Paw Prints: Writings of the maddog

Ohio Linux Fest: 40th Anniversary of Unix - Call for Papers ending

Jul 03, 2009 GMT

I happened to have a few minutes last night, and I chose to sign onto the Ohio Linux Fest's (OLF) IRC channel to participate in one of their planning meetings. Big mistake, as I walked away with a couple of "todo" items. Beth Lynn Eicher, their fearless leader and taskmaster, lets no one go without a task.......For those who have never been to an OLF before, I can tell you that while each year's event seems impossible to improve, they keep improving them year after year. This year is special, as it is the 40th year of Unix, and the OLF crew has reached into the past and present to bring up a group of excellent speakers.Heading up the speakers is Doug McIlroy. I have written...
Meeting the President of Brazil at FISL 10

Jul 02, 2009 GMT

FISL 10.0 in Porto Alegre, Brazil was the best yet, for many reasons. For a long time I have been impressed with how the FISL organizers (most, if not all of which are volunteers) have brought together government, industry and the community to put on an ever-larger and more complex event. This year, the tenth anniversary of FISL was bigger and better than ever, with many simultaneous talks, many International as well as Brazilian speakers, and a good number of appropriate displays, governmental, industrial and community.However, the event that excited even the most experienced of conference attendees was the visitation by President Luiz Inácio "Lula" da Silva, who otherwise is...
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!

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 10, 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...
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