Paw Prints: Writings of the maddog

Saving Five Billion Dollars a Day

Mar 15, 2009 GMT

Dear President Obama, Congratulations on passing the stimulus package! I hope that the stimulus package will help the economy get back on track. One thing that could help is to eliminate some of the approximately five billion dollars a day that we waste as a world economy with closed source, proprietary software. How do I arrive at that figure? There are approximately one billion computers in the world, with 900,000,000 of them being desktop machines. The vast majority (about 90 per cent) use closed source, proprietary software. This means that the end user is dependent on the manufacturer to fix bugs that may be occurring or to create the enhancements that the customer needs to do their...
Jim Bound - Rest In Peace

Mar 03, 2009 GMT

I first met Jim Bound when I worked for Digital Equipment Corporation in their Unix operating system group. Jim was "in the field" as a pre-and-post sales technical support person. When a salesman needed some good technical help in selling a customer a technical solution, or when a customer needed someone who really knew what they were doing, they would call on these technical people to help them. Over the years, our Unix group formulated a program called the "Unix Partners Program", and we invited some of these technical field people to consult with us once a quarter as a group, so that we could better understand the customer's needs. At first the group was small,...
One of Those Magic Times: The aftermath

Feb 14, 2009 GMT

I woke up on Saturday, February 14th (St. Valentine's Day) and went to my office to start work. Since I work out of my house, it is not a very long commute. As I started to read my email, I found several emails from people wishing me a "Happy 1234567890", with pictures enclosed, and then I remembered requesting that people send me pictures of their celebrations for that part of the UNIX Epoch (Please see the blog post of February 1st "One of those Magic Times"). Our own celebration at Martha's Exchange Restaurant in Nashua, New Hampshire was fairly quiet. We had ten people show up, but only four of us were actually there for the Epoch event itself. Ben, Kenta, Clair...
Happy 200th Birthday, Mr. Lincoln

Feb 12, 2009 GMT

Dear President Obama, Today is the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln. From all the press that I have read, you are a fan of Abraham Lincoln just as I am. Recently there has been a lot of historical research into President Lincoln's life, trying to find out who he really was as a man, as opposed to the "myth" that has been created. Part of this research tells us that President Lincoln may not have thought of the Black people as equals, and that the Emancipation Proclamation was more an economic and political action to end the war than it was about racial equality. Historians are now saying that one of Lincoln's major issues around slavery was that free men could not compete...
maddog's Brazilian Multimedia Challenge - and a YouTube Video

Feb 06, 2009 GMT

The "maddog Multimedia Brazilian Challenge" is over, and we had three winners. Unfortunately we also only had three entries, so the judging was not overly taxing. I learned quite a bit from this first "Multimedia Challenge". While I had listed the rules and a list of various pieces of multimedia software ahead of time, we did not announce the prizes until quite late. Therefore we only had 16 people sign up ahead of time. I did hear from some of the registered people who did not submit their entriesthat: the time was too short the event was too noisy and they did not have any quiet place to shoot the video they did not know how to install and use the free...
One of those magic times: On Friday the 13th!

Feb 01, 2009 GMT

"At 11:31:30pm UTC on Feb 13, 2009, Unix time will reach 1,234,567,890.Where will you be at this momentous second?" - from Bell Labs This will be Friday, February 13th at 1831 and 30 seconds EST. If you want to find out what time it will be in your local time, try this Perl script courtesy of Matias Palomec: perl -e 'print scalar localtime(1234567890),"\n";' Now if there was any reason to fear Friday the 13th, I think this is it. That many numbers sequentially in a row representative of time? Who knows what will stop working? Will lex(1) cease to work, will yacc(1)severywhere revolt? Will the rapture be upon us? I remember asking Alan Cox about UNIX (note that I...
Last Day of Campus Party

Jan 24, 2009 GMT

It is the last day of Campus Party, Brazil but things are still going strong. Saturday means that a lot of people that could not get here during the week are coming out to see what Campus Party is all about. If you are living here in Sao Paulo, it is still not too late to experience it. Participants are now going around taking pictures of the old friends they have seen and the new friends they have met. My friend, Wagner Pinto, who has been sitting across from me the entire week fell asleep at his keyboard earlier today, earphones stuck in his ear. I captured a picture of this and stuck it on my under my name 'maddog a.k.a "Jon" Hall' on my Orkut page Wagner was a good sport...

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