Wednesday Jul 30, 2008

Sam Ramji of Microsoft Tells all

Last week at OSCON I ran into Sam Ramji, head of Microsoft's worldwide open source and linux team, outside of Starbucks.  He had a back-to-back meetings lined up that day but since my podcast last year was singularly responsible for his rise within Microsoft, he cut out some time for me.  [BTW, this was the day before their Apache announcement] Here is the result:

My interview with Sam (11:02)  Listen (Mp3) Listen (ogg)

I came bearing gifts.  Sam holding a real operating system (turns out he already had BeleniX loaded)

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • His new position and team (its grown from 12 to 112 people and spans 65 countries) and what they're responsible for.
  • Strategy without execution is hallucination
  • The two licenses Microsoft submitted (one BSD-like and the other copyleft and which allows dual licensing), and got approved by the OSI last year.
  • The importance of interoperability and making sure MS stuff works well with Linux/Solaris etc.
  • The work they've been doing with the Jeremy Allison and the Samba team
  • Ballmer's recent quote regarding Open Source and "recovering their agnosticism"
  • What Sam's proudest over the last year and shout outs to team members.

Want more Sam?  Check out this Infoweek article, also from OSCON.

Pau for now...

Wednesday Mar 19, 2008

The Last(?) OGB Interview: Joerg Schilling

Earlier today I interviewed Joerg Schilling in Berlin about his candidacy for the OpenSolaris Governing Board

I have now heard from all but two of the candidates and, given that voting stops on Monday, I'm assuming that this is the last.  That being said, if I hear from the other two and they're interested I am still up for doing another interview or two.  :)

Joerg Schilling (8:44)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg)

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...

OGB interviews: Michelle Olson, John Plocher, John Beck, Ben Rockwood

Here are the first four interviews for the Open Solaris Governing Board

The first brave individual to step up was Michelle OlsonJohn Plocher followed close behind on Friday and on Monday I taped John Beck and Ben Rockwood.  Enjoy!

Michelle Olson (7:42)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg)

John Plocher (7:44)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg)

John Beck (7:26)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg)

Ben Rockwood (8:50)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg)

More to come very soon, 

Pau for now... 

Friday Jan 04, 2008

My Interview with Rick Clark -- Ubuntu's server lead

Last but not least, here is the interview I conducted with Rick Clark, a recent Canonical employee brought on to head their server group. 

This is the last in a series of tapings I did in Boston/Cambridge while attending FOSS Camp and UDS (the other three being Mark, Peter and Mako).

My interview with Rick (9:14)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg)

An artsy picture of Rick (ie I forgot to snap a pic and had to crop this from another picture I took.)

Who is Rick?

  • Head of Canonical's server team
  • Former big company guy (E\*Trade, McKesson etc.) with a background in security architecture and system engineering.
  • Father of twins who like to help daddy enter data.
  • A Thrashers fan (who knew Atlanta had an NHL team?!)

Some of the topics we tackle:

  •  Why Rick busted a move to Canonical and world of Free Software.
  • Having to walk the line between being true to the ideals of Free Software while at the same time providing a system that allows companies to "just do business."
  • Working closely with upstream partners
  • What he's been pleasantly surprised by at Canonical and what has taken some getting used to.
  • The march towards Hardy.
Pau for now...

Friday Dec 14, 2007

Catching up with Mark Shuttleworth

While in Boston I caught up with Free Software's favorite cosmonaut, Mark Shuttleworth.  We were both in beantown for FOSS camp and the Ubuntu Developer Summit and took a break from the day's activities to chat out in the courtyard at the Hotel@MIT.  Little did he know I was recording his every word!

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

Mark's the one without the "Barton" nametag.

Who is Mark?

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • FOSS camp -- cavorting with upstream projects and other distros, how this initial event went
  • The Ubuntu Developer summit -- how it works and how it serves to pick the features and determine what cool FOSS stuff will land in the next Ubuntu release.
  • Ubuntu's upcoming second Long Term Support (LTS) release - its emphasis on the server and virtualization (Mark tries to trick me into divulging on air what Sun is doing in the virtualization space but I think quickly and outwit him).
  • Hiring on skills not on an address -- what it means to drive a geographically dispersed virtual organization

Ok, so the part about being a cellist isn't true.

Pau now...

Thursday Dec 13, 2007

Chattin' with Peter Brown of the FSF

When I was in Boston to attend the Ubuntu Developer Summit, I was able to sneak away one morning to visit the Free Software Foundation and chat with Peter Brown, the FSF's executive director.  Peter was tired from the Sox victory the night before but rose to the occasion and provided a lively interview.

My interview with Peter (10:20)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg)

"Take that, Rockies!" 

Some of the topics we tackle

  • How the focus of the FSF has shifted over time from code to causes
  • What the role of the FSF is and what does Peter do
  • How the Browns got across the pond and how Peter got involved with the FSF.
  • The Sinclair ZX81 and Peter's short-lived career as a game programmer
  • Peter's background in non-profits, finance and the BBC
  • Oxford Pub gardens


Deborah mans the fort.  Is that the Mona Lisa over her left shoulder? 



On closer inspection...yikes!

Pau for now... 

Wednesday Nov 28, 2007

Sun goes GPLv3 - Talking to Legal Dude about getting there

In case you missed it, two weeks ago Sun sallied forth into the brave new world of GPLv3 by announcing it as the license of choice for our xVM Ops Center.  In his blog, Marc Hamilton, VP of Solaris marketing explained,

We feel the use of GPLv3 for will encourage the next generation of open source developers, wanting to adopt the latest licensing models, to join our new community for building next-generation data center virtualization and management technologies.

Legal Dude (1-800- LAWYER)

Since he has been involved with v3 since its public inception, I thought it was appropriate that I combine this news with my final interview from last month's internal FOSS summit -- My conversation with David Marr a.k.a. "Legal Dude."

My interview with Dave (10:39)  Listen (Mp3)    Listen (ogg)

Dave Marr -- The frustrated playwright.

Who's Dave?

Like most people these days, Dave wears a bunch of hats including:

  • Chief Counsel for Simon Phipps, Sun's Chief Open Source officer
  • Head Lawyer-dude for Sun's Microelectronics business
  • Support for Sun's global sites in Beijing, Bangalore, St. Petersburg and Prague.

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • Being asked to do an "active reading" reading of GPLv3 by Sun's CTO
  • Since he didn't know what "active reading" meant, he instead wrote an explanatory play imaginatively entitled:  "GPLv3: a play in three acts", starring some of Sun's top FOSS and legal brass.
  • The beginnings of the GPLv3 process nearly two years ago on a wintery January day in Boston.
  • Serving on committee B for the GPL
  • When/where will Sun first use GPLv3 (remember this interview was done a few weeks the announcement -- Guess we got our "business processes" down ;)


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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