Paw Prints: Writings of the maddog

Project Cauã: A large-scale project to reduce waste, improve computing, help solve digital inclusion and create jobs

Nov 22, 2009 GMT

Five years ago I started shifting my discussions regarding Free Software to try and address the question of "How do I make money with Free Software?" Four years ago issues around usability of closed-source software in today's modern world began to creep into my talks, leading to the question of how much time is wasted on a world-wide level by software that does not do what you want and need it to do. Three years ago I started to address the issues of energy utilisation and how much the next billion computers might use if we are not careful. Two years ago I started to address issues of software piracy and how it affects end users even more than the "software providers"....

Oct 31, 2009 GMT

I just got back from a three-conference trip, Futurecom in Sao Paulo, "I FÓRUM DE SOFTWARE LIVRE DE DUQUE DE CAXIAS" in the city of Duque de Caxias, a community of Rio de Janeiro, and Latinoware in Foz do Iguassu, Brazil. Each conference was interesting in its own way.Futurecom is the largest telecommunications show in Brazil. Having been put on for many years in Florianopolis, this was its second year in Sao Paulo.A large trade show floor, with large booths, many of whom had bars of different sizes and food offered to attendees. It has been a long time since I have been in an event of this size and style. Red Hat Software had a booth there for the first time.The Futurecom...
Some nice things happened on the way through life.....

Oct 29, 2009 GMT

Recently a couple of very nice things happened to me.I needed a favor, and a friend of mine reached out to help me.They were person who I have known for about ten years, and although they have always been nice to me, this last "help" was just when it was needed most.As I thanked him, he reminded me that I was instrumental in getting him into Free Software, and that this had made a huge, positive difference in his life.He reminded me that I had invited him to join me at dinner with the CEO of a company where he soon found employment.He reminded me that I had taken him to visit my two goddaughters, and as we sat on the floor playing with them, their father, Linus Torvalds, came...
I never won a Nobel Peace Prize.

Oct 11, 2009 GMT

I woke up on the morning of October 9th to find that President Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize.There was a lot of discussion about whether President Obama had "earned" the honor or not, and a lot of discussion about how the Nobel Peace Prize is not always for what you have done, but encouraging you to keep going in what you are doing.As I read his acceptance speech, I thought about Free and Open Source Software, and applied parts of his speech to my favorite subject."Let me be clear, I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments"A lot of people have said to me, "Thank you for what you do for Free Software". I tell them that I was someone who...
This takes the cake (and make mine chocolate!)

Oct 04, 2009 GMT

I heard recently, and could not really believe it until I saw it, that Microsoft was encouraging people to throw "Tupperware(R) parties" at their homes in order to launch the new version of Microsoft's products.That is right...plain old down-to-earth "homies" extolling the virtues of quickly going to 7.I knew that Microsoft had perfected the "we should not have to pay for marketing" line years ago when they orchestrated the launch of Windows 95 by getting stores to open up at midnight just so people could rush in and buy the first copy of Windows 95. Microsoft only had to pay for a couple of bottles of cheap champaign for each...
What Have We Learned?

Sep 20, 2009 GMT

The Ohio Linux Fest is September 25th to 27th, and one of their major themes is the 40th "birthday" of Unix. Two of their major speakers will be addressing this topic, Dr. Peter Salus and Dr. M. Douglas McIlroy. Why is forty years of Unix important?During a chat session one night, one of the chat members said that they did not think the topic of the 40th year of Unix was relevant to anyone. I want to take this time to respectfully disagree.We tend to take for granted various things around us. Things that surround us at birth we think of as "natural". We tend not to question running water, sewer systems, electric companies, railroad tracks or other things that have...
Don't let the Swine Win!: Enecomp 2009, Curitiba, Brazil - September 4-8, 2009

Aug 20, 2009 GMT

I love going to student events. Particularly well-conceived events organized by students and run by students. Of course events run for business people and governments are important too, and I like it when they are all mutually compatible.Therefore it distresses me that the current hysteria around H1N1, also known as "Swine Flu" is jeopardizing the hard work done by students in Curitiba, Brazil for a conference that otherwise would be considered "world class".Nine hour hands-on "mini-courses" on topics like Python, PHP, shell scripting, Mono/C# taught in classrooms of 20 computers each, with six-hour mini-courses on PostgreSQL, Drupal, Debian, GIMP and Ruby.In...

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