Subject: "The future is here. It's just not widely distributed yet."
From: "Tim O'Reilly" <>
Date: Tue, 09 Apr 2002 15:08:59 -0700

I found that William Gibson quote a few months ago, and it struck me as so
appropriate that I've been using it to kick off my talks ever since.  And I
just wrote down a version of that talk for InfoWorld (see  But since they only posted it as a PDF, I've
also put it up on my site in html at  It's a lot about how
hackers ("alpha geeks") show us the shape of the future. They bend
technology with brute force to make it do what they want long before
commercial vendors typically have offerings for less tech-savvy people.

There's also an article on this topic resulting from an interview I did with
Steve Gillmor of InfoWorld at
late=/storypages/ctozone_story.html.  As with all such articles, there's a
mix of stuff that he got wrong with stuff that I really said, but I did like
a lot of it.  

Why am I sending this to this list?

As many of you know, I periodically get into activism about emerging
technologies that I think are important.  So I'm trying to get open source
developers to think further out about the implications of some of the
technological changes that are upon us.  Sun and Microsoft are gearing up
for a battle to control next generation network computing architectures.
What's important to me is that we build that next generation internet
operating system in a way that supports participation, innovation and
unintended consequences, which to me are what matters most about open
source.  There's a lot of great work happening in the open source world, but
it's not clear to the mainstream where it fits in, and it's sometimes seems
that it's not as clear to the OSS developers as it should be where the
opportunities lie.

I know that in some ways this is same old, same old, since I've been
evangelizing about the network side of open source for years.  (See for
example and
Still, this stuff is ever more relevant, I thought that I should invite you
guys to read the stuff I've written.  But I want to go further than that.  I
want to offer fsb subscribers five free passes to our upcoming Emerging
Technologies Conference:  Building the Internet Operating System (May 13-16
in Santa Clara, CA).

For more information about the conference, see

Registration for the free Conference Passes are on a first-come,
first-serve basis. You must register *no later than May 3, 2002* to get
a free pass.  To register, call 1-800-998-8838 and ask for Linda Holder,
or email with a copy of this message.  Be sure to
identify yourself as coming from the free software business list.  The free
passes include two meals each day of the conference, but do not include
travel or hotel expenses.

If there are more than five people from the list who want to attend, we'll
offer a 50% discount from the usual fees for anyone who is a list member as
of the date of this posting, or who otherwise has legitimate credentials as
an open source developer.  And since we're offering only a limited number of
free passes, please don't ask for one unless you really plan to attend.

My hope is that getting some networking between fsb types and the people who
are doing next generation networking would be a Good Thing.  I hope to see
some of you there. 

Tim O'Reilly @ O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
1005 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA 95472