Sunday, May 22, 2011

Back Again!

Well it's been Years since I did any blogging..... :-(

So very much has happened over this time; and I have much to say...

I had a good exercise of mind over body last year - details to follow in a separate post; and badly need to repeat it this year. Another year older makes this another year more difficult to achieve.

Well I hope that some of you might drop (again) to this blog; it would be great to see you (again).

Until the next post.....

Monday, June 05, 2006

8.5lbs of screaming joy!!!

Well, the ever-increasing shadow that my delightful wife Svatava has been casting for the past nine months has finally vanished, and we are now the very proud parents of a baby boy called Jakub (but known as "Kuba")!!!

He left his warm, cosy, food-when-you-want-it environment on 10th May at 13:34, and weighed in at a healthy 3.83kg, which in real money means 8lb 7oz.

Its been just over 3 weeks now since the birth, and the dust is pretty much still settling...

Outside family, he has already acquired the first member of his fan club - a girl tapped me on the arm (oh, I only wish they would do that more often...) and told me that Kuba was the sweetest baby she had ever seen!

More details on my little Kuba as they unfold.......

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

ZFS is Putback!

Well it has finally happened! ZFS has finally been putback into the Nevada Source Tree.

And to quote from a recent blog from Jeff Bonwick, "... and there it goes! 584 files, 92,000 lines of change, 56 patents, 5 years... and there it is. Just like that."

Major congratulations required to Jeff and all the team!

Go to to read the whole blog.

And keep your eyes on Solaris Express: this will be the first place where you will be able to get ahold of ZFS!

When it is released, you will be able to get this easily through the OpenSolaris website downloads page at Just follow the link "Solaris Express: Community Edition", which currently points to build 24, but will soon point to a ZFS-enabled Solaris Express!

Watch out! ZFS could be coming to a system near you very soon.....

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Well nobody will read this anyways ;-{

Given that people (quite reasonably) rarely read this blog ;-) - my fault for the lack of traffic :-( - I can be happy to announce that come next Maytime, we will be three!

Yes, my delightful wife, Svatava, is scheduled to become a Mum for the first time; and I - at my ripe old age of ")" (you do your own ASCII conversions...) - am scheduled to become a Dad for the second time. Its only been 17 and a bit years since the last time.....

Cripes! Thank God that OpenSolaris doesn't and won't give me sleepless nights..... ;-)

Friday, September 16, 2005

DTrace rocks!

I'm crap - I know only too well :-( Given that I was part of the OpenSolaris Pilot Program, and countless Solaris Betas before that, I should have dived into DTrace with more gusto long long ago. But I didn't; and now I really regret this.

Don't make the same mistake!!!

I was at Sun's Customer Briefing Centre (CBC) in London yesterday, on a Developers Seminar. The first half was spent talking about Sun Studio 10 compiler switches for code optimisation, and the importance of data profiling; and given that I had had only 3 hours sleep the previous night, I did nod off a couple of times ;-) And I missed the bacon rolls for breakfast at the CBC by about 10 minutes :-(

But after the mid-break, the subject turned to DTrace. Now this is more like it!

The presentation was given by Jonathan Haslam. Now if you ever discover that this man is going to present on DTrace *don't miss it*. He has a real energy and enthusiasm about presenting on DTrace, and through his years of experience with it can make DTrace dance like disco laser lights. He even showed that DTrace could be made to produce a BSOD when a Windows executable was run :-)

Seriously, it was the most entertaining and informative presentation that I have seen in a long time. The only problem was it was too short!

With some luck, we might be able to get Jonathan to present DTrace at a forthcoming London OpenSolaris User Group meeting. So keep an eye out for announcements!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

OSUG_UK Inaugural Meeting last night

Well last night's inaugural meeting of the OpenSolaris User Group UK, held in Sun's Customer Briefing Centre in London was a rip-roaring success!!! This, of course, had nothing to do with the free beer and wine ;-) As a community-building exercise, it worked very well - there was a lot of lively banter (much around the superiority of CDDL over GPL and MPL), and grafting drivers (especially for network hardware) into OpenSolaris. Also the crowd varied from people who knew little of Solaris to people who have been part of the OpenSolaris Pilot Programme for ages. And many Sun engineers...

Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Ulf Andreasson ( ) of Sun. He did a wonderful job of orchestrating the evening and gave us a great intro at the top. However, he was pushed hard when having to prise the delegates away from the beer and back into the room after a mid-session break ;-)

Next up was Simon Phipps ( ) of Sun, who is Sun's Chief Open Source Officer. He explained that he chose this title because it contained no "reserved words" like "manager" :-) Simon has been active in the Open Source arena for the past 7 years, and has championed open source within Sun for the last five - a tough job to turn around the point of view of "it's ours, let's guard it carefully" to "it's everyone's - let's all contribute towards its future". Simon talked about an "open source commons" which is essentially a bunch of open code; and the mechanics of how members of the community can contribute source to this commons. He also spoke about the OpenSolaris Community Advisory Board, where it came from, and the wheels that are in motion to provide the OpenSolaris community with a set of guidelines and methods of working.

