IBM’s Innovation – Open Source EGL Tools

IBM announced the release of Eclipse EGL Web Developer Tool version 0.7. It is the first open source version of its EGL development tool. EGL stands for Enterprise Generation Tools, which is developed by IBM. It is a programming tool deliberated to meet the challenges of new, multi platform application development by providing a common language and programming model across languages, frameworks and runtime podium. The language makes use of concepts familiar to anyone that uses statically typed languages like Java, COBOL, C, etc. On the other hand, the language borrows the notion of Stereotype from Universal Modeling Language, not usually found in statically typed programming languages.

EGL is not just another language. The philosophy behind was to build up a new platform without implying to learn a new language. EGL has many great features like Source editing, Visual Editing, Rich Widget Library, Debugging, IDE Test Server, Database Access, Web services and Batch Programs.

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Size DOES matter – Just Ask IBM About Their New 120 PETABYTE Storage system

In the never-ending race to build the biggest and most bitchin’ hardware on the planet, IBM has taken the lead. Again!

IBM’s newest pet is their 120 petabyte (120 million gigabytes) storage array system, a disk drive system made up of 200,000 drives. It will hold 1 trillion files. This far surpasses the current title holder of the world’s-largest-storage array, that has a measly 15 petabytes.

To put the ridiculously large number of 120 petabytes into proportion, it could hold 24 billion standard MP3 files, or replicate 60 times over the current biggest backup of the Internet from WayBack Machine’s 150 billion stored webpages.

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One Step Closer to the Matrix with IBM’s New Brain-Mimicking Computer Chip SyNAPSE

IBM took Morpheus’ little blue pill and have now discovered exactly how deep the rabbit hole goes with their SyNAPSE computer chip. With this new chip IBM has brought us closer to artificial intelligence than we have ever been.

IBM’s new computer chip, the Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics, or SyNAPSE, was designed to more closely mimic the human brain. More specifically it cognitively understands its surrounding to the point that it can interpret its environment and respond to it with decisive action — making use of complex data.

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Does Open Source have in it to be Numero-Uno?

I remember writing an article about 2 months ago, on Open Source’s revenue flow and the actual source of the payments that Open Source gets. I stated that the question of Where does Open Source get its Payment from? is one that could have multiple answers. This question of whether Open Source has it all to be Number 1 also has a similar confusion. It should seem like Open Source does have it all, but there are several instances wherein Open Source has lost out to the Big private players like Oracle, IBM, SAP, etc. who easily trade their products in the market for big bucks too. So if you were to ask me what Open Source really lacks, I would say that it falls short in advertising, marketing and selling its products.

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Tech World’s Top 10 Mistakes – Series II

Continuing from where I left off in my previous article, Tech World’s Top 10 Mistakes – Series I, let us now look at the remaining half of the technology world’s top ten blunders – counting down from number 5 to number 1:

5. IBM PS/2 a little too late

IBM PS2 MCA Model 55 SX
IBM PS2 MCA Model 55 SX (source : Wikipedia)

IBM was indeed very late to put to action its pro-active idea of counter-attacking its competitors. IBM’s break-through concept of bringing a computer to every office desk in the world worked very well until competitors like Compaq and others began to hit back during the era of the 3rd generation of the PC market. What the competitors did was they started to fabricate a PC clone of IBM and started to eat away IBM’s PC sales whose prices were, as per business consumers, pretty high and hence they did not mind buying working PCs without the IBM logo on them.

In order to get back into the PC marker groove, IBM gave birth to a new idea and named it PS/2 which was supposedly ‘a completely new PC with a closed micro channel architecture that would force the cloners to start again from scratch’. This could have been fantastic, considering competition would suffer till the time they found a new way to hit back. But the worst part of the entire scenario was that even consumers would have to start from the scratch in terms of getting compatible with the new system. IBM thought that they had enough influence that can pull this idea off. But they were wrong. Another basic mistake that IBM made was the non-realization of the fact that the time for earning more margins on hardware products was long gone and now software is where the real money lies.

