Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Interview with Michael Meeks of OpenOffice.org

Filed under
Interviews
OOo

On the Novell website, there is a page dedicated to the company's Distinguished Engineers. One of these is Michael Meeks, a Cambridge graduate who began his Linux career at GNOME desktop start-up Ximian, and now works as part of Novell's OpenOffice.org team. Daniel James met him just prior to the announcement of the Novell/Microsoft agreement, and opened the interview with his favourite opening question to any free software hacker...

DJ: What was your first computer?

MM: I was encouraged to program by my mother, because she was a Head of Maths, so I had a BBC Micro and was doing simple BASIC programming. Then came the era of type-in games, so you could learn programming syntax. As my typing was not very quick, I had time to consider the constructs. Eventually I was writing assembler, and this led to x86; but all this was with proprietary software, really. Just on top of Windows, or DOS - a little bit of the Novell technologies crept in there, but only briefly. I left school and went to work doing PASCAL programming, on VT420's, VMS on Alpha machines, cross-compiling to 68000 embedded systems, real-time, the lot. Lot's of good stuff there, and quite interesting in many ways.

During my gap year I became a Christian, and at that point I realised my computer was riddled with non-free software, most of it stolen. So we had a big fight about this, me and God, and the voice of conscience was quite clear that this was not what should go on. So eventually, I ditched it to run Linux instead, which at the time was not good news. The hardware support, and anything graphical or visual, was just hopeless.

DJ: So it was a sort of 'forty days in the wilderness'?

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Graphics: AMDGPU, Radeon, Intel DRM

  • AMDGPU DC Code Lands For Linux 4.15 Kernel
    Linus Torvalds has accepted the AMDGPU DC display code pull request for the Linux 4.15 kernel. AMD Linux users can now rejoice! Overnight David Airlie sent in the AMDGPU DC pull request for Linux 4.15 and since then Linus Torvalds was active on the kernel mailing list ranting about AMD header files and other unrelated to DC code. He was also pulling in other PRs... It was getting a bit worrisome, given the DC code not being in pristine shape, but it was exciting as heck to see this evening that he did go ahead and pull in the 132 thousand lines of new kernel code to land this AMDGPU DC. Linus hasn't provided any commentary about DC on the kernel mailing list as of writing.
  • Radeon VCN Encode Support Lands In Mesa 17.4 Git
    It's an exciting day for open-source Radeon Linux users today as besides the AMDGPU DC pull request (albeit still unmerged as of writing), Radeon VCN encoding support has landed in Mesa Git.
  • The - Hopefully - Final Stab At Intel Fastboot Support
    Intel's Maarten Lankhorst has sent out what could be the final patches for enabling "fastboot" support by default within their DRM graphics driver.

Raspberry Digital Signage 10

It shows web pages from Internet, LAN or internal sources (a WordPress installation comes already installed by default on the SD card); there is no way to escape this view but rebooting the machine. Marco Buratto has released Raspberry Digital Signage 10.0 today, which comes with the latest and greatest Chromium build (featuring advanced HTML5 capabilities, Adobe Flash support and H264/AVC video acceleration), so you can display more attractive resources, more easily. Read more

Red Hat Leftovers

Latest Openwashing