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...

Wednesday Aug 01, 2007

My Interviews at Ubuntu Live, Day 1

As I mentioned a few entries ago, the studio at Sun armed me with a Flash mic before I left for Portland.  The idea was for me to try and conduct some guerrilla style interviews at Ubuntu Live and OSCON. I had no idea what I would come away with but Im quite psyched to say that in three days I taped 18 interviews.

I tried to capture a representative sample of the Free and Open Source Software community, or at least those folks who were actually willing to talk to me. I got CEOs, pundits, a kernel developer, a package maintainer, foundation folks, an actual user of Ubuntu on servers, someone from Microsoft and even trotted out my rusty Japanese for an interview in Nihongo with Horiguchi-san from Hitachi America and big a Ubuntu fan.

Here are the first six interviews which I taped on day one at Ubuntu live.


Here I am interviewing Mark (I lost the dorky headphones after this) 

1) Mark Shuttleworth CEO, Canonical Inc, Ubuntu founder        Listen (5:21)

  • Topics: A conversation with Mark right after the first set of keynotes on the first day of Ubuntu Live (a Sunday morning no less!)  We talk about the show, the new freedom flavor of Ubuntu (Gobuntu),  Benjamin Mako Hill's appointment to the FSF board, Mark's travels to the east and what he's seeing there as well as his favorite food when he's in China.
2) Tim Gardner, Kernel Developer, Canonical Inc.                    Listen (2:57)
  • Topics: What a kernel developer does, where Tim gets his source, how he gets his changes back into the Linux kernel as well as what Tim is working on right now that he's most psyched about.
3) Jane Silber, COO, Canonical Inc.                                         Listen (4:05)
  • Topics:  How it was putting together Ubuntu's first O'Reilly event; Canonical's worldwide strategy meeting in Eugene; sprints and Jane's goals for the event.
4) Daniel Holbach, Ubuntu Desktop Team, Canonical Inc.        Listen (3:38)
  • Topics:  Daniel was a tremendous help when Sun was packaging our apps for Ubuntu's Feisty Faun release.  I chat with Daniel about the process from a package maintainer's point of view as well as I learn about MOTU's and how to become one.  Daniel also lets us know where he likes to hang out when he's home in Berlin.
5) Stephen O'Grady, Analyst Redmonk                                    Listen (8:57)
  • Topics: How Redmonk got into the Free and Open source game (both as their area of focus as well as what they use to run their business on).  We discuss Stephen's keynote "where Ubuntu can go next" -- how the distro can build on the great success its had, move on beyond apt-get and how the online desktop plays in; Mark Shuttleworth's mark on the GNU/Linux world.
6) Jono Bacon, Ubuntu Community Manager, Canonical Inc.   Listen (10:11)
  • Topics:  How the first 9 months of the job have been, whats a community manager do and how does it feel to be stuck in the middle between the Ubuntu community and Canonical.  We also chat about the history of LUG radio and why its more than simply 4 loud Englishmen shouting and swearing.  And finally, if ever anyone finds themselves in Wolverhampton, what should one do for fun.

Be sure and tune in next time for the next six interviews from Ubuntu Live.

Endnote: The above files are in mp3 (thanks Patrick),  you can grab the ogg versions here.  I would also like to give an endorsement for the Levelator, which Simon turned me on to.  It was absolutely brain dead easy to use and it basically normalizes volume, and cleans up the file for you. And its Free as in Beer and Free as in Freedom.

Pau for now...

Monday May 14, 2007

Shuttleworth presents workshop, Interviewed by puppet

Im finally coming back to life after JavaONE last week.  The show was a blast and extremely well attended...but more about that over the next few days.  My most recent trip back to the bay area, which culminated in JavaONE actually started the Friday before "the great event," in Menlo Park - center of the Sun universe.  

Bright and early Friday morning I met up with Mark Shuttleworth and the Canonical Crew.  Mark and team arrived at Sun at the end of their week-long tech workshop tour of major US computer vendors (they were obviously saving the best for last).  Unlike the other vendors whose primary interest was figuring out how to make Ubuntu run on their hardware (we already have that sussed ;-) the Ubuntu workshop at Sun focused on how to get more software into the Ubuntu distribution. 


In attendance were about 50 engineers/developers representing GlassFish, NetBeans, Solaris, Sun Studio, the JDK....  The workshop lasted 2 and half hours and was quite interactive, dealing with topics such as development processes, release and maintenance cycles, repositories, packaging, community support and how to contribute.  Tom Marble and Harpreet Singh who did the bulk of the work from the Sun side in getting the Java platform stack into Ubuntu 7.04 also got up and shared their experiences.  All in all the workshop was a great success.

Besides the workshop, Mark also had a couple of meetings including one with our CEO Jonathan Schwartz.  But even the meeting with Jonathan Im sure dosent hold a candle to the highlight of Mark's Sun visit -- his live interview with Juggy the Java Finch.  Juggy, who can be seen talking to everyone at Javapolis in January,  serendipitously caught Mark between meetings.  (As soon as the actual interview is posted ill be sure to put a link.)

Juggy and Shuttleworth square off 

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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