4. Iridium hiccup

This should probably be considered as a brilliant technological breakthrough backed by stupid execution tactics. The idea of never having to experience spotty mobile phone coverage and dropped calls surely would be much appreciated and loved by consumers. However, this seems as a dream yet to come true for users, for the team that launched the Iridium satellite went through nightmares to come up with its execution. A mobile network which would cover the entire globe was launched in the year 1998 and nine months post that they had to file for bankruptcy. To achieve the set ambition, they had to actually launch 77 orbital satellites on which the Iridium satellite would rely on. Launching one satellite itself costs loads, so multiplying the loads of cost into 77 would result as quite a large expense. Hence, the bankruptcy. The mission is now seen as a specialist service for remote applications like that of Ocean Vessels and rescue operations.

3. Itanium case

A simple case which focused on engineering optimism and lacked business sense. Intel’s huge investment during early 2000 went into fabricating Intel’s first 64-bit chip. Similar to what IBM did with its PS/2, Intel did with Itanium. Intel did not realize the essence of backing their hardware product with the requisite software application which would enable better deployment and usability of its 64-bit code. This is exactly what competitor AMD did – Operton chip; a chip that combined 32 and 64-bit operations and beat Intel in understanding the exact business trend at that time. Technological business firms are always paralysed by the inability to distinguish between “can we do this?” and “should we do this?”

2. Sony’s ‘deadly’ battery

Now this one is quite different from the already mentioned blunders which either caused user dissatisfaction or created financial losses. Sony apparently developed a battery during 2006/07 which was so deadly that it could have killed users. These battery-packs were made for computer makers like Dell, Apple and Acer and were of lithium-ion make. Once if the computers of laptops were slammed hard on the floor, the battery cells would heat up to the level of creating a small time blast due to a violent combustion. The computers made up of these batteries were recalled and re-fabricated with to ensure there were no dangerous elements in the systems.

1. Intel Pentium Zero processor

One of the most premium inventions that ever took place in the computer hardware-world is Intel’s Pentium processor. But there was a huge blunder that Intel committed and that was a technological flaw supported very well by pathetic engineering and PR planning. During 1994 Intel was doing very well with its Pentium processor earning very good accolades with its astonishing 66MHz clock speeds. But one mathematics professor’s problem with the processor turned out to be disastrous for Intel. He’d installed a few Pentiums in a system being used to enumerate prime numbers, but had been getting very dodgy results back ever since. Intel already knew what the problem was, but chose not to rectify it reasoning that the problem wasn’t an issue unless you were really performing high level mathematical functions. The issue was with the chip’s floating point unit and they presumed they would sort the entire predicament out later. But it was too late too ugly for them.

So there you go, the list of the top ten most obtuse technological blunders made by some of the most renowned technology players in the world.

2010 – IBM ‘Brings In’, The Revenue

An organization which believes in the value of being dedicated to every client’s success now has the chance of cherishing its own success. IBM boasts of high revenue earnings for the year 2010 with an impressive Q – III Result. These revenues are a result of IBM’s fantastic business performers like IBM services, IBM mainframes, IBM analytics, etc.

The net income as per the company’s reports came up to 3.6 billion dollars (2.82 dollar per share on revenue of 24.3 billion dollars) which is apparently 3% above last year’s statistics. This has beat Wall Street Journal’s expected estimation of 2.75 dollar per share on 24.13 billion dollars. Speaking on the various sources of revenue, IBM CEO Samuel Palmisano said “we grew revenue in our hardware, software and services businesses, expanded margins and again increased earnings per share at double digits.”

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Top Free Linux Online Courses

The Learning Resource Center: Back to School!

Photo by GuhPraset

The Learning Resource CenterBack to School!

