More New Blogs

As part of the ongoing expansion of the work that I do I am adding some further blogs to the range of titles and topics that I currently write about.Some of the new blogs are merely a way of sensibly dividing up the content I produce so that readers can subscribe to specific areas of interest, without me bombarding them with a single blog covering the wide range of topics I tend to cover and have an interest/expertise in supporting. Some are designed to support new books, and in one case support the content that would have gone into a book if I hadn’t changed my mind about the scope and content. Some are just ways of generating or re-purposing material that I have had for some time, or for which I have had plans to write and develop and never had a suitable outlet. Until now. All of my blogs – under which I have direct control at least – now use a consistent format, if not necessarily a consistent theme, although I’ve tried to use themes that reflect the content of the site in question. All of the sites have an About page (unique to each site), a Contact form, and copies of the About MCslp and About MCslp Projects pages. The latter contains a distilled list of sites and their content. All of them are under the MCslp banner and all of them will, for the moment, be managed and supported directly by me (MC).Many of these sites are still in their infancy – they all have Welcome messages, but may not yet have specific content. Be patient, it’s either already written and not yet posted live, or is coming. As with this site, and indeed all MCslp sites, all of the new blogs are free to use and completely advert free. Please see the About page for information on how you can contribute and support the sites and their continued existence. The new blogs I’m announcing today are:

The Writing BizNew writers and authors often ask questions about the writing business. For example, how it works, the processes behind writing a book, how to promote your book, whether you should have an agent and many others. The Writing.biz condenses and collates all of this information into a single site. Improve Your VocabWords and phrases have interesting meanings, sources and derivations. Improve Your Vocab aims to distill many of the phrases that you hear in films, TV shows, books and other places that you may not recognize and provide information about their definition, sources, and what they mean within the context of the phrase where they were used. The Linux ProfessionalsThere are many professional users of Linux out there, and there are also Linux Professionals – people who make a living for supporting and consulting using the Linux platform. The Linux Professionals provides interviews and articles with these professionals to find out how they make use of Linux, and why they chose Linux as their area of expertise. Change The Way You WorkChange the way you work is a blog designed provide information and guidance on ways in which you can change the way you work to make better use of your time. It looks at different methods, for example project management software, or following a particular methodology or technique designed to simplify your work or improve and optimize your efficiency. MCslp Map WorksGoogle Maps and Google Earth – among other technologies – provide some amazing technology for building customized, map based, information websites. MCslp Map Works provides examples, help and guidance along the way for your Google Maps and Earth projects, along with How-To guides, news and other information. MCslp Virtual ComputingVirtual Computing works at many different levels, from providing separate working zones within an operating system designed to compartmentalize different applications or services right through to emulation technology that provide, in software, the equivalent of a complete PC, including virtual drives, network devices and other components. MCslp Virtual Computing provides information and guides on using these technologies.

If you have any questions or want more information, either us the Contact Us link on the site in question, or ask me a question through the Contact Us form on this site. Thank you for your continued support!

Sun Ultra 3 Mobile Workstation on the way

Laptop Solaris wast originally created to look at the use of Solaris 10 and OpenSolaris on a laptop to see how good an alternative it was to using Windows or Linux.By a strange convenience thought I’m going to be getting a genuine Sun Ultra 3 Mobile Workstation for review. As well as being a mobile powerhouse, it just happens to run Solaris, so it is going to be an interesting comparison against running Solaris/OpenSolaris on a ‘commodity’ PC-based laptop.I’ll be doing a full review for Free Software Magazine, but I’ll be posting up my thoughts and experiences up here too.If you have any questions about the Ultra 3, please feel free to ask.

LinuxWorld Expo 2005 Report

I recently attended the LinuxWorld Expo 2005 here in London, UK on the 5th October. This was the first dedicated Linux show I’ve been to, and I have to say I was impressed. It was a lot smaller than I expected – about 60 stands – and some of the larger companies weren’t brilliantly represented (a virtually non-existent IBM presence, for example), but there were some gems of products and companies, and a few little surprises along the way. I’ve got a full report on Linux Today – some nuggets include the Sun stand, the Centrify software and the fun and games of the Gentoo stand.

No Nonsense XML Web Development with PHP, Thomas Myer

PHP doesn’t spring to mind when thinking about processing XML data, but PHP is a better solution than you might think. Since PHP is used to develop websites, which use HTML a standard based on the principles of XML, PHP is a sensible choice. PHP also includes powerful tools for parsing and manipulating XML data. We can use this to our advantage to convert and manipulate XML information in our PHP based web applications. XML-RPC and SOAP also use XML, so the use of a web-based language for web-services is also another obvious choice.All of these situations are covered in extensive detail by Thomas Myer in his new book, No Nonsense XML Web Development with PHP from publisher SitePoint, a long time source for articles and information on web applications and development.

