25 October 2008

Solaris patching

Patch Check Advanced (pca) generates lists of installed and missing patches for Sun Solaris systems and optionally downloads patches. It resolves dependencies between patches and installs them in correct order. It can be the only tool you ever need for patch management, be it on a single machine or a complete network.

Sun has offered various tools in the past for patch analysis and management, e.g. PatchDiag, PatchCheck, PatchPro, smpatch, Sun Update Connection (see the Sun Patch Portal for details). Some of them are not actively maintained, some are huge and opaque, some don't run on older Solaris releases or stripped-down machines, some require complicated installation and registration procedures.

This is the intro for Martin Paul's excellent pca tool. Well said, and he's even ommiting the changes in underlying Sun tools and sites: updatemanager, anonymous FTP, wget, showrev, patchadd, installpatch, install_cluster, sunsolve, Sun xVM Ops Center (try pronouncing that), sunconnection.sun.com, updates.sun.com, updateserver.sun.com...

17 October 2008

web whiteboard

Dabbleboard is an intuitive flash alternative if you do not have a whiteboard or when you're teleconferencing.
It is transforming your mousedrawings to basic shapes, supports shape libraries and saving and interactively sharing your drawings.

13 October 2008

OpenOffice 3 is out

Finally the free opensource office suite is out with support for the docx format,
Microsoft's secret weapon for luring users to Office 2007.

11 October 2008

SpringSource relaxes maintenance policy

SpringSource is going through the growing pains of a free open source company going for money.
Venture Capitalists Benchmark (they're also in RedHat) and Accel invested $25.000.000 since may 2007, and these guys like to see some return.
Up to then, Interface 21, the company of Spring founder Rod Johnson, made its money mainly from consulting services.
By the end of 2007 the company got rebranded to SpringSource and since then their focus is on making money from the products (and maintenance contracts).
They started using their money to eat Covalent, an Apache support company and contributor. Covalent gave them access to support know how and teams. It also added leading public domain products like the apache webserver and tomcat to their portfolio.
In june SpringSource announced their own application server.
Since then they have been hauling over big heads from competing application server vendors on board: the BEA WebLogic product manager, the JBoss (now a RedHat subsidiary) COO...
They came up with a RedHat-like support policy, where you get major releases for free, but have to pay for minor releases.
After a storm of community protest they have now changed that: the community will get the latest and greatest binaries (source was and remains free), but paying customers get patches incorporated in older builds.
The new policy looks fair.
Still Spring is a one company product in contrast with the Java ecosystem where you have choice. The fact that this company is going commercial only makes the dependency stronger.