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Showing posts from July, 2006


This weekend, I was lucky enough to spend many hours at the local bookstore. Browsing. Reading. Browsing. Reading. I have too many hobbies and too many interests. Just touching on a few of them keeps me pretty busy at the bookstore. Browsing online is great and all, but it's really not as enriching as browsing the shelves. Perhaps I'm old school (I'm 42 years old), but I grew up in a time when you had to physically go to the library to research anything and everything. I spent a lot of time at the library. A few lucky families had an encyclopedia, but they were usually way out-of-date. And, as such, my fascination for real books was formed. Anyway, while browsing the geek book section, I flipped through Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software by Michael Cusumano , Clay Shirky , Joseph Feller (Editor), Brian Fitzgerald (Editor), Scott A. Hissam (Editor), Karim R. Lakhani (Editor). They had some very nice words to say about CVS : Adoption of CVS among Open Sou

Golfing and Venture Capital: Not So Different!

This weekend, my girlfriend, Amy, gave me a new driver for my birthday! Yeah, I know... Nice girlfriend! I purchased a set of TaylorMade rac OS2 irons last year and have been playing pretty much exclusively with the irons since. Playing with just irons has its advantages in terms of accuracy, but on the big courses, it's nice to get that extra 25-100 yards off the tee. OK, OK. But what does this have to do with Venture Capital ? Stay with me... So, I settled on a TaylorMade R7 Quad driver. With Saturday coming to a close, we race over to a nice executive course, Deep Cliff Golf Course in Cupertino, CA. We tee off late at 5:30pm. The first hole is a short Par 4, dog-leg right, playing 271 yards from the Blue tees. I pull out the new driver with great anticipation. Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out Blue Tees 271 136 128 164 165 224 118 106 254 1566 White Tees 242 121 117 146 150 160 95 88 232 1351 Yellow Tees 200 105 90 110 112 147 48 63 173 1048 Par 4 3 3 3 3 4 3 3 4 30 Handicap 3 15 13

Venture Capital FAQ Series

Over the next few months, I would like to give my perspective on the following topics related to the Venture Capital (VC) and Private Equity (PE) industries. To the uninitiated, this asset class can be somewhat confusing. It's good to dig in and fully understand the business of Venture Capital and some of the things that motivates VC partners and drives their behavior. I will touch on aspects that will hopefully be of interest to both entrepreneurs and investors alike. Much has already been written about these topics, and I do not intend to reproduce all of that here. Instead, I will just add some of my color commentary, for what it's worth. Please leave a comment below if you'd like me to consider others. I will try to cover one topic per week. My experience with the Venture Capital and Private Equity industries VC Firms and VC-funded Startups: Not So Different! What is an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR)? What is the difference between Venture Capital and P

Google Launches Open Source Code Hosting Service

I made my first contribution to the Open Source community back in 1989 when I contributed CVS to the Free Software Foundation . That was before we started calling it "Open Source". CVS is the backbone of and has been home to over 100,000 Open Source projects, has more than 1 million registered Open Source developers, and serves up more than 19 million unique visitors each month. CVS has stopped being maintained and Subversion takes its place - the natural evolution of Open Source projects continues. SourceForge has owned the mind-share for Open Source developers for many years, but the service has not given the developers everything they need for full software lifecycle management. At OSCON , Google announced that they have put together a service, similar to, that can be used for hosting Open Source projects. Enter Google Code . It has built-in support for Subversion access (controlled through a special password that appears to be linked to

Superman Returns at the IMAX Dome: A Most Uncomfortable Experience

This past weekend, I saw my first move, Superman Returns , at the Hackworth IMAX Dome Theater at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, CA. Now, that's a super-sentence. I'm a big fan of IMAX and the IMAX Experience. The more immersive the movie-going experience, the more I enjoy it. So, why see Superman Returns in IMAX format? This document shows why IMAX format (15/70mm) is better then that old, crusty 35mm format. Yeah, I get that - more bits is better. Sure. But, when displayed on the Dome screen, it's just too wide. When text is displayed across the widescreen movie (think beginning of Star Wars), you had to literally move your head through 180 degrees of motion to read each line. Ugh. Something was lost in the translation to the Dome. It's not a viable experience for a widescreen aspect ration movie. Regular IMAX (without the Dome) - absolutely! I'll save the Dome for star-gazing or for films built for the Dome (not widescreen). Finally, unless you can

Tesla Roadster gets Wired

Great article in Wired magazine this month about the Tesla Roadster all-electric car. Drool. Where do I send my check? These guys have done a fantastic job. It's a "green muscle car". There are a ton of (rich) people that would like to go low-emissions, but don't want to give up performance and turning heads. The price is too high for the masses, but the car has great styling (by Lotus) and an excellent range (250 miles). I especially like the use of "commodity" lithium-ion batteries (unfortunately, it appears to have 11 sectors of 621 lithium-ion cells, which seems like a lot). Expected retail price: $80,000. I hope the company took some videos of "The Making of the Tesla Roadster". That would make for good documentary viewing. Turns out the VC community was not exactly interested in funding this in 2004 (either that, or Elon Musk was unwilling to share), but VantagePoint Venture Partners co-led the $40M Series C, announced on June 1, 2006 (

CVS under Mac OS X

Here's a link to 97 Open Source projects that integrate CVS with Apple's Mac OS X operating system. This comes from . According to the site: MacForge is your source to find open source projects out on the net that work on the Mac, or are likely to work on the Mac. Thanks to MacForge, there's no need to sift through huge listings of open source that you can't use. A great resource for us Apple Mac users. Enjoy! Tags: CVS , Software Development , Apple , Mac , Mac OS X , Open Source , brianberliner

N.A.D.D. - Nerd Attention Deficit Disorder - I’ve Got It!

