“Important by Association”

Posted by – 02/05/2008

Here is a story people are bugging me to tell here: Since 2003, every year in fisl’s last day we, Debian Brasil, hold a “party” to celebrate Debian’s anniversary (I know it’s on August, but it’s probably the only opportunity we’ll have to gather all the gang together so we do it in advance anyway). It’s always something that draws everybody’s attention in the conference… I wonder if the pieces of cake we distribute have anything to do with it…

Anyway, this anecdote happened during fisl9.0’s party. I was there, helping by distributing cake and blowing our whistles when Jon ‘Maddog’ Hall got there to check what’s going on. I met Jon around 2001, in OpenBeach, an event that happens in Florian├│polis every year (and that Jon likes to attend)… he’s the most pleasant guy, with lots of stories to tell. Since this years’ fisl was so intense, I barely had time to talk to him… in fact, that was the first time we saw each other this year. We hug each other and were asking how’s each other life’s going and so, when Jon got his camera out of his pocket and asked some guy in the crowd to get our picture. I did the same. We exchanged some compliments and he left saying that he still had to work in his talk.

Jon is quite a character. In fisl, every time he wanders around his picture is taken over one hundred times (I actually saw some father taking pictures of him holding his child like he were running for Senate or something, one time). So he left with some people around him and I think he’d not seen what happened next. I turn towards Debian’s booth, to resume the cake delivery when some guy in the crowd asked me to take a picture with him. And then another one… and another. I believe my picture was taken another two or three times before I got to the booth. I can’t believe! I was about to tell people “Hey! I am nobody! Stop taking pictures with me…” What were they thinking? I imagine something like “I don’t know who this guy is, but if Maddog took a picture with him, he must be some one!” was crossing their minds.

When the party was over I went back to the Organization Committee room and told this story… LTSP’s Jim McQuillan (another good friend) told me I was “Important by Association”, and everybody just kept laughing at me because of that. I haven’t got the time to tell Jon about it… I hope he’s reading.

I think I am going to check what pictures people are uploading about fisl, to see if I can find myself on any ­čśë

4 Comments on “Important by Association”

  1. spectra says:

    @Ean, you should have tasted this years’ cake. It keeps on improving (just like Debian ­čÖé ).

  2. spectra says:

    @Maddog, you’re too kind, as usual. Thanks for helping us keep up with fisl work. Your words are, truly, words of encouragement. I hope we can see you soon again, and share your stories as we once did.

  3. maddog says:

    Nardol, as you are known here, you are more than “Important by Association”. You are, in my mind, a fine example of someone who is interested in computers, but who also shares your life with another love, that of medicine. You have shared your home and churrascaria several times with the FISL organizers and me. You are a gentleman of the highest order.

    So to read that you said “Hey, I am nobody!” distresses me. You are not a “nobody”…you are a unique human being, and a really, really fine one, and therefore if you want to see the most important person in Free Software, just look in the mirror. No wonder they wanted to have their photos taken with you….they recognized class, even in a party hat

    Love and warmest regards,


  4. That strawberry cake was delicious!

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