Just when you think you have a few days to spend on some more interesting things, something blows up. Part of my emergency work has been upgrading a remote server from FreeBSD 5.5 through 6.0 to 6.2 – remotely. Think of upgrading a Windows server from NT to 2003, on a machine nearly 100 miles away with no CDs, just the internet connection. All done online. Can’t be done. But it can with FreeBSD – and if you’re really feeling good you can keep serving websites while you’re doing it, with short breaks for four reboots.
FreeBSD is a superb operating system. It differs from Linux in lots of ways, but one is the license it is distributed under. Unlike the GPL (all derivatives must carry this same license and conditions), the BSD license boils down to: do what you like with this, but give us credit where appropriate. That’s why Apple were comfortable using FreeBSD as the basis for OS X.
But this made me think of Mr Friedman, and this tribute from a news show when he died.
Normal service will be resumed shortly.