Michael Tiemann's blog

What Microsoft can do for Open Source

This morning Sam Ramji gave one of the closing keynote presentations at OSCON 2008. He talked about writing a new chapter in Microsoft's history with the open source community, and he promised to talk openly and honestly with us. It is a promise that he made to me personally when I met him between sessions a few days earlier. He also made a commitment to engage in difficult conversations about tough issues. And he announced some other concrete ways that Microsoft was reaching out to the open source community. But the subtext of all these commitments seemed to me to be a deeper question that Sam is trying to answer: what can Microsoft do to make peace and partner with the open source community?

Fair trade coffee & Open source Java

When Starbucks grew from regional powerhouse to cultural phenomenon, there was one small problem: the coffee they sold did not jive with their brand. So much so that in 2000 they printed millions of pamplets in the US explaining why it was that even though they really, really wanted to sell organic, shade-grown, fairly traded coffee, that due to lack of adequate supply, customers should be delighted that they were at least committed to finding a way to sell some fairly traded coffee somehow.

24 Core, 48GB RAM Linux cluster runs on 400W

I just read the story of Helmer, a Fedora 8 linux cluster in an IKEA Helmer cabinet. The story begins

3D computer rendering are very CPU intensive and the best way so speed up slow render problems, are usually to distribute them on to more computers. Render farms are usually very large, expensive and run using ALLOT of energy. I wanted to build something that could be put in my home, not make too much noise and run using very little energy... and be dirt cheep, big problem? :) no computer stuff cost almost nothing these days, it just a matter of finding fun stuff to play with.

Dr. Phatak speaks...and the world learns

I first met Dr. Phatak at the Red Hat Summit in New Orleans in 2005. Dr. Phatak exemplifies what Amartya Sen lovingly calls The Argumentative Indian. Dr. Phatak is passionate, well educated, articulate, and most of all, sincerely committed to raising the standards in India to the highest levels. After spending time with him in Mumbai (aka Bombay), I truly envied those students fortunate enough to have him as a mentor and a teacher.

Report from CSEE&T Meeting, April 2008

Last month I was honored to be a keynote speaker at the Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training (CSEE&T) annual meeting. Open Source has become a major topic on campuses, not just the enterprise, and I was delighted to meet with some of the leaders in setting the agenda for software engineering education.

When I was a student in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania, I did not give to much thought about how the faculty chose to teach Sorting and Searching and not DOS for Idiots or why the core curriculum was constructed in one way and not another. At the time it all seemed like useful and exciting stuff to me, and I learned it all (as best I could).

I just won a $300 bet

For the past several years I've printed various documents at home by sending them to my wife Amy with a request "Please print...". And after several years we both know that Adobe Acrobat version 5 for Mac works far, far better than any subsequent release from Apple or Adobe, at least for the pdf documents I create on Linux. But how crazy is it that I don't have my own printer?


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