Archive for October 2011
There can be few scientists who have contributed so much to the world as Dennis Ritchie. Completely anonymous to the world at large, and to far too much of the computing fraternity too, his involvement in the development of C – the first portable programming language, and Unix cannot be understated. Who uses Unix? Well, everybody. What is the O/S on embedded devices? What did Steve Jobs base his Mac O/S and Mobile Operating systems on? Upon what did Bill Gates base the operating system for the new IBM PC in 1980? What do corporations across the world use to power their servers? What is it all built on? Unless you’re running some proprietary mainframe software, the building blocks of what you are using were set, to some degree, by Dennis Ritchie.
Whilst I never met him myself I did work with his sister, Lynn, for several years at a software house in the North East of England, where she still resides. She told me some of the stories about him; how the invention of C and Unix were really aims in making computing more portable, more standard, easier to use. How all that Ritchie, Ken Thompson, Brian Kernighan and the others got for this was their salary [although they did make a few quid on top out of their books ], and the ability to distribute Unix free, with C, to all and sundry as Bell labs, a subsidiary of AT&T, had no financial interest in computing as they were a regulated telephone monopoly at the time.
Well, we had the final Management and Infrastructure SIG last week, and whilst the attendance wasn’t huge, the content was simply excellent. Two great presentations about Enterprise Manager from Niall Litchfield of Maxima, and from Mark Westwood and Carl Holmes of Morrissons.
We also had an insightful and revealing presentation on outsourcing from Piet De Visser from Logica, and an eye-opening technical feast showing how to maximise the performance from your Intel hardware from Steve Shaw of Intel.
I would also like to thank Oracle for their support, and especially Mike Edgington for his talk about the Oracle support organization and how it is evolving.
Ye Gods, this feels like an Oscars acceptance speech!
Many thanks to the UKOUG Staff in general, and specifically Marisa Harris and Jake Potter for their organisation and assistance in making this SIG work.
Finally, I would like to thank Martin Widlake for his Chairmanship, and his opposition during our presentation about what DBA’s really need to know.
And so ends the UKOUG Management and Infrastructure SIG, now to be merged with the RAC SIG and be reborn as the UKOUG Availability, Infrastructure and Management (AIM) SIG, where we will still talk about everything that we have previously, but extend the remit around RAC, Exadata, Goldengate, Partitioning, VLDB’s, and all those other lovely cost-extra options that Oracle dearly would like to sell to us all.
Thank you to everyone who attended the M&I SIG – we hope you got as much out of it as we did.