in moments, Views

Finding Old Friends

I guess today was the day for three of us to get together over some food and a couple of beers and a lot of talk about Linux, companies we have all worked for, venture capital funding and how it works or does not work, and some rather strange management teams we have had over the years. All three of us stretch back to the 1990s working for the GAP, Inc. Many of those people then left and went to work at Linuxcare and then spiraling on to yet other Linux and open source companies. I guess hindsight being 20/20 let us all see how things went with the veil lifted and we could see with the vantage point of the now how the then really went. Take this much funding, toss in that talent, create lines of business, finding how fragile human relationships truly are. All of this comes to bear with companies and perhaps it is why I never want to work around Linux and open source ever again. I saw too much of it for 20 years. People that turned this way and that. Became the best or the worst. Now I can look back at it from some vantage point and merely shake my head. Perhaps mumble,

so glad to not be doing any of that. I’ll just take a simple life. Few things or no things to own. No debt to speak of

It seems the complexity of life spins forever forward and when we all looked back at the times we were all children then. Linux seemed almost like a toy to play with then. Perhaps we all felt it could do anything. Just the right talent and ability had to be spread over the problem.

What I’ve come to realize after seeing my friends today is that we invented this world then. It became the vision we had. So when the company ended or morphed into other things, so did the vision. This was bad sometimes but we all went along for the ride.

My Friend Sean

We go back to the days of selling and building relationships with a few companies that were big. Dell, Sun, IBM. We built large consulting and services approaches with them, traveled to them often. Wondered over what it was we were doing and how it all seemed. Sitting in bars in Austin, Texas and finding worlds that spun in so many directions. But we had fun. We found that fun again today in retrospect. Now we remembered fondly those days spent talking up Linux with Dell Computers. Selling them on certification, professional services, support, training. We sold them some of it all but the major thing then was certifying their hardware to run different Linux distributions.

It all came around again today over burgers and beer. How we spiraled out and soon found our wonderful trajectories crashing to the earth when the .com thing imploded and sent us all away. Sean would go his way and since about 2002 I have not seen Sean until today. Today we reveled in the past and the moments after but with the clearness of vision of just looking backwards and not reliving all the moments.

We drank a lot of beer together, ate ribs in Round Rock, did meetings. Found strange times in life sometimes so funny. Sean will probably never read this blog. Thanks Sean for always being there. For being loyal and funny and engaging.

My friend Arthur

Then there is Arthur. I’ve known him just as long from those GAP Inc days forward to Linux companies he built from the ground up, with funding to follow. Finding other gigs for me to do sometimes saving me at moments of desperation. Arthur has been the one person to stay in contact with. Even to see in Manila in 2019 Christmas time and stay with him at his condo. To reflect today on how life just spins along. He also has seen his share of these companies light the torch and then burn themselves down.

When we found each other today, Arthur found yet another bear hug to give me. To tell me he loved me for being me.

Then moving on…

It is easy to move on from those years and find these two wonderful people having their own lives which have given joy, happiness, some sadness. It has been hard to find people to have friendships with for me. But these two have stood the test of time. Have left me with the feelings today nothing was left on the table. All the feelings were said. Laughter was given. Times where shared.

Thanks to my friends Arthur and Sean. I hope we don’t wait another 20 years to see each other again. My own trajectory is not wishing to come back to the US ever again but Arthur mentioned, forever is a long time. We shall see. I just know how I feel now. I have not enjoyed living in the US for a long time. I feel I leave my best parts in other places and only the fears and hatreds, the divorce and cruelty exist here.

Now I will let this go. Finding old friends. Years have spun down. Now we all wear glasses but our vision is no less sharp.

  1. Sounds like you had a thoughtful walk down memory lane with your two friends, over a couple of beers. I hope those memories and that friendship bolster you in a good way for a long while to come.

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