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IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: February 7th, 2011

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schestowitzStill seeing if it's worth doing an eBook on Novell. Big IRC paste (anonymised):Feb 07 12:10
schestowitz> A year and a half ago we talked about writing a book. Back then I wasFeb 07 12:10
schestowitz> tied to some things, but now we're at a crucial moment. It's about NovellFeb 07 12:10
schestowitz> Feb 07 12:10
schestowitz> Novell as a company is now dead and there ought to be literatureFeb 07 12:10
schestowitz> documenting what happened. I am getting loads of visitors this yearFeb 07 12:10
schestowitz> (tens of thousands uniques per month) and you, a dear friend, onceFeb 07 12:10
schestowitz> contacted me to suggest working on a book. I think it will be a good wayFeb 07 12:10
schestowitz> to turn the work (accumulated over the years) into something that's moreFeb 07 12:11
schestowitz> sustainable -- long-term -- and maybe widely recognised too.Feb 07 12:11
schestowitz> ....................................Feb 07 12:11
schestowitz> Feb 07 12:11
schestowitz> Yes, I remember discussing it with you. So much has happened to NovellFeb 07 12:11
schestowitz> since then, it's developed into quite a story, hasn't it?Feb 07 12:11
schestowitz> Feb 07 12:11
schestowitz> From what perspective would you write the story?  Would you justFeb 07 12:11
schestowitz> organize and present historical events of the company? Or write a moreFeb 07 12:11
schestowitz> personal account of your experiences with running the BN/TechrightsFeb 07 12:11
schestowitz> website while the events surrounding Novell unfolded?Feb 07 12:11
schestowitz> Feb 07 12:11
schestowitz> Maybe both? At the beginning or end of each chapter you could include aFeb 07 12:11
schestowitz> few paragraphs outlining your own thoughts and experiences. MaybeFeb 07 12:11
schestowitz> explaining the impact of events in each chapter had on the techFeb 07 12:11
schestowitz> world...and on the people who covered the news.Feb 07 12:11
schestowitz> Feb 07 12:11
schestowitz> I think that's the reason Novell's story is so interesting andFeb 07 12:11
schestowitz> important, it seems to have so many facets and such far-reachingFeb 07 12:11
schestowitz> consequences.Feb 07 12:11
schestowitz> Feb 07 12:11
schestowitz> Anyway, I had to smile when you called my little business a PublishingFeb 07 12:11
schestowitz> House.  That sounds rather grand! Feb 07 12:11
schestowitz> Feb 07 12:11
schestowitz> The majority of my contracts/clients are publishers, mostly I provideFeb 07 12:11
schestowitz> art, cover design, ad layout, and illustration services to them (mostlyFeb 07 12:11
schestowitz> for educational, and business publications). Nearly everything I do isFeb 07 12:11
schestowitz> for print. Though that may be changing soon, as I've been asked to workFeb 07 12:11
schestowitz> on materials for e-books.Feb 07 12:11
schestowitz> Feb 07 12:11
schestowitz> I do have a sideline business in partnership with an author ofFeb 07 12:11
schestowitz> children's medical books, and those books we publish ourselves. OurFeb 07 12:11
schestowitz> books are funded by pediatric hospitals, and (occasionally) insuranceFeb 07 12:11
schestowitz> companies. The books are given (for free) to pediatric patients inFeb 07 12:11
schestowitz> emergency rooms. We also publish a couple of small books about pet careFeb 07 12:11
schestowitz> (for kids) which are funded and distributed by veterinarians andFeb 07 12:11
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schestowitz> animal-rescue organizations.Feb 07 12:11
schestowitz> Feb 07 12:11
schestowitz> So, I'm not exactly Random House, or Simon/Schuster. I'm just a smallFeb 07 12:11
schestowitz> business owner, with a home studio, that works very hard every day toFeb 07 12:12
schestowitz> keep the work coming in. I've been doing this type of work since theFeb 07 12:12
schestowitz> late 1960s, though I didn't work at it full-time until the late 1970s. Feb 07 12:12
schestowitz> These days, I do have some part-time helpers for large projects, but I'mFeb 07 12:12
schestowitz> generally my main employee. (It gives me job security, 'cuz my bossFeb 07 12:12
schestowitz> can't fire me)  :)Feb 07 12:12
schestowitz> Feb 07 12:12
schestowitz> Now, people keep telling me that the market for printed materials isFeb 07 12:12
schestowitz> destined to die out, and that's certainly happening, but the work isFeb 07 12:12
schestowitz> still there for me.  I actually don't mind if traditional printing diesFeb 07 12:12
schestowitz> out, since I'll be retiring next year.Feb 07 12:12
schestowitz> Feb 07 12:12
