to take priority: after all, once I'm officially back to work they won't get much chance for the next 12 months!

Friday, December 25, 2009

It's spooky when people know you too well

It's Christmas day and we've had family and friends come from across the country. Lots of good times and good food. But the spooky thing for me was when I started to unwrap gifts from people who hadn't coordinated their giving and yet they had a common theme: Star Trek. I've mentioned before that I'm a fan, but it's not something that comes up day-to-day. So it was all a complete surprise, particularly when the gifts came from so many different and disconnected individuals. My inner child is happy today. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

JBoss in the Cloud

It's nice to see Bob, Marek, Mic and the team release StormGrind. There's a lot of interesting things going on in the Cloud and how open source in particular can influence it. Fortunately we've got some of the best people to help us keep pushing ahead with defining the Cloud. I think 2010 is definitely going to be a good year for JBoss and the Cloud.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dan O'Bannon

I can't believe I missed the news of the death of Dan O'Bannon! It's sad to see it hidden away in the corner of the news, given how influential he was. I suppose the first time I ran into his sphere of influence was Dark Star: if you've never seen the film then I definitely recommend it. Not many films can say they managed to combine an orange beachball-alien and a surfing astronaut so well! Of course Alien was more successful and probably more influential, but I think I'll always associate him more with Dark Star. It's a sad day, but I'm sure that wherever he is now he'll be teaching them about phenomenology.

Christmas is coming and ...

... I'm on vacation until January, but the next few days will be tying up some loose ends from work, catching up on a few things (work related) that I haven't had a chance to get to recently and then the rest of the holidays are mine ... all mine!! So I plan to get back to some pet projects that have been languishing for the past few months, finish some reading and maybe, just maybe, finish a paper I've been working on for a while.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

JBossWorld 2010

The Call For Papers has been announced. So if you're interested in presenting or just meeting up with JBoss engineers or users, get submitting! It's a great event to attend. Now I've just got to make sure I can present something technical again next year as I did this year: Keynotes are good, but I love the feedback you get from presenting papers, work in progress etc.

One of the first Web sites

While talking with some of my friends from Arjuna today, Stuart reminded me that we started playing with the Web in 1991/1992, when we created a Web site with one of the first releases of the CERN HTTP code for the original Arjuna Project. As Stuart recalled, it was so early in the evolution of the Web that one of the original CERN pages which maintained a list of available Web servers around the world (I suppose you could say a precursor to Google in that regard) had our site on the very first page for a long time. It's a shame the Internet Archive does not go back that far.

I know we often hear people ask "Where were you when Kennedy was shot?" or "Where were you when the Wall came down?", but I suppose in our industry a similar question would be "Where were you when the Web was started?" Well for me I was in the office I shared with Stuart, working on my PhD and playing with HTTP and HTML. Sometimes I'm surprised we got any real work done :-) !