old school

In 1998, a documentary team followed the adventure of releasing the first Mozilla source code. The resulting blockbuster was called “Code Rush”, and features Stuart Parmenter in his breakout role. A pretty fun little movie, and it does a decent job of capturing the energy and challenges of “Project 3/31″.

Or so I’ve been told. Though I was of course devoting myself utterly to the project at the time, and appear on screen in at least one key scene, I’ve never actually seen Code Rush. I mean, I know how it ends, right?

So today, eight-plus years later, I’m with Chris Beard at the Harvard Business School, for the inaugural presentation of a case study about the launch of Firefox 1.0 and subsequent creation of the Mozilla Corporation. As part of the presentation, the professor (Siobhan O’Mahony, whose class I quite enjoyed observing, I should say) played a clip of Code Rush showing the actual source-code push and announcement by Jim Barksdale.

I have to say that I was pretty affected by it. Might even have been a tear welling, though some of that could have been my headache. I looked so young, and had such bad hair, but it truly was an amazing opportunity, and I was so ridiculously lucky to have been able to be a part of it. Still am, really.

This session, part of an Executive Education programme, was extremely interesting in a number of ways, and I might write more about them later, if things line up correctly. I was very grateful for the opportunity to sit in a room with 80+ CIO/CTO/VP folk from all around the world and a wide range of industries, discussing their perspectives on open source and Firefox. Enterprise suitability is of course a very interesting topic to these folks, and was to me as well. By no means does such a conversation produce an all-triumphing Truth about what enterprises want or need, but I was certainly surprised by how nuanced many of the positions were. We often abstract “the enterprise” away into some prototypical administrator focused on group policy and deployment capabilities, but there are a lot of other strategic issues in play, many of which are related more to the long-term effects of our project than to specifics of the product itself. (I don’t mean to tease, I’m just not sure what the norm is for sharing the details of these sessions.)

It’s definitely flattering — personally and als on behalf of the project, if you will — to be invited to participate in such a presentation and exploration. Another opportunity for which to consider myself quite fortunate.

(I’d link to appropriate things here, but it’s hard to dig them up from my Blackberry, so I’ll have to go back and edit them in later.) [tags]mozilla, harvard, code rush, netscape, pavlov, enterprise[/tags]

it’s OK, though, we don’t match

The other day, Tyla’s computer — a 2000-era Dell Latitude originally used for my Mozilla consulting — finally progressed from “intermittent reboot” to “drive can’t read operating system, sorry”. It had been some time coming, but we hadn’t really settled on what the replacement would be.

I am a happy Mac user these days, at least to the extent that I can be happy with anything related to computers. When I pitched the glories of the Mac to Tyla a while back, she was somewhat skeptical. She much prefers the eraser-point mouse to a touchpad, thinks the right mouse button to be quite useful, and wasn’t impressed at all with the dock interface. I sympathize with all these things, honestly. Also, she was somewhat spoiled by the 1600×1200 15″ display, which is pretty easy to understand.

We were back in the Apple Store yesterday though, and between the salesguy showing her Dashboard — I swear she wasn’t that excited when I showed it to her, though this guy did have better hair and glasses — and me convincing her that an MBP was both more computer than she needed and more heat than she wanted, she ended up with a bottom-end MacBook, plus a slight RAM boost. They’re still getting to know each other, but I think it’ll turn out well.

She’s already started complaining to me about blurry/smeared text in Firefox, of course. There’s no winning.

imdb wants you to step up your game

If you like this title, we also recommend… Cidade de Deus (2002)

Now, both Grosse Pointe Blank and City of God are fine movies, and I did indeed enjoy both of them, but they are also extremely different movies, and I do not need to tax my (admittedly impressive) imagination at all in order to conceive of people who would rather enjoy the former, and flee the theatre screaming less than thirty minutes into the latter.

This part is only here so that there’s more than a single sentence of non-excerpted content in this post. It’s just a little thing I like to do.

Logitech G7

I impulsed into Best Buy yesterday on the way back from an entirely wonderful day-or-so at Geneva Park with Dad and Lisa and the girls. I’ve been looking to get a new mouse for some time, as my MX900 is staying charged for shorter and shorter periods of time, and my charging discipline is not really all that exceptional. Vlad gtalked me through some comparisons of the Logitech G7 and MX1000 mice, and I settled on the G7. Glad I did!

It has a pair of batteries, so one can always be charged, and changing them is painless; it doesn’t require an external power supply, and can even charge (slowly) off of an unpowered USB hub; it’s light and comfortable in the hand; the RF transmitter/receiver widget is basically a little USB key that plugs into the passthrough port on the (smallish, pleasant-looking) charger — or can be quickly popped into another machine to use the mouse there, without dragging the base around or fiddling with Bluetooth pairings. And while I thought that the adjustable DPI buttons were just a gimmick, I’ve found that being able to switch between fine control and quick movements is quite nice for fiddling with diagrams and targetting pixelated fauna. Deb has had some trouble getting her G7 to work with a Mac, but mine fell in love with my MBP at first sight, including the side-scrolling and extra (some might say “excess”) buttons.

So basically this is the wireless mouse that I would have designed, if I were as good at designing solutions as I am at enumerating problems. You can take that as either an endorsement or a cautionary note, as you choose.

Then Vlad told me it was about half the price at Newegg, which is not something that a true friend would have done.