Monday May 12, 2008

AMD and OpenSolaris -- Margaret Lewis of AMD

Right before CommunityOne I caught up with Margaret Lewis, based here in Austin, who is the director of Commercial software at AMD.  We chatted about AMD's support and commitment to OpenSolaris.

My interview with Margaret (9:10)  Listen (Mp3)   Listen (ogg)

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • AMD's commitment to Open Source.
  • How AMD is setting up dedicated software resources in their center in Germany to focus on optimizing AMD's chips for OpenSolaris and how they are putting back all the changes.
  • AMD's virtualization work with the Xen hypervisor and how that feeds into the work that OpenSolaris has been doing.
  • AMD's work with Java and Java tuning.
  • AMD's power down feature, "PowerNow!"
Pau for now...

Intel and OpenSolaris -- Dave Stewart of Intel

Before the OpenSolaris launch I did an interview with Dave Stewart, the head of Intel's "Team Solaris."  Last week I got to meet him in person and snapped the pic below. 

Take a listen to hear what Dave and the team have been up to (they've been busy :).

My interview with Dave (9:06)  Listen (Mp3)   Listen (ogg)

Dave at the CommunityOne party, proudly sporting his OpenSolaris Tshirt. 

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • Intel's "Team OpenSolaris" in China and the US.
  • What Dave thinks are the coolest parts of OpenSolaris.
  • Where Intel has made most of its OpenSolaris contributions.
  • Project Tesla and Intel's effort with PowerTOP for OpenSolaris.
  • Whats coming up later this year and how Dave and co. are working to get their next family of chips, Nehalem to work really well with OpenSolaris.
Pau for now...


Tim Cramer -- OpenSolaris's Man in the Middle

Right before the the OpenSolaris 2008.5 launch I grabbed a few minutes with Tim Cramer who's recently been named the executive liaison to the OpenSolaris community.   In this role, Tim will be looking to strengthen the communication between Sun the corporation and the OpenSolaris community (his day job is Senior director of OpenSolaris core engineering). 

My interview with Tim (11:48)  Listen (Mp3)   Listen (ogg)

Tim hoisting a Guinness at the GlassFish party the night before the Solaris launch. 

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • Tim's background -- from super computer compilers, to Java performance, to NetBeans, to JavaFX to now.
  • Communication as the biggest issue over the past year and how Tim will work to make sure the community is never surprised by anything Sun does.
  • Who makes up the community and where Tim's looking to grow this.
  • Tim's goals for the next year: growing a healthy community, focusing attention on app developers and growing the repository.
Pau for now...

Friday May 09, 2008

Chatting with David Miner of OpenSolaris

Right before CommunityOne kicked off this Monday and OpenSolaris 2008.05 was launched, I was able to grab Dave Miner for a podcast.  Dave is another one of the big brains behind OpenSolaris and is the architect behind the install team. 

My interview with Dave (9:30)  Listen (Mp3)   Listen (ogg)

Dave ready for the big day. 

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • The gauntlet people previously had to run to install Solaris
  • Dave's involvement with Solaris install from member of the original team in '92 to rejoining and taking over the team a couple of years ago.
  • How they've streamlined the install process - Project Caiman
  • Building a LiveCD
  • Where Dave wants to take the install over the next year: jumpstart, server focus, distribution constructor project

Talking to Stephan Hahn and David Comay of OpenSolaris

I recently caught up with two of the big brains behind OpenSolaris, Stephen Hahn and David Comay to discuss the launch of OpenSolaris 2008.5 and a lot of the work and thinking that has gone into it.

My interview with Stephen and David (14:07)  Listen (Mp3)   Listen (ogg)

Stephen and David toast the launch with their expensive crystal glasses at the OpenSolaris install fest at CommunityOne.

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • How to balance attracting new developers with making sure we keep the customers and developers who've traditionally been using Solaris.
  • Where we've borrowed from and what we've borrowed.
  • Stephen drills down on the Image Packaging System (IPS) and explains why we decided to roll our own.
  • How IPS compares to apt-get.
  • The easy conversion of system V packages to IPS.
  • Where OpenSolaris is heading over the next year
Pau for now...

Monday Apr 28, 2008

MySQL Conf08 - Erica Brescia, CEO BitRock

Last but not least in my series of podcasts from this year's My SQL Conference and Expo, is my conversation with Erica Brescia, CEO of BitRock.  BitRock is the company behind BitNami and InstallBuilder and counts as its clients companies like MySQL, JasperSoft, KnowledgeTree, SugarCRM...

