James Gosling grades Oracle’s handling of Sun’s technology

Posted by Bill Bradford on Jan 14, 2014

In this InfoWorld article, Java founder James Gosling rates Oracle’s handling of Sun’s technologies in the four years since the acquisition.

In short, Java gets a passing grade, while the treatment of the Solaris operating system fails miserably.

Oracle halting development of Sun Ray technologies

Posted by jkemp on Jul 15, 2013

Oracle will soon be announcing that it’s discontinuing development of its Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, Sun Ray software and hardware, and Oracle Virtual Desktop Client product lines.



TechTarget article about Oracle and the “hobbyist” community

Posted by Bill Bradford on Apr 3, 2013

I’m quoted in this TechTarget article about Oracle’s attitude toward the “hobbyist” community.

Sun Fire 280R with 3,737 days of uptime

Posted by Bill Bradford on Mar 14, 2013

This YouTube video documents the final shutdown of a SunFire 280R server with 3,737 (10.24) years of continual uptime.
It beats my personal record of almost two years on a Solaris machine, and more than six years on a Cisco switch.

No Longer Running Ads

Posted by Bill Bradford on Feb 13, 2013

I’ve completely removed all advertising from SunHELP, and will be redesigning the site soon. If you happen to run into a page with an ad on it, please let me know.

Still Here, Still Going

Posted by Bill Bradford on Nov 29, 2012

Apologies for the lack of updates or news items lately. I’m still here, just have been dealing with a lot of problems in my personal life and things related to my wife’s untimely death. When stuff like that happens, you tend to lose enthusiasm for personal projects and at times it’s hard to start caring about some things again. I’m on the upswing finally, and look forward to completing a site redesign for SunHELP by the end of the year. One of my eventual goals is to make the site into more of a reference / database than it is now, full of helpful information for people that want to keep their Sun-branded hardware going for as long as possible. Part of that is a “back burner” project I’ve got going on to collect and archive online as many different versions of SunOS and Solaris (SPARC *and* x86) as possible, to have available for the hobbyist community when needed and allowable under Oracle’s copyright guidelines.

Speaking of Oracle, Sun’s “new” owners (it’s been a few years now, hasn’t it?) – I’ve not seen otherwise, and I can’t speak for all of the Oracle/Sun employees, but their attitude towards the hobbyist community and sites like mine seems to be a large upraised middle finger. I’m not even able to run SunHELP on actual Sun / Oracle hardware or software, as the cost of a support contract in order to get Solaris patches is more than any income that this site brings in nowadays (basically zero).

My question to you, the Sun and Solaris and SPARC enthusiasts, is – is it worth it? Do you get any benefit, education, or enjoyment out of my continuing work keeping this site and the mailing lists going? Has it helped you solve a problem, defeat an emergency, “put out a fire”, be a hero, get a job, keep a job, get a better job? Have you learned anything that you might not have found out anywhere else? Have you scored awesome computer systems that a company was just going to toss out, and got them running at home? Does your spouse understand the desire for raised flooring in the garage?

When I was a young beginner sysadmin, I received a lot of help and mentoring from other folks, and have always appreciated that. SunHELP started in July 1997 (then as sunhelp.com) as a collection of links and resources, and gradually expanded into a major web site, I believe at one point this was the largest third-party non-official Sun-enthusiast informational resource. I became the official home for the Sun Hardware FAQ – a document that was a big part of my learning about Sun systems in the first place. In 2000 I became one of the list maintainers of the Sun-Managers Mailing list (and hosted it from my own hardware for a few years; I still help with and in 2005, I was honored to take over hosting of Celeste Stokeley’s Unix Serial Port Resources pages. All of my efforts over the past fifteen years have been an attempt to give something back to the community, and I hope that my peers feel that my contributions have been worthwhile.

I’ll keep putting my money and effort into SunHELP and the mailing lists for as long as it proves useful to someone else – and if it has been useful, entertaining, or educational, please let me know. Send email to mrbill@sunhelp.org, and tell me your story.

Update: Don’t worry – I have no plans to stop doing all this or cease hosting the mailing lists and web site! I’d just like to know, for my own personal knowledge, what benefit you’ve gotten out of everything here.

Still here, and still going!

Posted by Bill Bradford on Apr 3, 2012

I’ve been VERY busy over the past few months and haven’t had much time to dedicate to SunHELP, but the site’s still here and isn’t going away! With Oracle’s seemingly new policy of not caring about the “little guy” and dropping all support for older UltraSPARC hardware in Solaris 11, SunHELP is needed more than ever by people who want to keep the older systems up and running.