schestowitz> The problem I see with e-books is the file formats. The people I spokeFeb 07 12:12
schestowitz> with last month, that want me to redesign and reformat some existingFeb 07 12:12
schestowitz> print books as ebooks, want their books available in various formats forFeb 07 12:12
schestowitz> different book readers (Kindles, Nooks, and iPads, oh my).  So I startedFeb 07 12:12
schestowitz> researching it, and I can see some problems with it all. They somehowFeb 07 12:12
schestowitz> believe having some sort of DRM restrictions is a good idea (sigh). So,Feb 07 12:12
schestowitz> as much as I like having work, if I can't convince them to avoid theFeb 07 12:12
schestowitz> pointless lock-in schemes I probably won't take the contract.Feb 07 12:12
schestowitz> Feb 07 12:12
schestowitz> I've been through tooooo many format wars over the years to ever want toFeb 07 12:12
schestowitz> get involved with such things again. (oh, the stories I could tell!)Feb 07 12:12
schestowitz> Feb 07 12:12
schestowitz> Anyway, back to your book. I'm assuming you'd want it to be set up in anFeb 07 12:12
schestowitz> open format for book readers, but (maybe?) also make it available forFeb 07 12:12
schestowitz> print on Lulu?  I'd be happy to help in whatever ways I can, as far asFeb 07 12:12
schestowitz> layout and design. And as a proof-reading/editing helperFeb 07 12:12
schestowitz> Feb 07 12:12
schestowitz> But I'm not a good choice for co-author. Feb 07 12:12
schestowitz> Feb 07 12:12
schestowitz> The hardest part, I think, will be whittling down (and organizing) theFeb 07 12:12
schestowitz> mountains of information you've collected about Novell into a reasonableFeb 07 12:12
schestowitz> book size.Feb 07 12:12
schestowitz> Feb 07 12:12
schestowitz> Where would you start the book? For instance, would you begin with theFeb 07 12:12
schestowitz> SCO law suit, or with the Microsoft patent deal (and the subsequentFeb 07 12:12
schestowitz> beginning of the Boycott Novell website)? It would be hard not to atFeb 07 12:12
schestowitz> least touch on the SCO craziness, and Microsoft, with theirFeb 07 12:12
schestowitz> behind-the-scenes manipulations throughout.Feb 07 12:12
schestowitz> Feb 07 12:13
schestowitz> ...and, it seems I've practically written a book with this email. Sorry,Feb 07 12:13
schestowitz> guess I better send it before it turns into War & Peace. :DFeb 07 12:13
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schestowitz 07 12:14
TechrightsBot@villagetelco: RT @schestowitz: ♺ @harishpillay Village Telco in Dili, Timor Leste - what an inspiration and success of FOSS all over! 07 12:14
TechrightsBot-> Title:   The Dili Village Telco - linuxconfau -    .::. Size~: 41.21 KBFeb 07 12:14
schestowitz 07 12:21
schestowitz 07 12:21
TechrightsBotNot a dent?Feb 07 12:21
TechrightsBot@Dr. Roy Schestowitz (schestowitz)'s status on Monday, 07-Feb-11 09:22:38 UTC - @fcassia at least with casino nobody except the business owner is expected to win. In FraudStrt, those with inside information loot the restFeb 07 12:21
schestowitzIt has been a month or more since I last thought about how to write a book on the subject and what to include in such a book. Since then, the CPTN challenge/affair has come under fire and more details generally revealed which lead me to suspecting that the Novell saga is far from over and thus a case of "wait and watch" for now (Novell demise would be premature to announce). I'm keeping all these notes in case it's turned into an Feb 07 12:29
schestowitzeBook or something; oh, and appreciate all the help! Groklaw does something similar IIRC (PJ planning to use her expertise for grand writing as a life project or something).Feb 07 12:29
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schestowitz> ":-) It has been a month or more since I last thought about how to writeFeb 07 18:02
schestowitz> a book on the subject and what to include in such a book. Since then,Feb 07 18:02
schestowitz> the CPTN challenge/affair has come under fire and more details generallyFeb 07 18:03
schestowitz> revealed which lead me to suspecting that the Novell saga is far fromFeb 07 18:03
schestowitz> over and thus a case of "wait and watch" for now (Novell demise would beFeb 07 18:03
schestowitz> premature to announce). I'mkeeping all these notes in case it's turnedFeb 07 18:03
schestowitz> into an eBook or something; oh, and appreciate all the help! GroklawFeb 07 18:03
schestowitz> does something similar IIRC (PJ planning to use her expertise for grandFeb 07 18:03
schestowitz> writing as a life project or something)."Feb 07 18:03
schestowitzI just think I once read about her making such preparations, at least in hindsight. Feb 07 18:03