My interview with Erica (9:34)  Listen (Mp3)   Listen (ogg)

Erica, still standing and smiling at 9PM. 

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • Providing the packaging services of a lot of the commercial Open Source companies like MySQL, JasperSoft, KnowledgeTree, SugarCRM...
  • Creating BitNami a site that provides access to easy to access/install stacks of Open Source software for Linux, Window, OS X and Solaris.
  • Surviving without venture funding.
  • What its like running a company thats located in Seville, Spain and how the location draws a lot of great European developers.
  • Erica's priorities for the next year: building out the engineering team, getting the word out about BitNami and building a community around it.
Pau for now...

Friday Apr 25, 2008

MySQL Conf08 - Hangin' with Brian Aker

Here is number 5 in my series of six podcasts from last week's MySQL conference and expo.

Just after lunch on Tuesday, I was able to corner Brian Aker, former CTO of MySQL, introduce myself and ask him if he was up for a podcast.  Without any convincing or arm twisting he happily agreed. :)

My interview with Brian (9:18)  Listen (Mp3)   Listen (ogg)

Brian's lenses adapt to match the art around him. 

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • Brian's parade of titles and where he's ended up within Sun
  •, durable memory, and what that means for EC2
  • Getting Memcached to run on larger systems
  • Getting access to larger hardware in general and being able to address scalability issues first hand
  • What OS Brian runs on his laptop
  • The coolest thing about MySQL
Pau for now...

MySQL Conf08 - Talkin' to Baron Schwartz, Community Award Winner

Last week at the MySQL conference and expo in Santa Clara, I was able to grab some time with Baron Schwartz,  the man behind  innotop and Maatkit (formerly known as Prince MySQL Toolkit).  Baron was also one of the three winners of the Community Code Contributor of the year award.

My interview with Baron (11:39)  Listen (Mp3)   Listen (ogg)

Baron "So I married an Egyptologist" Schwartz

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • What the heck is a "Maatkit" and who's the gal with the feather?
  • Baron's journey from Free Software to a Microsoft shop, back to Free Software
  • How he would compare the MySQL and Postgres communities
  • The book he's about to publish
  • How Marten Mickos contacted Baron early on to let him know about and get his thoughts on the merger
  • His first two weeks at Percona, Inc.
  • How he's a careful blogger
Pau for now...

Thursday Apr 24, 2008

MySQL Conf08 - Chattin' with Zack Urlocker

Last time I interviewed Zack it was the day that MySQL officially became a part of Sun Microsystems and it was over the phone.  Last week however we were both at the MySQL conference and got meet face to face.  Here is the resulting interview, enjoy!

My interview with Zack (9:24)  Listen (Mp3)   Listen (ogg)

Zack's the one in the middle.

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • Exceeding expectations at the MySQL conference
  • The availability of MySQL's 5.1 later this quarter and all the cool new features
  • The GA of Workbench - a modeling tool for DBAs
  • The morning's keynotes (here is the video Zack shot)
  • The challenges that Werner Vogels, Amazon's CTO, faces
  • Sun's performance tuning team and how it helps MySQL shine
  • Zack's impressions of his first six weeks at Sun
Pau for now...

Wednesday Apr 23, 2008

MySQL Conf08 - My Interview with Jennifer Venable of Red Hat

Last Tuesday when I was walking the show floor at the MySQL conference, I ran into a familiar name,  Jennifer Venable.  I had never met Jennifer before but we had traded mails and had spoken on the phone.  This was about 18 months ago when we were negotiating the renewal of Sun's contract as an Authorized Distributor of Red Hat.  At that time, Jennifer was the Red Hat lawyer working on the contract.

Well since that time Jennifer has escaped from the Red Hat legal ranks and has joined the business side where, as of a couple of months ago, she took over as head of the Red Hat Exchange. 

Take a listen.

My interview with Jennifer (12:25)  Listen (Mp3)   Listen (ogg)

The venerable Ms. Venable. 

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • What is Red Hat Exchange (RHX) and where is now located within Red Hat's org.
  • The ISVs that RHX focuses on (open source ISVs that also offer support)
  • Whats an EPEL (Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux) and how they sit between Fedora and RHEL.
  • How Jennifer made her way from legal beagle to RHX head.
  • The upcoming Red Hat Summit, June 18-20 in Boston, and how this year it will be co-located with FUDCon.
Pau for now...

Monday Apr 21, 2008

MySQL Conf08 - Marten Mickos tells all

At the end of the first day of the MySQL conference and expo I caught up with Marten Mickos former MySQL CEO and current Sun Database SVP.   Marten was in high spirits and eloquent as always.