If you are in the business of developing software, you should be reading the most excellent Rands In Repose blog. Rands (not his real name) is an excellent writer and makes the topics of software engineering and project management quite enjoyable. I'll get to some specific examples in the future, but for now, I wanted to point out that I think he has diagnosed one of my "disorders". It's NADD - Nerd Attention Deficit Disorder . This paragraph struck home: Stop reading right now and take a look at your desktop. How many things are you doing right now in addition to reading this column? Me, I've got a terminal session open to a chat room, I'm listening to music, I've got Safari open with three tabs open where I'm watching Blogshares, tinkering with a web site, and looking at weekend movie returns. Not done yet. I've got iChat open, ESPN.COM is downloading sports new trailers in the background, and I've got two notepads open where I'm capturi

Jason Mraz at Villa Montalvo - July 24, 2006

Last night we enjoyed a fantastic concert performance by Jason Mraz ( his Wikipedia entry ) at the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, CA. Jason started the concert solo with just his guitar in hand, launched into a 30-minute song which featured nearly every aspect of his style. Then, eventually, we got to applaud. Nice. Another blog entry here (I saw the "Rod Stewart" look-alike as well). We're members of the Montalvo Arts Center, so we get first crack at buying the tickets. As such, we were able to secure seats 7 rows back, dead center. Being at eye-level and center made for a very enjoyable experience. Villa Montalvo is a beautiful outdoor venue. It was a balmy 85 degrees F when the concert began, but very pleasant as the concert wrapped up 2.5 hours later! Jason is clearly returning to his acoustic and coffee-house roots. He will be releasing an acoustic CD this fall. His voice is so good, smooth, and versatile, that it is really just another instrument on the stage

Google Maps for Mobile now has Live Traffic!!! Yow.

Pinch me. Am I awake or just dreaming? Google Maps for mobile just released a new version that includes Live Traffic. Living in the Bay Area just got a lot less painful. This is almost a poor man's version of Garmin's excellent line of FM-based and XM-based GPS devices. Other sites that covered the story: GigaOm - Live Traffic Info, Mobile Killer App Slashdot - Google Offering Live Traffic Maps via Cell Phones GadgetBox - How's the traffic? Ask Google. Boqpod - Google Live Traffic Maps on Cell Phones ResourceShelf - Google Mobile Adds Traffic Info on Google Maps Mobile & More Sources For Traffic Maps and Cams, Listen to Your Route I recently purchased a brand new (and unlocked) Nokia E61 smartphone. I really like it and will post much more about it soon. In searching around for killer applications for it, I stumbled upon Google Maps for mobile. Even though the Google Maps for mobile download claims that it might not work on the phone, don't believe

Technorati Turns Three - I’ll Take Alliteration for $300, Alex

Technorati enters the terrible threes, undergoes a major upgrade - and I (mostly) like what I see. As a new blogger, one of the things I just did as part of getting things started was to sign up for Technorati, include it in my ping services, and include rel=tag tags in each of my (new) posts. Next, to upload a headshot to the site. Dave Sifry, CEO of Technorati announces the upgrade here . Michael Arrington of TechCrunch comments here . It appears that I am currently ranked 750,889 on the Technorati rankings: That's interesting, since I pretty much have no content today, and they claim to be tracking 50 million blogs. This implies to me that there are 49.25 million other blogs that are in a sadder state than mine. That would be a sorry state of affairs for the blogosphere, and if it's true, how many blogs actually matter? I'll continue to track this and let you know as I move up or down the ranks. Back to Technorati... Dave and the team at Technorati were definitely ahead


Blog Transparency can be scary. So, I've decided to add a bit of transparency to my life. I spend a good chunk of my week networking with people in my line of business and people interested in like-minded pursuits of happiness. Perhaps this web-based venue will allow me to me expand the reach of that network by allowing you, the reader, to get to know me just a wee bit better. I'll let you decide if my transparency is enough to convince you to contact me. Ball's in your court. I know I'm a bit nervous about this endeavor. Especially out here where everyone in the world can participate in the conversation. By "transparency", I mean "sharing your thoughts, opinions, and selected events of your life openly and freely". Some of the things that cause me to be a bit worried about my personal Blog Transparency include: The Internet is an amazing archiving machine (see also: the Wayback machine ). Before you start blogging, should you have to listen to