On the XO Laptop

I just ordered a hat. Why? What kind? What color?

with one comment

I just bought myself another birthday present.

It is a hat.

If, on seeing the title of this post, you didn’t immediately know why I just bought a hat — as well as the kind of hat and its color — then I know you are an open-source developer, or an active Linux user.

It is a Red Fedora, the “Gangster by Bailey.”

I plan to go gangbusters wearing that hat as I work on the XO/OLPC project.

I have become a big fan of Ubuntu over the past few months, mainly because it has the largest and most active community I yet seen put together around a Linux distro.

However, the XO runs another Linux distro, Fedora, courtesy of Red Hat.

Fedora is thus now the most important Linux distro in the world, to all those who plan to engage in the OLPC project, including myself.

Though I will continue to to run Ubuntu on some of my computers, I will install Fedora on at least one of them ASAP. I need to wrap my arms around that puppy, and then introduct the Tuxers to their new companion.

By the way, this is personally satisfying it that I have a relationship with each of Red Hat’s co-founders.

Back in the Jikes days, someone suggested I should talk to one of them, Marc Ewing. (The Red Hat was his idea) We had only a brief call. He said he would be glad to help, but they were expecting their first child shortly, so he had to beg off.

I have also dealt with a number of Linux and free software groups in New York City. At least one of them, though the name escapes me just now, was founded by Bob Young, the other co-founder of Red Hat.

I got to know the folks in these groups in the middle of 1999. They were then meeting at the IBM building at 57th and Madison. The only added expense to IBM in hosting these meetings was to pay a few hours of overtime to one of our employees, as well as cab fare to take them home. However, some bean-counter decided this was a waste of time, and decided to end IBM’s support.

I heard from the Linux folks soon thereafter. They were understandably upset, especially in that they didn’t where else to meet, in part because real estate was so expensive.

I was finally able to let the bean-counters go back to counting other kinds of beans when IBM Research, at the initiative of Jim Russell, stepped forward to pay the bill.

I later gave my presentation on my experiences running the Jikes project in early December, 1999, at 57th and Mad.

I don’t know if the meetings are still held there now, but there are others who have stepped forward. I have remained on many of the associated mail lists, and I recall Sun has hosted various groups. More recently I often notice they are hosted by Google.

Good work, Sun and Google, and all the others who have supported these user groups. They are doing vital work, and the least we can do is to make sure they have a place to meet.

By the way, I lost the files I used for my presentation a few years back in the course of moving from one machine to another. I recently found a printed copy, and will type it up in this blog when time permits.


Written by daveshields

December 6, 2007 at 3:26 pm

Posted in xo-laptop

One Response

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  1. […] a tip of my yet-to-be-received own Red Fedora to Red Hat, both for this article, and especially for their support and active participation in the […]

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