Saturday, July 02, 2005

Sizing the 2005 Worldwide Server Market

A lot of work went into this article at IT Jungle on estimating the installed base of servers. Software companies care a great deal about installed hardware bases. Here's the table of interest:

Worldwide Server Installed Base, Early 2004
X86-X64 Windows NT 2,000,000

X86-X64 Windows 2000 6,200,000

X86-X64 Windows 2003 1,300,000

X86-X64 Linux 2,500,000

X86-X64 NetWare 2,000,000

X86-X64 Unix 2,000,000

X86-X64 Other 500,000

X86 Intel Arch. Total 16,500,000

Sun RISC/Unix 960,000

HP RISC/Unix 240,000

IBM RISC/Unix 310,000

Other RISC/Unix 90,000

Risc/Unix Total 1,600,000

IBM AS/400/iSeries 450,000

IBM Mainframe 20,000

HP VMS 375,000

Other Architectures 150,000

Other Architecture 995,000

TOTAL 19,095,000
Source: IT Jungle

The $64,000,000 question is: are these numbers correct? The answer is "no". They are estimates, and only IBM has a better count. You have my permission to use the numbers above in your market forecast.

AMD's FX-57: High Performance, High Price

AMD's new Athlon 64 FX-57 microprocessor gets high marks from reviewers, including ExtremeTech and Tom's Hardware. It is arguably the fastest uniprocessor desktop chip you can buy today. But at well over $1,000 a pop, it is also well out of the mainstream on price. Middle-age gamers will scoff up the FX-57 and nVidia's new 7800 graphics cards to build killer gaming rigs at $3,000 to $5,000 each. A least, they'll be killer rigs for six months.

Symantec Admits to 'One Enormous Mistake' with Veritas Buy

Symantec CEO John Thompson admitted the company booted the PR on the recent Veritas acquisition. "We didn't say 'why,'" Thompson said in an interactive discussion.

Give the man credit for admitting a mistake. Perhaps Wall Street will back off and see if the integration of these two companies into the 4th largest software company in the world can be pulled off with more aplomb than the acquisition.

Cingular CIO: Consolidating 50 Million Users Is Not Fun

Think you have a headache at the end of a long day? Try integrating Cingular with AT&T Wireless. First, you have to deal with 2,500 terabytes of data. Then consolidating 1,040 overlapping applications. All while keeping the company going 24x7. Sorta like changing an engine on a 747 while in the air. God bless!

Tips and Tricks for Windows XP

Nifty PC Magazine article with all sorts of tings you can/should do in Windows XP. Bookmark this link.

Desktops are not Dead

PC World notes a raft of new desktops from Gateway, HP, and Dell. These are the machines whill will drive sales in the key third quarter back-to-school season. My tip, based on following the PC market for four years, is to wait for specials beginning in the last week of July. The best deals are gone by late August.

Three of things I have noted:
  • Gateway and HP are starting to ship Microsoft's Windows XP Media Edition 2005 (MC) on every desktop, even inexpensive ones. My presumption is that Microsoft cut the price of the MC OS, which used to be $5 less than XP Pro and $40 more than XP Home. The MC OS does not require a TV tuner. It will manage audio on low-end boxes. In my experience, MC is about useless without the Microsoft remote tuner and IR blaster ket ($40). I have had fun with a wireless mouse and keyboard.
  • The new machines are using the BTX form factor. This requires a new motherboard layout, placing the (hot) CPU close to the cool intake air. Over all, air flow is less obstructed. With the PC majors now driving BTX components in volume, I expect hobbyists will have more options soon to build their own BTX desktop.
  • Add-on memory pricing has quietly fallen to bargain levels. Two 256 MB paired sticks of name-brand DDR 400 memory for under $40! If you are a power user running XP, now is the time to upgrade to 1 GB of memory. You will be pleased.

Off Brand Printer Cartridges: You Get What You Pay For

PC Magazines unscientific testing shows off-brand ink jet cartridges and paper lead to less than optimal results on photo prints. The best photos were with the printer manufacturer's ink cartridge and photo paper.

