Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Time for a Change

January 20, 2009

Read this book. Reduce your impact on the environment: Try to consume 25% less electrical energy this year. Ask for FSC certified wood products. Use your bike (with or without a trailer) for distances less than 3 km/2 miles. When driving a car, drive less fast.

Why? Read this book. Or maybe because you need a new challenge. Or just because it’s fun to impress your neighbors (who are used to see you in a car) by coming home from shopping or from work on a bike.

Programmer’s top 25…

January 14, 2009

… programming errors with regards to security have been published a few days ago here, grouped into

I believe it’s a good idea to read through the list from time to time, or to use it when planning QA.

Read a related article on Heise Online here. For the original German version, click here.

About screencasts…

January 4, 2009

Read about Sarah’s findings after viewing user testing screen casts. Her blog is full of examples and comments on application usability and web design, so I’ll add it to my link list.

Probably the funniest meeting during CEC 2007 in Las Vegas

October 13, 2007

As you might have noticed, about 4000 Sun engineers met in Las Vegas this week to attend interesting presentations, meet group members (e.g. this guy) who often only know each other from sending emails, join the launch of the new systems with the 64-thread UltraSPARC T2 processor, and have a good time.

As always, participants were given some items like a backpack, a T-Shirt, and – of course – a conference guide with the latest news.

On the day before the non-US engineers left Las Vegas, there was some time to drive to Hoover Dam, take a flight to the Grand Canyon, or buy some souvenirs.

I decided to go shopping (I had seen Fry’s building on the bus ride from the airport to our hotel some days earlier), and wanted to see if they had any interesting offers.

After I entered the shop, I was asked to leave my backpack and I got a receipt with my name on it. Interestingly, Fry’s does not only offer computer equipment (as I had thought) but lots of other stuff like refrigerators, TVs, non-computer books, non-computer magazines, and non-computer games. And you can even buy some food or drink a coffee.

Before leaving the shop, I had to get my backpack back. So I gave my receipt to the lady at the exit counter. She took it and went to a small room nearby, but she did not come back with my backpack! I could see that the door was half open, and apparently she had some trouble finding my backpack. After a while, I decided to find out what she was doing and to ask her if I could help. When I came closer to the room, I immediately found the reason: There were more than 10, maybe even 20 identical backpacks! It looked like all those backpacks decided to meet at Fry’s that day and apply for the most densely packed meeting in Las Vegas. Why I did not take a photo I cannot tell – maybe one of my colleagues did?

Oh – by the way – immediately after I asked, my backpack identified itself to the lady. I hope all the other backpacks got back their owners as well.

What is “proprietary”?

April 6, 2007

“Proprietary” – what’s that? When looking it up on the web, one can find various definitions for it:

  • In the Proprietary article on Wikipedia, proprietary components are defined as “components that are unique to a specific manufacturer, and do not conform to preset standards”
  • AskOxford defines it as a product “marketed under a registered trade name”.
  • The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines it as “something that is used, produced, or marketed under exclusive legal right of the inventor or maker”.
  • In Wiktionary, proprietary is defined as “Manufactured exclusively by the owner of intellectual property rights, as with a patent or trade secret”.
  • proprietary software is defined in Wikipedia as “software with restrictions on using, copying and modifying as enforced by the proprietor”.
  • And Webopedia tells us that “proprietary is the opposite of open”, and that “it also implies that the company has not divulged specifications that would allow other companies to duplicate the product.”

But when reading articles and comments from analysts, journalists, and others, “proprietary” is often used in a sense of “not in more than 90% of all computers”.
So who has the definition power for the word “proprietary”?
And: Does anyone believe that OpenSPARC and OpenSolaris are proprietary?

Thinking out of the box: Project EcoBox unveiled on April 1st, 2007!

April 4, 2007

Great news: Sun has unveiled Project EcoBox. A great place to work!

Details here:

A Report That Will Change the World

February 2, 2007

… has today been published by the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It’s about the world’s climate and our influence on it.

Read it and keep it in mind when making decisions about your new house, car, desktop system, or server.

Some pictures from the report:

This is a graph of the atmospheric concentration of CO2 over the last 10.000 years.

And this is a graphic showing the temperature change in certain regions, where the blue shaded bands in the small graphs show results of simulations of climate models with only non-human influence, and the red shaded bands show results of models with human influence (e.g. burning of fossil fuels). The black lines are real measurements.

SPEC CPU2006 is out – with a world record for Sun Fire E25K!

August 24, 2006

Yesterday, an article in Heise Newsticker (German language) pointed me to the release of SPEC CPU2006. I was quite impressed by the results – with Sun Microsystems publishing more results than other company.

Among them is an impressive result for the parallel integer benchmark CINT2006 rate for the Sun Fire E25K with 72 US-IV+ processors: 759!

With SPEC CPU2006, it is easier to compare the results for the CINT2006 benchmark with those for the CINT2006 Rate (CINT2006 running in parallel). Same applies to the floating point benchmark suite, CFP2006. The base result of 1 is identical for all four SPEC CPU2006 benchmarks – it’s the result of the benchmark suite on a Sun Ultra 2.

Spellchecking with Google

May 15, 2005

It has been mentioned before on the web, but whenever I talk about it, people say, “Wow, I didn’t think about that way of using a search engine!”.

Especially for non-native speakers of the English language, if your favorite dictionary (mine is currently LEO, an Online Service of Technische Universität M√ľnchen, powered by Sun Microsystems) does not contain a word that you would like to use, you may want to try a search engine. An example?

Try: “parallelizable” (currently 51,900 hits) and “parallizable” (359 hits). The U.K. style, “parallelisable” gives you 859 hits, so it’s very likely that the second possible way of spelling is incorrect (at least, less people may know what you mean by using that word instead of the first one).

By reading the word in the context, you also get an impression of the meanings, and maybe you’ll discover that the word you wanted to use means something different than you thought;-). And, as you can see in the above example, by looking at the domains of the search results (e.g. .com vs. .uk), you may even get hints about in which countries a special way of spelling is used.


May 10, 2005

Hi all,

I’m Bernd Finger, a Service Engineer working for Sun Microsystems in Walldorf, Germany. My main work area is SAP on Sun proactive and reactive support.
My main hobbies are computers and music, and I will write about those and my other hobbies later.

It’s my first blog, and I wonder how this evolves in the future. As I am sometimes writing letters to the editor, blogging is probably my perfect add-on or follow-up activity.

Feel free to contact me!