Monthly Archives: June 2006
While I still haven’t gotten my Ultra 40 yet, I did take an opportunity today to call Sun and ask them where my order was in the process. The menu options were sensible and easily navigated, and I was speaking with a friendly gentleman in short order. He was unable to find my order in the system, and he said it’s probably in the Try and Buy processing queue or something to that effect. I gave him my email address at his request, and he said he’ll follow up once he knows what’s going on with the order. I’ll update you folks once I’ve heard back from him.
All in all, though, a rather quick and painless phone call, even if it didn’t yield immediate results. It was a rather nice change from the phone operations with which I’m accustomed to dealing. We’ll see how things play out from here.
This is the initial plan for how and what I’m going to be testing on the hopefully forthcoming Sun Ultra 40.
One thing that I did notice, thanks to a comment on Jonathan’s blog entry about the promo, is that Sun explicitly forbids benchmarking in their Solaris Software License Agreement. To wit, in part 5(f):
You may not publish or provide the results of any benchmark or comparison tests run on Software to any third party without the prior written consent of Sun.
So, to that end I’m going to not post any hard numbers for benchmarks in Solaris. Instead, I’ll be commenting on how performance feels in relation to Linux — basically whether or not I think it would be a contender in an environment where performance was very important. Then again, it does say “third party.” If I’m publishing them myself, would that not be publishing to a third party? I might take that up with Sun’s legal department, just to be certain.
Sun Microsystems, venerable system and software vendor of the Unix world, has a rather interesting promo going on. It’s part of their try-before-you-buy deal, where you can get a free 60-day run on one of their mid- or high-end servers and workstations. According to Jonathan in his blog post, if you post a thorough review (in the eyes of the product team) regardless of whether it’s favorable or not, you can keep the system for free. Presumably they’ll take your words and use them as marketing copy if appropriate, but for a free Sun system they could use them to promote an end to tooth-brushing for all I care.
I’ve already submitted my application for an Ultra 40 dual-Opteron workstation. I intend to use it for testing Ruby on Rails deployment and performance. I’d like to install Rails on Solaris 10 (preinstalled!), Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Ubuntu Linux, and Windows Server 2003 to see which one comes across as most manageable, and with the best performance. This is the first of my entries in that series.
I selected the Ultra 40 workstation primarily because that’s what will fit best in my office at home, under my desk, and it gives me the ability to test Windows in the equation as well as Linux distributions that don’t support SPARC64. We’ll see how this shapes up, and I’ll try to keep you posted.
I’ve been giving some recent consideration to giving up my car in favor of a motorcycle. I’ve never ridden one in my life, but I’ve got lots of friends who are afficionados to whom I’m readily turning for advice. They all say, “Take a class,” and I agree with them — riding a bike isn’t the sort of thing you just toy with, and if I’m going to do it I want to do it right. This shit can kill me (note: So can lots of stuff) so I’m going to do everything within my power to stack the odds as far in my favor as possible. I’ve signed up — or, at least I’ve submitted the registration form — for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation‘s Basic RiderCourse class at the local community college.
Once I’ve got the training and license taken care of, I’m going to look into getting a bike. I’m pretty certain I want a cruiser, and I know for sure that I don’t want a sport bike. I’ve been looking at:
- 2006 Honda Shadow Spirit 750
- 2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic
- 2006 Yamaha V Star Classic
- 2006 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883L
- A co-worker’s 1996 Honda Magna that he’s looking to sell
I think it could be a lot of fun and I think it could lead me into a lifelong hobby, but I’m very nervous. What if I’m a lousy rider? What if I sell the car and get the bike, and it turns out to not be practical as a daily “driver?” There are a number of ways this could go horribly awry, and I’m coming up with more. I guess it’s a question of weighing the payoff, I guess, but looking around at most of those I know who ride wouldn’t give it or their love of it up for anything.