A photo of Maddog and I can be found on the blog.
LinuxInternational is all volunteer. Maddog gets some funding from SGI.
Went to Drexel - started using *nix in '69 there.
From the 40s to 77, most software was written by contract, and code was owned by the end-user.
Thinking about the move from hardware-optimized software. The computer was more valuable than the programmer was. (See Spolsky on Abstractions)
DEC had 11 OSes for the PDP-11, so they could optimize for different job mixes.
Maddog joined DECUS in '69, which was a DEC users group which had a library of software that people contributed to. The software itself wasn't being sold, but you paid for the service of making a catalog and mailing people paper tapes. Then, you copied it for your friends. People needed the software anyway, so for commonly-needed software, they shared it.
As hardware costs dropped and human costs rose, Unix was programmed at Bell in '69. Torvalds was born that year.
Aha -- the BSD license allowed Sun to do a commercial unix. At that time, if you wanted to license Unix from AT&T, the license cost $160,000 per cpu. But Sun agreed that if they did binary code and a user-based license, it would be cheaper. Later, at USENIXs, people who shared source before couldn't share source code. Over time, it became established practice, and the boos and hisses stopped. The difference between GPL and BSD is that the GPL says that you can't limit someone else's freedoms. The only freedom you don't have under the GPL is the freedom to take away others' freedoms.
Then, software became commodity products. Corn is a commodity -- you don't think about it. But cars aren't commodities -- it takes time to test drive, make an informed decision. Maddog has never seen a commodity problem at a client -- trying to make commodity solutions fit a proprietary situation causes problems, since you'll never be able to perfectly match the situation. Free Software allows you to trim things so they fit the situation.
How much does it cost to change your business to how the software works? TCO doesn't count -- it has to do with how smoothly the software works with your company. How well does it solve the problem? Can you make the software do what it's supposed to?
Under a service model, you get paid not only to know how to code, but rather how to understand the business processes and how to modify code to make it fit that business model. Free Software is the perfect solution to outsourcing.
The easiest thing to outsource is proprietary, closed software. But if you're doing an open solution, you have to be on location, so you can look at the business and fit the softare to custom needs. Also, Free Software isn't hit by the problem of marketing. 22,000 out of 50,000 are Microsoft's sales and marketing. Out of the 28,000 people, there are product managers, supervisors, cafeteria workers, the people who paint the lines on the pavement, people who put software in boxes, people who take software out of boxes, people who answer telephone calls, and when it comes down to the number of people with the title "software engineer", there's probably only about 2-3000 people who have that title and generate software.
Compare that to 10% of the registered software developers on sourceforge (92,848).
Security is more than keeping secrets safe. But security is also longevity. Will you need email in a time of war? Will you need to fix bugs in the operating system guiding your ships and planes? Do you want another country writing the software that runs your machines. Furthermore, how long are these companies going to be in business? But they go down.
Hmm, another good business for open source people is internationalization. Hmm, this is a very good point.
Can you make a computer affordable and usable by the illiterate -- what if the software company sees "no profit" in doing that? And the Simputer is trying to allow even illiterate people to use computers to get the info they need. If you're a fisherman in India, it's a two day walk to Market. If the price of fish is low that day, you may not make any money. But if the price is high, it's worth going. With the simputer, you can touch a button of the fish, and have the computer read them the cost of the fish in the city two days away. If the price is high, they can go to that city.
Software freedom means local jobs -- every dollar going out of your economy is ten dollars going out of your community. This is because local money pays local jobs which buy stuff.
15 year-old kernel developers
14-year-old distribution developers --FatLinux
13-year-old systems admin
11-year-old programmer of supercomputers -- arguing with DEC
By using an Asterisk PBX, you can have your CRM records come up for your customer based on caller-ID when they call.
Borehole project in Africa
Royal Navy Air and Rescue -- faster rescues
The Genome project
Faster detection of Cancer
Hundreds of students at the uni of South Pacific in Fiji
Interesting -- the patent system was designed so that ideas would be public, published. That way trade secrets wouldn't die with their inventors.