June 14th, 2004

IX 2004

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Okay, it is confirmed: Dave Farber is unable to make it to Singapore :-( I spend the whole morning cancelling the meetings for Dave and looking for a replacement speaker for CommunicAsia 2004. Luckily, Dr. Lawrence Wong agreed to do so on short notice. (Thanks Lawrence! I owe you one! :-)

So I missed the whole morning section of IX 2004 – including a talk by Nicholas Carr (of “IT does not matter” fame). He has since back panel to a less controvsial title “Does IT matter?”. *yawn* I dont think I missed much, what he has been saying is true but pretty moot1.

Anyway, I arrived in time to attend the Open Source session. In short, it is a disaster! The session has a balance mixed of proponents and opponents of Open Source which is a good thing.

The bad news is the OSS proponent comes badly prepared – with Scott McNeil’s slides (presented by Michael) rattling on Linux Standard Base which most of the business audience dont understand dont frankly dont care, and Harish Pillay (from Red Hat Asia) who did a negative demostration of the failure of RedHat desktop to play the video clips he wanted to show. Tan Min Liang did a slighly better job but unfortunately, he is there as a lawyer, not as a proponent of Open Source.

The OSS opponents comes strong and powerful, lead by Chris Sharp from Microsoft who did the standard Microsoft Get The Facts on their bias survey showing MS is more security (haha), more reliable, cheaper etc. And Goh Siew Hiong from BSA repeated BSA standard corporate position that Open Source are not neccessary better then properiatary software.

And people wonder why Singaporean is slow to take up Open Source *sigh* I think the advocate needs to look at themselves/ourselves first.

1 For those who wonders why I say it is moot, read Geoffrey Moore’s Living on the Fault Line and its concepts of core vs context.

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