From:"" <> 
Subject: This Week at Free Enterprise
Date: Wed, 04 Dec 2002 06:00:00 -0700
This Week at Free Enterprise

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Dear Readers,

When I was an IT manager, I never panicked about a buying        
decision until I actually got the bill.  For some reason, a price
quote on a fax looks a lot smaller than that check request you're
sending to accounts payable. In today's economic climate, making 
the right buying decision is more critical than ever, which is   
why I'm thrilled to highlight New Architect senior technology    
editor Neil McAllister's article "Free Enterprise," which        
outlines the pros and cons of using far less expensive 
open-source databases in lieu of costly offerings from the usual 
suspects. McAllister knows his way around the database block,    
too: As a hobby, he's designing his own horror movie Web site    
which will launch in early 2003. And you can bet he isn't using  
Oracle as his back-end. Even if you aren't sold on open source,  
his story makes for fascinating reading.


Christopher Null
Editor-in-Chief, New Architect magazine


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Free Enterprise: Building business apps on open source databases

"To the veteran Oracle, DB2, or SQL Server developer, there might 
be no valid reason to risk data with open source. On the other   
hand, developers who have successfully deployed high-volume      
applications on MySQL or PostgreSQL will often denounce big,     
commercial databases as needless money sinks. Finding the middle 
ground between these extremes and separating the hype from the   
reality can be daunting tasks for any technology manager."

Building a Barrier-Free Web

"While everyone benefits from accessibility accommodations, such  
as colors chosen for maximum legibility, and for clear, 
consistent navigation, a surprising number of people not only    
appreciate them but really need them. According to research firm 
Forrester, one in five Americans has some form of legal 
disability. Forrester points out that besides those with impaired
hearing or vision, many more have reduced capabilities; for      
example, older people may have difficulty using a mouse due to   

Architects call the concept of making choices that work best for 
the greatest number of people "barrier-free design." While no Web
site -- or building, for that matter -- can be equally accessible
to everyone, the intellectual shift from thinking of 
accessibility as an add-on can be liberating."

Legal Code: Your Money or Your Life?

"'Who are you?' Out of context, this simple question seems        
intrusive, almost confrontational. However, it's exactly the sort
of query that Internet-enabled applications and services will be 
putting to you, your computer, your applications, and your       
Web-enabled devices in the coming years. A new set of services   
and protocols -- falling under the rubric of 'digital 
identification' -- focus on whether and how you should answer the

Access: Inside the Hacker Mind

"Adrian Lamo, age twenty-one, is widely considered the most       
effective and prolific hacker working today. His conquests       
include Microsoft, NBC, and the New York Times. We woke Lamo       
up -- at 1:30 in the afternoon -- for some insight into what     
makes him tick."

Case Study: Say Cheese

"Entering the mail-order photo business with an online version of 
a decades-old process might draw skepticism from even the most   
optimistic venture capitalist. Snapfish started out with a raft  
of technical challenges at a time when venture capital was       

The team needed to manage data storage; fine-tune bandwidth and  
protocols to handle high-capacity, cross-country data transfer;  
and design a solid user interface that could manipulate several  
terabytes of digital images without intimidating technically     
inexperienced users. The site and its functionality have required
continual refinements to support the three-million- plus         
registered customers. Since the site launched in 2000, its back  
end systems have grown about sevenfold."

Review: IBM DB2 UDB 8.1 for Linux (Beta)

"IBM is proud of its commitment to Linux. From its Linux portal to
the 'Peace, Love, and Linux' campaign that left graffiti on city 
streets last year, the company makes it quite clear that it wants
to be seen at the forefront of Linux development. So when Big    
Blue released the beta version of DB2 UDB 8.1, I jumped at the   
chance to put IBM's commitment to the test."

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