Kuala Lumpur

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I’ve had a very busy few days here in Malaysia, giving talks and meeting up with many of the stars of the local open source and ODF groups. These folks are dedicated and have passion with amazing technical smarts. It’s because of people like them that we’re seeing the entire software world change as rapidly as it is.

Today is Saturday and I have a free day, but I’m not being much of a tourist, though I may venture out later today if the rain lets up. I love to watch tropical rain against all the vegetation and seemingly endless shades of green, but it’s more fun through a window than it is from within it.

Petronas Towers

Here’s the obligatory photo of the Petronas Towers, which really are quite spectacular. If you have not been to KL, you may remember them from the movie Entrapment with Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones, though I understand some liberties were taken. Had Ms. Zeta Jones been there today, I would have braved the rain for a closer look.

Tomorrow I venture home via connections in Shanghai and Chicago. I sleep well on planes, so extended flights like these really do not bother me. Odd as it may seem, I sometimes wish they were longer if I’m “in the groove” doing some work or reading a good book.

There are definitely some flights I wish were longer so that I could get more sleep. When I have a busy travel schedule, I allot some of the on-plane time for rest. I get really messed up if the plane is delayed or canceled, because then I am both inconvenienced as well as exhausted.

I’m still working on Dan Simmon’s Ilium scifi novel. I looked at it after I happily slogged through the Hyperion/Endymion novels, but decided that it wasn’t as interesting. Now that I’m into it, I think it is just as good. That means, of course, that I’ll have to pick up the sequel Olympos when I get home.

While I’m at it, I should fill a hole in my classical education and read the Iliad (also see Cowper’s translation available from Project Gutenberg.


  1. Standards work is never done, particularly where Microsoft are concerned.

    The next one along is ‘Silverlight’ http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/asp/default.aspx , a ‘Guillaume Portes’ for streaming video over the Internet. The rest of us thought that MPEG4 (ISO 14496) would do just fine; that’s roughly what cable TV companies use on their ‘digital’ cable.

    And with ISO14496, you should be able to run your streaming media server on an IBM zSeries, and watch the video on a Mark Shuttleworth Ubuntu, as well as Lenovo/Windows, if that’s what suited the requirements at the time.

    But no, it’s now Microsoft pcking and choosing who they will sell to.

    Anyway, maybe that forces your tech-smart Malaysians, and anyone who will collaborate with them, to come up with an open standard and an open-source implementation of the standard; then we can all interoperate again.

    It’s just a matter of time. I wonder how long Microsoft can keep this competitive advantage.

    With the world running at Internet speed, maybe as long as a month.

  2. Thanks for coming down to Malaysia and giving a talk at the local Free and Open Source Software Meetup. It was nice meeting you.


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