January 28, 2007

I don't have a Penguin in my Basement

I generally don't talk about Microsoft all that much due to my Googliness, but I was reading the recently unearthed Microsoft mail thread discussing a Goldman Sachs conference where Dell talked about it Linux offerings (read it yourself here (pdf)) and a few things jumped out at me.

First, at the top of page 2, this funny thing:

    "This is just life. I am not giving up. I don't have a penguin in my basement. I LOVE windows which is why I want us to face this so we can figure it out."

(Italics added by me, caps, by Paul Flessner. He loves windows that much.)

As a longtime Linux user and fan, and even penguin lover (seriously, I managed to get $10,000 routed to fairy penguin relief in Australia), I find this really, really, really, funny to read. It shows a level of absurdity that I didn't expect at Microsoft. I think this person, Paul Flessner, protests too much, I think indeed ....secretly.... has a penguin in his basement .... Paul, you penguin lover you, don't deny it!

Seriously though, check out the memo, it is fascinating. The thing that jumps out at me really in not the silly penguin in the basement comment (Ooooo it just demands a t-shirt or something) is that the participants are simply outraged that a Dell representative would dare speak of the operating system love that shall not be named. From page 3:

Brian Valentine:

    "Did Russ Holt know you were there, I can't imagine he would be this blatant against us if he knew you were there. "

Bill Veghte's response:

    "I was sitting right across the panel from him. We waved at each other briefly before the panel started."

So there you go. Interesting read.

January 27, 2007

Fallout 3, Dammit.

I simply cannot wait for Fallout 3. There was an awful rumor that it would only work on the 360, a console I don't own and honestly don't want to own, but I think I will choose to not believe that is possible. Longtime friends of mine will know that I carry a copy of Fallout 2 with me everywhere, on every computer I own. I even lasered this pipboy image on my laptop.

I have a zip of the programs directory that I keep on my Archos, happily giving up a gig or so of the 160 for it. I hope that 3 is better than the vicious-vomiting-upon-my-dream game that was Fallout Tactics. I simply shudder when thinking of it (and refuse to link to it, so there).

People who knew me when I worked on Rekonstruction know that I was heavilty inspired by Fallout. They were very different games, but still....I hope Bethesda pulls it off.

Also: Please join my very cool mailing list. Prizes are to be had! (okay, not really)

January 24, 2007

My name is Chris, would you like to know more?

If you'd like alerts when I do interesting or intensely banal things, then join my mailing list! I'll be emailing this list where I'll be going and what I'm doing. I'll be sending posts, alerts when new podcasts go up and other bits, including "Anyone in town x that I'm visiting next week?"

I hope to model this on Weird Al's 'close personal friend of Al' list mixed with Cory Doctorow's "where's Cory this time" list. So if you find what I do interesting, join the list!

(did I link to it enough? Here it is for you readers with stripped readers: http://groups.google.com/group/chris-dibona-announce)

January 21, 2007

Good Restaurants in Auckland or Wellington?

I'll be there soon, and I'd love to find a Tetsuya's level place to eat while in town. Any tips, my New Zealand readers? I found a breakdown on Chowhound that seems a good start. As an FYI, I'll be speaking at the Great Blend in wellington on the 8th and and at the Auckland Linux Users Group on the 5th, as well as a few other places. Should be a lot of fun.

This will be the first time I'll be visiting New Zealand, when I was a small boy I made a plaster mold of NZ for a geography project, and the embassy -promised- that any mistakes I made would be made physical on the island, so I expect to find massive fingerprints around Christchurch. Will they worship me as the god that shaped their land?

January 18, 2007

Sleeping anywhere...

Sleeping anywhere is easy if you are tired enough. I was reading an article in the New York Times by Ashliegh Banfield, in which she talks about her adventures abroad reporting from one war-torn hell hole or another and how she has gotten very good at sleeping anywhere and pretty much anytime she needs or wants too.

I sympathize and it reminded me of a trip to Australia that I went on. It routed through Narita and I had a 6 hour delay between flights. It was the middle of the night in Tokyo and the departure terminal was almost completely devoid of people. It was a late night flight from SFO anyhow, and I hadn't slept well the previous night, meaning I was -very- tired. The small rental rooms with beds had been rented out and I could bring myself to grab a hotel room outside of passport control for only 3 hours of possibly sleeping time. I did what any traveller would do, find a comfortableish spot in the terminal and try to catch a cat nap.

The seats were not comfortable. They were the Dulles-style crap fests with lots of arm rests and not a lot of stretching out space. The floor started looking more and more like an option, so I figured, what the hell. I positioned my jacket on top of my bag and damn if I wasn't incredibly comfortable on the thinly carpeted, extremely hard, cement floor of the terminal. I plugged in my laptop into a handy plug there in the nearby pillar and I was having a grand sleep when I heard a beeping , followed by the sound of the closeby slidewalk starting up.

A few moments later. It stopped. It was in an automatic shut-off mode due to the time of day.

Then. It beeped a warning and started. I was waking up more now.



Beep. Beep. Whirrrrrrrrrr.



I'm awake now. I see two 6 or 7 year olds having their way with this damn slide walk. Their parents sound asleep against their own pillar with their own jackets under their heads.

Beep. Beep. Whirrrrrrrrrr.



At the time, my first child was maybe 1 or 2. I vowed to bring her up better than this.

Beep. Beep. Whirrrrrrrrrr.



Should I wake the parents?

Beep. Beep. Whirrrrrrrrrr.



Murder the children? The parents? Myself?

