August Tux
with drink and sun glasses


After Words

Marc Volovic:The Shindig

There was a shindig today. It was attended by a community of misfits and elderly geeks, some pushing the wrong side of 35, obviously well past their "use by" date.

It was opened by a weirdly coiffure'd person speaking about Elvis, of all things. Elvis, obviously, has significant timing problems, since his frequency has been administratively increased from 100 appearances per alien abductee to 1024. Which is, nevertheless, progress.

Then a person with a very variegated taste in shirts spoke to the assembled about parasitic insects' victims which send each other letters. Thus, Host A send Host B something (and, sometimes, vice versa) which Host C, for some ineffable reason, wants to hijack. While highly unlikely, since rarely do hosts hijack anything, unless they are hostesses, of course, in which case they are likely to catch something and not hijack, barring Muslim gentlemen with rudimentary flight training, in which case they are hijacked and do no hijack themselves which, basically, means tha.... Never mind.

There were no loo breaks so all suffered distended bladders.

Then came a film in which a whole collection of aging communist hippies lashed out at Microsoft, denigrating the glorious company's contribution to world culture, technology and, incidentally, to quite a few Congressmen and Senators. These representatives of the drug taking, stuttering, unwashing, oversexed, under-stratified and otherwise anti- American elements lauded a damned foreigner's method of playing Solitaire! The attack on our culture is intensifying, mein komaraden!

After the film ended, there was a signing of some form of Satanic contracts in the cafeteria and finally a drunken binge!

I, of course, can say nothing of the stubby monkey which climbed the stage and, instead of singing the Anthem, declaimed something in an unhuman language, waves his arms a bit and climbed off. Who the fuck was he?

Your Reporter

guy keren, The Shindig (English Translation):

There was a shindig today. It was attended by a community of misfits and elderly geeks, some pushing the wrong side of 35, obviously well past their "use by" date.

there was a gathering today. It was attended by a group of over 100 unrelated inDUHviduals of all ages (14-45 would be my guess).

It was opened by a weirdly coiffure'd person speaking about Elvis, of all things. Elvis, obviously, has significant timing problems, since his frequency has been administratively increased from 100 appearances per alien abductee to 1024. Which is, nevertheless, progress.

it was opened by gilad ben yosef (the next generation) who found some obscure excuse to involve Elvis with embedded linux systems - in an attempt to persuade his listeners that embedded linux is gapping the strangled desktop PC business from every direction - in an increasing rate. according to the applause in the end - everybody agreed with that claim.

Then a person with a very variegated taste in shirts spoke to the assembled about parasitic insects' victims which send each other letters. Thus, Host A send Host B something (and, sometimes, vice versa) which Host C, for some ineffable reason, wants to hijack. While highly unlikely, since rarely do hosts hijackanything, unless they are hostesses, of course, in which case they are likely to catch something and not hijack, barring Muslim gentlemen with rudimentary flight training, in which case they are hijacked and do no hijack themselves which, basically, means tha.... Never mind.

then aviram jenik took over, and tried showing people how insecure their secure connections realy are - this attracted quite a few questions from the crowd, ranging from "i know the server is protected by a firewall, and i connect from my remote PC - is there software to protect my PC from being broken into (the answer, surprisingly, was "use a firewall on the PC"), to "i telnet to a machine. is it realy that insecure?". some questions were more advanced - and there were quite a few of those.

There were no loo breaks so all suffered distended bladders.

due to hickups in the organization, time flew by (time goes faster, when you move slow ;) ), so the proper solution was chosen - skip the break! a short protest, and some recalculation, suddenly brought a 10-minute break into existance. the 2nd break was shortened to 10 minutes (from the originally planned 20), and thus bad infections were prevented.

Then came a film in which a whole collection of aging communist hippies lashed out at Microsoft, denigrating the glorious company's contribution to world culture, technology and, incidentally, to quite a few Congressmen and Senators. These representatives of the drug taking, stuttering, unwashing, oversexed, under-stratified and otherwise anti- American elements lauded a damned foreigner's method of playing Solitaire! The attack on our culture is intensifying, mein komaraden!

then came a film, in which about 70-80% of the time there were 'talking heads'. Some heads looked quite familiar, such as the linux head, the RMS head, the clown head...

After the film ended, there was a signing of some form of Satanic contracts in the cafeteria and finally a drunken binge!

after the film ended, a bunch of the said group of inDUHviduals took over the cinematheque's cafeteria, in order to hold a PGP signing ritual. after that, people started spreading around, many went home, and many took over a near-by restaurant, fighting with the waiters in order to connect tables in a large 'L' shape - well, this _is_ a Linux users group...

I, of course, can say nothing of the stubby monkey whichclimbed the stage and, instead of singing the Anthem, declaimed something in an unhuman language, waves his arms a bit and climbed off. Who the fuck was he?

ah - but i can. one of the attending inDUHviduals was asked, 15 minutes before the event begun, to carry the opening 5-minutes keynote speech. To this challenge he responded by speaking in a language no one(*) understood - and which sounded like a mix between german and latin. That inDUHvidual looked suspiciously similar to the former reporter.

Your Reporter

this last phrase is in english...

