Mathieu's Number: on the road to Paris

Posted 18 Feb 2000 at 23:12 UTC by mathieu Share This

This week's article is being written on Air-France's flight number 2000, from Hawaii to Paris. My brand-new laptop (PIII 700 MHz, 512 Mb RAM/10 Gb HD) rocks and I had the authorization to use it even during takeoffs and landings (Thanks to the Airbus on-board high-tech controller).

This month, I was invited to the Kro$soft's expo Hawaii to give a talk on Free Software and how to use it to make BIG money.
On my way to the expo, I wandered on the Hawaii islands. It was an enjoyable trip. I was lucky enough to bring my new Windsurfing board and sail (I had one of those 80% carbon mast which is sooo light and cool) and tried them on one of those great spots known to the world where waves reach 10 meters high. We had great weather conditions and a good strong 30 knots sideshore wind. It was a great time!

I was struck by the way locals use words: they used to call me "fucking rich tourist". I don't know why. I probably did not understand fully the rationale behind all this. However, I had a great time trying to find a brothel and, having found one, was disappointed to discover that none of the girls there spoke English or French. These things happen...

Brothels, however, was exactly what our conference was about. I happily discovered that many of my email-friends were there. They did not disappoint me. We discussed globalization and one of them raised an interesting idea: he explained us he had found a new Asian country where labor was even cheaper than everywhere else. Unfortunately, He would not reveal the exact geographical location, but the few hints he gave us should be sufficient to find it. I think I'll send two or three guys from my staff to have a look at this. It may be a great opportunity.

However, I was unpleasantly surprised to discover how many Free Software people there were at the conference. Not people like me or Billy but freaks like this RMS crazy guy or a guy called Raph Levien. Each of them gave a talk on the "true philosophy of Free Software". This was just a heap of left-wing crazyness and I doubt either of them had a grasp on the true nature of the market. To make things worse, they were obviously poor - one of them had an old rusty laptop and they were dressed like beggars (one did not even have decent shoes: he wore socks and sandals!).

What made me shiver the most was the incredible crowd attending this talk and all these poor not very well organized booths which were around. These guys had obviously come in Hawaii by boat as hidden passengers. This was desperating...

Hopefully, there were good talks by a few of my friends: Coral people anounced they were stopping all support for Free Software users. They announced their future use of Windaube as the core Operating System for all their products. How refreshing this was !! Finally, people get to understand the true nature and usefulness of proprietary software. This guy developed an interesting new argument. He explained that free software is a pain in the neck because it gives users full power over the software: you can't control the way they use it and if you do it wrong, users not only complain (which is bearable provided they do it quietly enough) but they also change the product to match their needs!! What a horror!! Can you imagine our world continuing to look like this?

My talk with Billy went very well. There were many people in the public who were interested by our new company which offers new proprietary software. I am confident in our ability to make them wait till we have added all the necessary bugs in our software. I am pretty convinced we will crush all these Free Software people very soon :)

Overall, I had a great time there: I was warmly welcomed by local proprietary software developers. Billy from Kro$oft was a nice chap. He even paid the bill in the restaurant and the brothel :)

I'll be back in Hawaii soon. In less than a month, I'll be attending the Kro$oft symposium on Windaube and I hope that many of you will come !

what is this?, posted 19 Feb 2000 at 01:30 UTC by atai » (Journeyer)

a joke, or a cracker break-in?

It's a joke, posted 19 Feb 2000 at 05:04 UTC by julian » (Master)

There's sarcasm throughout. I'm still trying to analyze it for its meaning. ;)

I hate to point it out, posted 19 Feb 2000 at 08:22 UTC by Radagast » (Journeyer)

but sarcasm without meaning is kind of nonsensical. This sort of story can work, and there were some kicks in the direction of "the market" and capitalism in there where I felt that Mathieu was of the same opinion as me about things. But I'm sorry to say the piece as a whole comes across as a ramble, without any noticable focus or theme.

Then again, I'm not a professional writer or anything, so perhaps I'm wrong.

relax, posted 21 Feb 2000 at 06:19 UTC by mbp » (Master)

Heaven forfend that anyone should ramble pointlessly on the Internet. At least it's amusingly quirky.

My high school English teacher said a good test for irony is that part of the audience doesn't understand it.

Well, , posted 26 Feb 2000 at 05:37 UTC by Uruk » (Apprentice)

Sarcasm? A cracking? I honestly don't think it was a crack, but really, who cares? It was entertaining, if completely random. I suppose that that's the most you can ask for out of articles. I got lost on the bit about windsurfing and brothels, since that doesn't seem to have anything whatsoever remotely to do with advogato or free software, but sometimes brains work in a very roundabout way, so what the hell.

I'll say, (quite guardedly) thanks for posting this article. It was a complete change of pace type of interesting read. I think.

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