So you’ve been playing around with your tux box for quite some time now. Experimenting with tar balls, the terminal, packages, distros, etc. may now be a part for your daily routine. If you remember, we talked about the existing career opportunities with Linux in a two-post article, few days back. A lot of youngsters admired that nibble of information. Keeping them in mind, I decided to come up with something that would emphasize more on learning the concepts rather than just trying things out randomly. (I know it’s fun though!)

At this stage, or may be sometime in the near future if you plan to get your Linux knowledge a formal nurturing, an online course may be something you would be interested in! These courses would be beneficial for people who have time and interest to master the art of Linux step by step. You may try them out and come up with a feedback as comments to this post.

  1. Linux.org: They have three levels of course modules: Linux Online hosts these courses considering the students at all levels. You can graduate to the next level, soon after you’re comfortable with one. The best part if that you can carry out the learning process without you having a need to register or download any software whatsoever. Apart from the course material, you can get a lot of how-to’s & tips to make you more efficient as a Linux guy.
    1. Beginner Level
    2. Intermediate Level
    3. Advanced Level
  2. Novel OpenCourseWare Project: Novell offers a good learning platform with free Linux courses on their OpenCourseWare project. These courses can easily be accessed via the website without having the need to register. Product documentation, softwares, tips, etc. come assorted for free!
    1. Linux Enterprise server 10 Course
    2. Novell Linux Desktop Starter Course
    3. Certified Linux Professional 10 Course
  3. IBM – Linux Professional Institute: The links mentioned below provide an array of Linux tutorials, courtesy IBM. These tutorials are intended to help the candidates prepare for the Linux Professional Institute(LPI) Exam. One needs to register before accessing the material, but it’s free for all!
    1. Linux Kernel tutorial
    2. Linux System Startup tutorial
    3. Linux File Serving & Sharing Tutorial
  4. Shuttleworth Foundation’s – Learn Linux Project: It is an Open Source initiative backed by the Shuttleworth Foundation. These courses are again free and can be accessed without any registration for free.
    1. Linux Fundamentals Course
    2. System Administration Course
    3. Network Administration Course
  5. VTC University: VTC University is well known for a lot of computer software training courses. Most of them need you to pay for an access. But VTC offers free Linux training material. You can access a few free video tutorials and can view them on QuickTime or Flash!
    1. Introduction
  6. About.com’s Linux courses: About.com is a well known website and form a part of the NYT. They offer a number of online courses for free. One can get the course material delivered directly to an email account on day-to-day or weekly basis, depending on the course! The website also hosts a lot of how-to’s, tutorials and a forum for Linux enthusiasts.
    1. Linux Desktop 101: 14 Weekly Lessons
  7. Begin Linux: Begin Linux also provides free Linux courses. You may have to register for a few courses. However, Guest login is allowed for most of the courses. This would mean no registration glitches. The courses are well designed and include textual as well as video content.
    1. Linux Commands Course
    2. Suse Desktop Course
    3. PC LinuxOS 2007 Course
  8. University of California at Davis – Professor Norm Matloff’s Tutorial Center for Linux/Unix: The link below leads to a great Linux and Unix tutorial center. All the tutorials are pretty much detailed and are available for free to both students and non-students of the university. There is need for any registration.
    1. Linux Tutorials
  9. The Linux Tutorial: This website was started by author & systems admin Jay Mohr. He maintains a lot of free Linux tutorials on the website. Apart from the course material, one can find some good articles, glossary and a forum. All for free!
    1. Linux Basics
    2. Installing and Upgrading Linux
  10. Linuxtopia – Linux Security for Beginners: It is a great learning website for beginners who wish to learn Linux security. It provides an in-depth knowledge of various concepts involving security of a *nix system. The left-menu bar allows easy navigation to other Linux courses as well. A must visit for a Linux security enthusiast.

These were a few free online course websites for Linux learners. One of these may suit you the best! Stay tuned for more.