Friday, December 26, 2008

Laptop Shipments Finally Beat Desktops

As reported in this December 23rd piece by Information Week, the new laptop player hiding in these numbers is the NetBook. A netbook is defined as an ultralight, ultraportable PC with screen sizes 10 inches or less. With no CD/DVD drive and limited storage, prices can be as low as $300. Thanks but, no thanks! just give an iPhone.

What's Up (and Down) for 2009

My Aussie colleague, Steve 'Jenks' Jenkin, just pointed me at Robert X. Cringely's (real name: Mark ... Well, who cares? Besides, I like the 'X' factor) prognostications for 2009. Even though he's basically a journalist (a very plugged-in journo, btw), you gotta respect a guy who also reviews his previously wrong predictions.
"Final (2008) score: 4 right and 11 wrong. ... Obviously I have to start making vaguer predictions ..." :-)

Despite this self-flagellation, he's generally had some pretty good insights prior to 2008 and you can't win 'em all, all the time. Here are some of his darts-in-the-wall for 2009:
  • "The good news is that most recessions mean new IT platforms."
  • "The next Yahoo CEO will dismember the company and sell it piecemeal."
  • "Microsoft and Google will peak in 2009 ... Steve Ballmer is toast." [ Jenks claims 2010 for the M$ demise.---njg] (Like Humpty-Dumpty, The Goog) "... is too fat and happy."
  • "If Microsoft and Google are down then what's up? Apple!"

Please standby. ...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Guerrilla Manifesto Online Updated

Those of you who own a copy of Guerrilla Capacity Planning, know about the little manual included in the back jacket (my editor's idea, btw). The intent is to use it as a weapon of mass instruction in your Tiger Team meetings or whatever. As my Aussie colleague, Steve Jenkin, pointed out to me at the time I was writing that book, those of you in the trenches often run into resistance when trying to propose some capacity or performance approach because you lack the authority; even if your argument is an excellent one.

The role of the Guerrilla Manifesto is to provide you with more authoritative support via the various mantras listed there. Hardcopy is good, but online is better; especially for use with your mobile phone. The most recent updates are now available and have been indexed for easier reference. Let me know how this works for you.

CMG 2008 Boot Camp Sessions

Those of you who attended my Capacity Planning Boot Camp sessions at CMG 2008, may have noticed that something got lost in the translation between my original notes and what landed on your CMG CD. The corrected slides, including updated hyperlinks, are now available as PDFs from my CMG Materials page.

If you didn't attend CMG 2008, but you'd like to know more about capacity management techniques, consider coming to my 2-day Guerrilla Boot Camp class in 2009.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gunther Receives A.A. Michelson Award

At the annual CMG International Conference in Las Vegas last week, Dr. Neil Gunther was the recipient of the prestigious A.A. Michelson Award; the industry's highest honor for computer performance analysis and capacity planning. As he said in his acceptance speech, it was the fulfillment of a dream he had entertained at his first CMG Conference in 1993.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Linux Meets Zipf's Law

It's amazing how power laws seem to be seen in everything these days:

A team of researchers from ETH Z├╝rich (Einstein's alma mater) in Switzerland used four decades of data detailing the evolution of open source software applications created for a Linux operating system to confirm the adherence to Zipf's law. The team studied Debian Linux, as it is continuously being developed by more than 1,000 volunteers from around the world. Beginning with 474 packages in 1996, Debian has expanded to include more than 18,000 packages today. The packages form an intricate network, with some packages having greater connectivity than others, as defined by how many other packages depend on a given package.

It's also amazing what passes for physics these days:

T. Maillart.; D. Sornette; S. Spaeth, and G. von Krogh. “Empircal Tests of Zipf’s Law Mechanism in Open Source Linux Distribution.” Physical Review Letters 101 218701 (2008).