OpenSolaris + Ubuntu + Sake = Memories

I love playing matchmaker.  I was therefore psyched that Jim Grisanzio and Mako were able to hook up while Mako was visiting Tokyo.  Not only did the two of them get together but a few folks from Ubuntu Japan also joined the party.  (In fairness, I think it was Jim who joined Mako and the Ubuntu'ers).  Check out the scene at Jim's blog.

My Life as a Salary Man 

All of this makes me natuskashi about the four years I spent right out of college in Japan.   After an initial stint as an English teach (which gave me the time and resources to study the language) I became a salary man at Sony.  I joined their international advertising group but soon busted a move to the UNIX workstation team. 


Here I am with a bunch of my co-workers showing off Sony's line of computers circa 1990.

For those who don't remember (which is probably everyone), in the second half of the 80's Sony had a workstation named NEWS (Network Engineering WorkStation).  A Japanese OS and the long list of Japanese ISVs made NEWS a big hit domestically but didn't carry much weight outside of Japan.  We tried all sorts of things but companies like Sun, Apollo and DEC had the market pretty well sewn up.  Just to give you an idea of how tough the field was in the US at the end of '88/beginning of '89, the HP 9000/370, Apollo DN 4500 and Sun 3/4000 were all using the Motorola 68030 which ran at a scorching 33MHz!

Welcome to the Boomtown

Tokyo at the end of the '80s/beginning of the '90s was a very exciting place to be.  It was the height of their bubble (and a little bit of the deflating) and yen was flowing like mizu.  They were bringing in the best designers, architects and artists from around the world and things were looking pretty uber hip.  I had a cool six tatami mat apartment about 10 minute bike ride from Asagaya station.  There were tons of tiny cool jazz and blues bars right near the Asagaya train tracks that I hung out at.

I've only been back to Japan once since I left.  About five years ago I went to help with a marketing course at Sun Tokyo.  It was great to be back and i went and visited my old 'hood and hit the bars at Asagaya. 

I'll need to find another excuse to get back.

Pau for now...
 
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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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