Sunday, 24 August 2008

Lectures of Jon 'maddog' Hall in Argentina

Last week Maddog visited argentina to participate in the "8th Jornadas Regionales de Software Libre"

Organized this year by CaFeLUG

The meeting took place in "Universidad de Belgrano" on august 20,21 and 22, 2008.

For those who don't know who Jon Hall is, he is the Executive Director of Linux International, a non-profit organization who wishes to support and promote Linux-based operating systems and the utilization of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).

On August 21st Maddog gave a lecture about "Making Money and Saving Money with Free Software", it was scheduled that Mark Shuttleworth have to give a lecture, but unfortunately he couldn't came to Argentina so Maddog gentely gave the lecture instead.

The auditorium was all dark, and suddenly we heard the music "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" from the film "2001 : A Space Odyssey" directed by Stanley Kubrick. Then Maddog appeared wearing a space suit and saying the same words commander Neil Alden Armstrong said during the Apollo XI mission to the moon. "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for Free Software".
He introduced himself jokingly as "Mark Shuttleworth" and said he would give a lecture prepared by Maddog who died in the Microsoft Wars. He pretended that we were in 2040.

He explained what a commodity is, using the example of a can of corn, If someone spends more than 5 seconds choosing between two different cans of corn, obviously they would be mad. But if someone has to choose what car to buy, he would spent a considerable time choosing the one that fulfilled all his needs. Maddog's conclusion was that corn was a commodity and a car wasn't. Later he explained that Wall Street and the mayor software companies made software like a commodity, and that gave to them a huge huge huge profit. Because their investment was low and their profit near the sky.
Later he explained that people buy a car because they want transportation, in the same way they buy software beacause they simply want to send email, surf the web, and do some stuff, people don't want to reinstall a new operating system every three years and spend a lot of money to buy software.
It is necessary to think about software in a different way in order to give people what they really need not what the software company wants. This is the importance of free software.

Here you can see the presentation and the first 9 minutes of lecture.

Presentation like 2001 - Space Odyssey

First 9 minutes of lecture

On August 22nd he gave another lecture about "Sustainable computing: Computing for the 21st Century"

Fortunately I could speak a few words with him, he is a brillant and good man.