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Watching the Sun Set

Mar 02, 2010, 17:03 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jeremy Allison)

[ Thanks to An Anonymous Reader for this link. ]

"If you click on www.sun.com, you get redirected to www.oracle.com. Sun is no more. The network is no longer the computer. The "Dot" in .COM is now a database. I'm really sorry to see Sun go. I have a long and varied history with Sun. What went wrong?

"I joined Sun in 1989, fresh from a System Administration job at Manchester University. I was so excited. Finally, I was going to get the chance to see the inside of "real" UNIX ! No more Minix hacking for me, I was finally going to get the chance to see and work on the source code for a real UNIX operating system. I wasn't disappointed. It was incredibly sophisticated, with a virtual memory system, a working network file system (NFS) and a state of the art graphical user interface (SunView). It was one of the most advanced systems available at the time.

"The difference between Sun systems and everything else out there in the late 1980's (mostly Novell Netware or Microsoft Lan Manager networks) is that Sun networks "just worked", all the time. I remember visiting remote Sun offices in the UK, and just being able to log in wherever I was and have all my files and work environment automatically available via the Network File System (NFS) auto mounter and directory services available via Sun's Network Information Service (NIS/Yellow Pages). One morning I was outraged when Sun network operations informed me my home directory and work environment wouldn't be available until that afternoon due to a network outage. I was so spoiled, I didn't even realize such things were extremely rare outside the cozy world inside Sun."

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