Ted Leung on the air
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Wed, 17 Dec 2003
A worthy cause
The Public Patent Foundation seems like a worthy cause. Worthy enough that the various open source foundations should consider pooling their resources to help these guys...
[23:15] | [computers/open_source] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
On having babies
Chris Winters is asking about the impact of having kids. His big concern is losing his life as it is at the moment. Of course, this is a forgone conclusion, children notwithstanding. Your life is always changing. So the question is not will my life change, but how do I want it to change? What do I want to invest my time in?

I don't think that I can answer Chris' questions, but I can tell you what happened with me and Julie. I grew up basically oblivious to children. I didn't hate them, but I didn't love them either. Since I was among the youngest of all my cousins, I didn't have much experience with younger kids. It wasn't until after Julie and I got married that I really got some "hands on" experience with kids -- we both knew that we wanted to have children, but didn't have any experience. We got our hands on experience by watching children for folks in our church. That's when we started to really get the chance to interact with young children, see what they are capable of, what life is like when you have them, etc. And it was during this time that I started to think, you know, I might actually really enjoy being a parent. It kind of grew on me. This was all coincident with the years that I was in graduate school.

After grad school, we moved to Silicon Valley, and I started to work. And work I did, at companies doing cool and innovative stuff. I was very privileged to work at Taligent, Apple Computer (Newton), and IBM. We moved up here and did the Internet startup thing, which went bust. After that I did the self employed consultant deal, working for clients, travelling, speaking, hacking projects on the side. At this moment I'm getting paid to to open source stuff for OSAF, and I'm doing some Apache stuff as well. Last summer I wrote a book (on open source), and I spent one week in November at ApacheCon and one week in December at OSAF.

Julie and I have three daughters - Abigail is 5 (Matt Raible and I have spouses and oldest daughters with the same names), Michaela is 3 and Elisabeth is 1. That's a lot of kids. This year, at least, we are home schooling Abigail. Things are fairly busy around here. Julie is a full time mom, and I have been working out of our house since 2001. I'm around for all three meals and I'm able to step out and lend a hand or get involved in things during the day.

When Abigail was born, I was 32 and working at IBM, which gave me 2 weeks paid paternity leave. When it came time for me to go back to work, I was more upset about it than Julie and the baby were. And since the day Abigail was born, work has never been the same for me. It's all a matter of perspective. I was still working on cool interesting stuff - the project and events that lead to my involvement with XML4J, Xerces, and the Apache Software Foundation were all still ahead of me, but there was a permanent change of perspective. Am I passionate about all that stuff and cool technology. Yes. Go read the 721 previous posts on this blog. The technology business is all about progress. All the stuff that I knew about Apple 2 generation computers is worthless now. Same for Intel machines running on DOS. BASIC? Gone. 6502 assembler? Gone. 68K assembler and Blue MacOS? Gone. In another 5 years, who knows if most of what I know and think is cool now will be relevant? People go much longer than today's hot set of technologies.

I like my children. We enjoy each other, we have our little private jokes and sayings. Do my kids get out of line? Yes. Do they wake up in the middle of the night? Yes. The kids have been sick the last 3 weeks. It hasn't been fun. But its part of the deal. I had a really enjoyable week at ApacheCon, but it still couldn't take away from me missing those 3 kids while I was gone. Same thing for the week I spent at OSAF, which is the job of my dreams (at least after I got the chance to work at Apple).

We're pretty good about having time to spend as a family - usually from dinner to 9pm we're eating and then hanging out together. Julie and I get some extra hangout time after than, and then there's still some time to hack/blog/whatever. Sometimes I wish I had more time to hack/blog/whatever, but there is no way that I would go back to the days where it was just Julie and I. I don't write a lot about family stuff, but reading Julie's blog will give you glimpses of what our family life is like.

In the end, you have to want to have children, you need to recognize that to have children that you enjoy will require a very large investment of time and energy, most importantly when they are young, and you have to want to put in the time for it to be worthwhile. It's like being married. If you want to have a good, enjoyable relationship with your spouse, you have to be willing to invest the time and energy. It's the same with kids.

[23:08] | [culture] | # | TB | F | G | 4 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Category conflicts
So this is what happens when you have 2 bloggers in the same house. I wanted to respond to Chris Winters' post on having babies. Julie and I were discussing that this was going to be a fun post to write, until it came to the topic of which category the post was going to go in. She says "family", which I don't (yet) have a category for, but I don't regularly post on family issues, so I'm resisting creating a category. But maybe she's right -- after all, this post could go under "family". Then again, maybe I need a category "2 bloggers in the same house".
[21:57] | [computers/internet/weblogs] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post

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I work at the Open Source Applications Foundation (OSAF).
The opinions expressed here are entirely my own, not those of my employer.

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