What Sun Microsystems meant to me


I have just read a few articles regarding Oracle finally destroying what was left of Sun Microsystems after Oracle’s purchase in 2010.

I worked at Sun since 1989, December 8th to be specific. When I joined Sun we were hiring people at a rate of 500 a month. Huge expansion, and it looked like there was no stopping Sun Microsystems at the time. Eventually the tech bubble burst, and Sun was no longer swimming in money.

For me it was an exciting experience, I had very little exposure and understanding of Unix. Sun’s operating system Solaris was based on BSD Unix (Berkley Software Distribution), and I had 6 months after I was hired to become a Certified Solaris Administrator. I did accomplish that, and it was foundational to where my career was heading (not that I knew it at the time).

I was with the company for 16 years, 13 Sun only and then 3 years with Oracle/Sun. I was very proud to be working at Sun. I learned so much about IT/Technology, High Touch Customer support/advocacy, and Knowledge Management. When we heard that Sun was looking for a company to buy them, most of us hoped for the best. IBM was the contender most of us hoped would step in and bring profitability back to Sun.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be the case. Oracle ponied up the 7+ billion dollars, and closed the deal. I was excited, hoping that Oracle could bolster/improve Sun’s cash flow.

Then Oracle did something funny, no, not haha funny, but funny like “You shouldn’t drink or eat that because it smells funny.” It was not the time to drink the Kool Aid.

In looking back now, it was like Oracle purchased an amazing skyscraper in New York, or Chicago. Then they started some remodeling… which is completely understandable. But then someone decided to demolish the building and give the bricks and steel i-beams to scrappers.

Oracle wasted billions of dollars purchasing Sun for no reason, and then happily gutted, filleted and dumped it in the trash. No leveraging the amazing technology and talent that Sun possessed. Oracle could have done some really amazing things, but as I learned when I started working for Oracle that W.O.W. was a common acronym: Way Oracle Works. It’s like saying “it is what it is”.

Some people may say that Google is Evil incarnate, but for me real Evil is Oracle. They will continue on, and people like me will just have our good memories of a technology company that was cool, imaginative, and encouraged innovation. And we will try to forget how that all came down like a slow motion train on fire crashing into a fuel tank farm.

I feel very fortunate to be working for IBM now. Great culture, great tech and a bright future.

The Sun has finally set, I welcome a new day.

Static IPs

I have decided that I wanted to have static ips for my home network, you know so you can access services that you set up on your home computers from the inter-webs; Such as running a mail server, web server, or private cloud from your personal network.

I have AT&T U-verse for internet, it is a DSL connection, I get around 50 mb bandwidth. For about $60 a month, not bad really.

So I called up AT&T and ordered a block of IP addresses, 8 of them, 3 are used for networking purposes, so you wind up getting 5 usable addresses. Why go with Static IPs rather than dynamically assigned addresses? Well, if you have a domain (i.e. person.com) that is pointing to the dynamic address there is the possibility that you will not always have the same IP address, it changes; every time you start or restart the connected device, it may assign a different IP, so your domain that is pointed to the address will have issues because it doesn’t automagically update that information.

With a Static IP, it doesn’t change. And that is the benefit of a static IP.

So, long story longer, the AT&T tech arrived in the morning, we started to get the 2 wire modem/router reprogrammed. ┬áTurns out, AT&T did all the reprogramming of the 2 wire remotely. ┬áThe technician didn’t need to come out, in fact when he arrived, he had no information about my static IPs. He left 40 minutes later not having to have done a single thing to make this work. It was all handled remotely. He showed me an iPad with my IPs listed, I had to take a picture of the iPad so I could have a copy of them. Great technician, really nice guy. AT&T on the other hand could have provided him with the information needed up front, or they could have just done the work remotely and not sent a technician.

Oh well, it’s configured now. I just have to figure out how to make it all work. The nice thing is it only increased my monthly bill to $65.00.

More later… same bat time, same bat channel.