Stories by Jan Matlis

Model Driven Architecture

Model Driven Architecture (MDA) is an approach to translating real-world algorithms into computer code. It focuses on representing algorithms in a modelling language, followed by a possibly automatic translation of the models into computer code. Doing justice to the definition of MDA's innovation requires a short, potted history of computers.


Although today's Internet is often credited with creating so much change that society is still racing to catch up, it has also come to be seen as unwieldy, hidebound and problematic -- ripe for revision or replacement. Security issues, spam, slow downloads and the exploding need for URLs are only some of its problems. The Internet is sometimes seen as a victim of its own success, and several initiatives are under way to develop the Internet of the future.

Perpendicular recording

Perpendicular recording can increase magnetic media's capacity as much as 10 times. That means that microdrives that used to hold about 3000 songs could provide room for about 30,000 songs

Network Data Management Protocol

It has been a decade since the first version of the Network Data Management Protocol (NDMP) was launched as an effort to solve the problems posed by the backup and recovery of network file servers. Initial work on the standard was spearheaded by Intelliguard Software (subsequently rolled into Legato Software and EMC), which produced storage management software, and Network Appliance, which manufactures network file servers.


Business Process Execution Language is an XML-based language that's designed to run a series of Web-based transactions and/or characterize interfaces that are needed to complete Web-based transactions. By Jan Matlis

Explainer: BPEL

For its advocates, Business Process Execution Language promises to be the capstone in the Web services standards stack that makes Web-based commerce work. It was designed to integrate a variety of applications that are run to achieve a particular business objective -- and to do it in a way that's platform- and code-independent, not to mention one that's scalable and flexible.

A brief history of supercomputers

Supercomputing is all about pushing out the leading edge of computer speed and performance. The sports metaphors that arise as research sites compete to create the fastest supercomputer sometimes obscure the goal of crunching numbers that had previously been uncrunchable -- and thereby providing information that had previously been inaccessible.

Scale-Free Networks

Scale-free networks, including the Internet, are characterized by an uneven distribution of connectedness. Instead of the nodes of these networks having a random pattern of connections, some nodes act as "very connected" hubs, a fact that dramatically influences the way the network operates.

Scale-free networks

Using a Web crawler, physicist Albert-Laszlo Barabasi and his colleagues at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana in 1998 mapped the connectedness of the Web. They were surprised to find that the structure of the Web didn't conform to the then-accepted model of random connectivity. Instead, their experiment yielded a connectivity map that they christened "scale-free."


The Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) is a voluntary protocol that sets standards for Web providers to publish their privacy policies and allows Web users to automatically match those policies to their privacy preferences.

Symmetrical Multiprocessing

Symmetrical multiprocessing (SMP) is a parallel computer architecture in which multiple processors run a single copy of the operating system and share the memory and other resources of one computer. All the processors have equal access to memory, I/O and external interrupts.

Back to Basics

The future of energy production may have had its beginnings in 1802, when Sir Humphry Davy passed an electric current through water, causing it to decompose into hydrogen and oxygen. He postulated that electric attraction held the two elements together.

Symmetrical multiprocessing

Symmetrical multiprocessing (SMP) is a type of computing that uses more than a single processor. It rests at one end of a continuum running from the tongue-twister Cache-Coherent Non-Uniform Memory-Architecture (ccNUMA) to the less tightly coupled massively parallel processor systems and on to distributed systems such as Beowulfs, which are clusters of commodity, off-the-shelf PCs that are interconnected with a technology like Ethernet and run programs written for parallel processing.