NYC-Tokyo Connection

Isaac (.ike) Levy ike at
Wed Feb 19 18:32:39 EST 2014


On Feb 20, 2014, at 12:45 AM, George Rosamond <george at> wrote:

> Isaac (.ike) Levy:
>> A followup,
>> On Jan 15, 2014, at 2:19 AM, Isaac (.ike) Levy
>> <ike at> wrote:
> droped MK's rely... since he did some heavy <snip>...
>>> Hi All,
>>> For the new year, I started working on a pfSense Japanese
>>> translation, and one thing led to another here...
> Maybe you tell us more about that... separate thread.  There's more
> bi/multilingual people on this list than most others.. .my guess.
> Technical translations are a heavy project, and not just translation,
> but I think Ike has some insight for others on this.

Sure- I just queued up a draft to finish on the plane home...

>>> Just a quick heads up, for anyone who *might* be in Tokyo earlier
>>> than AsiaBSDCon,
>>> Tokyo FreeBSD Benkyokai Group, Feb. 17, 2014 "第26回 FreeBSD勉強会" 
>>> "pfSense Practical Experiences: from home routers, to
>>> High-Availability Datacenter Deployments" 
>>> <>
>>> Daichi Goto, a long time committer, organizes this meeting on a
>>> regular basis.  While the talk will be about pfSense in various
>>> contexts, I've also been asked to speak about NYC*BUG- and hope to
>>> build some bridges between Tokyo and NYC!
> That's great.  Japan has more BSD groups than anyone can imagine.  If
> you transplanted them to NYC, there would be probably five or six in a
> city like this.
> Tokyo *is* a BSD city.
>>> I'm REALLY looking foreword to learning more about what *BSD things
>>> are happening in Tokyo, I'll be sure to report back to list...
>>> Best, .ike
>> Folks, Monday night in Tokyo was pretty amazing, I found a ton of
>> parity between NYC*BUG and the FreeBSD Benkyokai Group.  Amazing
>> hospitality, everyone was extremely warm and engaging.  Some FreeBSD
>> and NetBSD committers were in attendance, and when I asked for a show
>> of hands, about half the room used OpenBSD too.
> Nice.

Noteworthy: my polling was informal...

>> I presented an updated version of my last pfSense talk (NYC*BUG
>> 2010), and gave update status on the Japanese UI translation project,
>> (which is 80% complete, thanks to one serious volunteer...)  Then, I
>> *totally butchered* George's 10 years of NYC*BUG talk, cramming it
> So you took stew meat and turned it into mine meat... impressive!

I believe you meant mince meat?  :)
The 10 years talk was actually very well received.  Tokyo has some very similar issues to NY, for example: space space space.  No space.
The FreeBSD Benkyokai charged people for attendance, primarily to cover the space used during the presentation.  Goto-san and I briefly discussed the difficulties of finding space, and I told stories about NYC*BUG's approaches to finding space.

>> into 10 minutes.  Also brought in some ALIX boards loaded for live
>> demos, and for people to mess around with- the boards were extremely
>> popular...
> You mentioned small embedded boards like Soekris aren't popular.

Ah- x86 boards (soekris/alix/lanner) do not seem at all popular.

>  But
> .jp is the land of serious gadgetry.  

Embedded systems everywhere, way ahead of us, (and way ahead of x86).
pc98 embedded systems I'm told are everywhere, (the *BSD's shine here- FreeBSD particularly- with a long history, I'm told).  Also, ppc and mips all over the place too, (NetBSD).
(For Bcallah, I met one NetBSD committer here who's worked on octeon...)

Our new ARM and tiny x86/SOC "revolution" basically looks like it's a full decade behind Japan.

Also: I'm told the GPL is not liked in Japan, but I'm not certain why- I wish I had more time speaking to folks about that...

NOW: a looming threat, influence of the US markets :)
I was told that many engineers, all the way up into technical management, simply love the *BSD's.  However, from the top down, the CEO's are starting to clamor "we want it to be redhat".

Sound like a familiar problem?  It will be interesting to see if the highly organized and disciplined IT/Tech establishment is able to maintain rational control of their environments, (in ways we have not succeeded in the US).

> Are there other things people are
> using?  What about RPi and similar boards?

I didn't get time to ask- but in Akihabara Monday, I saw *one* poster with Raspberry Pi something on it- and when walking into the shop, did not find the boards.

I did however see the usual myriad of "Arduinio-esque" boards in all shapes and sizes.

>> I posted my slides and notes online here: 
>> 90 minutes later, nobody was asleep :)  It was an excellent crowd,
>> and a really good time.  Drinks and yakitori followed.
>> There are small *BSD groups meeting like this ALL OVER JAPAN!
>> Seriously.  It's intense.  See y'all stateside soon!
> I used to maintain before NYC*BUG started even.
> There were a few dozen groups in .jp, including exclusively women's
> groups, IIRC.  Dan, do you remember?  It was hosted by BCHosting who you
> also used, right?

Holy moses I barely remember that...

> More details Ike would be great.. maybe more on attendee composition,
> gender, work type, etc.

OK, hrm.  Roughly 25 people in attendance, 1 in 10 were women.  (I have no idea if that sample set is representative of the bigger picture, but it was that meeting).
Possibly 1 in 4 were committers/contributors to the *BSD projects.
The FreeBSD Benkyokai scene was also mostly composed of working professionals, and I'm told that most of the *BSD groups in Japan are simply more formal than the "meetup" kind of scene in the US.
>From what I was told, and who I met, the computing business landscape looks like NYC 15 years ago: business/it/developement is composed of LOTS of small, independent companies- who service everyone from large mega-corporations, to small mom-n-pop businesses.  Perhaps this is Japan's way of culturally adapting to the changing face of technology?  (e.g. people here generally do not change jobs often in their lifetime, yet tech companies and it initiatives come and go...)

Hrm, what else...
My english: everyone was extremely patient and forgiving, and in the end, I think it was difficult for people to understand me.  1-on-1 conversations were *much* clearer, because the speed and word choice could be negotiated live- (instead of the big broadcast of a presentation).
My midwestern/brooklyn accent probably didn't help :)

What else?  Other questions?


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