Not long ago, after giving a speech about free software I was asked by an audience member whether the free software community had come up with free (as in freedom) gambling software. I answered "no", and... I was wrong. A bit of research told me that there us such a platform: that's Cubeia's Firebase. Yes, it's fully free software/open source, the real deal. I couldn't resist: I asked its founder (and software engineer) for an interview. So, here we go!
TM: Hello Lars. Can you please introduce yourself?
About two years ago I published an article about Firewall Builder. Now that the version 3.0 is out I had a catch-up interview with its creator, Vadim Kurland, and I discovered a number of new interesting features.
MM: Hi Vadim, and thanks for answering my questions. You are the main author of Firewall Builder (FWB), but your name seldom appears even on the website www.fwbuilder.org. So, just before we start diving deep in FWB, would you like to briefly introduce yourself?
Hello Liran. Thank you for answering our questions! First of all, you are the main developer of daloRADIUS... What is it in very simple terms?
daloRADIUS is a web application written in PHP with the purpose to manage a RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial In User Service) deployment, suited for both WISPs (Wireless Internet Service Providers) and Hotspots.
The tools and techniques for creating hardware designs are very different from those used for software; and because of this, developing open hardware is a significantly different and greater challenge than creating free software. In the second part of my interview with the developers of the Open Graphics project, I wanted to explore these factors and the solutions this one open hardware project has found.
Excitement in the Open Graphics community is quite high as it approaches its first production run of the FPGA-based "Open Graphics Development" board, known as "OGD1". It will be available for pre-sale this month with the first units expected to ship soon thereafter. The board is targeted at hardware developers, with the specific goal of supporting development and testing of designs for a fully-documented consumer Open Hardware Graphics Card to be implemented using an ASIC (thus resolving one of the biggest obstacles to free software on the desktop).
Bob Young, former CEO of Red Hat, former publisher of Linux Journal, current head of lulu.com and a professional football team shares his thoughts and views of Linux.
Joshua N Pritikin has recently started a peer-review service based on free software he developed. Being the editor of a magazine about free software, the idea immediately intrigued me. So, I asked Joshua a few questions. Here are his answers.
TM: Hello Joshua. You’ve been involved in the free software community for quite some time... please introduce yourself to our readers!
I had the pleasure to work with Brian Jones, renowned free software technical writer, last year when I was working on TUX Magazine. We met again by accident recently and, while talking with him, I asked “What about an interview?” Well, here it is!
TM: Hello Brian. Many of our readers already know your name and have read your articles or book. Can you briefly introduce yourself?
JR: Hey Matthew, to start if you could introduce yourself and tell us a bit about OpenedHand.
MA: Hi. I’m a 32 year old father, husband, free software hacker and boss man of OpenedHand. I live in London, UK. Beyond making Linux better on devices my other interests include modern design, comics (a big fan of the likes of Ed Brubaker, Alan Moore, etc.) and table tennis (current office champion—first rule of OpenedHand: let the boss win at ping-pong). I’m the author of various pieces of free software, including Matchbox, Xephyr and most recently Clutter.
I read a piece in which the author criticized the free software world for not being innovative enough; needless to say this angered me, so I decided to try and demonstrate that this is not the case. Over the next few weeks I’m going to post a series of e-mail interviews with developers who are driving forward the ideas and expectations of the computer industry as a whole, in new and exciting ways! This week’s interview is with Havoc Pennington, who’s currently working on a number of great projects related to the idea of an “online desktop”: read on to find out more!
In most industries, innovation comes from big companies that invest large amounts of money in equipment and research. The IT industry is different: the only real investment is a PC—and copious amounts of time necessary to study and research. (Without free software it could have been a very different story today, since we could live in a world where you couldn’t program without forking out several thousands of dollars just for a compiler. Does anybody remember how much the first version of Visual C++ cost?)
In computers, the most important leaps forward are often made by single (outstanding) individuals. I’ve had a chance to talk to Arturo "Buanzo" Busleiman, who wrote Enigform. If Enigform becomes a standard, it could change the way everybody logs onto their internet banking sites and more. He’s the best person to talk about Enigform... so, here he is.
This article provides a real world perspective into why businesses move to and stick with free software. In this interview, Rob Fraser, from the premiere New Zealand open solutions company Egressive Limited (egressive.com), shares insights into why free software can benefit any business. The interview briefly covers: VPNs, spam filtration and risk mitigation, among other topics.
MINIX, as originated by Andy Tanenbaum, is an operating system that has its roots and heart in academia as a tool that teaches you how kernels really should work. Recently, however, with the advent of version three of this rock solid OS, the focus is on making a production ripe embedded distribution. Being POSIX compatible with a Kernel of 3800 lines of code and a unique approach to handling drivers, MINIX 3 is well worth the effort to review for readiness.
A very brief history
The free software world is experiencing another legal storm. This time, the trouble doesn’t involve a big company attacking a free software project—this time, you could probably call it a “civil war”. A former contributor to Pligg (a very important free software content management system for creating digg-style sites) intends to take Pligg’s developers to court. I managed to talk to Eric Heikkinen, the co-founder of Pligg, and ask him a few questions...
TM: Hello Eric. Please tell our readers a little about yourself and Pligg.
Mark Shuttleworth is going to be the next guest on my podcast where the idea is that YOU are the ones who ask the questions. To make this work we need your questions: send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org or read on for more contact information.
I was talking to Russel Ossendryver recently, WorldLabel's owner. After exchanging a few words, and being a little shocked by what I heard, I told him "Russel,would you like me to actually interview you formally?" He was a little hesitant at first. However, in the end we decided that current events needed as much exposure as possible. So, this is a friendly private conversation that turned into an interview.
Here it is!
TM: What is Worldlabel?
This entry is first a plea for help. I enjoy reading and listening to interviews with people who have interesting and exciting things to say about their passions. My attention was recently directed to a web site named Questions Please..., where Jonathan Roberts informs us he has an inside line to free software luminaries Richard Stallman, Jeremy Allison, and Jeff Waugh. So what is my plea?
I was lucky enough to interview Jon “Maddog” Hall, one of the speakers of the upcoming LinuxWorld Conference & Expo in London.
TM: Your name is so well-known that you don’t even need an introduction. How are you keeping yourself busy these days?
Fuat Kircaali is the founder and CEO of SYS-CON Media, the company which publishes "Linux Business News" among its 16 i-technology titles.