The contentsNo Nonsense XML Web Development with PHP covers a gamut of different topics, from an introduction on the basics of XML and its uses through to web services. Throughout, the straightforward and relaxed tone of the book help you to pick up the background behind what Thomas is teaching you, as well as the specifics of different aspects in the book.We start off with a simple examination of XML and the role of DTDs in the consistency of the XML data. Thomas is right here to point out that DTDs are about consistency, rather than restriction, on the information we store in XML. He also covers the role that DTDs have in validating information, often simplifying the code required in our application to confirm the quality of the content.

MySQL Storage Engines

One of the key reasons why MySQL is so flexible is because of the support for different storage engines. Rather than supporting a single method for storing information you can choose the optimal method for your database and application. But how do you find out what is available, and how do you choose between MySQL Storage Engines. Are there storage engines that are better at some applications than others, and is there a handy guide that tells you? Well, I hope so, because that is exactly what my new article, MySQL Storage Engines, aims to do.

Randal Schwartz’s Perls of Wisdom

If you don’t associate Randal Schwartz with Perl then you obviously don’t know how much of an influence Randal has been in spreading the Perl gospel. Randal has been talking about Perl for years, writing articles and contributing to books like the ‘Camel’ (Programming Perl, from O’Reilly). He’s also contributed to the built-in documentation and has worked with the internals of Perl and built various modules and examples. In short, when it comes to Perl, there’s little that Randal either isn’t aware of, or hasn’t already written about. Hia book, Perls of Wisdom, is a collection of the articles that he’s written over the years that look at specific problems or issues that users have asked him to solve with Perl. Mostly, these are reprints of the original article, but sometimes they have been updated. In all cases you get more than just the scrip that solves the problem, you also get the theory behind it, detailed information on the problem and issues being addressed, and some potential ways to extend it. For more details, read the full review of the book at Free Software Magazine.

Announcing Laptop Solaris

Regular readers will know I’ve been a long term fan and user of Solaris, but things in the Solaris space have changed recently. I haven’t used Solaris as a desktop operating system for about 7 years, but for a long time, despite working at an agency where Macs were the desktop operating system, I used to spend most of my time programming and managing a Sun server network using an Axil SPARC sworkstation running Solaris, and before that, Solaris 2 had been my desktop operating system more or less since leaving college while I managed a Sun based database system. Now I’m going back to those roots and installing Solaris 10, and in the future OpenSolaris, onto my Sony Vaio Z1 and use it as my main desktop operating system. Just to make it interesting, that’s also a laptop. Hence Laptop Solaris is born.For more information on what I’m going to be covering on the site, read the Intro post.

Laptop Solaris begins

Welcome to Laptop Solaris, a blog looking at the use of Solaris (and OpenSolaris) on a Laptop.I’ve been a long time user of Solaris and with the announcement of OpenSolaris my interest is further piqued in the direction of Solaris as a full time, desktop, operating system. I currently use Solaris mostly for servers – up until very recently a Solaris 8 x86 box handled all of my internal networking needs. Today, I use an Ultra 60, running Solaris 10, to handle the majority of my database needs, and as a platform for all of the websites, both the internal ones and those I develop for clients.Using Solaris on the desktop and more specifically my laptop will enable me to cover many of the aspects of Solaris and help me make comparisons with my other main desktop platforms – Mac OS X, Gentoo Linux (running KDE) and Windows XP.I fully believe that with applications like StarOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird and others there should be little reasons why I can’t use Solaris as a main desktop, and portable, operating system. Only time – and this blog – will tell how successful this process is!On here, expect to see posts on some, or all, of the following topics:

  • Installation of Solaris
  • Daily use and experiences
  • Getting software to work under OpenSolaris and laptop-specific tools
  • Hardware and my experiences of Solaris/OpenSolaris on different mobile hardware
  • How-tos and guides on how to get the best our of your Solaris-on-laptop experiences
  • News and events on using Solaris on a laptop

That list might change in time, but the aim is to be a useful resource as well as a handy guide to what is going on.If you want to keep up to date, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or better still, subscribe to the Planet MCslp RSS feed which will include everything here and at all of my other blogs.If you have something to say or ask, please Contact Me.

Wireless networking in OpenSolaris

No sooner have I started this blog – designed to cover my experiences of using Solaris 10 as the main operating system on my Sony laptop – than the folks at Sun develop the wireless kit to make using a wireless network on your OpenSolaris box available to the world.Please feel free to go visit the Wireless page in the OpenSolaris Laptop community for more informaiton.