Tuesday Sep 02, 2008

Would you like some Freedom with that Fry? GNU turns 25 and Java powers the Video!

Given that John McCain has chosen Monty Python alum, Michael Palin as his running mate, its no surprise that the Free Software Foundation has found their own British comedian to promote the 25th birthday of the GNU operating system

The FSF have teamed up with Steven Fry English humorist, actor and novelist to produce a very cool five minute video explaining the history of GNU and the ethos behind Free Software.

Check out the video here

And speaking of Free as in Freedom, the video is powered by Java technology (who would have predicted that a few years ago! ;)

Pau for now...

Sunday Apr 27, 2008

GNU/Linux Distro Smack Down! Only at CommunityOne

Fedora! OpenSuse! Ubuntu! -- Three community managers together on one stage!  And if that wasn't sick enough we're going add in OpenSolaris and one of their board members!

When?! Where?! How Much?!

One day only, Monday May 5 at CommunityOne at the Moscone Center in San Francisco! 

And the price of admission? FREE! FREE! FREE!  Free as in beer, Free as in Freedom, Free as you feel when you're riding your Harley down a twisting mountain rode at midnight listening to death metal and the wind is howling through your hair, like a banshee thats sooooo mad its not even funny!

Meet the Gladiators: 

 Fedora  OpenSUSE
Karsten "The Killer" WadeZonker "Bring it On" BrockmeierJono "No Mercy" Bacon
Glynn "Miles of Smiles " Foster
 Don't let the fact that three of the four of these gentlemen wear glasses fool you!

The Schedule - Monday May 5

These community warriors will each be given an hour to present their side of the story then we'll bring them all together at the end of the day for the first Free and Open Source panel ever to be held in a locked cage! 

No rules, no limits, no problem! 

12:25 - 1:20    Jono Bacon - Community leader Ubuntu Linux!

1:30 - 2:25     Zonker Brockmeier - Community leader OpenSUSE Linux!

2:35 - 3:30     Karsten Wade - Sr. Developer Community Manager!

4:00 - 4:45     Distro Panel: Jono, Zonker, Karsten + Glynn Foster - OpenSolaris Governing Board member, moderated be me!

You'll not want to miss this one!

Pau for  now...

Thursday Dec 20, 2007

Talking with Mako - The FSF's newest board member

At the end of day two of FOSS camp in Cambridge, I was able to grab some time with Benjamin Mako Hill.  I had blogged about Mako's appointment to the board of the Free Software Foundation back in July but this was the first time that I really got to meet him.  He's quite an amiable guy and very enthusiastic about what he's involved with (it definitely comes through in the interview).  Check it out:

My interview with Mako (10:25)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg)

Nothing says "passion" like a well stickered laptop. 

Who is Mako?

Some of the topics we tackle

  • The process of getting accepted onto the board of the FSF
  • The daunting task of trying to fill Eben Moglen's shoes
  • What it means to be the first board member from the post "GNU generation"
  • Being the software guy on the One Laptop Per Child project
  • Having been a rebel with too many causes
  • The open source/free software "schism"
  • UNIX jokes at a cappella shows


Since there is a good chance this will be my last entry of the year, I would like to wish everyone happy holidays and a hau'oli makahiki hou!

Pau for now...

Thursday Apr 12, 2007

The other Red Hat

I have a bunch of Google alerts that Ive set to monitor news about our partners and the industry.  One that I have set is for "Red Hat," a key partner of ours in our x64 server business. While the majority of the articles in the alerts are indeed related to Red Hat the GNU/Linux vendor I get a few a week dealing with the other Red Hat. 

So some days the alert will look like this:

Red Hat Fourth Quarter Earnings Call
123Jump.com - Miami Beach,FL,USA
This summary is based on the fourth quarter fiscal 2007 earnings call conducted by Red Hat, Inc. (RHT: chart) on March 29, 2007. ...

Red Hat to make India services strategy hub
Economic Times - India
MUMBAI: A year and half after it bought out its Indian JV partner and set up a fully-owned subsidiary in the country, open source software leader Red Hat ...

Red Hat Honeys
Picayune Item - Picayune,MS,USA
PICAYUNE — Members of the Red Hat Honeys recently attended the musical “HATS!” at Harrah’s Casino. The trip was a complete success as the group not only ...

If your not familiar with the other Red Hat, its the Red Hat Society and as it explains on their web site "The Red Hat Society is a social organization where there is fun after fifty (and before) for women of all walks of life" and, like LUGs, there are chapters all across the U.S. and Canada. 