schestowitz> Yes, I agree. To publish a book about the end of Novell, before they'reFeb 07 18:03
schestowitz> actually gone, wouldn't be worthwhile.  But, even if you plan to do itFeb 07 18:03
schestowitz> later, now is the time to start preparing.Feb 07 18:03
schestowitzPreparation is a bit hard without knowing the eventual outcome. I'm glad you're eager to advise/help.Feb 07 18:03
schestowitz> Pj's book will likely be more about Groklaw, the SCO mess, and all theFeb 07 18:03
schestowitz> related court cases.Feb 07 18:03
schestowitzIf anyone still care about SCO... once they fade the interest wanes.Feb 07 18:03
schestowitz> Yours would be from a completely different perspective, and likely moreFeb 07 18:03
schestowitz> focused on the events surrounding Novell and the Microsoft patent dealFeb 07 18:03
schestowitz> (and the beginnings of Boycott Novell), as well as the rise (and fall,Feb 07 18:03
schestowitz> we hope) of Mono and Moonlight. Maybe even touching on the subsequentFeb 07 18:03
schestowitz> troubles for OpenSuse...which is definitely a story that's not over, yetFeb 07 18:03
schestowitz> (I hope they break free and manage to stay afloat!).Feb 07 18:03
schestowitzIndeed.Feb 07 18:03
schestowitz> The end of the saga may still be a long way off, but the beginnings areFeb 07 18:03
schestowitz> already well documented.  So, for now, you could start outliningFeb 07 18:03
schestowitz> chapters and deciding on the viewpoint you want to write from. And, mostFeb 07 18:03
schestowitz> importantly, who your book will be written for.Feb 07 18:03
schestowitzI think it can be used as a compressed summary of the site's Boycott Novell project.Feb 07 18:03
schestowitz> The thing is, the plain facts and time-lines are already available forFeb 07 18:03
schestowitz> people to find. BN and Techrights have documented everything from almostFeb 07 18:03
schestowitz> day one. Feb 07 18:03
schestowitzIndeed. But I missed a lot of the history. Well, I started at age 23, so...Feb 07 18:03
schestowitz> But (and this may just be my opinion), the most important story hasn'tFeb 07 18:03
schestowitz> really been told yet, which is how these events have actually affectedFeb 07 18:03
schestowitz> the world (and you!).  For instance, have the attempts to ruin FOSS beenFeb 07 18:03
schestowitz> successful?  Or has it made the Community stronger - the opposite effectFeb 07 18:03
schestowitz> from what was intended?Feb 07 18:03
schestowitzGood point.Feb 07 18:03
schestowitz> If the FOSS Community is now stronger (which I believe it is), outliningFeb 07 18:03
schestowitz> those strengths would be an excellent, and very positive  thing toFeb 07 18:03
schestowitz> highlight.  For example, how has all of this benefited the wider world?Feb 07 18:03
schestowitzI think that may require separate books on freedom in general.Feb 07 18:04
schestowitz> Novell's sad story could be an outstanding example of what happens toFeb 07 18:04
schestowitz> corporations who turn their backs on the very people who could help them. Feb 07 18:04
schestowitz> Feb 07 18:04
schestowitz> And how has all of this changed *your* life? Have you had experiences,Feb 07 18:04
schestowitz> or met new friends that you might never have known, if you hadn't takenFeb 07 18:04
schestowitz> up the reins of BN?  Has your efforts to maintain BN (and thenFeb 07 18:04
schestowitz> Techrights) influenced others to join in and to learn more? I believe itFeb 07 18:04
schestowitz> has. Feb 07 18:04
schestowitzImpersonal books may be better. I don't wish to be part of stories that actually affect many people. Feb 07 18:04
schestowitz> I think you have a very interesting story to tell, and the fact that youFeb 07 18:04
schestowitz> never gave up is a good example to people who may be new to the idea ofFeb 07 18:04
schestowitz> Free Software.  When new users of Linux are made fun of (and, believeFeb 07 18:04
schestowitz> me, they are), it's good for them to know what's behind it, and not toFeb 07 18:04
schestowitz> give up.Feb 07 18:04
schestowitzI know what you mean. But the indoctrination in an age of consumerism leads to it.Feb 07 18:04
schestowitz> Which brings us back to who your target audience might be.  Do you wantFeb 07 18:04
schestowitz> to use your story to encourage more people to get involved? Which wouldFeb 07 18:04
schestowitz> mean writing for those who aren't yet familiar with the Novell story.Feb 07 18:04
schestowitzYes, something like that...Feb 07 18:04
schestowitz> Or do you want to keep it impersonal and just layout the history ofFeb 07 18:04
schestowitz> Novell's long slide into oblivion? Which would be aimed more towardsFeb 07 18:04