Third was Peter Tribble ( ), who works as Senior Sysadmin at the MRC Rosalind Franklin Centre for Genomics Research in Cambridge, UK. Peter spoke of his experiences (similar to my own) in going through Solaris Beta Programmes over the years, from Solaris 7 Beta through 8, 9, 10 (and all update Betas therein), and finally emerging, as I did, onto the OpenSolaris Pilot Programme. He went into special detail about his presence on the Solaris 10 Platinum Beta Programme, and his close interaction with "his own personal Sun Engineer" as part of the programme. He also spoke of the value that he felt of meeting many of the Sun engineers in Menlo Park - Sun has shipped him out there twice so far as part of the Platinum Beta Programme. Peter also spoke about the hardware and software used by his company, and touched on a number of aspects that they had or were currently using and/or evaluating, eg. they use Solaris 10 Zones extensively, and are currently evaluating ZFS.

Then we had the beer-break.....

The next segment was due to be Gary Pennington talking about the new, and truly wondrous source code browser you can access through It has been designed and developed by chandan ( ), and will allow you to search for just about anything (symbol / text) in the published source code, and will take you to any reference to your search item. You have to see it to believe it. Unfortunately we were running late, and rather than go through the wonders of the source code (all n-million lines of it) and the source code browser, we instead had a Q&A session with about 8 guys at the front, composed of both current and previous (but all definitely eminent) Sun engineers. The questions were completely varied, some regarding licensing, others technical, others logistical, and a great overview of how changes are made to Solaris via RFE's, FastTrack, and multi-person Projects. It was even suggested that any member of the community could search the OpenSolaris bug database ( ), choose a "bite-size" bug, create a bugfix, and find a Sponsor within Sun who would be able to do a putback into OpenSolaris to fix the bug. The mechanics of this process are evolving... Simon Phipps, seated in the audience, naturally chipped in when appropriate, and also played the role of sneaky photographer. I think he might have got one shot of me, judging by the sound of lens-glass shattering ;-) The Q&A session was definitely the high-point of the evening IMO; and I suspect will play a greater role in future meetings.

After a wrapup by Ulf, a number of us adjourned to The Walrus for a couple of swift tinctures and a little more lively banter, prior to wending our weary ways home.

All in all, it was a thoroughly good evening, and cred again to Ulf for putting it together at pretty late notice. I suggest that these gatherings should happen quarterly, punctuated by ad hoc gatherings should any Sun guru be visiting the UK. We did discuss the possibility of getting Bryan Cantrill over at some point to enthuse about DTrace in a way that is apparently all his own.....

Well, I had a thoroughly good evening. I am certain that I have missed out many of the important bits from the evening (I wrote no notes), and all of the fun bits, such as the bit about the OpenSolaris mascot being currently either a Fast/Turbocharged Slender Loris called "Laris", or a cool dude Polar Bear (favoured by many, including Simon) called "Poll". Cred to Chandan for the artwork.

Come along to the next one!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

OpenSolaris is here!

Well 2005 has already been a big year for Sun Microsystems. Solaris 10 downloadable/usable for free was a masterstroke. The technological advances within this operating environment are superb; to mention just Zones, DTrace and SMF. Then as a taster of open things to come, DTrace itself was opened, and the promise that Solaris would be Opened in Q2/2005 was made.

OpenSolaris is here! and at

For some months now, about 140 people outside Sun including myself have been working under the shroud of NDA to create a Pilot Community of users of OpenSolaris. Now the shroud is off, and you can join the Community! Whether you are a Developer, SysAdmin, or Student, you can now get the Operating System and Networking portions of Solaris source code (ON, or sometimes OS/NET) and coming along over time, more and more of the Solaris Operating Environment. You can build your own Solaris!

Not only that, but by joining the Community, you will get the ear (as we in the Pilot have had) of the top technical brains in Sun; one of whom is currently chairing the Community Advisory Board (CAB), Casper Dik. And find the blogs of so many other notaries - and little me. One other name-drop is for Rich Teer, the author of the brilliant "Solaris Systems Programming" book at - a publication that IMO is going to be the essential Solaris Programmer's Bible. Buy it!

Finally, I was especially pleased that on the homepage, the first translation of "open" was otevřený, which is in Czech. Anyone who knows me will know that I have a delightful Czech wife. So I take my hat off to the website designers :-)

Go to now! And get blogging at And see you soon.....