[portland] more followup re Chicago

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Fri Apr 17 18:14:20 CEST 2009

Greetings again so soon...

I won't usually cross-post such lengthy items but in the wake of Pycon
and lots going on, the shortest way I could thing of to do the right
filing was to simply FYI this from the Wanderers list.

We're on average an older group of engineers (similar xy : xx ratio),
still learning about open source and all the new flavors of geek out
there (multiple subcultures).  We meet in the boyhood home of Linus
Pauling on Hawthorne, the x2 Nobel guy, his and his partners papers
housed at OSU, with support from Doug Strain's estate (Doug founded
ESI, an early Silicon Forest startup, hqs formerly also on Hawthorne,
Doug have been Pauling's student at Caltech).

The organization behind Wanderers is called ISEPP (isepp.org) and I
represented this organization at Pycon this year (is what's on my
nametag in those slides).

Note below how I use Cubespace as a kind of shorthand for a FOSS hqs
or campus, even though we're from many walks of life, may live in
proprietary silos of various description (e.g. see below **).

This helps people tune in a set of overlapping tools (i.e. stacks), a
vocabulary, a namespace, that we somewhat share in our Barcamps,
OSCONs and so on.  I realize other types also get to use the building
e.g. VB#/ASP/Coldfusion could rent a booth.  However, as shorthand, I
think it stays true to the music.

I'm happy to take it off-list at this point, now that it's we've built
up a head of steam.  Mosaic (Suzanne Bader) reports nothing to add at
the moment.  I'm likewise thinking the ball is not in my court, though
I am curious what creaky old framework generates URLs this ugly:


Reed College has an Open Source Developer office which I think maybe
I'll contact next, as Red Cross clearly could use some volunteer
assistance from CS trainees looking for academic credit for community
service type options (all the rage in academia these days).  The needs
assessments could be for free.  If they need more experienced
programmers, they know where to look (e.g. Cubespace).

See you on IRC or whatever,

Kirby Urner
"A pioneer in open source"

** http://www.darkroastedblend.com/2007/09/ballistic-news.html (scroll
down for goofy silos)

PS:  the allusion to 'Evil Cult' has to do with the author of 'SQL for
Dummies' is the dad of Taylor Twins:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: kirby urner <kirby.urner at gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 11:44 PM
Subject: Re: Re: Reporting from Pycon 2009
To: kirby.urner at gmail.com

A little more rambling (enjoying recent threads, thx ya'll)...

So I met with a member of the SAO board this afternoon and it sounds
like Oregonians are willing to keep pioneering in this direction of a
more Silicon Forest friendly mathematics curriculum, one which
displaces calculators over time, in favor some more beefy hardware and

A lot of this branches off earlier volunteer work with Willamette
University a planning hub.  I used to attend some of those meetings.

On a somewhat related front, the Cubespace engineers are now aware of
the Red Cross website being extremely lame (talking Oregon Trail
chapter), a fact which their inhouse team has long recognized, but it
sounds like they're trapped in a legacy bubble.

The PC revolution gave rise to a long list of solutions now considered
relics, with far better solutions coming as a result of the second
computer revolution, the FOSS revolution (free and open source tools).

What confuses folks about open source is they think it doesn't make
any money, whereas that's a somewhat meaningless belief.  In actual
fact, businesses helped themselves to the free tools and are running
all kinds of client-facing services that pay bills, and by license
agreement they're free to not disclose what they're doing.

Take ConocoPhillips for example.  Ekofisk had lots of Python going,
still has I surmise.  Or take Industrial Light and Magic.  They don't
have to tell us how they use Python, just sometimes mention that they
do.  I used Python to do marketing graphics, [showed] examples at this
meeting today, was in no way obliged to publish my tool kit, all based
on FOSS (Povray isn't GNU, stems from CompuServ culture, but is FOSS

(ConocoPhillips gives back)
http://www.povray.org/  (ray tracer I've used with Saturday Academy
classes quite a bit)

So most Linux, Python, Apache stacks never see the light of day, run
in deep silos, part of the guts of some company (IBM for example, or
Google, Amazon, Yahoo -- FOSS users all).  Facebook is starting to
share Cassandra.  These tools all have names, and there's a plethora.
Knowing which are the good ones is half the battle right there.

Speaking of Cubespace engineers, note to Don: I invited Selena to
maybe give a Wanderers presentations once the dust settles.  She's too
crazy busy with OS Bridge organizing, but could later discuss her day
job being a PostgreSQL jock.

I told her about Allen Taylor (and Evil Cult by his Twins).  She's
also in the loop on the stuff I presented to PPUG about (Red Cross),
at the same time Wanderers was hosting our guest physician discussing
the health care crisis.  I managed to make a big part of both meetings
(Joe, I understand I assumed your chair just minutes after you vacated

Also, re Eddy and Marty Crouch, both were at the Meetinghouse last
night and there's clearly no problemo re all the earlier confusion.  I
didn't get if they're planning on joining us for that meeting.  Marty
was actually not in our meeting and our agenda was all other stuff,
really a lot of it.  Just got home, made some notes in my blog:

I'll file another report about the education picture, sometime after
my GIS gig, for which I'm trying to do some homework.  I'm just
getting me feet wet in Python's senate, where BDFL is president, Steve
Holden (whom Glenn has met) our chairman.  If you don't know who Guido
is (our benevolent dictator), I invite you to watch some blip.tv:

Ciao for now,


PS:  Glenn confirming Sandy electric car bar is defunct, having
managed to inject only a modicum fleet of 3-wheelers (not "cars"
technically) into Portland's streets (you'll see 'em around, keeping
Portland weird).

On Fri, Apr 10, 2009 at 8:37 AM, Kirby Urner <kirby.urner at gmail.com> wrote:
> --- In wwwanderers at yahoogroups.com, "Kirby Urner" <kirby.urner at ...> wrote:
> Just following up on my long-winded thingy below, acknowledge I spelled Torvalds incorrectly...
> I had a long phone chat with Saturday Academy this afternoon, on the
> possibility of using PSU... OGI facilities (they're already booking
> them) for adult trainees wanting to upgrade on the job in our public
> school teaching pilots, newly authorized thanks to a discrete math
> track showing up on state radar, SAO the lobbying think tank here
> (ISEPP off the hook).  That's just me talking, running by an idea,
> not claiming any buy in.
> Not a foregone conclusion SA: cares to wade in, could use ExecuTrain
> or like that, but I think we'd use a lot of the same SA: trainers,
> so it makes some sense, not just talking about Python or even FOSS.
> Bill Sheppard electronics, Gordon Hoffman electronics... chemistry,
> biology... everything STEM.

<< SNIP >>

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