7 Things You May (or May Not) Know About Me

Brewing, Climbing, Family, FOSS, Friends, General, GNOME, Indiana, Ireland, NewZealand, OpenSolaris, Sun 2 Comments

Wow, it’s grown from 5 to 7, but since I’ve been tagged many moons ago by Sara and now by Patrick. Where should I start?

  1. I am indeed Tim’s little brother. You wouldn’t believe how many years I got through Sun without people figuring that one out. When I joined, I had another brother in Sun, Duncan. That made 3 of us. The 3 amigos (though fortunately we never had a dance routine). I shared a bedroom for many years with Tim, and played my fair share of Top Trumps, Action Man, StarWars and Squares (and almost getting run over on my way back from the supermarket carpark across the road).
  2. I studied at Trinity College Dublin and loved my college years. I found out relatively quickly that while maths in secondary school was quite enjoyable, taking it to the next level felt like a massive step. I got through my course with a first, but I don’t think I developed a strong aptitude for what I was studying (memory monkey = results). However, I did find a love of Unix somewhere along the way. Duncan let me use his maths account to dial up to the internet, and I soon learned a love of MH, taught as many freshman classes as I could with their computing labs and generally found the computing side of my maths course a whole lot easier and enjoyable.
  3. At secondary school I learned to climb through Mr.Blackmore and Mr.Cryan. We used to head out to Dalkey on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings. It was awesome fun, and I’ve kept that going right through college and was captain of the Climbing Club for a year, along with designing their website (though it’s a bit of a mess now). You can read a bunch of the old trip reports here for much hilarity.
  4. My current passion is brewing. Tim had a strong part to play in this one having started it first in the family. I’m loving it. I have a monthly subscription to BYO, a growing collection of brewing books (including John Palmer’s “How to Brew“, and Charlie Papazian’s “Joy of Homebrewing“) and starting to put some all grain beer together. I’ve taken recently to ordering from the awesome guys at www.libertybrewing.co.nz, which conveniently means I can collect my grain just around the corner. I’m still learning the ropes, but this is definitely a career I’d change to.
  5. I’m getting married in 2 months time to Jayne. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve lived in NZ since 2003, have residency and a screwed up accent (though apparently I now have a US twang on the phone).
  6. I was rather fortunate to fall into free software, having picked up a job in the desktop group at Sun, Ireland (yay, nepotism!). Turns out they were looking at free desktop alternatives and chose GNOME. Always shared my code at college, so working on open source was a pretty easy step, and enjoyed spending my time on the IRC channels getting to know people, and them getting to know me (that’s Jeff’s influence, of which I am entirely indebted). I’m not so active in GNOME anymore, but I still lurk in the shadows observing and proud of where the project has come and my participation in it.
  7. Sara tried to hire me over to be a product manager of a new (at that time heavily secret) distribution, OpenSolaris. It took a weekend of her convincing me that I should do it and her persistence is something I’m entirely grateful for as I’ve enjoyed every minute (and worked with some really great people), despite the occasional rough times.

That’s it. And here are the rules of engagement:

  1. Link to your original tagger(s) and list these rules in your post.
  2. Share seven facts about yourself in the post.
  3. Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  4. Let them know they’ve been tagged.

So, I hereby nominate: @comay, @epicbeer, @maupuia, @charliebird, @bogan, @basicbrewing and @marekkuziel as a rather eclectic bunch.

Software Freedom Day

FOSS, GNOME, NewZealand, OpenSolaris, Sun 1 Comment

The Wellingtonites, led by my very own Jayne, launched their initiative for Software Freedom Day. The event will, predictably, held on Saturday 20th September at the Convention Centre. We’re planning on having a hackfest organized by SuperHappyDevHouse (and br3nda), an installfest organized by WellyLug, and best of all, an open source BarCamp.

Really looking forward to this, and hoping a large crowd get out and register for this event. It’ll be a lot of fun. I’ll be doing a quick session on OpenSolaris, DTrace, and anything else I’m asked to do (perhaps an impromtu GNOME session?).

Hoping this is going to charge up the other teams around NZ into organizing events!