Apple Introduces Macintosh

Due to a space/time continuum disruption, this post from Byte in 1984 on the original Mac is just being posted.

Seriously, look at the specs. The degree of fundamental technology change in a couple of decades is off the charts. We sometimes forget that in the heat of the day's battle.

More OC Blog News

Once again I'm taking some time for blog maintenance, and I wanted to let you know what was going on. I added our logo to the "About" section of this new template. Some minor tweaks were made to our Feedburner (podcast) news feed. And I did a little research about the new iTunes after a listener sent us technical information. At this time Feedburner does not easily support the iTunes directory, but according to the news updates at the Feedburner site they are working on it and will update their service soon. As soon as that happens, we will add whatever iTunes features we can. In the meantime hang in there with us, please.

Thanks as always to our listeners, readers, and to the fantastic blogging team, without which I would have no blog to maintain.

Friday, July 01, 2005


You can Op_Out from DoubleClick's Spyware cookies.

XP Starter under the gun

Here is an interesting analysis of Windows XP Starter Edition. Will it be too stripped down for most users in emerging markets or will it be a big hit?

New tax for broadband customers?

I'm not sure how I feel about this, but it is clear that affordable broadband will not come to rural america without government intervention. This is clear now that providers are rolling out high-speed fiber optics to areas already served by decent and affordable level of broadband.

I laughed out loud at the comment quoted below:

"But Randolph May, a senior fellow at the Progress and Freedom Foundation, a market-oriented think tank, said policy-makers should be cautious before making any changes. Broadband access, he said, is getting cheaper and more widely available.

'It's not clear that any subsidies are needed,' May said. 'But if policy-makers want to provide some subsidies, they should be, in my view, carefully targeted to low-income people that really need them."

The speaker just doen't get it. Free enterprise is not working to bring affordable broadband to vast numbers of people in rural areas. This is not only a low income issue, though that is part of it. It is an affordable access problem. Arguably, if I can afford $25 a month for broadband when dial-up is only $10 per month, then I'm not really poor -- $15 a month is a lot of food when those are your choices.

Is access affordable at $25 or $50 a month? Well much more so than $100 to $150 a month (which would be my real cost for satellite service or a 192 kbps dsl line). But am I "low-income"? Not by any true meaning of that word. I just can't with any reason justify spending $150 a month for marginal broadband. That's more than I spend for satellite radio, satellite tv, phone service including wireless and dial-up connectivity put together.

Maybe it is time to give free enterprise a governmental kick in the tushie before the digital divide grows yet deeper and broader.

Google Earth - Products

Google Earth - Products: "For anyone who has ever dreamed of flying...' - NY Times
The idea is simple. It�s a globe that sits inside your PC. You point and zoom to anyplace on the planet that you want to explore. Satellite images and local facts zoom into view. Tap into Google search to show local points of interest and facts. Zoom to a specific address to check out an apartment or hotel. View driving directions and even fly along your route. We invite you to try it now."
Here in Anchorage we have something like this, You can see a pictures of my house. (If you know where to look.)

Wired News: All Eyes on Upcoming Comet Crash

Wired News: All Eyes on Upcoming Comet Crash: "Professional and amateur astronomers will team up this weekend to give the world a look at the upcoming crash between comet Tempel 1 and a washing machine-size projectile launched by NASA."
Remember to look for the crash Tuesday night at 11:52PM Pacific Time, I'll be on my way to Fort Worth.

Microsoft warns of unpatched IE flaw | Tech News on ZDNet

Microsoft warns of unpatched IE flaw | Tech News on ZDNet: "Microsoft has issued a security advisory for Internet Explorer, after a research firm published a working exploit to demonstrate how attackers could take advantage of the flaw. "
A patch for the flaw is not available. As an interim measure, the software giant advises people to set their Internet and local intranet security zone settings to "high" before running ActiveX controls.
Check your settings.

Beware of Fake Microsoft Security Alerts

A new wave of spam that disguises itself as a Microsoft security bulletin contains a link to malicious software that gives attackers complete access to the infected machine, security researchers are reporting.

