Java Was Once A World Beater, Now A Toad

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 5:59 pm

Java, one of the most exciting technical developments of recent years, has been credited with everything from saving the Internet to reviving the concept of client-server computing. But does it really mean much to the UNIX world? Is it just another programming language (as Microsoft claims), or is there more to the story? In this article we’ll examine the UNIX industry’s view of Java.

In a nutshell, Java’s primary promise is to “write once, run anywhere.” The goal is to be truly system-independent (of both hardware and operating systems). Whether this is happening today is another matter. Java has made the World Wide Web more than just a medium for the delivery of static multimedia documents. The Web would have been popular anyway, but with Java, it excites the imagination. Finally, since Java initially was created to power set-top boxes, it has a design center that enables consistent programming from small non-PC computers to large enterprise servers.

Why Microsoft Is Scared

If these

Categories: Platforms

NT Couldn’t Crush Unix

Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 10:07 am

Who says last rites need to be administered to Unix? The Dealer Services Group of Automatic Data Processing Inc. is among the many faithful keeping the operating system alive and well. Last month, the $750 million technology division of ADP signed a $100 million deal with Digital Equipment Corp., committing to Digital’s 64-bit AlphaServer Unix system to drive enterprise applications across its 18,000 car and truck dealerships.

DSG is part of a much larger flock of followers that believe in the virtues of Unix for mission-critical and enterprise applications. Officials at companies across all industries who run some flavor of the operating system say its scalability, reliability and management capabilities still make it the most logical environment to host large applications, including SAP AG’s R/3 and Oracle Corp.’s Financials, along with data warehouses and all the back-office operations that make their organizations run.

While a Windows NT setup can cost significantly less, these Unix devotees maintain that Microsoft Corp. still

Categories: Platforms

Hard Drive Data Recovery Using A Software

Friday, February 13, 2015 at 5:27 am

hddrsIf you have unfortunately deleted an important folder or mistakenly formatted a wrong drive, or due to a similar reason, you have got your hard drive out of order, you may need to fix it using a software. Luckily, software related problems are easily to deal with when you are concerned about hard drive data recovery. In order to recover your data by treating a software related problem, there are a few steps you need to take.

The most important thing to keep in mind while attempting for hard drive data recovery is that you must immediately stop working with the hard drive, which is out of order. That is because you obviously do not want your data to be overwritten and lost for good! Once you have shut down the computer, try making a clone of your hard drive and attempt to recover your data from that clone.

Now scan the clone you have created using different recovery programs which are easily …

Categories: Platforms

Unix Knowledge Just Not As Important To Today’s Job Market

Friday, February 6, 2015 at 12:37 am

Anecdotal evidence suggests Lotus Notes expertise is still very much in demand, so maybe this has just been an abnormal quarter (last time its growth rate was 33%). None the less, it has fallen six places in the table as a result.

The biggest growth was shown by Java, with the jobs on offer up nearly threefold to 2,800, raising it 12 places in the table. This is testimony to the continuing rise in interest in Web-based applications, as shown also by a 72% increase in demand for generic Internet-related skills (now 27th) and a doubling in demand for HTML expertise (now 34th).


Only one other skill in the top 25 featured in more than twice as many ads as a year ago, and that was SQL, up from 2,800 to 5,700 posts. It remains firmly esconsed in the top 10 in eighth place. Two other skills that just failed to reach 100% growth were Windows NT-up from 4,900 to 9,700

Categories: Platforms

ERP Proved A Solid Foundation For NT

Friday, December 12, 2014 at 11:52 am

For a long time, Unix looked to be the most fertile ground for seeding Hydro-Agri North America’s extensive ERP applications. Installed at the agricultural chemical and fertilizer distributor were two high-powered Hewlett-Packard Co. Unix servers running SAP AG’s R/3, with a third off-site for disaster recovery purposes. Systems analyst Jim Wiedrich, who ran the operation, was a self-described Unix fan, dubbing the “backslash” mark in Windows/DOS “backwards.” His preference? Leave Windows to the desktops and other non-mission-critical applications.

Wiedrich began to consider plowing new fields, however. With information systems dollars scarce and a low crop yield of Unix programmers, Hydro-Agri last year decided to root its future enterprise resource planning applications in Windows NT. The Tampa Bay, Fla., company pulled out its Unix servers, save for the database server, and replanted six Compaq Computer Corp. ProLiant servers with SAP R/3 applications on NT.

Norsk Hydro was a heavy embracer of NT.

Why the shift? As Wiedrich admits, conventional wisdom would dictate choosing the

Categories: Platforms

Real Time Gets Real

Friday, October 3, 2014 at 12:33 am

Real time is all about providing a result in a bounded amount of time. It is about juggling multiple inputs from the outside world and supplying outputs back to it exactly when needed. An example of a real-time application is the antilock brakes on your car (they must be accurately pulsed tens of times per second). To satisfy the needs of real-time systems, APIs must be available to support accurate timing, fast communications and I/O, and precise, priority-driven scheduling. Conventional wisdom held that without proprietary APIs and OSes, it was impossible to achieve the level of performance required to solve real-time problems. However, there are significant costs associated with coding solutions to a proprietary product.

