21 Aug 2000 raph   » (Master)

I'm back from lwce. It was quite a show - commercial beyond belief, but still it was a gathering place of geeks, so was worthwhile. The Eazel after-party was the high point for me, I think.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: by focussing exclusively on the trade show aspect of the Linux business, lwce is doing a strong disservice. On and around the show floor, I put up a few dozen copies of a poster in protest. I would have put up more, but instead spent my time actually talking to other hackers, a better use of my time. In any case, I hope someone in the organization of the show listened, and that they start turning away from alienating the very people that make free software what it is.

The design of the ".org pavilion" was strange at least. All the .org booths were lined up against the far wall, with cage-like metal grids between the booths. I think they were shooting for a "spaceship" theme, but it came off as a minimum security prison instead.

I have very mixed feelings about the corporatization of free software. It's nice to be successful, but we need to stay true to our roots. Most people, including many in free software, don't have a clear picture of what our roots are. I think it's mostly about learning. I have a lot more thoughts on this subject, and will probably write up an editorial when I have a bit of time.

The ipaq is a very cool device. Jim Gettys carried one around running Linux, X, and a few simple apps, and was basically mobbed the whole time. I look forward to getting mine :)

I burned a CD of music for Alan. He'd been singing "Love Shack", "Larger Than Life" and several other songs he'd heard on the radio, and I wanted him to be able to listen to high-quality originals. I'm really looking forward to him being on the Internet and being able to get the music for himself. I don't think people have a clue how incredibly empowering it is for kids to be able to choose their own music. Downloading music from the Internet is here. Those who try to stand in its way are simply going to get run over. I hope we end up with a system that compensates artists better than the one we have now, but this is far from assured.

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