General Comments Off on

While I catch a breadth and write up some of my experiences of LCA2010 last week, the Australian’s are in full gear for their Great Australian Internet Blackout Campaign.

From their website –

What’s the problem?

The Federal Government is pushing forward with a plan to force Internet Service Providers to censor the Internet for all Australians. This plan will waste millions of dollars and won’t make anyone safer.

  1. It won’t protect children: The filter isn’t a “cyber safety” measure to stop kids seeing inappropriate content such as R and X rated websites. It is not even designed to prevent the spread of illegal material where it is most often found (chat rooms, peer-to-peer file sharing).
  2. We will all pay for this ineffective solution: Under this policy, ISPs will be forced to charge more for consumer and business broadband. Several hundred thousand dollars has already been spent to test the filter – without considering high-speed services such as the National Broadband Network!
  3. A dangerous precedent: We stand to join a small club of countries which impose centralised Internet censorship such as China, Iran and Saudi Arabia. The secret blacklist may be limited to “Refused Classification” content for now, but what might a future Australian Government choose to block?

Help turn the lights out on the proposed Internet filter by joining the Great Australian Internet Blackout.

New Zealand was supported worldwide during their appeal of Section 92A – it’s time to support our cousins in the west.

Come to LCA2010 Open Day

General Comments Off on Come to LCA2010 Open Day

We’ve got a great line up for LCA Open Day! Check out our great posters and pass them around your work, university, community group or government department!

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, 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.

OpenSolaris RC1 Hits the Streets

General 2 Comments

Yesterday, David mailed the announcement of OpenSolaris 2008.11 Release Candidate 1. After a pretty monumental effort on several counts, we’re almost in the home stretch for our release at the end of this month. We’ve all come such a long way since the first release in May, and I’m really hopeful that people are going to enjoy this release – we have more packages than ever, the new projects introduced in May are more mature including some really great features, and (best of all) we’re about to produce another release on a 6 month cadence.

I’m in the final stages of putting together a ‘What’s new in 2008.11’ document, so I’ll not spoil that blog post. But go get it (continuing thanks to for their support in hosting the developer ISOs), or image-update from an existing install and, most importantly, tell us what you think.

The engineering team have done another excellent and tireless job, as usual, but in particular I’d like to thank Comay for the fricken long hours he’s put in over the last week or two – home straight dude, home straight.

OpenSolaris Moo Cards!

General 1 Comment

A while ago I ordered some moo cards. My business cards from Sun had run out, and badly needed some more. Figured I’d join the fad and ordered some based on the pretty iPhone wallpapers. This week, they arrived, and I’m pretty thrilled with them. The image quality is a little fuzzy in places, but they’ll be perfect for the job.

OpenSolaris Moo cardsOpenSolaris Moo cardsOpenSolaris Moo cardsOpenSolaris Moo cards
OpenSolaris Moo cardsOpenSolaris Moo cardsOpenSolaris Moo cardsOpenSolaris Moo cards

Playing with IPS and SFE, Part II

General, OpenSolaris 2 Comments

After picking up Petr’s excellent work to add IPS support to pkgbuild, generating IPS packages from SFE is now even easier.

Download an updated install image of pkgbuild, and put it in /opt. Now set up your usual desktop CBE environment, but add /opt/pkgbuild-beta/bin to the front of your path.

With the latest changes, pkgtool will automatically create an SVr4 package and generate the necessary IPS scripts and manifests and automatically publish to http://localhost:80/ (or $PKG_SERVER).

gman@rampage:~/SFE/$ pkgtool --interactive --download --ips build SFEmonkey-bubble.spec

though does not yet install them by default. It will however install an SVr4 package if you provide --svr4 at the command-line instead of --ips

If for some reason you decide to delete the contents of your repository, then you can simply

gman@rampage:~/$ cd packages/PKGMAPS/scripts
gman@rampage:~/packages/PKGMAPS/scripts/$ ./SFEmonkey-bubble_ips.ksh

to import the package.

The enhancements also try and detect the appropriate grouping from the menu spec if you’ve defined ‘Group’ in your spec file, and will also attempt to add a license if you’ve specified it in ‘SUNW_Copyright’.

Next step, cleaning up SFE packages to include the right meta-information and copyrights/licenses.

OpenSolaris Fan Buttons

General 4 Comments

I did a bit of work to clean up the existing downloadables page (now called OpenSolaris Artwork) – hopefully now you’ll know that there are cutsey iPhone backgrounds that you can download with the new OpenSolaris logo.

Dan also sent me a new set of OpenSolaris (.com) fan buttons – Go check them out!

OpenSolaris 2008.11 Problem Statement

General 18 Comments

While we’re already neck deep in development towards producing a release in November, it seemed like a good idea to start putting together a problem statement for 2008.11, much like we did for 2008.05.

Back then, the problem statement stood for a set of lofty goals for what we wanted to achieve, rather than a set of hard requirements we needed to keep. It was intentionally high level and vague to provide an artistic license when deep diving on the individual items.

So, with some caveats of

  • This is a first draft
  • Some of the language used is no doubt poor and vague
  • The numbers mentioned are stakes in the ground for spark discussion
  • This is not an exhaustive list – it doesn’t try to be
  • Some items are intentionally vague, otherwise they become a bug list
  • Some items may be optimistic or even ridiculous – this is a reflection on the level of feedback that I’ve got so far (little), and an opportunity to contribute

So go read, and let me know what you think!

The Zen of OpenSolaris

General 1 Comment

Come and see David Comay, among others, talk about OpenSolaris in SecondLife – join us at the Sun Campus, or the live stream on Wednesday 07:30 PT 9th July.

Post 2008.05 Vacation

Family, General 6 Comments

It seems a blur since we were all at the Moscone center releasing OpenSolaris 2008.05, and everything leading up to the big event. Jim has a great set of pictures from the event. Now the long slog to produce a similarly rocking release for November has started in earnest.

Fortunately I managed to get some vacation to charge up the batteries with a 3 week vacation in Europe that started with a couple of days around San Francisco with Jayne (and buying an iPhone so we had a camera with us), then over to Barcelona to see my beautiful sister getting married (and the lively Spanish reception and welcome) and a tour around the wonderful sites of Barcelona. From there, across to an insanely wet Rome for a couple of days, and up to the beautiful Florence, where I took the opportunity of proposing to Jayne (she said yes) after the most incredible meal I’ve had in a long time. Around Tuscany (Sienna, San Gimignano, Luca, San Gimignano and Pisa) exploring some vineyards on the way, and out to the Cinque Terre for a night. Finally, up on the train to Venice where we spent our remaining couple of days. All in all a pretty perfect month, though the jet-lag with a quick return trip to the US the week I got home was a little less fun. Roll on 2008.11.

The infamous ringGondolas of VeniceOne of the towns of Cinque TerraLeaning tower of PisaPlenty of bottoms in FlorencePonte Vecchio in FlorencePantheon in RomeWhere's Wally..I mean the pope?Winding stairs at the Vatican MuseumColloseumLydia and Edu getting marriedPre-wedding family lunchJamon at Mum & Dad's AptJayne at Parc GuellJayne at the Lolly marketSagrada FamiliaAlcatrazTrams in San Francisco

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