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Intersperse Savage Raid

Posted by hansmuller on June 13, 2003 at 9:47 AM PDT

I finally got a chance to wander around the JavaOne "Pavilion" trade show
floor. If you trot out to the edges, you'll see that the Pavilion is
flanked by huge arrays of tables covered by white table cloths and
little isolated clots of laptops and sandwiches attended by glassy
eyed hackers trying not to give in to jet lag. I like to start out at
the edges because that's where the new companies are. In years
gone by the edge was where the crazy ideas were, it was where the
hackers who hadn't slept all week were, it was where the guys who
wanted to get to the show floor interior started out.

This year felt a little different. The edges of the show floor seemed
to fade into the sea of lunch tables a little more suddenly than in
years gone by. Not to be denied the inspiring sight of some new Java
desktop apps, I pulled on some mobile phone exhibit hip waders and
headed back into the show floor interior. I only had an hour to check
things out. I wasn't disappointed.

The Apple booth was impossible to miss with all the bright light
glinting off the beautiful lexan cases and those gorgeous gigantic
flat screen displays. There were big black racks of new Apple servers
doing sentry duty at the booth's corners. The servers were looking
very stylish with hip little rows of blue blinky lights. The lights
were very very bright. In a pinch they could be used for Lasik.

Allen Denison, who's the Product Manager for OS X showed off a nice looking
Swing app for adminstering RAID's called (this is pretty clever) "RAID
Admin". There are some screenshots here.
What's great about this Apple desktop app is that sys admins can also run it on other
platforms, if they happen to be adminstering their systems from a
lesser desktop.

Intersperse was showing a great looking JMX management console at
their booth. A couple of months ago I ran into an engineer who
claimed to be building a similar product and he told me that his JMX
console was going to just target browsers. He thundered about HTML
being "good enough" for building user interfaces as he scratched
udpates to his todo list on a clay tablet. I would have loved to have
shown him this product. Great looking Swing GUIs with lots of custom
controls for displaying status and doing analysis in real time.

I also dropped by the VisiComp booth. VisiComp's "RetroVue" debugger
was featured in a James Gosling JavaOne keynote a year or two ago.
The debugger instruments class files so that all significant events,
like method entry and exit, are timestamped and logged in a journal
file. That done, you can debug backwards and forwards in time. In
years gone by, the journal file for a big app might have been
hopelessly large. Thanks to today's plentiful supply of big cheap
disks, you can journal all you want. The RetroVue Swing GUI is
looking better than ever however you'll want to get one of those
really big Apple flat screen displays so that you can see everything
at once.

Last stop before I had to dart out was the SavaJe booth. Last year
SavaJe was showing iPAQ PDAs and other small devices running the
complete J2SE stack. Web Started Swing apps like ThinkFree Office
running on a device that you could toss to someone across a room!
This year the SavaJe booth was inhabited by a herd of cell phones
running more web started apps including email, chat, and a very
impressive video player (Star Wars!). And you can make phone calls
too. It's great to see how far mobile phone computing has come and
the high res 16 bit color screen looked great. Inside these phones
was an 300+ Mhz XScale CPU, 32-64M or RAM, and a SAN slot for a Flash
card. Thanks to the market for high resolution cameras embedded in
phones, we're looking at hand held devices with CPU, RAM, and even
secondary storage capacity that's comparable to PCs from a few years
ago. Run Anywhere.

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