Recognizing this, OS vendors, researchers, and users participated in an IEEE working group known as Posix.4. The group’s goal was to refine existing Posix APIs and develop new APIs to address the needs of the real-time environment. The result of this effort was the Posix 1003.1b-1993

Categories: Platforms

Notes From The 90s

Monday, August 25, 2014 at 9:44 pm

muI’m writing this in early January, and it will be in editorial offices from Istanbul to Tokyo by the 8th. The first part of this column will be online in the United States before the end of the month. That’s progress. It gets the awards information out faster. More importantly, I don’t have to guess each month what’s going to be interesting three months later.

The User’s Choice Awards are subjective and my own, and generally follow from what I have found useful here. I can’t pretend to have looked at everything, so when I use phrases like “Best of the Year” please understand there are some restrictions here, and perhaps I ought to say “Best I have looked at and used.” That’s truthful, but overly restrictive. I hear about a lot of stuff from readers, from associates, from Byte.Com’s excellent editorial staff, and even from press releases, particularly if they come from press people I know and respect.

Incidentally, there are a …

Categories: Platforms

Windows ME – What A Stinker!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 7:52 pm

wmeThough the Windows Me upgrade itself costs as little as $49, there’s another price to consider: Dozens of utilities and other apps designed for earlier versions of Windows won’t work with the OS (see “Using Windows Me–the Hidden Costs of Upgrading,” page 52, for a list of the most prominent). If you plan to keep using one or more such programs under Windows Me, you’ll need to expand your upgrade budget to pay for new versions–or at least allocate time for lengthy downloads.

And those aren’t the only difficulties. By mid-December, a search of Microsoft’s knowledge base ( for the text Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem’ retrieved 200 incompatibilities, “issues,” and other difficulties that the company blames on Windows Me. Searching for the same text for Windows 98 yielded the same number–which probably indicates that 200 is the upper limit on records returned by the site’s search engine.

But the same search directed at Windows 98 SE identified only 184 …

Categories: Platforms

Choosing An OS For Your Older Machine

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 9:53 pm

closPERHAPS THE SINGLE MOST important factor in your productivity is your computer’s operating system (OS). It determines how you store and retrieve files; how you connect to the Internet and to your home network; how you use devices like PDAs and peripherals like printers and CD-RW or DVD drives. Most important, your OS governs your interface or interaction with all your other software–and indeed, dictates which programs you can use.

Not surprisingly, the first thing to do when choosing an OS is to assess your workstyle. Just what do you want your computer to do? What software will perform the tasks you require? What operating system runs that software? For example, if you’re a graphics or publishing professional, the Mac OS is the right fit–the best software for you exists on that platform. If you want the broadest choice of business programs or hardware add-ons, you want Windows.

This month, we take a look at five popular operating systems, four for Intel- …

Categories: Platforms

Ah Microsoft – Your Licensing Is Evil!

Monday, April 28, 2014 at 9:55 pm

amylI have spent the past couple of weeks looking into the new Microsoft licensing policies, and while I don’t understand everything that is going on, I have a better handle on it. A good part of what I’ve learned is off the record, but I have this on the record from Simon Hughes, program manager in Microsoft Business Licensing: “We do not see reimaging licensing policy as a source of revenue.”

Now what that means depends in part on your attitude toward Microsoft. If you simply don’t believe Microsoft you may come to one conclusion. For my part, after more than 20 years in this field, I have yet to have Microsoft tell me a direct untruth on the record. They are dedicated to teaching their products, from Dot Net, to ASP.  Like all companies, it will refuse to answer certain questions, or answer in a misleading way; but I have never had any suspicion that any Microsoft official, from Bill …

Categories: Platforms

J2EE – A Real Beauty

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 7:37 pm

j2eeIndustrywide support has made J2EE the de facto standard for building and deploying enterprise-scale Java applications.

“I don’t think any advancements [in the past year] can be viewed as positively as J2EE,” Rich Green, vice president of Java Software at Sun, said at the event. “Once again, we’ve raised the bar for how [Java] can work [in an open-standards environment].”

Eight of the nine vendors with fully compatible J2EE products were present at the event, lending support to Green’s comment.

“[J2EE means] customers have platform confidence,” says Jonathan Weedon, chief architect at Borland. “The standards are of high quality, but before J2EE, there hasn’t been a metric to measure [that quality]. That’s why compatibility tests are important-[they instill] confidence in the platform.”

Due to be released sometime this year, the next version of J2EE, J2EE 1.3, is a result of work done within the Java Community Process (JCP), a panel of vendors and licensees that gives partners more power to develop Java specs.…

Categories: Platforms