Monday Sep 24, 2007

Chattin' with Josh Berkus on the steps in Moscone

With today's entry I will have finally worked through my backlog of podcasts, phew!

Last but not least is Josh Berkus, PostgreSQL core team member, board member of Software in the Public interest and a member of Sun Microsystem's Open Database team (aka... a busy guy).

Josh Berkus (kinda reminding me of Tom Wolfe but younger and without the tie :)

                            Listen to the Interview  (12:17)

I hooked up with Josh on Day 2 of Linux World San Francisco and we chatted about PostgreSQL, his path to Sun and the show itself.  Josh considers him self a "lapsed developer" who has been kicked up to management (my words, not his) and a globe trotting conference goer spreading the good word about FOSS and PostgreSQL. 

In reflecting on the Linux World he talked about it now serving a different purpose in the post-crash world and focusing more on management and less on developers.  If you want to get a feel how Linux World used to be back in the good ol' days, Josh recommends checking out the Southern California Linux Expo coming up in February.

Pau for now...

Wednesday Sep 19, 2007

Talking with Solveig Haugland - Open Office trainer Extraordinaire

While I was at LinuxWorld in San Francisco I was able to grab a couple of cool interviews with folks in the community.

Solveig Haugland teaching the world to use OpenOffice.


People often ask, how do you make money from Free and Open Source software if you give the software away for free?  Well Solveig Haugland has found one way, by developing a business around providing training for Open Office and Star Office users.

        Listen to the Interview (8:34)     mp3 version       ogg version

I ran into Solveig giving a presentation at the Dell booth where she was signed up to give several Open Office tutorials over the three days of the event.  It turns out that Dell called her out of the blue and asked if she would like to present in order to help support the announcement around Ubuntu (it was at Linux world that Dell announced that it was expanding the availability of Ubuntu to Germany, France and England.)

Coincidently it turns out that Solveig  is part of the Sun diaspora, having worked in the Sun education group.  In fact it was Kathy Sierra, another former Sun edu alum who turned her onto blogging.  Solveig is now an avid blogger, providing all sorts of Open Office "training, tips and ideas" on her blog.  You can also check out her official website, to learn all about OpenOffice.

And now with the announcement last week that IBM is joining the community, Solveig should see even more growth for her business.  I wonder if she's out in Barcelona this week for the conference?

Pau for now...

Tuesday Sep 18, 2007

My Presentation at Linux World SF

Although I did an entry several weeks ago about Linux World SF, I'm finally getting around to posting the presentation I gave there in the Intel booth.  The presentation, imaginatively entitled "Sun and GNU/Linux,"  gives a quick overview of  Sun's involvement with Linux. 

I start with the value of sharing and discuss how Sun has contributed significantly to the GNU/Linux operating system and how we are involved in the community.  From there I talk about how over the last several years, recognizing the need to provide its customers with choice, Sun has become a serious Linux supplier (even Gartner agrees, see pg3).  I then end with what Sun and Intel have started doing together around Linux on both the hardware and software side. 

Its a bit of  a whirlwind tour but it hits the high points :)

Pau for now...

Wednesday Sep 12, 2007

My Keynote at Linux World Sweden

The Venue

When the folks at Sun Sweden told me that the Berns Salonger, where the Linuxworld OpenSolutions Summit was held, was close to the China Theatre they weren't kidding:

Straight ahead, the Berns Salonger where I presented.  On the right, the China Theatre where Dad performed 53 years ago.


My Presentation

Here's a PDF of the presentation I gave: The Stack is Dead, Long Live the Ecosystem (unfortunately somehow in the export process the fonts got a little screwed up so its not as pretty as its supposed to be.) 

The basic theme of the presentation is that with the rise of the Internet and FOSS has come the rise of the Ecosystem.  In this new environment where communities and sharing are central forces the single vendor stack is no longer appropriate.  Whether you are an IT provider or an individual developer you must work with the ecosystem to drive volume and relevance. The era of "Splendid Isolation" is over and its about working together, often with "rivals," to provide choice and flexibility for customers.


I greatly enjoyed my first trip to Stockholm.  I was there for two days and while the first was gray and rainy, the second was gloriously sunny.

The view from my hotel room on the second day.


Pau for now... 

Monday Sep 03, 2007

Off to present at Linux World Sweden -- Of Opera and Weightlifting

In a few hours I'm off to Stockholm and Linuxworld Open Solutions Summit Sweden, taking place this Wednesday.  Thanks to Patrick, the member of our team based in Sweden and I think the only Liverpudlian in Eskiltuna, I have one of the two keynote slots at the end of the day.  In fact I'll be the warm up act for Marten Mickos of MySQL who'll be the other keynote and final speaker of the day.