The e-mail, which began circulating late Tuesday, identifies itself as Microsoft Security Bulletin MS05-039, and offers a link to what it claims is a patch against the Sober Zafi and Mytob worms.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Google Blog: Cover the earth

The latest from google. Its pretty cool, but apparently resource intensive (vsmon is the only process on my computer which uses more memory, but google earth uses many more GDI resources than vsmon[10 vs 1,913], with minimal CPU usage). It loads slowly here, but I can't tell if that's the system or the internet.

Its a ~10GB download and there's a warning that older computers may not run it. and no apple version.
MAKEzine blog has a video of syncing it w/a gps (which requires the pro version, and I'm not sure how much that is), as one example of the usefullness. I am curious, but haven't explored yet (cost being the main consideration) ... what I can do w/my mapping software, and my gps logs. Cause I have a usb gps receiver with the laptop as a display for it (as I know many of y'all do too, cause you got it while we were at fry's lol ). Any takers? If so and you aren't a poster here, email and we'll post them here, if permission is given. :)

P.S. I'm gonna try to post a picture of my task manager window, to show the system usage for google earth. We'll see how this goes. :) It seems to work in preview! and boy, oh boy do I appreciate preview.

[Update: I fixed the makezine blog url, doh!]

Microsoft Update

(free subscription required) Yesterday was Tuesday, but it was not patch Tuesday so I was a little surprised when I received an automatic update from Microsoft. This article explains what it is all about.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

UConn Finds Rootkit in Hacked Server

In an admirable disclosure, the University of Conneticut has announced they found a rootkit on one of their servers. The machine in question contained personal information on approximately 72,000 faculty and students. Though UConn believes the data was not accessed, they have chosen the responsible course of notifying all involved.

The machine was apparently compromised nearly two years ago in an automated attack and UConn has no evidence the rootkit installed then has been used. Never the less, they've chosen to take the safe course and notify all concerned there is a risk, however small, their data was stolen.

The story linked to above has explanations of what exactly a rootkit is and links to various detection and removal tools, as well. It's worth a read.


By the bye; I applaud your choice of template, Gail. I like the way the site looks even better now.

AMD sues Intel alleging antitrust violations

There are going to be a million stories about this floating around the web. The link above will get you started.

AMD has subpoenad 40 PC vendors for their contact records with Intel, as well. There is an early analysis at The Inquirer here which points out that AMD will probably have a real struggle to convince/coerce these vendors to speak frankly about their relationship with Intel.

CNet's's first take is here

This is early days. The suit was filed Monday, 27 June. It will take a long time to take shape, much less play out.


Ruling won't slow file swapping, experts say | Tech News on ZDNet

Ruling won't slow file swapping, experts say | Tech News on ZDNet: "The Supreme Court may have dealt file-swapping companies a blow on Monday, but its decision is unlikely to put a damper on the illegal sharing of music and other media online anytime soon, industry experts say. "
Will the new decision stop you?


Sometimes things break for no apparent reason. That’s what happened to the template (design framework) for this blog. I don’t know why, but after determining that I couldn’t fix it from my end, I chose a template that works. I tried to pick one with simple type on a white background since this seems to be a group that values function over form. I hope you like it, but if you don’t just know that that change was one of necessity.

Hollywood Can Sue Over Movie, Music Piracy - Yahoo! News

The Supreme Court also said today that it is ok for Hollywood/RIAA to sue the makers of technology that enable people to share copyrighted material over the internet. The caveat is that the maker of the software has to advertise that it is their purpose. Probably no immediate affect, but I would think that the P2P people may start thinking about filters in their software.

Cable Firms Don't Have to Share Broadband - Yahoo! News

The Supreme Court came out with quite a few decisions today. This is just one of them. Do you think the cable company's should be forced to open their lines up for competitors?

Monday, June 27, 2005

The Solaris War

Just two weeks into Sun's release of Open Solaris, there is developing pressure to fork the code into two distributions. This is exactly what Sun wanted to prevent and, though there is no major schism yet, you can bet there's some hair-pulling going on among the Solaris development team.