I dont mean to dish but I heard that there was a long drawn out battle over who had rights to the name, cease and desists flying back and forth.  Finally in the spirit of the iPhone settlement, they decided to peacefully co-exist. 

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Pau for now...

Monday Apr 02, 2007

My first trip back to the Mothership


As a recent member of the Sun diaspora I made my first trip back to the Bay Area last week. I took the "nerd bird" from Austin and arrived bright and early Monday morning.  I came out to give a couple of presentations and sync up with Ian Murdock.  The trip went well and I packed a bunch into my three days there.  Here are some highlights:

OS Ambassadors

Monday afternoon Simon and I presented to the OS Ambassadors, Sun's top OS SE's from around the world.  The ambassadors had gathered for their biannual week-long conference where they sync up with all thats going on around the company.  Simon took them through his FOSS pitch and I detailed our GNU/Linux business.  We got quite a bit of interest in both topics. 

Turns out that we were the warm-up act for Jonathan Schwartz who spent about 5 minutes on prepared remarks and then fielded questions from the audience.  He was his usual eloquent and laid back self.   He in turn was the warm up act for the Bryan and Mike show.  To call these guys, particularly Bryan, high-energy would be a severe understatement.  They regaled the crowd with tales of the extremely cool stuff they've been working on for the past year and were highly entertaining.

Presenting to Senior Software Execs:  Of Sticky Notes and Free Software

Wednesday afternoon the FOSS team got to brief our top Software Execs on the status of what we've been working on.  David Marr, our team's legal dude and one of Sun's representatives on committee B, and I presented on our relationship with the Free Software Foundation as well as GPL version 3.  As luck would have it, the morning of the preso the latest draft of GPLv3 was released to the public so David got to scramble and revise his preso for the afternoon. 

David drew on a host of high tech props including dollar bills, Post-it notes and notebook paper to get across the finer points of patent licensing.  (Needless to say, going forward we wont be accepting any Post it notes from 3M that are not GPLv3)

David Marr, with the help of volunteer Jean Elliott, explaining the nuances of patent licensing (Note: Jean did not get to keep the dollar).

My Dinners with Ian

Both nights I was there I got to dine with Ian (the first also included a whole gaggle of Sun luminaries such as Tim Bray, Josh Berkus, Simon, Bryan, Mike etc as sort of an unofficial welcome to Sun for Ian).  I've been very impressed with how rational Ian comes across and his clarity around where he wants to go.  Im glad he's on our team.

And speaking of GPLv3

When I ran into our fearless leader on campus I was good naturedly harangued regarding the GPLv3 shirt that I had promised him --  I told him the shirt was in the mail. 

To be clear:  In order for Sun to make a final decision on GPLv3 two things need to first happen 1) the final draft needs to be published and evaluated and  2) the shirt needs to be wicked cool.


The view of the estuary outside my hotel.


Pau for now..

Friday Feb 02, 2007

St IGNUcius

In the last of my Richard Stallman trilogy, as promised, I present Richard's self-proclaimed alter ego. 

At the end of both of his talks in Hawaii, RMS closed by transforming before the audience's very eyes from man to minor deity: St IGNUcius from the church of Emacs.

I bless your computer my child.

The good Saint explained that in the church of Emacs, contrary to popular belief, using vi editor is not a sin...its a penance.   He did warn, however, that it was true that vi vi vi is the editor of the beast.

According to the teachings of St. IGNUcius:

To join the Church of Emacs, you need only say the Confession of the Faith three times:

    There is no system but GNU, and Linux is one of its kernels.

People sometimes ask if St IGNUcius is wearing an old computer disk platter. That is no computer disk, that is my halo. But it was a disk platter in a former life. Unfortunately, no information is available about what kind of computer it came from or what data was stored on it. However, you can rest assured that no non-free software is accessible on it today.

Saint IGNUcius says: Some people don't realize that Saint IGNUcius is Saint IGNUcius's way of not taking himself too seriously. Therefore,

Warning: taking the Church of Emacs (or any church) too seriously may be hazardous to your health. 

Copyright (C) 2000 Richard Stallman


Pau for now...
(Be sure to tune in next time to see what Barack Obama was up to in 1973)


Wednesday Jan 24, 2007

Live from Waimea Coffee Company

Well  were about to leave for the airport but I had to do at least one gratuitous posting from Hawaii and what better place to do it from than the Waimea Coffee company here in Kamuela. (aka Waimea).  I will be back later this week with details on my travels in paradise with Stallman.


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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