October 9th, 2005


open source presentation

I recently volunteered (somehow) to give a presentation to my coworkers this coming Friday about "open source".

I realized that enough people didn't understand: (in no particular order)

-- the difference between freeware/shareware and Free software
-- the ambiguity of the English word free
-- that FOSS is based on copyright
-- how copyright works, copyright assignments
-- differences between copyright, trademarks, and patents
-- source code vs. binaries
-- the phrases "public domain", "Shared Source", "copyleft"
-- why "source available" isn't freedom
-- how the GPL actually works
-- what "Linux" is (kernel vs. distros)
-- why people use open source: all intersections of freedom, cost, control, eyeballs
-- dual licensing (open/open, open/proprietary)
-- the Open Source Definition, and how many compliant licenses there are (but basically BSD/X-ish vs. GPL)
-- background on oft-heard zealtory/advocacy talking points

I started sketching it all out on a pad of paper and I think I have a general sort of plan to lay it all out without dependency loops. And if I can find all the images that I think I can, it should be visually entertaining too.

The fact that half the audience is non-technical is the best part: I can avoid going into too many details (e.g differences between each license) which would bore both halves.


I need to host a couple pieces of personal server equipment pretty soon here, in the next 2-8 weeks.

Any recommendations on colo? David suggested ColoServe, but I know nothing about it. West coast strongly preferred: Seattle, Portland, or San Francisco-ish.

Anybody with available space/bandwidth/power/cooling in their rack that I can move into with? scsi? Not free, of course... I'll pay you.


lazyweb: image processing

Dear Lazyweb,

Given a couple hundred JPEGs, what's the most efficient way, using Free tools, to one of:

-- find the brightest file


-- find the file with the most overall contrast (not all white or all black, but a good mix of both?)

Background: got video thumbnailing working in FotoBilder, but sometimes people's videos start with some black frames at the beginning. Or bright white (presumably?) while their phone/camera CCDs adjust to outdoor sunlight and the user aims at their actual target.

So I'd like to extract the first 20-100 frames and pick the most "interesting" one, for some definition of interesting. But definitely not solid black or white.

Xen, again

I know I already wrote about this once today, but...

I've been having so much fun with Xen. It's so cool. It's just made my life easier, saner, and more productive, all in one.

Can't wait to install it on my desktop at work tomorrow, then I can transport around a full dev environment (potentially dozens of machines) between work/home, and never deal with ssh latency (which isn't that bad, but can get annoying).

Also it means less noise, less space, less power, less heat, less money. And all the while, tons more machines to play/test/dev with.

It's so incredibly empowering to be able to just "create" a new machine for fucking around with. For instance, installing that one piece of software that isn't packaged (too new) and you're too lazy to both read its Makefile to see what its make install does, and definitely too lazy to go clean up after it. Instead, just fork off a new whole operating system whenever you want to run a potentially-dangerous experiment.

So nice.

Need to force myself to get off the computer now.