Virgin on the ridiculous

I went down to Watford yesterday to meet up with Danese Cooper who was giving talks on both Open Source within Sun and Blogging. I didn't fancy driving the 7-8 hour round trip, so I decided to go by train. The first shock was the price - 187 Pounds (for my colonial colleagues that's 350 US Dollars). The Virgin Trains service was over half an hour late leaving, three-quarters of an hour late arriving, the buffet bar had no hot food or drinks and there was only one working toilet on the entire eight-carriage train. The only plus was that the seat I managed to grab had a table with a power socket so I could use my laptop on the way down (and on that front does anyone know the correct XOrg HorizSync and VertRefresh values for a Tecra M3?). I was complaining to the staff on the train about the toilet situation, and they said that it was 'normal' and that there wasn't any point either them or I complaining as we would both be equally ignored by Virgin Train's management. Virgin Trains often get panned in the UK Press, and I can fully understand why - boy I'm glad I'm not a shareholder.

Before listening to Danese I got to meet and chat with Dave Edmondson which I thoroughly enjoyed - Dave runs the PlanetSun Sun weblog aggregator, and like me works in Solaris Software (although a different part - at least until the next reorg ;-) Like many people in Sun, I know lots of people within the company who I've never physically met - for example when I was on the Solaris 10 cteam I worked with the rest of the group on a daily basis for 9 months before I actually met any of them in the flesh. As I said, this isn't unusual within Sun, in fact it has pretty much become the norm.

I also got to meet Danese - I'd heard her talking before at OSCON 2001, but I snuck away without introducing myself. She talked about Open Source at Sun, and the different business models that the various OSS companies were trying out. This was interesting for me as I'm working on the project to Open Source Solaris at the moment, and listening to her gave me a different perspective on some the issues, which I found useful and thought-provoking. She also talked about blogging within Sun, Danese (in best American tradition ;-) has being doing a whistlestop tour of Europe evangelising blogging within Sun. She mentioned that she had nearly flamed me over my requiem for Open Source, but I still maintain my position. Danese told a little anecdote during her talk yesterday - she has a friend who teaches people in the third world how to farm sustainably even though he believes the planet has passed the point of no return and is doomed - he's trying to delay what he believes is the inevitable catastrophe. Perhaps I'm in the same position with respect to Open Source ;-)

Categories : Tech, Work