FreeBSD Documentary Shorts

bsdnooby bsdnooby at
Mon Feb 28 23:31:25 GMT 2005

"That would be really great.
I'm from Brazil and I am really interested in this idea. Let's get
together and propose a world competition? 
I work for a BSD company that has came up with an unusual idea of making
animated short films using our digital camera. You can count on us...
Waiting for some answers,

	Luiz Gustavo"

Sorry for the late response, I saw this response in Google, but for some reason - did not receive it from the list.

I have some ideas about things I would like so see in videos (whether it 
be mine or someone elses).  Things like the history of FreeBSD, spirit 
of the FreeBSD license, people who contribute to FreeBSD, people who use 
FreeBSD, companies that use FreeBSD, projects that use FreeBSD, places 
where FreeBSD is being used, and where FreeBSD is going.  Also the 
strengths and weaknesses of FreeBSD, plus whatever else makes FreeBSD 

Some examples..

The history of how FreeBSD is a direct descendant of UNIX, and it's 
legal troubles contributed to the creation of Linux (and perhaps the 
irony of that the defendants then are the plaintiffs now).

Who the core team and other major contributors are.  For example, I know 
who Greg Lehey and Dru Lavign are, and even what they look like - but I 
have no idea who makes up the core team, or anything about them.

The personal users of FreeBSD might tend to be people who use it at 
work, and want to run it at home.   While someone like me might be more 
interested in access to a completely legal library of 10,000 
applications. A few years ago I was watching, of all things, The Jenny 
Jones TV show, where the show was on successful business women. One of 
the woman was a porn star (Mimi Miyagi) who said she ran her own website 
"on FreeBSD" and grossed over a million a year.

Companies that use FreeBSD are the often mentioned Hotmail (originally), 
Yahoo,, and I think Netcraft.  I'm sure there are a lot more.

I'm not sure which major OSS projects are developed mostly on FreeBSD.  
I think the guy who does SSH uses a BSD.  A few years ago I read about a 
Japanese fellow who worked on the IPv6 stack, and I believe he was using 
a BSD.  We could mention that Microsoft used FreeBSD's IP stack for 
Win2000, and that Apple used parts of FreeBSD for OSX.

The places that use FreeBSD most likely is everywhere.  I can imagine a 
video montage of the various countries where its used, from Tokyo to 
Times Square.

Where FreeBSD is going would be important to cover, there never seems to 
be an end to the "FreeBSD is dying" trolling that goes on.  My view of 
FreeBSD is that since it is essentially being developed by its users, it 
can never disappear unless it's users disappear - and so it doesn't 
really matter if it has .001% or 100% of the OS market share.

The strengths and weaknesses could described as the typical ones for a 
*nix OS.  Strengths might be free software, standards based,  easy 
availability, low hardware requirements, efficient, internationalized, 
etc.  Weaknesses might be higher learning curve, little commercial 
software, not so mainstream, etc.

The unique traits would be where it really stands out.  Incredible 
uptime for websites, as demonstrated on Netcraft.  The huge number of 
ports available, more than any Linux distro I think.  Very reliable, 
often it is chosen for science experiments.  I read once how the USA put 
a bunch of earthquake measuring devices in caves throughout California, 
and they used the most reliable OS they could find - FreeBSD.  Those 
machines were required to record data for years without needing service.

Putting it all together...

I personally envision a "longish short" video, which might be 30 minutes 
in length (rather than 10 mins for the typical "short")  I would 
(personally) want to cram all of the above in to a slick 
video/documentary with a good soundtrack, soundbites, videos, and 
pictures.  In order to encourage others to participate, we might need to 
standardize on perhaps a "short" and "long" length.  The "short" might 
be 3 or 5 minutes, where someone could put something together quickly 
and easily.  The "long" might be a real documentary of 30 or 120 
minutes, something that would either go in to great depth on some topic 
or cover everything (like above notes do).

If we had a library of these videos, they would make there way around 
the net acting as our FreeBSD emmisaries.

I'm actually very new to FreeBSD, and my skills are still quite 
limited.  I also do not know what the legal issues are in using songs, 
videos, pictures, and other media that is copyrighted by other parties.  
It would also be nice to do the video creation on FreeBSD, but I do not 
think that should be a requirement.  As for rules, I don't think we 
would need any, except maybe to encourage people to aim for a certain 
length or filesize.  That would be more for the producers benefit, so 
they didn't feel like they had to make a 120 documentary, or produce a 
4GB video.  We might want to agree on an easy to play codec beforehand.

As people worked on the videos, they could share how they did it.  That 
would enable more people to participate.

The competitions would allow us to give greater recognition to the best 
videos.  If we had a competition every 6 months, we could allow all the 
videos created since the last competition to be entered.  If 6 months is 
too bold, we could do it annually.  Personally, I have a lot to learn 
before I will be able to create a video - but I do not want that to hold 
back others. 


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