Subversion Hits the High Seas

by Doc Searls

Word's getting out about Geek Cruises. The latest buzz showed up this week in the St. Petersburg Times. I'll use it as an excuse to make one more pitch for Linux Lunacy II, our second annual week-long Geek Cruise (October 20-27), with ports of call in the Western Caribbean, and to solicit input from Linux Journal readers for my keynote speech on the boat.

The best pitch I can make is to point to our report on last year's cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. Calling it fun would understate the matter. And speaking of (Just For) Fun, this year we've added Linus Torvalds to the speaker lineup. The good folks at GeekCruises have also made infrastructural improvements, including live round-the-clock wireless internet access.

And even if you can't make it, you can help me put together my keynote talk. Here's the title: "The Silent Majority: How Linux Got to Be Everywhere While Nobody Was Watching".

Recently Don Marti remarked that Linux business history has moved from the dot-com phase to one involving what he calls "mysterious subversive projects within large corporations". It's been clear to us here at Linux Journal (and probably to most of our readers as well) that Linux strategies undertaken by large companies in most cases involve embracing a fait accompli. Adoption of Linux tends to be made by engineers, sysadmins, programmers and other technologists long before company brass gets on the bandwagon. This is consistent with the principle Marc Andreessen described during my interview with him when Netscape made its Mozilla announcement in early 1998: "All the significant trends start with technologists."

Of course this is not the PR story any Big Linux company wants to tell. As a result there are few anecdotal stories and approximately no statistics on the matter. So I'm relying on you.

Tell me your own stories of establishing Linux at your organizations while the folks upstairs weren't watching--or any other interesting stories that corporate mouthpieces are unlikely to tell. Add them to the comments below (they default to anonymous) or e-mail me. Credit will be given where it's deserved and also where you give us permission.

Doc Searls is senior editor of Linux Journal.


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