Thursday Aug 02, 2007

My Interviews at Ubuntu Live, Day 2

Here is the second half of my interviews from Ubuntu Live. 

These are from Day 2 and show what an all star guest list the event had.  Be sure and check out me showing off my rusting Japanese when chatting with Horiguchi-san (#3 below).  Also, for an example of a customer running Ubuntu on Sun Hardware take a listen to what Chip Anderson of has to say (#4 below).

1) Marten Mickos, CEO MySQL                     Listen (6:10)

  • Topics:  I caught up with Marten after his keynote on day 2.  We discuss the LAMP, SAMP and WAMP stacks; how Marten got involved with MySQL; 110 airports; The two audiences that MySQL serves -- the ones who'll spend time to save money and the ones who'll spend money to save time; and how he thinks Jonathan Schwartz has done so far.

Marten Mickos in his afternoon keynote on day 2. \*

2) Tim O'Reilly, - Founder and CEO. O'Reilly Media Group     Listen (8:18)

  • Topics:  How Ubuntu Live came about;  How they bring on new conferences;  FOO camp;  books vs conferences;  Changing the world by spreading the knowledge of innovators; Being the first commercial internet site back in the day and the coolest thing about Portland.
3) Sadanori Horiguchi,  Hitachi America       Listen (3:39) [In Japanese]
  • Topics: Making use of my rusty Japanese, I ask Horiguchi-san what type of work he does , where he uses Ubuntu and what he likes best about the distro;  What are his impressions of Ubuntu Live and would he consider himself an Edo-ko?

4) Chip Anderson, President        Listen (4:17) Topics: 

  • What is, why they've chosen to go with Java and Ubuntu and why they've chosen to run it on the Sun Blade 8000; Why Chip has come to Ubuntu Live and why he digs the train from Seattle to Portland.
5) Matt Zimmerman, CTO, Canonical Inc.               Listen (3:49)
  • Topics:  What's Matt's role in helping to set Ubuntu's technical direction; how he found his way to Ubuntu and Canonical;  Dividing his time between Canonical on the desktop, server and mobile and why he recently made the move from LA to London.

 Stay tuned for more interviews from OSCON and Portland...

 \* See more professional pics from Ubuntu Live by Duncan Davidson (the first one is of myself and David Duffey, who turned me on to the pics, competing in the Bungee run. I won :)

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 files for you. And its Free as in Beer and Free as in Freedom.

Pau for 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...

Tuesday Jul 31, 2007

What was Eben thinking?

A week ago today, Eben Moglen took the stage at O'Reilly Radar opposite Tim O'Reilly

In case you missed it, what transpired next was described by Zonker Brockmeier of as follows:

...Software Freedom Law Center director Eben Moglen threw down the gauntlet to O'Reilly founder and CEO Tim O'Reilly. Saying that O'Reilly had spent 10 years making money and building the O'Reilly name, Moglen invited O'Reilly to stop being "frivolous" and to join the conversation about software freedom... 

Ashlee "Im neither a woman nor a Brit" Vance from the Register had this to say:

O'Reilly invited Free Software Foundation lawyer Eben Moglen to participate in a discussion about "licensing in the Web 2.0 era" at this week's OSCON. The conference organizers did their best to fix the conversation. Even though everyone laughs at O'Reilly's Web 2.0 moniker to his face, the conference promoter still takes the phrase very seriously and expects others to do the same. Moglen declined the offer...


I was fortunate enough to grab Mr. Moglen after his appearance and find out what exactly it was that they put in his water that morning.  

Here is the interview\* where Eben discusses his "theatrical event, "  as well as: the rights of users; political language vs. business language;  his current relationship with the FSF and what role the Software Freedom Law Center plays in the FOSS world; GPLv3 and why he wears lemon tinted glasses.

 \*.ogg version, thx to Patrick

The "conversation" continued during the break.  (Eben Moglen is the fellow on the left with the grey beard, Tim O'Reilly is the fellow on the right with the grey beard.)

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..


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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