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Resolved: the Internet Is No Place for Critical Infrastructure

Risk is a necessary consequence of dependence

April 26, 2013

Topic: Security

0 comments

Deduplicating Devices Considered Harmful

A good idea, but it can be taken too far

May 17, 2011

Topic: Databases

2 comments

All-Optical Computing and All-Optical Networks are Dead

Anxiously awaiting the arrival of all-optical computing? Don't hold your breath.

April 17, 2009

Topic: Networks

3 comments

Things I Learned in School

How many of us have not had the experience of sitting in a classroom wondering idly: "Is this really going to matter out in the real world?" It's curious, and in no small amount humbling, to realize how many of those nuggets of knowledge really do matter. One cropped up recently for me: the Finite State Machine (FSM). As we continue to develop the new UI for our product, we'll definitely be using FSMs wherever possible.

July 14, 2008

Topic: Web Development

0 comments

From Here to There, the SOA Way

SOA is no more a silver bullet than the approaches which preceded it. Back in ancient times, say, around the mid '80s when I was a grad student, distributed systems research was in its heyday. Systems like Trellis/Owl and Eden/Emerald were exploring issues in object-oriented language design, persistence, and distributed computing. One of the big themes to come out of that time period was 'location transparency', the idea that the way that you access an object should be independent of where it is located. That is, it shouldn't matter whether an object is in the same process, on the same machine in a different process, or on another machine altogether.

July 14, 2008

Topic: Web Development

0 comments

Only Code Has Value?

A recent conversation about development methodologies turned to the relative value of various artifacts produced during the development process, and the person I was talking with said: the code has "always been the only artifact that matters. It's just that we're only now coming to recognize that." My reaction to this, not expressed at that time, was twofold. First, I got quite a sense of déjà-vu since it hearkened back to my time as an undergraduate and memories of many heated discussions about whether code was self-documenting.

July 14, 2008

Topic: Development

1 comments

Corba: Gone but (Hopefully) Not Forgotten

There is no magic and the lessons of the past apply just as well today.

July 14, 2008

Topic: Distributed Development

0 comments

Ground Control to Architect Tom...

Project managers love him, recent software engineering graduates bow to him, and he inspires code warriors deep in the development trenches to wonder if a technology time warp may have passed them by. How can it be that no one else has ever proposed software development with the simplicity, innovation, and automation being trumpeted by Architect Tom? His ideas sound so space-age, so futuristic, but why should that be so surprising? After all, Tom is an architecture astronaut!

November 15, 2007

0 comments

Embracing Wired Networks

Most people I know run wireless networks in their homes. Not me. I hardwired my home and leave the Wi-Fi turned off. My feeling is to do it once, do it right, and then forget about it. I want a low-cost network infrastructure with guaranteed availability, bandwidth, and security. If these attributes are important to you, Wi-Fi alone is probably not going to cut it.

June 7, 2007

Topic: Networks

0 comments

Repurposing Consumer Hardware

These days you have to be more and more creative when tackling home technology projects because the inventory of raw material second-hand technology is changing so rapidly. Market and product cycles continue to shrink, standard form factors are being discarded to drive down costs, and pricing is becoming more dependent on market value and less on direct manufacturing cost. As a result, standard modular building blocks are disappearing. New alternative uses for obsolete or low-price products are emerging, however.

March 9, 2007

0 comments

Better Health Care Through Technology

Leveraging technology to support aging relatives in their homes is a cost-efficient way to maintain health and happiness and extend life. As the technology expert for my extended family, it has fallen to me to architect the infrastructure that will support my family’s aging loved ones in their homes as long as possible. Over the years, I have assisted four different senior households in achieving this goal, and although things have been bumpy at times, I have refined technical solutions and methodologies that seem to work well.

November 10, 2006

2 comments

Rationalizing a Home Terabyte Server

With 1 TB of RAID 5 storage, most of my friends believe I have really gone off the deep end with my home server. They may be right, but as in most things in life, I have gotten to this point through a rational set of individual upgrades all perfectly reasonable at the time. Rather than being overly indulgent to my inner geek, am I an early adopter of what will be the inevitable standard for home IT infrastructure? Here is my story; you be the judge.

September 15, 2006

0 comments

The Burning Bag of Dung and Other Environmental Antipatterns

And you think you have problems?

November 30, 2004

Topic: Development

0 comments

There's Still Some Life Left in Ada

Ada remains the Rodney Dangerfield of computer programming languages, getting little respect despite a solid technical rationale for its existence. Originally pressed into service by the U.S. Department of Defense in the late 1970s, these days Ada is just considered a remnant of bloated military engineering practices.

November 30, 2004

Topic: Programming Languages

0 comments

Electronic Voting Systems:
the Good, the Bad, and the Stupid

Is it true that politics and technology don't mix?

November 30, 2004

Topic: HCI

2 comments

On Helicopters and Submarines

Bernoulli vs. Archimedes - Whenever you see a movie that's got a vehicle that's part helicopter and part submarine, you know you're in for a real treat. What could be cooler? One second, the hero's being pursued by some fighter jets piloted by some nasty dudes with bad haircuts, dodging air-to-air missiles and exchanging witty repartee over the radio with a megalomaniac bent on world domination; and then, just as the hero is unable to evade the very last missile, he pushes a button, the craft dives into the ocean, and is surrounded by an oasis of peaceful blue.

January 28, 2004

Topic: Email and IM

0 comments

Stand and Deliver:
Why I Hate Stand-Up Meetings

Stand-up meetings are an important component of the 'whole team', which is one of the fundamental practices of extreme programming (XP).

December 5, 2003

Topic: Development

3 comments

User Interface Designers, Slaves of Fashion

The discipline, science, and art of interface design has gone stagnant. The most widely read books on the subject are primarily compendia of how to make the best of received widgets. The status quo is mistaken for necessity. Constrained in this chamber pot, designers wander around giving the users of their products little comfort or fresh air.

October 2, 2003

Topic: Development

0 comments

Big Storage: Make or Buy?

We hear it all the time. The cost of disk space is plummeting.

July 31, 2003

Topic: File Systems and Storage

0 comments

The Woes of IDEs

An epigram: "We may not feel these limitations until they have been lifted from us, just as we often do not know we are sick until we suddenly feel better. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect that future languages will make us feel those limitations of [our present environments] that are not detectable today." --Gerald Weinberg

July 30, 2003

Topic: Development

0 comments

Securing the Edge

Common wisdom has it that enterprises need firewalls to secure their networks. In fact, as enterprise network practitioners can attest, the "must-buy-firewall" mentality has pervaded the field.

March 18, 2003

Topic: Web Services

0 comments