I’ve made some minor clean-up changes today, and will be continuing this work. Would also like to thank Jerry for posting the occasional news article over the past few months.

Solaris 11 Source Code Leaked – and Oracle doesn’t seem to care

Posted by Bill Bradford on Dec 21, 2011

Ars Technica has an article up about how the source code to Solaris 11 has been leaked to various file-sharing networks and services, but there has yet to be any sort of official reaction from Oracle. This has led some people to believe that the “leak” may not have been accidental.

Sun server business growing under Oracle

Posted by Bill Bradford on May 25, 2011

This ITWorld article describes how “Oracle logged $773 million in server sales during the quarter, up from $681 million the year before”, apparently the first time an increase in Sun hardware has been reported since the third quarter of 2007.

Scott McNealy Worries about Silicon Valley

Posted by Bill Bradford on Feb 13, 2011

In this Wall Street Journal article, former Sun CEO Scott McNealy worries about the future of Silicon Valley and the prospects for the region.

Facebook buys Sun’s old Menlo Park campus

Posted by Bill Bradford on Feb 8, 2011

According to this TechCrunch article, Facebook has purchased the old Sun campus in Menlo Park.

A Year After: People and Projects

Posted by Bill Bradford on Jan 19, 2011

I thought it would be fitting to have SunHELP’s first post of the new year (and the new server, now that everything has settled in and appears to be working nicely) be a link to Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart’s personal blog. Eduardo was a Distinguished Engineer at Sun.

He has a couple of great posts up about the results of Oracle’s acquisition of Sun, a year later.

A Year After: The People

It’s been (almost) a year since Oracle’s Acquisition of Sun. Some of the ex-Sun folks stayed at Oracle but others moved to other companies, small and large, public, private or still in stealth mode. This Diaspora will contribute talent, expertise and experience to many companies, and, I hope, also some of the culture at Sun that I’ve enjoyed for so many years. Below is a list of companies where some of my ex-Sun friends have gone. I’ve listed explicitly the people that left Sun/Oracle after January 2010, but I’ve also included a few other ex-Sun folks that are in the company – as you can see, Sunnites like to work together

A Year After: The Open-Source Projects

Below is a summary of the status of the main Open Source projects that had been sponsored by Sun, as of a year after Oracle’s Acquisition of Sun. Like A Year After: The People, all information here is public.

Updates will resume soon – migration in progress!

Posted by Bill Bradford on Dec 17, 2010

Timely news and information updates will resume soon; I’m in the process of migrating everything from my current colocated system in Austin to new hardware and bandwidth in Houston. Thank you for your support.

New sunhelp.org server coming along nicely

Posted by Bill Bradford on Nov 21, 2010

Thanks to donations from supporters and people whose websites I host, the hardware for the new ohno.mrbill.net server is in place and the Comcast Business Class line with static IPs was installed yesterday. The current server will remain in-place until the end of the year, giving me plenty of time to migrate content without having to rush. I will also be hosting two “machines” (converted to VMs) for a friend on this system; he has paid for a good part of the hardware and is paying for the Comcast installation fee in exchange.

Antec Sonata Proto case, Corsair VX450 power supply, Gigabyte motherboard, AMD Athlon II x4 640 CPU, 8GB RAM, and pairs of WD Caviar Blue 250G and Caviar Green 1TB drives each mirrored in a RAID-1 configuration.

Update on the sunhelp.org hosting situation

Posted by Bill Bradford on Nov 7, 2010

Thanks to the users of the SunHELP website and mailing lists who have donated enough to cover the existing colo facility fees for a couple of months! This lets me leave the machine as-is while I do a gradual peaceful migration.

I’ve decided that instead of going with another “favor from a friend” hosting deal or discount, that I will be getting a Comcast Business Class connection with static IPs here at home (in addition to the ATT Uverse line I have for my “personal” Internet use), building a quiet and energy-efficient multi-core x86-64 system, and hosting everything there. All current sites and services will move to the new machine with no changes; all you’ll see is a different IP address once the DNS propagates. This also means direct physical access to the hardware in case of problems.

Due to Oracle’s policy changes over the past few months, I will *not* be able to host SunHELP on a Solaris system! This is strictly a hobby and labor of love, and I cannot afford to pay for a service contract that would give me access to security patches and updates for Solaris x86. At this point it looks like the OS of choice will be either Debian Squeeze or Ubuntu Server 10.10 (opinions and suggestions welcome, in email). The existing T1000 system is way too loud to run in a residential environment.

In any case, the current system isn’t going anywhere till at least the beginning of the year, and I will keep posting updates. Thank you for your support over the past 13 years.