Nadav Har'El (in response to Diego Iastrubni)

about the movie, it was really bad. But it did show us who are exactly those people:

It wasn't the greatest movie I ever saw, but saying it was "really bad" is an exaggeration. It was a nice opportunity to see what these people (Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman, Bruce Perens, Eric Raymond, etc.) looked like and talked like. Parts of the movie seem to have been cut out, by the way (e.g., the part with Rob Malda a.k.a Commander Tako, of Slashdot fame).

For people who weren't completely familiar with the philosophy and history of "free software", "open source", Linux, and all these things, the movie was a good introduction. An even better (but slightly longer) introduction, by the way, would be O'Reilly's "Open Sources" book, which is really a collection of short essays of the same people in the movie (and more), each one laying out the history of what he did, and why he believes in open source or free software. This book is available *freely* online, check out, for example: HTML: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/opensources/book/toc.html PS: ftp://socrate.tuiasi.ro/pub/books/open_sources/open_sources.ps.gz PDF: ftp://socrate.tuiasi.ro/pub/books/open_sources/open_sources.pdf.gz LATEX: ftp://socrate.tuiasi.ro/pub/books/open_sources/open_sources.latex.tar.gz

It's an excellent read!

Note that this book is from 1999. The Revolution-OS movie also appears to have been shot in the beginning of 2001. Quite a bit has happened since in the software industry, and some of the companies mentioned in the film as very successfully are in a bad shape now (try looking at the LNUX share-price graph, for examples. From 250$ a share in Jan 2000, it is now at 66 cents a share :( ). But much of what the movie (and the book) said is still relevant.

One interesting tidbit in the movie was a guy from Netscape explaining why Netscape freed the source (mozilla). Apparently, Netscape's revenues were from servers, not clients. Netscape knew Microsoft, and knew that if MS-IE became a monopoly in the client market then pretty soon Microsoft will stop following the HTTP and HTML standards, and Netscape's standard-compliant servers will probably not work correctly with MS-IE. So they decided they must have client competition with MS-IE. Freeing the Mozilla source still allowed them to write a competing client just to make standards matter more, but also let other people and companies share some of the cost of that development. Unforunately, Netscape's goal hasn't been completely met: MS-IE is not a monopoly now, but it is nearly one - probably 95% of the people are using it. So some (stupid) site designers use Microsoft-specific HTML constructs and I've even seend Microsoft-specific HTTP protocol bugs. Hopefully, Mozilla acceptance will grow over time and these phenomena will go away like Netscape wanted.

- mad-man-stallman: it's called gnu, I said it, I invented it, it's me me me!

The movie doesn't try to hide the different opinions about "which philosophy is better" (Free Software vs. Open Source) and "who is more important" (Stalman vs. Linus etc.). The whole debate was layed out in the movie, with the most embarrassing part (I think) being the part where Stallman gets the Linus Torvalds (!) award for the GNU project, and gives a long speech about why it is GNU/Linux, not Linux (or something of that nature), and how getting that award was similar to giving the "hans solo" award to the rebel fleet (don't complain - that's the example he used!) :)

Who's a bigger ego-maniac - Linus who called his OS "Linux" or RMS which insists that everything under the sun will be called "GNU/..." and even has the GNU/Stallmans band? Who cares, these people *did* enough to have the right to a big ego :)

- cool-torvalds: hey... my kids are making noise... lets bring them to the stage while this hippie talks... say Hi to the nice man with the camera... why are you holding a rabbit? a penguin is not good enough for you?

This whole part might have been a ploy to get people's mind off what Stallman was saying at the time. Like you, most people probably paid attention to the two cute kids running on the stage and not to Stallman blabbering on about GNU/Linux next to them. But maybe I'm just being paranoid :)

am I the only one who noticed that Linus has children without any wife?

Maybe the wife was in the uncut version? Or may be she wasn't. Frankly, she wasn't exactly relevant to the movie. Neither were the kids, for that matter, but I guess they were left in for their "cuteness factor"... This movie was missing a lot of the history tidbits that appear in the "open sources" book. Where do these people come from? What did they do before that? Where did they learn to program and how did they bump into the idea of free software? Who are their wife and kids? :)

Sagi Bashari

I really enjoyed today, but one thing that I didn't like about the movie broadcasting, and has nothing to do with the movie itself - is the picture quality.

Am I the only one who could barely see the picture? it looks like it was broadcasted from a VHS, which doesn't look so good even on a 21" TV - and it was broadcast on a theater..

Isn't there a better quality version of the movie for public screening? I think that I read something about digital version for public screenings on their website.

Sagi

Gilad Ben-Yossef

The movie was played from a broadcast grade Beta SP casette of the very same type that is used in modern TV stations, which we got directly from the distributors (btw this is the reason the movie was about 20 minutes shorter from the original - it was the 'cut for TV version' rather then the whole deal seen they had to dump it to PAL just for us, which wasn't so bad IMHO :-)

Any and all bad viewing conditions are the part of the Cinematque equipment, altghough I can testify that not because of lack of effort of teh staff (I've been there with the technical director 2 hours before the show so we can set everything in place).

Oh well, just one more thing to take into account when we'll do the next August Penguin...

Gilad.

Herouth Maoz

I think the crux of the problem was bad focus. So I suspect a little fine tuning of the lens would have done the trick, and I further suspect that the man behind the projector is more proficient in fine-tuning config files than optical equipment. Maybe I'm wrong.

Anyway, not meant as a rant. I enjoyed the occasion, and seeing RMS out of focus is not really a big loss to my (female) eyes...

Herouth