Its My Duty!
Jun 01, 2010 GMT
On a recent trip to Ghana I took along 137 T-shirts that O'Reilly and Hackerteen had given to me to hand out at conferences. I stuffed them into my suitcases and carried them with me on the airplane, both to make sure they got there, and to avoid huge amounts of shipping cost.
When I got to the airport I had (naturally) to go through customs, who questioned why I was bringing so many T-shirts into the country. Was I going to sell them?
“No”, I answered, “they were given to me to give out at a conference, and I am going to give them away as gifts.”
“There is no such... more »
More Moving Thoughts: Adding to Rikki Kite's blog entry
May 30, 2010 GMT
Last week my colleague Rikki Kite wrote a good blog entry on how to gracefully introduce a person to Linux. She pointed out that just telling a person to “move to Linux” is not enough, and that most people will “get lost in the move”. She used an analogy of moving a friend to a new house.
I would like to add a few... more »
Gandhi: Would he have been a Free Software advocate?
May 30, 2010 GMT
I watched a movie on Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi last night and was once again impressed by this singular man and his life.
I also found a couple of parallels to Free Software.
The first parallel was when Gandhi told the people to spin their own thread, weave their own... more »
Small and Fast Wins
May 29, 2010 GMT
I recently came back from Ghana, Africa after speaking at the Idlelo conference there.
Ghana is one of those “emerging economies” that I sometimes discuss, with people trying desperately to get ahead and utilizing Free Software to get there.
Ghana has more problems than just trying to decide whether they should use Free Software. The Internet backbone to their country (and surrounding countries) is inadequate for the number of people it serves, and the... more »
maddog's Keynote for the Idlelo 4 conference in Accra, Ghana
May 23, 2010 GMT
I was fortunate enough to do a keynote at for the Idlelo 4 conference in Accra, Ghana, right before their Minister of IT gave his speech. Here is the text of my speech:
Mr. Minister, Honorable and honored guests.
It is a great pleasure and honor to address you today, and particularly right before the Minister.
I was asked to bring a small present... more »
May 16, 2010 GMT
As you might have guessed, I have a lot of Linux-based T-shirts....a LOT of them. And I enjoy wearing those T-shirts. From time to time wearing the image of Tux encourages strangers who would normally never say anything to strike up a conversation. The number of security people at the airport that know about Linux and Free Software, for instance, is fairly amazing.
On the other hand, I have fewer outer garments that have Tux or “Linux” on them, and often Tux is not visible as I travel.
Another problem I have with traveling is... more »
The customer is (almost) always right
May 01, 2010 GMT
There is the old adage that “customers are always right”, and while this is true 99.999% of the time, I have run into at least one situation where the customer was wrong.....
It was in the late 1980s, and I was working for Digital Equipment Corporation. We had gone to a DECUS convention, where users of DEC's equipment would go to learn more about using these wonderful machines.
We had produced a version of Unix called Ultrix for our PDP-11 line of computers, and several releases of this had already been shipped, proving itself to be a solid implementation... more »