Ubuntu on Niagara, and Platinum Ringtones

I’d like to offer my heartiest congratulations to the Mark Shuttleworth and the Ubuntu community – what’s Ubuntu? The fastest growing GNU/Linux distro out there (and as you know, volume matters). Dapper Drake is now officially available on the Sun’s UltraSPARC platform, the world’s only GPL microprocessor, fueling the world’s most power efficient server platform. Expanding SPARC beyond Solaris to Linux opens new markets for everyone.

So… here’s an invitation to developers and customers that don’t want to move to Solaris, want to stay on GNU/Linux, but still want to take advantage of Niagara’s (or our Galaxy system’s) energy efficiency – click here, we’ll send you a Niagara or Galaxy system, free. Write a thorough*, public review (good or bad – we just care about the fidelity/integrity of what’s written – to repeat, it can be a good review, or a poor review), we’ll let you keep the system. Free.

And if you want proof that volume matters, I thought this was interesting. The world’s first platinum ringtone (known as a “blingtone”) – with more than a billion wireless subscribers in the world, my bet is they’re going to need to define a category above platinum…

Focus on volume, value follows… and with that in mind, where are my manners: HAPPY BIRTHDAY OpenSolaris!.


* as determined by the product team, in their sole discretion…


Filed under General

20 responses to “Ubuntu on Niagara, and Platinum Ringtones

  1. Hi Jonathan. I know this probably isn’t the way to approach Sun about this, but I’ve tried other ways.

    You are prepared to give away a Niagara ststem to somebody who just writes a review? Wow!

    I’ve been working on porting DTrace to FreeBSD. Perhaps you’ve seen some of the publicity.

    As part of my work, I wanted to do the Niagara part of the port to add to Kip Macy’s achievement in getting FreeBSD self-hosting on the T1 architecture. So I approached Sun Microsystems in Australia (where I live) to ask if I could borrow a system for long enough to do the port. After not getting a response, I eventually talked to a product manager who said they didn’t have any machines to lend but a rental one might be available. That was a few weeks ago and all seems to have gone quiet.

    Here is an example of the level of code I need to work at.. Note that exceptions in OpenSolaris/Intel are processed using source obtained from FreeBSD.

    And you are prepared to give a machine away to someone who just writes a report about Linux running on it?

    Oh how the other half lives! Sigh.


    And all I wanted to do was borrow one.

    Now I’m depressed. Sulk

  2. Bharath R

    And speaking of the niagara’s power efficiency and heat generation characteristics, I’m so glad it doesn’t need a Jet Engine to cool it. Think of the noise these coolers’ll generate and the power they’ll need!!!
    (And they call it the “next generation”) :-))

  3. Prince

    Indeed it is a welcome development that there is a Linux distribution for niagara systems. I hope other major Linux vendors also follow the path.

  4. To some extent I agree with Jonathan, volume does matter. But why is it so? Partly because volume creates innovation adoption and contributes to define dominant designs. Microsoft MS-DOS came to the market after other operating systems, still it managed to become the dominant design, also thanks to the volumes it managed to generate.

  5. I am curious how well this Try and Buy thing will work, so I just applied for a machine from my private Address, I will keep blogging my experiences with the program on my IT-Blog (in german language) here: http://itblog.eckenfels.net/.
    The T1000 I have ordered would make a good server system for my household, because it is energy efficient. It will also help me to get more Solaris 10 experiences, and I might try Linux on it.
    I must however admit, that I wont be able to pay the $5k if the offer from Jonathan on keeping it for reviews wont be granted. But I trust Sun, that his will be a risk free RMA in all cases. I can really use the experience anyway.

  6. [Trackback] Nachdem Jonathan Schwartz (Sun CEO) in seinem Blog wieder einmal auf das Sun Try&Buy Programm hingewiesen hat konnte ich nicht l�nger widerstehen. Die ganze Zeit war mir der Aufwand zu gro� in meiner Firma ein entsprechenden Beschaffungsantrag durchzub…

  7. Anonymous

    Hmm… how long till Sun invites Ubuntu to produce a SPARC version of the GNOME desktop bits, leaving the JDS team out of a job?

  8. Having helped David Miller and Fabio M. Di Nitto track down and test a late breaking but fatal bug with the linux kernel on my t2000, I have to say I’m very impressed with the skill these two have. I’ve really enjoyed my time working with both them and the t2000 Sun graciously loaned me. As the end of my 60 trial has passed, I’d dearly love to keep it.

    Jonathan, I’m unsure of who to run my running review of the last several months past, but if you could forward the url to the appropriate people, I’d be in your debt.

