By dgolds on Nov 11, 2006
Hello, world. I'm David Goldsmith, a training course developer at Sun, and, lately, I've been finding myself doing a bunch of new things at work and at play:
- Writing a blog
- Working with an open source project - OpenSSO
- Training to ride a bicycle 560 miles next June
I'm going to write about my adventures (and misadventures) in these three areas in The Open Road, and about other topics that pique my interest. To start:
I've never written a blog before. Most of the writing I do is technical, wonky stuff. I write lab instructions, develop lecture slides, and write course notes. I spent most of my career in engineering and don't really see myself as a writer, more a programmer who happens to know how to write. So blogging is a new experience.
I hope I can come up with something interesting for you.
I've used open source products for four years now. On my Sun Ultra 40 (a beautifully-designed, screeching-fast, dual-Opteron system that I bought a few months ago with my employee discount), I run SuSE Linux 10.1 with OpenOffice.org, Firefox, Thunderbird, gnucash, the Gimp, ImageMagick, k3b, and all my other favorite freeware. I also have a license for VMWare Workstation 5.5. At work, on my Sun Java Workstation W2100z, I run all the same software, plus multiple versions of Solaris.
At home, I have been "Microsoft-free since 2003." Well, with one exception. I still have a VMWare image running my trusty, rusty old copy of Windows 2000, which I bring up once a year when I do my taxes. I haven't figured out a pleasing way to do my taxes in Linux yet, other than using tax software for the Web, which doesn't sound like a great idea.
Why Linux instead of Solaris? I use Linux as a host OS for virtualizing operating systems using VMWare. That's the only reason. I like Solaris better than Linux, even on the desktop, but VMWare does not support Solaris as a host OS. Xen does, but I prefer VMWare, so I'm sticking with Linux. For now.
Although I've used a lot of open source software, I've never before been involved in the development of an open source project before, and that's the big new adventure. The technologies I work with - access management and federation - are in the process of going open source. While I don't engineer those products, I do work extensively with them. So like everyone else on the Sun Java System Access Manager and Federation Manager team, open source is a big new part of my life.
I'm training to ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles - 545 miles on a bicycle - in the sixth AIDS Lifecycle, which takes place from June 3-9, 2007.
This ride is a big fundraiser for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. It brings in millions of dollars, which this organization depends on to provide vital services to people living with AIDS and their friends and families.
I had hoped to do this ride in 2006 but a bad bicycle accident got in the way. I am fully recovered from the wreck now, and think I am ready to take on a 545 mile ride.
If you would like to read more about my personal reasons for doing this ride, or, even better, help me raise money for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation by sponsoring my efforts, click here.
Well, time to hit the road. I'm going over to Marin today, at least up to the Panoramic Highway and maybe as far as the Pantoll Ranger Station on Mt. Tam if my riding partner and I are up for the climb.