Open Source XP

This is an illustration from today’s New York Times showing how Chris diBona, Google’s Manager of Open Source Programs, uses a fancy little micro-PC when he’s on the road. Er, just one problem: the cool little gizmo — according to the picture caption — runs Windows XP. What kind of Open Source advocacy is that?


Since there are no Nobel prizes in my line of business, the next best thing is to be Slashdotted. And it happened today! That’s twice in one lifetime (the first time was when I wrote about the leaked Microsoft memos on the threat to Redmond’s business model posed Linux and Open Source software). Maybe I should quit while I’m ahead!

Later: And now we’re on BoingBoing. Verily, my cup runneth over.

Return of the Mac

Paul Graham is one of the best essayists about technology writing today. He’s just published an interesting essay on a phenomenon I’ve also noticed.

All the best hackers I know are gradually switching to Macs. My friend Robert said his whole research group at MIT recently bought themselves Powerbooks. These guys are not the graphic designers and grandmas who were buying Macs at Apple’s low point in the mid 1990s. They’re about as hardcore OS hackers as you can get.

The reason, of course, is OS X. Powerbooks are beautifully designed and run FreeBSD. What more do you need to know?

I’ve noticed this too. At the FOO camp in Holland last year, for example, the only laptops that weren’t PowerBooks were Sony Vaio machines running Linux. Paul Graham argues that this migration to the PowerBook and OS X is significant because geeks tend to have an influence on the evolution of computing out of all proportion to their numbers. What they run today, the business community may find itself running ten years on.