Analysis (Services and Self)

Koan Bremner's view on life as a database and data warehouse professional / addict and non-genetic woman

Saturday, April 16, 2005


Yet Another Linux! A lot of people are raving about the new desktop Linux package Ubuntu: Linux for Human Beings. Read this praise from Russell Beattie. They will even mail you free CDs that allow you to enjoy Linux from boot without touching your existing system. Device support and simplicity is supposed to be the best of any distro. I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but Ubuntu is definitely causing a lot of excitement.

[Via Leave It Behind > Brian Bailey]

Now, do I believe that, I asked myself...

Stuff waiting for a CD to be mailed (that is *so* last century! ;-) ) Courtesy of BitTorrent (actually, courtesy of BitComet, which I downloaded and installed having read Don Park's comments to Dave Winer, and let me tell you, BitComet works so sweetly through NAT on my broadband modem and wireless router, in a way that Azureus just never would, at least, not for me) I downloaded the Ubuntu Live CD image (the one from which, allegedly, you can boot a PC, without installing anything on your PC, and it just works). So, I'm a sceptical girl; I burn the CD, boot from it, tell it I'm a Brit, and... the wireless network doesn't work. "Huh!" thinks I, "so much for that"... well, it helps if you specify the WEP key, assuming you use WEP; so, one reboot back into Windows XP so I can retrieve my WEP key; reboot from the Ubuntu CD, type in the WEP key...

Everything works. A fully configured desktop, productivity applications, all free, all working. Respect!

And, I'm relieved that it didn't auto-configure the WEP key for me; that would rather have defeated the point of WEP, now, wouldn't it! And yes, I know that WEP isn't unbreakable, but really, I don't think I live in a hotbed of hackers, unless the deer roaming ouside have war-chalked the house, of course... ;-)

Fair play, guys; you set your stall out and have delivered. I'm now downloading the Install CD, will find some spare tin to install it on, and get my hands dirty. Despite being a professional Microsoftie (primarily, because SQL Server and Analysis Services don't run on Linux, and please don't make me laugh by suggesting that e.g. MySQL is "just as good" as SQL Server) there's plenty of other stuff I want to use for which Linux is appropriate, even ideal; and if getting a Linux box up and running is *this* easy, I can't see the point in delaying.

It takes a lot to impress me. Have a fully functioning desktop up and running from bare metal in about three minutes? Oh, I'm impressed.

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  • At 2:43 am, Anonymous tom said…

    MySQL might not be as good as SQL Server (though I would be surprised if it wasn't). What about PostgreSQL?

    Every day I find fewer and fewer reasons to go anywhere near a Windoze computer ...

  • At 4:33 am, Blogger Koan said…

    As it happens, I'm mightily impressed by PostgreSQL; and if Mondrian wasn't ROLAP only, it would be a worthy alternative to Analysis Services.

    I guess I'm more comfortable with LAPP than LAMP. ;-) And the more I learn about e.g. Ruby on Rails, the more open I become to open source software platforms.

    Despite all that, there'e a lot more to a scalable, reliable, performant, enterprise-wide relational database management system than just being able to store data in SQL tables. (But I suspect that's the subject of another blog post entirely). At the *enterprise* level (which is the level I'm concerned with), MySQL simply doesn't have the elements required to play... *yet*. From what I hear, the gap is closing. Leave aside the obvious ones like the non-existence of triggers and stored procedures, it's like shooting fish in a barrel.

    But it's not a static playing field. Once Yukon (SQL Server 2005) ships, the feature gaps blows wide open again; at a price, for sure, but it opens up.


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