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...

Friday Apr 25, 2008

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...

Ubuntu 8.04LTS is Live -- Sun Systems First to be Certified!

A few hours ago, Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Long Term Support) made its worldwide debut.  Parties are being held by LoCo teams around the world and there is even an IRC bash that is currently going on.


This is Ubuntu's second LTS version and just like the first, Ubuntu 6.06LTS, this one has been certified to run Sun systems.   Not only that but so far Sun is the only major vendor to be certified on 8.04LTS. 

8.04 is a big deal because, as an LTS, it is supported with free patches and upgrades for five years on the server and three years on the desktop.  Normal releases are supported for 18 months on both the server and desktop.  This is Canonical's big run at the enterprise and its great to be a part of it!

Which Sun Systems?

Canonical has certified four Sun servers, three new ones and one which has been certified since the last LTS.  These servers represent both AMD and Intel based systems and, in the case of the AMD-based X2200M2 and the Intel-based X4150 the certification holds for both the dual and quadcore versions.  Also certified is the Intel-based Ultra 24 workstation which was first certified on the 7.10 release.

Ubuntu 8.04LTS
Ubuntu 7.10
Ubuntu 7.04
Ubuntu 6.06LTS
AMD Sun Fire X2100 M2 server certified

Sun Fire X2200 M2 server certified

AMD Sun Fire X4100 server certified certified certified certified
Sun Fire X4150 server certified

Sun Ultra 24 workstation certified certified


The Heron has landed - Congrats all around!

So a toast to the Ubuntu community, Canonical and Hardy Heron, a most excellent release!


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...

Friday Apr 04, 2008

OpenBSD on UltraSPARC T1 - Done!

A few months ago I mentioned that Mark Kettenis was making quite a bit of progress in his efforts to port OpenBSD to the  SPARC Enterprise T1000 server.  Well last night this was posted:

Yesterday I committed the last bit of code to support machines with Sun's UltraSPARC T1 CPUs. Below is a dmesg for the SPARC Enterprise T1000, and although other machines have not been tested yet, machines like the SPARC Enterprise T2000 and Sun Blade T6300 are expected to work too. As you can see, we support SMP right from the start.

Whats this European code-slinger extraordinaire now working on?

LDOM support is not yet complete; I'm still working on drivers for virtual network interfaces and virtual disks. But domains with access to real hardware should work fine.

And after that we'll have to see what he can do with a T2 ;)

Congrats Mark!

Paul for now...

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 Apr 03, 2008

My Video Interview with Jon O'Bacon -- Ubuntu Community Leader

Ok, so Jono's real surname is Bacon (just like Redmonk pundit Steveo's real last name is Grady). 

Jono was on the West Coast after having just given the keynote at SCALE and was gracious enough to stop by Sun's studios before a talk he was giving at Google.  (This glorious event also marked my debut as a guest host on Sun's SDN Channel.)

Jono is a big supporter of the foundation to end squirrel-on-squirrel violence.

(If you cant see the video above, try this.) 

The Big LUG

If you're interested in seeing Jono live and uplugged (or is that unhinged?) and will be in the Bay Area next weekend you'll want to catch LugRadio Live USA 2008, April 12 - 13th.  This wild and wacky event marks LugRadio's US debut and will be chock-a-block full of open source luminaries (including Sun's own Ian Murdock and Josh Berkus).

Pau for now...

Friday Mar 21, 2008

'Tis the Season: Debian Project Leader Elections

Well here in the U.S. the election primary season is in full swing (as if you didn't know).  Barack? Hillary? McCain? (Oh, and by the way did I mention enough times that I went to school with Barack/Barry?) 

The Open Solaris Governing Board is in the midst of its campaigning/elections with voting closing on Monday and the winners announced on Tuesday and the Debian GNU/Linux distro is in the middle of its Project Leader campaigning period.

Debian Project Leader '08 Elections

Voting for the Debian Project Leader runs between March 30 and April 13 with the victor ascending on April 17. 

In the running in this year's election are:

  1. Marc Brockschmidt  [platform]
  2. Raphaël Hertzog  [platform]
  3. Steve McIntyre  [platform]

The Line of Kings

For those of you interested in history, since its inception, there have been 10 project leaders for Debian:

  1. Ian Murdock (August 1993 – March 1996), founder of the Debian Project
  2. Bruce Perens (April 1996 – December 1997)
  3. Ian Jackson (January 1998 – December 1998)
  4. Wichert Akkerman (January 1999 – March 2001)
  5. Ben Collins (April 2001 – April 2002)
  6. Bdale Garbee (April 2002 – April 2003)
  7. Martin Michlmayr (March 2003 – March 2005)
  8. Branden Robinson (April 2005 – April 2006)
  9. Anthony Towns (April 2006 – April 2007)
  10. Sam Hocevar (April 2007 – present)
(The above taken from wikipedia.)

Who will be lucky #11? (not to be confused with client #9)

Good luck to all three and may the best man win! :)

Pau for now... 

Thursday Mar 20, 2008

2008 FSF Members Meeting

As I mentioned a couple of entries ago, last weekend I was in Boston to attend the Free Software Foundation's annual members  meeting

It kicked off early Saturday morning amidst a flurry of wet snow.

It was 95 degrees in Austin on this day. 


The event was a day long affair held on the MIT campus and featured a dinner that evening at the Middle East.

The crowd mills about waiting for the event to start.  There was a very impressive buffet of fruit, juice, danishes etc to get things started right  -- Can't talk Free Software on an empty stomach.

