R.I.P. Sun Microsystems
You will be missed, but not forgotten.
I have fond memories of Sun. They were always trying something different. Sometimes with great success, other times with failure, and often with something in between.
When I was in college (1999-2003) studying CS and CIS, I liked Sun because they were pioneering with Java. Which at the time seemed to hold great promise as a “write once, run anywhere” language that might just take over the world. It didn’t quite take over the world, but it made an impact.
When I was in law school (2003-2006) I liked Sun because they were making some awesome Opteron x86 rackmount servers. I had some of those servers* (purchased used) in a datacenter in downtown Tulsa. What was particularly cool was that on my way to the datacenter I would walk past a Sun office suite in the same building. I always thought Sun was cool and I liked being in such close proximity to one of their offices.
*We still use a SunFire V20Z at Weblogs.us today. In my opinion, Sun made some of the finest server hardware ever made. Better than HP, better than Dell.
After law school and passing the bar exam (2006 and beyond), I liked Sun because they were pioneering the multi-core, low power draw CPU. Specifically the UltraSPARC T2 a.k.a coolthreads. This was an exciting CPU after the bad taste left by Intel’s high GHz, high power draw, low performance P4 series. Sun was also pushing a file system, ZFS, that was capable of some very impressive things.
In their later years, Sun was a company that was very accessible. Via their employee blogs, via their attitude, and via their push for open source. Getting to read their developer blogs and learn cool tips and tricks, as well as insights into what was happening inside the company. This was a very nice change from companies like Apple where we get spoon fed info by Steve and company at sporadic “events”. Same deal with MS where we get big glitzy shows that don’t really do much for the end user. I can’t tell you how nice it was to have a company that seemed to really be trying to be open and responsive to their customers.
Of course there are criticisms that can be leveled at Sun. Mistakes that can be pointed out… but in the end I like to think of their wins and not their losses.
Thanks for all the great memories Sun, I’ll always remember the good times…