Wednesday Aug 27, 2008

Mark Shuttleworth: from Debian Developer to Ubuntu Founder

The other podcast that I did while I was at Debconf8 down in Argentina was with the ever charming Mark Shuttleworth, Debian developer in a past-life and founder of the Debian-based Ubuntu.  Take a listen! (pay no attention to my sniffling and broken Spanish in the beginning :)

My interview with Mark (15:33)  Listen (Mp3) Listen (ogg)

If you havent met Mark he's 6'10" (notice the relative size of the cup).  As a student he was starting guard on the Capetown Krugerrands pro basketball team.\*

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • How mark got involved with Debian back in '93-- he noticed the lack of an Apache package so he banged one together and contributed it
  • After he sold his first company, what drove him to found Ubuntu and why did he choose to base it on Debian?
  • What is the business model behind Canonical and how has it evolved over time, particularly when in the case of Ubuntu, "the bits are free" (from technical support contracts to custom engineering)
  • Where will Ubuntu most likely get traction in the enterprise, via the server or desktop?
  • The trends Mark sees in the industry today
  • The Ubuntu+Red Hat+SUSE+ IBM "Microsoft-Free desktop" announcement that was made at Linux World and how this represents "a shift in what's possible"
  • Where Mark sees Ubuntu two years from now, what its like being your own angel investor and does Mark have an exit strategy?

\*(Mark really isn't 6'10 and I don't think there is such a team as the Capetown Krugerrands).

Pau for now...

Friday Aug 22, 2008

An Inside look at Debian -- Chatting with DPL Steve McIntyre

Down in Argentina I grabbed some time with Steve McIntyre, Debian's 11th project leader since its founding 15 years ago.  Steve has been on the job since April of this year and I checked in to see how it was going.

My interview with Steve (17:36)  Listen (Mp3) Listen (ogg)


Right after this picture was taken Steve took second in the Mar Del Plata Caber toss

Some of the Topics we tackle: 

  • What Steve's been doing his first four months on the job
  • The survey he sent out to all the teams to see what was working and what wasn't, and what he learned
  • Progress on the search for the sender of the death threats
  • The dunc-tank brouhaha and how things have quieted since then
  • The power of derivatives (e.g. Ubuntu, the City of Munich, Spain...) and trying to make it easier for them to contribute back.
  • How decisions are made in this organized chaos -- a do-ocracy rather than a democracy and how things be dictatorial as a release nears
  • How Debian is similar to kernel.org

Extra credit reading: Debian GNU/Linux: 15 years old and at the Crossroads


Pau for now...

Thursday Aug 07, 2008

Gordon Haff of Illuminata shares his views from OSCON

My last podcast from OSCON is with industry pundit Gordon Haff of Illuminata (I actually also recorded an interview with someone from Amazon Web Services but their PR department nixed it after the fact). 

I originally did an interview with Gordon at the Red Hat Summit back in June but due the vagueries of technology, it vanished.  Gordon was kind enough to give me a make up in Portland.

My interview with Gordon (15:04)  Listen (Mp3) Listen (ogg)


A man of many words. 

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • Why Gordon was attending OSCON.  It has something to do with "philosophical underpinnings."
  • Red Hat as the most successful pure-play Open Source software company.
  • How IBM has used Open Source to sell proprietary software.
  • While Microsoft may be "Dead in Theory," it keeps turning a profit.
  • Ubuntu's chances in the enterprise space
  • Sun, a clear set of strategies around Open Source.  What about execution?

For more Gordon-from-OSCON, check out this piece he did from up there: The Attribution Problem

Pau for now...

Monday Aug 04, 2008

Talkin' with the Open Solaris Dudes

At OSCON I was able to assemble three of the Open Solaris folks to hear about what had been going on since their launch back at CommunityOne.  I corralled OGB board members Glynn Foster and Stephen "I don't work at Sun anymore" Lau as well as, package-meister, David Comay.

My interview with Stephen, David and Glynn (17:42)  Listen (Mp3) Listen (ogg)

(If you are interested in seeing what the interview looked like, check out Stephen's pics that he took realtime.)  


Glynn, David and Stephen:  We are family, I got my brothers with me. 

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • Whats coming in the next release (OpenSolaris 8.11) due in November
  • Building up the repository.  Pushing packages every two weeks.  Looking to set up a repo for "encumbered-ware."
  • IPS and its integration with ZFS.
  • The challenges the OGB is focusing on: scaling and getting projects and communities the resources they need.
  • When we might see a Long Term Support version of OpenSolaris.
  • Intel's contribution to the kernel
  • Using Virtual Box to install OpenSolaris on Macs and Windows.
Pau for now...

About

I look after Sun's relationships with the various GNU/Linux communities as well as our relationship with the FSF. Last year, my family and I emigrated from Silicon Valley to Austin, TX.

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