Meet the Tuxers

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Tuxers Smile on seeing Dave boot up Ubuntu

I work for IBM’s Linux Technology Center, the LTC. Though many LTCers work at IBM sites such as Austin, TX, and Beaverton, OR, most of them work at various locations throughout the globe, including the “Oz” team in Australia (LTCers there include Rusty Russell and Andrew J. Tridgell, “Tridge.”)

Some locations are thinly spread. For example, Ted T’so is LTC in the Boston area, and I am one half of the LTC team in Westchester, NY. (This was Dan Frye’s doing I expect, as he probably feared too many LTCers near the offices of some of IBM’s most senior executives might lead to our having a bad influence on them, or perhaps it was the other way around.)

The nearest LTC site to my home is about forty miles north, in Poughkeepsie, where there are about a dozen or so LTCers.

Since it is difficult to build and create relationships within a worldwide team, LTC management has created “Morale” groups at various sites, and as part of that, I journey last Thursday to Poughkeepsie to join a “Morale Lunch,” which is a high-faluting way of saying I drove to POK so I could chow down with some fellow LTC members, and then chat with some of them during the afternoon.

I took along many members of my Linux Menagerie, a group I call “The Tuxers,” for not only is the Penguin the mascot of Linux, the Penguin has been my favorite animal for many decades.

I took along a camera, both to take some pictures of the chow-down for inclusion in the next quarterly LTC newsletter (my manager helps put the newsletter together, and so had asked I take some pics while in POK).

I had a business call during the afternoon, and Diane B. suggested I use the office of W. Smart. [1]

I assembled the Tuxers for their first group photo in Smart’s office. It can be found at the start of this post.

Sad to say, on occasion I have to use Windows, and, when the Tuxers see I have fallen victim to the “Evil Empire,” they turn away to express their disgust:

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Tuxers doth protest

The Tuxers were so disgusted on this occasion that they bent over so I could see the part of their body that best expresses their view of Windows. If you examine the screen closely, you will see evidence that even Adobe hasn’t yet figured out how to write software for Windows. I have suffered through a failed update for months now, as I noted in my post PDF: A Portable, Persnickety, Problematic, and Proprietary Document Format. [2]

I took along the Tuxers when I went to IBM Research yesterday to attend Eben Moglen’s talk, and you can find a picture of two of them on the podium with Eben in the post I wrote about the talk, Eben Moglen: Copyleft Capitalism, GPLv3 and the Future of Software Innovation:

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Eben Moglen and some Tuxers

Chappaqua-20071021 006Tuxers observing Dave blog about Eben Moglen’s talk at IBM Research

I left behind my most valuable Tuxer, the one I purchased at Steuben Glass for about $250 several months ago, so earlier today I assembled the full group, in the company of the “Jikes Collage” that my daughter Jen created. Steuben Tuxer is in the top-right corner, near the “shaking hands” symbol in the Jikes banner:

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Tuxers on a sunny day

Note the famed “Jikes Coupon” in the bottom center, a birthday present from Jen. (We share the same birthday.)

I put up our inflatable pumpkin last night. I got up this morning shortly after six and plugged in the pumpkin so children and commuters would see it. It looked so good when I returned from running some errands that I have left it plugged in, to make sure it’s there when the children come home from school. I took the above Tuxer picture just a few feet from the pumpkin:

Pumpkin Smile

Addendum: Halloween Morning

I woke the Tuxers up early this morning:

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Rise and Shine, Tuxers!

I then realized the Tuxers had been unhappy as I have been using Windows XP on my back porch since I haven’t yet configured wireless for Ubuntu (I know it works, it’s just that I did a fresh install and haven’t yet configured it.) While at Staples yesterday I noticed there were some ethernet cables on sale, so I bought a few, including a 50 foot cable for just ten dollars. I then jury-rigged a direct link from my Linksys WRT54GL router — which runs OpenWRT LInux — to my back porch:

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Note blue ethernet cable from window to back porch

I then booted up Ubuntu and showed the Tuxers that I was now able to run Ubuntu on the back porch, and that I had posted their picture on my blog’s home page:

Halloween-2007 009Tuxers: “You get it, Dave.”

It’s a bit cold today, so I fired up a small space heater I use to keep my hands warm. The Tuxers then came over to investigate this strange new device, probably to see if it was supported by Ubuntu. I didn’t let them know that it was a heater.

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Tuxers: Is there a Linux device driver for this?

The Tuxers are already #14 on the Google list of matches for “tuxers,” just a day after I first announced their existence. I’ll update this when they reach #1, and will flog this blog as needed to achieve that goal.


1. Those in the LTC will understand why Diane suggested I use Smart’s office, for I was about to have a call with Mark V, a famed LTC member who has been continuously on the phone talking about Linux since before Linus started writing it.

2. (Added 10/31/2007) I just noticed that someone reached my blog by searching for “adobe acrobat error 1336,” proving I am not the only Adobe customer who has had this problem.

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