schestowitz> encapsulating it all for those who already understand the issues.Feb 07 18:04
schestowitzIn any case, the site may always contain more background information. Books cannot handle hyperlinks.Feb 07 18:04
schestowitz> To me, the pivot point was the bad choices Novell's managment made at aFeb 07 18:04
schestowitz> very crucial time. When Microsoft realized that SCO was a liability,Feb 07 18:04
schestowitz> patents were their next best attack, and Novell fell right into theirFeb 07 18:04
schestowitz> hands. Feb 07 18:04
schestowitzYes, this connects Groklaw and BN/TR too.Feb 07 18:04
schestowitz> In the end, I believe the Microsoft sloggers will hold Novell up to theFeb 07 18:04
schestowitz> world as an example of how Free Software isn't business-friendly.  It'llFeb 07 18:04
schestowitz> be "proof" (they'll say) that Freedom isn't a good business model. WhenFeb 07 18:04
schestowitz> the truth is that it was Novell's very choices to partner with MicrosoftFeb 07 18:04
schestowitz> (anti-Freedom) that ruined them.Feb 07 18:04
schestowitz+1.Feb 07 18:04
schestowitz> If the world cannot put those events in perspective, it will happen toFeb 07 18:04
schestowitz> more companies, and I can see that Canonical is next in the sights ofFeb 07 18:04
schestowitz> the sloggers.  Red Hat and Google too, but Canonical is the low-hangingFeb 07 18:05
schestowitz> fruit now, since Novell and Sun have been squashed.Feb 07 18:05
schestowitzYes, exactly! Jono Bacon is at least hanging out with us and learns a bit. Feb 07 18:05
schestowitz> And speaking of slogging and Microsoft spin...after the GoogleFeb 07 18:05
schestowitz> accusations about Bing cheating, and after the ghost data problem on theFeb 07 18:05
schestowitz> Win7 phone, as well as the lack of sales, and all the Patch-TuesdayFeb 07 18:05
schestowitz> news...oh yes, and the Quarterly Reports news...Feb 07 18:05
schestowitzYes, I think they fake it.Feb 07 18:05
schestowitz> It seems that Bill (Senior Slogger in Chief) felt the need to do someFeb 07 18:05
schestowitz> damage control.  The Slashdot headline regarding Bill's talk aboutFeb 07 18:05
schestowitz> vaccinations (and the B&G Foundations vaccination goals), came at theFeb 07 18:05
schestowitz> perfect time to help defuse all the bad Microsoft news. Feb 07 18:05
schestowitzYou've put it so correctly.Feb 07 18:05
schestowitz> It seems that whatever damage Steve causes, Bill just has to fire up theFeb 07 18:05
schestowitz> PR machine and swoop down like the Pope waving his saintly halo, andFeb 07 18:05
schestowitz> proclaim His Goodness throughout the land. Feb 07 18:05
schestowitzThat's why I must also write about this plutocrat. There are others like him, though.Feb 07 18:05
schestowitz> Since most people in the world still connect Bill Gates with Microsoft,Feb 07 18:05
schestowitz> they couldn't possibly dislike a guy who gives his billions away just toFeb 07 18:05
schestowitz> keep children healthy.  Therefore, continuing to buy Microsoft'sFeb 07 18:05
schestowitz> products will help Bill to support children's health. Feb 07 18:05
schestowitzYes, sentimental blackmail.Feb 07 18:05
schestowitz> It just seemed to me that the timing was interesting.  The "good works"Feb 07 18:05
schestowitz> by the Foundation (children's health, etc) obviously trumps any sleazyFeb 07 18:05
schestowitz> behavior by the company.Feb 07 18:05
schestowitzI was encouraged not to target Gates for this reason. But someone needs to do it...Feb 07 18:05
schestowitz> You've likely already noticed this, but the waning power of MicrosoftFeb 07 18:05
schestowitz> seems to be equal to the growing power of B&M Gates Foundation (and itsFeb 07 18:05
schestowitz> investment arm).  In the end, it will be much harder to undermine theFeb 07 18:05
schestowitz> Foundation than it's been to undermine Microsoft.  People tend to beFeb 07 18:05
schestowitz> less sympathetic to a giant corporation, when it comes to bad behavior. Feb 07 18:05
schestowitz> But pointing out bad behavior of a saintly foundation that "helps"Feb 07 18:05
schestowitz> children will be viewed as baseless criticism. Feb 07 18:05
schestowitzYes, Bill's dad (and his firm) is involved too.Feb 07 18:05
schestowitz> Interesting times we're in.Feb 07 18:05
schestowitzYes, crucial.Feb 07 18:05
schestowitz> Ok, I better stop before this gets too long (I know, too late forFeb 07 18:05
schestowitz> Feb 07 18:05
schestowitzI enjoyed it.Feb 07 18:05
schestowitz> Keep in touch, please (I promise not to keep writing long emails, it'sFeb 07 18:05
schestowitz> just that I haven't gotten to talk to you in such a long time.)Feb 07 18:05
schestowitzThat's not a problem.Feb 07 18:06
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