Matt and Josh campaign to eliminate both DRM and yellow jumpsuits. 

After a welcome by Executive Director Peter Brown, campaign managers Matt Lee and Joshua Gay reviewed some of the work they've been involved with over the last year. 

The rest of the day was composed of  a series of presentations including, "The Zen of the Hacker,"  "Ending Software Patents," Freedom and Web Services," and "Hollywood and Free Software" as well as an update on GPLV3.  (I was able to grab Ben Klemens and Henri Poole after their talks on Patents and Hollywood, respectively, for interviews.  Look for those in the next few entries).

The event then wrapped up with an hour an half open mic Q&A with board members.

L-R: Exec director Peter Brown and board members Geoffrey Knauth, Mako Hill and Richard Stallman (Henri Poole joined the group after this picture was taken)

All and all an interesting day that ended with great baklava and conversations at the Middle East.

P.S. If you haven't checked out the FSF website recently, do.  Its had a facelift and isn't so drab any more. 

Pau for now...

Monday Mar 17, 2008

Two More OGB Interviews: Ken Mays, Alan Coopersmith

Here are two more and, most probably, the final interviews with the '08 Open Solaris Governing Board candidates.  Voting ends a week from today (March 24th) and the results will be announced next Tuesday.

Good luck to all!

Ken Mays (6:10)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg)

Alan Coopersmith (7:41)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg)


Pau for now... 

Boston: Gnomies, Fiber Optics and the FSF

Last Thursday I left warm sunny Austin for cold, snowy Boston.  Despite the weather I had a great time.  The main purpose of the trip was to attend the Free Software Foundations annual membership meeting but I was able to add on a few things.

Friday I had a couple of meetings at the Cambridge Brewing Company.  I met with Jeff Hammond from Forrester Research who in addition to all the other stuff on his plate, picked up Free and Open Source Software when Michael Goulde retired.   It was basically a get to know you meeting and it went well.  After that I met with Andy Oram of O'Reilly, who specializes in GNU/Linux and Free Software books.  After my meetings I met up with a buddy from high school who is leading research in fiber optics in a lab at BU.  We had coffee and then I got to see the lab itself.

Carson Roberts - Van Helsing of the optics lab;  The spike he's holding, when stretched by the machine behind him, will produce ~10km of fiber optic cable. 


From there I headed down to Newbury street where I stumbled upon what appeared to GNOME foundation board meeting.

I think the one on the left is Jeff Waugh

The next day, Saturday was the FSF members meeting.   Stay tuned for a post on that and a couple of cool interviews I was able to grab.

Pau for now...

Thursday Mar 13, 2008

Sun and NSA open community project to drive security for OpenSolaris

This morning Sun and the United States' National Security Agency (NSA) announced a cool new community project.  Together we have kicked-off an open effort to integrate an additional form of mandatory access control (MAC) based on the NSA's Flux Advanced Security Kernel (FLASK) architecture into OpenSolaris.

Talkin' to the man

Yesterday I was able to grab Mark Thacker who head's up marketing for Solaris security and virtualization to learn more about what this is all about.

My Interview with Mark (10:56)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg)

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • Working together to integrate FMAC based on FLASK. Responding to customer and developer requests for strong security and familiar APIs
  • Looking for a few good ideas. 
  • How can developers get involved? Where should they start? (hint: check out this link)
  • You don't need to give up your privacy to participate (e.g. no retina scans required) and don't have to be a U.S. citizen.
  • How Trusted Solaris morphed into Trusted Solaris extensions.
Pau for now...

Wednesday Mar 12, 2008

Still More OGB Interviews: Peter Tribble, Rich Teer, Al Hopper, Jim Grisanzio

Here are four more interviews that I've conducted with the OGB candidates since my post this morning. 

This set kicks off in Cambridge (UK) with Peter Tribble and then heads west to British Columbia and Rich Teer.  After that my next call took me due north of my location here in Austin, to Plano, Texas where Al Hopper is.  For the last call I spoke with Jim Grisanzio who is currently on vacation in Florida.  Enjoy!

Peter Tribble (7:44)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg)

Rich Teer (7:46)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg)

Al Hopper (8:30)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg)

Jim Grisanzio (8:30)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg) 


And with these we now have an even dozen.  Lets see if any of the others decide to go for it (I did hear from Stephen Lau who is on vacation in Vietnam and is without decent phone connectivity.  Given the circumstances Ill send him the questions I've been asking everyone and let him reply by email).

Pau for now... 

Update (March 13):  I've since heard from Ken Mays and Alan Coopersmith.  Look for those on Monday. 


More OGB Interviews: Simon Phipps, Michal Bielicki, Glynn Foster, Justin Erenkrantz

With yesterday's interviews for the Open Solaris Governing Board I took a virtual trip around the world and visited four countries. 

My first "stop" was the UK where Simon Phipps was riding out gale force winds.  From there I headed across the channel and over to Germany where Michal Bielicki described the conditions as dark (probably having to do with the fact that it was 8PM there).  I then ventured south, across the dateline and into the future to New Zeland to chat with Glynn Foster.  Finally I returned to North America and the US to speak with Justin Erenkrantz.  I wonder if I can get virtual frequent flyer miles?

Simon Phipps (8:02)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg)

Michal Bielicki (7:28)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg)

Glynn Foster (7:36)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg)

Justin Erenkrantz (7:32)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg)

More to come

I have four more candidates lined up for this afternoon so look for those tomorrow.

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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