Crazy, but in a good way

July 26, 2012

Todd Robinson is crazy. But he’s crazy in a good way.

According to the post on the WebPath Technologies page, Todd, “completely un-assisted, will to attempt to create, and release, a complete desktop operating system each and every day for the period of 31 days, to demonstrate the huge advantages of using open source (shared knowledge) solutions in real-world situations.”

So now we have the “31 Flavors of Fun” experiment.

Thirty-one days in August.

Thirty-one new distros.


First things first: I have a history with the Robinsons. Todd and Karlie won’t remember this — obviously with the ton of orders they’ve gotten over the years — but I bought my first distros from On-Disk about six years ago (distros plural because I didn’t know what I wanted and, heck, their prices were pretty cheap — still are). Further, I have kept in touch with Karlie on Facebook while she systematically extricated herself from day-to-day FOSS participation while maintaining a life (imagine that!), and I’ve always found her business advice (and pointers to where to go for business help) to be very helpful.

As you see on the WebPath link above, Todd’s got the reins on this project, but he’s also going to need a little help. As for me, I would like to help where I can, and also I’m going to try out what he produces, writing about the 31 distros as often as possible here on this blog — save for a caveat later in the month of August where I’m going to Houston to take in the Astros-Giants series with Ken Starks (but you can be certain that between innings banter will probably be about this, among a lot of other FOSS topics).

Regular readers of this blog know that I clearly advocate the position that more distros are a better option, and let the invisible hand of the market decide which ones stay and which ones don’t. Chances are that most of the 31 distros Todd comes up with won’t be pressed into common use on a regular basis. It’s like the laboratory-induced elements at the tail end of the periodic table that exist for an instant, and are then gone, only to exist in scientific papers.

But regardless of whether any of the 31 distros become a permanent fixture in the FOSS universe, this is an outstanding project, Todd.

Watch this space, all.

This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy and Larry Cafiero, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND license. In short, this license allows others to download this work and share it with others as long as they credit me as the author, but others can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and develops business software at Redwood Digital Research, a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment.)

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  1. Colonel Panik
    July 26, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    31 in 31 days? Whoa, minds boggle.

    Good luck, see you in September.

  2. Mark
    July 26, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Just curious, what would these Thing-A-Day operating systems look like? It sounds like a fascinating idea. I’m just not sure I understand the significance.

    • July 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm

      I don’t know exactly, but it will probably be a distro built atop one of the three root distros — Debian, Red Hat or Slackware — with tweaks and the like to make it different enough. That’s my guess. How it’s significant is that an individual can do it — 31 times during the course of the month — so it’s not the “voodoo” most people think it is.

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