Paw Prints: Writings of the maddog

Jon
Stiff Upper Lip

Jun 16, 2009 GMT

You have to admit that the British have a unique way of doing things from time to time. This is why I enjoy going to London, even when I have to suffer a two-day subway strike just at the time my conference is being held. The conference was the Open Mobile Summit, being held June 10th and 11th. This conference is normally aimed at management of telephony companies, either carriers, handset manufacturers or software designers. Due to the name, you might imagine that these people would talk about being "Open". Some of them did, but most were still suffering the same old paths of trying to tie the phone to a carrier, and the carrier to a set of services that no one really wanted....
What a long, strange trip it has been...and continues to be

May 25, 2009 GMT

This year is a very special year for me. It is forty years ago, in 1969, when I was a college student that I programmed my first computer. Since I could not afford the high prices of software in those days, I joined the Digital Equipment Corporation User's Society (DECUS), and made great use of the DECUS software library. Software that had been written by engineers, mathematicians, business people, scientists and others whose main job needed a computer. "Professional programmers" mostly came later. Shortly after that, when I was moving toward graduation, I had a professor seriously tell me "Jon, you will never be able to make a living writing software." I am still...
Penguicon: Engage!

May 17, 2009 GMT

Last night I went to see the latest Star Trek movie. I decided to see it on an IMAX movie screen, and the combination of Star Trek and the gigantic screen with speakers that let you feel when the Enterprise went into warp was really great. Yes, I am a Gene Roddenberry fan. I never went around painting my skin green, or wearing pointed ears, but I did enjoy watching Star Trek about the same time as I started working with electronics over 40 years ago. "Star Trek: The Next Generation" was my favorite series, and Captain Picard was my favorite character. O.K....who could not like Spock and Data? Nevertheless, I really liked Picard. Recently I was an Honored Guest to the Penguicon...
Internet - All the time...everywhere....free!

May 17, 2009 GMT

I am once again headed to the airport, this time to fly to London for the cloud computing conference I blogged about previously. Normally I take a private car, but this time I decided to use the bus service that goes from a free parking lot close to my house directly to the airport. It is only twenty-six dollars round trip, a lot less than the private car. I have taken the bus before. It is comfortable and has a bathroom on board (important when you drink a lot of coffee and are "older"), and often I start up my notebook computer and work a bit. This time was different. They had free WiFi on board the bus. This is awesome. Now I can spend the hour and one-half it takes to get...
Head In The Clouds - Free (as in beer) Conference in London May 20-21, 2009

May 11, 2009 GMT

Next week I am headed to London, England for a conference called "Cloudexpoeurope" run by my old friend Maggie Meer, publisher of LinuxUser Magazine. Maggie is one of those people who is as tough as nails, but with a heart of gold. This will be my first conference dedicated solely to "cloud computing", and while I generally agree with a lot of what cloud computing promises, I also feel that Free Software is absolutely necessary for cloud computing to be used as a tool, but I also recognize that cloud computing is not the only tool. Like a lot of other things, cloud computing takes planning. On the other hand, once that planning is done correctly, cloud computing...
LinuxFest Northwest 2009 - April 25th and 26th - Bellingham, Washington

Apr 23, 2009 GMT

What are you doing on Saturday and Sunday April 25th and 26th? If you are anywhere near Bellingham, Washington, USA you could stop in at the Bellingham Technical College for the 10th annversary of the LinuxFest Northwest 2009. Many talks and activities are scheduled from things for newbies to highly technical. I was there many years ago, and I can tell you the people of the Pacific Northwest are very open and friendly. I look forward to this return visit. I will be there, talking about how and why Linux and Free Software will reach world dominiation, and how there is virtually nothing that anyone can do about it other than enjoy the ride. Sure, it still takes "work" to make...
DIY

Apr 06, 2009 GMT

I was working for Digital Equipment Corporation when I first met Linus and facilitated the port of Linux onto the Alpha processor. During the port, a member of the community contacted me and asked if Digital would contribute their math library to the Linux project, since Digital's math library was a great deal faster than the one currently in use on the Alpha Linux port. I easily got Digital to contribute the Digital Unix math library in binary form, but they refused to make the library "open source" because of the investment that they had put into it. Digital was afraid that one of their competitors might take the source code, most of which was written in complex Alpha...

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