Dave Johnson on open web technologies, social software and Java
I know, it's not near as sexy as an iPhone or MacBook unboxing, but I'm certainly digging my new box so I'm gonna blog it up.
What happened was, my old noisy as hell w2100z decided to burn down, fall over and sink into the swamp. Frankly, I wasn't that disappointed -- I had stopped using it in recent months because it wasn't all that much faster than my personal MacBook Pro. The next day I talked to my manager Tony Ng for something new, he pointed me to the catalog and after sizing things up, I ordered a Sun Ultra 24 with an Intel Core2 Quad Extreme processor, 6GB of RAM and two 250GB drives.
I haven't bought a new PC in about 4 years, so I'm not sure how the Ultra stacks up against other boxes on the market. If you want a real review, then check this out: "Sun Shines with the Ultra 24 Workstation - built like a tank, yet offers toolless access to components." And I ordered the box from an internal system at Sun, so I'm not sure how my experience compares with the normal customer experience. My experience went pretty smoothly, despite the fact that the additional RAM and disk I ordered came separately. The case was very easy to open, the memory slots were easy to access and the new drive snapped into place with no cabling, no problem at all. Oh, and it's quiet. Very quiet.
The Ultra came with Solaris 10 installed, but I need OpenSolaris and Windows for my work. So, I booted up from my Windows XP disk, installed it into a partition on disk 1, installed the appropriate drives from CD that came with the Ultra. I verified that things were working by trying Spore Creature Creator at 1900x1200 resolution and it was mighty damn snappy.
Next, I booted from the OpenSolaris 2005.05 CD that I picked up at JavaOne and ran through the slick GUI installer -- just as simple and straight forward as Ubuntu. Once the install was complete I booted from the Ultimate Boot CD, installed the GAG Boot Manager so I can choose either OpenSolaris or XP on boot. Gotta say, OpenSolaris looks great. Much, much improved over the last build I tried (Nevada/b55 I think). The UI is essentially the same as Ubuntu, including the CompViz eye-candy.
Once I got settled in, I started installing the software I need for SocialSite and Roller development on OpenSolaris. I tried to use the new Package Manager UI for everything, but made some exceptions. Here's a rundown of the stuff I installed to get going:
I think it's pretty cool how much Sun software is in that list. Anyhow... I've been using the new box and OpenSolaris for a week now and have no complaints. All and all a great experience for me and for my MacBook Pro, which is now getting some much deserved rest. Thanks Tony
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