My interview with Marten (10:29)  Listen (Mp3)   Listen (ogg)

Marten worked the floor like the consummate host he is. 

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • How he felt the first day of the conference went.
  • How MySQL employees took the news that they were being acquired and the range of emotions it engendered.
  • The "on-boarding" process at Sun and how Sun Visors have been the key.
  • What it means to go from being an employee of a 400 person company to being the employee of a 32,000 person company.
  • What Marten's priorities have been in these first few weeks.
  • The awards that were given out.

Pau for now....

Sunday Apr 20, 2008

Jono Bacon on LugRadio Live US, Hardy Release Parties etc.

I was able to catch up with Mr. Bono Jacon Jono Bacon, Ubuntu community manager, not long after he and his miscreant buddies that call themselves "LugRadio" had hosted their very first "Rock Conference" in the U.S aka LugRadio Live USA 2008 

My interview with Jono (12:53)  Listen (Mp3)   Listen (ogg)
(a bit of background noise from tech-hooligans for the first couple minutes but then it goes away)

Jono receives millions from endorsement deals. 

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • How LugRadio live US went
  • The differences between holding LugRadio Live in Wolverhampton and San Francisco
  • Who attended the event and who presented.
  • How Frets on Fire allows Jono to prance around his living room like he's never pranced before.
  • The Ubuntu Hardy Heron release this week and the LoCo Team release parties around the world.
  • Ubuntu Open Week
  • FOSS camp and the Ubuntu Developer Summit coming up in Prague.

 Pau for now...

Monday Apr 14, 2008

Ending Software Patents - Talking with Ben Klemens

You've got to respect any individual willing to kick off a presentation with a impression of Kermit the frog.  And not just an impression but a rendition of Kermit singing the rainbow connection.  Well Ben Klemens, tasked with leading the Free Software Foundation's End Software Patents campaign, is just such an individual (the point?  Kermit lied.  There aren't so many songs about rainbows).

I was able to grab Ben after his talk at the Free Software Foundation's membership meeting last month and talk about ending software patents.  

My interview with Ben (10:27)  Listen (Mp3)   Listen (ogg)

"Is that a patent troll I see up there?" 

Who is Ben?

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • Patent Trolls
  • The protection that Copyright provides
  • How software patents are all the Gipper's fault
  • The Supreme Court has been extremely clear in their disapproval of software patents
  • The question is do software patents promote the progress of science -  the answer is no


Extra Credit Reading - Where Sun Stands on Software Patents:

Pau for now....

Friday Apr 04, 2008

Talkin' MySQL (conference) with Jay Pipes

Yesterday I chatted with Jay Pipes at his home in the Buckeye State.  Jay is the North American community manager for MySQL and very recent Sun employee.  We chatted about whats up in the world of MySQL and all about the MySQL Conference thats coming up in 10 days (April 14-16, in Santa Clara).

My interview with Jay (10:01)  Listen (Mp3)   Listen (ogg)

Photo by Sebastian Bergmann

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • The ability at the MySQL conference to have a beer with the actual guy who wrote the code for the replication engine.
  • The super secret promo code from O'Reilly for those who listen to this podcast (mys08pcd)
  • The awesome line-up of keynote speakers -- including high-muckety-mucks from Amazon, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr...)
  • How writing a book on MySQL can get you hired.
  • Java -- moving beyond MySQLs strengths in Perl, PHP and Ruby (would that be the LAMJ stack? that rolls right off the tongue)

 Pau for now...

Thursday Mar 27, 2008

Hollywood and Free Software -- Talking to Henri Poole

At the Free Software Foundation's members meeting that I recently attended, I was able to grab FSF board member Henri Poole.  I caught Henri right after he gave his talk, "Hollywood and Free Software."  I don't know about you but "Free Software" and "Hollywood" are not words that I often see in the same sentence.

My interview with Henri (6:31)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg)


Who is Henri?

  • FSF board member since 2002
  • Co-founder of CivicActions which, among other things, is working on Peter Gabriel's Witness project, creating the WITNESS video hub.
  • A Berkeleyite who began hacking code as teenager in Oklahoma
  • The former head of Mandrake Soft.
  • The former Director of Technology for Dennis Kucinich's US Presidential campaign.

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • The writers strike and how it provided for a receptive audience
  • Meeting up with 15 members of the writers guild at the house of the writer of Schindler's List
  • The birth of "Virtual Artists": entertainment and software writers coming together to enlighten the world through a new form of story telling.
  • Matching the technology with the strategic direction
  • Looking for management, funding and what the next few months holds.

Pau for now... 


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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