Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

09 Sep 2001, 8:31 a.m.

The Great Conversation ... About Savings!

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2001 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

So let me contribute to the discourse about yesterday's events. You've heard from Leonard. You've heard from Seth. Now, the third side of the story. brainwane's take.

So Leonard and I wished to join Mr. Schoen in celebrating the billionth second of Unix. We assumed that the proper thing was to meet up with Seth after the EFF Share-In in Golden Gate Park. The Muni bus was late (what did I expect?!), and the driver seemed loathe to, you know, make up for lost time, give out information to passengers and the like, do that whole "friendly service," that sort of thing. At one point a woman who had been dissed by him started rummaging in her handbag, and I was thinking that she might pull out a gun. Good thing it was just a little change purse that emerged.

There was a sign behind the driver's seat: "Information Gladly Given but Safety Prohibits Unnecessary Conversation." Leonard and I discussed it. It's rather not as one-size-fits all as they'd like to think, Leonard noted. (This sort of incident turns me towards Leonard's anti-large-city view, away from my previous city-as-freedom-and-excitement position.)

Result of all this plot: instead of getting there about half an hour before the blessed event (and about an hour after the EFF Share-In ended at 5, I presume), we got there about twenty minutes before 6:46:40, and Seth was nowhere to be found. At first we weren't sure that this assemblage was the right one, since we saw no EFF paraphernalia. Even though we did eventually see people with EFF hats and tie-dyed shirts cleaning up, there were really very few EFF people cleaning up from the share-in, compared to the number of hippie/gutter punk/bum stereotypes who really didn't seem in a hurry to get anywhere else (and were not wearing tie-dye).

So people from the EFF vaguely consensus'ed that Seth and his groupies had left for dinner somewhere. Leonard and I checked out exactly one restaurant on Haight on the vague idea that the party might be there -- also, I'd been there before. They weren't.

I immediately sought a bookstore and we wandered for twenty minutes or so around Booksmith, a not-bad bookshop on Haight. But they have no Gordon Korman. Grr. He's my favorite children's author/young adults' author, and it seems as though I can never find his work anywhere. I recommend almost everything he's done. Start with something like Losing Joe's Place or This Can't Be Happening at MacDonald Hall! or A Semester in the Life of a Garbage Bag or Don't Care High or Son of Interflux.


L-dawg bought some Terry Pratchett. We waited something like twenty more minutes for a Muni to take us back to civilisation. We realized that we hadn't really noticed when the billionth second had passed. Oh, well. Happy billionth second, Unix! Here's to ... well, however many more seconds of Unix are best for consumers and innovation and stability for computing infrastructure in the universe.

Other news. I updated/rearranged my homepage and wishlist. And today I have a brunch that I thought was yesterday, and then parent time, and then a partyish thing.

Originally published by Sumana Harihareswara at