Beep. Beep. Whirrrrrrrrrr.



"Dammit, cut it out!", the Father of the two slidewalk afficieanados hollars, "Get over here and stay away from that damn thing."

They retreated from their adventures in annoyance and I fell blissfully, slide-walk motorless, no beep-warningly, asleep.

I woke up, many hours later, to the same sound, and that of my fellow travellers filling the hall. My laptop battery was charged, I was a little stiff, but relaxed and I hopped into my flight to Brisbane. I slept the whole way there.

January 14, 2007


Two things happened over the last week that I'm going to comment on. I warn you that it might be pointless and boring:

1) Linden Labs releases open source second life client.

The creators of Second life (Or sadville as the Register likes to call it) released their client into open source. Immediate reaction from most people looked like this:
  • The client is worthless without the server
  • Opening anything without federating the geography is worthless.
  • Opening the world without opening the databases is worthless.
  • Second life is a bunch of furries who I hate, LOL.
My reaction: Thanks Linden! Having the client makes creating an open source server 10 billion times easier. It also makes the client eventually better for everyone, especially if they (linden) are good at taking patches.

Do I like 2nd life? No. I tried it recently and It wasn't my kind of thing at all. Do I translate my dislike for Linden's take on the metaverse into a dislike of their open sourcing a crap ton of code? Not on your life.

This was -very- cool of them. You can bet that there will be a client that links to new, freaky-deaky, open source servers as they come online. And they -will- come online. Other cool things you'll find:
  • Second life clients for odd, also-ran operating systems like solaris, beos, etc..
  • Second life clientlets that people can create, having examined their protocols, for everything ranging from mobile devices to web pages.
  • Private 2nd life servers (3rd life? Onelife? whatevah) for peoples private information stores.
This could also lead to a standardish way of transmitting this kind of environment. This could be very cool in the end for all of us, not just those who buy into 2nd life.

2) Apple Announces the iPhone.

I'm not going to say much about the iPhone. It looks neat, a bezeless touchscreen and all the ipodness that people seem to really like should make for a fun phone. A lot of people have said a lot of things about this phone, and the major bitch seems to come down to apples choice of Cingular. Let me make something very clear: If Apple picked any single carrier, they would have been treated equally as shabbily. All of the carriers have a core of people who hate them and their practices. Sprint/Nextel, Cingular, Verizon, Orange, Virgin, Helio, you name it, someone hates them, and they blog.

Will Apple provide other carriers or an unlocked phone? Sure. Cingular isn't everywhere apple wants to be so -of course- they'll offer service on other networks or even an unlocked phone.

See, isn't that better?

January 5, 2007


Hi everyone, as part of the transition to the new Blogger, you'll see some old posts get labels, which some feed readers will present as a new content to you. My apologies, but this will pass and we'll all be the better for it.

Similar to the Marshall plan or the building of the interstate highway system, the organizing and tagging of my blog will be remembered as a seminal event in history. It will be spoken of second only to the space program and immediately following will be the defeat of fascism in World War II.

It is that important, the labeling of these posts.

January 4, 2007

I've got Google Maps, in my pants...

I mean, wow, this is a -very- funny jingle for cell phone company Helio.

As far as I can parse it, a guy dumps his gal for not being exciting enough, and he wants a BLT, which through the goodness of Google maps, he finds the bumpingest BLT of them all.

I salute you, Google Maps using, exciting BLT locating dude!

January 3, 2007

Listen to me on Radio Open Source tonight.

If you listen to todays Radio Open Source, I spoke with them about my Edge essay. Take a listen! Here's to hoping I don't sound like a maroon.

January 1, 2007

What am I optimistic about? Why?

Recently John Brockman asked me to contribute to the Edge year-end question. This puts me in good company (and boy do I feel like the minor contributor in this group, including Dawkins and so many others)

This year, the question positited to us was: "What are you optimistic about? Why?" As part of the invitation to participate, he asked that we should try to write about something that isn't normally associated with us, if we liked.

I liked.

My essay, titled "Widely Available, Constantly Renewing, High Resolution Images of the Earth Will End Conflict and Ecological Devastation As We Know It" is pretty optimistic and is only tangentially related to open source.

It is probably one of the more political things I've written in a long time. Long time readers and friends will know I don't like to mix my personal politics into my work at Google and with Open Source, but I enjoyed writing this. Please read and tell me your thoughts.

And with the new year, more clues...

Hi Everyone, so much to chat about....

I'm on paternity leave, which is pretty terrific. Bonding with the new kidlet, seeing a lot of my family. It's not hugely long, but long enough to do some things that I've been meaning to do, including arranging my photo and mp3 collection. My wife bought me a bitchen personal media player/external drive, the Archos 504 160gb player. Yes. 160 flippin gigabytes. Amazing. Holds all kinds of things, but most importantly, it is a handy movie, music, and photo offloading data storage device. I'm going to go through and edit my photo collection heavily...get rid of the c-roll stuff, the blurries and such, then make the Archos version the authoritative collection.

I've been pretty obsessive about backing up the photos onto multiple drives and on machines on other coasts, but it makes maintenance harder. With the Archos, I can manipulate the archives and then use that as the source for the backups. I'm approaching 25gbs of pictures and movies, and I think I could probably lose about 5gb of that post edit. I mean, I like Maddog a lot, but I don't need pictures of him from 20 different open source conferences.

I'm going to do an in depth review of the Archos 504 here in a few posts as most of the online review and either weak or reflect a logically limited amount of time to review them.

I'm not really a resolution kind of person, but if I were to make one it would be to write more.