[svlug] Investing in OSS

Alan DuBoff aland at softorchestra.com
Wed Jan 6 15:51:56 PST 2010

On Wed, 6 Jan 2010, Daevid Vincent wrote:

> You mean *THIS* Oracle? http://helpmysql.org

Funny thing is that I have written a substantial amount of 
software, and prior to joining VA Research (yes, it was called 
that when they hired me) I had never been able to use open 
source software for a complete project.

However, I made it a point to see if it could be done when I was 
at VA. I was hired mid/late '98 I think, it was just prior to 
the transition to move to Bordeaux Dr. in Sunnyvale (since 
demolished and now new Yahoo buildings).

I ran 2 databases on my servers, mSQL and MySQL. mSQL because 
originally another consultant was going to do a Java front end 
which required a plug-in that was available for mSQL. That never 
happened the the backend which ran the MySQL database had a web 
interface grafted on top of it...

I ran the database on Red Hat with a 2.0.36 kernel, running an 
old version of KDE. I didn't use GNOME as it leaked memory like 
a vegetable strainer leaks water, in those days. One of the more 
difficult components was getting a working version of Perl, 
which was notorious for not working on Linux in those days.

Trivia: the server that hosted the MySQL database stayed up for 
297 days, and would have kept going longer had it not been for a 
power outage on Bordeaux. Larry Augustine came to find out why 
the database wasn't up, when I explained there was no UPS on it 
as I had created it and it had been running since they first 
moved into the building. Rob Walker confiscated the machine and 
moved it to the lab and put it on an UPS, and gave me a new 
machine as it's replacement...lol

Seeing MySQL stand up to production use made me a believe in 
Open Source, and more so that MySQL was truly an alternative to 
Oracle. That was 10 years ago...:-/


Alan DuBoff - Software Orchestration

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