I left the office on Friday morning to head over to Maidenhead to interview Brian Behlendorf. Brian is probably best known for being one of the founding fathers of the Apache web server, along with co-founding one of the first commercial web design companies. If that wasn't enough, he also co-founded CollabNet with O'Reilly. We met at a place called the Blue River Café; café is a bit of an understatement. It's actually an old mansion converted into a hotel, and the Blue River Café is the corporate entertaining centre – aka the bar and a restaurant.
Much as I'd like to follow Graham's touchingly poetic advice, Paul's japes on this blog can mean nothing but an all-out war. I hereby rename this LXF Team Blog the 'Paul vs Mike Photoshopping Battlezone'. In fact, that raises an important issue -- Paul is using the proprietary Photoshop for his face-tweaking capers, whereas I'm sticking true to the spirit of Free Software by using The GIMP. Therefore, at least in Mr Stallman's eyes, I am a better person than Paul.
...Mike had a slight cough.
The sad thing is, I know I can never play Mike at Mario Kart because I know it would finish off his self-worth when he lost. Honestly, readers - you should have seen him wail when I beat him at pool twice in a row. In fact, thanks to the wonders of video cameras, you can see how he looked:
OK, so Paul can now add Crack Attack to his list of mighty victories against me. But he has played it at least 50437% more than me, so surely I'm excused? Please? Anyone?! Hello! Echo!
None of this really matters though, for the day will come when Mario Kart becomes the battleground, and I'll administer a thrashing so lethal that Paul won't even dare challenge me to scissors-paper-stone. Forever more.
I know you guys complain frequently about the number of typos in Linux Format, but I'm starting to think that really we're not so bad. Take the box of matches I bought recently: it has fewer than 50 words on it, of which one - the key word on a box of matches, "matches" - is spelt wrong. I think we do pretty good on LXF ;)
The first copy of my latest book arrived today, and I'm over-the-moon happy with it. This isn't a surprise: after two years of writing the book, I spent a further year working with the editing team at O'Reilly to add, delete, edit and rewrite large chunks until everyone was happy with it. It's about a third of the size of the online book (Practical PHP Programming), but much of the difference is straightforward cutting of non-nutshell topics. So, making games, ASCII art, etc, all went first.
Only moments before I would have been discarded on the waste pit of humanity, I decided to come home to The South. This is a good thing: my cats are pleased to see me, and my wife saw me too. Take from that what you will ;)
Toby the cat is pleased to see me.
At LinuxWorld London, I bumped into the journo with whom I got lost in Barcelona last month (see this entry for the gory details). He'd had only three hours sleep the night before, so it was just like old times. Aaah. Meanwhile, Nick and I gave out some prized LXF Awards -- here's Nick with the Gentoo chaps, who proudly displayed the awards on their stand for the rest of the day.