An Old Google Talk

I like getting file stashes from different people’s hard disks. Usually I end up doing a huge dump of their files and it contains a variety of unsorted things. Christmas got early for me last November when I found that my brother-in-law’s hard disk contains around 100 GB of Linux tutorials. It was really a mix of different things that he got from different people. I think the content is enough to prepare anyone for a Linux certification. It had been around two or three months since I dumped all these tutorials on my external hard disk and I only got to check them out today.

From this stash, I watched an old 2006 video of a Google Talk by Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu. I could not longer find any live links on Youtube of this specific lecture so I will just write about it here. He needs no introduction at this point; he is already at semi-rock star status in the Linux community and has many videos recently including his numerous awards. As a backgrounder, this Google Talk happened two years after the first release of Ubuntu Linux as an operating system. This is one of the few videos of him starting out with the OS and gathering people to join the Ubuntu Linux community. This is one of the few visionary videos where he was just envisioning where Ubuntu Linux will go and what it can do to people all over the world.

I began my web development explorations in 2013, around 5 months after I got engaged. Ever since I got acquainted with Linux, I found my comfort zone or sweet spot in Ubuntu distro for Linux. I found it fascinating to find an old talk about something which can already be considered as one of the biggest success stories of the open source community. I also briefly tried Linux Mint and Elementary OS but I kept going back to Ubuntu because of the massive support in its updates.

I was particularly taken by this talk because of how it demonstrates the power of POTENTIAL and a BIG VISION. At the time, they were just talking in this rinky dink conference hall. He was wearing this generic white sweatshirt and denim jeans with a normal white board as his backdrop. If you just look at the video of these guys in the past, it would not indicate the level of success that they will accomplish down the line, 5,6,7 years later from that point in time. At this time, Shuttleworth was still in this stage of selling the viability of Ubuntu in the Debian community of Linux. He had this vision of a “software ecosystem” and he went on to explain the purpose of using Launchpad.net for the family of Linux distributions in updating things. At the time, they were whipping up ways to make an open source operating system with different flavors and with a unique repository that holds them together. Now, it’s completely unimaginable to use Linux without this.   

It really encourages me to watch videos like these. Often, people want to hang out with the successful and the famous. It’s very understandable. On my end, I kind of like seeing them more when they are starting out, when they were the fledgling versions of themselves. Because it is where you will see what they did right, how they got to where they are, and how such success can be made possible again in one way or another. 

Watching his talk did not really give me much additional technical knowledge but it gave me some sort of heritage or history with regard to my personal digital explorations. It gives a big picture scenario of where all my web development efforts are ultimately anchored, of how the pioneers in the open source community began, and how this giant vision has been realized and translated in the current reality of the computer age. I am really happy to unearth this treasure on my hard drive and I really look forward to watching all these videos these year while I try to flourish some more in the vast universe of code.