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June 2007
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August 2007

Blogging at Infoworld

For those who may not have noticed, I was suckered into asked to take over part of Matt Asay's former blog over at InfoWorld when he fled the coop moved his blogging over to CNet.  Both my old blog (that's this one, www.theopenforce.com) and the new one are aggregated at PlanetMySQL so for many folks this may not be any big deal.  I will continue to post occasionally on this blog, but most of my postings will be done on the InfoWorld site for now along with co-conspirators Dave Dargo, Savio Rodrigues, and Dave Rosenberg.  It's just too much work to maintain two blogs at the same pace.

Here are some of the recent stories I posted at Infoworld:


MySQL at Oscon

Oscon_logo

Several MySQLers will be at Oscon next week in Portland.  Speakers from MySQL include Kaj Arno, Jay Pipes, Marten Mickos and Brian Aker. We have a booth at the show and will be recruiting for some of our open jobs, which are listed at http://jobs.mysql.com .  There's also a joint reception with Zend planned for Tuesday July 24 at 5:30 pm at the DoubleTree Cantina bar.  I hope to see many Oscon regulars there!


SqueezeBox Slimserver

Squeezebox

I finally got around to installing a SlimDevices SqueezeBox at home. It was a gift from my wife some months back, but the idea of wrestling with our in-wall cabinetry to hookup the audio cables and get my MP3 collection onto the living room stereo put me off for a long time.  But I was in a cleaning mood this weekend and wanted to get rid of a bunch of boxes, books, and other clutter, so I figured this was as good a time as any.  The installation was fairly simple, as long as you know how to convert a WEP key into hex.

All tolled it took about 15 minutes, including messing with the cabinets while balancing a receiver from it's cables.  I didn't even have to reboot anything. Now I've got living room stereo access to all my MP3 songs from my desktop as well as Internet Radio, Pandora and the Squeezenetwork. It also supports most other unprotected audio formats including WMA, FLAC, AAC, Ogg Vorbis and WAV files, though I'm not sure why anyone would use WAV files anymore. For those curious, my music choices are rather out of date. I'm currently listening to a lot of Los Lobos, Hugh Cornwell (ex-Stranglers front man), Pink Floyd and legendary sixties garage rockers The Remains.

While Squeezebox is not the only way to get your MP3's onto a home stereo (I could have just plugged in my iPod), it works well, it's got a good display and the sound is excellent. 

One interesting element of the SqueezeBox is that the SlimServer software is all open source. As the configuration info shows, SlimServer is running MySQL 5.0.22 and Perl 5.8.8. 

Slimserver

If you're so inclined you can download the software for Windows, Mac, Linux, and check it out before buying a SqueezeBox.  The software has been localized into multiple languages and there's a healthy community that's sprung up providing various plug-ins, skins, mods and development tools


MySQL Interviews

Here's a three interesting interviews with Marten Mickos, Brian Aker and Gary Whizin, all from MySQL.  Marten is the CEO, Brian is Director of Architecture and Gary is Director of our Enterprise tools team. 

It's an interesting juxtaposition to see the range of topics across all three.  Marten talks about the business model, Brian's focused on storage engines and Gary is all about building the right team.  But the common thread across all three is how important open source is to what we're doing at every level. Here's a quick test... see if you can match the quotes below with the right person.  No matter how varied the perspective, it all comes back to having a good grounding in open source.  That's a key element in our culture, whether in engineering, marketing, sales or management.  And as Gary points out, some of the most ardent believers in our open source model are on the business side.

A. "We don't waste time or energy worrying about guarding trade secrets. Customers are invited to every offsite meeting. Brutally honest, constructive criticism is encouraged and self-critique is common."

B."I am very passionate about open source. And I do believe that it is a superior method... But running a business is not about dogma. We are not judgmental about our customers or partners... We believe that in the long run, open source will win anyhow."

C. "There’s a myth sometimes in open source, that, as soon as you open source something, there’s a stampede of people lining up at the door to hand you patches. That’s just not the case. Even in the largest of large projects, that doesn’t actually happen that often."

Answers: A. Gary Whizin; B. Marten Mickos; C. Brian Aker

Update: Also, if you haven't been following Matt Asay's recent posts over at CNet, he has written some excellent profiles on open source CEOs and "unsung heroes" in the trenches.