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May, 2009

Penguicon wrap-up

I got back from Penguicon 7.0 last night. I had a great time! Alas, Wil Wheaton was not in attendance, due to illness. I wish him the best. And the CandyFab broke down before they could do any demos, which was disappointing.

As a Nifty Guest, I gave a total of 3 presentations at Penguicon:

Each talk was well-attended. If you'd like to see the slides, click the links above. I'll warn you now, though: many of the slides are very "conceptual", so you may not be able to make sense of them without hearing me talk about them.

Moving on

Back in February, I had announced that I was taking an absence from the FreeDOS Project to focus on an MOT program, effective in May. I've been transferring my roles in FreeDOS (webmaster, SourceForge admin, ibiblio admin, etc.)

May is finally here. I'm going to unsubscribe from the mailing lists, and officially take my leave from FreeDOS. It's been a long transition, but I think it's been a smooth one. With the support structure we have in place now, I think FreeDOS will do just fine without me running things. For example, Rugxulo has been regularly posting news updates to the web site, and others have been updating ibiblio.

Any emails that are sent directly to me will be forwarded to one of the other admins. I'll probably still post items to my blog, but I'm now out of the day-to-day running of the FreeDOS Project.

I've worked on FreeDOS since that day in 1994 when I posted a note to the comp.os.msdos.apps newsgroup to announce a new, free version of DOS. Since that time, we've seen FreeDOS "grow up", marking our official "1.0" release in 2006. Today, FreeDOS is used all around the world, in a variety of industries. Embedded systems have found FreeDOS to be useful, and classic gamers are able to run their old DOS games on PC hardware. I look forward to what FreeDOS 1.1 (and an eventual FreeDOS 2.0) will bring.

It's been great. Thanks to everyone!

Welcome back, Pat

Most of you should recognize Pat Villani. He is the original author of the FreeDOS kernel, and has been with the FreeDOS Project (off and on) from the beginning.

Pat contacted me about taking on the role of FreeDOS project coordinator. Pat & I really had been discussing this for weeks, but we decided not to announce anything until he & I could talk in person. (It just took a while to get a phone call scheduled, since I was so busy until Penguicon.) Since we no longer have a single person who fills this particular role, I agreed that Pat would be an excellent person to step in now that I am absent from FreeDOS. Welcome back, Pat Villani!

Attending WisCon

Just got back from attending WisCon. This was my second year attending the con, and I'm planning to return next year. If you're also going to be there, look me up!

For next year, I'm thinking about putting together a panel to discuss open source software projects, and equality. It's unfortunate in industry (even in higher ed, where I work) that the I.T. field is mostly men. That is slowly changing over time, and it's better now than 5 years ago. Compare this to working in the open source software world - where your technical proficiency stands by itself.

I think a panel could generate very interesting and insightful discussion. If you're planning to attend WisCon 2010, and would be interested in participating in this panel, email me soon!