Missing out on the Fun

Conference, GNOME 1 Comment

Unfortunately no GUADEC for me this year. Hope everyone going has an uberly awesome time. Can’t wait to see the belly dancing videos that come out of this year, and I’ll certainly miss catching up with a whole bunch of friends.

GNOME/X Jobs in Bangalore

GNOME Comments Off

Joe mailed me a couple of days ago saying that he’s hiring about 10 engineers for desktop sustaining in Bangalore (and, no doubt, time to do development if the queues are low). If you’re interested, drop him a mail with your resume!

OpenSolaris and GNOME Project days at FOSS.in

Conference, GNOME, OpenSolaris 1 Comment

Just got to FOSS.in this morning to join in the fun during the OpenSolaris and GNOME project days there. Everyone’s pumped up about the conference and you can hear the din of people’s horns acknowledging that right across town. It promises to be a pretty excellent conference. I’m giving a talk this morning on The Secret diary of an OpenSolaris Hacker, aged 13 and 3/4 at 10am. I’ll be stepping through some of the development processes involved in contributing to the project, and helping explain how you can raise your profile in the community based on your contributions. Come join us!

GNOME Handbagging

GNOME 5 Comments

Quim: There’s critique and there’s personal attacks – it’s a very, very fine line that we all need to be aware of. Calling Jeff a “psychotic failure”, “erratic fool” or “paranoid psycho” is anything but constructive, and in all honesty, pretty laughable given Jeff’s involvement within GNOME over the years and the contributions he’s made. Jeff’s a very close personal friend, has been nothing other than inspirational and supportive to me during my career, and I respect him highly to be a good visionary for the project. Sorry Murray, but I strongly disagree with you, and I’m disappointed that todays commentary on Planet GNOME has taken away from the positivity of the election campaign and those standing to help out in the running of the GNOME Foundation (let alone the people who are watching from outside the community).

OpenSolaris Developer Preview, Try it!

GNOME, Indiana, OpenSolaris 15 Comments

Today we released the first milestone for Project Indiana, the OpenSolaris Developer Preview. Before you even read the rest of this blog entry, start your download. The locals of Guam (the last known inhabitable place in the planet to see the final hours of October pass by) are now celebrating, hopefully with some strong alcohol.

I’d like to shout out some “thank yous” right off the bat. Thanks to everyone involved in the various projects that made up this distribution, not just those on opensolaris.org but the wider free and open source community – you guys are my heros, and I strongly value your continued commitment to freedom. I’d also like to thank those projects a little closer to home that we’ve focused on for this first release, caiman, ips, and modernization (and those behind the scenes herding them – Bill, Dan, Kelly & Bonnie). They’ve survived network outages, fires *and* earthquakes to get this out the door on time – awesome! At a personal level I’d like to particularly thank David, Stephen, Dave, Danek, Sanjay and Bart for their continued patience in answering my many questions. And finally, I’d like to thank my wonderful, wonderful team mates Sara, Patrick, Jesse, Derek, Jim, Terri, and most of all Ian. We got there, woo!

Enough of the oscars, show me the software!

The developer preview is only x86 at this time (for sheer practical reasons of wanting to get something out of the door), and should run on a minimum memory requirement of 512Mb on the metal, but also in VMWare. You’ll also notice when you start playing with it -

  • It is a single CD download, so much of the software you’d expect to see in Solaris Express is not there, some of which will be available from a network package repository
  • It’s built on Nevada b75a
  • It is also a LiveCD, allowing you to try before you install on to your disk
  • Contains the latest bits of the new Caiman installer, with a significantly improved user experience
  • ZFS as default filesystem – NO WAY! WAY
  • IPS as the underlying network based package management system (though SVR4 packaging is still available)
  • /usr/gnu/bin has been added to the default path
  • bash is the default shell
  • GNOME 2.20 goodies

This first release is a prototype – some indication that we really are serious about putting this together. It has come out of the proverbial sausage factory with relatively little testing and could contain bugs that could lead to panics, data corruption or other similarly uncomfortable situations. You should probably not run this in your data center.

Download it, try it, but most importantly, tell us about it! As always, we need your help – join us on indiana-discuss (or one of the other specific project aliases). We’re not done, we’re just getting started.