Earlier this week David Mohring posted an article reviewing progress at a couple of his open source customers’ locations.

Since starting using Linux for firewall and network support in 1997/98, both organizations are now exclusively using Samba in place of NT for file, print and domain services. Both are happy using Cyrus IMAP fronted by Mozilla for both email and browsing. Both are now using a combinations of Oracle and Postgresl. In one case the database is fronted by a third party perl-cgi based LAMP, the other fronted by an in house custom system evolved from one hosted on an ancient HP system. The source code for the latter has remarkably survived Y2K, porting to Linux, converting from K&R C to C++ and the addition of a kitchen sink load of features. The same latter organization has also successfully trialled deploying StarOffice/Linux on the desktop for people who do not deal with incoming and outgoing Microsoft Office document formats on a regular basis. All of the above are now hosted on Redhat from 7.3 to 9, Professional to Personal. Day to day system management is easily performed via the vendor independent WebMin.

Now after almost seven years of blood and swearing getting these Linux hosted solutions plumbed together and working sweet, I could write a whole series of articles on how IT was achieved, the work around hacks and configuration settings. The problem is that, given the advances and new opportunities available on Linux and/or as open source, there is not a damm thing that I would not choose to do a little differently.

Having established his credentials as a real pioneer in open source implementation, David goes on to say – later – that:

With the increased involvement of business in the development and use of Linux and other free licensed software and open sourced solutions, the environment is undergoing a change. Horace Greeley (1811-1872), from whom we get the phrase “Go west young man”, stated thirty years later in 1871 “This Daniel Boone business is about played out.”. Just like the USA in 1871, it is not that Linux lacks vast areas to exploit. A cultural change has taken place which makes the lone DIY self assembled approach less relevant to an increasing majority of the people living in the United States of Linux. Custom DIY projects still have their place, but the effort required remains unattractive to a growing mainstream audience.

David’s article is much richer and more detailed than the lengthy excerpts I’ve provided here. He pasted the whole thing in as a comment to one of Doc Searls’ posts at the IT Garage site, as well as posting it on his own blog. Seems clear to me that David is a guy that should pull up out of the comments area and write a few posts of his own at the IT Garage. His point is well taken that in any frontier there is room for only a few Daniel Boones, but those of us who come later will really benefit from their experience! I have yet to work in that LAMP environment, but people like David are opening the way for people like me I think.

Name the Puppy Contest

sassxrumbtf1lt6wksassxrumbtf1_6wksassxrumbtf1rt6wkComing to live with us soon, this cutie-pie from JnD Kennels. This puppy was born on Saint Patricks Day and so she has a placeholder Irish (or perhaps Jewish) name right now: Erin. Two syllables is good. “Airrrr-innnn, stop rolling in that skunk poop and get over here right now!” But all those breathy vowels just don’t do it for me. “Bratwurst” would be a better name.

As you can see, I’m not really good at this. Could you give me a hand by entering the “name the puppy contest?” Leave a comment below with a good name for a sweet thing like this. If it was a boy I’d name it Tyler…

Did I mention there’s a prize?

Dervala Seeks Domicile

Dervala writes…

The hum of Björn’s private server rack is comforting, and he is open-hearted enough to share his Linux root password with a random sublessee. From the roof I can watch the ferries passing the Statue of Liberty.

Cheese Quiz…


Thanks as always to Gretchen Pirillo who turns out to be a bit of a parmesan herself.


The European Space Agency reported last month that the atmosphere on Mars contains traces of methane. They postulate that it must have either a volcanic or a biological origin.

Orkut Spam Alert

Back in the day, a century ago in Internet time, but less than one dog year ago really, I joined Orkut. I sent out emails to lots of people I know asking them to be my friend. Dave Winer was the only one who responded so there we were, alone against the world, a dynamic duo really, latency fairly bristling from our spandex costumes… wait, wrong path. This is about blogs, justice, and the American way. Fuck leaping small buildings in a single bound. Screw the faster than a speeding bullet shit. How powerful is a locomotive anyway? I watched The Fugitive and the big dumb brutish chunk-o-steel couldn’t run Richard Kimble down. How powerful is that? Even Tommy Lee Jones could run Richard Kimble down.

Okay, so I was kidding about inviting DW to be my friend on Orkut. I did indeed send out invitations to various online acquaintances who for one reason or another proved allergic to Orkut and so never hit my friends list. That’s cool. Orkut was a fun place to play for a week or two but not the kind of thing that could hold my attention in the face of the several other things I find to occupy my ever less available time.

Here’s the bummer. If I sent you an invitation before, and you didn’t sign up, then Orkut has taken it upon itself to resend the invitation now. This is embarrassing. I’ll try to get it fixed. Meanwhile, if you are one of the dozen or so people who may have originally gotten that invitation from me and for whatever reason not responded to it through the labyrinth of the Orkutian database, I’m sorry to be spamming you. Right now it’s out of my control.

Niek’s Bad back

Niek Hockx has hurt his back and won’t be blogging for a while. Sounds like one of those mishaps that could befall any of us at any time (give or take the need to protect high end photographic equipment). I hope you feel better soon Niek! And I hope you have someone there to rub that stuff in for you.

Significant Others

Semiotics for beginners…. There it was, 1976, Berkeley, Liz Lyon was still with Steve but she’d leave soon for the Sorbonne taking all her knowledge of French movies, razor blades, and eyeballs with her. She had brothers who ran nuclear subs in the Pacific and a glorious way with cats. Was it her sense of of humor that hooked me up with her old UoP room-mate that bicentennial fourth of July at the Marin County Fair? I dunno, but I got two wonderful sons out of it and I haven’t seen Liz since she left for France. Thanks Liz, wherever you are!