  9. Jim

    When will Google create their apps for opensolaris?
    For example, google earth? Lets see some fruit from
    your relationship with them!

  10. Hi Jonathan,
    I’ve decided to take you up on your generous offer of a free T2000 in return for a review (good or bad), I’ve submitted a request for the lower of the two configs ( didn’t want to seem greedy ) to review and look forward to receiving it.

    The review will appear in the following sites and will have ongoing updates as the server is put to the test with ongoing challenges for it to justify it’s existence:


    I’ll also drop it out to around 187,000+ readers in my monthly email newsletter just for good measure. I usually do a monthly poll so I should see what your AU office’s marketing team would most like to know from 187,000+ AU IT managers and company directors, and I’m sure the Alstom IT marketing team can add some questions too. I’ll ask them.

    I’ll also do my best to get the review picked up by most of the publications I write for ( I sub edit for many of them so that’s a no brainer ) in the offline world in hard copy to bring a little more to the table.

    I wonder, am I allowed to play up this whole thing with you along the lines of a press release with something like a “So I took up Jonathan Schwartz’s challenge for a free Sun server..”? Could hit around 125 IT media contacts from Editorial to Journalists with that – we could cook up a real storm as it’s sure to get picked!

    Am looking forward to getting the free T2000 soon ( form said 10 business days but I’m assuming that is in the USA so I am guessing more like 2 weeks to get it to Australia ).

    So here’s to application reference number TBWEBI_1150724773457 and all the wonderful things it’s going to be put through as it’s reveiwed!

    First stop – reindexing the entire Australian internet for my Australia search engine, some approx 80 million URL’s and around 12 terabytes of data ( I’ll leave that on the SAN ). Should be fun! Then It can re-index New Zealand. And by then I’ll give it something really hard to do 😉

    I’ll start writing the first part of the thread while I wait for the server to arrive, get a few folk comming back daily to see if it’s arrived yet, see if I can’t get some viral marketing happening in advance * grin *.



    ps: I like the little math problem to stop the robots posting, is that dear old Rich Burridge’s work at hand there ( is he still carrying that fat cat around the world with him? ).

    pps: did I sound like a big enough suck job in this comment post or what * grin *

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  11. The RIAA uses diamond for 10M album sales, presumably they’d do the same for ringtones.

    Looking forward to reviewing one of these systems!

  12. Just to double check.. I can order the $12,000 system, wipe off Solaris, install Ubuntu and write a thoughtful and thorough review of the system on my website/blog and I can keep the system free? How do I let you know that I wrote the review? How do I get to keep the system free?


  13. Lin Jiaqi

    Hi Jon,
    Any way the offer will be available in Singapore?

  14. Is Edubuntu and Sun Ray thin clients on the road map?

  15. I submitted a request to demo an Ultra 40 — it’ll be easier to deal with a workstation system than a rackmount server in my little office at home. I’m looking forward to trying out Solaris, Linux, and Windows, to see how well Ruby on Rails runs on all three, as well as how manageable each system feels for deploying as Rails hosts.
    I’ll be posting entries to the Sun category at my blog:
    Thanks, Jonathan and Sun, for providing us with this amazing and unparalleled opportunity to work with some of the finest hardware in the industry!

  16. Got a question – I presume that this offer does not apply to people using Solaris given that the Solaris Software License Agreement prohibits publishing benchmarks ?

    Part 5(f) says:

    You may not publish or provide the results of any benchmark or comparison tests run on Software to any third party without the prior written consent of Sun.

    It doesn’t bother me as I’m a Linux geek, but it might affect other folks..

  17. If SUN can develop a tiny but must have Java game which costs $1 to download, with 1 billion downloads…..

  18. Something to think about.. What makes an OS popular? With all the problems in Windows it still is the most popular operating system. In just two years Ubuntu made its mark. Why is Solaris not an OS for the “masses”? Instead of celebrating OpenSolaris why not working with the Ubuntu gang to integrate the cool features of Solaris in its’ next releases? Operating systems are not going to make any money for the companies anymore. Besides, Vista is going to fail, HP-UX has no future and Solaris is good but people seem afraid to use it. Opening it up is not going to help it in any bigway either. I do see a future of a Solarized Ubuntu though.

  19. I am a Linux geek, but I think this is great. http://www.onlineblessings.com

  20. sharikou

    I alert all of you to read this report about an exploding laptop during a conference:
    You guys should avoid using laptops on airplanes. Accidents like the above can cause immeasurable harm mid-air.
    CPU heat is not just a data center issue, it has become a public safety risk.

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