Sunday, June 26, 2005

OnComputers Podcast

This is the On Computers podcast for 06-19-2005. If you prefer, you can download the same file here via ftp.

The Internet as We Know It Is Doomed

I have become increasingly concerned over the past several months with:
  • the growing sophistication of malware and hacking such as the Tooso.B/Gleider32 trojan;
  • the never-ending parade of security flaws in not just Microsoft but all operating systems on the Internet, as illustrated by last week's Javascript use of a feature for nepharious purposes;
  • the relative lack of visible law enforcement activity compared to the fast growing, multinational Internet crime waves -- thus lowering deterrence;
  • the complete ease at using armies of captured PCs (and servers) to launch global massive attacks for denial of service, spam, and hacking;
  • the slowing responses of the heroic security professionals who have their fingers in the dikes but cannot seem to slow down let alone hold back the Internet crime floods;
  • the broadening of security breeches to include heretofore generally secure router operating systems, including the Internet's directory naming services that resolve URL's into IP addresses.

So far, the public has not noticed that the battle is now being won by the black shirts. The good guys are on the defensive, defending technology that was designed to be open on purpose. But the team has noted a growing number of companies that are looking to effectively disconnect from the Internet, except for a few services such as e-mail. These companies, whom I believe are trendsetters, have decided that the Internet as we know it is doomed to fall to the bad guys in black shirts. They are giving up on palliatives and pulling up the drawbridge.

When a few million households get hacked in a weekend and the nightly TV news brings everybody's attention to the war for control of the Internet, then individual consumers will also start disconnecting from the Internet -- some part-time and some full time. That event will pull down the market growth projections of a lot of technology companies who are banking on global, always-on, computing-on-demand as almost a no-risk business scenario. I no longer think that low-risk scenario is true.

A year ago, I thought only drug dealers, spies, pedophiles, and very knowledgeable, sophisticated PC consumers would want the next-generation PCs with strong hardware-enforced security, including encrypted files and hardware firewalls between applications and data. Given the rapid advances by the hacking black shirts, I now think that the technology, such as Intel's LaGrande Technology, will have a much broader consumer demand. And on the business side, virtually all large-business and the majority of medium-small business desktops and laptops will require the most secure environment that mass-market technology can deliver.

Too bad the Internet as we know it today is passing into history -- after only a decade. The next generation Internet will be a lot less open and unfettered. It remains to be seen whether technology alone can beat the criminals. I lean towards a whole lot more law enforcement attention put on Internet crime. I notice that the political sector is beginning to pay attention.

That's enough for today...but we'll be back on this topic as it evolves.

-- Peter S. Kastner

Why Libraries Lack Internet Capacity

The jist of the report is that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation did research which shows virtually every library in the U.S. has Internet access for patrons. This largesse is thanks to the munificence of Congress, and paid for by every telephone line subscriber with a monthly fee. Internet access at libraries is working great. That's the good news.

The bad news is that too many library patrons want access to the Internet. While over a third of U.S. households have broadband access at home, it is the poor, the immigrants, and the students who depend on the free Internet access at libraries.

It may be politically incorrect to make the following observation, but it needs to be said. Internet access is like any other scarce resource. When the price is free, demand will always exceed supply. In fact, I expect a lot more access time controls in libraries to the point that many will give up waiting around for the free services they cannot obtain.

If so many want Internet access and lack their own computers, what's going to happen? My crystal ball says Internet access demand is still on a hockey-stick-slope ascendancy. I think there's a business opportunity in Internet cafes located neard low-income and immigrant neighborhoods. After all, Internet cafes are used by the majority of users in rest-of-world places like China. For less than $5 an hour -- and there are few legal activities in the U.S. that cost less than $5 an hour -- Internet cafes can fill the demand that libraries cannot.

It will be interesting to see how Internet access supply and demand curves meet, and at what price. I'm not holding my breath expecting more seats in libraries.

-- Peter S. Kastner