Archive for May, 2009


Publication Alert – 23. May, 2009

My latest contribution to the Baseline Consulting blogs…

The Project Manager as News Reporter

I’d love to know where they get those pictures…


I Want One of These (Part III) – 21. May, 2009

OK, this is getting ridiculous…

Five-Dimensional DVD Could Store 1.6 Terabytes

Warning: this article could make your brain melt…In summary, the scientists have found a way to store more than one piece of data in each data “slot” of a DVD, and it would be compatible with the existing Blu-Ray technology.

I’m blown away already by the fact that you can walk into your local technology store and get 1.5 TB of storage for well under $200…now, you could get the same on a 5-inch disc…wow…

Posted in Technology

Oracle, Sun, and MySQL – 20. May, 2009

You’ve no doubt heard the news by now of Oracle’s $7.4b takeover of Sun Microsystems. Apart from Oracle’s apparent desire to become IBM, the database world is abuzz with opinions on what will happen with the MySQL database that was purchased by Sun last year. I though it time to add my two pennies to the discussion.

My initial response to this news was fear and disappointment, having been a party to an Oracle takeover in the past (I was a member of PeopleSoft Consulting). I’ve come to love and appreciate the MySQL database over the years due to its robustness, speed, ease of administration and, obviously, cost. When a company like Oracle comes to town, you can be fairly assured that any software, especially a product that competes directly with Oracle’s flagship database offering, is doomed.

Of course, Oracle is commenting publicly that MySQL will be “an addition to Oracle’s existing suite of database products…” That may be true from the “let’s keep a dozen or so people in some building in case someone calls for support” perspective, but I think there are a couple of fairly recent examples that show what might happen:

Does anyone remember Informix? How about FoxPro?

Informix and FoxPro were vital players in the database market about 10 years ago, in the enterprise and desktop markets respectively. They were both purchased by larger competitors – Informix by IBM, FoxPro by Microsoft – looking mainly to remove competition for their own products (DB2 and Access respectively). Of course, that wasn’t the stated objective, but it was the practical result from the technology trenches where I was at the time.

So, what happened? Well, Informix was not actively marketed by IBM, so it faded from the enterprise scene, but still to this day has a few niches where it still performs well. FoxPro was essentially denied oxygen for survival and has died completely except for some legacy desktop applications – the last update to the environment was released with virtually no notice almost two years ago.

I find it hard to believe that Oracle will devote many resources to MySQL now that they have it, even though the product has a fairly large footprint in the open-source world. Yes, it could be argued that this lack of support has existed since the Sun acquisition, but I think it’s even more likely now. Two main reasons for this feeling: the obvious one where it’s a competing database product, and also that it was not the primary thing Oracle acquired with Sun – it just came along with the package.

One of the few positive articles I’ve found about the MySQL acquisition involves the marketing of the product, which doesn’t speak to well of the technological basis for retention of the product by Oracle. My fervent hope is that some group steps forward and takes advantage of the open-source nature of the product and creates a variant that continues technological development and returns the product to its community-based origins.

I’m not holding my breath, however…

Aaaarrrghhhhhh – 12. May, 2009

So, I watched the Mike & Mike Show on ESPN2 this morning, listening to Roger Clemens continue his aggressive denial act, and then one of the authors of the new book about Clemens. I was struck by the response of the emailing audience during the show. Just after the Clemens appearance, the email was running about 99% against him. Then, after the author’s appearance, which wasn’t too hot, the email tide turned in favor of Clemens and his “believability”.

We live in such a binary society these days, it really drives me mad. Now, I know that the same people that emailed during the Clemens appearance are likely not the same people that emailed later, but damn, people…just because you didn’t like the writer doesn’t mean that Clemens is any more believable. It’s not a yes-or-no situation – I think they’re both full of it. Shades of gray, people…it makes life go a lot easier…

Posted in Uncategorized