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

Pics from MySQL Conference '08

This past week I was out in the Bay Area for the MySQL Conference and Expo.  I hit the pre-event parties and attended the conference's opening day.   The first day featured a great set of opening keynotes from Marten Mickos, Jonathan Schwartz and Werner Vogel, CTO of Amazon. 

Marten Mickos, tellin' like it is. 

Jonathan Schwartz divulging Sun's "secret plot." 

The main reason for my attendance at the Conference was to get a bunch of podcast interviews as well as to be interviewed by the press as Sun's "Linux Guy."  I ended talking to the Register, Information Week and DevX as an interviewee. 

As an interviewer I was able record podcasts with:

Look for these to be posted this week. 

Rich Green, EVP of Software at Sun and Marten's  boss, Sun Visor gave out awards for Applications, , Partners, and Community members of the year.

Zack Urlocker and Tim O'Reilly talk to the press at the press reception.

Kaj Arno of MySQL and Ann of Zmanda strike a pose in the press room. 

The lunch was definitely one of the nicer ones I've had at a tech conference and the location didn't suck either. 

The evening soiree on the exhibition floor. 

Sebastian Bergmann poses at the O'Reilly table with the PHPUnit pocket guide he authored (I put him up to it).

As I mentioned above, I should be posting the podcasts I recorded this week.

Pau for now...

Monday Apr 14, 2008

MySQL Conf Kicks off with Parties at Marten's and Pedro's

I got into San Jose last night around 4:00, picked up my rental car and headed over to the annual pre-conference party at Marten Mickos' house.  The food was amazing and it was great to finally meet the MySQL crowd in person.

It wasn't long however before I was invited by the MySQL Community Team to join them as they headed to the next event on the social calendar.   Armed with a garbage bag full of stuffed dolphins we headed over to Pedro's and the MySQL Conf 2008 Community Dinner that Arjen Lentz had organized. 

A couple of recent community members joined the party at Pedro's as well, Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz and Sun Software EVP, Rich Green

Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz joined the MySQL community soiree for a few hours and was repaid handsomely in dolphins. (That's me in the background, the flash of radiant light)

MySQL confounder Monty in the Middle.  

"Finn among the Eucalyptus" Kaj Arno chills in Marten's back yard.

What a great way to meet the community!

To see other takes on last night's activities check out blog entries from Colin, Kaj and Giuseppe.

I look forward to the conference tomorrow and will be armed with a recorder to grab as many podcasts as possible.

Pau for now... 

Friday Apr 11, 2008

The Linux Foundation Summit: Of Maddogs and Englishmen (and Sharks)

Earlier this week I attended the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, serendipitously held here Austin.  It was a fantastic opportunity to meet a lot of the people in the community whom I hadn't met before as well as to catch up with old friends.

Maddog (R) helping Executive Director Jim "Led" Zemlin to Flourish 

Great Speakers
(and I'm not talking Bose, which really aren't great speakers anyway)

There was an impressive line up of panels and speakers the first day of the summit ranging from Al Gillen of IDC to the Kernel Hackers panel to Brian Stevens, CTO of Red Hat (here's a good write up of the panel and Al's presentation).  My personal favorite, and I may be biased, was Marten Mickos' presentation.  I thought he came across as sincere and relaxed, yet authoritative.  Marten re-affirmed MySQL's commitment to GNU/Linux and talked about the "New Sun" characterized by, among other things, a "bold and humble new management."

One thing that struck me, particularly during the Q&A session of the kernel panel, was the preponderance of Englishmen.  It seemed for a while there,  one question after another was being asked by someone sounding like Hugh Grant (or at least closer to M. Grant than Ricky Gervais). 

A Super Location 

The event was held at UT's Super Computing Center about 10 minutes from my office and the exact same place where, six weeks ago I attended the dedication of Ranger: the Sun Constellation Linux Cluster.  In fact during the Summit they had tours of Ranger, aka"the world's most powerful supercomputer for open science research." 

If you want to get a feel of what its like to walk-through this uber computer check out this video that  Whurley shot during the tour.

Qua bottle lounge, where Tuesday's fete was held: Below the plexiglass dance floor swam sharks and manta rays.

Open Source, Open Bar

Of  course the biggest value in a summit like this comes in the after hours get togethers where you really get to meet people.  The Summit was no exception.  While the breakfast spread at the conference was put to shame by the breakfast spread that the Free Software Foundation (the Free Software Foundation!) offered at its member meeting, the food and drink Tuesday night was first class. 

I can't remember the last time I've been to a truly open bar.  I reflexively asked for a beer at the bar assuming that beverages would be limited to beer and two colors of wine.  I was quite surprised then a little while later when the hostess asked the person next to me what they wanted to drink he asked for a vodka tonic.  From there on it was margaritas for me!

James Bottomley (kernel SCSI god) picks the second winner in the raffle. I was the first winner and will be getting the new HP mini note running SUSE, Yippee!

Old Apple buddies, Mark Murphy (now of Canonical and who has the pleasure of dealing with me on a regular basis) and Zaheda Bhorat (of Google and tireless ODF champion) 

Pau for now.... 

Tuesday Feb 26, 2008

MySQL, Done Deal! Talking with Marten and Zack on Day 1

Well as of this morning MySQL is officially a part of Sun Microsystems.  We announced the intent to acquire MySQL on Jan 16 and exactly five weeks later the deal has been concluded, talk about a whirlwind close!

Earlier today I got a chance to chat with both Marten Mickos, former MySQL CEO and Zack Urlocker head of engineering and products to get their thoughts on Day 1.

My interview with Marten (9:16)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg)

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • The speed of the close, how in an acquisition like this there are always tons of questions but at a certain point you need to commit and fix the issues as they come up
  • Coordinating a closing when you're employees are spread across 18 time zones
  • What it will take for the acquisition to succeed
  • Sun's commitment to Linux and how its the number one platform for MySQL (guess whats number two :)
  • The changes in Sun Marten has seen in recent years
  • How Marten wants to be integrated into Sun rather set apart as a stand alone unit.

My interview with Zack (10:13)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg) 

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • How it feels to be a sun employee
  • How he first heard about the offer and what his thoughts and concerns were
  • What was the key thing that convinced Zack that this acquisition made sense
  • What is MySQL looking to leverage now that they are a part of Sun
  • The upcoming MySQL conference and expo

Welcome Marten, welcome Zack, welcome MySQL!

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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