Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Notes from CTO breakfast

First I should once again thank Phil Windley for hosting the CTO breakfast. It usually happens the last Friday of every month and the regular attendees always bring something to the table to discuss. I am not a CTO, don't claim to be one but hope some day to aspire to the levels the gentlemen that do attend have achieved. This is the only place where I feel I am not the largest geek in the room.

So I thought I had better throw my notes up here or else I will forget them.

So what topics got thrown on the table:

Google Desktop Search. Everything from the interesting traffic sent back to the mothership to how badly the processor is consumed from the launch of the program until the entire hard drive has been indexed. On my own machine this took a little over 3 hours to index. Someone mentioned Nat Friedman you may know him from his Ximian days (one of my all time favorites) but we went into his project Dashboard . This app is more useful in my eyes than what google is rolling out - the main thing to note here - people seem to want their google everywhere as we all aren't as organized as we thought.

QEMU was the next topic - I think the leap to virtualization came from the leader Phil - he always seems to understand when it's a great time to change the direction. Virtualization has become a hot topic followed closely or even tied into the ability to make virtualization invisible to the end user. There are the common products VMware (which I use), VirtualPC (former SCO employee swears by it) and then the open source revolution. Development has begun to cross platforms - if I have the app on OSX then I expect it to be over on my WindowsXP box - and it sure would be nice if I could run the same app on the linux box as well. The general consensus was that we may see a change in the way we see OS's that takes the desktop and makes it ambiguous across every platform. this brings the focus back to the applications and not what lies underneath. You can see this change in Apple - the move from OS9 to OSX fundamentally changed the OS and improved the functionality.

Security always get mentioned in one way or another - since I am really interested in it I usually bring it up but not this time. We talked about LogWatch, and some possible extensions to the security model it provides - RSS (XML not the person) got involved and some ideas were scribbled down - got to be careful sometimes we are always looking for that next big project so people have to stake their boundaries.

Downloads - how about a Friendster/Digital Fingerprint download suggestion web site. You could know that a download was clean, and who recommended it among your friends - you can then quickly determine whether you should ever trust your friends again and whether they actually have any idea of what good software is.

There were many little side discussions, more notes but these were the main hot topics. Always looking for new topics to introduce so feel free to drop me a comment.


Anonymous said...

With respect to logwatch...I am amazed how "far behind" tools and technologies are for supporting "out of the box" monitoring of security-related events.

Products such as

Offer a nice suite of "event filters" as a commercial product for Windows Event Logs capturing Security-related anamolies...

Yet the question remains...why doesn't such a beast exist when I buy Enterprise RedHat and/or SUSE?

To have to download "freeware" LogWatch, build it, then start writing "bash" scripts to parse through "common run-of-the-mill security events" is so 1980's Richard Stallman would say.


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