Its a small world after all 

What makes this trip particularly cool is a small world story that my Dad told me recently.  I told him I was going to be presenting in Stockholm and he told about how he almost became a Swedish opera star. 

Dad winning the gold at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952

In 1953, a year after the picture above was taken, my Dad was competing in the world weightlifting championships held in Stockholm.  He and a teammate were relaxing before the meet and singing operatic arias and duets and were overheard by a Swedish sportscaster named Bengt Grive.  Through a series of connections the sportscaster got them hooked up with a singing coach and booked for a week's run at the China Theatre, a very famous venue of its day. 

My dad asked me to keep a look out for the theater when I was there and see if it was still around, thinking that most likely it had been knocked down and turned into a parking garage.  If it was still around he wanted me to get a picture of it.

Well in chatting with the folks in Stockholm, not only is the theater still around but it turns out it is part of the same exact same complex where the summit is being held! 

When I'm there I'll definitely get pictures of the place and it will be interesting to see if they have any historical archives on site and Ill see if I can find any record of the event.

Turning his back on Stardom

Although the engagement went well and they cut a record (a 78 I think) due to obligations back home dad had to forgo stardom in Sweden.   He did return however in 1989 when Swedish television brought him back for a "This is your Life" type show for Bengt. 

Well this is my first trip to Sweden and who knows what fame and fortune await me! (I do know that given that I didn't inherit my Dad's voice,  it probably wont involve singing :)

Pau for now...

Tuesday Aug 14, 2007

Linux World SF07 and "Frienemies"

Last week I was out in the Bay Area to attend Linux World SF.   I had been hearing about how the show was dying and/or on its last legs and was therefore pleasantly surprised by what I found. 

A virtualzied Ubuntu running at the VMware booth.

A Change in Tenor

The only other Linux World SF that Ive been to was last year's so I cant say first hand what it was like back in the day but from what I hear, it seems to have changed from being developer focused to being more business focused.  Other shows like OSCON and Ottawa Linux Symposium, its safe to say, are drawing more of the Linux developer crowd these days. 

For me the show was a great place to meet and compare notes with people doing my job at other companies like Dell and IBM as well as getting to chat with smaller companies like SugarCRM and orgs like the Etherboot project [Etherboot's president Marty Connor whom I met for the first time is a total howl and must doing something right since I think he said he had three summer of code interns working on his project]. 

While there were the ultra slick gianormous booths like those hosted by Motorola and Novell, I found a lot of the more interesting stuff back in the .org pavilion.  Back there is where you found folks like Postgres, the FSF, Debian, the Linux Foundation, Eclipse etc.  And speaking of Postgres, I grabbed Josh Berkus for an interview and its now a part of my podcast backlog that I will continue to whittle away at.

Debian and FreeBSD in the .org Pavilion.

Keynotes and Bad-itudes

Because of meetings and other events like the T2 launch, I unfortunately missed the keynotes/talks.   It was during one of the Dell sessions that they announced that they would be offering Ubuntu pre-loaded in the UK, Germany and France.  And it was during Andrew Morton's  Conference Kickoff  where he talked about getting involved with the Linux kernel and made the comment:

"I think it's a great shame that OpenSolaris still exists," he continued. "I wish they had killed it. They've fragmented the non-windows OS world and for no reason. There is no reason why they couldn't have gone to Linux."

Now the this-town-ain't-big-enough-for the-two-of-us stance is what I call a "bad-itude." 

Switch "Linux" with "Open Solaris" and you have the view held by most folks at Sun not so long ago (and Im sure still a few today).  Although the change began before he took the helm, since Jonathan became CEO a little over a year ago I have seen a real change at Sun towards providing our customers with choice and the realization that one size doesnt fit all.  This is why we resell Red Hat and Suse, work very closely with Canonical/Ubuntu and encourage sales of Solaris on systems from "competitors" such as IBM, Dell and HP.

The hi-tech world is no longer binary and you cant simply point to the "bad guys."  As I discussed with my peers at IBM and Dell, these days we're all "frienemies." We compete aggressively in some areas and partner closely in others. 

Oh, brave new world.

Pau for now....

Monday Aug 06, 2007

Off to Linux World SF

In a couple of hours my flight leaves to San Francisco and Linux World

Rather than having a Sun booth at Linux World, we are working through our partners, AMD and Intel who have been gracious enough to host us in their booths.  Kuldip will be in the AMD area showing off Sun Studio 12 -- our complete set of compilers and tools for Solaris and GNU/Linux.   I will be across the show floor in the Intel booth presenting Sun's GNU/Linux strategy and describing how we are working with Intel.  

If you're at the show and want to check out my preso, come to the Intel booth (#1108) Wednesday at 2:00PM.

Im also taking another mic to the show and hope to grab some more interviews while Im there.

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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