* Posts by aussie-alan

8 posts • joined 27 Mar 2015

AWS makes its own Arm CPUs the default for ElastiCache in-memory data store service


Changing to ARM should be easy

The last couple of startups I wrote code for did all their work in Python, NodeJS or Java - it should make no difference going to ARM in x86. If they move services such as RDS / Aurora / whatever, I shouldn't really care about the platform, only the price / performance. Now, if you write C/C++ code and depend on endianness, size of integers, etc, than a) it's most likely poor code, and b) it's your problem. There are exceptions, but experienced coders will define their assumptions and differences in a couple of header files and libraries, then write platform-independent code.

BTW, I code on a Mac, deploy on Linux (several different clouds), as well as deploy Python into Windows for one of my customers. That's a more significant difference than worrying about the CPU architecture.


Black & Blue: IBM hires Bain to cut costs, up productivity


Not so great advice

A few years back, at a former employer, the Bain consultants they brought in were telling our senior management that we "need to be more like Enron". Even after the Enron crash, they kept bringing in Bain consultants. If IBM needs an external consultancy to tell them how to reorg, then all their executives should be sacked for incompetence.

Sure, HoloLens is cute, but Ford was making VR work before it was cool


Caterpillar was using VR earlier than this

Caterpillar was designing heavy equipment in the VR CAVE environment in 1995, at NCSA (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). They used an SGI system with multiple graphic pipelines and projectors, with a head mounted helmet. Ford became an NCSA member some time after that, I think it was '97 or '98 (I was in the meeting when they joined, but don't remember the date). Using VR for vehicle design is certainly not 100% original research at Ford, or unique to them.

My former employer had sponsored a graduate student to do some visualization work int he CAVE environment too. I was managing our relationship with NCSA, lot's of interesting stuff there.

America 'will ban carry-on laptops on flights from UK, Europe to US'


They fired the wrong guy

We should have kept the FBI Director in place and fired the DHS and/or TSA directors - they spend billions every year on security theater, but a couple of terrorists in a shed somewhere can build a bomb our technology can't detect.

Next Superdome CPU chips amble into HPE


Opteron killed Itanium

I was an architect for moving Sabre's pricing and shopping applications from an 8-way mainframe cluster to open systems and we started with HP-UX and Itanium (in 2003). Two interesting things happened. First, when the new Itanium chips came out, Linux was ready and HP-UX was not, so we went to Linux. Not much later, a couple of people were arguing for x86 and a colleague and I proposed trying the new Opteron servers from HP. They loaned us a couple of beta-test machines and we put them into the production cluster and tried them with live traffic - we saw twice the perfomance at half the price.

Intel had to match AMD and extend x86 to 64-bit, which ate the market for Itanium. So, indirectly, AMD's Opteron helped kill Itanium


SQL Server on Linux? HELL YES! Linux on Windows 10? Meh


POSIX subsystem

When NT was first announced, one of the most interesting features was the OS/2 subsystem. If Microsoft had built a good POSIX subsystem back then, then Linux may never have gained a foothold.

BTW, I'm an OS X user, and do development and deployment into Linux using Docker. It's a very comfortable environment, as there's no mental context-switching for me between the two. Windows should be able to do this very easily too.


IBM bags $700m services and infrastructure contract with Etihad Airways


The core reservations system...

What's not mentioned here is that Etihad's core reservations system (aka PSS) is outsourced to Sabre, and the operations of that system are - in turn - outsourced to HP (formerly EDS). It all runs in a hole in the ground in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Etihad was on Amadeus, but switched about 3-4 years ago. IBM doesn't play in the reservations space and it will be interesting to see what services can be built on top of the core PSS.

Want a full-blown IDE for Node.js? You'll need a Windows machine...



I you want a full-blown IDE for Node.js, use IntelliJ, it runs on multiple platforms. I do consulting for various companies and IntelliJ has plug-ins for pretty much everything I use, and runs well on my Mac.


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